Macavity116

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I’m not sure if they’re holding back what Akira’s special power is,because I’m not sure if they know.That information matters,though.
Whetu knows about Akira's Unique Power. She didn't mention it because she strongly doubts Akira would use Abolish during a space battle. The harsh environment of space is more than sufficient to kill Akira.


@EmpressTantomile Any plans on using that special power?How?
Empress Tantomile and Sebakhira said:
I still haven't figured out how I could use it in a fight. Make my ship's guns more accurate? Make an enemy ship prone to breakdowns? What about boarding actions? Do I make myself lucky or the enemy unlucky?

You're overthinking this, Tantomile. Focus on what you want to happen.


Also,can Paradox block Tantomile’s special power?
Tantomile's power is passive. It's always "turned on" and being used, even when she's not thinking about it, so no. It can't be blocked.


Also,why did the Doomsday Clock jump from five minutes to midnight to three minutes to midnight?
The countdown to the Battle of Aoraki was still running during Interlude #4, even though the clock itself didn't appear there. (Interludes are not part of the Main Story) The Battle of Aoraki is still going to happen in Chapter 5.4.

If you're looking for an in-universe reason, try this: Kendra and Tantomile alerted the Galactic Council Security Council to the situation, and Secretary General Vestergaard said the GCSC would "continue to monitor and discuss the situation." There is now a very real chance of foreign intervention in the coming battle.



@QueenKendra, @EmpressTantomile/Sebakhira, @Eteka Also,if Hakara and Whetu told them about the Cycles,what’s their reaction?They were pissed about Paradox taking their free will,but in this view, they never had free will.
Queen Kendra said:
I'm taking some time to wrap my head around the concept. I didn't ask how many times my dad abandoned mom and I, or how many times I died at Aiowa. I don't want to. My mind might go to... dark places... if I think about stuff like that too much. I'll admit to being curious about some things though. I'm planning to ask Whetu a few questions at the party next week, mostly stuff about what my friends and I did in other Cycles. Think about it: if I was dead in the last Cycle, that means somebody else got elected Queen. Who was it? What were they like? Also, Nya wants to know what happened to herself, and I promised her I'd ask Whetu for her. (I think Nya likes the thought that she was Gifted in a past Cycle)

-Queen Kendra
Empress Tantomile and Sebakhira said:
This is exceptionally dangerous. The Paradox wields even greater power over time than Kaiako and I first thought.

This means there are multiple timelines and multiple universes where me and my friends have been victimized by Akira. Who knows how many more there'll be after this one? No more. This has got to stop! One way or another, Akira Robinson is going to die at Aoraki!
Eteka Mihaka said:
The possibilities opened up by alternate timelines, Cycles going before and after our own time... I think it's kinda fascinating. If it's at all possible, I'm going to try and convince Tantomile to capture Akira's ship intact. Hakara did say that there's going to be some kind of Extragalactic Invasion in the future. A Progenitor Hyperspace Core that allowed Time Travel as well could be a very useful tool in that fight... or a potent weapon.

-Eteka

I have to say I am with Tantomile - I don't quite have the patience for all this chitchat.
Agreed.

I imagine she just wants to lay waste to something or someone.
Careful what you wish for. ;)
 
Last edited:

HistoryDude

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Wait, has Whetu told them about her own unique power?

Also, is Chapter 5.3 just the party or is there other stuff going on? What preparations do they need for the Battle of Aoraki (which is in Chapter 5.4 and is “midnight”).
 

Macavity116

The First Stormbreaker
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Wait, has Whetu told them about her own unique power?

Also, is Chapter 5.3 just the party or is there other stuff going on? What preparations do they need for the Battle of Aoraki (which is in Chapter 5.4 and is “midnight”).

Whetu has not told anyone about her own Unique Power. What value could a "personal cloaking field" have in a space battle? Whetu can't think of any practical uses for it outside of a highly unlikely boarding action. (hint, hint)

;)
Chapter 5.3 isn't very interesting: it contains Eteka's birthday party and Joint Task Force Kardas' arrival at Aoraki. A few characters will have their personal storylines tied up and finished, the Eteka-Kendra romance will receive its final update, and two more characters will hook up at the last second before Kendra's fleet reaches the Positive Control Point. On the whole, nothing overly serious happens in this chapter, it's a final break for both the cast and the readers. Catch your breath, you know?

However, you should pay attention to some of the dialogue in this seemingly pointless chapter. Hidden somewhere in this totally skip-able chapter is a hint big red warning flag about the final twist in Chapter Six.
;)
 
Chapter 5.3: Paramour

Macavity116

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Chapter 5.3
Paramour

December 15, 1928 A.D.
Ketu Supernova, The Great Wastelands, Levakian Confederation
y4mW0qTVMZIE7eHNsQsGsIrRRpyjQ8TJsRkHi4rST3PfDprCQHFO0trAzqYOx_RiEE0VPB2klhS68Q_wLU26YfE4rSsVYjqU420F1ZuuhNcfBGZsX3kFygmxxKZ-bh9qW6ArDD7OyqpAgZVHRLmEaH_bSQWqeJAcUV7DzmpvK-R3PkCUddkLbr5jTVLMhwIyqtLFPQAaNUNz7-jY55VzgbxHQ

Caption said:
The Ketu Supernova is a stellar formation located on Partoga's western border. It separates the Kingdom from the Great Wastelands. 5 years before the events of this story, the Kushan Mothership passed through here on its way to Hiigara. A Taiidan research station was destroyed during the skirmish.

Like a mother bear watching over her cubs, the Mothership Queen Karan flew in a slow orbit around her massive armada while the fleet dove, one strike wing at a time, into a large Slipgate. These naturally occurring Hyperspace Gates are rare and, once discovered, frequently traveled. It would take the better part of a Partogan day for the entire fleet to enter the Slipgate and rematerialize in the Mauthula system on the other side. The Queen Karan was scheduled to be in the middle of the pack, with an equal number of warships on both sides of the gate for protection. But for now, the process of moving the entire fleet into the Slipgate had only just started, it wouldn’t be the Queen Karan’s turn to take the plunge until sometime tomorrow morning, which meant that Queen Kendra, Tantomile, Eteka, and their friends had the entire evening and the whole night to themselves.

This downtime would be put to good use.

On Kendra’s orders, the Mothership’s foremost cafeteria was converted into a place of fun and relaxation. Half of the tables and chairs were cleared away to make room for a huge television and several large couches. One of the intercom speakers in the room was rewired to one of the computers in the room, which Kendra had rigged up to play a constant playlist of Enutanga’s most popular songs. This computer was set up near an impromptu “dance floor” in one corner of the room. A group of workers had toiled for three days to install a fully functional bar in the cafeteria and stock it with intoxicating beverages, and although no one had formally been ordered or asked to act as bartender, Nya Ririnui slowly gravitated to a spot behind the bar and started serving as guests began to filter in.

“Okay, okay!” Amaya Maori said as she stepped into the room. “Nice to see you don’t play around when it comes to parties, Your Majesty.”

Kendra waved her hands and shook her head.

“Drop the formal crap. It’s just ‘Kendra’ tonight.”

Hakara and Whetu arrived early, followed by Empress Tantomile, Coricopat, King Admetus, King Tumeric, Korova, Sebakhira, and Rhassa. (Who had recovered some of the weight she’d lost in captivity) Toa Kopaki and Toa Nanui arrived separately. Rapati, Arahu, and Ango arrived last and brought the man of the hour with them. Amaya showed up a little late, having taken a little extra time to put on some makeup.

Eteka Mihaka knew he was going to be celebrating his birthday a week early and, according to Rapati, had used an extreme amount of discipline to stop himself from getting drunk earlier in the day. So, Eteka was sober when he first arrived to the party… but it didn’t last. As soon as he arrived, Nya started putting glasses of Madu Cabolo into everyone’s hands.

The dark red drink known as Mado Cabolo is the most popular beverage on Partoga, and is best compared to cherry wine, which can be found on Earth. Made from crushed fermented Madu berries, the drink itself was a little sweet with a tart aftertaste and contained enough alcohol to impair a Partogan after about five servings. (Which is equal to one 2-liter bottle) Due to their immense size and weight, a Levakian would have to down nearly three whole bottles before starting to feel the effects.
For maximum enjoyment, Madu Cabolo is best served slightly chilled.

Cold vapor rose from seventeen glasses as they were held aloft. (Nya abstained)

“Happy fifteenth, Eteka!” The small crowd cheered and drank together.

Many hands slapped Eteka’s back and he was congratulated by everyone. Kendra cut through the small crowd and gave him a big kiss in front of everyone, then she announced:

“Everyone, take some time to enjoy the drinks, the music, and good company. In half an hour, Eteka gets to open his birthday gift, alright?”

As everyone began to mingle about and chat, Kendra kept one arm wrapped around Eteka and said:

“Well?”

“I love it, thank you.” Eteka answered. “Did you really install a bar in the cafeteria with only a week’s notice or was it already here?”

“I had it brought in.” the Queen answered. “And if you like this party, then you should see what I can pull off with more time to prepare.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Eteka said.

He took another drink of Madu Cabolo and kissed Kendra again right before Rhassa accosted them.

“Fifteen years old! That’s impressive!” Rhassa said while gently rubbing the soft pads of her paw on Eteka’s arm, “Just think about it! You’re older than ninety percent of my entire species! How does that make you feel?”

“Curious.” Eteka replied. “How’d your people build a society if your generations are so short?”

“We’ll let you know if independence ever actually happens.” Rhassa replied. “We just need the right conditions for it first.”

On the other side of the room, Arahu asked the computer to play one of Enutanga’s more energetic songs. The cafeteria filled with the sound of intense drumbeats and Enutanga’s background singers chanting a loud Haka. (a war song)

“Hey Korova!” He said loudly over the sound of thundering drums. “Do Levakians dance on all fours or do you stand up to do it?”

“Depends on how much I’ve had to drink and how many eligible ladies are around!” Korova called back.

Coricopat snarled at him, showing off her massive incisors.

“Oh,” Korova added, “It also depends on whether the mother of my cubs is in stalking distance.”

While most of the partygoers began to congregate at the impromptu dance-off, Kendra and Eteka found King Admetus, Sebakhira, Toa Kopaki, and Rapati, of all people, having a conversation at one of the cafeteria tables. Both lions waved at Kendra and indicated that she should join them.

“We were just sharing war stories.” Admetus said, “Even lions sometimes get curious about lionslayers once in a while.”

“Hey, yeah!” Kendra sat down and pointed at Rapati’s new facial Tattoo. “How the hell did you get that thing, anyway?”

Rapati suddenly became more animated, as though he’d been dying for a chance to tell the story. He put his hands on the tabletop and leaned in close to Kendra, then spoke in a low, excited voice:

“So there I was… surrounded!” Rapati began. “Its pitch-black outside, middle of the night, I’m all by myself on the roof of my house with this hundred-year-old coilgun, and I can hear things moving around me. It sounded like a big damn herd of lions was stalking around the yard!”

“Pride.” Sebakhira corrected. “We hunt in prides.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Rapati went on, “Anyway, I figure that I’m not gonna let the lions get me in some stupid ambush, I’m gonna go down fighting like a soldier! So, I get up and yell: ‘Come get some you gumbie cats!’ and then I just lay on the trigger and just light the place up! Hundreds of rounds going everywhere and stuff is breaking and blowing up like BAM BAM BAM! And all the Levakians are like, ‘Oh, no, this guy means business!’ and they all scampered away like rats! Then when the sun came up, there’s a dead lion in my yard. I shot him and didn’t even know! Can you believe it!?”

“No.” Said King Admetus.

“No.” Said Sebakhira.

“No.” Said Toa Kopaki.

“No.” Said Kendra.

Rapati folded his arms and sulked.

“Aw, come on, guys.” He complained. “Everyone else I talked to loves that story.”

“Yeah, sure.” Said Toa Kopaki with a sarcastic tone, “But I actually know how to read those Tattoos… Rapati the Home Defender.”

“And I can actually read your mind.” Sebakhira added. “Your story is based in truth, but your… embellishments… can be a little excessive.”

Sebakhira rolled her eyes at Rapati and then smiled at Eteka in greeting.

“What about you?” she asked. “You’re a lionslayer, too. Why don’t you have the ink?”

Eteka nudged Kendra’s arm.

“Got the idea to skip the Tuakiri from her.” He said. “Kendra’s spent so much time trying to make peace and prove she’s not some heartless lionkiller, that she’s more than the ink, you know? I wanted to be like her, and not let one act of violence define me.”

“Perhaps,” Sebakhira said slowly, “you never wanted to become a Taihara in the first place.”

King Admetus scoffed.

“A Partogan who doesn’t aspire to become a lionkiller!? It’s absurd. If there are more people like Eteka around, then those time travelers were definitely right, the End Times are on their way.”

Kendra was about to say something when she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Hakara and Whetu were sitting at the next table over, they seemed to have just finished a conversation with Ango, Amaya, Coricopat, and Toa Nanui, who were all starting to stand up and move about the party. Hakara waved to Kendra and said:

“Got a question if you’ve got a minute.”

“Hang on.” Kendra told Eteka. “I’ll be back.”

Kendra left Eteka to continue sharing Tuakiri stories with the others while she joined Whetu and Hakara at their table.

“Is everything okay?” Kendra asked cautiously.

“We’re fine. Enjoying the party, actually.” Whetu said. “My friends never got a chance to rest and blow off steam before the big one at Archer’s Canyon. You should really consider giving all of your soldiers a chance to do something like this.”

“Thanks, but that doesn’t sound like a question.” Kendra said. “What did you want to ask?”

Hakara shook his head and drank some Madu Cabolo.

“Don’t be so serious.” he said. “We just noticed something about this Cycle is really, really different from the last one and we wanted to ask about it.”

Kendra relaxed.

“Okay,” she said. “Ask away, but I've got questions of my own, too.”

“Right.” Whetu launched into her own inquiry. “We... I mean... I noticed something odd going on with Amaya’s mind. I’ve been listening to everyone’s thoughts”

Whetu tapped her own head with one finger, while Kendra gave her an admonishing look.

“You don’t have to scold me.” Whetu continued. “Sebakhira did that a few minutes ago. She caught me peeking. Anyway... I wanted to ask why Amaya’s mind is still showing signs of being traumatized. In the last Cycle, she recovered from the fight at Aiowa a lot faster, but this time around, she still seems genuinely damaged, even five months after that battle.”

Kendra folded her arms.

“Come on, I thought that one would be obvious.” The Queen said, “She lost her whole team at Aiowa, then she took the biggest Election defeat in history. If my government hadn’t set her up with that therapist... I don’t want to think about where she’d be. Not a functioning soldier, that’s for sure.”

Kendra paused.

“Speaking about where she’d be… that’s kinda close to I wanted to what I wanted to ask you two. If I died at Aiowa during the last Cycle, who was elected Queen?”

“She was.” Hakara pointed to Amaya. “Mind you, she was our second choice. Akira was planning for you to become Queen the whole time, but she screwed up her timing and you got killed.”

“We tampered with the Royal Election and got Amaya elected, pretty much the same way we did for you.”

Kendra looked back at Amaya, who was standing next to the bar, rocking her head back and forth in time with the music. Then she leaned in close to Whetu and hissed:

“Are you kidding me!? She was a nervous wreck during the Election! How’d she win?”

“We gave her a lot of Psionic help. Pushed her mind in the right direction, you know?” Whetu said matter-of-factly. “Also, once she got elected, we helped her win over the person she fell in love with, and that really improved her mental health.”

Kendra’s eyes went wide.

“’Helped her win over…’” she started to repeat, but Hakara cut her off.

“Get that thought out of your head.” He said. “We didn’t do that for you and Eteka. You two just naturally come together in almost every Cycle. It may as well be destiny.”

He smiled at Kendra.

“You might not accept it, but your… father… does approve. Just so you know.”

Kendra ignored this last statement and turned back to Whetu.

“Alright, I’m curious.” Kendra began to ask. “What happened to my friends after… you know…?”

Eteka put a hand on the Queen’s shoulder and sat down next to her. He set three glasses of Madu Cabolo on the table and kept a fourth for himself.

“I wanna know, too.” He said. “What did I do after she died?”

“You didn’t recover until about halfway through the Levakian Uprising.” Hakara answered. “You missed the fight at Whakaari but you were at the Battle of Aoraki. After that, you weren’t really interested in staying in Partoga, or making friends with anyone else. You went rouge and made a living as a mercenary in Turanic Space. We lost track of you sometime around the Beast War… about ten years from now.”

“The Beast War,” Whetu added, “was basically the warm-up act for the Second Hyperspace War. The entire Galaxy gets a good look at the Beast so nobody is caught off guard when it shows up the second time.”

“What about the Ranginui family?” Eteka asked.

“They took advantage of the Levakian Uprising to consolidate their power.” Hakara said. “This time period is basically the end of an era. After the Battle of Aoraki, Whiro seizes a lot of direct control over the Queen and basically turns her into a political puppet. Hate to say it, Kendra, but you’re going to be the last Queen of Partoga who holds any real power. Everyone who comes after you will be under the control of the Church of the Mountain, and more specifically, the Ranginui family.”

Kendra shook her head and sighed.

“If we survive this, remind me to have a word with Arahu about his Great-Uncle Whiro.”

The Queen sipped her drink and then added:

“Okay, last question, then we get back to the party: I promised Nya I’d ask what happened to her in the last Cycle. She was really interested when you told her she was Gifted last time around. Can you tell me anything about her?”

Whetu and Hakara both looked over Kendra’s shoulders at the bar, where Nya was meekly serving drinks without saying a word to anybody. Hakara stared hard at Nya and raised his eyebrows. When she turned to look back at him, he went back to looking at Kendra.

“You know...” Hakara commented, “Now that I get a really good look at her, I think Arioch was right about her. Nya really does look like Akira.”

“No, she doesn’t.” Whetu disagreed. “Akira’s a couple years older than Nya. Also, Akira doesn’t have freckles. And her hair is longer.”

“Come on.” Hakara countered. “Aside from those little details, Nya’s the right size and shape, her voice even sounds a little similar. Just change the skin and hair color and you’ve basically got a second Akira.”

“An Akira with freckles and purple eyes?” Whetu rolled her eyes. “No, I don’t see it.”

“Okay.” Kendra said slowly. “Anything else you can tell me about Nya? Preferably something interesting and not creepy.”

“Okay, first of all,” Whetu began, “She was a lot more confident and outspoken last Cycle. And second, I’m actually really happy she’s not Gifted this time. Her Unique Power was an absolute nightmare to deal with.”

“What could she do?” Eteka asked, leaning forward to show his interest.

“The girl was a living lie detector.” Hakara grumbled. “She saw through every one of our disguises instantly, called us out on every falsehood, even the tiny ones. She always knew when somebody was making something up, too. You couldn’t trick Nya or hide something from her. That’s why the rest of the team put the extra effort into attacking her when you sent her to The Mangaia. Knock her out early before she became a threat.”

“Turns out the real enemy was on your own team.” Kendra said.

Hakara downed his whole glass.

“Yup. That’s how it went.”

“So…” Kendra pressed on. “Was Nya still an Acolyte?”

“Yes.” Whetu replied. “Her dad was still a smuggler. Got arrested and his family drowned in debt, and Nya still sold herself into slavery to pay that debt off.”

Kendra raised her eyebrows at Whetu.

“Do you not like the Absolution Program or something?”

“No.” Whetu said coldly. “It’s slavery... slavery hiding under a pretty name. But it’s your Kingdom, Kendra. Run it however you want… let the destitute sell their own lives away because society doesn’t want to help.”

Whetu looked away and focused on her own drink. Hakara sighed.

“You can’t forget the time period she’s from, Kendra. The Absolution Program would have been unthinkable four hundred years ago.”

Kendra sighed and agreed.

“Alright,” She said, “I’ll let that one lie.”

Whetu seemed to cheer up a bit after this, although that was probably because the drink starting to have an effect on her. Kendra could feel it too, the outer peripheries of her vision were starting to get fuzzy.

“Anyway, you guys have visited this time period, what? Over a hundred times?” Kendra said. “So come on, Nya’s really excited about what she might have been. Gimme something juicy to tell her. Something about her that’s really wild, something that’ll make her jaw drop!”

Hakara and Whetu looked at one another. They smiled mischievously at each other. Then they looked back at Kendra.

“Remember when I said ‘we helped Amaya win over the person she fell in love with?’”

Kendra leaned in close and nodded. Eteka did too.

“Alright. What’s his name?” Eteka asked,

“Shh!” Kendra hissed. “Tell us… Who’d you hook Amaya up with?”

Hakara nodded his head towards the bar. Kendra’s eye did a quick sweep of it to see who was there: Toa Nanui, Rapati, and Amaya were all there, ordering drinks from Nya.

“Toa Nanui!?” Kendra whispered, “Gross! He’s way too old for her.”

Try again, Kendra. Whetu’s voice drifted lazily into Kendra’s mind.

“Wait a minute… Rapati?” Kendra breathed. “Really? Rapati, of all people!?”

“Wrong, very wrong.” Hakara said. “Look behind the bar.”

Kendra looked from Amaya to Nya. Then back at Amaya. Then to Nya. Then back at Amaya just to be sure. Then back to Nya to make absolutely certain.

“Wait!” Kendra said. “Are you serious!?”

“Yup.” Hakara confirmed. “Those two both had mean competitive streaks in them. Always trying to outdo each other… somewhere along the way, it just kinda happened. I definitely think something more could’ve happened if Nya hadn’t died right after the Battle of Whakaari.”

Damn… Queen Amaya and her own Royal Acolyte. That was pretty wild, as far as Kendra was concerned. Even Eteka let out a low whistle.

Kendra thought about this revelation for about ten seconds. She imagined as hard as she could what a Nya-Amaya romance might look like. Then she made up her mind about it.

“Where are you going?” Whetu and Eteka said together as Kendra stood up.

“I’m going to fix history.” Kendra answered. “I can see why Akira likes to do this kinda stuff now.”

Kendra checked her watch, told Eteka to meet her in front of the big screen television in five minutes, then snatched Whetu's glass out of her hand and downed the drink in a single gulp. Kendra stepped over to the bar just as Amaya turned to leave.

“Hey Kendra, you gonna dance with us?” the former Queen-Candidate was starting to sound a little drunk.

“Be right there. Just gotta take care of something first.”

Nya smiled politely.

“Everyone is enjoying themselves.” Nya said. “Although a few who’ve had a lot to drink are starting to get rowdy. Arahu and Toa Kopaki especially.”

“We should turn up the music.” Kendra suggested. “But first, I wanna ask: was that the first time you met Amaya just now?”

Nya shrugged and wiped a glass with a rag at the same time.

“First time we’ve spoken face-to-face anyway.” Nya commented. “She was really friendly.”

Kendra tried to choose her words carefully, but the Madu Cabolo seemed to make her mind slippery, and her thoughts ran out of control, colliding with each other and stopping in places that were both amusing and uncomfortable.

“I talked to Whetu and Hakara about you, like I said… and they said you got along with Amaya really well in the last Cycle.”

“Oh, nice.” Said Nya. “I always thought she seemed kinda lonely. How did I know her, though? I’ll bet I was still an Acolyte in the last Cycle.”

“Amaya was the Queen instead of me.” Kendra blurted out. “You were her Acolyte… and you were both really good friends… like… really good friends.

Kendra emphasized the last part heavily, hoping Nya would get the hint. The Acolyte’s face turned a little red, she looked down at the floor and said:

“Oh, really? It’s too bad we don’t know each other this time around, then. I did like talking to her, and she is really pretty.”

Both the Acolyte and Queen turned around to look at Amaya. She was out on the dance floor with eight or nine other people. With a glass of Madu Cabolo in her hand, Amaya was dancing alone, moving and swaying to the beat but not truly caught up in it. Both Kendra and Nya had to admit that Amaya was also the most beautiful person here tonight by far. She already had her naturally occurring good looks, but she was also wearing a tight green and black dress and had put on black lipstick for the occasion. (On Partoga, women with dark colored lips are considered attractive. Amaya’s choice of lipstick color was downright provocative.)

After a minute or two, Kendra realized that she was staring at Amaya for way too long. She looked back at Nya to see that her Acolyte was still transfixed by Amaya.

“So…” Kendra said slowly. “Do you want to introduce yourself to her? Or do you want me to help?”

“Uh…”

Nya hesitated, reaching for a rag absentmindedly. Kendra gently took Nya’s arm and said:

“It’s alright, Nya. It’s a party. Come on out and join us. Have some fun, talk to Amaya. Maybe you’ll get to be with her this Cycle too.”

“Don’t even know what to say.” Nya mumbled.

Thanks to the Madu Cabolo, words tumbled out of Kendra’s mouth without being prompted. The last part of her statement was slurred:

“Don’t worry about it. Just ask if she wants to hang out and chat. Tell her about yourself, or listen to whatever she wants to say. ‘Issnot that hard, Nya. Come on!”

Nya took a deep sigh, then drank a whole glass of Madu Cabolo in one gulp. Stepping out from behind the bar, Kendra and Nya rejoined the main party, where in the absence of music, Eteka and Amaya had become the center of attention. They were re-enacting the Kohlii match Amaya had played against Team Tamihana nearly nine months ago. Korova and Toa Kopaki let out loud cheers as Eteka swung an imaginary Kohlii staff at Amaya, who staggered backwards with an expression of fake surprise.

“And it goes right over my head and drills into the goal!” Amaya was saying. “I swear, it sounded like a damn Mass Driver round going by!”

“Stop pretending it was a fair game!” Rapati yelled over the noise. “You came back and beat us like three minutes later!”

“It was two.” Amaya stuck out her tongue at Rapati. “Alright? Who else here has an Eteka story they wanna tell?”

“Whoever goes next is gonna be the last one!” Kendra yelled, “I’m giving Eteka his present in five minutes!”

“Lemme up!” Tantomile pushed her way to the front of the group and placed one of her paws on Eteka’s shoulder. “So, listen guys: About seven or eight months ago, I busted Admetus back there out of a Taiidani prison, so naturally, I always expected him to do the same for me someday. Imagine how surprised I was when this guy comes blasting into my cell in Whakaari-”

While Tantomile talked, Nya detached from Kendra’s orbit and sidestepped over to Amaya.

“So, you must play a lot of Kohlii, huh?” Nya said cautiously.

“Oh, yeah. My old friends and I played a lot.” Amaya sounded just a little lonely. “We were a great team.”

Nya raised one arm and offered to give her a hug.

“Definitely sounds like it. Wanna have a drink for them?”

While Tantomile continue to recount the story of her rescue at Whakaari to the crowd, Kendra realized she’d been swaying back and forth on her feet the whole time like a tree caught in the wind. She was also feeling really warm… and cozy. Kendra would have to stop drinking after this next glass… no… she was fine for now… she could have one or two more, then she’d stop. Yeah, that sounded like a plan.

Mildly buzzed but not yet drunk, Kendra decided that now was the time to give Eteka his birthday gift before the Madu Cabolo went to her head. As soon as Tantomile finished her story, Kendra announced:

“Alright everybody! Come with me! Time for the best part!”

She led them back to the other end of the cafeteria, where everybody began to collapse into the many soft couches placed there. Tantomile, Rhassa, and Korova all lay down on the floor, flipped over and scratched their backs, legs in the air. King Admetus and King Tumeric paced around the group, unwilling to sit until Queen Kendra did. Toa Kopaki seemed to be very drunk, and was leaning against Sebakhira's flank, about to fall asleep. Sebakhira didn’t seem to mind. Amaya and Nya were only partially engaged. They sat together on a couch, and Amaya was talking at length about something while Nya payed close attention to her every word. Hakara and Whetu were on opposite ends of the group, just content to watch. Toa Nanui, Rapati, Ango, and Arahu wrestled awkwardly for one couch before Rapati shoved the other three to the ground with his bionic arm.

“I love this thing!” Rapati laughed.

While everyone settled in, Kendra reached around behind the large television screen and plugged in a cable that was labelled “Hyperwave.”

The television began to beep loudly and the words Incoming Hyperwave Call lit up on the screen in big white letters.

“Are we really taking calls right now?” Eteka asked the room at large.

“You should answer it, silly!” Kendra was surprised to hear that last word escape her lips. The Madu Cabolo was starting to kick in. She picked up the wireless keyboard and tossed it into Eteka’s lap, then she sat down next to him. Kendra put her left arm around Eteka’s middle while her right hand reached into a hidden compartment in the couch’s armrest. She gripped her present tightly while Eteka answered the Hyperwave call.

Two faces appeared on the screen. Everybody gasped and cheered at the screen, while Arahu actually stood up and approached it, waving happily.

Irirangi Ranginui and Enutanga (Out of disguise) waved at their friends through the screen. They were smiling happily, although both of them looked very tired. Irirangi was still in the throes of radiation sickness. She was now completely bald and her eyes were unfocused, as though she couldn’t see the screen very clearly. Enutanga looked as though she’d just recently changed out of her “Queen Kendra” disguise and was enjoying the freedom to be herself.

“Hi guys!” Enutanga squealed. “Happy birthday, Eteka!”

Everybody spoke at the same time, saying some variant of “Hello Enutanga and Irirangi!” While this mass reply was happening, Enutanga quickly leaned over to Irirangi and whispered in her ear. Irirangi smiled a cute smile and squealed:

“Aawww. Rhassa, you look like a little kitten all turned over like that! So cute!”

Rhassa purred and blinked her eyes slowly.

“Just give us a moment.” Enutanga said to the room at large. “We’re just keeping you guys busy while Kuhina Nui Mihaka gets the surprise ready.”

“How are you, Arahu?” Irirangi asked. “I miss you a lot.”

“I miss you too.” Arahu answered. “I promise, I’m gonna come home and see you soon, okay?”

“I’m gonna hold you to that.” Irirangi smiled at her brother through the screen. “In the meantime, Great-Uncle Whiro wants you to know that he’s expecting you to represent our whole family out there. Be good, keep the Queen safe, and all that stuff.”

“I’ll take care out here.” Arahu said. “You take care of yourself, little sis.”

Enutanga looked up at something on the other side of the system she was using to make the Hyperwave call. She nodded at someone offscreen.

“Okay, they’re ready. I’m gonna transfer you to Kuhina Nui Mihaka now. And Eteka, just so you know, Her Majesty already told us what her gift to you is, and we hope you’ll like it!”

As everyone said “bye!” to Enutanga and Irirangi, Kendra slowly began to withdraw the gift from its hiding place in the couch, making sure that absolutely no one could see what she was doing. Fortunately, everybody was distracted by what suddenly appeared on the screen:

Kuhina Nui Rakato Mihaka and three other people appeared. He was accompanied by a scruffy-looking man in his middle twenties, a pleasant woman roughly Rakato’s age, and another woman in her early to mid-twenties who was noticeably pregnant. Eteka’s father, mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all sitting together in one of Fort Miranda’s many conference rooms and they burst into cheers as soon as they saw their family member on the screen.

“Mom! Dad! Namuna! Pani!” Eteka gasped. “It’s so great to see you!”

“Same to you,” Heera Mihaka replied. “Happy birthday, son. Where are you?”

“Just outside the Ketu Supernova!” Rhassa blurted out from the floor. “We thought this party needed to get hotter!”

Pani Mihaka gasped and gripped her husband’s hand tightly.

“Are you safe out there?”

“We are, don’t worry.” Eteka answered. “How’s everyone back at home?”

“Still scattered across the Kingdom like dust in the wind.” Kuhina Nui Rakato answered. “Namuna’s the only one who could get here in time.”

Namuna Mihaka raised his hand to his forehead in a kind of salute and said:

“You’re lookin’ good Eteka. Pani and I came out here as soon as we heard you wanted to talk to us.”

Eteka shifted his gaze to Pani and asked:

“How’s little Mira doing?”

Pani blushed and rubbed her belly.

“She… turned out to be a ‘he.’ We’re gonna call him Matiu.”

Everyone oohhed and aawwwed.

“Watch yourself, Eteka.” Korova warned. “There’s no bigger disruptor to the family dynamic than a young male.”

While the Mihaka family laughed at Korova’s joke, Kendra stood up. Facing the television, she pressed her index finger to her lips, commanding the Mihaka family to be silent. They all gave her confused expressions, but as the Queen turned around to face the party, Rakato, Heera, Namuna, and Pani’s eyes all went wide as they got a good look at the object Kendra was holding behind her back.

“I want to say something.” Kendra began, taking great care to make sure no one could see what she was hiding. “I’ve known Eteka for about four and a half years. He’s been my best friend and teammate the whole time. He was always there for me, and after a while, I learned that I could trust him with anything, even my life. Eteka, I wanted to thank you for staying by my side through… well… everything. I love you.”

Applause sounded from both the screen behind Kendra and the group of people in front of her. Eteka stood up too and drew Kendra into a kiss, both of his hands narrowly missing the bundle Kendra was holding near her lower back.

“I love you too.” Eteka said to Kendra. “If I could, I’d do it all over again.”

As they pulled apart, Kendra brought her left hand around to her front, and allowed Eteka (and everyone else) to see the carefully folded rectangle of fabric in her hand. At once, the room filled with awed gasps of wonder and joy. Amaya and Nya both squealed! Tantomile’s tail swished back and forth furiously, Toa Nanui’s mouth opened and closed wordlessly, Arahu folded his arms and smiled, while Eteka himself seemed to have stopped breathing.

“Kendra…” He breathed. “This is beautiful!”

Eteka took the Korowai from her and unfolded it, allowing everyone to see it. Behind Kendra, Namuna’s voice sounded from the television:

“Hey bro! You gonna give her an answer or just leave her hanging like that!?”

Truthfully, the question did not need to be asked. The answer was a foregone conclusion. Nonetheless, Queen Kendra was standing patiently, hands folded in front of her, while Eteka had been admiring the Marriage Cloak. Eteka clutched it tightly to his chest and answered her unspoken question:

“Yes… Absolutely.”
...

New energy was breathed into the party at this point. The music was loud, the lights dim, the bar’s stock depleted, and Kendra and Eteka didn’t let go of one another for hours. It was one of the happiest moments of Kendra’s life. She and Eteka took turns wearing the Korowai and jokingly suggested dates and times for their wedding ceremony, with input from everybody around them.

If Kendra had a Time Core, she would have tried to find a way to trap herself in this party… dancing to Enutanga’s music, getting progressively more drunk, while plotting a wedding with her closest friends and future husband. She wished she could hold on to this evening forever…

But of course, like all things, it ended.

Nya and Amaya were the first to vanish, slipping out the exit when they thought no one was looking. Sebakhira reported their departure to Kendra, but the Queen was happy to let them go. A few hours later, the Levakians finally grew tired and bowed out. Empress Tantomile brushed her face against both Kendra and Eteka, then she licked him with her scratchy tongue.

“Don’t break her heart, Mihaka.” Tantomile said drunkenly. “I know what you taste like now… and you’d make a good midnight snack.”

Whetu and Hakara were the next to leave, saying something about “final preparations.”

Toa Kopaki finally drank too much and passed out on a couch.

Ango and Arahu had to carry a semi-conscious Rapati out the door, demanding that Kendra’s wedding party be “just like this one” and promising to bring as many guests to it as possible.

And just like that, the night was over. It was time to go back to the fight.



The next morning, Eteka, Rapati, Arahu, and Ango went back to training with the boarding parties. They spent the next week preparing to defend the Queen Karan from boarders and to board and disable Planet-Killers.

Toa Kopaki was given command of the Queen Karan's internal security team. She trained them to recognize and subdue a Snowskin on sight.

Toa Nanui personally oversaw the distribution of non-lethal sidearms to the crew of every ship and relayed the Queen’s orders to “Take prisoners wherever possible.” The Snowskin Akira and her accomplice Mira Mihaka were to be captured alive if the opportunity presented itself.

Tantomile used the portable hard drive Nya had given her to circulate the known weaknesses of the Planet-Killers as far and wide as possible. Boarding parties were taught to recognize a Snowskin. She also ordered the construction bay of the Demeter to build her a new Boarding Vessel. Instead of a Marine Frigate like the old Shieldbreaker, Tantomile’s new ship turned out to be a Siege Drill Frigate. This ship had a monstrous drill mounted to the nose, and had a crude but effective method of delivering Marines onto enemy ships. Nobody could stop Tantomile from naming this new ship the Shieldbreaker 2.

Nya discovered that black lipstick was not easily removed from her own cheeks. She had to endure constant looks and whispered rumors from the crew all week, but she endured with a smile, thanks to Amaya’s near-constant reassuring presence.

Kings Admetus and Tumeric stayed aboard the Demeter, running intense combat drills and putting the Levakian crew through their paces. Korova moved back and forth between the Demeter and the Queen Karan each day to visit Coricopat, who had chosen to stay aboard the Partogan mothership for her own safety.

“If something happens to Tantomile” Coricopat explained, “I need to be safe, since I’m next in line for the Levakian Throne.”

Rhassa had chosen to stay aboard the Queen Karan, claiming that Kendra needed a Levakian bodyguard in case things went out of control.

When Tantomile had time, she passed the hard drive containing the Planet-Killer information to Hakara and Whetu, who both augmented it with their own knowledge of the weapons platforms. Soon, everyone in the fleet knew about the most vulnerable places on a Planet-Killer’s armor, how to exploit its inability to turn and accelerate simultaneously, and how to irreparably damage the Wrath Cannon.

Everyone was ready. There could be no retreat now…



December 21, 1928 A.D.
HMS Queen Karan, Hakihea Star System, Kingdom of Partoga

y4mEkLEG_1Ve_f2ApqIlKKIduOD0uPBgrGpwkzIy-QkYJDPYNQATBLGGQUk5abU5bUTRX9KTSjYEJD-NswGJzMRanxeA2gYsJs2251fUexUHBj4U8nxe1KriXzUB_H-1A4EkkgWfSjOIlH5-H_oQ6ZpLrLzSPQkskEzxqG6D1_XVnN6Qjjq0tRiStki7s2aCQEv0gaC6sakqtQauD3wsHsCmg

Caption said:
The skies above the Tomb World of Aoraki during the early morning hours of December 21, 1928.

The Tomb World of Aoraki looked cold, desolate, and unforgiving to all but one person on the bridge of the Queen Karan. Kendra looked down at the chilly wasteland below her and felt her heart fill with warmth. This was her home. Somewhere down there, a small town called Mahurangi lay in the middle of a desert valley, wrapped around the site of an underground lake. The town itself rose up from the skeleton of a long-since dismantled colony ship, and the apartment building Kendra had once called her home sprouted from the colony ship’s old cargo bay like a tree.

High above, the ships of Joint Task Force Kardas had scattered. On the Queen’s orders, a huge constellation of Proximity Sensors were deployed all around the Hakihea System. If anything bigger than a Hoto Bug tried to move, the Queen would know about it. Gravwell Generators were strategically placed around the system as well. When the Planet-Killers and their escorts entered the system, they would be pulled out of Hyperspace exactly where Kendra wanted them to be, deep within Aoraki’s natural Gravity Field, where an Emergency Hyperspace Jump would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

Standing together on the bridge of the Queen Karan, Eteka and Kendra were acutely aware that they had only three hours left until Task Force Kraahkan exited Hyperspace. In fact, due to time dilation over vast distances, the enemy fleet was already in Hyperspace and irrevocably heading towards Kendra’s trap. There was no turning back.

Eteka used the manual controls to adjust the viewscreens on the bridge. He panned the camera up, showing the entire Galaxy laid out above the fleet.

“We’re really far below the Galactic Plane.” Eteka breathed in awe. “You weren’t kidding, Kendra. We might as well be outside the Galaxy.”

“Told you so.” Kendra said softly. “And look, see there? We’re not covered in clouds all the time. We do get some sun!”

The couple stared down at Kendra’s Homeworld for a little while longer, then Eteka said:

“I wanna see it.”

She looked up at him.

“If we survive this, and after the war ends, I wanna go down to Aoraki and take a look around.” Eteka explained. “And I wanna do it before we get married, too. You know almost everything about my family and where I’m from. It’s only fair I do the same for you.”

The two shared a hug and a kiss.

“I’ll work something out.” Kendra told him. “And thanks. That means a lot. Everyone else just asks why I didn’t run away from this place sooner, you know?”

“Maybe because the planet’s nearly dead?” Tantomile’s voice called out. “Or is it because there aren’t any Mihakas living on it?”

The Levakian Empress had just entered the bridge. She was followed by Whetu and Hakara.

“I’ve got confirmation.” Tantomile said. “Task Force Kraahkan is in Hyperspace and should be here in about two and a half hours.”

“How’s our trap?” Kendra asked,

“All set up, coiled, and ready to spring. They’ll be outnumbered and outflanked as soon as they rematerialize.”

“Good. And what about you?”

Tantomile rubbed her Psionic Amplifier with one paw and sighed.

“I can tip the odds in our favor, but that’s it.” She admitted. “We still have to do the work. Get our paws dirty. I don’t know about you two, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Today, I’m in your camp.” Said Eteka. “If wrecking some Planet-Killers is what it takes to stop this war, and maybe stick it to that Akira girl at the same time, then I’m in.”

“Damn right.” Tantomile growled approvingly. “Today, we take our destinies back. No more Paradox, no more behind-the-scenes manipulation, and no more time travelers.”

“Don’t forget,” Kendra reminded them, “I want to capture Akira alive if possible. Kill her only if we don’t get the choice.”

“Then you’d better pray to your Mountain that you see her first.” Tantomile said. “Akira’s hijacked my people’s destiny for the last time. I won’t tolerate Akira being free for long… much less alive.

Eteka muttered something about needing to check the armory again, and he left Kendra and Tantomile alone. The two monarchs gave one another a respectful look.

“You know, I don’t think there’s any other Taihara in the Galaxy who would go this far or do this much to save a planet of Levakians.” Tantomile mused. “I’m really glad I took your offer to help, you know. Even if it did take us down a weird path full of evil time travelers. So, thank you, Your Majesty.”

“Thanks for being there for me.” Kendra replied. “You saved my life once, so I’m just glad I got to pay you back for it. You ready to save some lives?”

“I’m ready. Let’s kick Akira back into whatever black hole she crawled out of.”

Kendra and Tantomile shared one last feline face-rub, then the Levakian Empress left the bridge, on her way to the Hangar, where she’d fly back to the Demeter. Whetu and Hakara approached Kendra, looking a little apprehensive. She looked confused when they handed her a portable hard drive. It wasn’t the same one from Nya’s desperate mission to the Mangaia. This device didn’t even look Partogan. Kendra wondered if it had come from the Ark Angel itself.

“Just in case.” Whetu explained. “Just in case one or both of us doesn’t make it out of this, we want you to have this. It’s got everything you need to know about… about what’s going to happen to the Galaxy after this battle.”

“Nothing about me or my friends?” Kendra asked as she took the hard drive.

Hakara shook his head.

“No. I believe that people can change their destinies. No fate is written in stone, Kendra. If I told you what happened to you or your friends in any of the previous Cycles, you’d start acting like your whole life is predetermined when it just isn’t.”

Hakara pressed the hard drive into Kendra’s hand, hard.

“You were born a Tamihana, the descendant of scientists, explorers, and survivors. You’ve seen war, killed and nearly been killed, but you still chose the way of peace and reconciliation. Never let go of that, Kendra. If anything goes wrong today, it’ll be on you and your friends to save the future, to make sure that your children and grandchildren get to see it. You understand, Mami?”

For the first time, Kendra did not protest at Hakara’s use of her childhood name. In fact, this might just be the closest she’d ever come to seeing him as… well… a father.

Hakara let go of Kendra and stepped to one side so that Whetu could address her. Whetu seemed to be shaking a little, and had that wide-eyed look of someone who had recently revisited a bad memory in the form of a nightmare. Despite being several years older than Kendra, the two Queens were roughly the same height, so Whetu looked Kendra right in the eye and said:

“I told you a good Queen does anything to protect her people. You need to remember that the Levakians are your people too, even when some of them are in revolt. So you’ll have to protect the people of planets like Asalele, Paku Nui, and New Levakia just as hard as you’d protect people in Partoga City or Mahurangi. And remember: Everything is on the table. When I went over the walls of King Inari’s castle, I was ready and willing to die that day. Kendra, you need to be willing to make that same sacrifice. Any Queen could do it, but only the great ones actually follow through.”

Hakara and Whetu both stepped down from the Dias, leaving Kendra alone. But then one final thought struck her mind. She might as well ask now, there was no telling when she’d get another chance.

“Hakara! Come back a second!”

Gesturing with one hand, Kendra led Hakara to a quiet, secluded spot at the back of the bridge, where she asked:

“Before you go, can you help me with one last thing?”

“Of course. Anything.” Hakara’s answer had a slight fatherly tone to it.

“Eteka and I agreed to get married on my fifteenth birthday… Naming Day.” Kendra began, “But, Mom never knew why you picked the name ‘Mami’ for me, and you left when I was little, so… what does the name ‘Mami’ mean?”

Hakara took his daughter’s hand and held it tightly in his own, and he whispered:

“Your name… ‘Mami’… is a Snowskin name. My grandfather found it in the ruins of the Snowskin city where Enzor is now. We never found out the exact translation of the word. We had a lot of theories, but we kept circling back to concepts of belief, truth, and knowledge. The word had connections to them. On the day when I named you, I genuinely believed that the word ‘Mami’ meant Faith. I had my own faith that day, not just in the Mountain or its priests. No. I had faith in you. I knew, I believed… without any evidence, that you’d become a greater person than both of your parents… that you’d be the greatest of the Tamihana family. And you know what? I’ve never been disappointed in you, Mami. So… I hope this helps your Naming Day wedding: the true meaning of your name is Faith.”

The Countdown to Doomsday said:
It is one minute to midnight.


 
Last edited:

HistoryDude

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Well, that was an interesting prelude…

Next week, the reckoning comes...

Also, whose hard drive was that originally? It wasn’t Mira’s, was it? Mira’s was the human history database…
 

Macavity116

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Also, whose hard drive was that originally? It wasn’t Mira’s, was it? Mira’s was the human history database…

Kendra's intuition was correct. That hard drive is originally from the Ark Angel. Mira still has the Human History database in her backpack aboard the HMS Queen Miranda.
 

HistoryDude

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Also, I think I know the twist...

Akira is actually Nya… lol.

Also, this Chapter exists to drag out the suspense of Aoraki, right?
 

Macavity116

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Also, I think I know the twist...

Also, this Chapter exists to drag out the suspense of Aoraki, right?

We'll find out if you're correct in Chapter Six.

And Chapter 5.5 is supposed to do that.
 

HistoryDude

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The suspense prior to Aoraki, then?

Also, Chapter 5.5 has an ominous name... Hell’s coming with who?

You will have your answer in two weeks...

Also, about the Shroud-Beings, I have a feeling them being not technically dead will affect the plot…

After all, that is not dead which eternal lie, and in strange eons, even death may die...

Are you accusing me of being an Eldritch Abomination?

You are an Eldritch Abomination.


So, now I’m getting Lovecraft, Nietzche, and Apocalyptic vibes… that is… not good, to say the least.
 

Macavity116

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Also, Chapter 5.5 has an ominous name... Hell’s coming with who?

To find the answer to your question, see the very last sentence in Chapter 5.4.
 

stnylan

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I always get suspicious when there is an apparently "happier" scene.
 

Macavity116

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I always get suspicious when there is an apparently "happier" scene.
Especially when the Grand Finale is just three chapters away.
 

HistoryDude

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It’s one minute to midnight…

Act 1? Stormbreakers is going to be divided into Acts, not Chapters?

Hakara should have told Kendra the full aftermath of this war, including the After Everything stuff.

Is Kendra going to find out about the Partogan Civil War and the Battle at the End of Time?

And I’m afraid they will do anything to defeat Akira, and in doing so, will have adopted her mindset, Necessitas non habet legem (Necessity holds no law). After all, He who fights with monsters might take care lest he become a monster. When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you...
 

Macavity116

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Act 1? Stormbreakers is going to be divided into Acts, not Chapters?
I'm still in the earliest stages, but right now, it looks like Stormbreakers will be broken up into three Acts. Possibly four.

Is Kendra going to find out about the Partogan Civil War and the Battle at the End of Time?
That depends on whether or not Whetu and/or Hakara survive the final three chapters.
 

War Daddy Rambo

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I've been working on something similar (Stellaris themed story) and it's cool to see a format out there with quality writing. Haven't read through it all but was impressed with the format on the OP. Looks like a popular thread, will have to check out the other stories. Keep it up.
 

Macavity116

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I've been working on something similar (Stellaris themed story) and it's cool to see a format out there with quality writing. Haven't read through it all but was impressed with the format on the OP. Looks like a popular thread, will have to check out the other stories. Keep it up.
Thanks! For a while I was worried After Everything and Faith in Chaos were going to be so out-of-the-ordinary that they wouldn't be allowed on the AAR forums. Glad to see I'm not alone. :)
 

HistoryDude

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When you’re reading a book on Ancient Rome and realize that they had a non-religious version of the Absolution System…
Wikipedia even has a page about it.
 

Macavity116

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When you’re reading a book on Ancient Rome and realize that they had a non-religious version of the Absolution System…
Wikipedia even has a page about it.
I did get the idea for Absolution from the general concept of Debt Bondage. I'm not surprised to hear the Romans did it first.
 

Vilhelm

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I did get the idea for Absolution from the general concept of Debt Bondage. I'm not surprised to hear the Romans did it first.

Heh, the Romans did a lot of things first that other people/nations picked up. (Kind of ironic when you consider they borrowed their religion from the Greeks and just changed the god names).

What's really surprising is that a Roman custom was picked up by a society that not only lives tens of thousands of lightyears from Earth, but won't even know about Romans for another century. :p
 

HistoryDude

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Why is the Queen Karan referred to as the Queen Kendra when they’re discussing who is on what ship?

Also, I have this weird feeling that the Shroud-Beings being not technically dead is going to affect things…