Days had passed since the initial assault had taken place, and only now where the various nations of the galaxy beginning to pick through the pieces.
The Scythian Empire had sent a second wave fleet in order to secure the rough and blasted world, only to find that Ereberus had been split asunder by some massive catastrophy, and the remains of the planet where ripping each other apart, the atmosphere had been shredded clean off the surface of the world, the Ice that once covered its surface had been melted into gas by its self-sterilizing sun and was forming into a halo of frozen icey particles in the midst of the now ever growing asteroid field that used to be a desolate world.
Automated probes and tugs moved slowly through tumbling rocks and debris as ships where pulled out of the dead battlefield - remnants of Britannian, Immortal and Scythian vessels alike - and soon a space station was dragged into the system via FTL to aide in the decompiling of black boxes, retrieval of enemy technologies and the proper burial of the dead.
Immortal and Brittanian ships alike probed their defences, but found little sway or interest in the Scythian efforts to pillage through the wrecks - instead only setting off automated self destruct systems on the most valuable of ships and then leaving - fearing the Scythian forces would use thier newly found super-weapon against them.
A super-weapon that had long since been taken away from the field.
This entire effort was set up by one man, the one man who had set himself up as de-facto "Emperor" of the Scythian Empire in the original failures stead.
The head of the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence.
He of course was worlds away - watching live feeds of the retrieval efforts from the homeworld itself - deep within layers of automated and manned defences, enveloping shields and space stations and the single largest defence fleet in the entire Empire.
In the power vacuum of the Emperors shift exit, he had been the first to apply his power, suggestions through underlings that then lead to his equals and superiors - setting himself up in the seat of power he needed for his plans, acquiring access to the single most top secret part of the Scythians history.
He had long known before others that Scythia's sucsess had been built upon the shoulders of others - it it wasn't for the ancient superbattleship buried within the Blade moon of Scythia, the empire would have never discovered its advanced Anti-matter technologies - or the secrets of the FTL drive that allowed them to expand beyond the reached of those with traditional Hyperspace drives, or even thier advanced Laser technologies . . .
. . . but that wasn't all they found. Buried within the systems of the ancient ship where records of another world known as "Eerf" which had been involved somehow, in an ancient war between fleets of red and black vessels that had devastated the cosmos.
Ships that now matched current Scythian and Immortal ship classes.
The vessel itself now brought into question - as research matched its hull pattern to that of the Preatorian Exodus siege dreadnaught - but with massive levels of alterations . . . but the ships hull was un-mistakable.
He frowned to himself as he delved further into the archives.
Relics and artefacts that should never have existed in this universe, weapons and ships designed to weather through the end of an entire universe, scattered across the stars as if left, for the races of today to discover.
The Emperor himself had been present in the battle with one of those weapons - something that should have been impounded on the far edges of the Mousetrap system, and far beyond prying eyes, in his travels he had somehow stolen hundreds of artefacts from under the noses of his own intelligence services through a mixture of his own intelligence networks, loyallist troops, brute force and subterfuge for a cause he couldn't begin to understand.
He began a series of checks and double checks - and then ordered every single artefact and item that KINGUNDERTHEMOUNTAIN had in thier possession moved to a new, secure location - one of his disgression . . . anything that couldn't be moved was to either be locked down or destroyed by a controlled Anti-matter blast as appropriate.
And then he re-opened another file - one that he had been working on for months - if not years.
One file contained the entire Genoan and Scythian gene-sequence, with associated links to psionic capabilities, another - the vauge few files on Immortal cores, and a third was a single image of the galaxy - linked by some form of massive psychic field that was apparently growing slowly in power every day - with strands reaching outwards from the galaxy towards red marker arrows.
The few confirmed inbound Immortal fleets.
He looked from one file to another - knowing that soon his plans would come to pass.
Total control of the universe would be his, there would be no mistake.
He never made mistakes.
He smiled to himself, with a self-satisified huff.
He never, made mistakes.
-- FIN --