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The Apprentice Returns

2267, September 7th: After losing his best scouts on Savannah to a supernatural force, Hoshi-San gave the order to his AC fleet, the Handan Strength, to retreat from the sector. However, the ship's wardrive's failed to initiate FTL travel. Soon after, emerging from the storm covered world of Savannah, mysterious pyramidal structures which defy the laws of physics give chase to the fleet, which attempts to flee using their cold-fusion propulsion engines. The unidentified objects zoom in and out of position at break neck speeds and emit no source of propulsion. Hoshi-San suspects a far more advanced form of warp technology is used by these vessels, or perhaps they utilize the Planck energy source and can simply phase in and out of reality at will. For 3 days, the fleet is pursued until one by one, their onboard systems begin to fail, presumably by some form of electronic warfare being used by the pyramid-like craft. Slowly, the fleet inevitably separates through the inertia of an object in motion, in frictionless space. Lost in the void, Hoshi-San's flag ship remains alone as one by one he loses visual contact with the other vessels. Soon, the familiar visual identification of a AC cruiser approaches the flagship. But without its weapon systems it's hopeless to fight back. AC Mercenaries prepare for hostile boarding action, as Hoshi-San announces that the oncoming cruiser belongs to the one and only Takeshi Handan. How Takeshi had access to technology beyond the current capabilities of mankind was a mystery to Hoshi-San. Without warning, the mercenaries drop dead, not a single shot had been fired. One by one they fled through the halls screaming in terror, as they were dragged into the darkness and ultimately permanent silence. On the bridge, Hoshi-San prepares for his foe. The doors open, the lights go out, everyone perishes, save Hoshi-San who stands solitary under the last ceiling lamp lighting the bridge. Emerging from the shadows, Takeshi Handan appears with sword in hand, followed closely behind by a mysterious woman. Even if Hoshi-San wanted to find out who she was, it would be to no avail, since no record of this woman exists. She was a sorceress and high priestess of the Solar Blood Hands, 2nd only to Lord Maximus Lanzo. Her eyes and hands glowed with a purple flame which reanimated the corpses of Hoshi-San's men. The Samurai stood in disbelief, he grew up with the fables and myths of old but had never experienced them firsthand. Hoshi drew his sword and faced his former student. "You have fallen very far Takeshi, you bring your family's great name to disgrace," the Samurai said to Takeshi with vexation in his voice. "Working with a necromancer, an Akki? Have you gone insane!" Takeshi laughed, starring down his former sensei in Bushido. "You old fool, don't you see the power I have at my disposal? This is the gift of the Overlords; the Archons are our salvation! With this technology and power, we can finally destroy our enemies Hoshi, we can rise to our rightful place as the rulers of humanity! I am trying to bring our family to honor, to topple the Empire, to bring our name to eternal glory! Join me Hoshi...my father is weak, a lap dog to the Emperor.." The Samurai, boiling with rage yelled "I should've killed you when you were just a boy!" as he lunged forward with his katana. Takeshi and Hoshi dueled, their swords clashed, and they drew each other's blood. But Takeshi could not best the brute strength and experience of the seasoned Samurai. It was then when the Sorceress brought Hoshi to his knees using her supernatural powers "On your knees swine," she uttered with an evil tone. She gazed over to Takeshi and gestured, "Kill him, prove your loyalty to us, and our powers will be yours." Peering into the eyes of his former sensei, Takeshi felt inner guilt, but committed to erasing his humanity for power. He plunged the sword into his Sensei, ending him.



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