10000 years before the Battle of Yavin (BBY)
The massed armada of biological ships inched toward their final goal of the distant galaxy. Thousands of craft ranging from the swift and agile Yorik-et to massive organic planetoids plied along at sublight speed as they had for millenia. The Supreme Overlord upon the largest of the Koros-Strohna surveyed the fleets tensely. While still a mighty force the fleet was slowly shrinking. Entire battlegroups and the occasional disloyal Koros-Strohna had been consumed to maintain the most significant portions of the fleets. He had been forced to deal with many disputes within all castes with regards to managing their ever dwindling resources. He was not the first, nor would he be the last to deal with this issue and he once again considered the supply limits and how long it would be before another violent skirmish over honour or resources would weaken the fleet further. They were already a shadow of their former selves and at the rate of supply consumption they were currently experiencing there was doubt that even a tenth of the fleet would remain intact upon arrival at the target galaxy. While the Yuuzhan Vong had a powerful military force that had already destroyed their own galaxy the reduced force that would arrive at their destination could be threatened by a large, united militaristic empire, and the Overlord and his advisers all knew that. Thus it was vital to ensure as many vessels would arrive as possible to establish the foundation of a new empire for the Yuuzhan Vong. Already most of the fleet would be consumed to ensure the surviving armada would arrive and any effort to expand that force by even a single vessel could make the difference in a disasteorus first contact scenario.
A quiet voice from a lowly scribe caught his attention. "We have received strange reports form most of the armada. They report significant gravitimetric distortions that have made the Dovin Basal's rather tempermental as a result".
The Overlord was stunned for a moment at the sheer incredulity of what he had just heard. Thinking he was being mocked he snarled as he rounded on the adviser and slammed a fist into the scarred face.
"GRAVIMETRIC? DO YOU TAKE ME FOR A FOOL?" The Overlord raged as the adviser collapsed with a startled yelp. The Overlord stayed silent as the whimpering shape slowly rose, a distinct discolouration slowly spreading. Seeing the effect of his fist on the imputant scribe calmed him somewhat.
"No your excellency." the scribe wheezed in a tired voice.
"We are in the middle of intergalactic space. We have been here for several millennia. And during all that time we have found absolutely nothing out here." The Overlord stated coldly. "So do pray tell, what nonsense do you try to feed me?
"Yes my lord I know it is strange but it is the only conclusion we have come to. I have the results of the analysis our best shapers have determined here" He presented a Yog-mal, the fist sized, featureless, red wormlike organism that held vast repositories of data and could upload or download them directly to the brain via the nervous system. Seeing the organism the Overlord stiffened. yog-mals were difficult bioforms to grow, rarely bred and typically used to contain vital information and documents of official nature. No one would waste a yog-mal on anything but sensitive and vital information or great importance or volume.
Without a word the Overlord snatch the Yog-mal and squeezed hard. the head blossomed into a flower of tendrils and rasping organs. Pressing the creatures open maw against the back of his neck he grunted as the beast cut into the skin and painfully wormed it's neural tendril into his spinal cord. Not that the pain was a problem for a member of such a masochistic race.
Suddenly his mind was filled with data as the knowledge was forced into his mind. The gravitimetric readings, Irregular Dovin Basal gravity well generation, and countless other details flashed through his mind and he took note of the information. As the conclusion was reported to the Overlords mind he mentally scowled at the overabundance of results indicated as unknown. Having transmitted the report the Yog-mal slowly extracted its nerves from the angry wound it had created. Pulling the creature from his neck the Overlord turned to the scribe.
"I don't like this it could be a phantom signal or some sort of ejected planetoid. Buy it could be a threat to us and if so I do not want our forces caught unprepared. Order all forces to enter a state of heightened alert but do not consume a single unnecessary shred of biomatter. We need as much as we can in order to reach the target at sufficient strength" The Overlord stated calmly and in a level manner. "Also tell the Shapers to get more information on this anomaly. Knowledge is power and we possess far to little in the face of whatever this anomaly represents."
The scribe bowed low and wordlessly departed, leaving the overlord to his thoughts. He assumed it was probably nothing dangerous, most likely a rogue planetoid, but if it was some sort of distant military force from their target it would be prudent to be prepared.
Little did the Last Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong know that his vast armada had been sighted by another intergalactic menace. One far more alien and destructive then anything the race which had destroyed their own galaxy could ever imagine.
Thousands of light years away the aforementioned anomaly changed its course. Much like their as yet unidentified prey this species was entirely organic but that was where all similarities ended. While the Yuuzhan Vong were an individualistic race of billions that subjugated the beasts they used as substitutes for technology the coming menace was an amalgamation of trillions of thoughts into a single consciousness. A hive mind spread across tens of thousands of massive void faring organisms. Within the hive mind was both basal animal instinct that could not be ignored as well as a strategic genius that could process information more quickly and effectively then any single mind it had yet encountered. Having detected the distant force the Hive's more intelligent minds had been somewhat alarmed. It had devoured trillions of lifeforms but very few had the capacity to perform intergalactic travel like the Mind's thousands of "appendages" and it could represent a race capable of defeating the swarm.
The sensory apparatus of what would later be deemed a Narvhal had indicated that the target was moving very slowly and while it was nearing the Halo stars of the nearest galaxy it was still thousands of years away from the destination at their indicated speed. The Hives more basal instincts were always dully screaming in the background for food and this certainly could be food, albeit it was unlikely to be a substantial amount of nourishment and it would be more efficient to ignore this target and resume course. The more tactical elements of the Mind had determined that the species could be a menace and possibly even know about the upcoming swarm but it was most likely in some sort of suspended animation based on the very slow velocity that allowed the Narvhal to lock onto the gravity well to begin with. The Hive Mind weighed the pros and cons. It was a risk to attack: the prey could cause significant damage if they prepared but the potential reward of a small meal that might be caught unaware and, most significantly, the removal of a potential future threat justified the expenditure to the hive. The hive had rapidly reached consensus. The prey would be consumed.
With a psionic signal from the Hive the Narvhal spread its sensory web of neural spines and began channelling energy through the delicate filaments. Light seemed to bend in front of the fleet as tens of thousands of ships were ripped from realspace and into the gravity corridor that had formed. With the lack of other significant gravity wells in intergalactic space the massed fleet sped rapidly towards ignorant prey. Within the vessels the hive had begun to awaken the Norn Queens of the fleet from their hibernation. Housed deep within the largest Hiveships the biomass shaping organisms began directing the fleet to ready a full invasion force. Bioforms suited for primarily boarding actions were prepared. Six limbed humanoids with massive claws, a nigh uncountable horde of armoured, toothy maggotlike forms, hulking beasts coated with thick bio alloys of superdense metal reinforced chitin with massive claws and biological weapons. All forming within the amniotic cocoons of every major vessel.
Months into the journey the total fleet held millions of grown organisms is stasis, awaiting contact with the prey.
9 Years later
The Hive Fleet materialized en mass and slowly awoke from the state of torpor it had entered while in transit. Sensory organs detected a massive fleet including 6 massive vessels the size of small astral bodies. But the most surprising observation was the composition of the prey. Everything from advanced optical senses spreading several visual spectrums to the warp imprints detected by the mind indicated that the enemy was almost entirely organic.
This changed everything. Right before the fleet stood the largest potential feast the mind had witnessed in millenia. The fleet could lose it's entire current force and still recreate a far larger fleet from the remains of the feast laid out before the Hive Mind. Below the surface of the colossal planetoid organisms numerous shiplike organisms took flight. Unlike the Hive Fleet vessels, which resembled heavily plate armoured cephalopods, rays, or sharks the prey vessels were sleek forms uniformly coated in a wrinkled coral like shell and vaguely resembled the skin of large aquatic mammals, albeit lacking heads or other visibly delicate sersory organs. Unlike the home base of these prey the ships were quite undersized with the largest prey vessel of comparable size to the hive fleets rough approximation of an escort leader or light cruiser.
But it also meant that the fleet was unprepared for the terrestrial combat that might be necessary on the strange planetoids. In anticipation of combating primarily inorganic ships the veritable tides of expendable smaller beasts had been largely neglected beyond the paltry number used in boarding actions. To make matters worse the most formidable of the terrestrial artillery and linebreaker bioforms had not been produced in acceptable quantities for standard engagements. Even the synapse forces consisted mainly of relatively vulnerable heavy infantry compared to the gargantuan armoured warp sensitive nodes primarily used to coordinate surface actions. It would take a few days to prepare the most rudimentary of the necessary bioforms. With the new information the hive broadcast revised orders to the fleet.
The plan was simple. Close all forces into close range of the planetoid sized organisms. and establish landing zones to be converted for potential generation of combat bioforms using the planetoids as resources. The remaining vessels would engage the enemy fleets until one side had void superiority. Even if the void bioforms were destroyed they would have bought enough time for the terrestrial forces to establish and consume the massive organic planets and produce an even larger fleet. To facilitate this plan even faster it was necessary to get the Norn Queens right to the planetoids to rapidly produce the necessary combat forms.
The previously sluggish hive fleet burst into motion. The massive Hive ships and their escorts speeding at a slight angle to the fleet to allow for massed ranged bombardment before surprising the foe by abruptly turning to smash through their sizeable yet under-gunned fleet.
As the massed fleets closed the coral shelled Yuuzhan Vong unleashed a massed wave of small organic forms similar to locusts. The Grunchen, locustlike creatures a meter in size to be flung at opposing ships in huge swarms to latch on and devour their prey. The Grunchen cloud closed closer and closer to the mysterious invaders.
Only for every last one to be destroyed well before making contact with the strange ships.
Unlit by any solar or artificial lights the ravenous organisms had collided headlong into the ablative and mycetic spores and circling gargoyles that protected the larger bioships and envelop smaller vessels when in the dense attack formation the hive preferred. The Grutchen were shredded en masse as they collided with trillions of biological mines and small mobile bioforms that made up the hive fleets shield and point defence.
Within the unscratched Hive Fleet the Hive calculated the losses. 67% reduction in ablative spores within the spearhead, following vessels suffering between 10-56% ablative spores removed, Total replenishment costs: 167 352 tons of biomass and 8 hours assuming standard combat attrition.
The enemy fleet seemed to react sluggishly to reposition as the first wave of bio plasma struck the enemy fleet. To the hive minds surprise the entire volley was seemingly negated before impact. A sensory burst from a Narvhal indicated some sort of gravity singularity generated form each ship, with massive ones formed from the planetoids, drawing in and nullifying the volley. This perplexed the Mind. It had encountered gravity based weapons and defenses in the past but none as effective as this. While unexpected the hive was not overly perturbed. The front line of the naval force was moments away from making contact with the enemy fleet. Close quarters was where the Hives vessels were were most effective. Amongst the enemy fleet the risk of friendly fire would severely cut down on enemy ordinance, which the hive could easily direct through the synapse network. And this was in addition to the bioships formidable claws, tendrils, and jaws. Seldom was the foe seized by a bioship to survive, and never without aid from the rest of their fleet. One minor change made was the complete abandonment of boarding spores. The enemy's mysterious gravity shields had been unaffected by bio plasma and it was reasonable to assume that it would affect other projectile weapons in a similar manner. Throughout the combat fleet the prepared boarding organisms were hastily moved to massive ovipositors to commence boarding actions. Though few would be ready immediately the outer picket of smaller vessels were poor boarding targets anyway. The hive knew the boarding forces would shine most on major threats such as the planetoids or the well protected larger, albeit still small vessels that seemed to serve as capital ships.
Admiral Krenn looked upon the approaching fleet from the bridge of the Miid'or'ik (Capital vessel) Gaze of Contempt with a notable level on anxiety. This mysterious fleet may have had nothing in the size range of the Khoros Stronha such as the Despoiler of Worlds he called home but with those 6 exceptions the enemy fleet dwarfed everything else the force and most of their vessels were of a similar size to Kor Chokk Battleships that were not to be present in the fleet prior to imminent galactic arrival due to their extreme biomass demands. Sensors had indicated that the smallest of these ships were the same size as his flagship. In desperation Krenn had ordered all Grunchen deployed immediately hoping to cripple and distract the enemy fleet before firing range was achieved. The entire swarm had been destroyed by clouds of unknown biomatter and had not even fully depleted the enemy vessels strange shield analogue. Upon seeing this Krenn ordered all Yorik-et to be put on standby but not launched, hoping to disable the mysterious shields before losing more valuable interceptors or strike craft.
To his amazement the fleet opened fire at a range of several hundred thousand kilometres. It seemed foolhardy to fire anything at such an extreme range as a hit would be astronomically unlikely, until he counted the number and power of each projectile on the sensory. Millions of plasma projectiles akin to grossly oversized and overheated volcano cannons each carrying enough firepower to cripple or destroy a vessel were streaking towards the fleet at near relativistic speed. With that amount and strength of shot even a 1% hit rate would cause severe damage to the enemy lines.
"Dovin basals, full spread. Catch all of those projectiles." Krenn ordered. he was rewarded with a chorus or affirmatives and severe gravitic distortions forming singularities around the fleet. He waited anxiously as the projectiles approached the singularities and fought not to sigh in relief as every single projectile had been caught in the gravity field and neutralized. The enemies firepower was seemingly no match for the dovin basals. Seemingly noticing this the unknown fleet made a hard change in it's direction. Instead of remaining at their obscene weapons range it appeared to split into several smaller battlegroups and one significant force. All of these forces were flying head on to the fleet at speeds approaching 50% of light speed. Though shocked at the obscene speed Krenn grinned. If this opponent knew anything about the Yuuzhan Vong they would have used that speed to keep well away and hope to penetrate the Dovin Basals with sustained fire. The Yuuzhan Vong were experts at mid and close quarters ship fighting with their array of powerful magma cannons and other more exotic anti ship weapons. These enemy vessels may have been huge but they should be powerless against the myriad of weapon organisms which thrived in close combat. He signalled the armsman. "Get the Qworlth skaal ready. The enemy fancies a knifefight with our fleet. Let's show them their folly."
The armsman grinned. "Ohh she'll be eating good tonight"
Krenn nodded "Indeed". Turning to other bridge crews he barked out more orders. "Keep those dovin basals active. I don't want to be blindsided by another volley. Once the ships themselves are in range commence full bombardment with everything we have. Yorik-et are to be readied but not, I repeat NOT to be deployed without my authorisation."
It was a tense wait of a few minutes before the enemy vessels hit the outer perimeter of the dovin basal field, with no following volleys of plasma. Immediately several vessels focused their dovin basals into massive forces of gravity. Visually Krenn saw several of the smaller ships of a similar size to his own ship distort form the extreme forces, cracking and twisting their thick armoured plates apart to expose support spars eerily similar to bone and a torrent of biological fluids that flash froze in the void. A few others were hit by a full broadside of volcano cannons and while some survived with their armoured plates glowing a bright orange a small number had indeed been crippled as weaknesses from the dovin basals created weak points in their armour. Furthermore almost the entire remaining contingent of ablative biomatter had been stripped, leaving the enemy ships vulnerable
His fascination with the destruction of the enemy picket vessels was interrupted by a comms officer "Sir, The Despoiler of Worlds Is reporting that the larger vessels will be difficult to damage with the basals as is but that they are going to commence pulling them down to the surface. If they somehow survive impact the surface forces will dismantle them."
Krenn nodded. It seemed a reasonable strategy. "Grab as many larger vessels and pull them down to the surface. I think we can handle anything you miss. But we are tight on ships and going to need every ship we can get. If you can't grab it without grabbing our own vessels leave it for us."
Suddenly the largest enemy ships, reaching around 12 km in length as well as several of their escorts all began veering towards the Koros Stronha, caught in the gravity tethers and slowly pulled towards the waiting behemoths. While somewhat surprised that the vessels made no overt evasion attempts Krenn chalked it up the the massive vessels lacking manoeuvrability.
Drawing his attention to the significant threats remaining the fleet prepared for close quarters combat.
Krenn watched as several enemy vessels not snared by the Koros Stronhas veered immediately on intercept headings with his own fleet. "Launch Yorik-et now. Target the vessels that have already been hit by the dovin basal singularities, their shields should be down."
Suddenly the comms officer raised an alarm. "Sir the enemy fleets too close to out own to use the dovin basals any further. With how resilient those things are we'll take more losses then they will."
As if to punctuate the point another crewman shouted a warning "BRACE"
The Gaze of Contempt Shuddered violently as an enemy ship twice its size grazed the vessel as it rushed for another vessel. The sensory showed it's armoured prow open into a set of titanic jaws that seized a ro'ik chuun m'arh frigate. Despite being hammered from all sides with volcano cannons it payed no heed as it appeared to crush the comparatively tiny vessel effortlessly.
The comms stations started to suddenly break down into a mess of reports. Several vessels had been seized by the mysterious vessels and those that were not immediately destroyed were reporting terrifying organisms of seemingly unnatural ability and coordination commencing brutal boarding actions. Another sensorum showed a Qworlth Skaarl crawl from the belly of its beleaguered ship to strike at the massive enemy ship that had grasped it with several armoured tendrils but being unable to burrow through the thick armoured plates before being struck by a strange round projectile that stuck fast and dragged the struggling beast into yet another titanic maw.. Yorik-et strafed enemy vessels with no visible effect only to be struck down by strange batlike forms that had exited the vessels en mass once the microsingularities had been cleared or shredded by heavy point defence fire.
Krenn immediately realised his mistake. These foes were even more capable in close quarters then in ranged combat. He shuddered at the realisation that his fleet was going to suffer such heavy casualties
Then all of a sudden several enemy ships suddenly opened fire with their plasma weapons. This devastated the remaining fleet and the few elements not crippled or destroyed were now being overpowered in, for lack of a better descriptor, melee combat with much of the enemy fleet. To make matters worse somehow not a single shot from the invaders had impacted their own fleets. It was as if the enemy commander was in direct control of each vessel and could pinpoint every detail.
Realising the hopeless situation Krenn contacted the Despoiler of Worlds with a heavy heart. "Use the dovin basals on everything you can. don't worry about friendly fire, were dead anyway. Rip them to shreds before they have a chance to fire on you. For the Glory of the Coming Empire!"
There was no reply but the Gaze of Contempt, along with the entire remaining Yuuzhan Vong fleet and the entangled vessels were suddenly either ripped to the surface of the worldships either somewhat intact or in several pieces. Krenn's last thoughts were of how close this victory would be for the Yuuzhan Vong.
Unknown to Krenn the controlling intelligence of his opponents was consumed not with hopelessness at the seeming loss of so many vessels but satisfaction that the kill was at hand. there were a few remaining invader vessels in orbit seemingly keeping their distance from the worldships yet nonetheless firing what they could at the surface. From the wreckage of the downed attacking fleets trillions of wormlike organisms in a veritable tide, devouring the surface of the Koros Stronha. Following them was a veritable parade of monsters eerily similar to their spaceborne carriers. Pale milky skin heavily encased in thick bony plates augmented by metals and minerals to be as strong as standard construction materials. Each bristling with scythelike claws or protruding weapon organisms. These organisms joined with a handful of organisms dropped by the remaining orbital force to secure the landing zones and provide a token resistance before the fleet generated the rest of its army
A number Yuuzhan Vong soldiers and large vehicle analogues were sent to secure the wreckage upon the surface.
None returned. soldiers ran out of ammo as veritable tides of chitin engulfed entire divisions. Massive fire breather super heavies were bombarded by plasma or ripped to shreds by colossal armoured beasts that seemed to utterly ignore their potent flames. Had there been a sun to provide light it would have been blotted out by the starfighter variant of the invaders who now deployed their ordinance against any who sought to advance into the landing zones.
Within days the invaders had burrowed into the heart of the Koros Stronha. the massive living planetoids mental and physical screams of agony were heard by the last of the Yuuzhan Vong as they were devoured alive by the mysterious force. In desperation three Koros Stronha were ripped to shreds by the remaining vessels in an effort to halt the invaders but before more could be destroyed the massive organisms fell silent, dead. Soon they were followed by the last of their masters leaving the spoils of the battle to the invaders.
Within weeks the remaining intact worldships had been largely reduced to a massive amalgamation of semi digested flesh that the intact fleet vessels fed upon. The Norn queens actually departed the grounded ships to more intimately alter the biomass for the coming fleet. As the fleet fed and the Norn queens worked they birthed new vessels. A small pathfinder fleet had departed at this stage to lay the groundwork for future invasions in the coming hunting grounds.
Within a year the remaining intact worldships had been fully devoured and used as the raw materials for a new fleet orders of magnitude larger then the initial fleet. Less then a month later there was no trace whatsoever of a battle in this section of space as every last derelict on both sides was devoured and re-purposed.
The Yuuzhan Vong had been erased from history.
With its new armada the Great Devourer resumed its course towards a modest sized galaxy far far away.