Kufu and Karnak
The Throneworld of the Third Gleise Monarchy fell on a Friday, one week after the invasion began. The Royal Throneship, Kufu, the only capital ship in the King’s Own, was destroyed in a reactor accident that no one outside AdStar’s office of propaganda believed was accidental. With the destruction of Kufu and a hostile power occupying the capital and palace, it was accepted that the royal family was extinct.
Accepted, but wrong.
When Kufu was destroyed, two things happened: First, a signal was sent out to the Throneworld via a secure satellite that ordered the entire Royal Archive wiped. When the Stellar Administration finally broke into the sacred vaults under the palace on Throneworld, they would find nothing of value, no Kawat that could be warped or perverted into a legitimate puppet. Such was the resolve of the Third Gleisens.
Second, a hash of microsats scattered around the orbits of all the worlds in the Capital system, among the asteroids, trojans, comets and dust clouds, began transmitting.
What they transmitted was garbage. Fragments of code and scattered pieces of nonsense in binary were broadcasted in wave after wave that expanded at the speed of light from Throneworld. The AdStar forces on the capital sent out warnings to their outbound assets in brave defiance of the laws of physics. After all, how can you sent a warning faster than light?
After transmitting their garbled signals, the microsats destroyed themselves. In two orbits, this caused Kessler syndrome to cascade out of control and actually resulted in the destruction of an AdStar frigate. The powers that be laughed nervously and were thankful these sabotage sats weren’t more effective. Of course, the damage done to AdStar was just a bonus; the true purpose of the satellites was more subtle.
The signals sent out en mass were eventually intercepted by receivers across the system. Some were AdStar listening posts and military recon platforms, while others were civilian radios and computers, and the star system’s formal InterPlanNet nodes. Without fail, these automated receivers discarded the signals, jumbles and gibbering as they were, as mere noise and went about their business.
Except the StarGates. The StarGate computers, upon receiving the first fragments of code, becan recording. They recorded for hours, patiently gathering the fragments and slowly assembling them into a coherent whole. This was far from the first time the system had begun recording. It happened by accident quite often - this was the first time, however, that the complete message was sent, with each carefully timed piece arriving in the proper order for the given date and time.
In response, the StarGates sent out signals to every other system in the Gleise Monarchy. The StarGate signal was meant for certain ships - hidden in the movements of the Kings Own prior to the invasion. They were Cruisers. They were Funeral barges.
Memphis Carried the Ahk of the King, Pharaoh 12Khemet, an Akh made of all the Kau of all Kings since the beginning of the Third Monarchy. Memphis was caught between two Capital ship flotillas in the Ptolemay system. Memphis burned. There would never be a 13Khemet.
12Nana Liltu, who was all Queens since the beginning, was lost forever with Thebes, as that cruiser deliberately crashed into the asteroids surrounding the Aten system trailing StarGates. The detonation destroyed the ship, the asteroid and the trailing ‘Gates in a hail of debris. AdStar lost the system and it’s invading fleet, while Gleise forever lost it’s Queen.
The Ka of Crown Prince 1Khemet Solex, was safe on the Luxor and would reach the Fighting Third Cruiser Constellation of the King’s Own. Pharaoh 1Khemet Solex would assume command of the Fourth Gleise Monarchy, and his brave spacers would die to the last being as the surrounding AdStar territories swallowed them up.
The Last of the funeral barges, the cruiser Karnak, was in position to leave Gleisen space for the Unclaimed Librans. The cruiser, bearing the Ka of Princess 1Nanna Bas, would arrive in the Elsinore system on a Saturday.And change everything.