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The Battle of Witchhead

First Systems Commonwealth Civil War


C.Y. 9786


Witchhead Nebula


99 percent+ of Systems Commonwealth fleet destroyed
99 percent+ of Nietzschean Pride fleet destroyed
Nietzschean Empire and Commonwealth politically implode


Systems Commonwealth

Nietzschean Alliance


100 vessels
Thermopylae (Flagship)
Renewed Valor
Salient Debate
Continuation of Politics‎
The Fires of Orion‎

500 ships (original force was 1500 ships)
Shining Path


99 percent+ of fleet
Thermopylae (Flagship)
Renewed Valor
Salient Debate
Continuation of Politics‎
The Fires of Orion‎

99 percent+ of fleet
(1000 destroyed before the battle)


The Battle of Witchhead was the deciding point in the Nietzschean Rebellion. A High Guard fleet of 100 ships gathered for a strike at Fountainhead but were intercepted by 500 Nietzschean warships. ("Angel Dark, Demon Bright")


After 13 months of war, the Systems Commonwealth stood at the brink of defeat. In a final attempt to turn the tide of the war, the High Guard gathered its remaining capital ships in preparation for an attack on Fountainhead. Before the battle, the Renewed Valor was sent to scout the nebula. Surprisingly, it found the Andromeda Ascendant, which had been missing for a year, since the war began. Its captain, Dylan Hunt, said that he lost the whole year through Time Dilation. He later revealed that he was actually from the future, where the Commonwealth was no more. He convinced the Valor to escape so the Commonwealth could be preserved. However, just as the 2 ships were approaching a slip point, a Nietzschean fleet of 1500 ships arrived and destroyed the Valor while the Andromeda stood helpless 3 Light Minutes away.

The Battle[]

The Angel of Death[]

"My people have a legend about the battle of Witchhead. They say that the Nietzschean force arrived here with overwhelming numbers. Their victory seemed assured. But then, in the critical hour, the Angel of Death appeared, summoning forth the fires of hell. The Nietzschean fleet was struck down, crippled, their glorious victory turned to ashes. I've never seen an angel before."--Tyr Anasazi to Dylan

According to Nietzschean history, the Nietzschean Alliance's huge armada arrived to ambush the High Guard fleet. Then suddenly, "the Angel of Death summoned forth the fires of hell", destroying the fleet as "their glorious victory turned to ashes". The Angel was actually the Andromeda. The Andromeda hid in the Witchhead Nebula while the Nietzschean ships grouped together in preparation to ambush the High Guard fleet. The Andromeda waited until all of the ships were close enough, and then attacked them in order to draw them closer together. She then ignited a Antiproton Fusion Catalyst to detonate the nebula, destroying 2/3 (66.667%) of the fleet.

When the High Guard fleet arrived to regroup and proceed to the Nietzschean homeworld of Fountainhead, they were caught in the Nietzschean ambush. Both sides were in complete disarray. Instead of heading onto Fountainhead, the High Guard engaged the Nietzscheans. In the battle that followed, both sides ended up decimating each other. Seamus Harper claims that the Systems Commonwealth flagship Thermopylae and the Nietzschean flagship Shining Path were the last ships still combat capable near the end of the battle. The Thermopylae was severely damaged and rammed the Shining Path. Both ships were destroyed in the explosion. ("Angel Dark, Demon Bright 1x6")


With its last hope for victory gone, the Commonwealth collapsed. Shortly after, the Magog invaded Known Space. Having lost the majority of their fleet, the Nietzschean Prides turned on each other and destroyed the dream of the Nietzschean Empire. With the war ended and Known Space in a state of anarchy, the Magog crossed the Quarantine Zone, destroying the remnants of the Commonwealth. And so began the Long Night.

37 years after the battle, an elegy was written about the fallen Systems Commonwealth.

The Heavens burned, the stars cried out
And under the ashes of infinity,
Hope, scarred and bleeding,
breathed its last.
- Ulatempa Poetess
"Elegy for the Commonwealth"
C.Y. 9823

Alternate Timeline[]

Many events happen in virtually the same chronological order as they do throughout the series. This timeline has First Officer Gaheris Rhade betray his friend and murder Captain Dylan Hunt and seize control of the Andromeda and her Artificial Intelligence after realizing there is neither a Commonwealth nor a great Nietzschean Empire during the salvage mission of the Eureka Maru. Initial meetings are different as Gaheris is slightly more violent than Dylan although both end up with the same goal - to restore the Systems Commonwealth. During a routine but unscheduled "Slipstream Event" Trance Gemini takes the Andromeda Ascendant into "Slipstream" when something makes this ride more unusual than any other previous Slipstream event as the Andromeda stumbles out of Slipstream directly inside the Nebula mere hours away from the great "Battle Of Witchhead". After being told the history of the Battle depicted from the records of the Eureka Maru, Gaheris Rhade's initial response is to leave immediately. The Commander tries to ignore all the options when the fellow High Guard Scout Ship arrives hailing the Andromeda with a message indicating the Commonwealth's current intentions of wiping out the Nietzschean home world. History had reported that the Nietzschean fleet had 500 ships and the High Guard had only 100 remaining. Essentially the end of the Commonwealth fleet. At first Gaheris decides that he shouldn't do anything when he realizes they have "Slipped" back in time and elects to maintain radio silence. That is, until he sees the transmitted message.

After deciding that he (Gaheris) had lost too many good people in his life, and wanting to save the other High Guard Ship, he tells Andromeda to send the ship new orders where they would both go to Slipstream. Gaheris felt remorse for killing his best friend and Captain. He had lost too many good people who died in vain. Before the Andromeda and the other High Guard ships can enter Slipstream The Nietzschean Fleet arrives with 1,500 ships instead of the 500 in all other records of the battle.

Another difference between the two featured timelines is Harper builds Gaheris a worthy "Go opponent" in his former best friend, Captain Dylan Hunt who is able to help Gaheris strategically from time to time. Gaheris also uses a Fusion Catalyst. When asking his dead now "Hologram Friend" if he is advising him of doing anything Dylan just replies "I'm not advising you to do anything, I'm just playing a game. It's your move."

In both featured timelines either Captain Hunt or Commander Rhade see what they can do for getting the Nietzscheans to line up, incinerating 1,000 ships. "Beka Get us out of here."

After leaving the Witchhead Nebula Tyr confronts Gaheris in the gaming room while in awe, anger, sadness and a few other mixed emotions after what he had just witnessed his fellow Nietzchean counterpart do during the battle of Witchhead instead of siding with the Nietzcheans (Tyr had suggested this in both timelines). Tyr calls Gaheris the greatest butcher in the history of the Nietzchean people. After, Tyr asks Gaheris how it must feel to be this butcher of their people.

Rhade's exact words were "Our people were meant to be living gods, warrior-poets who roamed the stars bringing civilization, not cowards and bullies who prey on the weak and kill each other for sport. I never imagined they'd prove themselves so inferior." ("The Unconquerable Man")


  • In the Season 5 episode, "When Goes Around", Dylan Hunt tells Vedran Astroengineering Institute Lieutenant Celine that he was lost at the Battle of Witchhead, trapped on the event horizon of a black hole. This is a false statement since Dylan and the Andromeda Ascendant were lost at the Battle of Hephaistos.


 · Battle of Arkology  · Battle of Brandenburg Tor  · Battle of Enga's Redoubt  · Battle of Fountainhead  · Battle of Hephaistos  · Battle of Herodotus  · Battle of Kalderash  · Battle of Samsarra  · Battle of Tarazed  · Battle of Witchhead  ·
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