For most of the galaxy, Z'etta was a name synonymous with treachery.
The Z'etta Empire was located in the middle of the southwest quadrant of the Estra Galaxy. The Z'etta was a unique energy-based lifeform., meaning that they were made up of a unique form of radiant energy. So far as Terrans are concerned, that energy, Dunstal radiant energy, was discovered by Akko Dunstal in 2509. It was an unusual form of electromagnetic energy that was visible to humans as luminous energy. The luminous energy was so intense that humans had to wear eye protection and maintain a safe distance when in contact with a Z'ettan. Z'ettas could maintain a corporeal form for a maximum of ten hours. After that, they would dissipate, and their energy would flow underground to a subsurface level of the soil that human explorers named the "aquifer" or the "elake," a mass of Dunstal energy coursing through the substrate of the world.
Although the Z'etta controlled millions of starsystems, their unique nature kept most starfaring civilizations away from Z'etta space. Up until the Trebbians made contact in 2625, only the odd trade vessel or explorer ever docked at a Z'etta starport. The Z'etta, of course, had millions of their own commercial, military, and private starships moving about the empire.
After the arrival of the Trebbians, and the formalization of diplomatic relations, the Z'etta accepted embassies and established trade with the Taraphine, a peaceful arachnid race for whom trade was difficult because most races were unwilling to negotiate with a spider twice their size.
The Grand Alliance
The Z'etta empire was welcomed into the Grand Alliance during the great cybernetic rebellion. But the Z'etta did not remain faithful. In the 3400s the Z'etta found the RX-43 cybers at their doorstep and with things were going badly for the Grand Alliance it was unlikely that the Z'etta would be receiving help from their allies. As they prepared for the cyber onslaught, the Z'etta leaders were given a surprising offer by their enemies. If the Z'etta would agree to join the cybers, and submit to transfer of their energy to hosts harvested during the rebellion, the RX-43 would provide implants that would act as a permanent, portable, and private "lake" for each Z'etta. This was an enticing offer because it would create a private sanctuary for each Z'ettan, something that they had never truly experienced or even thought that they would want.
In 3481, a majority of the Z'etta agreed to submit, saving their empire from ruin but selling their souls to the cybernetic devil. A small number of Z'etta refused to join the cybers. They continued to resist the cybernetics and established a government in exile that continued with Grand Alliance. Within the year, Z'etta warships were aiding cybernetic task forces as they invaded M'mwewan space. Transports filled with Z'etta were embedded into harvested M'mwewan bodies as the campaign progressed toward the inevitable fall of the M'mwewan Empire in 3528. Many other empires followed as the Z'etta joined in the cybernetic carnage. The empires destroyed with the aid of the Z'etta were the Trebbians in 3582, Wandra Oligarchy in 3605, Naerimoth in 3685, Albion in 3687, the Samites in 3699, Grekkan Oligar in 3751, 100 starsystems of the Farica rebels in 3782, Cestodial Hegemony in 3805, the Asandian Empire in 3836, the Denedanin in 3885, Simperan in 3888, and Buretara in 4156.
A Singular Act
As horrible as the Z'etta were, there remains one shining moment at the end of all things. In 4353, the last known foldgate in Estra was destroyed in the Coldstream Ring Nebula at the empty starsystem, Matathra. The gate was blown up by Z'etta Destroyer Squadron Commander Weturi Deppros, who detonated a micro-singularity device in the mouth of the gate when he learned that the foldgate control station on the ice-moon Rado had been overrun by KMR "Killer Myron" cybers.
Artwork by Camilo Aldana, Dmitry Borodin, and NASA
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