November 21st

Okay, it’s taken me a little while to get round to it but I’m going to start typing up the remaining stories

These are quite possibly my last hours on Earth. And yet there is so much left to be done. My life was not always thus. In my youth I had very little to do and more than enough time in which to accomplish it. But those days are so distant that they might just as well be another world. Strange, how quickly we adapted to that notion; of inhabited worlds distinct from our own. No longer the wares of fantasists but cold, hard fact.
I wonder if you recall those early visitations which so dramatically altered out definition of what is real, dear reader. I wonder if you understand human writing.
The first were the Qveetchian Expansionists, explorers from a world of two drastically different societies. The Qveetchian Empire dwelt exclusively on their homeworld, refusing to venture into the cold gulf of space for fear of losing…we shall say souls, for want of a more accurate translation. The Expansionists were far more curious and relaxed; happy, bold explorers who wanted to see all that the universe had to offer. They taught us much of our true place in the galaxy, the universe. Their knowledge was shared freely, and they invited any who were curious to travel with them. A couple of hundred out of all of humanity elected to venture outwards on the Expansionists’ vast vessels, out into the stars. We never heard from them again.
But off the back of this world-altering event, Humanity was changed. Now that we knew what awaited us-or thought we knew, arrogant as we were-many were eager to get out there and explore on our own terms and not as galactic hitchhikers.
In the decade that followed, scientists and engineers raced to master the knowledge that had been gifted to us and put it into practical application. Every nation of any significance wanted to be the first to escape our limited reality. Within four years countries had started to form alliances and co-operatives, acknowledging that working together was their only option. The United States Space Expedition. The European Deep Space Exploration Union. The Heavenly Cartographers Society. The Ascendent Army of The Heavenly Empire.
And as you likely know, all of this came to naught. Perhaps one federation or another was on the verge of success. We’ll never know. The second race of galactic wayfarers weren’t quite so benign as the Qveetchian Expansionists. We know them as Marauders. Those foul behemoths who have been laying waste to our world for the last three years. Ignoring our every attempt to communicate. Landing and taking whatever they choose. Our acts of aggression slammed, as dismissive as we might be when squashing an errant ant.

Gone are my days of lazing about on the river, or wasting evenings over cards and gin. When those bastards descended on my family seat and reduced it to rubble. I have been reliably informed that they were extracting minerals from deep below the manor. I don’t care. The day they made me the sole survivor of the House of Bruswel, I swore I would find a way to strike a blow in return. Three years of laying waste to every corner of the earth has left Humanity in a most precarious position. Our numbers now are so few that should we succeed in vexing them, the Marauders would require very little effort to exterminate us completely. Small comfort that we will persevere somewhere out amongst the stars. Who knows, perhaps the descendants of those brave pioneers will come back someday, curious about their ancestral home.
It’s time. I don’t really understand the details, but when we set this device off it will use the Marauder ship’s own energy to magnify the blast. There are forty teams waiting to go just as soon as their ships land, to infiltrate their vessels and set off the devices. We’ll bloody their nose, force them to acknowledge us. In all likelihood their response will be to ensure we pose no threat in future, but so be it.
By Jove, we’ll go out with a bang, not with a whimper.

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