After a month of silence, the few stragglers who return from Artemisium have a fascinating story to tell. THE RUMORS ARE TRUE!!! Babur has proclaimed an independent Artemisian Republic, choosing to take over of the pirate lair and use it as his base of operations. To a man, his troops remained with him, with only a few unhappy Khar-Hurrians and Alliance militia choosing to return home. Sitting on rich deposits of Idiranium and in possession of the strongest space navy in the galaxy, the Artemisian Republic has just positioned themselves as the latest superpower. But there is other news. We now bring you Babur’s speech to his troops in it’s entirety, the now legendary words that at once signaled the immense danger for the galaxy, and offered a glimmer of hope.
“Soldiers. We have tracked pirates for months, thirsting to avenge the Harrowing of The Arrow. I looked upon you back when we started. Mighty Banigoth, steady Havvacorians, even some tenacious Khar-Hurrians. We came upon them like a thunder and cleansed Artemisium of pirates. Now that it’s done, I look upon you again, and I see brothers now. To each other. To me.
It is as a brother that I make my first revelation to you now, a revelation every Khar-Hurrian has sworn never to disclose on the pain of death: a terrible storm is coming. Khan-Hurrians, all of us, we are not migrating, we are fleeing an enemy the like of which your galaxy has never seen, called Rai. Our elders want us to keep moving, putting other civilizations as shield between us and the enemy, always one step ahead of the Rai, forever running. Well, I don’t want to run. I don’t want to put Planet Banimon, Havvacor, or the Alliance of Seven Satellites in harm’s way. I want to fight back, and I want all of you to stay and fight with me. I know, I know. How, you ask, can our little army possibly stand in the way of Rai? They are an intergalactic empire, not a pirate stronghold on a remote planet. But this stronghold on this very planet is the key.
And so we come to my second revelation: I have found maps to Idiranium deposits, right here. They are genuine. My first thought was to bring the maps back. But to whom? Khar-Hurrians won’t use them, except for trade. You all know Havvacor Directory and Banigoth Horde will struggle over them, but they are too evenly matched. Whoever wins will no longer be strong enough to stand up to the Rai, Idiranium or not. Our only hope is to get everybody to fight together.
So here is what I propose instead. Take the Idiranium deposits ourselves, break off from our home planets and create a new world. Brothers, we’ve all bled in their wars of expansion and are no better for it, no closer to lasting peace. You yourselves have lived with each other, and know well you are more alike then different. Let us teach the others now. This fleet right here is the largest one in the galaxy, bear none. With additional Idiranium armor and weaponry, can you imagine? Nobody could stand against us except Rai, and we can use this strength to force cooperation between Banigoth, Havvacor, and even Khar-Hurrians. Together we will have a chance.
You will be rich, and you will be free, but few would envy your task – to be the first line of defiance agains the Rai. They are coming, rest assured, and they do not believe in mercy. Never forget that the clock is ticking, and every hour brings us closer to showdown. We can spend that hour preparing for it, or we can spend it awaiting our fate. Those of you staying, let’s get to work. Those of you who would leave, you can take a few of the merchant ships and head back tomorrow. You will be given your share of the pirate loot, but leave all your weapons behind.
Brothers, I have seen my planet destroyed while aboard a fleeing ship, just like the rest of my people. A whole other world was obliterated before it, and four others since then that I know of, perhaps more. It ends here. I will not watch another planet get annihilated by the Rai, unless I’m there to defend it, and perish on it if need be. Soldiers, brothers, I will make my stand here. Will you?”