The Second Praetorian War Rages On!

There are some who still insist the sudden explosion in hostilities between the Sarn Star Empire and the Core Alliance was unexpected. Those who did their best to prepare for interstellar war know better.

Strike Point Siege Island - Mission Time 5771.21 - Elements of the Lycan Blade Squadron observe Imperial fighter formations attempting to provoke Skywatch with disengaged sorties. It is exactly the kind of sophisticated battle doctrine the Sarn should not have. Their fleets have been built around medium-displacement cruisers for almost a century. Even fleet intelligence had no warning.

They call themselves the Bloodwing, and they have already lived up to their image. The gradually spreading radioactive cloud of debris where the Lunar Six One station used to be is a silent and gruesome testament to the fact this war might not have the same fortunate outcome as the first one. While some might consider the concept counterintuitive in a battlespace with high-precision electronic targeting and instantaneous weapons, the advent of the strike fighter changed starship combat forever. Now, it's going to change the balance of power at the worst possible time for mankind.

But that's not the end of the bad news. The Kraken Decarchy and their incomparable war machines have joined forces with the Sarn Star Empire, along with the less numerous but still formidable forces of the Yersian Unity. That would be more than enough for a bloody and calamitous war destructive enough to change galactic history but there is another factor only a select few even know exists.

The newly reconstituted Perseus strike fleet has located an inexplicable artifact among the wreckage of Task Force 156. Argent Chief Signals Officer Zony Tixia has solid scientific evidence it is a structure composed of pure anti-matter. The impossibility of such an object persisting in normal space isn't the true mystery however. What terrifies the officers and crew of Jason Hunter's ship is what her rescue personnel discover in the heart of the derelict flagship San Cristobal.

None of the Perseus captains want to believe their discoveries are connected to the Raleo Inversion or the enigmatic technologies of the ancient Ithis. But as the coincidences pile up, Jason Hunter finds himself unable to ignore the very real possibility his forces are up against a deadly rage that was set in motion a billion years before humanity set foot on another world.

A new faction has staked a claim in the Core Seven system. Their leaders resemble humans, but have apparently been altered in ghastly ways. They seem to be able to control elements with no visible technology. Their ships appear to be made of pure void. None register properly on Skywatch tracking instruments. The few engagements on record seem to indicate their weapons can alter the very laws of physics. It isn't even clear the Heretics, as the Perseus officers call them, intend to ally themselves with any other faction.

In fact, they may use the sudden hostilities as an excuse to declare war on both sides.

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Shane Lochlann Black
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