Friend or Foe?
The pilot selected for the one-way trip dons their gear and begins the arduous journey. The gate is activated, instantaneously transporting the ship and its occupant nearly 25,000 light-years away from the GMG complex. Once dropped out of hyperspace, the most obvious difference is the stars… so many stars that the sum of their splendor stuns the beholder. It was as though all of space were a glimmer. Despite the heavenly impressions left by the core it is an environment of truly hellish perils. Gravimetric anomalies riddle the system, each capable of tearing the ship to shreds if given insufficient berth. Scanners pick up a massive black hole in the vicinity. Its immense gravity tugs at the ship, coaxing it out of rest. Patrols of oblivious, alien craft pass by. None bear the least semblance to the Nomads or Dom’Kavash. Questions spring to mind but there are no answers. The shields are raised and thrusters brought online. Only the utmost in navigational skill and courage will allow the hand-picked pilot to escape from this place and live to tell the tale.
A fighter emerges on the scanners. It is poorly-equipped and gone adrift from spent fuel cells. The design does not match up with any of the usual culprits. This poses an irritating delay, but only a few moments pass before the brain of the Kraken can identify its target. With the outlook so bleak, it is increasingly rare for an encounter not to be hostile. The Dom’Kavash are a race now well-traveled down the path to defeat. Within a matter of a few decades, in fact, their empire may have fully crumbled. Progress has been made more aggressively by their foes than ever before. Positions thought to be impenetrable have been lost entirely. With options few and dwindling, perhaps the ancient ways have failed. The humans were supposed to be a primitive people. How could they possibly have reached the Inner Core to add to that threat? Were the Nomads mistaken in their evaluation of this species?
Cross-referencing records, the Kraken updates itself on the progress of the suppression measures underway in the rim-ward sectors. The fleets appear to be positioning themselves to begin another campaign. Enemy positions are largely on the verge of being overrun, but force depletion estimates are not good. Too many valuable resources are being wasted on the apes. Battles may be won, but the enemy has put up a spirited fight and dealt their fair share of blows. The human culture is primitive, but with hypergates perhaps they are not such a backwards lot as they appeared to be at first glance. To win the war, the Dom’Kavash cannot afford the luxury of choosing their allies. A race like this would far more valuable to the empire alive and as allies than dead as foes. Yes. For both races, survival may rely on cooperation with the other. The rest of the Dom'Kavash are made aware of this latest development. Then, rather than opening fire, the cruiser opens up a channel with the ape-creature’s craft and attempts to hail it.