Prelude to war #3: Dishonor and Discovery

Klo-vis, Orbiting wreckage of Ring, Chamber of Gatherings

"~This failure on your part reflects poorly on your kind, Underseer Kamal.~" One of the impossibly tall Overseerssaid, it's telepathic voice echoing throughout the colosseum like chamber of gatherings, the other robed Overseers seeming to send a psychic droning signal in concurrance.

Kamal Re'x was under court martial for his failure to secure the Alpha MARATHON ring, which could have easily furthered the Overseer's plan of vengeance against the Masari and all their progeny. Such a loss of not only a source of so much Masari technology but a potent tool in their quest for genocide had drawn a great amount of ire from the council of Overseers.

"~There was little that could be done my lords, the Thought sin had distracted us from the blue humans, the Peacekeeper's actions...there was nothing we could have done to anticipate or stop them while we were so occupied with preventing the parasite from es-~" Kamal began, Nufai, the Rikval Jacq'ohb, and the deathless Girik seeming to shrink from the Overseer's attentions by his side.

"~Do you wish to try and convince us that with all your resources that you were not able to cleanse the station of impurities from above?~" Another of the Overseers said, it's cloaked visage gazing unapprovingly at Kamal and his companions before Girik stepped to the plate, the Deathless feeling that the fault was his.

"Kamal is primarily an administrator, a logistics officer, if one is to be blamed, let it be me." Girix said, interposing himself between the withering gaze of the Overseers and his three companions. Finally, the three Grand Overseers spoke, their grander, more impressive robes and garments making them stand out among their red garbed companions.

Grand Overseers Alpha, Mu, and Omega. Some spoke of them only in deadened whispers, these three psychic titans who had overseen the fall of countless civilizations, those with the psychic power to rend minds and more from across the universe, those who had lead the Hierarchy since it's beginnings, over two hundred thousand years ago.

Their word was law, their wishes were reality, they were the absolute sovereigns of a space more than two hundred and fifty billion times wider than any single observable portion of the universe and had holdings in a far greater area. Some would even call them the masters of the universe, whom all beings at the very least feared.

Alpha's voice cut through all other noise like a blade. "~Is this your desire, to take credit for the failure to acquire the ring so that we may purge the universe of the children of the ancient foe?~" It said, it's telepathic voice painful to even hear due to it's unmitigated power.

"~I am certain Grand Overseers.~" Girik said as Omega turned to Nufai and Jacq'Ohb.

"~Do you wish to share the burden of scorn?~" The four armed creature asked, it's limbs concealed perfectly by it's robes as orbs floated around it.

"~I am unsure if there is opportunity in such a proposal for Nufai...~" The Skinwalker said, fidgeting his claws as he tried to shirk away from directly looking at the Grand overseers.

"~Proposal: Acceptable. Blame: Shared among us.~" Jacq'Ohb nodded, seeming resigned to any punishment that the Aliens could mete out.

"~Then it is will be spared the pain of execution.~" Mu spoke up, it's voice seeming to be perhaps the strongest out of the three, though each time one spoke, the very telepathic waves they uttered caused the air to distort and shake.

A sigh of relief went through the four before Mu resumed it's message.

"~Rather, you shall be subject to an immediate performance review, where we shall assign you supervisors and transfer you to other duties as we see fit. And you Girik, as military commander, shall be branded as the new Dracon, symbol of the pact that binds this Hierarchy together.~" Mu commanded as Kamal began to spit with outrage.

"~Transferred!? But we are approaching the defeat of the annoying Peacekeepers and finding the homeworld of the Imperium! I can still prove myself!~" Kamal telepathically roared before Alpha silenced him with a glare.

"~Do you think unkindly of our mercy, Underseer?~" Alpha cut in, and immediately Kamal quieted, not wishing to even meet the gaze of the four armed overlord as Girik was lead away to be branded with the armor additions of the Dracon, being escorted roughly by Muton elites all to eager to see one of the hated Zolkri shamed and humiliated in public with the ignominious title of Dracon, with a particularly hulking one clad in highly ornate platinum and gold armor and brandishing a weaponized graviton maul leading from the front.

"So it seems that the Zolkri's favor from the Overseers is not limitless, Dracon." The Muton King grinned, and if the digitized conscious of Girik still had the baility, he would have spat.

"We remain far more integral to the Hierarchy than you, Barac'Talak." Girik said proudly, his black armored robotic body advancing smoothly before the Muton backhanded him, slamming him to the floor before grabbing him and smashing his face into the wall and hurtling him back into walking formation.

"We shall see about that Dracon." Barac'Talak growled, emphasizing the word Dracon as if it were the vilest curse he could think of..

As Girik was lead away, the other three stared fearfully at the council of Overseers, unsure if being spared was worth the dishonor of being dubbed unworthy of being allowed to continue with their duties unmolested, a grave insult to the perceived capabilities of them all.

"~This council is adjourned. Begone, lest we rethink our generosity.~" Omega commanded, with the three moving quickly out of sight while the councilors began to break up into their other duties.

Alpha moved swiftly away from the other Grand Overseers, for he had been informed by a personal friend of his that there was a great opportunity for his own advancement. Moving to an observation deck, telekinetically gliding across the floor, he was met with a Zudjari Outsider Commander who gave him a respectful bow.

"Grand Overseer...we have detected signals consistent with Masari technology on a planet from the same galaxy as the Blue Faction humans." The Zudjari said, it's hissing, almost snapping voice modulated by the black power suit it wore to denote it's high rank.

"~We destroyed their homeworld, did we not? Show me this world.~" The Grand Overseer telepathically replied as the Zudjari programmed in coordinates into the holodisplay, showing a solar system of eight major worlds, several smaller dwarf planets, an asteroid belt, an outer menagerie of comets, all circling a yellow main sequence star.

The display then homed in on the third world, an average rocky planet with a moon about a quarter of it's diameter that had the characteristics of a life sustaining world, but the Hierarchy's long ranged scans showed no signs of advanced life. But if the signals of Masari technology emnated from it, it was immediately of interest given the power of such artefacts, more than that, the signals seemed to promise the location of other rings, the Marathon Rings that were critical to the Grand Scheme.

"~Prepare a compatriots will honor me greatly when I secure these artefacts. Ensure that we are prepared for pirates, traps by others who would seek this prize, or pre-technology natives.~" Alpha said, already visualizing the gains he would make.

What he did not know, is that this world, dubbed H-977 Plural ZZ dash Thirty three omega plus by Hierarchy records, was known as Earth by it's natives, and many factions regarded it as very much critical, to the point of fortifying the solar system should the worst nightmare of it's inhabitants ever come to fruition.

Now the wheels have begun to turn, and nothing could stop them.