Well, here we are at the end of this story. Kracker and Orthos made reference to some political struggles between the Federation and Empire during episode 2, but here we see here that the Empire has recently been dealt a severe blow. Three years is not a lot of time for an entire culture to deal with something as profoundly shattering as the loss of their entire royal family, so it’s clear that the events likely have a major bearing on the empire as a whole, even three years later.

Even more shocking is the nature of the loss of the royal family. The full letter to Amritas explains this further:

Commander Amritas Furghar (id 89653),

It is my most unfortunate duty to inform you of the murder of her Imperial Highness Yuteya and other members of the imperial family by the very brother of the empress, Grand Commander Mahkash. He was found in the imperial throne room, slain by Advisor Zartul, who was fortunate enough to survive the vicious attacks despite grievous injury from trying to wrest away Mahkash’s sword.

We are still trying to locate all of the bodies. Princess Danaba is still missing; Zartul admits he is not sure if she was slain by Mahkash. Until then, Zartul — our standing emperor —  is recovering under heavy guard. Despite his exhaustion, he has given the military a standing order to maintain border patrols and keep peace within the colonies until this crisis is resolved.

Do not speak of the details behind these events until a full investigation has been conducted; we do not need panic in our ports.

Grief counseling will be available. Medical personnel have been contacted with limited situational detail. I advise you make a formal announcement of the passing of the imperial family. I also believe that half-shifts are an advisable choice for the next few days. That includes you, Amritas.

For the Empire!
Acting Grand Commander Artar Durse

Needless to say, there are questions about the event. For now, acting regent Zartul runs the empire until the remains of Danaba are discovered. However in another two years time, control of the empire officially turns over to Zartul and his lineage, despite his apprehension. Zartul is a controversial figure, but it’s clear that he was able to maintain order in the empire, making sure citizens worked through their grief and push further out into space.

Well, with that being said, we move into episode 3, Paranoia, next week. I look forward to sharing that one with you. I am trying some cool things in it.

So, how do you feel about this short story we just finished? Do you think it would be worth it to see more like it, or do you think I should keep short stories strictly oriented toward the main characters? Should I forget about short stories period? What do you think may have happened concerning the imperial family?

Also, in case you missed it, Bandit’s Quest got a TON of attention last week. It was pretty astounding. The update is already up, so you can see the cheapest gag I have ever done.

Anyway, for those of you who read Cosmic Dash, I want to thank you for being here. I would love to talk to each and every one of you, and hear your feedback, questions, or comments. All you need to do is drop a comment, and I would be absolutely thrilled to answer.

One last note before I vanish. If you look on the sidebar to your right, you should see a new donation button that includes a rather “cheeky” image. I am offering up a cool Bandit’s Quest wallpaper for a donation of any amount. If you are interested, simply click it. Every dollar helps.

I know I have probably linked Culture Shock a few times already, but I have recently been helping Hawk upgrade his site to comicpress, and I really just want to see his comic get bombarded with attention, because he is one of the coolest dudes I know.