Above the tiny moon - the Tiara stations burned.
The pyres of almost two thousand souls passing through what little atmosphere and gravity the moon had ever held in its lifetime - they fell to the ground in a mass of burning flames and death.
BrItannian fighters jinked and evaded fire as the vast spherical Shraag deathsphere spat meson bolt after meson bolt into the void.
Below them, Cavorite weapon emplacements fired their etheric beams in ever possible direction - the few Britannian crews that still manned them did everything in their power to hold the line and make the cost of their lives equal in the amount of blood they would spill before they died - heroes all to the rest of the Empire. Their families never seeing the fallen loved again.
Little below them, The Scythian invasion team. Already fleeing from their snatch and grab in every possible direction to find an escape - Stormsword One was lost, presumed destroyed, and with them the only hope of escape until they found another craft capable of escaping the system, FTL, hyperdrive, Warp, wormhole or otherwise - the vague plan was to find a civilian vessel of any type and jump it before the Shraag ripped every soul on the little world away from their bodies in bloody fire.
Lord Shadowscythe turned and jinked another corner as the rest of the Samurai fighters moved around and between each other as they endeavored their escape.
Aboard the Deathsphere far above the creature that lurked and linked its way through the sacks of meat aboard started to focus its coalesced energies, struggling to link together the threads of the being that was far greater than itself, but was also itself - using the body it knew as "Loveless" as a node for the others around it, focused intently on the stations below, following the former lines of orbital elevators and down into the rock.
Then it concentrated, visualising tunnels and walkways - catacombs and storage systems.
Then bodies, burned, charred and cindered in the conflict between the other petty meats on this world where distorted. Somehow something on that world was blocking its greater abilities - its mind blurred and out of focus the deeper it went until its concentration broke and it was forced to start again closer to the surface.
It dug its mind into what would be described by others as "fingers" and clawed them harder and harder into the basis of its reality - a service corridor, low and wide and almost directly in the path of its prey.
Within moments reality rebelled as the creature forced its will, forming its way between the puny dimensions of this universe and bored a hole through what classed as the "space" between.
Black waves radiated from the vessel "Loveless" and its thralls, and then burst in a seeping mass of shadow - time froze for nanoseconds and bubbled into quantum foam states as the creature took a step forward.
Space and time reacted and dilated but the tunnel was complete - "Loveless" and thousands of the thralls stood forward into the tunnels, concrete grays and steel piping surrounded all, the smell of burnt flesh and conflict, the thickness of real, dirty air and the harshness of sulfur.
The lesser forms skuttled away, their lesser instincts kicking in as they strode walls, floors and ceilings. Chittering maws, jaws, eyes and claws, all covered in Armour plates inches thick and armed with handheld Meson cannons grafted into their very forms.
A memory flashed, too long ago to place where or when - but it was something old, something instinctive.
Millions of dead worlds. Trillions of corpses - a Garden almost free of taint. Glory and murder for all who dared to exist in its presence.
Still the great lessers resisted. The only ones who had managed to shield themselves when it had reached its full potential - it no longer needed its armies, as its mind expanded it turned all life, sentient, sapient or no - to dust - with the faintest of flickers of its power.
Yet they resisted.
So it found the insectoid ones, on the edge of sapience, the edge of sentience and forced its mind onto them, twisted its power into their evolution within two mere generations and poured the stolen technologies of its victims into them, half flesh, half machine and utterly mindless - now existing as nothing more than nodes for the greater beast.
It cloned and bred its beasts until they numbered in the millions and then poured them at its enemies, what they shielded themselves from psionically it destroyed physically until they created the great weapon that destroyed their species to send it back into its almost endless slumber.
And now, the weapon was again loose, but barely operational - and the fleshlings where split and fighting against each other, and some of them held the key to protecting itself against the weapon itself.
All that was left was to enjoy the wonders of its art, spreading death and unlife where it went, awakening the chunks of itself as it went until the first of the "Immortals" arrived, it would take him - it would twist him - it would inhabit and corrupt him and then it would control the key to true immortality, awaken its true self and present extinction to all others.
"Loveless" strode forward, every so often a still living flesh one would present itself - it took seconds to pierce their minds.
Britannians. War. Cavorite. Defend. Hope. Die. Scythians.
For the first time in an unending age it felt what it was like again to force its will on another being. A "female" "Britannian" "Engineer" she was wounded, but not dieing - armed with a "Pistol" she fired shot after shot at "Loveless" as it closed its pace - it felt no pain as the bullets evaporated before they even touched its true form. It lifted her by the neck from the wreckage that pinned her bloody form - it squealed in pain as it rose, held aloft by a single hand on the neck.
It looked at her, upon her and through her as she struggled to breath, struggled to curse, struggled to beg - it bored through her mind and soul before it felt satisfied with the few higher cognitive thoughts it could taste - it then exerted its power upon her.
She screamed in agony, writhing and noise as her skin and clothes atomized into dust, blood poured through its skin in uneven patches as it then evaporated before even touching the ground - it shook, it begged harder and then fell silent to the pain as it exerted more force, unbinding the atoms and burning them apart.
Moments later her body combusted, far too fast for the flames to catch - but the heat was enough to scar the flesh of the vessel. "Loveless" looked down to the dust that remained and then to the bloodied flesh of its palm, grinning as the corrupted cores stolen power healed the little wounds within moments of being inflicted.
Then its thralls found the first of its targets, the war machines made by those known as the "Scythians" energy beams and meson bolts crossed paths as Loveless strode with a purpose towards its mark.
One Immortal could sense another.
For the first time since the splintering. Warhead felt fear.
-- WARNINK -- LINK BELOW IZ KNOWN TO CAUZE HEMMORAGE --
I WARNED YOU, DIDN'T I WARN YOU?! BLAME RAYHAWK DAMNIT.