The ship drifts through the vast cascading nebulae, the dust impacting the structure, chipping away small pieces. This was the legacy of perhaps the greatest space battle of known history, perhaps of all time. All that was left, a single vessel, with no jump drive, no shielding, and thrusters only capable of reaching low sublight speed. There were no living things on board, only corpses, a shadow of once been. The AI operates the vessel none-the-wiser, progressing slowly to Earth, to have its crew of heroes to bring the news to the glorious capital of the United Nations Confederation - The threat was no more, the galaxy is to return to an age of peace, prosperity...
There is no home to return to, but either way, nobody is left to care.
This is a tale of progress, the tale of the ceaseless march of science and technology. There was never any doubt that this technology was good, how could one let the enemy advance their technology to the point of ripping wormholes in stars, without making advances to counteract that such as the Dyson Beam?
It started a few years before the terminal battle.
The confederation's Naval Intelligence Office had secured something that would surely the end the long war between the two nations, the aggressors would fall to rubble, it seemed too good to be true.
A weakness in the enemy lines, which allowed a direct jump to the capital system, a single dyson beam could rip their capital world to shreds in under a second. And so, they took the opportunity, the war had extended too long, a strategic strike to the capital system would cripple the enemy, the fleet would fall apart, they could take their worlds without a fight.
The hundred of millions of crew required to operate such a vast fleet, the flagship alone having over a million crew members alone, were jovial. War songs were sung, cheerfulness swept over the entire fleet. Guns primed to fire, jump drives primed to engage. The Dyson Beam had been charged a few weeks prior, and after all the logistical efforts to organize such an offensive, the beam was to fire.
And then, it fired.
Immediately having jump drives engage alongside the beam, forming a field which shot the beam into their capital world in minutes.
And in an instant, without even one warning, billions of sentient lifeforms were brought to their death, this was an unprecedented act of force, the first use of a Class-10 Laser, nobody would've imagined such to ever occur.
The Confederation, in an act of ruthless might, had shown the enemy that no actions were off the table. That these Earthly tyrants were willing to purge entire planets for their own gains.
There could no longer be any compromise.
As the Confederation fleet jumped into the enemy's capital system, response fleets immediately emerged from the wormholes.
For the gaping maw is full of opportunity.
Shields up, thrusters online, crew prepared, officers stationed.
Lasers, Artillery, Missiles, Wormhole-bypass bombs, matter deconstructors, ships engaging jump into the core of enemy vessels. Ruthless actions from both sides. More and more ships pooled into the fight, planets being shattered from even stray shots. Prototype Weapons of mass destruction emerged, dyson swarms once organized for energy, now shooting weapons of immense power shattering planets. Then, as quickly as it started, the battle ended. Both fleets, gone, simply disappeared.
For the gaping maw is full of opportunity.
Both sides suspected some sort of highly advanced weapon of destruction, both sides screamed that their enemy must be destroyed before this weapon is used too much, however, given the millions of habitats across star systems, surely, an extinction event could be avoided, after all, NOTHING could possibly destroy an entire galaxy.
This was a myth perpetuated by both sides, while they developed weapons to take out entire kilo-lightyears of space at a time, through inducing premature death of stars through gravitational manipulation, resulting in a shared cluster-wide supernova event.
For the gaping maw is full of our opportunity.
Covertly, such weapons were prepared, both sides believing they had the first strike capability, there could be no compromise. No compromise. No compromise. No compromise.
It was a glorious day, for this would be the day we would survive, we would reach into a new era of Utopia.
For the gaping maw is ours, and if it is not ours the-
[ATTEMPTING TO ESTABLISH SIGNAL TO OUTPOSTS]
[OUTER OUTPOSTS - FAIL]
[RIM OUTPOSTS - FAIL]
[LISTENING OUTPOSTS - FAIL]
[HABITATS - FAIL]
[DYSON OPERATORS - FAIL]
[PLANETS - FAIL]
[ATTEMPTING TO ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH OTHER STARSHIP AI - FAIL]
[SOFTWARE SHUTTING DOWN, RESUMING AUTOMATED COURSE TO PRESERVE ENERGY]
For the gaping maw is kind
It is truly us who is worthy of true fear.