Astrea had not realized that death would be this painful, with sharp pricks against her consciousness. She remained still, hoping the process of returning to the stars would pass quickly. She felt full, like her corporeal form would burst into particles.
Astrea opened her mouth to demand what for, when a fierce glow lit the sky with an intensity she could feel against her skin. "I don't think fighters are going to be enough," she murmured as her stomach rolled with dread.
When it peeked over Novi’s horizon, Xandar looked small. Peaceful. Blue swirled with grey, far away, moon number three peeking around behind it. Astrea knew looks could be deceiving, and that Xandar was neither peaceful or small, even from her limited window view. She hated seeing it in her sky. The same sky where her parents hung now, shining and returned to their star form. She wondered if they watched her. She’d pray to them, but she was in enough trouble already. The view served as a reminder that Novi’ites were shackled to the Imperium just as their little moon was shackled in its orbit of the central planet.
Xandarian colonization happened while Astrea was still in nappies. The hilltop shrines to Forge Mother were torn down and their religion made illegal before she could walk. Even so, she’d been raised in the old ways by her parents, her father the Ogimaa-inni at the time. At least until they died in the early wars. The war was less a true fight and more a slaughter, Novi’ite soul swords no match against the heavy artillery of the Imperium Navy. Since then, the people of the swampy forest moon of Novi did their best to go through the motions of integration. They hid their language, their beliefs, and even allowed themselves to be conscripted into Imperium Navy’s Marine forces.