Frontier outposts of the Artemisian Republic have reported several squadrons of light space warships, believed to be Rai advance scouts. For now they have been content to observe and not engage, with a notable exception of a scientific base on Greater Fariune. Situated on the edge of the galaxy and isolated from the main Artemisian forces, Greater Fariune base got obliterated, with all personnel presumed dead (massacred really, as is the Rai custom).
Admiral Babur harbours no illusions as to what this means. He has seen this pattern already, and knows that these scout squadrons will soon be supplanted by entire Rai battle fleets, looking to destroy Artemisium as they did his Khar-Hurrian homeland long time ago.
As Babur stares into distant stars, he wonders if they are ready to this, now that the invaders are near. Fear of and escape from the Rai has become the defining feature of what’s left of Khar-Hurrian civilization, and Babur himself feels this fear looking to envelop and paralyze him.
But he promised himself long ago it wouldn’t happen. He served on Havvacor, and has seen firsthand how a well trained, ideologically united army can use defensive positioning to frustrate a much more powerful enemy. Ever since the inception of the Artemisian Republic, they have been working feverishly to create a network of fortifications matching anything found on Havvacor. Their Idiranium factories have been working around the clock to pump out weapons, vehicles and ships for the upcoming war. His troops are the hand picked, eager and rigorously drilled.
Still, deep down Babur knows that none of this will be enough if he cannot get other powers in the galaxy to help Artemisium. Without Banigoth and Havvacor, all he can hope for is to bloody the Rai and delay the inevitable. It is once again politics that will decide the fate of the galaxy, and time is getting short. The moment of truth is near.