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Ravens of Eternity
Chapter 433 - 433 The Apples of Discord

433 The Apples of Discord

The Void Quark embedded itself in the iron ash core at the absolute center of the star itself, where it began to consume everything around it. And in the process, turned itself into a black hole.

The sudden shift in gravitational pull at the core caused all the layers above to collapse and spin further inward, ever closer to oblivion. As it did so, it spun faster and radiated extreme amounts of radiation. Waves of intense heat and energy swept out as the black hole core was fed more and more, and caused it to grow exponentially.

As a result, the star all around it turned a deep, dark orange and swelled larger and larger. Its equator began to bloat and stretch as the sheer energies of the black hole core spun it faster and faster. At the same time, it easily consumed the planets closest to it until it was to the point of bursting.

Finally, the entire star exploded in every direction and flung raw star stuff in every direction. Waves of extreme heat and force swept outward at the same time, and swept away every remaining planet in the system.

And at the same time, every station and ship and city and person within the star’s solar system evaporated in a matter of minutes. Every celestial object close to the star was burned to a crisp as everything boiled and burned and disintegrated.

Vast amounts of radiation pierced through absolutely everything and cooked them from the inside out.

Not a single living thing even knew what hit them. All they saw was that their sun turned extremely bright out of nowhere, and in the next moment everything was gone. Everything they loved and cared about was erased as quickly as everything they hated and despised.

Everyone had been obliterated so thoroughly that it was like they had never existed in the first place.



The rest of the galaxy seemed to gasp at the absolute devastation they were seeing and experiencing. On every screen in every nation, the ongoing celestial explosion was ‘casted in real time. They all watched every moment and minute that the star exploded.

All watched as the targeted solar system was wiped out in a matter of minutes. Molten planets and asteroid belts and gas giants and frozen rocks were all obliterated with equal strength. All were swept away from the force of the explosive blast.

But more than that, they were burned to a crisp before they were flung out into the void. There, the remainder froze as they spun further and further away from their orbit.

In their place was a gargantuan cloud of raw matter that spun and swirled rapidly around the extremely bright accretion disk surrounding the black hole. It almost seemed like a miniature galaxy where the solar system used to be.

It was all wiped out in a matter of minutes with such a degree that it seemed an absurd concept for the vast majority of the galaxy. Some refused to believe what they had seen.

More than enough saw them with completely sober eyes. National sovereigns and senators and councilors and parliamentarians and admirals and swarmfathers and warlords all wore horrified faces in near uniformity.

Whatever worst fears they thought they had, this was now their new, shared one.

“Was that on Imperial territory?” asked Senator Paveloth.

All around him in his office were a half dozen of his aides, as well as a handful of other senators he was meeting with. One of his aides shook himself from his stupor and quickly looked up the solar system’s origin through his DI.

“A-according to records,” he began after a few moments, “it was at the edge of our territory, senator. Actually, it was on the overlapping border territory we share with the Federation. Re’javii.”

“Mining colony, right? And both nations had people on that system, yes?”

“We didn’t just have people there,” another senator interjected. “We had a trade partnership. You said Re’javii? That’s owned by Clan Fyrroth. And they have a trade union with Argus Industries, whose primary operations is based on Argolith, their name for Re’javii.”

Paveloth was stunned at what he heard, to the point where he was practically speechless. His mouth fell open for a moment.

The Re’javii system was one of many systems borne out of Retholis’ handiwork. What began as a barely-contained free-for-all warzone turned into a heavily protected and heavily profitable venture.

Everyone involved in it became fat and rich from the mutual spoils. And of course most of them hated it when their profits were interrupted by the warmongering class. They still had their nice trade deals, of course.

But now they lacked the security contract deals that truly sweetened the pot. After all, every able weapon of war had to go to the front and not the rear.

The cascade of event after event ultimately led to this, the sum of all foolishness. And perhaps an apt way to end it all, right where it also began.

Senator Paveloth shook his head at the absurdity and sadness of it all.

As he lamented his species’ self-destructiveness, an emergency comms from Matriarch de Jardin swept all across every official government line possible. Her image automatically came onto their screens and holoprojectors.

But not just in the Empire.

“Greetings, drogar Empire,” the Matriarch began. “And greetings, Sol Federation. By now you’ve witnessed the absolute destruction of the Re’javii-Argolith system. All life and production and profit there have been extinguished.”

The Matriarch was harsh and imposing. Anger was clearly seething through her, despite how calm and collected her entire body seemed to be. Everyone who saw her felt that edge brush up against them.

It felt cold and sharp.

“Perhaps more to the point,” she continued, “Great House de Jardin has ensured that future life and production and profit from that system is highly unlikely. Not for some time, in any case.

“Consider this our absolute and only warning. Cease all hostilities immediately, or suffer another blow. Additionally, the failure to return all stolen territories to the Hegemony will result in the eradication of your home systems.

“Allow me to repeat myself so that there’s no confusion. Should either the Empire or the Federation fail in halting their war machines, the Hegemony will fire on both Taloren Prime and Helios with absolute prejudice and without further warning. I highly recommend you all get your governments in order and choose your next steps wisely.”

The Matriarch winked off their screens and holoprojectors as the emergency comms ended.

All were too stunned to think, much less speak after everything they had witnessed thus far.

“Heavens be damned,” Paveloth muttered after the long, deafening silence. His voice trembled with defeat.

“We’re barely able to control ourselves at home,” he continued. “We can’t control the fleets out there. They’re… mad with profit. E-even if the Federation got itself together, instantly… I don’t think we could…”

One of the senators suddenly jumped up in surprise. His eyes had bugged out wide, then scrambled around wildly.

“Of course she knows that we can’t do that!” he said. “She’s basically promising to wipe us out! What we need to do is bail out of here! We’re all gods-damned doomed!”

The panicked senator then ran straight out of the room and was never seen again.

“Wait!” Pavelot told the others before they could follow suit. “This is our only chance! Send a missive to the Hegemony. Tell them what I just said. Except cleaned up and not so desperate. Or maybe leave it in. Since we are…

“Ask for time. No, beg for it! Do whatever it takes, promise whatever we can – just make sure they don’t fire that thing again!”

Most of his aides nodded and got to work. One ran out the room, then out the hallway, and was also never seen again.

“You, you, and you,” said Paveloth with some authority as he pointed to the few senators left in his office. “Whip up any senators still out here. I’m calling an emergency session right now!”


Eris’ eyes were wide with awe and wonder and delight. The sheer destruction of an entire solar system swept over her. The very idea of it took hold of her in an intoxicating embrace and burrowed deep in her heart and her mind.

Unlike practically everyone else in the galaxy, she wasn’t fearful of it at all.

No no no, she was covetous.

It was the epitome of everything she had ever wanted to have – a superweapon. It was in all her favorite stories and movies and games after all. While most loved when those superweapons were destroyed, she always found it a shame.

She had always found them to be perfect symbols of power, of dominance. She spent days, months, years imagining what it would be like to live inside them.

To be the one commanding them.

The thought of it was one of the few things that genuinely excited her. And the more she watched the star explode, the more her hunger for it grew.

Of course she had to have it. It was sitting right there, ripe for the taking.

“Where’s the base that fired that weapon?” she immediately demanded.

The techs and analysts in the terminals around the bridge leapt into action. They pulled up as much data as they could, but languished when they came up with practically nothing.

“We’ve been able to pinpoint a general sector where the weapon originated from, but can’t get specific solar system data.” said an analyst.

“The datatech team found an information blocker limiting access to everyone,” add a technician. “There’s a defining clause, but we can’t read that, either.”

“So?” Eris sneered. “Tell me, do we have access to Raijin Concept Works technologies?”


“And doesn’t that mean we also have access to her prototype dataintrusion systems?”


“Then get to work.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“Do I seriously have to do all the thinking around here?” Eris said flatly.

It only took a few more minutes before the screens floating alongside her chair were filled with fresh data. More and more spilled in with every moment – star maps, station plans, official documents, schedules, budgets, comms archives, everything.

Eris soaked up as much of the data as she could, starting with its very basics. And of course, any stationed defenses.

Orbital Station Typhon

Planet: Dendrus IV

System: Purgatory

House: de Jardin

Defensive Fleet: Present

Reinforcement Capacity: 134%

Status: Ready

Strength (by Class):

Devastator – 4

Battleship – 25

Carrier – 13


Cruiser – 91

Destroyer – 256

Frigate – 509

Fighters – 889

Mecha – 1178

Drones – 2403

Turrets – 3017

A wicked smile spread across her face as she reviewed the station’s defenses. She pored through their blueprints and service records, as well as their commanding officers and other similar weak points.

“We could take it out,” she muttered to herself. “But it’d be very expensive, I reckon. Take us down to half, maybe. Third, more like.”

She spun towards the officer next to her suddenly.

“Get me a predictive analysis,” she said. “Theirs versus ours. Average of 100 matches is enough for now.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Her mind continued to turn, even long after her officer stepped away.

It dawned on her that her own lust for the station made her move blindly. If she made any wrong moves, it could mean the end of her. Or even worse, the end of her upward trajectory.

No, she couldn’t just blindly barge in unannounced into an Omega-Tau sector without turning into an enemy of the state. The Temple of Discord would automatically get expelled from the Hegemony, and everyone would turn their guns on her.

No, what she needed was an excuse. Even better, permission to enter.

“I wonder what would happen if we leaked this location to the Empire and the Federation,” she said. A grin spread across her face as she spoke.

“Or, even better, what if we sold this information to just the right people? Angry admirals. Hungry swarmfathers. Those kinds. And maybe if I made these numbers a little more enticing, they might even attack it.

“Yes! That’s exactly what this kind of situation needs. A bit of tightly controlled chaos leading to unrestrained violence…

“And then, step five, profit!”

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Ravens of Eternity Chapter 433 - 433 The Apples of Discord