Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Legacy of the Ixthi (Part 1 of 2)

To recite the tale of the twin conflicts know simply as the Multyx-Ixthi Wars one must first set the stage.  Along the length of a spiral arm in the Cybrex Galaxy there lived four races capable of interstellar travel.  Nearest to the galactic core were the Chinorr, a proud and industrious species of molluscoids.  Further out along the arm, were the Glost, a mammalian races of spiritualists and explorers.  Further still were the Multyx, anthropoids renown for their ruthlessly capitalistic practices.  Last along the spiral arm were the Ixthi.  They were a race of xenophobic avians with strong marital and spiritual traditions.  To say the Ixthi were disliked by the other species throughout the Cybrex Galaxy would be putting it lightly.  The Ixthi enslaved the native populations of developing worlds at put them to work in mines.  Vast wealth flowed from these exploited planets into the Ixthi coffers, fulling their ever-expanding Empire.  The Multyx saw this and in their hearts avarice began to take root and grow.  Greedy by nature, they desired the riches of the Ixthi Empire for themselves.  A rivalry sprang up between these two space-faring nations, but for many years no open conflict occurred.  The Ixthi were content to expand outward along the unclaimed spiral arm of the galaxy, while the Multyx were forced to hold their ambitions in check for lack of a fleet that could challenge the might of the Ixthian Empire.  Decades passed, but before the 22nd century drew to a close circumstances began to change.  The Multyx had plotted and planed, forging first an alliance with the Chinorr, then the Glost.  With the combined fleets of these three nations, conquest of the poorly-regarded Ixthi seemed certain.  So it was that the long-held ambitions of the Multyx were revealed with a deceleration of war against the Ixthi.

At first the Chinorr and Glost were hesitant to prosecute the war.  Although honor-bound to oaths of mutual support, the former had more pressing concerns near the galactic core, while the latter held no particular malice toward any foreign power, large or small.  In frustration the Multyx charged alone across the boarder with their ships, seizing the fortress world of Yrd, before a proper defense could be mustered.  Despite the ease of this early gain, the Multyx hesitated, choosing instead to wait for their sluggish allies to send ships of their own.  This delay was fortuitous for the Ixthi fleet which, at the time was on deployment far from the Multyx-Ixthi boarder.  While this misplaced force made a mad dash for the homeworld of Ix, the trifecta of invaders re-branded themselves the Sanguine Alliance and proceeded to the very same star system smashing the orbital shipyards.  The severity of this blow cannot be understated.  Without the shipyards of their homeworld, the Ixthi had no means of manufacturing spacecraft larger than the corvette-class.  Worse still the Alliance fleet employed superior technology, outmatching comparable Ixthian designs on a ship-to-ship basis.  The admiral in charge of the Ixthi fleet was aware of these facts though.  In fact he had only just recently been bestowed an honorary title by the First Ixthi Emperor in recognition of his services, The Beastslayer.  Countless space amoeba and crystalline entities had perished by his command as he swept the outer reaches of the galactic spiral arm.  Had he faced all the monsters he encountered at once he would have surly been lost along with his fleet, but by dividing their strength he had slain them all with hardly a scratch to show for it.  So rather than advancing into the maw of certain destruction, The Beastslayer redirected his fleet away from the homeworld and instead led it headlong into Multyx territory.

Even though the Ixthi fleet was inferior to that of the alliance, The Beastslayer ordered his meager force split into two.  The corvettes were divided evenly, but both destroyers were allocated to the second fleet.  The Beastslayers flagship, Void Wanderer, would serve as the backbone of his own forces.  It was a Cybrex frigate salvaged with the help of an Ixthi science vessel many years ago, and outfitted with a variety of unique weaponry that put it on par with the pair.  As for orders, they were simple - Hunt.  In quick succession the two small fleets hit star system after star system, smashing Multyx mining stations and construction vessels.  A particular emphasis was placed on obliterating orbital energy production facilities, but space stations proved too tough to crack.  Planetary bombardment of Multyx worlds was also forbidden since doing so would sacrifice the one thing that kept The Beastslayer's ships intact, mobility.

It was during these hit and run maneuvers that The Beastslayer struck a jackpot, a flotilla of Glost freighters packed to the brim with robot soldiers.  They were the main contingent of a planetary landing force on route to the Ixthian homeworld.  Not a single one of their metal boots made it onto Ixthi soil.  Every last troop transport was blasted to pieces, their machine armies forever consigned to emptiness of space.  The price had been high though, many Ixthi ships were damaged, so The Beastslayer ordered his fleet back in halves to the as-of-yet untouched colonies for repairs.  During this time damaged corvettes and destroyers were outfitted with new point defense systems, greatly improving their survivability against the missile-based weaponry of the alliance fleet.  By repairing and refitting only half of his forces at a time, The Beastslayer was able to keep up the pressure on the Multyx.  Soon the invader's supply of energy credits became exhausted, and with great regret they were forced to accept the terms of a white peace.  Neither side ever met in direct combat.

With the benefit of hindsight it's easy to see how the humiliating defeat of the Multyx by the numerically and technologically inferior Ixthi left a sore that would not go away.  While the Ixthi used their mineral reserves to rapidly recover from war damages, the Multyx spent many long years rebuilding their shattered infrastructure.  Thus, it comes as no surprise that after the ten year ceasefire period had elapsed the Multyx once again declared war on the Ixthi.  It was not simply about riches.  This time the Multyx sought redemption in the eyes of the other Sanguine Alliance members, and even more importantly their wounded pride needed to be satisfied, if not in booty then in blood.

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