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Nov 4, 2013
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The Neural Network has approved the writing of this essay. Once finished, the text shall be submitted to the Uri Consciousness for approval and, if deemed complete and worth of sharing, it shall be sent to the other members of the Righteous Compact, to maximize our chances of quickly ridding the Galaxy of the decadent sheelikean empire.

FIRST SCENARIO (2330 - 2340)
INTERLUDE (2340 - 2350)


The Blockade of Ur Idra (2353 - 2355)
The Long Chase (2355 - 2357)
The Secret World (2357 - 2362)
The Fang and the Whip (2362 - 2370)
A New Compact (2370 - 2373)

SECOND SCENARIO (2375 - 2377)

Searching the Light (2379 - 2382)

The Pilgrimage (2382 - 2384)
THIRD SCENARIO (2385 - 2395)
Birth of the Hypercoil (2220 – 2230)

In the nearly one hundred years of history since our first contact with the Hypercoil, we are yet to pierce its borders. Our understanding of the inner workings of the sheelikean society and government is limited just as much as our knowledge of the astrography of their sectors. More often than not, reports of past encounters have been twisted by the authors due to ideological and superstitious biases; the early reports of the sheelikean society in particular are shrouded in legend. In my study, I will attempt to offer a realistic reading on these sources, so as to dispel the mythical aura that these creatures have woven around themselves to intimidate and brutalize their enemies.


The Pulsar Star Kazon, shining near the very heart of the Hypercoil.

Most scholars agree that the sheelikoi originate from a system not too far from the pulsar star Kazon. Some locate the world as orbiting the K-class star Zimatullon, claiming the capital planet of the Hypercoil is the often mentioned Neoxanàn. Recent studies on encrypted sheelikean transmissions have led me to believe this hypothesis to be wrong: though most likely a major (and possibly the first) colony of the Hypercoil, Neoxanàn seems to be more of a main hub for research, arts and study, as evidenced by the many fragments of books whose authors claim it as their home. The true home planet of the species is likely the one referred to as Xanaslisk and is situated on a red star system not too far from either Neoxanàn or Kazon. The word itself is usually mentioned in sheelikean transmissions alongside the name of the First Slither, the immortal tyrant of the empire, to the point that, I believe, past scholars have wrongly interpreted it as part of his many and obscure titles.


Possible representation of Xanaslisk, capital planet of the Hypercoil.

The phrasing in Edict 2295 in particular makes clear that the First Slither not only rules from a place called Xanaslisk, but has always resided there, while the Edict 1823 explicitly mentions a red star as the main sun of the capital system, which goes against all reports regarding Neoxanàn, all claiming its star to be yellow.

Regardless of the true position of the planet, it is beyond doubt that the sheelikoi evolved on a tropical world, covered by poisonous jungles and dangerous fauna, which allowed the species to develop many of its natural and, according to some questionable sources, supernatural traits.

Transmission 117S/U, one of the oldest sources at our disposal, reporting the official ultimatum of the sheelikoi against the uv-xantt, is considered particularly precious for many historians, as it gives us a peek inside sheelikean society which, in later transmissions, is either distorted or omitted entirely.

[…]to surrender any and all lands and submit to our rightful rule. From the xleeth and the yntlaak, from the zzsslush to the t’tleech, all creatures bow to the whims of divine Sheelikor, bringing forth their body as nourishment and their soul as delectation. […] To oppose such a design is fruitless and will only bring further pain and devastation to your worlds: since the beginning of Xanaslisk Xirleekan Eternal Keeper and Prince of the Abysses of Light […] never has divine Sheelikor bowed, for we are. All creatures are created for a specific craft: some can work the land, some can build with metal and light, some can write praises, some […] and all of these purposes are given unto them so that they can serve divine Sheelikor. Only we give purpose to your craft.

Not only this transmission proves without any doubt the istitutionalized value given to the cannibalistic tendencies of the sheelikoi, which in later edicts and transmissions are either omitted or grossly denied to endear unwary alien ambassadors, but it gives us the strong implication that the sheelikoi themselves did not develop as interstellar species by themselves. The passage referring to building “with metal and light” is found in other neoaxanian works and undoubtedly refers to the construction of either starships or wormhole stations.

What the transmission seems to indicate is that, at this point in time, the knowledge of interstellar travel was still limited amongst the ruling class of the Hypercoil, thus leading to the theory of the Vicarious Empire, first formulated by Ikaanian scientist dr. Tyurub.

According to this theory the sheelikoi, evolved as lonely predators, would have been still a primitive species up until the late XXII century, when an interstellar species reached their planet and was later captured by one of the locals, the future First Slither, who used their technology to bring the planet under his command.

Several scholars who support this theory claim the uv-xantt themselves to be these first travelers, but no definitive proof exists on the matter.

It is certainly plausible to believe that, having acquired interstellar technology by force, the sheelikoi would still maintain their backwards and superstitious culture. The need for specialized personnel to work the complex alien machines would have only increased their natural predatory tendencies, allowing their attitude towards enslaving xenos to quickly become the social norm.

An alternative hypothesis, by dr. Laa’trpt, claims the sheelikoi could not develop a functioning interstellar empire in such a little time, and were likely already a space-faring society by the late XXII century. According to this possible interpretation of the sources, the sheelikoi at this time had already been forced to impose slavery as the norm, but on their own species, as the only mean to force their contentious predatory subjects to follow the orders of a high caste of warrior-priests.

All sources agree that Xirleekan, the First Slither, unified the sheelikoi under the banner of the Hypercoil and ruled over them ever since. For the entire XXIII century, scholars from every free empire, Uri Consciousness included, dismissed and attacked the sheelikoi's claim of immortality, in an effort to undermine the growing influence of their empire, but recent studies have forced most of their successors to go back on their stance. Not only every source seems to be in line with the sheelikoi’s claim, but other signs, such as the precious testimonies of escaped slaves and the consistency of style in the neoaxian works of literature by the same author, maintained for more than a century of writing, have forced many scholars to admit that, if not immortal, the sheelikoi have certainly extremely long lifespans.

It is still a heathed debate whether such trait is a natural one or, like it has been hypothesized for their psionic abilities, the result of genetic meddling.

The Subjugation of Fraknyr (2230 – 2240)

Extract from the diary of Mjutt-gleerch, Captain of the Fraknyr Isatr Planetary Defence Force

I had heard disconcerting reports from M’Ruut, but could not believe the news. The slugs’ fleet has avoided our forces for months, their declaration of war sounded more and more like a joke every day…
M’Ruut has fallen. The beasts bombarded the planet until it was forced to surrender. How could our army fall to some naked primitives?
It has already been four years. This nuisance should have been resolved within the first cycle…

Our main fleet engaged the slugs on Nordak.
They have been defeated. I knew it was a bad idea to move it away from Fraknyr, why didn’t they listen to me? Now we are the only ones left. The Sovereign States will not fall to some upstart fanatic, we cannot allow it. The reports claim their fleet has been badly damaged, we might be able to hold them off for long enough.

The bombardments have started. We’ve had time to prepare for this, we’ll hold them.

New ships?! How? How could they rebuild their fleet so quickly? There are three new confirmed sightings. The morale is starting to sink.

There is no news of our remaining forces in the sector. The High Admiral hoped they could establish a new temporary base to strike the slugs’ blind spot. Our intel agents claim their borders are entirely unguarded. That explains why they’ve managed to field so many troops and ships.
If only we could find the location of their main world, we could strike them, force them on the defense, allowing Fraknyr to recover…

The last stand has started: the slugs’ troops have landed on the planet. Never before an alien army had managed to invade our capital. We’ve lost all contact with our remaining forces abroad.

I’ve met them in battle, seen them for the first time. Their forces are insidious, they crawled through are defenses, caught us at night. I had heard of them, how they were, but seeing one… They are long, and thin, move really fast, how do they do it? They’re so big… They’ve claws like steel, one of them peeled Clrween right off her suit. The freak started to EAT her, right there, in the middle of the battle! I had to carve ten holes in it before it stopped, but by then it was too late.

We’re done. They’ve stormed Central Command. We don’t know what happened to the High Consul.

This will be my final entry. The High Consul had been captured. The slugs forced him to make a public announcement surrendering all of the States to the Black Worm.
I won’t live licking the coils of these monster and I won’t wait to be eaten alive.


Rough reconstruction of the probable borders of Hypercoil and Sovereign Uv-Xantt States in 2230.

At a time when the Uri Consciousness was still developing his many alliances and the Righteous Compact was nothing more than a dream, the Sovereign uv-xantt States were the only thing standing between the Hypercoil and the freedom of all living beings in the sector.

Early historians gave no little blame to the uv-xantt for underestimating the sheelikean threat, claiming a slightly more proactive strategy would have been all that was needed to easily destroy the Hypercoil before it could grow into a true superpower, or, lacking that, that the Sovereign States could have still fought its overlordship in the years after their first defeat. Later scholars revaluated this stance, pointing out that, even though the Sovereign States could have been able to win the war, their attitude towards the sheelikoi was not as careless as previously thought, given their informations at the time.
The uv-xantt’s militaristic government had no idea what were the size and power of the sheelikoi when the war started. Contact between the two species had only happened through official channels in neutral areas. The Consulate estimated that the uv-xantt fleets would be able to easily defeat the sheelikoi whenever they had breached their borders, so the dictator arrived to the conclusion that fortifying the borders and waiting for them would have been the most sensible option.
Even this strategy, athough not optimal, could have been successful, if the Sovereign States hadn't wrongly estimated the strength of the sheelikean fleet and, most importanty, the danger posed by their land armies: the uv-xantt divided their ships to protect equally their main planet and their two colonies, thus allowing the sheelikoi to reduce their numbers by fighting the fragmented forces. Many still agree that, if the uv-xantt maintained their fleets unified and more dynamic, or put the safety of their capital at the expense of the colonies, they could have managed, even if not easily, to possibly defeat the sheelikoi on their first main orbital battle.
Preventing the sheelikoi to land their troops would have been fundamental as, even though the sources of the time do not talk about any traits out of the ordinary, they all already agree on the sheelikoi's superiority in conventional warfare. Even though the uv-xantt had been up to that point a society with a strong military tradition who prided itself for its armies, they managed to get only a few minor victories on the field, where the sheelikoi hutterly dominated, thanks to the biological advantages.

The High Consul Dlabreix, a character almost universally despised by the uv-xantt today, had little choice after the fall of Fraknyr: the sheelikoi had no resources to directly hold the Sovereign States and, given their behavior during the war, it is not farfetched to assume that the alternative to complete subjugation of the government might have been the genocide of the entire species.
Some historians believe that the victory had depleted most of the sheelikoi’s resources and that, if the uv-xantt had continued to fight, it would have caused a collapse of the Hypercoil, but this reading ignores that, in 2240, the uv-xantt fleet had been completely obliterated, and any further resistance could have been easily quelled by the sheelikoi with a new series of bombardments.

It is possible that the High Consul wanted to buy his people time to rebuild and prepare a counteroffensive in the future. Many sources agree that the uv-xantt protectorate had managed to mostly recover from the atrocities of the war already within a decade after their defeat; unfortunately, during that same time, the sheelikoi had used their experience in interstellar war and the spoils of their victory to strengthen their influence even more.
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  • 1Love
Impressive beginning. Interesting style too, the narrative shown from the outside of your empire. The Hypercoil sounds like an empire of monsters.
Great start. Nice style too, not to mention very aesthetically pleasing. Always enjoy a good history book layout and execution. Looking forward to much more.

Thanks, yes, since my last AAR was very subject-focused, I'm trying to do something different for this one, at the very least for the first portion.



The Dark Years (2240 - 2260)

While there are plenty of questionable sources regarding the birth of the Hypercoil and the great war of subjugation of the uv-xantt, and a lot of varied and trustworthy sources for the late half of the XXIII century, the last decade of the first half is almost entirely devoid of any information, reputable or otherwise.

Only the sheelikoi know what happened in their sector at this time, scholars of the Righteous Compact can only guess by tracking back their actions in the following decades to their probable causes.

It is generally assumed that the first colonies of sheelikoi were founded at this time, but the difficulty in determining their area of influence and borders has made this guesses tenuous at best: according to some scholars, the current estimate on the sheelikean population is too low and their perceived attitude too isolationist to warrant the existence of more than one planet inhabited by sheelikoi. In fact, according to dr. Lyybrat, the sheelikoi might have just adapted into a nomadic society, and the reason why the precise location of their home planet has not yet been determined is because they have none anymore, but rather live as a wandering army, constantly moving through their conquered systems to keep their enslaved populations under control.

If we accept the possibility that Neoxanàn is a colony of the Hypercoil, then we must consider that they might have more, but it just as likely that these colonies are nothing more than scientific outposts with a very small population.

Without a doubt, the majority of the subjects of the Hypercoil are now composed by other alien species, enslaved by the sheelikoi. It is hard to say if the sheelikoi had xeno slaves before the uv-xantt, but it is certain that they spent many years searching and abducting entire populations from primitive planets, to channel the expansion of their vast fleet, the Slither’s Fang, as it is clear from the testimony of the escaped slaves welcomed in the Uri Consciousness in the past century.

The annexation of the uv-xantt constitutes a peculiar case, instead, and is often matter of debate. The Sovereign States had been conquered at a time when the Hypercoil was not yet powerful enough to simply enslave the entire population: in the years following its defeat, the Consulate still maintained some form of autonomy. To which extent this was, is hard to say, since the Hypercoil forced the uv-xantt into a total quarantine, which was broken only years later during the Uri counteroffensive, and only for a short time.

Some scholars suppose that the government, having lost any support from the people, was in full collusion with the sheelikoi, from which it depended for its survival. According to others, the very reason why the uv-xantt survived for so many years with a semblance of autonomy was that the sheelikoi still feared their power and did not want to risk another war too soon.

Some romanticized interpretations claim that a grassroots movement was developing amongst the oppressed population and it would have managed to spark a revolution if the sheelikoi hadn’t ruthlessly purged entire regions of the uv-xantt’s worlds. This hypothesis is highly questionable, especially if we consider the testimony of High Admiral Dyubb during his occupation of the Fraknyr and Nordak systems.

Whatever the case, the Hypercoil had completely absorbed the remnants of the Sovereign States by the turning of the decade, and turned all of the uv-xantt into slaves, the first of many other unfortunate species. With their worlds more than doubled, the sheelikoi had reached the status of interstellar superpower and now bordered the allied nations of the Royal Uri Suns.

First Contact (2261)

Extract from Transmission 1S/En
The trespassers are dead. In their last breaths, they called for pitiful vengeance against their masters. They talked of you, so unto you we deliver the message of divine Sheelikor: I am Lithmraan, Keeper of Stings, Overlord of Thràalifnikan Dzaallcl, Leegl t’saach, Holder of Trrnuushgan’s Leashes, […] Emissary of the First Slither Xirleekan, Eternal Keeper and Prince of the Abysses of Light, Divine Emperor of a Thousand Coils […] whose whisper resonates across the emptiness of space to warn you. Your kin is dead, it trespassed the holy borders of the Hypercoil unknowingly, and, for that, its punishment has been lenient. Do so again and it shan’t be again.

The destruction of a scientific vessel from the Consortium of Enim was the first contact the free empires had with the Hypercoil. The first transmission sent by a sheelikean envoy was an intelligible stream of clicks and hisses: the inarian linguists managed to finally decode it just in time to avoid repeating their mistake and losing another crew.

At the time, the Consortium was one of the protectorates of the Royal Uri Suns, thus our government was soon made aware of the news. Although questioned by some today, the reaction taken by the Despot at the time was considered to be ideal: after not receiving response through normal channels, the allied governments mobilized their fleets and put them at the borders of their sectors, slowly moving out on the main hyperlanes, trying to reach the borders of the mysterious new faction and trigger a reaction. Not too long the sheelikoi finally sent a response in the form of an embassy.

The Consortium of Enim still demanded reparations for the unwarranted destruction of its scientific group, but the sheelikean ambassador was not interested in listening to their demands, addressing only the emissary of the Uri Despot. Once again, the sheelikoi made little effort in hiding their contempt towards the aliens in the commission, but the Uri ambassador had the foresight to bear their offensive words and answer politely, thus managing to conclude that first official meeting in peace. In truth, all of the people present left the encounter knowing a war was brewing already. The answer of Lub Dwaab, the esteemed Uri ambassador, gives us a very clear insight on the matter:


The allied embassies met the emissar of the First Slither on Ezak, a neutral system.

[…]each of them acted as a King, always moving around with an escort of bird-slaves. Words cannot describe the palpable aura pretentiousness exhaling from the slimy coils of these creatures. Each one had his announcer and a list of titles and honorifics so long it took the greater part of any conversation just to go through it. Such blatant and pitiful displays of ego were repeated each and every time we met. At the very first meeting in person, their servants pleaded us to prostrate before they entered the room; when we denied their request, the servants pleaded again, telling us that, if we hadn’t done it, the sheelikoi would have first killed them and, in the future, killed us as well, because, in their own words “the mortal should not stand before the divine”.

To the establishment of a stable contact between our societies followed feverish months of preparation for the war to come. The sheelikoi had made it clear that they were not in the least interested in any sort of alliance and the Despot himself had had plans for the lower sectors, whose colonization he had based his political campaign on. It is in this time that the neoaxànian works spread in the Royal Uri Suns and the other free empires: through the embassy at Ur Itha, the sheelikoi poured their literature into the nearby systems. Most of it was propagandistic epic, singing the praises of important Holy Princes of the Hypercoil and of their place as divine masters of the universe.

Though some question his decision today, the Despot allowed this propaganda to flow freely, as it was at the time the only window into that alien culture. There was no doubt that the gross attempts at patronizing by the sheelikoi could have been effective against primitive species, but would only result in derision from the Uri civilization and its allies. Yet, arguably, it was the access to these works by the general public which allowed myths and superstitions regarding the sheelikoi to take hold in later years, causing the first Consciousness panic.

Analyst Tr’traat argues that, in their contempt for the backwards attitude of the sheelikoi, the allied empires failed to see their strategy on the long run, worrying only about their militaristic prowess and ignoring their ability to influence the public opinion. While the neoaxànian works did not make anyone believe that the sheelikoi were divine beings, at the start of the war a not insignificant number of the population had been somewhat intimidated by their aura of mysticism and primordial power.

The Old War (2261 – 2278)

The pretense of peace was set aside within less than a year from the first contact: the sheelikoi withdrew their embassy and demanded that the quvarians and inari were their rightful servants and should submit themselves immediately. Some Uri sources of the time claim that the Hypercoil attacked Uri colonies without a formal declaration and that that was the reason why the Royal Suns joined the war, but these sources are seen with suspect today: before any major conflict that we know of, the sheelikoi have always given an ultimatum to their enemy; it is believed by some scholars that this is in fact one of their many superstitious rituals. Furthermore, it is possible that the sheelikean ambassador, in his visit to Ur Itha, understood the threat posed by the Uri Suns and thus the First Slither decided to target only the other allied empires in that campaign, hoping to avoid an immediate confrontation with the Uri, while isolating them in the meantime.

It is therefore possible that the Despot fabricated further reasons to aid quvarians and inari, even though the construction of his new fleet was yet to be completed.


The allied and sheelikoi sectors in 2261 at the start of the war.

At the start of the war, the allied empires committed the same mistake of the uv-xantt: dividing their fleets to keep their borders guarded, but, unlike the uv-xantt, they were able to recognize their mistake very quickly and adapt accordingly.

The first planet to fall was Bakangi, home planet of the quvarians. The Slither’s Fang bombarded the planet for weeks, but the quvarian bunkers, hidden deep beneath the oceans of the world, endured the attack. Then the sheelikean army descended, and the quvarians fell within days. The quickness of the conquest deeply shook the allied forces, and from that point on it was clear to the Uri that the sheelikoi could not be allowed to engage in land combat under any circumstance. This notion would become more and more accredited as the war went on.

Some scholars argue that, after the conquest of Bakangi, the Despot could have achieved a major victory by meeting the enemy fleet in open space immediately: all reports claimed the sheelikoi were using outdated weaponry and that, if united, the allied empires would have outnumbered the Slither’s Fang. Yet, the reasoning of the Despot at the time was not as unsound as it is claimed to be by these sources: the sudden defeat of the quvarians had made the public wary of the sheelikoi, and it was generally agreed that more intel on their forces was needed before risking the main bulk of the fleets.

The High Admiral Dyubb decided to reorganize and mobilize the Uri fleets, leading them in a coordinated effort inside the borders of the Hypercoil, hoping to engage a smaller force of enemies or force the Slither’s Fang to split, to test their forces in battle and better understand their strategy. At the same time, another fleet, coupled with the inari’s, would harass the main enemy forces, to slow down their advance and lead them on the wrong paths. Luckily, the wormhole technology used by the sheelikoi to travel through long distances was limited in its reach and needed new bases inside the enemy territory to move further in. Discovering this gave the allied empires a much needed advantage point, as their fleets could freely jump in and out of the hyperlanes and attack the sheelikean construction ships without engaging the main fleet, thus preventing them from breaching into the inner worlds.

After months of search, Dyubb reached Fraknyr Isatr and laid siege to the planet. No fleet was protecting it and, once the orbiting station had been destroyed, the planet was nearly defenseless. Still wary of the fall of Bakangi, Dyubb sent small parties to explore the surface, only to find out that what his ships had been bombarding were cities of slaves: there was no trace of any sheelikor. Some of the uv-xantt were brought on board, but, before it could be mounted an effort to liberate and move the rest of the population, the Slither’s Fang entered the system, and Dyubb was forced to break the siege and cautiously fall back.

While the planet had not been conquered, the precious sources recovered, the freed slaves, gave the Royal Uri Suns greater insight on the Hypercoil than any of the neoaxànian works had ever done.

Extract from Dyubb’s Journal
It will still take hard work and a lot of patience to deal with these poor creatures. Their very life should serve as a warning to the Uri and all the free people of the Galaxy: this is our destiny if we allow the worms to win.
They still would not openly speak, what sort of atrocities have they been submitted to to cause such fear, even when their masters are not near? Yet, one cannot fail but notice the shame in their eyes. They do not wish to be seen in this state by other civilized people like ourselves, because it reminds them of what they were. I believe the flames of vengeance could still be stoked from within their hearts. They revealed the way for another inhabited system. If we could engulf this sector into open rebellion, this war might be over without the need to shed a single Uri life: there are millions of slaves, if not more. How could they serve for so long such despicable masters?

Interrogating the escaped slaves allowed Dyubb to formulate a new plan: if the allied fleets had managed to occupy another enslaved world, they might have been able to recruit an entire species to their cause and break the Hypercoil from the inside out. It was with these intentions that the High Admiral reached Yeerok, in the Nordak system. The Slither’s Fang was reported as once again traveling towards allied space, far enough to allow the Uri fleet to blockade the planet and force its surrender. Dyubb established a provisional government and declared all the uv-xantt on the planet freed, but progress against the fear and obedience instilled by the sheelikoi was hard. For almost a year the High Admiral tried to emancipate the uv-xantt, but he was only able to use Nordak as an advantage point to attack the sheelikean extraction bases.

The lack of results eventually caused a split within the allied brass, with the inari flying off to go help the rest of their forces, which the sheelikoi now threatened directly. Unfortunately the decision was ill-fated: the Consortium of Elim was too weak to defend itself, even with the help from the United Hiffnar Worlds coming at the last minute: the Slither’s Fang broke through their lines by sheer strength of numbers and invaded the planet. This time the reports coming from the sieged world were more complete, but their content only agitated further the allied populations: they spoke of monsters fast as lightning and capable of melting the minds of their enemies from afar, unnatural feats and invincible armies.

Only at this point the Despot started to curtail the flow of information from the general public, issuing propagandistic works to insult and deride the claims of divinity of the sheelikoi, but his reaction was perceived as duplicitous, which increased the fear spreading through the Uri colonies.

In 2272, the Despot was finally deposed and the Uri Consciousness was born out of his failed government, to better react with haste to the new developments of the war. Admiral Dyubb was forcefully called back to Lytirin, abandoning his work in the uv-xantt provinces to engage the Slither’s Fang.

I believe this was the greatest mistake in the Old War: while both sides had experienced significant losses during the campaign, the sheelikoi had been able to replace their destroyed ships with new ones, quickly built by their overworked masses of slaves, whereas the allied fleets had been deprived of most of their centres of production, having lost two of their main governments, Lythorius and Enim. Furthermore, the victory streak of the Hypercoil and its campaign of terror and misinformation had lowered the morale of the Uri troops and blinded the people to reason, forcing them to seek a confrontation against their main fleet before time.

High Admiral Dyubb was defeated at Lytirin, on the orbit of Foll’Ujba, and the system was occupied by the sheelikoi.

The Slither’s Fang was decimated by the confrontation, but the Uri Consciousness was still too scared to take advantage of its weakness: in the following years it focused solely on the protection of the capital planet. The sheelikean emissary contacted the Consciousness and demanded it to accept defeat and relinquish claim to all of the occupied planets, but the Uri, although scared, were not willing to concede victory to their barbaric invaders and refused.

Years passed, the Slither’s Fang moved freely through the allied space, overseeing the construction of more wormholes and military stations to tighten its grip on the sector, and destroying the Uri mining stations, weakening the Consciousness’ economy, while tormenting its citizens with propaganda. In 2274 the Hypercoil conquered Fesh’Digo, in the Unur system, and in 2277 fell Naff’Digo, in the Zempek system.

Seeing Ur Itha cornered, the Uri Consciousness finally decided to give into the demands of the sheelikoi, allowing them to keep the conquered territories of their allies, the Lytirin system, and all of their stations within their own borders, in what was universally considered an ignominious defeat.


The allied and sheelikoi borders in 2274, nearing the end of the war.
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The Hypercoil continue to grow stronger, both in military might and in a mythological sense. These continued victories and the horror stories told by former slaves will just continue to reinforce the believe that the sheelikoi's claims of divinity and immortality.
Hm, we shall see...



The New Compact (2280 – 2287)

The crushing defeat at the hands of the sheelikoi was the sparking factor that forced the Uri Consciousness to evolve and adapt, completing its transformation in the enlightened empire that it is today. It is only by escaping the lower sectors that we entered in contact with the Ikaanan Mandate, thus making it possible for the Righteous Compact to be formed.


The history of the birth of our great federation is treated in many other texts, therefore I will not write of it in this one. Yet it is important to note how, in their senseless violence and thirst for conquest, the sheelikoi doomed themselves: their actions allowed the Uri and other species to see the horrible results of despotic governments, and to join in peace and equality. Where the Royal Uri Suns would have treated the Ikaanan Mandate with wariness due to its power, the Consciousness was free to deal with it on equal standing and to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

From this point onwards, our sources on the Hypercoil become more numerous and clearer: the presence of military stations, embassies and wormhole generators within Uri space forced the sheelikoi to maintain somewhat peaceful relation with our empire. In the first years the Consciousness was forced to watch impotently the atrocities committed by the sheelikoi on the conquered planets: the inari, the quvarians and the lytirinian Uri themselves were mercilessly turned into slaves, lorded over by a selected elite of sheelikean Holy Princes, under the leadership of the Tyrant Rezicax, appointed by the First Slither as governor of the newly conquered planets.

The rational minds of the Consciousness faced a constant battle, still waging today, against the fearmongering and superstition spread by the sheelikean writers through the main information channels. All the resources of the Uri were invested in the search for the truth about the Hypercoil and for the liberation of its former allies and subjects, brutalized by the invaders. With their fleets still being rebuilt and the diplomatic work for the creation of the Righteous Compact still underway, the Uri Consciousness focused many of its resources in exploration and colonization of the lower sectors, once again testing the limits of the sheelikean borders, trying to get as close as possible to the conquered planets, hoping to acquire more knowledge and indirectly help in the liberation and smuggling of as many slaves as they could.

As for the Hypercoil itself, it is very likely that the combined effect of increased borders and the forced diplomatic contact with the civilized and independent empire of the Uri Consciousness forced its society to slowly evolve and adapt as well. Opening themselves to the Galaxy, the sheelikoi realized that many other empires existed, far and near, some of which undoubtedly greater than their own; they could not risk antagonizing too many of them, thus they started to take on a thin-veiled façade of friendliness.

The larger borders likely caused the stratification of the sheelikean society as well, requiring more leaders and intermediates to properly rule the numerous enslaved planets.

Most historians agree the sheelikoi were unsuccessful in both of these fronts: their embassies failed to establish any meaningful deal with the other interstellar empires, being universally despised, whereas the First Slither’s greed and paranoia, coupled with the sheelikean pride, prevented any real revitalization of the bureaucratic implant, which resulted in the long run in the crippling of the economic and militaristic advancement of the Hypercoil. To top it all, the superstitious and xenophobic attitude of the sheelikoi prevented them to fully open themselves to the scientific advancements of their neighbors and enslaved subjects, which, by the end of the XXIII century, made them one of the least technologically advanced empires of the galactic region.

That is not to say that the Hypercoil had become harmless, of course. The deadliness of its armies were the main deterrent for any other empire strong enough to challenge them at the time, and the Slither’s Fang was expanded exponentially after the victory over the Uri Consciousness. The Hypercoil had yet to lose his momentum, but, instead of focusing on the Uri, who were still rebuilding after their crushing defeat, it decided to move towards a new target.

The Loshyx’Oa Debacle (2287 – 2296)

Though at the time the Uri Consciousness could not realize it, it is now known that the Hypercoil waged a separate war in the period of peace after the subjugation of the allied empires, attempting to gain hold of the rising sectors beyond the nebula.

The Arijia Patch, a thick astral formation, had offered a natural barrier in the past, allowing two great empires to form in safety: the Directorate of Loshyx’Oa and the Bessadon Star Hive, a neural network not unlike the Uri Consciousness. These two governments had fought over trading hyperlanes for years and were about to come to arms against each other, when Loshyx’Oa, searching for new routes, managed to pierce the nebula and emerged near the borders of the Hypercoil.


We know now from bessadonian sources that the Hypercoil sent embassies to the Star Hive in that same period, perhaps initially mistaking the two factions for a single one. After the misunderstanding was cleared, the sheelikoi took no time to go against the iztrans, with the bessadons' blessing.

The iztrans were an isolationist and mostly peaceful species, having forged their fortune on exploration and trade rather than on war, thus the sudden attack from a mostly unknown enemy caught them by surprise. The sheelikoi targeted their newly founded colonies in the Chibblar and Bastamore systems, crossing the Arija Patch without much hassle. With little resistance offered by the iztrans, there was no doubt the Hypercoil could have moved further in and taken the entire region, yet, after conquering two more colonies in the Ponnell system, the Slither’s Fang moved lower, avoiding the capital system Loshyx’Oa and targeting the Obnoll system instead, before stopping entirely. It is still uncertain why the Hypercoil halted the invasion in 2296, forcing the Directorate into a nonetheless devastating defeat. It has been hypothesized that the sheelikoi were cautious in moving too far away from their home planet, as the Arijia Patch slowed their movements and had prevented them from charting the astral formations that laid beyond.


Sheelikean invasion rout

Another proposed option would be that the sheelikean infrastructure would have just been incapable of handling the entire Directorate, if the iztran government had been defeated entirely in one campaign, and the First Slither decided to split its conquest in two different wars, with the first one only needing to establish a foothold through the nebula, in order to have a safe way to move in the fleet later on.

The victory over the iztrans was achieved with ease and little losses, splitting the Directorate’s territory in half and permanently compromising its military and political power. Yet, on the long run, the real loser of this war turned out to be the Hypercoil itself.

Late Years (2297 – 2330)

Extract from the “Endless Journey of the Wise and Great Prince to Arijia”, by Prince Cathiox:

Prince Dwruulikan had claimed that the temple in honor of the Wise Prince was nearly completed, almost a year before time: the Wise Prince’s calculations were wrong.

Yet, the Wise Prince knew that his calculations could not be wrong.

The Wise Prince so reached K’Karaal, with great annoyance and righteous disdain, to demand an explanation from Prince Dwruulikan.

So, Young Prince Dwruulikan met the Wise Prince in the wide plains of the alien world and together they reached the quarry, where the stones were carved and moved into place.

Young Prince Dwruulikan thus spoke: “Behold: our slaves on this world were made both of flesh and of steel. The flesh tires, as it does, but the steel follows the divine will with no concern and with fast feet.”

The Wise Prince looked down and saw that so it was: slaves of steel existed on the alien world, and their feet moved faster, and their back did not break carrying the holy stones.

Youn Prince Dwruulikan thus spoke: “Your great temple shall soon be ready. The slaves of steel will worship you day and night, until the end of eternity.”

“But no” answered the Wise Prince “these are not slaves and their work could not be more wrong.”

The Wise Prince ordered his litter down and called for two of the slaves, one of flesh and one of steel.

The Wise Prince thus spoke: “Carry that stone at its place in the temple.”

So he said to the slave of flesh, and the slave of flesh took the stone. Panting and moaning did he carry it across the quarry, with the Wise Prince shouting behind him and cutting his back with his spiked lash.

When it was done, the slave fell on the ground, covered in blood, and could do no more.

The Wise Prince thus spoke: “Carry that stone at its place in the temple.”

So he said to the slave of steel, and the slave of steel took another stone. Chirping and twitching did he carry it across the quarry, with the Wise Prince shouting behind him and cutting his back with his spiked lash.

When it was done, the slave stood beside the stone and asked for more commands.

“See?” said with triumph the Young Prince Dwruulikan. “Not even half of the time it took the slave of flesh, the slave of steel obeyed you. Nor the whip would it have needed, to follow your will. Surely you see how right I am and how wrong you are.”

The Wise Prince thus spoke: “It is you who are wrong: a thing is not a slave, for it has no will to be bend. A thing is not afraid of its master, it doesn’t hope for his mercy, nor does it feel the pain of the lash. What else is my temple built on, if not pain and fear? The thing of steel gives neither: it can carry a thousand stones, but it will only build a pile, not my temple. I did not ask you to build me a pile of stones.”

Then the Young Prince Dwruulikan saw the error of his ways and ordered the slaves of flesh to tear down the things of steel. Then the slaves of flesh destroyed the temple as well and started to build it again, greater than before, so that it could properly honor the wisdom of the Great Prince.

The autobiography of Cathiox, high governor of the conquered iztranian worlds, is only the most well-known example of neoxanànian works showing the self-defeating impracticality of the sheelikean government.

The multiple conquests in the short period of time, the mass enslavements and the absolute refusal to compromise their worldview became more and more of a hurdle for the plans of galactic domination of the First Slither after the Loshyx’Oa Debacle. Their territories spread thin and most of their slave populations now made up of recently conquered, highly civilized cultures, the sheelikoi militaristic activities were forced to a complete and sudden stop, with the Slither’s Fang moving back and forth throughout the sectors of the Hypercoil, keeping the peace in the new colonies.

With the Loshyx’Oa shattered and the Hypercoil otherwise busy, the Bessadon Star Hive took the opportunity immediately to attack its former rivals and a quick and painless war: by the turn of the century the half of the remnants of the Loshyx’Oa had been integrated in the Star Hive, while the rest, unable to survive on its own and still fearing the sheelikoi, decided to willingly submit to the bessadons, preferring their overlordship over the tyranny of the Hypercoil.

With their trade rivals subjugated, the bessadons spent the following decades in a mad rush of colonization, quickly reaching the borders of both Hypercoil and Uri Consciousness. While not interested in joining the Righteous Compact, the Star Hive proved a valuable ally in recent years, and, though some still see its dealings with the Hypercoil as something damning, it is clear to any informed viewer how the pretense of diplomacy held by the bessadons is no different from the past dealings of the Royal Uri Suns with the sheelikoi: a way to have a window into the otherwise completely isolated empire of the sheelikoi.

A final analysis

What is the future of the Hypercoil?

It has been nearly fifty years since the Old War robbed us of our brothers and sisters of Foll’Ujba and of our friends of Enim and Lythorius. Some in the Uri Consciousness believe that the Hypercoil has become a teetering giant, that it has lost its momentum and that, with their combined efforts, the members of the Righteous Compact, united with the Bessadon Star Hive, could put an end to the threat it poses once and for all, freeing all the unfortunate creatures suffering under its yoke.

In a recent holiday on Bess’Qoro, one of the High Citizens of the Star Hive openly mocked the sheelikean envoy; almost two years have passed, but the offense was not answered with any invasion. Many believe this to be just confirmation that the Hypercoil fears the power of the Star Hive.

The truth is hard to determine, the inner workings of the sheelikean government are unknown to us, as much as the real size of their dominion. The most cautious experts have recalled more than once that, just as we did not know of the great war they waged against the iztrans, we could be mistaking the Hypercoil’s current attitude as inactive, while the sheelikoi might just be busy conquering some other people. Could we risk angering them again? Even if the Righteous Compact is strong enough to defeat the Slither’s Fang, the Uri Consciousness would be the first to feel its bite. The old fortresses and wormholes would give the sheelikoi instant access to our inner colonies and our precious home world as well.

According to dr. Lyybrat, the risk is not worth the potential success: he believes that the Hypercoil’s decadent rulers are slowly causing the fall of their own society by themselves. The Hypercoil has overreached in its conquest and now finds itself in the unsolvable situation of not wanting to relinquish its prizes while being unable to properly hold them.

Ruling over hundreds of empty planets, dozens of scattered, enslaved people who resent them, relying on outdated technology and on corrupt leaders, it is only a matter of time before the Hypercoil falls on itself. Only then, it will be time for us to give it its final blow and retake what is ours.


Approssimate depiction of the lower sectors in 2320.
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Hmm, so the Hypercoil is both refusing to adapt, believing they do not need to improve, and have expanded too quickly, focusing on building wide instead of tall. I have to root for the nightmarish aliens, if only so this story can continue.
A great AAR. Again!
Hmm, so the Hypercoil is both refusing to adapt, believing they do not need to improve, and have expanded too quickly, focusing on building wide instead of tall. I have to root for the nightmarish aliens, if only so this story can continue.
Yes, since this was my first game, at this point in the campaign, a century past the start, I had yet to research Planetary Unification and the following tech, since I didn't pick them at start and they stopped showing up in the selection later on, which on the long run crippled the production rates of the empire. Since I needed to use most of the planets to build power plants and mining stations to keep up with the expansion of the fleet, I could not build many laboratories and research centres, which progressively slowed the rate of progress.
Well then, enough with transmissions, let's change the perspective.


A dinner with the holy covenant

Bwyuv jumped off the electrified obstacle, rushing in the thick of the newly formed artificial vegetation to find some cover alongside Latm’aat. The player behind them was less fortunate, getting caught in the obstacle and being burned alive.

“I can see the end!” shouted Latm’aat, pointing to his left. “We’re so close! Hold a little longer!”

It was hard to hear him, the amplified cheering of the selected crowd of sheelikoi and the synthetic voice updating on the development of the game boomed in the arena, as disorienting as the scorching flashes of artificial light coming from the fake sky and as intimidating as the giant holographic projections of the sheelikoi themselves, floating above the arena and watching down on the massacre with their beady little eyes.

Bwyuv moaned, holding her womb in discomfort, but, with Latm’aat’s help, she pulled herself up and was running once more. Now she could see it as well: the gate to freedom. The ordeal was almost over: they only needed to reach it and their lives would be spared.

“Come on, come on!” Said Latm’aat, holding her by the shoulder and pushing forward.

A sudden strike threw them off balance, only a few meters from the gate.


A third player, a monstrous creature covered in fur, was holding down Latm’aat, clenching at one of his ocular antennae with one hand while bashing him with the other fist.

“Go!..” Screamed the dying uri. “Go.. quick!”

Holding back a whimper, Bwyuv crawled to the ramp and then inside the gate. An electric barrier rose from the ground, protecting her from the player who murdered Latm’aat.

A distorted symphony of alien instruments filled her earholes as she was proclaimed the winner. Using what remained of her spear as a cane, she put herself up again, while the floor started to rise, quickly reaching the highest floor of the arena.

“Down!” Resonated a hissing voice, amplified by the weird architecture of the chamber. “Down on the knees, head on the ground, prostrate before the illustrious Holy Princes and their great and wise covenant of Slithers, Headed by the Wise and Eternal First Slither Xirleekan!”

Bwyuv quickly complied. Years before, when she was still free, when her civic implant had not yet been removed and her neck shackled, she had read of the sheerlikoi’s rituals, and of what happened to those who did not comply. She didn’t want some stupid formality to squander the sacrifice of Latm’aat, and so she prostrated, putting her head on the ground. Yet, as the announcer continued in his unending list of titles, presenting each and everyone of the Slithers reunited in the room, her curiosity won her over, and she cautiously twisted one of her remaining antennae to give a peak at the room.

The creatures were as monstrous as the texts and movies depicted them: long slimy worms with nine pairs of arms, four eyes and long jaws. They wore no clothes, leaving their exposed coils wrapped around opulent thrones. Some of them were smaller, no longer than three meters, but the oldest surpassed ten meters of length.


When the announcer was finally done with the titles, the First Slither, a huge, black sheelikor, stretched his neck from the throne, to look down upon the uri on the ground, and started to talk, quickly translated by the announcer.

“The First Slither Xirleekan congratulates you, player. Even though your victory was undeserved, he will reward you nonetheless. You can stand now, and rejoice in the great honor you have won: to gift your body and soul to the divine covenant of the Holy Princes.”

A shiver passed through Bwyuv’s spine as she was getting up. “W-what?” The sliver of hope she was holding onto had suddenly been drowned in a new wave of desperation.

“You can’t do this!” She shouted, looking directly at the First Slither. “It’s not fair!”

“The divine can do all, and all that the divine can do is fair, because the divine does it.”

The Holy Princes were all looking at her now. After all the pain and the fighting, after Latm’aat's sacrifice, she could not accept it, she would have not accepted it.

“You told us we would be free! I want to go home!.. Just.. keep your word!”

The First Slither started to unravel his coils and talked again, with a gurgling sound of amusement, while the translator continued his job.

“Do you believe your will and flesh do hold power in this universe? If so you think, you have the power to be free and kill the divine. Do so, then, and walk away in glory.”

“No.. no..!”

The uri stepped backward, holding her grasp on the spear. She was wounded, too tired and starved to fight another battle right at that moment; yet, she couldn’t yield, she had to try.


The Ascendant Xidlor looked at the First Slither playing with the meal as it was customary, whipping the pathetic uri with his forked tail, and moving away at the prey’s clumsy attack. Xidlor chuckled alongside the other Holy Princes reunited in the hall. He was the smallest of the covenant, but his rank allowed him to seat in absolute safety at the left of the First Slither’s seat itself.

“Why do they even fight? How can it hope to kill a divine?” he had to ask twice before High Tecnarch Zeraxim decided to answer.

“This one prey was bred outside the natural order. Only now it understands the wrongness of its false beliefs. For worlds far beyond Xanaslisk exist, and the sheelikoi have not claimed them yet. There the prey lives in complacent ignorance of its rightful place.”

Xidlor nodded and turned his attention back at the uri, which the First Slither had just bashed again, pushing the prey on the ground. The sluggish alien crawled towards its crude weapon, but it had no strength left and Xirleekan, bored with the game, forced it to stand up with his claws and twisted his neck to face its ocular antennae directly.

“Now say that your flesh is as weak as your will.”

The ever-defiant gaze of the prey was finally broken as a surge of psionic energy lashed at its brain, leaving it in a vacant stupor.

“My.. my flesh is.. as weak as my will.”

The other Slithers started to unravel their coils as well and moved towards the center of the room, soon imitated by Xidlor.

“Now say unto me: O Xirleekan, Immortal Prince and First Slither, partake of my flesh, it is my gift to you.”

“X-.. O Xirleekan, Immortal Prince and First Slither…”

As the uri kept talking, the First Slither lowered his mouth and sank his teeth in the meal’s arm, taking away a chunk of it. The alien had just finished to say the words, when another one of the venerable came up to her and spoke.

“Now say unto me: O Cathiox, Wise Prince and Tyrant of V’vidir, partake of my flesh, it is my gift to you.”

“O.. Cathiox.. Wise Prince...”

The uri shook, its body shocked by excruciating pain, but the hold on its mind compelled it to stand and keep talking, allowing Prince Cathiox to take his share as well. The ritual continued, with more and more Slithers joining the banquet.

This time, as he was the youngest, Xidlor was the last to join, finding a free spot on the meal’s side to sink his snout into.

“What is this?” asked the Ascendant, spitting a little white ball from his mouth. “There’s more.. inside it.”

“Oh…” answered Prince Dzeelikan, gulping another sliver of flesh. “It is but an egg.”

“An egg?”

“Yes” said High Tecnarch Rekaxir “many of the preys are not born of spawning piles, they carry their descendants inside them.”

The First Slither grunted, shortly moving his gaze to the Ascendant. “Did they not teach you of xenobiology on Neoxanàn, Ascendant Xidlor?”

Xidlor lowered his eyes in shame, and started to eat again.

“In truth” said Wise Prince Cathiox “Neoxanàn has turned into a cove of blasphemy. Their narrow-minded Tecnarchs are more concerned with the humors of the xenoids rather than the great mysteries of the universe.”

“Wise Prince, you certainly speak the truth” quickly added Xidlor, eager to shift the blame away from himself. “It would only be better if such deviant studies were forbidden, lest they sway other inferior creatures like this one.”

Several Slithers chuckled, forcing Xidlor to lower his head again.

“Truly” said Xirleekan “the Ascendant shows the brashness of his youth. But I see you are most eager to educate him, Wise Cathiox, so do speak in my stead.”

“The order of life is such, that the Slithers rule over the preys. Divine over mortal. It is in the right of the divine to do as the divine wishes, even if it wishes to deny its nature. A foolish and fruitless endeavor, this, to be sure. If the First Slither took part in it, he would be no different from those that partake in it: to deny their divine nature to claim what they choose? Surely you see how such a path unravels logic and breeds nothing but stupidity.”

"But..." retorted Ascendant Xidlor, confused, cleaning his snout from the blood. "... should we just allow it in complacency? Divine can do anything, so a solution must exist."

"The divide between mortal and divine is unending, it is foolish to fear some may cross it."

"But can't the divine do anything? If-"

"Given time" interrupted him Cathiox "perhaps, if divine choose to. So, you can see, to attempt and forbid it would be folly: it is only through eloquence and dialectic that such subverisons can be avoided."

The Ascendant Xidlor wasn’t entirely sure of what the Wise Prince had said, but didn’t want to be mocked for the third time in a row, so he just nodded and sank his snout once more in the open wound of the uri, eating more of the eggs hidden in its womb.

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Damn, that is some good writing. Nasty, evil things those Sheelikoi. They must be purged!
Thanks, glad you like the characterization. We'll see what happens, I have to say, this game has not started with the greatest of advantages...
Silfae, you have a talent for writing some disturbing mentalities. The Sheelikoi's mentality towards themselves and other species is fascinating. The game they put the slaves through, only to reward the victor with mind control is... powerful.
Silfae, you have a talent for writing some disturbing mentalities. The Sheelikoi's mentality towards themselves and other species is fascinating. The game they put the slaves through, only to reward the victor with mind control is... powerful.
Thank you, glad you like it; in this specific case the covenant of the Holy Princes was inspired by the dinner of the Skeksis (
), of course that one is mostly just messy, whereas the one by the sheelikoi has the added disturbing bonus of them casually discussing philosophies while eating alive the prisoner.

INTERLUDE – 2340s, 2350s

The Second Age

“As I gaze upon this Galaxy, I see all the fruits of my wisdom and my ravenous power.” The First Slither moved placidly through the holographic map, turning his head from time to time to look at a specific planet.

“And yet, my sleep has become restless.”

“Truly,” said the Great Conqueror Zeraxim, highest general of the Hypercoil’s armies, following him in his trail. “You only rightfully hunger for more war. It is not natural for the divine to pass so long a time in contemplation.”

Xirleekan emitted a slow hiss, neither denying nor confirming the general’s statement.

“I see our enemies multiplying, their numbers quell their rightful fear of our Fang. My expectations of the Great Xaan have not been met. Wise Prince Cathiox?”


The Wise Prince crawled closer to the First Slither. “I understand your concern, First Slither Xerliikan. My mind shivers at the possibility that the divergence in the new hatchlings’ philosophies could be caused by their birth on foreign worlds, foreign humors seeping into their spawning pools, foreign blue suns turning pride in melancholy and self-deprecation…”

“Yet the Tecnarchs found no such connection to support this claim.” objected the First Slither.

“Indeed they shouldn’t, for it is a sickness of the soul: how can they be born sheelikoi if not on Xanaslisk? All natural instincts tell us that is the truth. So can you see it in the new Ascendant: how does he think? Is it such the way for a sheelikor to think?”

“Hnnss…” Xirleekan observed for a long moment the representation of the Great Xaan, before moving further down, to a similar planet.


“The new palaces in the Rising Leethran will show the truth in this, Cathiox.” The First Slither moved his claws around the shape of the planet, covered in lush jungles, as the previous. “The reconstruction of this world was foreseen, it shall be instrumental for our greater future designs. …I shall watch carefully the growth of the new hatchlings there and see what becomes of them. And behold: I shall grant you full dominion over the Great Xaan, Wise Prince, may it prosper more under your watchful guide.”

Cathiox snapped his tail on the ground with delight. “It shall be so, Xirleekan.”

“Esteemed Princes,” interjected again Zeraxim “though I do not deny the claim of the Wise Prince, whose great knowledge of the high mysteries no one here doubts, I foresee a second reason to the corruption of our divine seeds. For we are all of venerable age, we still recall the days before our great ascension to rule upon the worlds and the emptiness between the stars: in such ancestral times, was it not clear the consequence of too many divines with too little preys? The divine in Neoxanàn and the Great Xaan grow numerous, but the mortals do not, for no wars have been fought to capture more. If not new conquests, o First Slither, let us not cheapen the ancestry of the divine, but rather use the slaves to build new worlds.”

Some of the other Slithers nodded in agreement and looked at Xirleekan, awaiting for his answer.


“The point you make is valid.” Answered the First Slither, with caution. “Thus will it be treated. For long years our avarrian outposts have been nothing more than a strain on our glorious rule, empty fortresses against the empty threats of the Ancients.” Xirleekan moved his coils faster, to reach the new sector of space. “Many cold worlds exist in the space between these stars, and many of our slaves are made to fit in such unnatural places. The Great Xaan and the Rising Leethran will be built as new palaces of knowledge and learning, to outshine Neoxanàn itself, while the slaves shall mine and work, as it is their fate, in these other, lesser worlds. We must cleanse such menial burdens from the souls and bodies of the sheelikoi forevermore.” Xirleekan turned to the covenant again, lifting himself further upon his coils to stand over all the other Princes. “Assemble the High Tecnarchs and all the Wise Slithers. A new age for our great rule will soon start.”



“Behold, o Immortal Slither:” exclaimed High Farseer Zacadliss, pointing at the hologram of the sky, filling with transports. “Heavy with the chiseled stones of V’Vidir, carved by the favorite slaves of the Wise Prince themselves. Only a month of travel to cross the abyss of emptiness from that world to ours.”

“Good.” The First Slither moved his eyes from the ships and back to the projection of Xanaslisk, widening the size to look at the exterior of his own palace. The works to expand the seat of his power were almost completed. “Surely now, the greatness of our charge shall be evident for all to see and tremble.”

“The minds of mortals are easily scared, First Slither Xirleekan.” Confirmed the admiral of the Fang.

“What of our foreign outposts?”

“The stations have been refitted in secret to the newest settings. As the time to feast again on the weaklings of the Compact grows near, let us rightfully revel in the severity of our grasp: our fleets shall come down upon our enemies, breaching deep within their territories, unexpected.”


“So be it, that is what I foresee. Not anymore our enemy will be but the meek and soft uri, but all the cowardly crawlers of the seed of Ikaanan. When the time comes, they shan’t feel safe, so that fear may not lead their armies far from their homes and to the side of the uri.”

“And so it shall be, First Slither Xirleekan.”

With a careless gesture, the First Slither made the entire holographic city crumble, and replaced it with a wider map of his interstellar dominion, every planet flanked by comprehensive data regarding its population and resources.

“Morezac’s work has pleased me, High Farseer. See that he knows of my delectation. And a gift proper to his rank be given to the Wise Prince Cathiox, for the steady supervision of the tecnarchs’ work in the philosophies and upon the dark mysteries. Yet.. let it be remembered, that I wait with even more sublime anticipation the results of High Tecnarch Zoz’s studies.”

“Truly, Xirleekan, all sheelikoi gifted with intellect resonate with your very same desire.”

Xirleekan dismissed admiral Zacadliss, remaining alone in the holographic room, moving through the representation of his empire.

“The coils’ reach is longer, enough to reach the prey, but do they lack the strength to crush it as they should?” His hissed voice boomed in the large empty room.

The years of mad research in the mysteries of the universe were slowly bearing their fruits, yet Xirleekan was not satisfied with the results. In his youth, he had learned patience, as many sheelikoi do, but the prey of the Uri Consciousness and the Ikaanan Mandate eluded his full comprehension. He understood their cowardly nature, why their meekness brought them to join together and with countless other creatures, but he could not fathom how creatures so ephemeral could reach such accomplishments as those claimed by the reports of his emissaries in their worlds.

“Thus sayeth the Pale Philosopher: only the creature that lives through the ages acquires true wisdom and intellect, only such a being is gifted with reason and understanding of the mysteries, only such a being can elevate himself beyond crude matter and reach for the stars. …Yet a pitiful uri does not reach half of a century, but their palaces stand as tall as ours, and their ships cross the emptiness like dzeeyth, light and quick. Their twisted craft makes them put metal and sparks inside their minds, and unnaturally links their souls together. Why are mortals capable of such achievements?”

Those thoughts clouded the First Slither’s mind with doubts and unbecoming fears. With a sign of his hand, the sheelikor drastically reduced the size of the hologram, to the point of holding the entirety of the Hypercoil between his claws.

“Here is our rule: if all the creatures that roam our territories were put together, you shall see that less than the fourth part of them are sheelikoi. Too much for an apex predator, the divine rulers of this universe; yet, if all the creatures that roam this galaxy were put together, you shall see that less than the thousandth part of them are sheelikoi. Too little to impose their rule over all others, as it should be.”

With a final gesture, Xirleekan let the whole hologram dissolved and started to crawl towards the exit.

“For I am the First Slither, upon me rests the first and the final judgement. For I am divine, it falls upon me to find the balance within this chaos and establish the natural order in the universe, as it has always been on Xanaslisk."



“Be still, Ascendant Xidlor, so does the First Slither command you.”

“Yes, Xirleekan.”

The Ascendant took his place within the transmutation pod, alongside all the other old Princes.

“Esteemed Princes,” started the First Slither, addressing the rest of the covenant. “Equals in holiness and voracity, the time has come once again for our bodies to transcend and resonate closer to the pure perfection of our souls. As the light of the stars courses through our veins, let us offer our thanks to the enlightened studies of High Tecnarch Zoz and Wise prince Cathiox, whose unyielding research unravels each day new dark mysteries and sublime matters.”

The other Holy Princes made their own speeches after the First Slither; then, the High Tecnarch and his assistants activated the pods and initiated the operation.

Pain and flashes were soon over, as fast as they had come.

“Ah.. yes...” The First Slither emerged from the pod, looking around.

-Everything.. everything is clearer now.- His thoughts resonated across the room and in the minds of the Holy Princes.

-The divine will exerts itself over the crude matter.- added Prince Cathiox. –As it should. So many are the matters I wish now to meditate upon, to reach for.. with no need for eyes to see or ears to listen...-

-DIVINE SUBJECTS- thought Xirleekan, and all the sheelikoi in the great palace listened to his booming will. -Feel our absolute destiny drawing closer. Unravel your coils, shed your trappings, so I say unto you.- -High Tecnarch.- He continued, now addressing only the high scientist Zoz. –Have more pods prepared. Great Conqueror Zeraxim, call upon your warriors as well, for they shall transcend first, then the rest of Sheelikor.-

-So it shall be.- Was ready to answer the general. –Upon our next battle, the fear our armies will inflict upon the weak-minded mortals shall be more than natural instinct: unyielding terror shall clutch their hearts and shatter their pitiful minds.-

-What is the crude mechanic of the uri?- said triumphantly High Tecnarch Zoz. –Gross and unfit. The will of Sheelikor resonates from every Holy Prince and needs no contraption to make itself be heard.-



In the years after the second psionic transcendence, most of the high rulers of the Hypercoil remained secluded, communicating to their servants through their minds and pondering upon the mysteries of the universe.

The army was slowly transformed and retrained as well, as the psionic soldiers mastered their new power, yet the state of the fleet still lingered, its growth slowed down by the limited production of the new colonies of slaves near the avarrian sector.

The First Slither meditated in his palace, barely seeing anyone besides his meals, but his thoughts were finally interrupted one night, as he received news from Holy Prince Rezicax, Tyrant of the Lancord Sector. The Slither contacted him through a subspace channel, to inform him of the insulting departure of the bessadonian embassy from Fraknyr, which had happened that very day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the insult that had forced the Prince to bring the issue immediately to the First Slither.


-The reptiles of the Star Hive are kindred in spirit, but not in action, with the cowardly uri.- Stated Wise Prince Cathiox. -Might this be just one more of their tricks?-

According to what Prince Rezicax had managed to read from the ambassador’s mind before his departure from the Hypercoil, the bessadons had left the planet to avoid being caught in an imminent invasion from the Righteous Compact.

-In truth- said general Zeraxim –could complacency be risked? Our armies will destroy with ease the meek forces of the uri and their allies. Better to be us to attack first, as it befits a predator.-

-Indeed- conceded Cathiox. –That would be the most ethical course of action. And what appears most natural is often what is most beneficial. Yet, baits are only ever set to capture the reckless. First Slither Xirleekan, is it not true that our enemies have multiplied in their peaceful existence? Is it not true that many of their contraptions are still unknown to our Tecnarchs? So I foresee: that if a war sparks now, our great works will be stopped. Once more, the just expenses of war shall hinder the flow of our divine thoughts as they search for enlightment.-

-I agree with the Wise Prince.- thought admiral Zacadliss. –The slaves can be made to work harder, to expand our colonies, to sustain a larger fleet. Only then war shall be fruitful. Suffering the impudence of the mortals and the derision of the fools amongst them is irrelevant: a divine should not care about such insignificant things. But if the rashness of our will causes Sheelikor to be defeated by the prey, if only temporarily, wouldn’t that be a greater blasphemy?-

-Should we suffer the indignity of the mortals, the prey, attacking us?- insisted Zeraxim. –Surely you see the wrongness in this, Wise Prince. What does reason states? What would be the consequences?-

“Hnnss…” Hissed Cathiox, narrowing his eyes, with a thoughtful look. –The reasons of the Great Conqueror resonate with truth, though no less than those of the High Farseer. To allow the prey to think itself predator and turn such blasphemous idea into action would unravel the course of nature.-

-Very well.- thought the First Slither, silencing the others and raising himself with his coils on the twisted throne. –I’ve listened to your reasons, so as to make the decision clear. The predator can miss a prey, that is a natural occurrence, but the prey cannot be tolerated to act as a predator. Whether or not the thoughts of the bessadon were truthful, for too long we’ve tolerated the uri to prosper. Their narrow-minded mechanicals create new contraptions every day, tools that subvert their nature and place within the order of the universe. …So I foresee: that we shall rain upon their worlds and lay waste of their lands. Go forth, High Farseer: burn their fields, burn their cities, melt the ground with your lightning and leave their descendants to live in caves and huts. Go forth, Great Conqueror: maim their warriors, suck their souls and leave their shells behind; cut the hands from their spawns, so that they may not hold weapons when they grow, cut the wombs from their women so that they may be mothers no longer. Go forth, Holy Princes, with the blessings of our divine covenant: do not be satiated until the very last soul of the Compact has been broken, do not falter until this unnatural alliance of preys has been left tattered and bleeding, its broken pieces scattered across the emptiness of space, so that they may be testament and warning to their kin forevermore.-

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A reformed government and updating the army to take full use of Psionic soldiers... I dare say they're trying to catch up with their enemies without acknowledging they were ever inferior.
Very nice writing. I'll make sure to drop in for updates.
A reformed government and updating the army to take full use of Psionic soldiers... I dare say they're trying to catch up with their enemies without acknowledging they were ever inferior.
They're trying, we'll see what they manage...
Subbed. This is excellent.
Very nice writing. I'll make sure to drop in for updates.
Thank you both, I appreciate it.



The blockade of Ur Idra

“The hyperlane is interfering with our signal. Repeat.” Chirped Druuthn in a hurry, gesturing his attendants to try and clear the message coming from the neural network of the Uri Consciousness.

The uri on the other side of the intercom appeared shocked.

“It’s not the hyperlane! The sheelikoi are attacking Ur Idra! The Compact must diverge the fleets immediately to protect our world!”

Druuthun rocked on his chair, cursing silently. “The fleets of the coalition are still joining, if the last estimate of the Slither’s Fang is to be believed, we cannot force a direct confrontation until all of our forces have been reunited.”

“By that time our world will be ashes!”

Admiral Clatt, the uri in charge of the second fleet, whose ships had already joined the Compact’s army, decided to intervene as well at that point, joining in the call. “Admiral Druuthn, if we could catch the Slither’s Fang while it’s still in the planet’s orbit-“

“We still need all our forces reunited.” Interrupted him the ikaanan. “The uri have underestimated this enemy in the past, we cannot afford to do so again.”

“Easy for an ikaanan to say so.”

“Do not be foolish. We know as well as you that the survival of the Uri Consciousness is imperative. We are all intertwined.” Druuthn remained silent for a few seconds, before opening another channel to the confederate Admirals. “Re-route to Ur Idra.”



Zacadliss looked down on Ur Idra from the bridge of his admiral ship, watching the red laser and arc energy rays repeatedly strike the surface of the uri’s capital world. They were far away, but he could still faintly hear some of the fear and horror coming from the population.

-No longer shall the arrogance of the uri allow them to build above the heavens for their own petty desires. When their descendants will grow, only temples to the Slithers will pierce the clouds of their skies.- -...Zeraxim. The time has come: lead down the armies.-

-It shall be so, High Farseer.- answered the general through his mind, already in the transport fleet orbiting the planet.


Admiral Empt moved back and forth near his commanding chair, on the bridge of his starship, frequently gazing at the screen, which was showing the Slither’s Fang destroying his homeworld.

“Every hour that passes is a thousand uri lives lost! We cannot wait anymore!..”

“You must be patient.” Answered Admiral Clatt from the intercom. “The Compact’s fleet has almost arrived.”

“The Consciousness has demanded an immediate counterattack. You heard it too! How can we ignore the will of the people?”

“The neural network is in pain. I.. am uncertain of what is happening on the surface. I suspect the sheelikoi’s psionic might-”

Both uri suddenly interrupted the conversation, struck by an excruciating pain, holding their heads in pain, alongside all the operators on the bridge.

“I can hear it!” Shouted frantically Empt. “They’re torturing them!.. I can hear the voices of the tyrants!”

“Hold yourself together! We mus- aaAARGH!”

They were no longer just dying, the two admirals and their crews could hear the sheelikoi slashing and twisting the people of Ur Idra, their pain resonated across the neural network, unbearable for all the citizens linked to it.

“I cannot stand it any longer!” Screamed Admiral Empt. “Lieutenant! Move forward! We’ll break the blockade now!”

“No!” said Clatt, still trying to overcome the pain resonating from his implant. “You must wait! Your fleet is too weak to take on the entire Fang!”

Empt closed the connection and took place beside the chair as the ships started to move towards the long and nimble vessels of the Hypercoil.

“All men to battle stations!”


-Behold, magnificent Prince.- Thought one of the navigators. –The uri approach.-

-As they should.- answered the High Farseer. –Great Conqueror, continue with your work on the surface, while I rid us of this nuisance.-



“Fools!” screeched Druuthn, turning restless on his chair. “What are they doing!?!”

The confederated fleet had finally reached Ur Idra’s system, only to see the planetary defense fleet already engaging the Slither’s Fang on the far orbit of the planet.

“Why wasn’t I warned of this insubordination?! Open a channel to Admiral Clatt. Admiral!”

“Sir…” called one of the operators. “There is no response.”

“What is the meaning of this?” The ikaanan was almost starting to suspect a plot of some sort against the Ikaanan Mandate, when a second operator, an uri himself, fell from his post, gasping for air and holding his head in pain.

“Sir..! It is..! It is the Consciousness! It’s.. suffering!”

Druuthn rose from his seat and moved quickly towards the uri. “How?” He asked, coldly. “It is a neural network, just shut it off!”

“I.. I can’t!..” Whispered the uri, rocking back and forth in a fetal position. “They are.. inside, with us. I can hear.. their hisses...”

The ikaanan moved his eyes back on the screen to watch the battle: the defense fleet was being destroyed by the Slither’s Fang, offering little to no resistance.

“Blast it all! We’ve been compromised!” Druuthn quickly moved back on his seat. “Call all the Admirals, order a full stop, do not engage the Fang. I WANT a stable contact with Admiral Clatt, I don’t care how, we must isolate this problem now.”



High Farseer Zacadliss stood in the middle of the bridge, eyes closed and hands raised, leading the chant of his high officers as he focused their psionic attack on the uri aboard the defense fleet, reaching their minds through the amplification of their neural implants.

-Despair, o insolent mortals. Your world lays in ruins, there is no escape from the jaws of the divine. No other place befits you other than beneath our coils…-

In the meantime, Great Conqueror Zeraxim was leading his psionic troops on the surface, weaving a tight net of fear and suffering around the broken people of Ur Idra, keeping them alive in a prolonged state of torment that echoed throughout the neural network of the Uri Consciousness, leading its citizens into a frenzy.

-It is but folly to deny your place in the natural order of things. Twist and grovel, insignificant preys, for such is your eternal destiny.-


“Uri main fleet secured.” Said the jhoolian fungoid from the intercom, finally relaying a good news to the ikaanan admiral. They had to send a task force to Clatt’s admiral ship, but finally they had re-established contact.

“I want another team of scientists to be shipped immediately to remove the crew’s neural implants. That should help break the enemy's hold on them.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Druuthn.” Said Boor, Admiral of the hiffnar worlds. “We can’t just stand here. The Fang has almost finished destroying the defense fleet. Are we going to engage or not?”

“No.” was quick to answer the ikaanan. “We must assume that the entire Uri forces in the system have been compromised. This was clearly a trap. Coming to Ur Idra was a mistake, we cannot risk another. If the Fang breaks our fleets here, it has an open road further in, we cannot allow that.”

The hologram bovine alien grumbled something, but finally nodded.

“What of the Uri Consciousness?” asked Plyytrh, Admiral of the jhoolian forces.

“We cannot risk the safety of the entire Compact. Order all fleets to withdraw. The sheelikoi want to bait us into a direct confrontation, we won’t give them that satisfaction. There are other ways this war can and will be won.”


-Lo, High Farseer: the prey flees from us.-

Zacadliss had just stopped the chant after the last of the uri’s ships had been destroyed to find out of the new fleets approaching the planet. He was still thinking how to react to that new, larger threat, when the lower Farseer informed him that they were changing route.

-Truly, our actions have restored the balance in this sector of the universe.-

-Should we pursue, High Farseer Zacadliss?-

-Their ships are too fast and afar. No. They will be coming to us, in time. The wailing of their mates and the squeaking of their cubs will call them, as it did for the weakly uri. ...Great Conqueror, embark your troops and prepare for takeoff, we’re done with this world.-


The debacle of Ur Idra had been a harsh blow for the morale of the confederate fleets. The uri soldiers in particular, forced to cut themselves off from the Consciousness, had been left broken and confused. In the months immediately successful to the destruction of the uri defense fleet, Druuthn had to use all of his skill to prevent the allied fleets from shattering: the rumors of a sheelikean mind virus had made more than one member of the Righteous Compact all too eager to split off and return to his worlds for some ill-advised last defense.

Druuthn could not allow that to happen, it was exactly what the sheelikoi desired: to spread panic and isolate their enemies one by one.
After a few weeks of fighting, the ikaanan High Admiral convinced the fleets to abandon the Uri Consciousness space entirely, alongside their old strategies. It had been a major oversight to think the Old War’s strategy could serve them a second time. The Uri were sure a series of multiple attacks from the top sectors would have allowed the federation to quickly reconquer the uv-xantt systems and force the Slither’s Fang into a mad chase, but the uri's excessive reliance on technology had been their undoing.

Unlike the Ikaanan Mandate, the Uri Consciousness had gotten rid of its bureaucratic body almost entirely, relying on the neural network to grant equal political status to all of its citizens, but now the sheelikoi’s psionic attack had left them crippled. Until the political grid was re-established, the Consciousness would have been defenseless, but using the federation fleet to protect those planets would have been a dooming act in the long run, putting too much strain on the fleets and risking another psionic attack that could have compromised the main bulk of the uri fleet.

It was for that reason that Druuthn led the fleets to the right arm of the Hypercoil sectors. The planets there had been claimed by the sheelikoi only recently: some of their system had been surveyed by the ikaanan in the past, their hyperlane routes and the state of their worlds was known.

The Fevallion system was the first to be sieged. As expected, nothing but automated defenses met the confederate fleets. When Druuthn’s troops descended upon planet Grocht, they found only primitives working in factories and building statues and temples for the Slithers.

“Why are we wasting our time with this?” Asked Admiral Clatt. The uri had become increasingly neurotic since the removal of his implant and the bombardment of Ur Idra. It was likely unsettling for one of his species to not know what was happening to the rest of his kin at every moment. “It’s like I told you", he added. "The sheelikoi do not care about these planets. While we waste our forces here, they bomb more of my people’s worlds!”

“You’re only half-right, Clatt.” Answered Druuthn. “The sheelikoi do not care about their slaves, that is true, but the minerals that are extracted here are what has built the Slither’s Fang, what sustain it and enpowers it.”

“The ikaanan is right.” Said Grmph with a low grunt. “We should give them a taste of their own medicine: bomb the factories, kill these slaves. At the very least we end their suffering.”

“That’s barbarous.” Chastised him Druuthn. “We’re not sheelikoi. We do not kill innocent.”

“They are weak.” Insisted the bovine. “If you want to stop the extraction permanently, this is the way you do it. If you don't, the moment we leave, they’re going to bow down to their false idols again.”

“Perhaps. But that changes nothing. I will hear no more of this. We shall move forward, destroying their orbital stations and extraction outposts. The Slither’s Fang is an unwieldy creature: to dry up its veins is to bring it down.”

“By the time we do that,” protested frantically the uri admiral. “all of our worlds will be ashes!”

“You forget, Clatt, the more we move closer to the center, the more likely we are to find the sheelikoi’s homeworld. If we reach its sector, the Slither’s Fang will withdraw to defend it. I am sure of this. ...The sheelikoi need all these enslaved worlds, they wouldn’t bother to colonize them, to build factories and power nexuses if they didn’t need them. What else do they need them for if not to sustain the fleet?”


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Using their Psionics to directly attack the Consciousness... that's really clever writing. I see your massive army is doing well so far, especially because the various species working together are more focused on protecting themselves than fighting you.