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[Exalted: Heaven's Reach] Echoes of Eternity

Justin OOC

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The Cargo freighter fleet consisting of the Dardania, Caelintis, and Circinu were a motley collection of starships. Each was made to haul cargo, mostly in bulk, but as things stood, The War against the Stellar Intelligences touched the lives of all, and for the thousands of refugees aboard the three ships, fleeing a world where the two sides did battle, its hand rest quite heavy. Their world burned, and what few had survived were hastily evacuated.

The didn’t run far, or fast enough. Agents of the Intelligences weren’t about to let them escape, not when they were aboard such easy prey.

The warning klaxons blared as even as the first of their agents reached the ships, quickly tearing into the hulls, and entering to neutralize the crew. The amount of force was abit beyond what the ships truly merit, but of course, The Intelligence had cause, to lure One of the few Solar Exalted in this Stellar Sector to his death, and keep him from joining the battle planetside.

To that end the progress was intentionally made slow, the screams of the dying broadcast on open channels, and within the ship. It was an open challenge.

Still the Great Solar hadn’t arrived, and finally the Caelestis’ cargo holds containing ten thousand refugees, were breached. The unending slaughter of refugees was broadcast as well, a promise to the other ships, and an atrocity that few would ever speak of.

The entity in control, A Greater Intelligence directly linked to one of the Stellar Intelligences waited. He had battled this targeted Solar before, when both were young, and their battles were often stalemates through the years. Residing in a corporeal shell for the first time in a decade, he knew his foe would come, It was just a matter of how much blood he bait his trap with.

His mechanical features allowed him a slight smile, as he thought of what the solar would find waiting for him, This would be their last battle.

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Aboard his Flagship, Unyielding Sword of Dawn, Fleetmaster and Dawn Caste Solar Nova Corona sat in his command chair. “How long?”

“Three minutes until arrival sir. Our full resources will be more than enough to scourge the ships.”

“No Commander, We will save them, the one that’s fallen already, scourge. The remaining two, we will rescue.”

“But Fleetmaster, we do not have sufficient marines to board, we discharged all of our troops to the other ships heading for the battle on Engandine.”

“Not all, I, and my Lunar Mate, we are still here, We will clear these ships of this infestation, and save them.”

“But shouldn’t we..” The look from Nova silenced the Commander, Salois, an Air Aspected Dragonblood of good heritage.

“As you say Sir. In the unlikely event that you and your partner fail, We will stand ready to take in survivors, and if necessary prevent the enemy’s escape.”

“Excellent Commander, you have my complete faith.”

With that the Battle Armor clad Exalt left the bridge heading for the Hangar. There, waiting, sat Golden Victory, His Royal warstrider, one of the most advanced ever conceived. It was without peer in the fleet in his hands, and he offered a grim smile. “Today, this will end, one way or another, my friend.”

In the alcove beside it stood his Lunar Mate’s Royal Warstrider, every bit as advanced as his own. The two were a matched pair in many regards. Never had one failed to return without the other on its wing.

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The two Royal Warstriders launched, and immediately went to work. Dozens of larger creatures, each looking like Mantas but having a large bore essence cannon where their head should be opened fire, Filling the void of space with beams of blue destructive essence. The Battleship's forward batteries opened up in response swatting down dozens with each salvo, even as Nova and his mate cut a swath of destruction of their own. Choosing each one a ship, the pair entered the ships through their welcoming open bays.

It was of course a trap, as a dozen automaton like creatures closed in, shock pikes and assorted weaponry ready to take them before they could get anywhere.

They failed to reckon with the power of an elder Lunar, as She tore them apart as an angry child would do with toys in a tantrum, before stalking off into the bowels of the ship to kill any others that remained, and save the refugees.

For Nova, The trap was merely formality. A single swing of the Daiklaive Risen Star, powered by miniscule essence was all it took to slice his foes to ribbons. "Really, this is too easy."

He set off down the hallway, his free hand holding the starblaster he'd had since exaltation. There was little special about it, simply that it had always been his, and never failed him.

The corridors of the ship held more attacks, but few things can stand against a Solar on a righteous mission, and nothing could stand before an elder Dawn Caste. He heard the screaming as people died, they had breached the defenses of one of the holds, and He moved faster, the battle armor giving him strength and speed. he arrived in the massive hold to see four massive foes, each a gleaming silver and black. Each had six arms, Two ending with claws, two with daikliave sized talons, and the final two were some sort of blaster. Another person died as he assessed them, and then, eschewing the pistol, He drew for the Heavy ionic Essence canon, Quasar's Light. Armed thusly, He went to War.

The mortals there saw only the flash of blades, the actinic flash of the ion canon, and the thunderous sound of it's firing, as He placed his shots precisely. Never did the canon hit anything other than its target, and once the battle was joined, no stray bolt from the creatures wasn't met by his daiklaive or armor. He was their Golden Protector, a Shining Knight against the Darkness.

One by one the creatures fell, their arms blown or cut away, either their hearts pierced by the blade of Risen Star, or the heads blown away by Quasar's Song. The final one fell, a hole in it's chest, still smoking as he brought his battle armored food down on it's neck, before stabbing Risen Star into its head.

There were some dings and dents in the Solar's armor, but nothing looked to have gotten through. Still, Nova knew he'd been hurt in the fight, Expending far more essence than he liked, and his chest and right leg were sore from taking some of the hits.

"Gather everyone together. The corridor to Docking bay 4 is cleared, Go and get to the escape pods there. If nothing else, stay near my Warstrider, it has orders to protect you." With that he moved on, clearing the remaining three holds more easily, as he now knew how to fight these things, and spending far less essence. Still he knew the one pulling the strings remained, and facing him at half power was not something he looked forward to doing.

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The refugees seen to, he knew the one behind this. "Repentant Cassias." over the ships' internal coms he heard. "Very good, Nova Corona. Let us settle our differences. Come to the bridge, we can settle this matter for good."

One of the refugees looked at him. "It is a trap, don't go."

"It's been a trap since he didn't kill you all before I got here." Nova snorted. "if I don't go, none of you escape."

He took off down the corridor heading for the bridge.

Three lesser minons attacked in the lift, he left their mechanical parts and gore splattered upon the insides as he exited onto the bridge, and blocked a hellacious essence blast with Risen Star, as he had expected.

"Excellent reflexes as always, my old enemy."

"It Ends today, Cassias. One shall stand, one Shall FALL." The declaration seemed to have the backing of the unconquered Sun, and behind him even as he was Wreathed in golden flames His anima flared brightly, a Gate revealing hundreds of potential weapons, as he looked at his old foe.

Not to be outdone, a Violet and black vortex wreathed Cassias, as he drew his own weapons, a Wavecleaver known as Shadows of Void, and a massive essence Cannon, Grim Finality. Their ranged weapons roared in the bridge, with Finality's blast tearing apart the lift in a miss, and Quasar's hit the Entity high in the shoulder, cracking the armor, but doing little more.

The two closed in, more shots traded, with Nova getting the better of the exchange. In their first melee clash both were disarmed of their canons, though Cassias produced a beamklaive and cut a deep wound in Nova's side. The suit's internal repair system worked to seal it, and numb the pain, and the Solar general grit his teeth and continued, forced into a defensive fight. Still He drew forth the old starblaster and fired pointblank, finding an imperfection in Cassias' armor, dropping the mobility of his left arm greatly.

The two of them traded resounding blows, shattering the bridge and exposing them both to space, if not for the sealant, Nova knew he'd have been in horrible shape. Still the armor was failing, and his Foe was still game. He charged in, looking to end it fast, only to attack an illusionary copy, an ability he'd not know before. The slice of the wavecleaver tore the suit's essence wing generator free, nearly breaching deeper, and Nova was left helpless in space...

"It's over Nova, now, and forever. You have failed."

Nova looked at him, and knew it this would be the very last throw of the dice. summoning quasar's song a final time, he looked down at Cassias. "Never." Channeling nearly all his remaining essence into the attack, He pulled the trigger.

What came forth was a blast of essence that split eight ways, totally obliterating the bridge, exploding with golden fire, and soul rending light.

Over the comms he heard Cassias' deathscream, everyone did, and Still, he smiled, as his suit's power began to fail completely. "Now, it's done, you bastard." Blackness closed in and in the distance, he saw a brilliant light, and a man shook his head. "Not quite yet, Nova."

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