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The fall of an emperor

Thant ducked down behind the pillar as a platoon of guards stomped past. They must be heading to that riot in the main public hall thought Thant.
This corridor was an empty compared to the bustling public hall. It still managed to project a sense of quiet arrogance like all rooms in the palace. Only the occasional guard patrol disturbed Thants stealthy progress.
His plot was going well. Now just to-
He quickly retreated again behind the pillar as a second platoon of guards stomped past. Wow thought Thant that was some disturbance heed caused. What had he done? Thant couldn't remember. Agonising spasms suddenly shook Thants frame. His thin face curtained with long, lank, white hair tightened into a grimace. As once again his mind filled with screaming voices.
YOU KILLED THEM
YOU GRANTED THEM THE GIFT OF DEATH
Thant screamed as his world filled with pain and horror, as he remembered. Hundreds dead slain at his hand: father, mother, brother, more and more and more and more until-
Thant regained control of himself. He found himself on his knees in the middle of the corridor. He had already forgotten the killings again, his mind scrubbed clean by his psychosis. Blood dripped sluggishly from his nostrils, his wings drooped tiredly from his back. A young soldier stood before him his pistol drawn and cocked.
The soldier, only 16, took in the bedraggled young man before him. Dresses in black with the seemingly stolen sword of an army lieutenant at his belt Thant would have looked imposing if not for his current state. On his knees, bleeding and his brow covered in sweat, Thant didn't look good. His body looked like someone just rising from a great ocean of pain and only just crawling onto the land of sanity.
The soldier who’s name was Pvt. Laurence prepared to fire. It was his duty. He must.
"A pistol" spat Thant looking up at Laurence. Thant began to laugh the hideous girl-man giggle of the truly insane. Laurence hesitated. His finger tightened on the trigger. He clenched in pain. He tried to fire. He couldn't, the gun clattered to the floor out of his senseless hands. He felt as if his heart was about to explode. It did. He dropped the gun blood welling out of his mouth and splattering down onto the stone floor. Then without ceremony Laurence keeled over backwards. Dead.
Thant rose, wiped his nose on his hand and beagn to walk slowly onward again, stepping carefully over Laurence's body without a thought.
Thant went on his way unbarred until he reached the main auditoria where the masses of ministers would normally wait before reaching the throne room.
The Throne! It would be his! It would be Thant's! All the voices screamed at once in Thant's brain. This time he remained standing laughing in a quiet way perhaps even worse than his giggle, it spoke of violence for the sake of violence and the joy of bringing pain and much more all at once. The battle for the throne will be glorious cried the voices. Kill the evil one. Rebuild the Empire. Defeat the Mananians and the traitorous scum of Ale-Solaris.
Build an Empire that will last a million years! Raze the enemies of Zion. RULE THE GALAXY!.
Thant strode up to the mighty titanium doors leading to the throne room and the emperor. He barely had to concentrate and they disintegrated like wet tissue paper blown by the breeze.
The Throne room was huge. The floor and walls were made of white marble threaded with red veins. The floor built up into a set of steps that led to a raised dais on which sat the throne of Zion. The Throne itself was made of red granite. A relic of the ancient Monarchic era as all the palace was.
On the throne sat the Emperor. He was a man of medium build and was dressed in ermine edged white robes. The robes of office. On his head sat the crown. A simple coronet of gold embedded with a single red diamond.
The Crown thought Thant. His birthright crowed the voices. They were lying Thant knew he had no claim to the crown. He was a farmers son. He would take the crown anyway, the voices only wanted the best for him.
The Emperor regarded That with a sad, tired gaze.
"I've heard of you boy" he said his voice ringing with sad resignation. "A psychic boy of unprecedented power from a farm out on Equality. Well come and kill me-if you can"
Thant noticed then in a rather abstract way that before him in the room, between him and the emperor were the entire Red Guard.
Thant smiled This would be fun, the emperor's 100 best bodyguard on Zion. They stood before him replete in there long, dark, black greatcoats and carrying the latest model of laser-pistols and electro-swords. Trained to the peak of perfection and augmented with metal over wings, face and heart they were the finest force in the empire all against one man.
No contest.
Almost as one the Guard raised their pistols and fired off the first salvo at Thant. As soon as the lasers had left the pistol barrels Thant leapt. As he flew over the beams almost faster that the guards could see he drew his stolen sword and landed right in the middle of the guards ranks. He swung the blade round in a long arc faster than reaction or sound. Limbs, organs, and blood sprayed as dozens of the guard went down. The guard finally recovered cohesion and rushed Thant as one unit swords flashing g down. Thant threw them off with an epic mind blast-a wave of force dissolving many guard and causing others to explode messily. The rest- less than ten -fell to Thant's blade. The last guardsman blubbering lie a baby on the floor was slowly eviscerated by a giggling Thant his sword red with blood and gore.
Thant looked around at the dead and dying Red Guard. The floor was streaked with their blood. The Emperor sat still on his throne crying.
"That’s impossible you cant have killed-"
That silenced him throwing his sword at the miserable fool who slumped of the throne run through. The crown skittered across the body strewn floor and landed at Thants feet. He picked it up and placed it upon his brow. He didn't seem to notice the blood dripping from it as he ascended the steps up to the throne.



Black nights of Zion

---Outskirts of the Cyer system---
The cruiser flew onward through deep-space its blue plating dully reflecting the far-off starlight. The Mananian pilot dozed lightly in the simple, functional cockpit, the ship on autopilot. The escort fighters protecting the precious cargo of food and fuel hummed along the pilots quiet and bored.

Feren-sheth the wing-commander was making a cup of synth-brew in the cockpit when the radar monitor beeped. He stopped pouring the cup and looked up alarmed. There weren’t meant to be any ships out near Cyer. He looked at the screen puzzled there were no traces on it now except for the small convoy.

He called up his second Luitenent Sardas on the comm. "Did you see that trace?" he buzzed over.
"Yep Commander" buzzed Sardas back "I was watching the radar" he said pointedly.
"What was it then Lieutenant?" asked Sheth angrily, God Sardas was so insubordinate he was on track for over 100 demerit marks in the field (a record). Why did I have to get stuck with him thought Sheth.

"That baby Commander" Sardas sneered "was over by the front of the convoy about 100 units towards Galactic Hub."
"Right then" hissed Sheth "send Tau and Sigma ships to check it out and curb your tongue if you want rations tonight."
"Yes sir" grumbled Sardas as he sent the two craft out towards the source of the disturbance.

The two small ships sped out ahead of the convoy. The located nothing at or around the point of the radar blip, indeed their own radars reported nothing for 10 light seconds in any direction.
"Nothing to report commander" said Sigma pilot "We'll just-"
BLAM!
Sigma was gone in a cloud of wreckage a laser bolt striking his ship form nowhere. Taus craft turned and just managed to spot two matt black Zionite craft zooming in from behind him before he to was destroyed by their fire.

Back at the convoy the fighters were in disarray. 3 black fighters attacked at the back of the convoy 8 ships blown up before Sheth could react. Still his radar could show none of the enemy only the gradual destruction of his own forces. 4 more of the black fighters struck from each side, none of the Mananians could get a lock with their kenetic missiles so were blind as the entire convoy was taken apart. The lead black fighter fired a missile which impacted with the cruisers engines causing the whole thing to explode into a huge ball of nuclear fire.

"Pull back" called Sheth "Retreat to Cyer." He pulled the throttle stick down to full and sped away as fast as his ship would go. Shocked he realised he was the only one of the escort left retreating. The rest were dead blown up in the confusion of the battle. His retreat was cut short as out of nowhere a black craft appeared firing its lasers. His engines ignited and his fighter exploded. His body or what remained of it was fired into space to drift forever.

The black fighters reunited into formation. All twelve of them formed into a v and sped on. The lead pilot pulled of his helmet and smiled his long white hair spilling out from under the helmet. He pressed the intercom.
"This is Thant to Cyer, Black Knights of Zion. Forward to victory or death".



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