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Episode description Edit
With the possible union between the Divine Independence and the Iconoclastic god Volition disrupted, the Twilight Mirage--and the universe at large--has been granted a reprieve from annihilation.
But for the members of the Divine Fleet, there remains crisis and confusion and chaos. The By and By, largest ship in the fleet by size and population, has been split in loyalty by the sudden, secessionist proclamation of Sui Juris and the revelation that they held captive the Cadent Under Mirage.
Now moving to rescue her are members of The Beloved: Fourteen Fifteen, digital, dying assassin; Acre 7, remnant of a living world; Sho Salon, faithful of the 300; Massalia d'Argent and their mech, Melodica; the boy out of time and place, Morning's Observation; Tender Sky, architect, priestess, and former partner of Open Metal, leader of Sui Juris. These are the Fleet's--and the Cadent's--best hope for survival.
Inhale, inhale there's heaven
This week on Friends at the Table: The Miracle of the Mirage, Pt. 2
EXCLUSIVE: ON EDGE OF TWILIGHT, CIVIL WAR ERUPTS INSIDE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
Interview with survivor reveals details of mysterious conflict.
Shorlidge Asteroid Belt Station A8, Quire System
BY ACTIVATION STEVENSON, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
From the observation deck of the Shorlidge Station A8, Camilla Canter watched as pinkish-red spheres burst into vision. Just three hours later, Canter was pulling the body of a spy from an emergency ejection capsule.
"I knew they were explosions, of course. But I assumed it had to do with what was going on in the By and By. I certainly wasn't expecting to learn about a whole new galactic civilization and that."
Though the woman that Canter rescued, Siela Shade, was taken into custody by Fleet authorities only 30 minutes after her rescue, the Signal was able to conduct a short interview before her detention. The facts of that interview have been since confirmed through a combination of DIA Request and archival research, and though a judge-ordered stay prevents the Signal from running Shade's words as they were delivered to us directly, this publication retains the legal right to publish, in broad terms, the shape of that conversation.
According to Shade, a civilization set towards the galactic south known as the Principality of Kesh is currently embroiled in its own internal conflict, one that has landed right on the door mat of the Divine Fleet. At the heart of that dispute is the question of intervention and self-determination, two topics well-trodden inside of the Fleet in recent days.
While the Principality itself has not splintered, one of its most important arms--the Rapid Evening, a group of intelligence agents, saboteurs, and enforcers--has entered into a civil conflict. On one side, an incredibly powerful, predictive AI known as Crystal Palace who is tasked with maintaining the stability of life in the Principality and the safety of its citizens above all else. On the other, the rebels Demani Dusk and Grey Gloaming, former agents of the organization who now lead a faction of deserters and objectors against an encroaching armada of Rapid Evening forces.
The root of this conflict, per Shade, is a debate over how (and whether) the Rapid Evening should have intervened into the Divine Fleet's own constitutional crisis.
While Shade offered more context for the battle, additional reporting could not verify her claims. Fleet officials did not respond to comment regarding these or other questions.
But the fundamental truth remains the same: On the edge of the Quire System, as the Twilight Mirage collapses inward, yet another fight rages over the autonomy of the Fleet and freedom of our people.
Cold open Edit
|“|| The Twilight Mirage holds yet. In the absence of Empyrean, the false nebula that once hid the Divine Fleet should shudder and fail, but Quire's own faith and uncanny power pins it in place, gathers together the blushing wisps of dust and data and begins to spin them into tomorrow. It has a plan, it only needs time, but it is not alone.
Even with Independence shattered, Volition and the Iconoclasts move, Axioms spilling from the crackling black glass and bubbling oil shores of the false moon, animated concepts lumbering across surface and through space, until these, too, are brought to life.
Elsewhere, in the margins of the Mirage, where time and space twist and turn, where tomorrow is yesterday and here is there, the Rapid Evening arrives en masse, only to find itself split in loyalty and cause.
Meanwhile, in the heart of the By-and-By, Sui Juris, supported by the New Earth Hegemony and the Castlerose Agency, simply sit and wait, the Cadent a quiet hostage. Their demands are clear. It is only a matter of time, and they will be answered.
Fourteen Fifteen, Tender Sky, and the other members of the Beloved move to intercede. The Twilight Mirage holds yet. The only question is: for how long?
Plot summary Edit
- Austin Walker (Shoghig Salon and Morning's Observation)
- Ali Acampora (Tender Sky and Massalia d'Argent)
- Jack de Quidt (Fourteen Fifteen and Acre Seven)