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Ravens of Eternity
Chapter 422 - 422 The Benefactor’s Reach, Pt 2

422 The Benefactor’s Reach, Pt Zhyvanul, Tirador System, Hegemony Conflict Sector DCX-01

The massive sprawling megacity hovered high above what appeared to be an endless desert. The militaristic city itself consisted of numerous massive facilities and hangar bays and workshops and storage repositories, all of which were varied in size.

Some were large enough to dock devastators, while others were able to equip only a squadron of fighters at a time. There were certainly many more that housed, repaired, and maintained every other class of ship in the Hegemony.

In all, the megacity itself spanned many hundreds of kilometers, and hovered over enormous swaths of desert.

Floating in between the cities’ buildings was the inimitable fleet of the Einherjar. Many of their ships were being serviced at the city itself. Or at least, the Hegemony-designed ships were being repaired and rearmed there.

Their armor plating had been lifted out and replaced, their systems were being double-checked and tested, and their munitions were replenished and restored. Most of their crews still remained close to their ships, however.

None were on shore leave – this was merely another routine rearmament.

The fleet itself was scattered everywhere in the city, posted at its various facilities.

Of course, since the Imperial ships in the Einherjar couldn’t rearm here, they instead joined the city’s defensive fleet in patrolling all over. They didn’t exactly join the patrol’s ranks, but instead followed their own path circling the city itself.


Whenever the Hegemony-designed ships of the Einherjar would finish up their repairs or replenishment, they would go and join the patrol.

Among them was the main de Jardin battleship in the fleet, where High Admiral Anali was stationed. She was on the tactical bridge, as usual. There certainly were numerous analysts, tacticians, and other ancillary personnel around her, though there were few officers from the other ships by her side.

Many were still out amidst the city, where their ships were getting serviced.

“I need a full count of our current forces,” Anali said aloud. She was tweaking the output of her personal holographic display, which was being projected by a drone that hovered alongside her.

It only took a few moments before the report she asked for shimmered into being on her holodisplay.

Devastators: 3

Carriers: 8

Battleships: 11

Cruisers: 224

Destroyers: 350

Frigates: 590

Fighters: 1227

Mecha: 1235

She pored over the full numbers, and reviewed every major shift since the beginning. They had grown exponentially, of course. They had started out with barely half their current numbers. And now, they were a major force to be reckoned with.

They had one of the most potent fleets out there.

She mentally split them out into two – specifically Imperial ships and Hegemony ships. Anali simply needed to know what their fleet breakdown was. Colviss and Orsethii’s combined fleet was a significant source of their current firepower.

Their ships made up two-thirds of the entire fleet’s devastators, cruisers, and skirmish vessels. The rest – about half.

Of course, they had lost a great deal in total as well. Most of the motley fleets that had initially joined them had either been completely destroyed, or left the fleet after Freya ceased their scorched-planet campaign. Beyond that, many of their Felrahn ships had taken a brunt of the damage over the years, and was greatly reduced in military might.

In all, they had lost perhaps a fifth of their fleet – or at least, their human-manned ships.

Still, most remained. Perhaps it was out of guilt. Perhaps it was because they had no idea what to do next and were simply waiting for their next orders.

“We’ve still got some good numbers,” said High Templar Sin. He was the head of the subfleet given by Eris. They were in essence, Discordians at the core, but joined the Einherjar from early on.

“Honestly, I’m surprised you’re even still here,” Anali countered. “Figured you all would’ve gone back to join the Temple and fight it out against the Feds.”

Sin shrugged at her.

“Maybe we all like it here more,” he retorted. “Maybe we’re okay with not having to fight right now, and maybe we’re fine with not going back. Eris can be… dangerously tough to please.”

“Sorry if I find that hard to believe. You and yours loved to get into fights.”

“And you didn’t? Didn’t we all revel in all the killing? If that’s the case, why are you still here?”

His holoprojection waved her off. Though it felt dismissive in a way, they were also equal in terms of status. As a High Templar, he was basically equal to a High Admiral. At least, in the Einherjar.

“And how about you?” Sin turned to High Admiral Halbrecht. “Why haven’t you gone back to the Felrahn?”

“Don’t be a buffoon,” Halbrecht replied. There was a hint of sadness in his voice. “House Felrahn long since dissolved. This fleet is the only home we’ve got left. So we’re not exactly going anywhere.”

“You could easily join the Parliament’s personal defensive fleet,” Sin countered. “I heard a lot of fleets are joining it. For solidarity or protection or whatever. And you, de Jardin, you could go back to your House. If you joined their fleets, you’d be… I dunno. You’d be a massive boost to de Jardin might. Why haven’t you gone?”

Anali looked at Sin with her lips pressed tight.

Truthfully, she didn’t have an answer, and she had been wondering that exact question herself. Going back to the de Jardins would have easily boosted her career. She could ask to be in any fleet she wanted, or start her own assault force.

But there was something about what Freya said – that they could try and get some repentance for their actions. She felt drawn to it, like most of her officers under her did.

It dawned on her that everyone else who remained probably felt the same.

She felt foolish for questioning Sin’s loyalty. After all, they had all caused serious harm to the galaxy. It made sense that they bonded due to it.

Before they could continue their conversation, the tactical bridge’s lights switched to an alarming orange, and a soft klaxon filled the air.

Alerts flashed on numerous screens and holoprojections, including the tacmap in the center of the bridge.


Unknown ships entering planetary orbit

No response to identification request

Hostile to defensive fleet

Design indeterminate

Allegiance unknown

The officers on the bridge watched with awe as a truly massive fleet of ships entered Zhyvanul’s orbit and descended down towards the surface. Or more accurately, as the unknown fleet descended towards their position.

They were even more astounded by their design – it was nothing they had ever seen before. All of them had roughly the same design – long, flat, highly angular, and octahedral. It didn’t matter if they were devastators or fighters, all were shaped the exact same.

Not only that, but their surfaces didn’t appear to have any exterior weapons, systems, or even thrusters. Besides their shape, all were featureless.

Devastators: 5

Carriers: 10

Battleships: 10

Cruisers: 200

Destroyers: 500

Frigates: 750

Fighters: 3000

Mecha: 3000

All of their eyes just about leapt out of their heads when they saw the initial fleet numbers fill their screens. Whatever fleet was out there far outnumbered their own even with the defensive fleet stationed at the cit itself.. What made it all the worse was that Thanatos, their most potent devastator, was currently only manned by a skeleton crew.

Freya was not aboard, and so they couldn’t help mount a meaningful defense.

A gruff older man came on the Einherjar’s comms. He was clearly dressed in a Hegemony military uniform, and had the pips of an Admiral.

“Fleet Einherjar,” he said. “This is Security Chief Masonus of Hegemony Replenishment Facility 114. My sensors have detected an incoming hostile fleet, acknowledge.”

“Sec Chief Masonus, this is High Admiral Anali of the Einherjar,” she replied. “We read you. We see their readings too, but we can hardly make sense of their systems. Can you?”

“Neither can we,” Masonus replied. “But it won’t stop us from defending our planet. You just sit still – let me take care of everything.”

The sand below the city began to shift and rumble as they spoke. Large mounds began to rise up from all over its sandy surface. Tens of thousands of large armored batteries pushed their way to the surface and rose up out of the sand majestically.

Each one opened up along the top, which revealed massive cannons inside each one.

Gigantic barrels rose up from the batteries, adjusted their aim, then hummed as they charged up. Numerous energy vents glowed as the cannons built up massive amounts of energy. The sand all around the batteries shook so wildly that they practically jumped up all around.

And once the cannons had all reached a fever pitch and full charge, they fired at the incoming fleet far away.

Tens of thousands of supercharged tungsten javelins shot forward from the cannons. They tore through the air at hypersonic speeds, enough to cause a massive concussive BOOM to echo all around the planet itself.

They slammed into the numerous enemy ships with incredible speed and power, and embedded halfway into the octahedral ships’ armor plating. Each javelin dug in and warped whatever armor they struck.

..... 𝗶𝚗𝘯re𝐚d. 𝑐𝗼𝙢

Then, a brief moment after impact, each of them erupted in violent explosions. Whatever armor they dug into was instantly torn apart and thrown in every direction. Numerous smaller frigates and destroyers in the unknown fleet were completely annihilated, and their carcasses began to crash down to the surface.

But against the devastators, battleships, carriers, and cruisers, the damage seemed little more than superficial.

Everyone on the tactical bridge gasped in absolute awe as they watched the unknown ships repair their armor right in front of their eyes. Though their armor had been blown wide open wherever they were struck, they quickly began to put themselves back together.

It seemed as though massive swarms of repair nanites literally pieced back the ships’ armor with ease.

With the exception of Thanatos, it was nothing like they had ever seen. Sure, their own repairs could put their ships back together over time. But nowhere near that speed.

More than that, it wasn’t just their capital ships tha repaired themselves back to full – some of the destroyers that had begun to list and crash recovered to some degree.

They watched as those ships’ internal systems put themselves back together, and as their armor stitched themselves shut. Some of those that were falling steadied themselves, then rejoined the rest of the incoming fleet.

And then, the unknown devastators counter-attacked. Their front tips glowed a silvery white that increased in intensity as the moments passed. After only a few moments, each of the five fired huge silver beams from tens of thousands of kilometers away.

They streaked across the planet smashed into the ground below the city.

The beams raked the surface and swept across numerous defensive cannons, and slagged them in an instant. The batteries literally melted under the power of those silver beams. More than that, the sand around them was blasted into blackened glass from the sheer destructive energies.

Alarm swept through everyone as the enemy ships scarred the land below them, which caused Anali to raise the alert to one step higher. The tactical bridge was now bathed in dark red lights, and the klaxons were now loud and clear for all to hear.

It wasn’t just that the enemy in front of them was technologically and numerically superior, or that their weapons could literally evaporate them from a far distance. It was that they were completely unknown, and they had no idea how to counter.

Facing them would have amounted to little more than suicide.

“All ships, prepare for emergency port!” she ordered. “Sec Chief Masonus – prepare the city for full evac! We’ll take everyone we absolutely can. Have every available ship connect to our port network and prep to leave immediately!”

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Ravens of Eternity Chapter 422 - 422 The Benefactor’s Reach, Pt 2