In Pan Post 84, Archadmiral Rozariel Blakilshihård Lo takes her ship, Highemp's My *****, across space accompanied by two other God-Monarchs, Zhuge and Din. Lo is angered that the CensorGod has censored the name of her ship but Zhuge's suggets she compromise with the CensorGod and rename the ship Highemp's My B*tch. Lo had received a message from the future telling her that an important treasure was about to open. When they arrived, however, Zhuge informed them it was no treasure but a prison and then regales them with the tale of the Only War. The Only War was a war of impossible circumstances, occuring throughout time and space and within the Neververse, between The Imperium and the High Empire. The planet dubbed NeverWorld by chronicles was under the control of the High Empire and the populace were dedicated to Highemperor. The skrai of The Imperium, Vedas Khaan, arrived and took possession of the billions of minds on the planet and then forced them to bludgeon each other to death. Highemperor heard the prayers of the people and arrived to fight the skrai. Space Orca did not help the skrai, despite being part of The Imperium, but instead called for Ameryl Hypericum. She negotiated an eternal peace between the two Multiversal empires lest they destroy themselves and the Multiverse with them. Memnoch was hired to twice-forget the events so that they never happened. Vedas Khaan was to be judged by an impartial authority - the Pan-Cosmic Command, who then trapped him within the prison cube. Highemperor was given a moment to try to reconcile with Ameryl but she told him she had had an abortion, which left him devastated. Ameryl criticises Highemperor and asserts that she aborted the pregnancy so that another child would not be corrected by him. In the present, the cube, which was created by both Chronos and Aeon, opens to reveal Vedas Khaan. He almost destroyed the ship but Lo calls out to and he stops just short.
God-Monarchs: The Final Monarch
The ship slides through the solar winds as it crosses the depths of space. The ship had never really been designed for this, but Archadmiral Rozariel Blakilshihård Lo likes to have her kit upgraded and modified to overcome such little obstacles as 'impossible' and 'breaking the laws of physics'. All in a powergamers day.
She stands at the helm and swings the wheel to alter their course and the solar sails shift their glittering panels. The hull of the ship is made from the a peculiar crystalline material that is commonly used by the High Empire and grown in galaxies unknown to most. Coating her ship in the material was not only a stroke of genius - adding not only to the value of her ship, but the shininess as well - but it's a big 'in your eye' to the hated Highemperor and his cronies. Hanging to the side of the ship is a miniature gravity well generator that will anchor the ship in place when they finally reach their destination.
They could have just teleported there in an instant but Lo likes to play with her name and sees no need to rush. Fortunately her two companions don't mind either. Din is practically a child in mind and seems to enjoy standing at the prow and holding her arms out like a lunatic. Din's pleasure in the simple sensations of existence is an attractive quality to Lo and she feels somewhat justified in her own long-standing stance on 'experience' over the 'end result'. Her other companion is Zhuge who, oddly enough, seems only ever to teleport himself around and that being his only power known to the other God-Monarchs. Everyone knows there's more than that, they can sense it, but he never shows it. No worshippers, no temples and zero presence amongst the others. Only Lo seems content with having him around and, uncannily, she's about the only God-Monarch Zhuge is happy to be around as his disdain for the others is also commonly known.
Zhuge is sitting by the mast with a pipe and he stares out into the cosmos at galaxies unknown. Lo, however, has her eyes on the prize. Getting Zhuge to come out of his hermitage, his own astral plane masked somewhere ridiculous (this time a half-eaten oreo[Ext 1] in the middle of a universe made entirely of paper. And honestly who eats only half an oreo!?), had been a nuisance but getting Din to join her had taken just three words; let's get shiny.
Din certainly liked Lo's ship, which Lo named "Highemp's My *****"--
Lo: "What? My ship does not say asterisks-asterisks-asterisks-asterisks-asterisks!"
She leans over the side and sees that it does, indeed, read "Highemp's my *****".
Lo: "Alright! Which one of you cretins censored the title of my ship!?"
She turns and glowers at her crew, who are also her most devout followers and regularly attend "The Church of Skull Rock" when not aboard her vessel. They quickly line up like naughty school children who have forgotten to do their homework and then proceed to point accusingly at each other.
Zhuge, languidly, puffs out some blue smoke from his ornate pipe.
Zhuge: "I suspect the CensorGod paid you a visit, Madam Lo..."
Lo: "The CensorGod!? How dare he!? That's it! I'm starting a new set of God-Monarchs tasked to destroy the CensorGod so we can all swear as much as we ****ing please!"
Zhuge: "Perhaps if you were to meet the CensorGod half way and simply asterisk a single letter of your title?"
His pipe hangs from his beak, it's made of oak but has been well smoothed and polished out. The pipe bears an inscription in the language often considered to be the 'first language to exist', which Zhuge would tell them is utterly stupid. Everyone should know that English was the first language and that's why it's so common and every other language desperately tries to catch up. Only stands to reason.
Lo eyes him, hands on her hips with her long coat-tails cast back.
Lo: "How are you smoking that with no lips anyway? You needs lips to smoke pipes."
Zhuge: "Says the woman sailing a galleon through space..."
Lo: "Touché. Well... maybe I can call it Highemp's My B*tch and let the CensorGod have his asterisk. And if that's not good enough I'll ****ing wipe his ****ing head into a ****ing lamppost."
Zhuge: "How terribly graphic you can be, Madam Lo..."
The crew all glance at each other, happy they seem to be in the clear but nervous that Lo might test her lamppost technique on one of them for ever listening to the CensorGod to begin with.
She glares at them.
Lo: "What're you landlubbers standing around for, eh? Get the rigging in place, we're almost at our destination! Someone get back in that crow's nest up there!"
She thrusts a furry finger mastwards where there's an outlook for spotters - and a bunch of space crows flying around it. What's the difference between a normal crow and a space crow, I hear you ask? One is in space. And wears little space helmets. One step for Lo is a giant leap for crow-kind and she's happy to let them tag along so long as she gets to make stupid crow's nest jokes every now and again.
She returns to the wheel while her crew run off to pretend to be working busily when, really, most of the ship ran itself - or rather it ran by whatever Lo wanted it to be doing.
The ship sails silkily around a large planet populated by Orion Slavemasters, slipping across its atmosphere like a ship sailing on smooth lake waters, and glides off towards its final point.
Lo: "There she is!"
Zhuge rises to his talons to get a look at this mysterious quest Lo has taken him on. He walks slowly towards the prow where Din looks at him glumly.
Din: "It a big box."
Zhuge: "Indeed it is a very big box."
Lo saunters down the ship after them.
Lo: "You've no imaginations, either of you! Come on now! It's not just a big box! It's a treasure chest!"
She reaches them and gazes up at the gigantic cube that floats in space like an irregularly shaped planet. She does remember the High Empire owning a few planets in a universe where all the planets were square - the Highemperor was so disturbed by the weird shape he had his people terraforming their worlds to chisel off the corners so they'd be more rounded. They stopped trying to conquer that galaxy because of the effort it took to go round chiselling each planet they took. Even the asteroids looked like blocks from Minecraft[Ext 2] whizzing about through space.
Zhuge: "Lo... do you even know what this is?"
Lo: "I just told you, a treasure chest!"
Zhuge: "That's a no then. Just because something has mysterious contents, it doesn't mean it's treasure."
Din: "No shinies!?"
Zhuge and Lo glance at each other with a certain panic. Zhuge had once been the match for any powergamer, including Highemperor himself, but having renounced that life he only uses his powers to keep himself hidden away in his seclusion. Usually trying to keep out of Highemperor's sights, lest the imperial ruler again attempt to pester him into joining his cause. Repeatedly.
Lo on the other hand has always been overly reliant on her loot instead of her own talents. Powergaming comes in all shapes and sizes, and all manner of tricks and techniques. In her case it's acquiring awesome booty with which to achieve awesomeness.
Din, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have diminished in her raw power and tends to show a tendency to use it upon the slightest whim. This makes her dangerous to everyone, including her supposed allies. Zhuge, frankly, often wonders if he'd made the right choice in aiding these power-mongering fools in their quest against Highemperor. The Highemperor is truly dangerous and will, if unchecked, destroy the NeSiverse with his idiotic thirst for attention and self-aggrandisement. But to defeat Highemperor it seems that his allies would resort to the untamed and uncontrollable powers of immensely powerful beings that Zhuge also believes ought to be brought down too. Din is probably just as dangerous to the NeSiverse as Highemperor, only at the opposite scale. Highemperor seeks dominance through order and control while this wild spirits only seeks to satisfy her impulses. Only her naïveté sways his opinion as she may well mature into someone responsible and wise. He was young and stupid himself and he believes everyone deserves the oppotunity to learn and resolve the errors of their ways. But as a daughter of Chaos is it even possible for this illuminous woman to learn control? She despises the very concept, so perhaps even self-control is an anathama to her?
Zhuge grimaces. One thing at a time.
Zhuge: "No shinies, Din."
Din: "Din want shinies!"
Zhuge: "As a famous philosopher once said, 'you don't always get what you want'."
Lo: "Who's that philospher?"
Din: "But--! What is box?"
Lo: "Yeah, Mr Know-It-All. What's in the treasure chest if not something cool and sparkly? My little birdy tells me this beauty is ready to open... my little birdy being a message from the future, so I'm damn certain it's going to open any minute now."
Zhuge: "It's not what, Madam Lo, it's a question of whom... This is a prison. A prison designed to contain people such as ourselves."
Lo: "Bollocks... you mean it's another one of those Imperium machines? I heard about that they have one that can just end us all instantly and it's Imeryn's own bloomin' sister that's in charge over there!"
Din: "Why they fight?"
Again Zhuge and Din glance at each other. Better not explain that Imeryn did exactly what Highemperor did and sought to control all and exiled Ameryl when she refused to adhere to Imeryn's demands. Din might go back and try to destroy Imeryn on the same grounds as wanting to destroy her own father - Highemperor.
Zhuge: "Family matters, Din. It's their personal business. As for the prison... Well, I believe I know who is about to emerge from that accursed place."
Lo looks at him suspiciously.
Zhuge puffs on his pipe;
Zhuge: "It stems from the Only War."
Lo: "... there's been a few--"
Zhuge: "The only war between these two factions and the only war there ever will be between them..."
Long, long ago in a galaxy far away. And yes that's long, long and just one far. It's longer ago than it is father, okay?
Having said that, time is certainly getting messed up quite badly here. The universe is known commonly as the Neververse on account of it never existing in the minds of most people that hear the stories of it. Oddly enough they're not wrong as the Neververse was destroyed several times over during this war, only to be returned again by someone or for some reason and the war would continue on. With soldiers arriving from time periods in the future, only to be overcome by enemy units from a more distant future, calling for backup from even more advanced units from an even more distant future, only to then discover that the war is already in that more distant future so they call in from a future even beyond that and-- well, it all gets very wibbly-wobbly confusy-woosy.
The war probably broke out by accident. Someone from The Imperium likely insinuated that he had impregnated the mother of the Highemperor several times and thus sparked some zealous rage amongst several people from the High Empire that happened to be sharing the bar that day.
However it started, its ending is what really matters right? The High Empire declared itself the victor many times, believing the sheer will of powerplaying victory meant they had won. But then the powerplayers from The Imperium declared that they had, in fact, won and so it goes with idiot powergamers--
Lo: "Oi, stop putting your personal opinion into the narration."
Zhuge: "Quiet you. It's not my opinion. It's a fact. Universal truth."
Unable to resort to a dick measuring contest - because then there would be many men throwing their genitals around and powerplaying themselves ever larger until the Multiverse was occupied by nothing but shafts of man flesh - battles broke out. Many showed off their powers and skills and whatever else they willed themselves into doing until the end game.
During this time Skrai was long dead and in his stead ruled a skrai. The Imperium is not like the High Empire, which bends its knee to the single ruler, but instead it's brimming with politics. Politics to the point that it's literally considered a sport on some Imperium worlds where it's shown on television for public viewing and all bets are on the table. Not everyone was bound to obey orders from this skrai, certainly not the Left and Right Hands who boasted that their loyalty remained to the true Skrai and they awaited his glorious return. They waited a long time, but then time is something most of these fools toss around until the words are meaningless. Centuries, a pinch of salt. Aeons, that's how long it takes to walk through the park. Might as well stick to minutes and hours because it's not impressive or dramatic to shout about these dumb ti--
Space Orca: "Look at this twit! He hasn't even signalled his indicators that he's turning his ship! Blasted fool!"
Space Orca, Powergamer extraordinaire, commands his massive whale-shaped ship towards the High Imperial forces. Using mega, uber, umpa-lumpa canons and shields that exist in several realities and other nonsensical jibberish, Space Orca manages to blast his way through the imperial forces to reach what is often called the NeverWorld.
Lo: "Lemme guess, sometimes it doesn't exist."
Zhuge puffs blue smoke into the admiral's face angrily.
Zhuge: "I'm telling the story!"
The NeverWorld was under the domain of the High Empire and its people were largely civilians. But civilians that were absolutely dedicated to their god-emperor. Their faith in him held such sway that even in the face of death, not a single person on the entire planet would surrender to Space Orca and his Imperium ships.
Hearing of this, the current skrai decided to make a visit.
Now remember, as I said, The Imperium is an empire made of individuals and while one arm of the empire may be benevolent - people who pet bunnies all day long and sing about rainbows - others within this empire can be cruel and evil. And the current skrai he was... unpleasant.
He arrived at the world and used his power to control every single mind on the planet. Billions and billions of minds were suddenly under his control.
Lo: "Ha! Lots of new followers!"
Din: "Not like this man!"
Lo: "Dunno. If it's the easiest way to take a world without killing everyone then--"
Zhuge: "I didn't say he didn't kill everyone..."
Lo: "... he didn't?"
The skrai forced the entire planet's population - men, women and children - to butcher each other. Not just suicide, but to literally bludgeon each other to death with their fists, feet, heads. The scene was... a disgusting.
Space Orca: "Wh-what have you done!? Why? That's not... you can't do such a thing! The Imperium has rules!"
The Skrai: "Are you the skrai, Space Orca?"
Space Orca: "No, but--"
The Skrai: "I make the rules. I am the rules."
Yet the agony and horror of the people of NeverWorld echoed through time and space to the target of their prayers and hopes. The Highemperor was struck by the devestation and he was enraged. In an instant the emperor transported himself to NeverWorld and gazed first upon the carnage and then upon the murderer that did this. Their battle raged in ways that I don't care to describe. I'm sure someone would say it was 'oh so epic' but I'd say it boils down to two men slapping the crap out of each other.
Space Orca stood by and watched. Though he could have joined his skrai and together they may have overcome the Highemperor, he did nothing. Instead a communiqué was sent to other rulers within The Imperium and then one answered his call.
And that was, of course, Ameryl Amaryllis Floranymae Hypericum--
Lo: "Seriously that's her name? And people say my name is bad!"
Din: "Dumb name. Din need just one name. Din is Din. No other Din."
Lo: "Come on, Din. There must be someone else out there called Din. Din Smith. Din Jones. Din Din?"
Din: "Din din means dinner! Din not dinner! Din is Din!"
Lo: "Right... Din is Din. Okay."
Zhuge: "I'm trying to tell this epic story and you two are discussing dinner?"
Din: "Din is Din! Din not din din!"
Zhuge: "...Din, does my story bore you?"
Zhuge: "Then please allow me to finish it. Okay?"
Din pouts like a guilty child.
Din: "Din... apologise."
She did not arrive with our now infamous God-Killer. This was a time before then. She arrived as herself, alone. The Left Arm of The Imperium and the hope of her people. She is often viewed as a benevolent and courageous woman who aspires to bring peace and harmony to The Imperium's worlds -- admittedly if that means killing the likes of us to do that, she's more than happy.
So she shows up and the battle between the skrai and the emperor comes to a halt as both are surprised by her arrival. Skrai hadn't expected her to interfere in his affairs while Highemperor hadn't expected to find his one-time lover on his greatest enemies' lines.
Highemperor: "Ameryl! What-- why are you with this empire? Why would you turn against me?"
Ameryl: "You might ask the same of Imeryn. Why did she turn against you?"
Highemperor appeared sad and guilt-ridden. In trying to spare Imeryn from tragedy he had caused it to befall her and his daughter--
Lo: "Are we supposed to know this? Isn't this private business? Pretty sure Imeryn didn't tell you this."
Zhuge: "I am wise and--"
Lo: "Don't gimme that rubbish. How'd you find out?"
Zhuge taps his pipe against the top of his beak.
Zhuge: "For me to know..."
Lo: "Ah! Tell me! Come on!"
Din: "Zhuge tell Din where his knowing is from!"
The bird-man rolls his eyes at their incessant behaviour.
Zhuge: "Okay, okay. Chimaat gets very talkative when she's had a few pints of Bacchus' Own Brew. Wonderful girl really. If a bit befuddled in the brain. Too much mucking about in space-time will do that to you."
Ameryl: "I did not turn against you, Highemperor. I simply joined those you have fallen into confrontation with. Two empires such as these can never co-exist so long as ego drives them. Drives you."
She pointed at her former lover.
Ameryl: "You know this war will literally never end until everything that is the High Empire and everything that is The Imperium is obliterated from every time, every dimension, every universe and every reality. Hunting and slaying for all eternity... this isn't how it should be."
Highemperor: "So you propose a truce?"
Ameryl: "I never-ending truce. No wars, no competition between us."
Highemperor: "What if I... accidentally-on-purpose need to bash a guy's face for trying to flirt with my wife?"
Ameryl: "Don't you have enough of them to share?"
Highemperor: "... ... ... no?"
Ameryl: "Whatever personal vendettas you have, whatever accidents occur, we maintain a state of non-combat between us. This war ends now and shall never be repeated. It will be wiped from existence and remain only as a memory of those of us that lived through it - yet we never did live through it, for it shall never have happened. I've enlisted services of Memnoch in order to twice-forget events. Silly name, really, since we'll all undoubtedly remember it - but it won't have actually happened."
Highemperor: "... and so his war crimes are to be forgiven, just because we undo them?"
Highemperor turns his glare upon the skrai.
The skrai, however, shows no fear, no concern, no remorse. He showed only arrogance and even... boredom.
The Skrai: "I shall allow this truce to happen if it eases relations within The Imperium. If ever you wish to finish this between us, peasant, feel free to make the attempt."
Highemperor: "Your insolence--!"
Ameryl: "Vedas Khaan--"
The skrai looked up in aggravation. For a man that usually shows no emotion, suddenly rage was upon his face. Once the skrai of The Imperium, your true name is renounced and one becomes nothing but 'the skrai'. To name him is to disrespect him to the highest degree -- you are saying he is not the skrai.
Ameryl: "You shall be judged."
The Skrai: "You have no authority to judge me, child! I am the skrai of The Imperium. You are merely the Left Arm -- an outdated and unwanted role for a forgotten ruler. The Imperium is mine to command--"
Ameryl: "No longer..."
Vedas Khaan spread his arms wide and laughed triumphantly.
Vedas Khaan: "Then where is your army? Where are your Peacekeepers? You think you can take me alone?"
Highemperor: "I shall do it!"
Vedas Khaan: "You're a pathetic wimp, Highemperor. Get out of my sight--"
Ameryl: "You shall not be judged by our empires or their commanders, Vedas Khaan. You shall be judged by an unbiased organisation."
And then, right on time, the prison appeared in orbit around the NeverWorld like a colossal cubed moon. The governing body of this prison is the Pan-Cosmic Command. The cube then shifted, phasing ontop of Vedas Khaan and trapped him within...
Highemperor: "I don't know if this is enough to satisfy my thirst for vengeance..."
Ameryl: "You may have defeated him, Highemperor. Or maybe he would have defeated you--"
Highemperor: "Not bloody likely! I am undefeat--"
Ameryl holds up her hand to quiet him.
Ameryl: "Every powergamer says that. And yet you believe you can defeat them, they can defeat you. There's no possible winner. You can shout 'I can' and they will shout 'cannot' and that's all it would amount to..."
Highemperor crosses his arms.
Highemperor: "... ... ... I can!"
Ameryl: "Cannot. Do you see how this works?
Highemperor: "Fine. Let the Pan-Cosmic Command have him."
He looks at the cube and shudders. He has fallen through time before and it was a bleak age that he would not wish to return to. Instead he looks at Ameryl, just as beautiful and graceful as ever she was.
Highemperor: "So... how have you been?"
Highemperor: "You know what would sweeten this deal?"
Ameryl: "I don't think so."
Highemperor: "... I came back, you know? I met Imeryn, she said you were in exile."
Ameryl: "I was. She learnt her lessons from you very well."
Highemperor: "There can only be one ruler, you've seen your politics here!"
Ameryl: "And yet this is the better way. Better to argue and come up short than to obey the petty rule of a dictator. A dictator like you."
Highemperor decided he didn't want to argue with her, not after he had just found her again. Instead, something had preyed on his mind ever since he met Imeryn and his new daughter, Chimaat...
Highemperor: "I met Imeryn's daughter... I don't suppose you--"
Ameryl: "Pregnant? Yes. You seem to have frustratingly determined sperm."
Highemperor brightens in the blink of an eye.
Highemperor: "That's fantastic! She can come to live with me and her sisters! She'll love it, I'll give her whatever she wants--"
Ameryl: "I had an abortion."
Highemperor felt like his heart had just lurched into his throat. He choked and couldn't find words to speak. The very idea of abortion had never even occured to him in all his life. How could this be? Why would she do this?
Ameryl: "I was living a life of exile, alone, without position or wealth or influence. And, frankly, you turned out to be a tyrant. I had to take responsibility and I did what was necessary. I wasn't going to allow an innocent girl suffer because of my mistake."
Highemperor stares at her shoes. He can't light his eyes to face her. He doesn't know if he should feel guilty or rage at her. He manages to mutter;
Highemperor: "You're lying just to hurt me, aren't you?"
Ameryl: "Use your powergaming to tell if I'm lying."
He already had. She wasn't lying.
Highemperor: "You killed--"
Ameryl: "Killed nobody. There wasn't even a foetus. I chose not to allow another life to be ruined. I heard later what you did to Imeryn..."
He finally looks up to defend himself.
Highemperor: "I had to leave to protect her! I--"
Ameryl: "You shouldn't have slept with us. It's not all your fault, I take responsibility for that too. I should have known better but I was just a girl and I was in love. More importantly we should have protected us from getting pregnant at all. You have so many children but you have been a father to none."
Highemperor: "I provide--"
Ameryl: "You can give all you want but you are not there. You don't raise and nurture them. You abandon them. You abandoned me, even. You didn't even look for me when you met Imeryn. Just accepted that I had to be exiled..."
She turned from him, struggling to keep the sorrow and rage within her under control.
Ameryl: "This was our Only War, Highemperor. It shall never happen again. I am not your enemy because I chose another side..."
She glances at him.
Ameryl: "You are, however, the enemy of my heart. I hope you learn to take responsibility for your actions someday. You toy with lives and discard people when you're bored. I am not your doll to play with any longer. Any man I choose in my future will be better than you by far--"
Highemperor: "I'm the greatest man there is!"
Ameryl: "Any man who is there for me and me alone is better than you."
She disappears in a haze of aether as she boards the giant whale ship of Space Orca and is steered home. Highemperor scowls for a long moment, unsure what he should do. Was there some way to fix this? Change time? Change her mind? He looks up at the cube... maybe then he'd be no better than the former skrai locked away in that prison. It seemed to Highemperor that they were both punished this day...
Din: "Din... understand Ameryl."
Lo: "She is really a bore! Wow! No wonder he dumped her!"
Din glares at Lo and Zhuge frowns disapprovingly. The pirate shrugs.
Lo: "Jus' sayin'! She's a miserable cow! Anyway, while all that last part was so riveting I thought I was going to gag, what the Hell happened with this cube here? Are you saying that bloke is what's about to emerge? How'd it keep him locked up all this time?"
Zhuge: "The cube is a prison, yet, but specifically it is also your punishment. Upon being taken within you have two options... the first option is to confess your crime and be judged by the Pan-Cosmic Command. If you do this your sentence will be significantly shorter and you are likely to see yourself for the villain that you have truly become."
Lo: "Sounds gay."
Din: "Option two?"
Lo: "OPTION TWO PLEASE!"
Zhuge: "The entire cube is created entirely of folds in time. No space. Just time after time after time. Certainly any of us could escape, but even the mightiest of Powergamers - Highemperor, Imeryn, this Vedas Khaan or even Din here - would spend aeons making their escape. It was devised by Chronos and then created by Aeon--"
Lo: "Thought they hated each other."
Zhuge: "They do. But they do both value structure in time. Oddly enough, on Earth magic is wild and untamed while Runekeeper has magic in the rest of the universe is running like clockwork, if you'll excuse the pun. Conversely, Chronos has time being policed and regimented by her Time Enforcement Agency while time beyond Earth has been bent, broken and downright ignored by many. So Aeon decided he would like to engage in a little policymaking of his own and took up Chronos' proposal as his own and created what you see here."
Lo: "I'm guessing Chronos' original plan wasn't quite so... grandiose?"
Zhuge: "Probably. Truthfully I think there's only one person she designed it for and he, as yet, still hasn't been judged within..."
Lo: "No points if you guess who."
Lo: "I said no points, Din!"
Din: "Din want points!"
Lo: "No points!"
Din: "Give Din pooooooints!"
Zhuge: "... points to Din."
Din: "Yes! Din has points!"
Zhuge: "If it's power you God-Monarchs want, Vedas Khaan has enough to do battle with Highemperor..."
Zhuge almost hates himself for even saying it. But he has joined the cause, so he should follow through.
Lo: "Would he really want to destroy Highemperor? Sounds to me like he'd want revenge on Ameryl more."
Zhuge: "What better way to kill two birds with one stone? Destroy Highemperor, vengeance is met against Highemperor. Destroy Highemperor and break the heart of Ameryl. And should the Highemperor die... I would expect so too would die the High Empire's vow at the conclusion of the Only War. The Imperium is held together by mutual politics and policies, the High Empire has only one man's word and if he is gone..."
Din: "So is the man's word..."
Zhuge: "Well done, Din."
Din looks hopeful.
Din: "... Din has points?"
Zhuge: "Din has points."
Din: "Yes! Din has points! Din has many points this day!"
Zhuge: "Indeed you do, my girl..."
His words trail off as the cube walls open after aeons of punishing the war criminal Vedas Khaan. A single figure at the centre of the unlocking cube remains motionless. A pinpoint against the moon-sized block. The Pan-Cosmic Command, punishment met, blasts out of the system and leaves the prisoner alone.
Lo: "Did he allow himself to be judged?"
Zhuge: "He was in there for aeons... so no. He did not."
The man there is over ten feet tall, his skin is midnight purple. He's very buff and wears an open, black jacket to show that fact. His head is bald and he floats there, motionless, slowly beginning to rotate as gravity takes hold of him.
It takes some time before he opens his eyes. When he does the top of his head bursts into flames of red and yellow, whipping out from his scalp like a mane of red, fiery hair. His eyes are just two orbs of pooling blood and they now focus upon the quiet, crystalline ship.
Vedas Khaan: "The High Empire..."
Zhuge: "You'd better explain quickly, Madam Lo, else your fine ship will be--"
Lo: "I'm not with the HIGH EMPIRE! WAIT!"
Most would never have even seen his approach as he moved faster than light, but Lo, for all the mundane approach she takes to life compared to the other God-Monarchs, is no ordinary person. She looks over the edge of the ship to see Vedas Khaan poised with his fingernail stretched out just centimetres from the crystal hull.
Lo stretches out her lips in relief.
Lo: "Well, hello there, matey. Nice day to be out, eh?"