An imperial officer rushed over to Commander Dek Ironius II. The Commander stood with James Malum, the new Overseer of Crucesignatis Imperialis, and Reiden Karr, a strong headed Battlemaster with a strong penchant for honest remarks and well-known feats of combat.
The officer whispered, “The troops are ready, sir.”
“Excellent,” Dek smiled, “We’ll be there shortly.” The officer walked off.
“I’ve waited for this transformation for a long time,” started Reiden, “Ever since the days of the old nobility have I missed the efficiency of the Empire.”
“We had no reason to be as such in Cocytus,” Dek mentioned. “We were established and well loved. But now those times have changed, and again, we have to unlock our old spirits for new duties.”
“I’ve dispatched a group of Imperials lead by the Vexillarius to sort through some of the weaker elements of our ranks. They’ve already made many arrests and thirty disloyal citizens have been executed. Other battleteam members await the instruction of the Imperator…” Dek cut James off.
“The Imperator is still busy.”
Reiden questioned, “He won’t be joining us? But the address…”
“The address,” Dek stated, “Will be done by me.”
James and Reiden both looked at each other, slightly taken aback.
“His matters are more important than the address. Plus, this has always been my field of expertise.”
Their faces changed to acceptance. Reiden responded, “Yes…Aedile.”
“Shall we go?” Dek questioned nonchalantly.
The three strode to a hallway lined with saluting Imperial officers and guards. Dek Ironius lead the front while Reiden followed on Dek’s right and James on Dek’s left. At the beginning of an arched doorway, Dek stopped. He pulled out a datapad from his sleeve, while James and Reiden entered and stopped. A crowd was murmuring. Dek entered the doorway onto a platform overlooking 4 imperial regiments at attention. Stopping at a platform, the crowd roared at the same time. They were in a ship hangar where imperial soldiers, staff, and civilian personnel had gathered for an official speech from the Imperator.
Dek began, “Greetings, citizens and warriors of the Empire!” The crowd became almost silent.
“Today we come to understand our destiny.” He put the datapad away, confident in the specific words and talking points he had memorized.
“Today, our Imperator drafts the Declaration of Ascendance. It is the document which will legitimize our continued existence in the Caperion system and give our spirit the fight we need to continue to survive! It allows us to exterminate those who wish to stop us! It allows us to ascend to the highest points in our history, while scraping off those who would wish to stop us!”
The crowd cheered, as did some of the stormtroopers. The elite soldiers remained silent.
“Right now, the Vexillarius is overseeing the execution of 30 soldiers, officers, and terrorists who would seek to hurt our chances at victory! The Overseer,” Dek pointed to his left, “will outfit our Empire with a fighting force that would cut off the dead branches in order to keep the Empire from falling into enemy hands. The Battlemaster,” Dek pointed to his right, “is currently overseeing the overhaul of battleplans and battle strategies within the Empire! With his guidance, we will destroy our enemies whether they seek to understand us or not!”
The crowd roared again. Dek could sense them losing patience, seeking an end to the speech.
“But you,” Dek pointed to the regiments, “will be our front line fighting force! You’ll attack those who would seek to undermine us and defend against those who would be foolish enough to respond to us! And you,” Dek pointed to the civilians and officers, “will aid every aspect of the command chain and the inner workings and operations! For without you, we have nothing to ascend with. Without you, we have nothing to praise. Whether it is our ideals, or our pride, or our Imperator, we exist to help you ascend with us! And to this end, we will not just survive, but live in the heavens of those who seek to dominate life and existence! Long live the Empire! Long live the Emperor! And long live the Declaration of Ascendance!”
“Declaration of Ascendance? What is that?” The Imperator’s question hung in the air.
Dek looked across the table surprised, “You didn’t see the speech?”
“What one says is temporary,” Qor responded, “Actions are greater than words.”
“Did you just make up a quote?” Dek believed Qor might be mocking him, ever so slightly, because Dek would make up a quote and attribute to himself.
“No. ‘The Act of Defense’ by Krix Nacelle,” the Imperator retorted, “Part 5 is very specific on giving the civilians your enemies care about. You can convince your usual target audience of anything. It’s when you act upon what your enemy desires for their own population that you allow them…” Qor noticed Dek looking intently. It was he Human’s ‘listening’ face. Qor stopped talking and furrowed his eyes.
“I am slightly fascinated,” Dek chuckled. “Maybe another time. The Declaration of Ascendance is a document I wrote and placed your name under. Maybe you can make some revisions…” Dek slid the datapad across the table to Qor “…and convince our own population of this war. After all, we were the ones beaten to a pulp. Our system was destroyed, and our enemies walk free.”
Qor was slightly puzzled, “Which enemy are you speaking of?”