The end was near. Almost everyone who had been following the events of the Civil War up to that point realized that inexorable fact.

Generals on both sides prepared for the final battles, gathering what supplies and replacement equipment they could while giving their final "pep talks" to try to coax just a little bit more from their exhausted soldiers. Too, the citizens of the Lyran Alliance and of the Federated Suns were weary after more than three and a half years of constant fighting. The Archon had finally lost her grip over the people—even many within the Estates General were calling for her removal—just as she was apparently losing her grip on reality. Indeed, her world had come crashing down around her and her last, best hope relied more on luck than on sound strategy.

The coming battles would be the most desperate and bloody of the entire war. The atrocities of the war to date would soon see themselves outdone by commanders looking to curry favor or simply repay a grudge. Millions more citizens would die.

The end was close, but not nearly close enough.

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