- Nov 4, 2013
FIRST TRANSMISSION (2200 - 2230)
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.
SECOND TRANSMISSION (2240 - 2280)
THIRD TRANSMISSION (2280 - 2320)
FIRST SCENARIO (2330 - 2340)
INTERLUDE (2340 - 2350)
THE GREAT COALITION WAR:
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)
THE WAR OF THE ANCIENTS (2377 - 2379)
THE SECOND COALITION WAR:
Searching the Light (2379 - 2382)
The Pilgrimage (2382 - 2384)
THIRD SCENARIO (2385 - 2395)
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.