The Vykkians were more than willing to sign a hastily drafted pact of mutual defence and economic aid at the somewhat favourable terms which the SAS team had offered. The newly encountered alien race saw the advantage they could wrest from these relatively primitive newcomers. The humans were desperate and clearly running out of time, the special operations troops which had made first contact were not diplomats and they had very little clue that the Vykkians had plans of their own for these newcomers to the interstellar stage.
The Vykkians had technology even more advanced than the Monosians, including weapons and ships that far outmatched Earth’s attackers. It was this that the first contact team was shown; the antimatter reactors, the FTL drive cores, the powerful particle cannon and flechette rifles. What they were not shown was the full extent of the Vykkians’ weakness. The Monosians had them outnumbered over twenty to one, and the industrial and scientific disadvantages those numbers implied meant that the Monosians were slowly closing the gap. A cultural taboo against cloning and robotics only exacerbated the problem and the the long Vykkian gestation period gave them a biological aversion to heavy losses on the battlefield. The Vykkians desperately needed allies to offset the Monosian advantages and to press home their own. When the Vykkians made contact with humans, they gained something better than allies, a desperate, violent and fast-breeding race which needed aid at any cost, in short; cannon fodder.
To the Vykkians, it was an opportunity too wonderful to pass up.
A hastily mustered Vykkian fleet was on their way to Earth within a week. The Monosian forces in orbit were caught completely by surprise. Eight long years of war, occupation, mutual atrocity and endless turmoil were ended in a salvo of missiles and a twenty minute exchange of railgun fire. The Vykkians took losses, but the prospect of never having to risk a Vykkian life in combat again allowed them to swallow their own deaths and keep fighting. A quick orbital bombardment cleared the Earth’s surface of all alien ground forces. The massive human collateral damage was accepted and quickly forgotten; humanity’s priorities had changed. The Earth was at war, and it would seem that any cost was acceptable if it meant the destruction of the Monosian empire. On Pri Vykk’yos, the circle of cognitors – the political and military strategists which ran the Vykkian polity – saw this and nodded sagely.
Over the next thirty years, Earth, or Terra, as it popularly became known, changed. With Vykkian aid, the cities were rebuilt, a massive series of orbital facilities were constructed, and alien technology was incorporated into every day life. Terrans lived more spartan lives than their ancestors, and papered over any schisms in political environment. The Equipped with Vykkian FTL drives, the children of Terra spread out to the stars, finding world after world, sterilized by Monosian aggression and paranoia. These worlds were terraformed and colonized, creating a small group of heavily developed, industrially powerful systems around Terra known as the “Core Worlds”.
Behind the rebuilding of Terrestrial civilization, the colonization of alien worlds and the outward political unification of the entire Terran species, there sat one motivation; vengeance. The few movements which opposed retribution were vilified as Monosian collaborators and almost always met gruesome and violent ends at the hands of the general population, by whom they were completely unmourned. In orbit above Terra, massive vessels of war were assembled. The Vykkians, so supremely confident in their own technological and political superiority, sent convoy after convoy of weapons and technology, expecting the hairless apes to slavishly install them on their ships. Instead, it seemed that somebody in the highest reaches of the terran government was smart enough to realize the Vykkians’ plans for humanity. So, in the thirty years after the Monosian invasion, humanity secretly began to reverse-engineer Vykkian technology, until the weapons being installed on Terran ships were not Vykkian imports, but secretly developed Terran variants.
After years of preparation, the time had finally come. The Terran force, now numbering well over two hundred ships and christened “The Retribution Fleet” departed Terran orbit for the jump co-ordinates of the route to the Monosian home worlds. The Vykkians had, of course, plans of their own. They withheld direct support and gave the Terrans a course which intentionally ran them through every single heavily defended Monosian fortress system. The plan was to gauge the ability of the Terran war machine. It was intended that the Terrans would score a few initial victories. Without knowledge of how to maintain their Vykkian equipment, they would eventually be attrited in a series of hard-fought fortress assaults before finally being too weak to continue, burning out in a blaze of glory which would perpetuate a cycle of offensive and counter-offensive until both the Terrans and the Monosians were completely wiped out or too worn out to offer any serious resistance to Vykkian infiltration and annexation.
Unfortunately for the cognitors of Pri Vykk’yos, they had once again underestimated their erstwhile allies. The Retribution fleet did suffer losses, but not at the expected rate, and the secretly trained Terran FTL technicians and Antimatter Reactor crews were able to keep their equipment running far past the point when the Vykkians expected them to break down. Still, they remained confident that the Terran offensive would burn out any moment. It was only when the Retribution fleet finally entered the Monosian home system that the Vykkians realized that they had miscalculated.
From then on, things only got worse for the Vykkians. They had sorely underestimated the proficiency and sheer brutality of their Terran pawns, who threw wave after wave of cheap, one-man strike craft into the teeth of the Monosian defences, sacrificing thousands upon thousands of lives in a manner that the Vykkians would have found unthinkable. Finally, as the Monosian walls of point defence fire finally slackened and crumbled away, the Terrans deployed their ace-in-the-hole; a gravity inversion device, a weapon which, as a Vykkian cognitor would later state “could have only come from the twisted and bloodthirsty mind of a Terran.” As the GID accellerated to near light-speed, it gained near infinite mass, and as it sucked in Monosia’s primary and close orbiting planets, it became a micro singularity for just long enough to destroy everything within a 150 AU radius. The Retribution fleet had long-since departed, but as the blue glowing point of Monosia winked out from behind them, they knew that retribution had been delivered.
The Vykkians could only look on in horror. What had begun as a test of character and a calculated gesture of manipulation had ended in xenocide. As the Vykkians scrambled to adapt to the sudden destruction of their centuries-long nemesis, the Retribution Fleet returned home and Terra began searching for new enemies. The circle of cognitors, once so confident in their abilities, now maneuvered desperately to avoid becoming humanity’s next target. In the end, the Terran-Vykkian alliance remained intact, but from then on, it would be the children of Terra who wore the trousers.