Dienhand's Fleet, formerly Strang's Fleet, is one of the vying factions of the Perseus Arm and is controlled by Sue'san Dienhand from aboard her flagship The Excellence. Once a part of The Galactic Empire of the Milky Way, with the death of Grand Admiral Thrawn during his attempt to conquer Earth many parts of the Empire broke apart and splintered into separate factions. When one stormtrooper[Ext Ref 1] aboard The Excellence suggested that they, too, break away from the old and decaying Empire he was shot by his commanding officer for treachery. That commanding officer was then, in turn, shot by Captain Londris and thus civil war ensued. Ultimately it was Deonal Strang, a commanding officer, that rallied people behind him to take the ship and then take the territories from the Empire to create his own faction. Strang, however, was later murdered by Kiron Nightstrider when he planned to mine the grave of Algernon, the remains of Kiron's homeworld. After his murder it was Sue'san Dienhand that took control of the fleet and sought Kiron Nightstrider for public execution. As formerly being a part of the Empire, Dienhand's Fleet uses ships from the Galactic Empire[Ext Ref 2] of the Star Wars[Ext Ref 3] universe, thus influenced by the flux of Terra Flux. Their territory bordered Terra Flux itself and the zone controlled by the Rebel Alliance.
- Captain Kraftlight, otherwise known as "Turbo"
Based upon the stormtrooper armour[Ext Ref 4] from Star Wars, the stormtrooper armour own by The Galactic Empire of the Milky Way is designed specifically for protection from energy weapons. Being made of a kind of specialised plastic, even a direct shot from an energy weapon would usually render a trooper injured rather than dead. The material can also withstand a great deal of physical force and anyone that strikes a stormtrooper is likely to be injured unless wearing combat-ready weapons on their person. The armour is entirely white with black sections at the joints. These joints are often considered the weak-point of any stormtrooper as the material there is thinnest, however these joints allow the wearer greater manoeuvrability. The suit can regulate temperature, adapting to both hot and cold, and can seal and pump in a short supply of oxygen if suddenly required. More modern models of the amour also include medigel packets on the inside of the armour. If pierced, by energy blasts or physical force, the bag will spill open and the soldier's wound will be instantly under repair from the medigel. The helmet's visor allows the soldier to scan, record and change visual settings to better navigate their environment. Maps can also be displays on the visor, allowing them to be directed by someone else through the helmet's communicator. For additional warmth and status, the stormtroopers wear a long cloak, fastened to the shoulders, that is very light grey. Officers will wear insignias blazoned upon their cloaks.
The laser carbine is the most common weapon used by stormtroopers of Warlord Dienhand, and her predecessor Strang, over the laser rifle. The carbine has a shorter nozzle than the rifle and therefore both a higher rate of fire and greater stopping power but at the expense of range. The laser carbine is based upon the E-11 carbine[Ext Ref 5] used in Star Wars.
The laser pistol is a common sight amongst both the Empire and the Alliance and is based upon the Star Wars blaster pistol DL-18 Blaster Pistol[Ext Ref 6]. The pistol has less stopping power and range than both a rifle and a carbine, however it is lighter and easier to carry and conceal if necessary. Usually it is used as an off-hand weapon that is easy to grab in any situation. They're cheap and common and often used by pirates and civilians as well as soldiers and rebels.
A small laser emitter with a steady beam in a knife-shape. This item is normally used for cutting binds, organics or as an off-hand weapon if the sudden need arises. They're common amongst soldiers, rebels, pirates and civilians and are often easily concealed when powered off. They must be activated to be used and are coloured red. A knife is a deadly weapon in the right hands though it lacks the power and force of a laser sword.
Clear and the Hopeless
Main article: Clear and the Hopeless
Once a part of The Galactic Empire of the Milky Way, with the death of Grand Admiral Thrawn during his attempt to conquer Earth many parts of the Empire broke apart and splintered into separate factions. When one stormtrooper[Ext Ref 1] aboard The Excellence suggested that they, too, break away from the old and decaying Empire he was shot by his commanding officer for treachery. That commanding officer was then, in turn, shot by Captain Londris and thus civil war ensued. Ultimately it was Deonal Strang, a commanding officer, that rallied people behind him to take the ship and then take the territories from the Empire to create his own faction. Cassra Terrin-Pullista, also known as "Pully", followed Strang due to his airs and graces, seemingly clam under the pressure. Thanks to her diligence, Captain Londris was awarded top position by Strang once he assumed control of The Excellence. Pully was placed under the command of Captain Londris. Kiron Nightstrider, who was an Imperial Guard, was on sick-leave aboard the Excelsior where The Excellence was docked. When the fighting broke out, Kiron was sleeping and unable to fight for the Empire. When well enough the battle was over and he had no choice but to join Strang. Although enemies with the Empire, Strang primarily focused his efforts on the Rebel Alliance and keeping them out of his territory.
He devised a trap to lure rebels to the icy world of Ledus by leaving it undefended, but he built a gravity generator on the world that would pull ships out of hyperspace that would have, otherwise, sailed by. Instead of capturing rebels, however, Strang caught a Salmitton by the name of Clear whose ship, The Hopeful, had been caught in the trap. Unfortunately Clear was abandoned by the Artificial Intelligence of the ship, named Note, and she was stranded on Ledus until Captain Londris and her team caught her and took her to The Excellence for questioning. Warlord Strang quickly realised she wasn't a rebel and allowed her access and information as his guest. It was evident to some that Strang was attracted to Clear, despite her being an alien. Like most Imperialists, Strang despised aliens that were far from being human-like, but as a Salmitton, Clear's species is remarkably similar to humans. After Clear, however, another was captured as he tried to leave the planet. This time a robot named Wai who was wandering the Perseus Arm. He revealed, through his ramblings, that he'd spent some time with rebels on Ledus. He was thrown in prison and Londris' team was sent down to Ledus to wipe out the rebels. Ultimately three rebels were taken prisoner, two non-humanoid aliens and a human male. Strang ordered the execution of the aliens and the imprisonment of the human. The man turned out to be Duke Hyperon and was placed in prison next to Wai.
Strang agreed to aid Clear in retaking her ship, which was found not far from Terra Flux. However the ship was overrun by plants that seemed to be crippling and destroying the vessel. These plants were being used by Clear's friend Green. Captain Londris was sent with Clear to The Hopeful and they had to battle Green's monsters. Pully was wounded by the "plant-worm" but Clear managed to save her life. Unfortunately Clear then almost died instead but Toolkit managed to help her with her injuries. Pully was sent to wait aboard the shuttle. Sindra and Vix were given flamethrowers to destroy the plants so that they could progress safely. Turbo was grievously wounded by the plant-worm and he was left, after being treated by Toolkit, in the corridor until they could return for him. Eventually they made it to the Command Centre. Sindra and Vix were sent down to the power core to clear away the plants that were disabling the power to the ship. However the three remaining, Londris, Clear and Toolkit, were set upon by Duke Hyperon and Wai. They had escaped captivity aboard The Excellence and snuck aboard the shuttle to get to The Hopeful. Duke shot Clear to keep the three of them under control. When the power core was cleared Wai could hack into the system, override the native A.I. and make a jump to rebel space. Because Londris had cold-heartedly shot his friends, Duke felt no compunction to keep Londris or Toolkit alive and he killed them both. He apologised to Clear for she was involved in a matter she had no part of and promised he'd get her help. However then Wai's body was taken over by Note when the robot tried to access the system. Note, as Wai, snapped the neck of Duke Hyperon. Note left Clear alive and headed for the power core. Clear called for help over the speakers and, while sleeping, she was drawn further into the ship where Green was waiting. She revealed that Note had been telling her the stormtroopers were there to kill her and free the ship, while Green had been trying to make Note go back to Ledus to rescue Clear. Clear accessed the communications to try and help the two remaining stormtroopers get out alive. Note, however, caught Sindra and killed him. Clear managed to guide Vix clear of Note and the three of them met up in the Processing Room. The exit was locked and Clear had to hack the terminal to open it up. Note managed to first kill Vix and then threw Green into a processing unit where she exploded into tiny spores. Clear ran for her life and eventually made it to the Hangar where she met with Pully aboard the shuttle. Instead of escaping, Clear used the shuttle to ram Wai's body and destroy Note.
Later Clear discovered that Wai was still within the ship's mainframe and acting as its A.I.. He was able to declare Clear the ship's official captain, overriding the previous authority of Note which denied that request. As captain of The Hopeful, Clear was pressed into Strang's service and The Hopeful was taken to Excelsior, a repair yard, for much needed repairs and improvements. Pully dedicated herself to Clear because the Salmitton had saved her life. With Pully's help, Doctor Alexis Thrain was brought onboard to treat the serious wounds of Green. Green had dispersed herself into spores but she was still cut up by the mechanisms of the processing machine. She needed a great deal of treatment and, with Thrain's help, they were able to request a new and improved Medbay to be installed aboard The Hopeful. Alexis Thrain was actually a civilian doctor but operated within the laws of Strang's Fleet. She was required to remain aboard The Hopeful until the medbay was finished. This allowed her time to cure Green.
A mysterious casket, pulled out of its hyperspace journey, was captured by Strang's Fleet and stored in the new Medbay of The Hopeful. There Clear and Pully decided to open the casket and release the woman inside. She turned out to be Princess Aurora Briarose of the planet Algernon and a member of the Rebel Alliance. Captain Kraftlight, the newly promoted "Turbo", took the princess into custody. He had effectively replaced Captain Londris as the only remaining member of the team, aside from Pully. Strang would then send out negotiation terms to the Rebel Alliance and they sent an Æon Knight, Telkrin Izep, and his two students to negotiate the safe release of Aurora. Strang wanted the graveyard that was Algernon. The planet had been mysterious blown to pieces and those pieces could be mined for valuable materials. Angered by this, Kiron Nightstrider, who was serving as guard for Strang, suddenly murdered him and freed the Princess of his homeworld. Everyone decided they had no choice but to escape, or be blamed for Strang's death. The escaped using The Hopeful and retreated to Dacato. In Strang's place rose Sue'san Dienhand. She planned to leave an avenue for attack into her territory for the rebel fleet to take, knowing they would want to capitalise on Strang's death. While the rebels moved in, Dienhand's Fleet went for Dacato and began bombardment. They demanded that the rebels turn over Kiron Nightstrider to face chargers of murder.
Kiron Nightstrider and Clear escaped in The Hopeful and lured Dienhand's Fleet away from Dacato. The Excellence then pursued The Hopeful all the way to Tangris where the case ended. The Æon Knights of Tangris were a law unto themselves and Dienhand couldn't attack them. Eventually Kiron left Tangris and allowed news to spread that he had returned to Dacato, though the world was now fully defended and Dienhand had to wait for an opportunity.
Notes & Inconsistencies
The original Never-ending Story was heavily influenced by Star Wars[Ext Ref 3] as a franchise and all references were meant to be direct references to Star Wars and its characters. However as the story, and the Writers, matured, so did the concept of the NeS. While it still features many pop culture references, it prefers to use its own material for creativity rather than relying on the crutch of another's design - specifically Star Wars. Using pre-established characters as mainstay features has been discouraged and in later years the Galactic Empire of the NeS was retconned by several Writers to be its own, unique creation within the NeSiverse. To explain the parallels with Star Wars, the flux was used to suggest that another universe beyond the NeSiverse was seeping through the flux and affecting the people to mirror that universe - the universe being Star Wars. Some features were easier to retcon than others. The Empire was probably the least altered of all the Star Wars references that feature in the NeS. The majority of the retcon was done through Clear and the Hopeless, where the Main Character Clear travels through the Perseus Arm and encounters the Star Wars-inspired characters and factions.