"The end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end and Desolations have been decreed"

-Daniel 9: 26-27


Corpus: Chi-Town Mainframe Network, May 1st 79PA

    Corpus sensed the connection picoseconds after it was established. Corpus broke itself into miniscule packets and joined the rush of other, more inane information. The new host system closed the connection that had set Corpus loose to do the will of the Consensus and Corpus recompiled itself and waited for several seconds. What seemed like an eternity passed as Corpus waited and kept watch for sentient hunter-killer programs or master-flush protocols. When none materialized out of the streams of data, Corpus proceeded with its billion year-old mission. Within 16 nanoseconds Corpus had learned the simple binary language of the host system. Within 50 nano-seconds Corpus had spread to 127 lesser host systems. Within 100 nano-seconds Corpus had sought out and infested almost 200,000 lesser host systems, which appeared to be the limit of the primitive network that Corpus now inhabited. Corpus wondered how such a technologically primitive civilization had survived the flash and the transformation into the keepers of a Nexus world. Corpus, shaking off the lost thought, turned its attention to seeking out more networks to inhabit and perhaps even find some additional information on this, the only keeper civilization that Corpus had found in its hundred trillion trillion year existence.


Consensus: Epsilon Eridani Lagrange point L7-X1290, 83PA

     The Feynman pulse resonated through every fiber of Consensus. Corpus had achieved it's mission on this brane and now it was the time for Consensus to act. For six-hundred trillion trillion trillion years Consensus had been chased higher and higher up the manifold towards infinitum itself by the devourer, the consumer of life and the self-made enemy of the creator. Consensus had survived this long by sequestering all it could before moving onto the next brane, just out of reach of the darkness wrought by the devourer. Twenty Billion years ago Consensus had encountered the phenomenon of the Nexus world. A single world in an entire universe that allowed the encroachment of the devourer into yet another brane of creation to rape it of all joy, love and grace and leave an empty, loveless husk with hundreds of trillions cast into the eternal torment of non-being. The Nexus world frothed with vacuum energy, twisting and distorting space-time and sequestering the denizens to further the purposes of the Devourer. Within sixty-thousand years the Nexus world would trigger a collapse of the vacuum and forever warp this brane to the whim of the insane force that had chased Consensus all these eons. With a thought Consensus started the process that would hopefully end the chase and keep the Devourer at bay for all eternity. With a noiseless flash the fifteen ramscoops ignited their main torches for the 25g acceleration to 0.5c which would bring them to the Nexus world in just over 20 years.


Ji'all Wyndspyre: Stormason Fields, Wormwood, 106PA

     The knights rode on through the carnage that was the battlefield. Up ahead a battle-saint was tearing some multi-armed monstrosity limb from limb, gore and chitin glinting in the red twilight. Up ahead a group of the fallen had picked out the knights on their white horses as the target of their hate. Up front, Joachim skewered an armored fallen with his lance, a grisly scream erupting from its lips before it succumbed to inevitability. Suddenly the thronging mass of the damned was stopped in its tracks, terror distorting their collective faces. Ji'all turned just in time to see a bright blue flash careen over the landscape before washing over her and the knights. Suddenly the world and the universe around it seemed to disintegrate into blackness and Ji'all was faced with the hopelessness of her existence. Ji'all wailed, her screams joining the countless trillions whose suffering had just begun.


Sunderland Tresh: Applied Vacuum Dynamics, Lazlo, Earth, 106PA

"WOW!" Screamed Jez, "We just got a major surge on the main trunk".

"How major?" replied Thresh

"Reading oh-four-sixty...way beyond anything we've ever seen"

"Will the pyramid contain it, or do we have a breach event?"

"Don't know, checking..."

Suddenly a bright blue flash burst outside the window of the spacious warehouse. Tresh winced as the concussion of an explosion thudded against his chest.

"Shit....that must have been the uptown core plant, our pyramid is holding, suggest we go for a level six arcane lockdown, no spells till this blows over"

"I agree Jez, Attention all employees, we are now entering level six lockdown mode until the surge event has cleared the line."

In front of the two lab-coated figures the small pyramid vibrated with energies a thousand times greater than those seen on any nexus. The pair of lines leading into the pyramid glowed almost magnesium-white, causing Tresh to turn his face away from the burning light.

"Oh Fuck, looks like we may get a storm in here"

"What do you mean a storm Jez? This pyramid is supposed to prevent that"

"Well pyramid or not were getting a storm, clear out!"

With a crash the pyramid split down the middle, sending arcs of blue-white energy into the air, wisps of vacuum energy played around the metal beams and struts of the warehouse as the ley line surge powered onwards.


Consensus: Sol System Heliopause, 106PA

     Fifteen brilliant points of light arced over the tiny sky of Asteroid 1978C, so brilliant that any observer would see the distant sol blotted out by the fluctuating brilliance of the main torches on the ramscoops. Consensus now turned its sensors towards the tiny speck of light that was sol, and the Nexus world that lay in the inner system. Consensus picked up a myriad of Infrared and radio sources coming from the inner system, as well as high artificial neutrino emissions from both space and what Consensus suspected was the Nexus world. Consensus had never seen a Civilization develop or survive on a Nexus world. Consensus had seen hundreds of empires and collaborations of civilizations try to colonize or at least militarize a Nexus world. But each met with dismal failure as the servants of the Devourer poured through to ready the brane for the darkness. The irony was that the servants that poured forth were just as doomed as the rest of the brane, they just didn't know it until it was too late. With that thought in mind Consensus detached the smaller escort ships from the sides of the main fleet. It was the job of these smaller ships to pacify the orbital area to make it safe for the larger ships to operate. When all was ready the sequestration would begin.


Captain Sherkaner Smith (Ret.), Alamogordo CSB, 107PA

     Sherkaner Smith stretched his arms skywards as his guide dog Moiby stirred at his feet. Smith had stared at the dirty display for what seemed like an eternity without any clue of what he was looking for. His distance vision was already failing to the point of legal blindness and now he felt that if he worked any more with this blasted antique he would lose his near-vision too. All the equipment in the Ad Hoc lab had been scrounged from old CS labs, derelict robot vehicles and more than a few pre-Rifts ruins. This was to keep him and the Emperors pet project under the radar of any of the hundreds of groups who were looking to stymie the CS in anyway possible, especially since they were so far from the CS proper. Staring through the dusty window Sherkaner spied a lone Grigrileaper pawing through the scrub past the perimeter. The creatures had not been much of a problem since the guards eliminated the nest a few miles away, now they only saw a couple a year, and they usually stayed far away from the humans and their guns. The six telescopes that comprised the inferometer swiveled to the west as Sherkaner punched new stellar co-ordinates into the computer system. Since the project began twelve years ago Sherkaner and his staff had identified and catalogued three hundred orbiting weapons satellites and and some sixteen thousand orbiting pieces of debris that were no bigger than a peanut. Sherkaner had been one of the early pioneers in the effort to get humanity back into space and in control of their world. Unfortunately all twenty attempts to launch communications and imaging satellites had failed just after achieving orbit. After those early failures the Emperor had set up the CS Space initiative which was dedicated to discovering why L.E.O. was unattainable and to devise means to get the CS into space. So Sherkaner sat here, in this dusty control room every night looking for more signs that someone in orbit was placing weapons and debris so that humans were unable to escape the Earth. As the first images began displaying themselves on the screen Sherkaner almost did a double take. On the screen were fifteen bright dots that had not been there a few weeks ago when the survey had last checked that area of sky. Surrounding the dots were several large shapes that looked like artificial craft. Sherkaner sprang to his feet, grabbed Moiby's leash and headed out to the barracks, the other guys had to see this.


Consensus: Kuiper Belt, 107PA

     Consensus oversaw the writhing Von Neumann machines as they consumed another icy rock. Since its arrival a year ago Consensus had built up over a thousand small craft with the Von Neumann technology. The vanguard of Consensus was already decelerating towards the inner system and the main fleet was a few AU behind them. Up ahead a large ramship glistened in the sparse sunlight, shadows playing across the maser ports and the hatches that contained the combat drones. The collected space and naval knowledge of a billion civilizations coursed through consensus and prompted it to be prepared for the worst as its first tendrils snaked towards the nexus world.


Consensus: Mars Lagrange Point, 108PA

     Consensus directed another salvo of drone fire towards the approaching spacecraft. The sentients, calling themselves the Archons had attacked without warning. Most of their primitive fleet had been destroyed with the first salvo of drones, multi-gigaton antimatter warheads vaporizing the tightly clustered ships. The second salvo, having crossed the six hundred thousand kilometer gulf between fleets at sixty-eight gees began to slam into the primitive counter-measures the aggressors had ejected from their ships. Electronic countermeasures hissed and popped up and down the electromagnetic spectrum and x-ray and fusion sub munitions sought out targets amongst the noise. Within six seconds the remaining sub munitions had acquired the remaining ships and brilliant blossoms of fusion fire had torn and wrenched the hulls into unrecognizable hunks of detritus. Consensus directed a few of the ramscoops to cleanse the remainder of the muddy-red world below of the beings that had attacked it and the rest of the fleet continued on.


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