by me, me, me alone!:]
Feel free to comment.The world later known as Dante has a history with Slayer and his followers reaching back to the the foundation of SLA Industries. While the Conflict Wars raged through most of the known Universe, the most contested War World of today was a tranquil and peaceful place inhabited by the Xirkit, a well-developed species of insects which had a unique position within conflict society.Conflict Era
Unusual oxygen-saturation of the atmosphere and high temperatures made the planet hostile to most of the other conflict races, corroded most of the usual equipment within days and prohibited the use of combustion-based technologies, which made warfare against the Xirkit completely suicidal. The Xirkit themselves had mastered biochemical technologies and breeding methods to a degree not even matched by SLA Industries’ biogenetics today.
The Xirkit mostly stuck to their own planet, but traded their advanced drugs, chemical weapons and bio-computers to the other conflict races. When Slayer started his plot to undermine the conflict societies, they opened trade negotiations with the Xirkit, speeding up the Stormer-project significantly with the knowledge of Xirkit researchers. Even today, the fluid contained within the Bio-Wombs™ is still based on Xirkit technology.
While SLA’s Stormers and Weapons spread through the conflict societies, the Xirkit remained detached from the war and cooperated extensively with what was to become Karma Division, sensing the dawning dominance of SLA Industries one way or the other. When final decisions for the fate of the universe were made on Mort, the Xirkit were on the short list of species to survive as scientific caste within the World of Progress.Drawing the Big Picture
While orders for the betrayal of the conflict societies were already on their way, one of SLA’s ambassadors/spies on visit to Dante gained access to an unprotected terminal for the Xirkit’s planet-wide network of subterranean bio-computers and for the first time caught a glimpse of the true extend of their knowledge. To his horror, he found indications that the Xirkit had done unto SLA as SLA had done unto the conflict races – the Stormers had a genetically programmed weakness to specific biochemical weapons in the hands of the Xirkit.
When the information made its way to Slayer himself, he coldly ordered the extinction of the Xirkit in a surprise attack – with the intention to salvage as much technology as possible. A plan was drawn up and vital personnel evacuated in preparation for the strike.
The Xirkit sensed what was coming and prepared for war for the first times in decades, but underestimated the recklessness of Slayers strategies. Instead of trying to take the world by force against a hostile environment and an opponent unassailable by SLA’s Stormer legions, Foldships jumped into orbit and saturated the atmosphere with fusion bombs triggered in high air.Operation: Burning Sky
The sky above Dante turned to fire, burning most of the oxygen all over the world and laying unprotected surface structures to waste. Within minutes, over 99 % of the Xirkit population suffocated – unable to put up any defense. Meanwhile, elite commandoes of SLA’s non-Stormer militia made planet-fall, took out the remaining survivors and secured the underground facilities which remained undamaged.
When the dust settled, Slayer found his plans only partially successful. The bombs had burned down oxygen to a level comfortable for humans and other survivor races and killed all Xirkit, so Dante was ripe for easy occupation.Ruins of the Xirkit
But the bio-computers lay dead, too. Environmentally protected, they should have survived the strike, but the Xirkit had somehow installed a biological doomsday-device, wiping out their knowledge when they were annihilated. For the next decades, Dante disappeared from the attention of the World of Progress and the Xirkit became a race forgotten like so many.
Sometime later, conflict society had vanished, inherited by the World of Progress. Dark Night had reared its ugly head, Thresher was born and various Soft Companies stuck it to SLA wherever they could.
During a ride on Artery, a whole factory load of freshly produced Stormers was killed within seconds by a chemical agent deployed by Dark Night. When investigation results wound up in Head Office, all alarms went off. The Dark Night cell responsible was hunted down by SLA’s finest and interrogated to find out where the chemical agent came from. A nightmare came true when the trace led back to Dante.
While the source of the agent could not be located, it became quite obvious that there had to be remnants of Xirkit technology somewhere on Dante. Various options were considered, with matters complicated by the adaptation and revitalization of Dante’s plant life and the sparse but widespread settling of the world. Finally, Dante was officially declared training ground for the Nitro Legions and flooded with militia units turning over every stone on the planet.Heritage of the Xirkit
While the military build-up was still underway, Dark Night appeared full force in orbit and opened up on everything that moved. SLA Industries returned fire and took up position, but could not stop Dark Night from establishing various bridgeheads. Within weeks, all-out war ensued on Dante between SLA Industries and Dark Night. When Intelligence reported that Dark Night did search the remaining ruins as frantically as the Nitro Legion, Head Office started a propaganda operation of unprecedented order. All SLA units on planet were ordered to retreat to some random, defendable position and to fortify there.
Dark Night swallowed the bait and quickly concentrated their forces on the SLA stronghold, assuming that SLA had found the remaining Xirkit facility. Meanwhile, SLA sent out expeditions to the rear of Dark Night to secretly keep on searching. But when Thresher joined in on information acquired from captured Dark Night units, the war turned into utter chaos.
Ever since the suspicions about a still functional Xirkit facility emerged, the Suppressor Powers have been fighting on Dante. While strategic command off all factions is aware of the true goal, its ramifications – a method to easily wipe out SLA’s Stormer force and probably a store of revolutionary technology – have kept it a close-guarded secret by all. Nonetheless, in the chaos of centuries of war, nobody is sure where to search for the location of the facility and every party tries to gain ground wherever it can.War without End
So far, every side has considered pulling out of the war at one point or the other, but the implications of one side leaving the war and the enormous logistical problems involved in orderly retreating from a planet-wide war have rendered this option moot.
The pollution caused by the endless wars has wrecked Dante’s ecosphere and unpleasantly hot weather is often followed by rain floods or uncomfortably cold days. Fortunately, conditions still fall into the “habitable” range and all forces show reluctance to use strategic weapons in areas that have not been completely searched so far. Most of Dante has turned into a dessert, but in some regions, forests still manage to recover between major battles.Situation Report
The overall war remains a stalemate, with SLA’s sheer manpower, Thresher superior technology and Dark Night partisan tactics balancing each other out on a strategic scale.