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Ravens of Eternity
Chapter 449 - 449 Ravenous Hunger

449 Ravenous Hunger

The space around Yggdrasil Station warped as thousands of ships and vessels flashed into orbit. First came Thanatos and the rest of the ships of the Einherjar. But with them also came various ships of the Discordians and the Federation.

Or rather, ships that had surrendered to the Einherjar and were spared eradication from Godeater.

There were also a handful of Imperial and de Jardin ships as well. Regardless of where they came from, almost all of the straggler fleet were utterly confused as to what had occurred. In one moment, they were fighting or repairing or running. And in the next, they were in unmarked, uncharted territory before all their sensors went completely dead.

“W-what just happened?” cried a Federation officer. “Why’d all those ships… Why don’t we have any inputs? And where in the hells are we?”

Although his analysts and technicians immediately got to work in trying to understand what was going on around them, none of them had any real answers. All their outward sensor clusters had been deactivated beyond their control.

All they could see was their own status, but anything outside was practically blank.

“Apologies, admiral,” said an analyst off to the side. “All sensors are down… and we can’t reactivate them. Even our comm lines have been severed. Nav control’s locked tight.”

A wave of helplessness and despair swept over those who had surrendered. But not for long. It was moments later when the leaders of the Einherjar appeared on the bridge comms, and joined them into what appeared to be one large holographic council.

Every commanding officer that had surrendered seemed to be present. Joining them were the remaining de Jardin defense fleet, the Corvus Republic, and Raijin.


“Do not panic,” Raijin intoned. “I have patched your systems so they are under my direct control. We are at Yggdrasil Station, which is currently located in a stable orbit around Sagittarius A*. I will restore your short-range sensors so that you may verify.”

As promised, Raijin opened up the straggler fleet’s sensor arrays with what appeared to be a wave of her hand.

It was the first time most had seen her digital form – that of a young girl formed entirely of electricity. Many were too overawed to even think, much less react.

“Sag A?” muttered a de Jardin admiral. “We’re at the center of the galaxy?”

“More importantly, how are we alive?” added an Imperial swarmchief. “That black hole’s gravitational pull is more than powerful enough to devour stars. Our fleet, that base being this close is… impossible.”

“There are technologies at work here that most would not understand,” Raijin replied. “Even I am in the process of understanding it, despite already knowing all there is to know about it.”

“And you are?” asked another swarmchief.

But before Raijin could reply, a Federation officer quickly interjected.

“That doesn’t matter!” he cried out. “What happened to the rest of the fleet? What happened to that station?! Our records show that they… they were just… I don’t even know how to explain it! It’s like they vanished!

“Better yet, it’s like we just barely escaped getting vanished ourselves!”

There was a murmur among the rest of the survivors and stragglers – the officer had spoken truly. All had seen that the ships around them were swallowed up one by one by something. And that their signals outright winked out as though they had been swallowed whole.

To all of them, an entire ship going dark in a fraction of a second without complete and utter destruction was impossible. Even a vessel that had been cut in half would still have power lingering in its circuits.

Its signals and emissions would ebb over time, but never vanish outright.

Even if ships were destroyed through overwhelming firepower, their signals still wouldn’t simply stop – most would flare out and spike just as energy burst through every system.

The very idea that even massive orbital stations and devastators could simply disappear unsettled them deep in their cores.

“That is also a technology I am unable to elaborate on,” Raijin replied again. “Even our most advanced instruments are incapable of measuring it in any way. Even the foremost minds of this generation have been trying for the past hundred years, and the only thing we have been able to do is create weapons with the remnants of its energies.”

“What, exactly, is it?” asked a Discordian templar. “And what in the name of heaven do you mean by ‘a hundred years’? Are you implying that whatever it is has been around for that long? Has the Hegemony had this power for a century?! Have they really been studying it for that long? No wonder they were able to make that… weapon.”

All but those in the Einherjar and Corvus Republic collectively drew their breaths. Something powerful enough to wipe out entire solar systems had been around for a hundred years?!

Some shivered visibly from the thought.

“We call it Godeater,” Freya said after a few moments. She allowed the name to settle into everyone’s minds before she continued.

“And like Raijin said, we don’t know what it is. Best we can do is look at it like we do black holes. I mean, we know it’s there simply because we can see where the rest of the galaxy all around it. But never in it.

“Also every major galactic power has been studying Godeater. Modern Imperial ships are powered through generators developed to mimic how Godeater produces energy. In fact, every module and system on these ships are touched by Godeater in some way. The Federation has been developing code that has been altered by Godeater. And, of course, you’ve seen the Hegemony’s results with your own eyes. That entire base obviously uses Godeater itself as the core of an entire weapons system.”

As Freya spoke, the more everyone’s dread and fear spread. The fact that their governments knew about Godeater and its vast power, yet still hid its existence was already too much to bear. Knowing that they secretly developed weapons on top of it all only added to the horror they felt.

Only a stoic few understood why they were kept secret. If Godeater had been made public, it would have caused mass chaos galaxy-wide.

“Plus that’s just what we know about,” Freya continued. “Who knows what else they’ve been learning and building using this kind of tech… But I’ll be honest with you all, what Godeater can do – yeah, it scares me. Mostly because no-one knows what happens if you do get hit by it.

“But it also scares me that the people we’re all supposed to trust actively lie to us. Why is that? To make people feel safe and secure, even though it isn’t? To avoid some kind of existential panic, and prevent suicide cults and warmongers from coming here?”

Freya shook her head solemnly as she gazed downwards in thought.

“And is that secrecy really for our sake, or is it for theirs?” she continued. “I mean, if something insane happens, yeah we’ll freak out. Probably for a while.

“I mean, imagine the first time an earthquake ever happened to our far distant ancestors. Or a volcano erupting. Or a deadly typhoon. Some of us died. Some of us freaked the hell out. Some of us made it through.

“And we learned how to survive it next time it came around. Learned how to better protect those we love from the next time it happens. ‘Coz, that’s basically who we all are. We experience loss, but we always push on through no matter what it takes.

“So why in the gods-damned hells do our leaders think it was best to hide it in the first place? We can handle it, I can guarantee you that. Both our species could’ve looked at this problem and figured out what to do. How to survive it.”

Freya sighed deeply, then turned back to everyone around her. .

“But obviously, they hid it to keep power,” she said. “They hid it as a way to make weapons, a better bargaining chip for whatever worst-case scenario they envisioned. Or made real, which seriously, don’t even get me started on that.

“I guess what I’m actually getting to is… what the hell are we gonna do about it? We can’t just let Godeater sit there on Dendrus, doing whatever it wants, right?”

She looked around at everyone, but mostly got blank stares. The stragglers were still processing everything that had happened to them thus far. The war, the battle, the losses. And Godeater on top of all that.

Few had anything to say.

A long silence filled the space between them for an abnormally long time.

“Assuming we can do something about it at all,” said Colviss after a while. “What’s happening around it now? Can we even see what’s happening? If we can’t get information, we can’t fight against it.”

“Yggdrasil has access to cross-system sensors,” Raijin answered. “I can easily…”

Raijin trailed off as she accessed raw data and watched the space around Dendrus. Her mouth hung agape for a few seconds, speechless at the information that came in.

A hard grimace formed quickly after.

With the wave of a hand, a massive holoprojection of the galaxy appeared above the entire conference’s heads. Its vast arms spun beautifully around its bright center.

Raijin quickly zoomed in further and further into Hegemony territory, then into de Jardin territory, then into the Purgatory system where Dendrus IV was located. Though they were all expecting to see a wholly devastated solar system, all they saw in its place was a vast void.

Its home star was gone, along with every other planet surrounding it. Worse, systems next to Purgatory turned dark one after the other. Each of those systems’ home stars winked out and left it all in darkness.

Many shuddered with abject terror as they watched Godeater consume planet after planet. Its darkness spread across the galaxy steadily and made all their hearts sink down to unfathomable depths.

Back at Dendrus IV, the mirror stations surrounding the void planet shifted as they continually adjusted their angles. The reflection of the dark void below them were flung in every direction towards the various planets and systems surrounding.

One such reflection struck a war-torn planet numerous systems away. Its surface was marred by massive craters and blasts, some large enough to swallow entire cities whole. The bodies of civilians and soldiers littered the streets, where their blood seeped into the cracks in the titacrete.

The planet’s skies were blackened by soot and reddened by toxins. Every body of water was equally poisonous, and reflected numerous colors from their surfaces. Whatever flora used to thrive had withered due to it all.

Everything seemed gray and dark and dead all at once.

But it all slowly turned to black as Godeater consumed it all. The shadow literally crawled across every surface, every object, every thing. It continued into every nook and cranny, every skyscraper and mountain, every ocean and every depth.

Forests and buildings, deserts and mountains, lakes and rivers were all overtaken and converted into the same inky shadow that was Godeater.

Anyone and everyone who was still alive were also taken, without mercy. It didn’t matter who they were, how old, or wealthy, how influential, how intelligent, how hidden they were. It certainly didn’t matter how far they ran or how high they climbed or how deep they hid.

Godeater caught up to them, and took them as easily as everything else.

They screamed in utter pain and confusion and despair as arcs of purple energy crawled on their bodies and converted them into shadow.

And then, the planet vanished into the void.

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Ravens of Eternity Chapter 449 - 449 Ravenous Hunger