At the heart of the Maw, a small scout ship wrenches its way out of the turbulent tides of hyperspace and accelerates at full burn towards a dreadnought anchored in the heart of a vast fleet. After it lands in a hangar deck, the pilot initiates a file transfer to the main computer core.
Further towards the center of the ship, a man in full military dress leans back into his chair, scanning the information scrolling past on the main holograph display set into the table. Arrayed around the table are almost twenty others, all appearing to be in varying states of exhaustion.
One of them, a grizzled old woman with both of her eyes replaced by cybernetics, cocks her head. "Sire, from all appearances, the galaxy at large seems to have forgotten about us, simply writing this sector off as a casualty of war."
The man across from her laughs derisively. "Idiots. The signs of this prison's collapse have been evident for almost a year and those morons have done nothing."
A younger woman at the far end of the table shakes her head. "Hardly morons, Alastair. They've been preoccupied with the war against our successor."
He brushes her off. "Traitorous scum. We'll collapse the storm and take the fight to them. After all, what care have we towards their petty wars? Once we've brought them back into the fold, then we can look to the larger stage again."
The first person laughs and sits back, propping his boots up on the polished wood. "Commander Alastair speaks the truth. We'll need to call our people home and bring Vos' spawn to heel before we can take a hand in the fate of the Spiral again. Still, Marai has a point. We should not completely forget the political realities that surround us. Go forth and see it done. I myself must go and get the blasted sword, then we'll make the main push."
The assembled admirals and generals stand, murmuring variations on "Sire" and "Sir" as they take their leave...
Three weeks later, the Maw, wracked with instability...just collapses. And on the other side waits a fleet of the reborn Imperium, clad in royal purple and gilded in purest gold, turbolaser batteries gleaming beneath distant starlight as the ships slide by...