Embers and Sparks

A tense peace rested over the galaxy, with Lady Ariata of Bresugal and Lady 01d of the Geshente finally relenting to a three-way cease fire, but continuing to make clear their icy mood for all concerned. Meetings were short, anger boiled, but the meetings happened. The soldiers were at rest, if only temporarily. The guards maintained their positions at the bases, all wary of some subterfuge by the other. Everyone waiting for that spark that would set it all in motion again.

Merchants and customers slowly crawled out of their shelters, farmers reviewed ravaged fields, children played in the open air (each with a mother’s eye close at hand). But no one took a full breath, ever. No one slept a full night’s sleep, no one spoke freely. The pall of war was too close, the shrouds of the dead to familiar.

Across Fesiun, troops and supplies were redistributed; in the Allied Kingdoms, they worked to rebuild the basic things like roads and farms destroyed during years of fighting and sending resources to the battle in space. The Geshente colonies were orbited by engineering droids rather than assault ships, evaluating the landscape for resource extraction.

The Bresugese maintained a phalanx of cyborg soldiers and many of these were now undergoing advanced training south of Bonsol. The Xanya, Grudensaan, and Zolna all kept their quiet distance, none wanting to disturb the fragile peace.

It didn’t last. No one thought it would. But people had started to think…maybe this time…finally…
But no. Though most were surprised when Xanya tanks rolled against a Geshente colony that had been founded between Shonfan and Chanxu, well within the boundaries of their established soverign land. Why the Geshente had made such a gambit was easy to guess; to establish a military foothold before anyone noticed in the wild open stretch of cold forest between the two cities.

The Geshente city was obliterated completely, with not a trace but a swath of scorched earth and rubble. Most of Fesiun’s native people had decided long ago that the Geshente were the enemies of all living things, and had decided that they were as evil as true demons. In fact, even as the Xanya attack had occurred, Zolna trolls were making their way throught the forested isle of the cyborgs’ main colony on this planet. No one wanted them there; most of the fiery political types had declared that the cease fire was only a ploy so the Geshente could regroup and strengthen their forces. Which may well have been the case.

But the spark did not, in fact, ignite a new all out war. Instead things simmered, just below boiling, whole worlds on anxious for some change. In the following months Xanya tanks were attacked by unidentified independent tank forces northeast of Chanxu; it was told that a powerful sorceror had been hired to assist the Zolna; most of the network of roads had been rebuilt connecting trade throughout the Allied Kingdoms again; and perhaps most momentously the Allied government was changed through a nonviolent revolution as the citizens and the ruling class both decided that a change from tyranny was in order, and long overdue. After the overthrow of Emporer Narjos long ago, the Kingdom had been ruled by a succession of hand-picked Tugins, following in the shadow of the great Tugin Re Iodes who had unified the fueding lords. There was a short period of unrest, where conmen and lowlifes tried to take advantage of changes in justice and law, but soon the new Althing of the Allied Kingdoms was founded, a council with one member from each planet-side city. Most were convinced this would be far better, but some of course had their doubts.

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