Armitages Fever Dreams

The Third Imperium is dying, if not already dead. It has rotted from the centre outwards. Corruption, warring factions, the logistical issues of a galaxy spanning bureaucracy have all combined to send it the way of all such bloated hegemonies that came before it. As it descends into its last gasps, chaos will spread at an increasing pace out from Capital. Deneb and the Spinward Marches are somewhat isolated from this by the Reft and the narrow corridor joining them to the rest of the Imperium, and will fall last; but they will fall. Alone, the Five Sisters stands a chance of preserving the way of life that the Imperium once stood for. They must be prepared to sever ties with the Imperium as it crumbles, lest they be taken down in its death throes. The Naval presence is strong, and must be protected; it cannot rush to the aid of the mortally wounded beast. Factions within the Five Sisters are preparing for the time when they must stand on their own, behind the Duke, as he calls the sub-sectors to rally behind him.

But it is not just the Duke and his supporters who have seen this. The Five Sisters are an attractive cluster to any sophont. When the Aslan Hierate ruled the Belgardian Sojournate, some 800 years ago, they constructed the space station Kask, in a desolate region of space. How and why they did this are unknown; but that the station arrived in the Urnian sector through a wormhole, and began its drift towards the Five Sisters is known. That is had onboard members of the Sisterhood of Jild, nuclear warheads that are now all gone, and small one person surface delivery vehicles is known. That Yellan was scoured, and new life potentially seeded, is known. That the Cult of Djil stems from the Sisterhood is highly likely. They speak of the water of life, cleansing and renewal.

This is this part of an 800 year plan to wipe the Five Sisters of all existing sophonts, and re-seed them, possibly at the behest of a faction within the Aslan Hierate, or possibly some more ideological group. Baron Ducote and the Keysks are pawns in this game, being fed money and influence prior to the devastating cleansing. The fleet of ships no doubt being assembled are likely not to be used for conventional warfare, but cleansing and re-seeding - albeit the commanders and crews may not know this, as there will be hidden chambers and systems as on the Kask Station. The six legged beasts encountered on Raweh may be post cleansing mop up weapons; they appear to be a bio weapon to be used in some fashion as part of the cleansing. Baron A’vorta knows or suspects much of this, and may be working with factions within the Arch Stargazer’s system - they may have information of what is coming from non traditional channels. Similarly, he is keen to tap into the psychic network that traces of abound within old mined out asteroids, as they appear to have sent warnings to some individuals in some way

This is a cleansing. The objectives are very different from normal military ones. Unless the Sector can find out more about what is going on and prepare, this could easily become an outside context problem:

An Outside Context Problem was the sort of thing most civilisations encountered just once, and which they tended to encounter rather in the same way a sentence encountered a full stop.