There was a crash as the Tuoco ship smashed through the interdimensional boundaries, out of Xion. The ship had been slightly damaged, but this mattered not. It would be repaired.
Outside, Croak could see where they were: an empty stretch of space. All around them they could see distant points of light.
"Pilot," said Croak irritably, "what universe are we in?"
"Well," said the pilot, "we're not in any."
"What? How is that possible?" said Croak angrily.
"We are in the Crossverse, the space between all universes. It seems that the experimental ship didn't have enough power to take us all the way into Emenata, so we wound up here."
"Can you get us back?" said Croak, slightly worried.
"Not unless we can find a new power source."
"Where's the nearest source of fusion energy?"
"Two parsecs away."
"Take us there."
And thus the Tuoco vessel entered warp speed and took off in the direction of the energy source.
The Julth Overlord stayed still in his fortress, contemplating revenge against the Organics. Daystar, in particular: he wanted nothing more than to personally disintergrate that mutated freak. The Overlord spent most of his days like this; simply contemplating vengeance. It was the only thing that could entertain him now adays.
Suddenly, he recieved an alarm message from one of the guardian Julth: an interdimensional ship had entered the Crossverse, and was nearing his fortress. Glowing with manevolence, the Overlord began to transmit a message to the intruding ship.
"I am the Julth Overlord. Identify yourselves before your imminent destruction."
The alien ship took a few minutes to translate the message, and then sent back their reply.
"This is Croak, ruler of Nevermore. You are Julth: we know from our records. You destroyed the Veiled Ones. Well, kind of. In any case, we are here to use you. You are pure energy. We will use you to power our ship so we can go back home. Surrender now and we can do this easily. Prepare to be burned in our engines, glow-grubs."
The Julth Overlord glew with a light that would have blinded the beings had they seen it.
"Very well. I will destroy you before you attempt to destroy us."
Croak sent back his reply: a shrill laugh. "I'd like to see you try. If you want a fight, I'll give you a fight!" The line disconnected.
The Julth Overlord began to transmit orders to his soldiers. There were only a hundred warriors on the Toxx-Ziph: things had really gone downhill since the Julth War. He would have to be careful, so that he did not lose many warriors.
Even so, he was confident. After all, if a few billion Julth could take on the Veiled Ones, surely a hundred Julth could take on a small ship from a class VIII civilization.
Almost immediately, swarms of Tuoco warriors began to equip their space suits, and rushed outside. They tethered themselves to the ship, and waited for the battle to begin.
After a few moments of intense waiting, an opening appeared in the Toxx-Ziph. A glowing light pulsed within, and about thirty Julth poured out of it like a swarm of angry insects.
Although there was no Xi in the Crossverse, the body of each soldier contained enough Xi to be used. Croak transmitted the order to began hostilities, and the battle begun.
There are seven "spectrums" of Xi, each of which can be used to control a different element of reality. The soldiers were mainly attuned to Pyros, the force of destruction. Multiple spacesuited individuals began to cast out their arms, shouting ancient phrases that never went past their helmets. Even with their bulky gloves, they succeeded in hurling numerous plasma bolts into the advancing swarm- plasma bolts powerful enough to burn through a small mountain.
The bolts flew through the empty space, straight into the oncoming Julth. However, even direct hits had no effect on their enemies. The fusion center of the entities broke the bolts into scattered radiation waves. Having survived the Tuoco attack, the Julth issued a bombardment of their own.
At once, thirty energy beams from the Julth warriors slashed through space, each one hitting one of the stationed Tuoco soldiers and instantly vaporizing them. The remaining soldiers began to dive for cover, into the ship, allowing the Julth to fire once more. Thirty new energy beams flew into the side of the Tuoco vessel, melting off pieces of metal. The ship was shaken by the hits, and began to lose air and fuel supplies.
Above the whole spectacle, the Julth Overlord watched the violence below with a glee he had not felt for a thousand years.
"Sezzka-Ri," he transmitted, "charge forward. All ten of you combined will quickly overwhelm the invaders. They will not last long at all."
The Toxx-Ziph opened again, and ten larger Julth came out, slowly, but with a lethal grace unsettling to the watching Tuoco.
Croak watched the scene in horror. Was this his fate? To die in this Creator-forsaken place?