With public opinion of the Emperor at an all time low, political factions within the Empire's borders began to take shape. In 3812 three factions with very different views on Empirical politics took form. Together they would tear apart the Empire in their drive for control, heedless of the Republic's machinations during the long period of warfare.
The Imperial Navy, the long-standing core military division of the UE, was taken over by Supreme Commander Zukrov as a free entity, fighting for the return of the harsh ideals the Empire had lived under for thousands of years.
Meanwhile, a Zelevas prince consolidated his powers into the Empirical Succession Front, advocating for his ancestor to relinquish the throne and resume the cycle of succession that had been in place for generations.
The third faction was the smallest, a group of nobles and system governors that desired a change to a more economically focused Empire, and used their widespread influence to create the Star Alliance, though it covered less than a fifth of all UE space.
The war that ensued was bloody, widespread, and fast. Zukrov quickly organized his forces along the main Republic front, in an initial surge that beat back the thinly spread fleets the Republic was using. While the Republic was busy reorganizing a stronger force, Zukrov turned to his main front against the Empire and started a long series of sieges on worlds that still claimed alleigance to him.
However, as the Imperial Navy was composed of recruits from systems throughout the Empire, Maximilian found he was having a hard time mounting a stable defensive as soldiers refused to fire on their once comrades or overthrow their governments themselves. The Imperial Navy was slowly moving inward.
On the other side of the conflict was the ESF, and they were finding a tougher time with their organization. The new military force put in place by Cavernum Zelevas himself was haphazard at best. Many nobles were confused about where their loyalties lay, and of the three assaults they launched their first year, only one of them was successful in claiming a system. At every corner, Cavernum ran into problems of communication and rank, with no one knowing exactly who they were taking orders from.
The ESF was even outshone by none other than the modest Star Alliance, which took five systems in their first year of independence, two of which belonged to the ESF itself.
In 3815, and after three years of bloody Empire-wide warfare, Emperor Maximlian was getting desperate. With only his core worlds left to support him, he finally accepted the grave truth about the uprising, and called out his Sheredyn Fleets, the last resort against opposition. The Sheredyn force was called in from all corners of the Sheredyn military sectors, and gathered around the system of Malgreus to launch their counterattack.
Supreme Commander Zukrov was well aware of the danger the Sheredyn posed to his rebellion, but had committed to his cause with enough passion to realize that they were the only thing stopping him from siezing power of the entire Empire. Calling his Generals together, he ironed out a plan of attack. On August 14th, 3815, the Imperial Navy met the full Sheredyn force head on in the battle for Malgreus.
The End Of An AgeEdit
After Zukrov's miracle victory over the Sheredyn at Malgreus, their was only one last obstacle to his vision of a true Empire for Humanity. While the rest of Maximilian's core worlds were mopped up with ease, his capital system of Sabel was still heavily guarded against assault.
On November 2nd, 3815, The Emperor was dead, and with him died a long line of tyrannical rulers and rational monarchs. In its place, Zukrov instituted the new United Human State, and gave himself the title of Commandant. The Empire was quickly reconfigured, the Star Alliance and Empirical Succession Front giving up as dramatically as they could, allowing the leaders to retain much of the status they once had.
But the new Empire was a harsh place, and the end of an age is simply a gateway to the future. The Empire had risen again, but stronger and meaner than ever before, or since.