Friday, April 04, 2008

The Final Nail

The end of Imperial Power in the Aleph Subsector

With the loss of Cerberex and the destruction of more than 50% of the Imperial fleet the writing was on the wall. The UFP now controlled all the jump points into the sector save one. Hartak, Orvicare and Cerberex were secured, even if the planetary systems were not. Only Kendrenec held out, a bastion of Chaos and a thorn in the UFP's side.

Tallaxian defences were increased and bolstered while the UFP broke up her fleet into new divisions, each one assigned to patrol the four jump points into the Aleph subsector. The remnants of the Imperial fleet fled to the Valitane and Zadoc sectors where they bolstered the fleets there. Admiral Jellicoe, still favoured by the overall sector commander, Bova Magnus, was given the job of commanding the Zadoc subsector fleet, the largest remaining fleet of the Aleph subsector. Magnus stayed at Vastrid.

Initially the commanders of the Aleph subsector were loathed to give up on the remaining worlds of the subsector, Vornax, Ravitane, Banderossa, Pirinar, Carnaq and Ciprex, but with all entry points closed it was obvious that no large supply convoys or communication convoys would be able to reach these systems before a UFP fleet could arrive and intercept it. In the end, the decision was largely made for them anyway.

Very soon after the final Imperial collapse Ravitane defected to the UFP, followed swiftly by Banderossa. Pirinar was invaded in a bloodless revolution by Sartosan forces who came spreading news that the Imperium had shackled the medieval population needlessly for too long. The Imperium didn't bother putting up a fight. Carnaq V ceded from the Imperium and agreed to join a trading agreement, effectively becoming a UFP nation, while Ciprex, lawless as ever and effectively ungoverned made no objections when UFP and Tau traders began turning up at their docks.

Only Vornax remained loyal to the Imperium and became an isolated backwater in what was now unquestionably a UFP subector. The ruling council now grew to more than ten separate governing entities, though only the following were recognised on the council: Hartak, Tallax, Cerberex, Aleph 4, Ravitane, Banderossa, Myrentas II, Pirinar, Sartosa. Orvicare and Siebel were left out until a stable government and population were established.

The big four, Hartak, Tallax, Cerberex and Aleph 4 retained a veto on all matters of government, though the first question, whether or not to aid their Tau allies on Melberg became an interesting first test. Weary of war and busy defending their new Empire the UFP voted against military intervention. True to form Hartak sent a force anyway.

There are plans to retake the Aleph subsector and bring it under the heel of the Imperium, but for now the Imperium has bigger worries. The UFP after all are not hostile to other human worlds in the neighbouring sectors unlike their allies the Tau. The UFP and Tau formally agreed their alliance in early 008.M42, though many Tau were disappointed, even irritated at the rebuff from the UFP to join the Tau Empire. However the aliens could not disagree given that their positions were becoming overstretched in the Aleph sector.

In seven years Haskell's dream had come true and the systems of the Aleph sector had thrown of the yoke of their Imperial oppressors, at least for now, and the old Admiral decided to retire. From mid 008.M42 the UFP became introspective as they consolidated their gains. For the Imperium it was the end of seven years of spectacular failure and the loss of an entire subsector. Now the Zadoc subsector was under threat from Necron devices, Tyranids and the Tau. They would not lose this one as well...

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