Soldier of the Brell by David Scholes

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THE END OF EMPIRE

A long time ago
Somewhere in our Universe

For long millennia they traversed the stars and even the dimensions as easily as we humans of Earth might walk to a house in the next street. This benevolent, near omnipotent race, took it upon themselves to make up for what they perceived as Gods failings.

It was rumored that this great race even monitored the different alternate realities. Maintaining a permanent presence as custodians in that most mythical of all locations, the All Place. And even that they helped protect against interference in the time stream. Through an alliance with an entity that may have been nothing more than purest myth. A name still quietly spoken of, even today, Times Guardian.

For most of those long millennia there were none to challenge this great Superpower Empire, these true titans. Yet even God has enemies.

It is said that all great empires come to an end. That they contain within themselves the seeds of their own destruction. An inevitability that even the mighty Brell could not avoid.

Their many enemies formed an alliance. Initially unwieldy but brought together with a singular focus. By a dark, vast and manipulative intelligence that may not even have been native to our plain of existence. Intelligence possessed of inconceivable power in its own right. Though basically a scheming, manipulating and coordinating, utilizer of the knowledge, efforts and energies of others. Some might even have said a leech had they known more of this entity. It was all of these things and much more. An intelligence that understood the Brell in a way that they never managed to understand it.

The Brell Empire was vast indeed. Laying under the protection of the greatest star fleet ever known. A fleet that, through unlimited teleportation capabilities, could seemingly be anywhere and everywhere and in force at the same time. Added to this, the more distant worlds of Empire lay under the protection of permanently present, out posted Brell soldiers. These were the ultimate star troopers. A single such warrior capable of defeating, or at least holding off, an advanced high technology army, even a small star fleet, until reinforcements arrived.

Still other worlds formed part of a loose alliance. With no out posted soldiers, they were not part of Empire, but were regarded as friendly to the Brell. It was understood that such worlds would enjoy the benevolent protection of empire. Should it be needed. Though no one expected that it would.

For any race or group of races to have conquered all of the Brell and Brell allied worlds would have taken eternity. Yet not all these worlds needed to be conquered. Far from it. All of the alliance worlds and some of the more distant Brell worlds, and their out-posted soldiers, were bypassed. To be taken at a later time.

At first the reverses were small. The defeat of small groups of Brell starships and soldiers before the Brell could very quickly bring larger forces to bear. These were perceived only as minor set backs.

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