The Battle of The Pillars and The First War

Our prime achievement | Our Darkest Hour



This was humanity's second infancy. The first war began soon after we managed to reenter space. The Wayfarers were taking their first steps in exploration, and I, your humble Archivist, arrived to guide humanity out of its latest dark age.   Before we begin, let us establish a bit of context. The war had three players. Two alien races and humanity. We were caught between their ancient rivalry. The sides were drawn long before the deaths started piling up. The sailiu studied us for years, and found our biology to be a major threat. Simply sneezing in their direction could be lethal, their bodies unable to handle the cocktail of microbes we give off just by being present.   They began rounding up the scattered remnants of humanity and slaughtering them. The purge was an effort to destroy our species before anyone would notice. The sailiu went to great pains securing their position in the galactic community, and humanity's presence jeopardized this position. Can we really blame them? Nothing justifies genocide, but it's hard not to empathize when placing yourself in their shoes. Could we really say in confidance that we wouldn't do the same?
   
 

Blood Feud

Throughout human history, there were great men and women who dedicated their lives to war. These people have been viewed as both honor bound heroes, and butchers alike. During the engagement on unity two individuals would rise and become the key leaders that would decide the outcome of the war. One was human, an ensign aboard a crashed frigate fighting on the surface of unity. The other was the siliue admiral who led the attack against our species.
They never met each other at any given point during the war. They never exchanged words, nor did they even know each other's names. Regardless, these two organized every major engagement, and their battle of wits would decide the fate of their respective species.
     

Miranda Thrace

Miranda was an engineer aboard The Wright, a corvette in the Void Navy of Safeharbor. She and her captain along with 5 surviving members of the crew fought against ground forces landing on unity. When the fighting was complete, she found herself the XO, following her captain to later serve on The SVN Faraday.   During the battle, Miranda lost several close friends, perhaps even a lover, though she never mentioned it. Miranda swore vengeance for these deaths and actively pursued sailiu ships for the entirety of the war. By the time the war ended, she was the grand admiral of the entire navy, though some would say her rise to this position was not deserved. I disagree. In my opinion, her dedication to learning the art of war, and applying it to combat in the void is well worth the honor. She proved herself to be quite the capable leader.

Xeva Ssoriess

Little is known of this sailiu admiral. We know that her part in the feud with Miranda began when she lost her home-world, which happened to be the 1st target for the Eden during their purge of the sailiu species. The Eden answer war crimes with war crimes. They saw the systematic extermination of humanity as justification for eliminating an old rival, and jumped at the chance to strike while they were occupied with us.   The eden fleets use asteroids to destroy worlds of those who fail to abide by galactic law. Naturally, Xeva took it personally. Learning this showed us the eden did not assist in the war effort without reason, nor were they as upright and civilized as they appeared. They wouldn't have tried so hard if the Sailiu were not the enemy we faced.

Battle of the pillars

The Battle of The Pillars was the first and largest engagement of the war. Named after a formation in our neighboring nebula, the battle began when an enemy fleet attacked Safeharbor without warning. They struggled to get their vessels past Unity, the warmoon that sits in our sky. Like Safeharbor, Unity featured a planet wide infrastructure. On Safeharbor this infrastructure is a massive, planet-wide city, but on Unity it was a massive, military fortress.   We don't know how the moon was activated, but somehow we managed to turn on small sections of the moon. Perhaps it activated itself, sensing the threat. Regardless, the enemy would not touch the surface of Safeharbor until the warmoon was dealt with.   What few ships we had available made their way to defend Unity. Many of these ships lacked shielding and most of them were barely outfitted for war. They held their own for six hours until eden fleets arrived to assist. The Eden watched us for just as long, and were thwarting the sailiu at every turn. The battle ended when The Archangel, an eden titan, jumped in from deep space. It was quite a sight to behold. Titans aren't used to win a fight, mind you. They always win, in the end. Titans are used when a species wants to send a message of power. This message read loud and clear: humanity was protected.
 

The First War

 
War in the void is always a series of small skirmishes. With the kind of distance involved, Isolating an entire fleet to a small area of space is generally considered a bad move. You want to spread your forces out over a large area. Ships can always disengage from their patrol and assist other vessels nearby if they find themselves out of their depth. On top of that, enemy vessels will be unable to sneak by the net you cast. Human vessels were significantly outmatched. The siliue had better technology. We wouldn't be able to stand toe to toe with them without thinning the herd.
 

This is where I came in...

Our disadvantage brought up a crucial problem: it wasn't just our technology. We had no idea how to wage war anymore. The loss of earth saw a loss of information, and we felt this loss more when it actually mattered. When I emerged from The Archives on Safeharbor, I was able to unlock troves of information brought on the arks that settled the planet.   I found something interesting hidden behind encrypted files. Those who sent the archives from Earth deemed it necessary to hide our history of war. When I opened it, it felt like opening Pandora's Box. I released many works on military strategy. These works became required reading at the Academy on Unity from then on, but those fighting on the front lines had nothing during the war.   Miranda Thrace spent many long hours learning from me when she was made admiral. At this point in the war, there were no earthborn veterans left to hold the position. She had the most experience, which is to say, 6 months of it. She replaced her captain aboard The Faraday, and then took her battleship to lead small fleets. She was terrified, unequipped to handle the fate of the entire human navy. She rose to the occasion, though. I knew she would. When I opened that archive I realized the beast slumbering under our tender flesh. Humanity is no stranger to war, and this beast was waking up.





The fall of The Phoenix



The sailiu knew we settled on a planet, but Safeharbor's location eluded them for years. They followed refugees and inevitably found our home. A fleet appeared, warping into our system and destroying several of our vessels.   Caydie Meredith Kines did so much for humanity. She was among the first casualties of what became The Battle of The Pillars. The Phoenix was a vessel under her command and it was the 1st vessel we lost. We looked up to the sky and saw the nuclear flash, a slight flicker of light in the sky. More came soon after as a fifth of our fleet was destroyed during a simple test flight. We had a fleet for the better part of 3 days.   This was the very first time we came into contact with an alien species. We knew the others existed, but unless you were born in the void on some distant station, you have likely never seen them. To those who saw the others as a distant legend, it was a devastating realization. We were under attack by monsters. Our first contact began with war.

 

Battle of Sepia-7

Miranda was able to achieve the impossible. Using our allies in The Eden Navy, Miranda began gathering forces as bait in Sepia-7, a nearby star system. Humanity's fleet consisted primarily of frigates, and Miranda sought to put them to good use against the sluggish ships of the Sailiu. She learned much in her service. She actively watched how sailiu vessels fought and realized they were notoriously bad at handling corvettes. They tended to group closer together during attack runs to cover each other's backs and restrict frigate movement. The plan was simple. Using Higgstech provided by The Eden Matriarchy, destroyers were repurposed, serving as slightly larger corvettes, now able to handle the g-forces involved in their daring maneuvers.   Picket ships were used to defend larger vessels as human frigates sought to surround the enemy armada. There were two major issues: the enemy fleet was nearly three times the size of the human fleet, even with the eden as backup. Secondly, space is big. Surrounding a fleet would prove difficult if the enemy is spaced out correctly. Verticality was an issue as well, as their isn't an effective way to determine what's up, or down. Luckily, Miranda knew the fleet would bunch up together. The Sailiu are aware of their struggle against frigates, and happily closed the distance between their ships in hopes of providing better defense in close quarter combat.   With all friendly vessels in position, Miranda ordered the corvettes to move in. Human forces assisted by the Eden approached from every angle. The true stroke of genius came next. Miranda sent in all the cruisers and the battleships came in behind them. They drove straight through the enemy fleet to draw fire while the corvettes danced around the Sailiu vessels. The corvettes tore the enemy ships apart. The proximity of enemy ships also assisted in their destruction as some collided with each other and others were destroyed by the debris of their own ships. Nearly 150 sailiu vessels were reduced to scrap. We lost 15 ships in the fight, most caught in the debris field that came from the slaughter.
 

The end

The end of the war seemed closer than ever. The eden were waging their own war in sailiu controlled systems, and the sailiu prepared an all out assault on Safeharbor. The entire Sailiu navy, or what was left of it, warped into our home system. We learned of 400 ships, all coming to destroy what we tried so hard to cling to. We had one final trick up our sleeves: The Quantum Telegraph. It was just entering its prototype phase. The quantum telegraph is a rare luxury. With this piece of technology. Miranda was able to learn of the enemy fleet long before they reached Safeharbor.   It was a gamble, The telegraph isn't always reliable, but Miranda was confident her latest plan could work. She rallied the navy and worked to predict where and when the fleets would arrive. Just before the enemy dropped from warp, all vessels launched every weapon they had available at their projected location. When the fleet arrived, a barrage of missiles, tungsten rounds, and flak were already there to greet them. Warp technology requires a complete power outage throughout the ship, from lighting, sensors, and life support.   The ships were completely exposed. Their shields were down, all sensors would need rebooting, and even their engines would need time to start. The ships were destroyed before they could react. Even afterwards, many remaining ships restored power to find fields of debris moments away from collision. It took weeks to clear our skies so safe travel could resume throughout the system. With this single act. Humanity was safe. The Sailiu were just as endangered as humans now. This moment is referred to as Miranda's Triumph. The least I could do for a friend.
 
 

Aftermath


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by Adobe Stock
Don't be fooled by the daring acts of greatness. No one was prepared for the cruel reality of stellar warfare. The devastation often outlives the battle. Years after the conflict, tungsten rounds from rail-guns that missed their target would finally collide with distant worlds. Days after every confrontation, nearby planets would watch in horror as debris entered their atmosphere. Most of this debris would burn up, but larger chunks of hull and scrap would hit the surface. Homes were reduced to rubble, lives were lost. The war took its toll on many species throughout the galaxy. The eden and the sailiu were major galactic powers. "A war in heaven" is an apt description, but it doesn't quite cover the resources and power these species brought to the table, nor the destruction they left in their wake. Most of all, we lost friends. We lost family. Give praise where it is due, but remember that humanity is a dying race. We didn't need a war to speed things along.


Cover image: by PNG Tree
  • 1


    The Purge
    Extinction

    The Sailiu learned of how dangerous our biology could be if exposed to theirs, and sought to wipe us out before we gained a foothold in the galactic community.

  • 2


    The Battle of The Pillars
    Military action

    The The Sailiu attacked the Sepia star system, destroying The Phoenix, The Kraken, The Manticore, and The Minotaur. They then assaulted the warmoon of Unity. Humanity held strong for 6 hours, when an Eden fleet appeared and finished off the enemy fleet.

  • 3


    Progress
    Technological achievement

    The Eden gave Us numerous forms of technology. This included sophisticated shielding, universal translation, Interdiction, and better missiles. With this technology, as well as the rediscovered technology of The Quantum Telegraph, we stood a fighting chance in the war to come.

  • 4


    The 6 Year Skirmish
    Military action

    Over the course of 6 years, eden and human vessels would engage in small skirmishes with The Sailiu fleets. The human war machine was lacking in technology and experience. Every loss was a deep wound, veterans from old earth dying left and right. Miranda Thrace would find herself admiral of the entire navy in this time.

  • 6


    Black-ops and Persephone Frigates
    Military action

    Wayfarers started using Persephone class frigates in the later years of the war. Their sophisticated technology allowed humanity to scout and engage in covert operations. Some wayfarers actively engaged in combat, both in the void and in ground assaults in enemy space. Their targets usually included ship foundries and other sources of infrastructure.

  • 7


    The Battle of Sepia Seven Occurs
    Military action

  • 8


    The Origin Exiles
    Criminal Activity

    The Origin Exiles actually helped us in our war. Many of their ships were seen engaging in piracy, exclusively targeting sailiu vessels. They also exclusively hunted sailiu bounties and would assist in various engagements where human ships were out of their depth. This little footnote is seldom mentioned, and I doubt they ever even received a thank you.

  • 9


    Miranda's Triumph ends the war.
    Military action

Comments

Author's Notes

Archivist Trigger Commands
The Archivist is capable of responding to "queries." Using the following commands, one can request information, and The Archivist will respond.

  • Pose Query: [insert topic here]
    Express desire for information
  • Focused Query: [insert topic here]
    Ask for more information on a subject related to a posed query.
  • Forced Query: [insert topic here]
    Demand an answer if refused, and the Archivist is capable of answering.


Please Login in order to comment!
12 Dec, 2020 05:22

Ooh. Awesome. I love all the little details like the different military figures and all the information on the different battles you provide. The biggest question I have is about the naming. Why is it called the first war? If you use first, it should be "the first ____ war" since there were probably wars before that. Or you should just rename it? No idea, but the rest was cool(also, totally possible my brain just skipped over the explanation)

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
12 Dec, 2020 05:27

Oooo yesss I shall definitely rename it it's our first stellar war. Oof. Nice catch. Thanks so much! I'm glad u enjoyed it

24 Dec, 2020 04:57

Title? Also, I didn't reread but I feel like you updated a lot? Or maybe I'm just mixing up articles.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
24 Dec, 2020 08:53

This was not supposed to get updated. I accidentally hit the notification button on this instead of another I was polishing. The title is briefly explained, as it's the first war in context of this new version of humanity and it I was still debating on the change. I dont know if that would make sense or if it should simply be altered. Maybe my approach on it was off?

25 Dec, 2020 00:20

Oh. Alright, that makes sense. I hadn't noticed that you mentioned it in the beginning of the article as that's helpful. Not sure if that was added after my comment or not, but I hadn't realized you'd updated the content at all.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Dec, 2020 03:11

No worries. Lol yeah i made a few changes but not much. I plan on adding another little section but past that, it's just rephrasing and clarification.

12 Dec, 2020 20:34

Miranda is a badass - I love her. This is all really interesting, and lucky for humanity that the Eden already hated the Sailiu. We might have been in trouble.   The section on the aftermath was really interesting - people don't often think about that sort of thing in stellar combat.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
12 Dec, 2020 20:56

Oh yesss. Thanks so much! During all the brainstorming I suddenly realized the damage a war in space could cause. I'm glad it added to the article in a good way.

24 Dec, 2020 13:50

Not sure if it was intentional but the contrast between Miranda and The Void Navy and Xeva and The Eden is very fascinating. The beginning and the end, Eden and a Void. I love it.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
28 Dec, 2020 07:19

It actually wasntnintentional just know that I see it, you're right. I love it! Thanks for pointing that out. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
28 Dec, 2020 02:35

I think this is now the best war article I've read from the sci-fi side!   And what a fantastic final line!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
28 Dec, 2020 07:18

Ooooo that's some high praise, and I humbly thank you, good sir.

5 Jan, 2021 20:20

Now the way we're told about this war is brilliant. I particularly like the fact that you tell about the aftermath, and what happen to nearby planets after a tremendous fleet gets reduced to dust. Also, the probability of having your ship randomly pierced by a lost bullet from a centuries old war is something not seen quite enough in sci-fi I feel.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
5 Jan, 2021 23:30

Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really wanted to discuss some of those lesser known bits. I love just how crazy space combat can really be. Thank you so much!

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