THE ARKHON SAS FLEET
The Arkhon Space Air and Sea (SAS) fleet represents the majority of the Empire’s space warfare assets. For a couple thousand years the SAS has tied the far flung parts of the sprawling Arkhon society together. It has been used to both conquer new worlds and secure trade routes. It, for many centuries, appeared to be unstoppable.
The Arkhon’s nearest free neighbors, before the appearance of humanity on the intergalactic stage, were the Empire of Many Suns and the Xintrin Merchant Guild. The Empire, before it fell into chaos, was too tough an opponent for the Arkhon to tackle. Now that it is gone, the Arkhon have constantly looked for a way to gain influence over the region, but its inhabitants are far too wary of the possibility of trading one group of overlords for another. What’s more, the Mogg’Therin nomadic fleets have made it clear that an Arkhon invasion would reap a terrible cost. The Xintrin were protected from the Arkhon both by a reasonably powerful military, and by the fact that there was a large expanse of dozens of unsettled systems between the two forces. However, the Xintrin had no illusions of winning a sustained war against the Arkhon. The strange, alien Vorhasi are also near the Arkhon territories, but they are too powerful for even the Arkhons to threaten.
Then, a couple centuries ago, a new, upstart species originally from a backwater world known as Earth began spreading throughout the quadrant like wildfire. Once they had settled the expanse between the Arkhon Empire and the Xintrin, the Arkhon felt it was time to throw their weight around and invaded. The Arkhon lost.
For the first time in recorded history, the Arkhon military was not enough to do the job. Their might, on a species much less advanced than they are, did not see them through to victory. For the first time in recorded history, the SAS had to stand down and the Empire sued for peace, eventually having to surrender several key worlds to the new Terran Protectorate.
It is not something the Arkhon were easily able to stomach. It is not something the SAS fleet has been able to live down.
For as much as this new war against humanity is about greed and envy, so too is it about vanity and revenge. The SAS eagerly backed the warmongers within the Arkhon society in the debate over what to do about the spreading Protectorate. For years they’ve been rebuilding their ships, studying human tactics, trying to figure out what went wrong. Now, they are eager to test themselves, once again, against humanity’s finest.
The Arkhon have three advantages over the Terran Protectorate. The first is numbers. They have a much larger Empire and can pull large pools of conscripts. Those who do not volunteer can be drafted from both the Arkhon race and several other species they have conquered.
The second advantage is experience. They have been
conducting war among the stars since the time of the
Third, however, is technology. The Arkhon have a significant technological edge. Their ships tend to be faster and more maneuverable. They require less crew members and shorter build times. They have more advanced sensors and a wider array of weaponry, as well as advanced energy and armor technologies that the Protectorate has been unable to duplicate even with captured examples to reverse engineer.
It seems, at times, like a daunting advantage that should spell doom for the Protectorate. That is, until one considers one important fact: The Arkhon had all the same advantages before, and they still lost.
This is something that worries constantly on the minds of the lords of the SAS fleet. But they insist humanity took them by surprise. They underestimated them the first time. It is a mistake they do not intend to make again.
Ships of the Arkhon SAS Fleet