As Marco is aware, I've unfortunately decided to pull the plug on Defiant Echoes. Basically, when the story lost momentum, I ended up getting my ideas in a knot, and when Marco posted I'd just lost track of where I was even going.
Marco already knows the end result, but it's better to wrap it up at this point, so the short version is:
--Agares (having survived falling off the motorway) fights, and kills, Sonneillon in Stonechapel
--Steren encounters the Ancient, and the two end up killing each other
--Haines et al encounter the Nemurax entity in the centre of Stonechapel; so does Agares (who gets curb-stomped by Haines). Zagan leaves the grand cruiser to investigate personally.
--Zagan discovers that the original Nemurax entity is long gone; the thing in front of him is no longer what he sought. Cue bloodbath as Zagan immolates the Nemurax entity, returns to his ship (with Agares) and starts lasering Stonechapel.
--Cue two simultaneous escape scenes, one for Haines and co, the other for Andreas and co. (Semplice et al can probably make their escape at this point.)
--Enter Inquisitor Gelert Hesh and a Naval task force. Hesh decides that the only way to stop Zagan for sure is to kill him personally.
--Cue space battle as cover for a boarding action. In the process, Tyra Vargas' ship gets enslaved, but Tyra destroys her ship's thrusters to spite Zagan and ends up ramming him through momentum alone. Tyra escapes.
--Hesh kills Agares with his bolt pistol** when Agares takes too long challenging Haines to a duel.
--Most of the Storm Troopers and Naval armsmen that Hesh brought along are spaced when Zagan plays with the airlocks, but named characters make it to the bridge.
--Zagan enslaves Haines' bionics and uses him to kill rather a lot of people. Hesh tackles him to the ground; in an attempt to kill Hesh, Zagan kills Haines instead.
--At some point, Riley is killed in action.
--Zagan is overpowered through force of arms (and trickery when Andreas picks up Haines' plasma pistol), and is executed by Hesh.
--Cue escape scene as the grand cruiser is shot out of orbit and crashes into Sathvairg. Its Warp drive implodes, taking most of the planet with it.
Not the most satisfying summary of events, but the version I sent to Marco ended up spanning two private messages as we tried to ascertain who was, and wasn't, alive, and I still felt I could've said more. Haines, Riley, and Steren* died; Herald and Dolnikan's characters survived (unless they say otherwise); the Chaos characters are all very dead; and Sathvairg itself is at best a Shattered World
or asteroid field.
Tyra's survival leads into a court-martial, then a pardon by Hesh, then the Twin Arches campaign at WHW last December; Andreas' survival will eventually result in a model.*She did end up turning into a major character in her own right, if only because she was just really powerful. Even so, she had to ramp her power level all the way up to go toe-to-toe with the Ancient; Marco and I decided between us that this resulted in a Heroic RROD.
**Hesh now has a bolt pistol to avoid a conflict between two similar characters.