These chapters might be boring for some people, but I need to set up everything needed before the attack of the clones and the clone wars. Be patient. When the clone war starts, everything will be much better.
"Are you sure this is the wisest action, High Lord?" Arialla asked. "The Purifiers are untrustworthy. They are too proud to yield to us. After all, they are replicates of Aiur Protoss."
Cassidy and Arialla were standing in the newly warped Purifier Nexus. Before her, a Purifier legionnaire was assembled.
The legionnaire was the purifier version of a zeolet. They were mechanical and stronger than normal zeolets. Legionnaires had two blades on each arm. Their bodies was covered with yellow plating, which just like red for Tal'darim and blue for Daleem, stood for the Purifier fraction.
Cassidy didn't reply. She already knew the units she created weren't necessarily loyal to her. She didn't know about the Terran, but her experience with the units wasn't ideal. The Aiur fraction abandoned her because she wasn't trusting them. She managed to control the Tal'darim via the chain of ascension, but still she was almost overthrown by her underling. Who knows what would happen to the Purifier?
The legionnaire opened his eyes. As soon as he saw Cassidy, his blades extended. Arialla blocked Cassidy with her blades extended, protecting her, but Cassidy pushed her aside.
"You Tal'darim abomination!" A halo formed around his back. Cassidy frowned. Some Purifiers were replicates of famous warriors while others were merely programmed to serve. The halo represented the first possibility. The legionnaire looked around, alert.
"I am the High Lord of the Tal'darim. I activated you. To an extent, I gave you your life." Cassidy smiled, ignoring the hostile action the legionnaire had against her. "And I ask you and your brothers to serve me in return."
The legionnaire smirked. "I fight for Daleem, not for a...human protoss hybrid." He had a tone of disgust.
Cassidy frowned. "Too bad...But then again...I don't need you." She charged forward. The legionnaire lifted his blade to deflect, but he wasn't strong enough. The Purifier fell after three rounds.
"The Purifier are not cooperating." Arialla stated the obvious. She wasn't trying to make Cassidy embarrassed at her failure. She was just stating the obvious. Tal'darim were not good at the art of words.
"The replicates of the Daleem warriors are not cooperating. It's not surprising." Cassidy showed no sign of unhappy. She walked to the control panel and pressed something before ordering a zeolet to enter.
As the zeolet entered, a light beam shined on him. It disappeared after a few minutes, and Cassidy waved for the zeolet to leave. A few seconds later, another legionnaire was produced. Its eyes shined yellow. But this time it knew down before Cassidy in obedience.
"You replicated the conscious of one our warriors into a Purifier shells?" Arialla concluded as she examined the legionnaire. "That's brilliant. The new warriors would be loyal to the chain of ascension, and their strength would be improved by the mechanical shell. Most importantly, we can build an army without worrying about not having enough warriors. We can build as many units as our resource allow. Your wisdom is limitless."
"I am not wise. If I were, the Aiur fraction wouldn't have left." I would have killed them all before they had the chance to flee. Cassidy said as she turned around and left the Nexus. "And get every ascendant on the chain in comm. I have something to say."
Cassidy stood in a chair in a Tal'darim Nexus. Dozens of ascendants, whether via hologram or by themselves, were before her. Some of them were ascendants, others were destroyer pilots. First Ascendant Arialla was just next to Cassidy.
"I know some of you are plotting to rise in the chain of ascension." Cassidy stated openly. "In fact, all of you are planning to rise." She glanced at Arialla, the first ascendant, who avoided her look. The only way the First Ascendant could rise was by defeating the High Lord.
"I don't blame you. After all, in our world, the strongest rules. If one day I becomes weak, then the first ascendant will take my place. Such is the way of the Tal'darim. Such is the way of the chain of ascension." She continued as she flickered her fingers. She enjoyed how the ascendants were frightened. It made her feel a sense of control. "I have reasons to believe an enemy is lurking in the dark. This enemy has the ability to destroy everything we value."
"So I am issuing an order. You can challenge each other in the chain of ascension all you want, but if a challenger defeated the challenged, then those loyal to the challenged are not to be harmed. In return, the army of the defeated will turn their loyalty to the victor. This is to prevent unnecessary weakening of our race. We are in the crossroad of fate, and I don't want to end up on the wrong side of history."
Cassidy scanned every ascendant. All of them kept their heads low in obedience. "From now on, I give you the right to build your own forces and fleet. Each and every one of you can conquer planets and build fleets as much as you want. In fact, I will provide you the technology to turn the resources into loyal units. But, remember, you can fight all you want, but unless you think you can defeat me, then you will obey my order as top priority. Am I clear?"
"As you wish, High Lord." All of the ascendants obeyed. Cassidy waved her hand, all the ascendants left the room. Cassidy closed her eyes.
In the Tal'darim society, every ascendant had his or her own followers. These followers usually included ascendants, zeolets, slayers, and immortals. In some cases, powerful ascendants would have Wrathwalkers and all kinds of ships all their disposal. With their army, the ascendants would control a few planets and attack certain targets that would benefit the ascendant. Under normal circumstances, the ascendants would do their best to build their army in hope that they would help them ascend.
When the entire Tal'darim society had a target in sight, then the High Lord would call for the Death Fleet to assembled. In that case, all the ascendants would contribute their army and merge them into a powerful fleet under the command of the High Lord. No matter the conflict before, the ascendants would work together to win the fight. No one would use the chance to sabotage the other ascendants...at least not frequently or openly.
By allowing the ascendants to expand as much as they could, Cassidy was playing a dangerous game. If she could control the ascendants, then she would have a powerful fleet when she needed one. But if someone was powerful enough to overthrow her, then all would be over.
Cassidy opened her eyes and walked out of the Nexus. Outside, all of the ascendants were on route to a new planet. They brought their followers, and the flock shrunk a bit. Still, the amount of warriors left was impressive. Around 800 ground units, including all the Immortals, were left. Three dozen blood hunters lurked in the shadows.
Cassidy walked directly to the Purifier Nexus and started to glance through the available units.
The Purifier army was built with the intention to build an army that consists of all kinds of supplementing units. In this extend, Purifier was stronger than the Tal'darim. The Tal'darim units were mainly made to fit the chain of ascension, and there was no such thing as engineers or tacticians in the society. The armory was limited to the raw psi strength and skills of the warriors and whatever weapon and design the fleet was able to steal from the other Protoss fractions. Even when Cassidy started to produce ships and weapons, the arsenal was still short.
The Purifier, on the other hand, consisted all the units needed for a battlefield. They provided all the tools a commander need to win a war.
Sentinals and Legionnaires replaced the role of zeolets. Such units were much more cost effective than zeolets simply because of their ability to be created with impressive efficiency. A mechanical unit could be assembled, given an AI personality, and deployed into battle in hours given the required resources, whereas a normal zeolet needed time to train. On the battlefield, the sentinels, that could reconstruct, were more durable than ordinary zeolets. Legionnaires were armed with heavier shield and armor to protect their shells. Such protection couldn't be available to normal zeolets as they would affect their speed. Sentinals cost 1500 minerals and legionnaires cost 2000.
Adepts and Instigators acted as the ranged units of the Purifier army. Adepts were armed with glaive cannons that could target both ground and air enemies. They could also create a shade of themselves and teleport to the location of the shade if they choose to do so. Instigators were modified stalkers that could blink multiple times, allowing them extra mobility in combat. They had particle disruptors. Adepts were built to target light units while instigators were built to target armored foes. Adepts cost 1000 minerals and 250 vespine gas. Instigators cost 1500 minerals and 500 vespine gas."
In order to fulfill roles such as enhancing the skills of the warriors in combat and providing them with adequate support to maximize their damage to the enemies, energizers and conservators were constructed. Energizers could create a power field and allow other units to warp in. They could also use their chrono beam on allied units, granting them faster movement and attack speed. Conservators were able to create a protective field to deflect enemy attacks. They could also recharge the shield of friendly units, keeping them alive longer and increasing their damage output. Both units could greatly improve the strength of the Purifier units, making them even harder for the enemies to deal with. Both units cost 500 minerals and 1500 gas.
Cassidy nodded. Without supporting units, a Tal'darim army had a fifty percent chance of defeating a Purifier army of equal size and technology. However, it would be an impossible task if every attack the Tal'darim warrior made was reduced before landing on the enemy, and the shield the enemy lost was immediately regenerated. The Purifier warriors would attack and move much quicker, making it difficult for the Tal'darim to respond. Even if the Tal'darim had a breakthrough, they would be pushed back by the reinforcements. Even her would struggle against such an enemy. She might kill a few enemy units with her abilities, but the rest would be able to overwhelm her before she could recover her energy.
Like she thought. Purifier, to an extent, was even stronger than the Tal'darim. However, they had one weakness. There were no Psi unit in the army. There were no templer that could rival the ascendants and deal mass damage in a short amount of time. If the ascendants, assisted by large amounts of supplicants, could break through the line with sudden bursts of damage, then the Tal'darim might win. Still, this weakness was covered by the mechanical beasts and the mass fleet the Purifier utilized.
Immortals were assault walkers similar to vanguards. However, the Tal'darim ignored the lives of the pilots and armed the vanguards with as many weapons as possible to make sure they do the most damage to the enemies possible before dying. The Purifiers, on the other hand, gave Immortals not only phase disruptors that could deal a massive amount of damage but also with a barrier that could absorb a ton of enemy fire. Immortals cost just like vanguards at the price of 2500 minerals and 1000 gas.
Colossus was the Purifier version of Wrathwalker. However, colossus used thermal lances that could burn any enemy to ashes. They had tall legs that was enough to ignore most terrain that would usually stop ground units. They were usually positioned behind the front line and unleashed terror onto the center mass of the enemy horde. A few swipes, and most of the enemies would be gone. Colossus cost 20000 minerals and 15000 gas.
The colossus was built to destroy large amount of small enemies while immortals could take down armored targets that withstood the thermal lances. The two supplement on the battlefield.
The Purifier fleet was much more tactical than the simple combination of destroyers and motherships of the Tal'darim. The Purifier fleet consisted of a variety of ships, going from small, fast fighters like scouts and mirages to support units like warp prisms and observers to capital ships such as tempests and carriers. These ships form a fleet that could carry out missions of all sorts.
Both mirages and scouts were high speed starfighters. Scouts used photon blasts and anti matter missiles. They could function as both fighters and bombers. Mirages were fighters using ion cannons that were great at taking down light enemies but could only shrug against capital ships. Mirages had phase armor that allowed them to dodge certain attacks. Both units cost 4000 minerals and 1500 gas. Mirages were excellent and dealing with fighters as they were agile and quick, while scouts could destroy capital ships with their anti matter missiles. In a space battle, mirages would escort the scouts to the enemy capital ships and deal with enemy fighters on the way. Once the enemy capital ship was in range, the scouts would destroy them.
Observers and warp prisms couldn't attack, but they were meant to assist the rest of the fleet. Observers had their own built in cloaking field that allowed them to spy on the enemies closely without being attacked. They had complex arrays of self focusing lenses that allowed them to provide the most accurate information to the commander. Warp prisms could create a power field similar to that of a pylon and of a energizer. However, its power field would be larger and stronger. Units like carriers that couldn't be warped into the power field of an energizer could be warped in by a warp prism. The presence of warp prism allowed both the ability to reinforce the fleet and a way to escape from a critical situation.
Finally, the Purifier had capital ships that dominated the battlefield. Tempests were artillery vessels that could deal incredible amount of damage to a large target, such as enemy capital ships. Their kinetic matrix was less effective against smaller fighters, but in most cases the tempests would be protected by scouts and mirages, along with interceptors from carriers. Tempests cost 30000 minerals and 20000 gas to construct. A volley from a dozen tempests could tear most enemy capital ships into pieces.
Carriers were the last piece in the Purifier arsenal. Carriers had a durable plasma shield that could withstand most punishment with little consequence. They had repair drones that could repair mechanical units, which included the entire Purifier army. Carriers launched smaller strike crafts called interceptors that would fire at the enemies. A single carrier could unleash a swarm of hundreds of interceptors. Carriers also had a purification beam mounted in front. Carriers carried large amounts of ground units, and could warp them into combat whenever they were needed. Carriers cost 100000 minerals and 50000 gas.
Cassidy opened her eyes as she absorbed the information on the Purifier army. The Purifier fraction was undoubtedly more powerful than the Tal'darim, but she was concerned. If the Purifiers decide to betray her, or if they were compromised, then she would be defenseless.
Currently she used the AI personality of Tal'darim warriors, but they might betray her.
Cassidy thought about it for a while. She needed to have a backup plan. A plan to execute if the world turned against her. She needed to find someone she could absolutely trust.
Then she realized. Who else was more trustworthy to her than herself?
In the Purifier Nexus, Cassidy's eyes snapped open. Before her, a specially modified Purifier shell was assembled. The machine had a halo on the back. It had two yellow blades on the two mechanical arms. A plasma shield generator was at the front of its chest. Its eyes shined yellow light.
It was a Purifier...with Cassidy's own AI personality.
She duplicated herself.
"Are you connected to the data web?" Cassidy asked her clone.
"Yes. I can override and control all the Purifier shells if I want." Clone replied. It...she...spoke with an inserted sound producing device. After being cloned, the Clone lost all of Cassidy's psi abilities but regained a number of new abilities that she could produce with her new body. "This...body feels strange."
"It's powerful." Cassidy replied. "With your presence, I can develop the Purifier fraction without worrying about a betrayal. You have connected to the Purifier data base, which means you know more about these units than I do. Do you have any suggestions?"
The Clone's eyes blinked as her brain worked. "The current income of the planets you have direct control of is 40291 minerals and 20193 gas per 24 hours. However, this amount of income will grow drastically as we expand to the planets around Slayn. I suggest we focus on producing mirages and warp prisms. We can send out small parties of units, including a warp prism carrying a few probes and one or two mirages as escort, out. Whenever the party spot a planet, a probe will be dropped down to the surface. The probe can warp in a Nexus and a few pylons, and we will be able to warp in units and more probes to the planet. We can mine from those planets."
"Is it weird that we had the exact same idea?" Cassidy smiled as she started to produce the warp prisms and mirages. "The answer is no. After all, you are my clone."
"Technically, we are different." The Purifier Cassidy replied. "I have your memories, but our personality is only 99 percent similar." Cassidy shrugged.
"Another thing, we should send units to planets near the hyper lane." Purifier Cassidy added. "If we don't, then the enemy might be at our gate without us knowing it."
"Send in parties to..." Cassidy checked the star map. "Nickt Ka, Corbos, Bosthirda, and Rhieg. Warp in observers."
Purifier Cassidy gave an order through the Purifier data web. "Anything else?" She asked.
"No." Cassidy said before leaving the Nexus. Purifier Cass closed her eyes and shut down.
On a random planet near Slayn, three ships suddenly exited warp space. One of them was crystal and slower while the two others were quick and swift. The three ships approached the planet and went through the atmosphere. The two mirages patrolled in the air while the warp prism opened into phasing mode. A probe exited. It went to an open field and warped in five buildings, including a Nexus and four pylons. As soon as the pylon was done, four photon cannons were warped in. Inside the power field, figures started to materialize. The probe returned to the warp prism. The three ships, completing another small objective, lifted into the sky and flew into the dark space.
Two minutes later, twenty probes and five legionnaires were on the planet. Ten minutes later, eighty probes were happily mining off the five vespine geysers on the planet and off the minerals in the ground. An hour later, twelve more geysers were discovered. The unit count went up to eighty probes and twenty sentinels and five legionnaires.
The planet alone contributed another 4500 minerals and 2000 gas to the daily income of Cassidy's army. These resources were immediately transported back to Slayn, where they were turned to three adepts and one instigator.
With the help of the Purifier, the forces of Cassidy grew every single day. But would that be enough to deal with what was about to happen?