One effort to evacuate citizens in lowsec ahead of the invasion had ended largely in disaster. The Sansha menace loomed large, as more analysis and speculation was heaped on the little intel we still had. Through it all I knew my sole aim was to find and ruin my Brother, however I couldn’t do that if he and I were both mindless Sansha slaves. There was a growing possibility that the Sansha had many more tricks up their sleeves, enough sleight of hand to bring the whole house of cards down. If they massively invaded hisec with their warships, if
and the factions collapsed to Sansha Nation rule, I would never have my revenge. The invasion had become a threat to my vengeance, and so I would help to head up the defense for a short time before getting back on task. Concord
I had escaped the Oruse ambush, leaving the Archon wreckage and the expanding corona of it’s loss behind. My Manticore friend likewise aligned to the slowly retreating dropships bristling with citizens to see that they were unmolested as they fled to the adjacent system.
Our leader in Moira., Julianus Soter, perhaps the most recognized name in the universe right now, had plans to defend both lowsec Oruse and hisec Deltole. The issue was getting our warships that far down south through pirate territory without falling to the same fate as the Archon carrier. He made his way downtown with a plan; find a wormhole that would connect from near Oruse to near Pelisle, our stagin ground on the edge of hisec. This was a million-to-one shot, but he’d already posted a 20 million reward for any pilot that located a decent link. Oruse was dry, he moved on to Hare and I to Heleule. I had a couple of close calls with pirate traffic but my Anathema and her warp stabilizers got me out of it.
With amazing luck, Soter chimed in on comms: “FOUND ONE!” With 30,000 planets in New Eden, he had found a direct link from Hare to Grispire, the system next door to Pelisle. While this handy link was intended to route our warships into the area of the lowsec invasion, it soon had another use.
The FCORD announcement landed in our intel folders simultaneously. Adye was under attack. It was a hisec system that seemed to be 16 jumps from everyone. From Osure it was far more, but I needed to get there fast. Wormhole!
Soter and I hurried to the lowsec end of the hole and burned through, dephasing a brief moment before being spit out adjacent to the Corp’s home of Pelisle. From there it was a dozen jumps, with various fleets beefing their numbers along the way or merging, by the time SYNE and FCORD arrived in numbers we had a sizeable fleet.
At Planet III numerous corporations aligned with FCORD/SYNE motives arrived in warp or cyno bursts. Hearts beat fast a sensors swept the scene.
Compared to the 1400 ships in the Uedama incursion, this strike force was relatively small and came in two waves, the second being a cluster of 15 Battleships. In each case the combined might of the hisec defense was enough to repell them.
While countless pilots breathed easy and others questioned whther Sansha resources had finally begun to run thin, somewhere in the mass, a lone freighter chugged. In it was stored, perhaps, the key to the fall of the Empires. We don't know what (or who) was being transported...
Intercepted Sansha communiqués indicated the reason that the incursion was so small; they were not there to destroy, they were there to pick something up. Whether the freighter slipped through the hairball unnoticed to be enveloped by a Battleship, or a cloaked Sansha ship had sped through the system to scoop up the precious cargo while the warships at the wormhole distracted the defenders, we cannot yet know. What we do know is that the Sansha apparently have plans beyond simple enslavement and zombification.
We pushed them off and the remaining Battleships in the second Sansha wave flickered out of existence as one, presumably back to from where they came. Capsuleers careened amidst the light wreckage recovering people and salvage as the debates rages in numerous channels. The immediate danger now past, forces redistributed to Deltole to prepare for the next day’s expected invasion (unless this too was a distraction). While most considered travelling to Oruse in lowsec to defend that backwater world not worth the danger or effort, Moira. Flocked back to their temporary wormhole and Julianus led a force to the Oruse area to set up camp. We might be a loose-knit force of dedicated defenders when the wormhole tears itself open over planet 7, but those we could not save via evacuation would not be let down by the immortals that cruise the heavens beyond their horizons.
A calm settled over the galaxy. We knew They were coming, busting out of the void, ripping holes in space, ramming massive fleets through to bombard humanity. If they were walking organic robots, having done away with emotion and passion, then they were turning back on their parents, the very source of humanity, in an effort to snuff out anything with more mental freedom than a slave. This was a war to protect what made us human, the instincts, the creativity, the love and hate that greased the gears of civilization’s crawl to Utopia. The Sansha believe complete uniformity will eliminate strife from the galaxy.
What they are not considering is the use of strife. Should a calm gray apathy descend on life in the universe, conflict would vanish, as would invention. Ancient names like Einstein, Oppenheimer, the greatest leaps forward have come as a result of desperation, war, pain, jealousy, vengeance, affection, drive. Humanity, if it could still be called that under Sansha rule, would stagnate. Research would stop. With nothing new added there would only be opportunities for already-discovered technologies to slip away. Decades, perhaps eons may pass as the Sansha de-evolve with no creativity to rein in the atrophying, the entropy, the relentless directive of chaos theory. How long before the technology to maintain their mindless slavery itself comes to problems? Would we survive waking up in a virtual stone age? These are all simple projections on my part; in any case, the Sansha might win the war, but with no further battle, they will lose what remains of their souls.