| Posted: Tue Jul 13th, 2010 08:00 pm||
|Thanks Ketana. I'll have new chapters up on Friday!
| Posted: Wed Jul 14th, 2010 02:10 am||
|This is an enormous amount of work, very complex, great job.
"Blah blah blah, Vampire Emergency, Blah..."
| Posted: Wed Jul 14th, 2010 02:22 am||
|Oh no, Mantrid's building his own army of Divine Women! I say about time women were kicking some ass! If he succeeds in creating lyekka asteroids, everyone is doomed!!
The dead do not squeeze and please....
| Posted: Wed Jul 14th, 2010 02:37 am||
This is an enormous amount of work, very complex, great job. It's a lot of fun, It's actually turning into my unwind hobby
| Posted: Wed Jul 14th, 2010 02:38 am||
Oh no, Mantrid's building his own army of Divine Women! I say about time women were kicking some ass! If he succeeds in creating lyekka asteroids, everyone is doomed!!He's the man with the plan!
| Posted: Fri Jul 16th, 2010 05:00 am||
Stanley was enjoying the warm sunshine as he sat on the beach. Brunnia was a large island south of the equator. The entire inland portion of the island belonged to the Temple of the Warrior Priests but there was a buffer zone from the shoreline to 15 miles inland. It was a huge area considering the island was 150 miles long and 50 miles wide. The inland terrain was made up of lush tropical jungle surrounding a desert-like center. The beaches were of the whitest sand and the water a pure deep blue.
Timor and Xev were splashing in the water like a couple of children. Stanley was still trying to get over his shock from the conversation he had with Timor just a few moments earlier. Timor was going to ask Xev to marry him. Stanley was amused by Timor’s explanation of Terlara’s quaint courting rituals. Since Stanley was the closest thing Xev had to a male relative, Timor was required to declare his intentions to Stanley and get Stan’s permission before he could approach Xev.
In the four months they had been here on Terlara, Xev had stopped grieving for Kai. At first Stanley thought it was a bit disloyal; but then he realized that Kai would have wanted Xev to be happy, and Timor made her happy. Stanley stood up and went to the moth. Terlara may have quaint customs he thought as he climbed inside but one thing was constant throughout the universe, marriage proposals deserved a little privacy.
Dara was waiting for Stanley when he got back. “I take it Timor spoke with you? So will I have a new granddaughter or not?” she slyly asked.
Stanley laughed, “Well that’s up to her. Timor makes her happy so I think she will give the right answer.”
“Good. Since that bit of business is taken care of, we have other things to take care of. I’d like you to speak to the scribes. Your story should be recorded. We don’t know how long we have to prepare for this evil, but we must cover all possibilities. If Kai truly gave us enough time to prepare, we will all have made the walk to the Dream Zone. It will be the future generations that face it. We must leave our words of wisdom for them. Also tell them what you can remember Kai telling you. It is all information that we need to preserve. But for now Tano would like a word with you.” Tano was approaching along with another Warrior Priest, the one that was identified as Brother Torq on the LEXX.
“Stanley, Brother Torq found something on the LEXX.” Please come with us.”
Stanley and Xev looked down at the robot head on the table. “How did 790 end up on the LEXX?” Xev asked.
“We were examining the digestive tract and found it in a corner.” Torq said. “We did not know if it belonged to you or was just something the LEXX had eaten.”
“Actually it ‘belonged’ to Kai if you can call it that. It was in love with him. Obsessively, homicidally in love with Kai.” Stan replied. “It tried to kill me and Xev several times because it thought everyone was competition even if they weren’t. It was 790 here that ordered the original LEXX to destroy Earth right before it died to eliminate the competition.”
“790 is dangerous, but 790 did truly love Kai. I know because he started off in love with me. He was damaged and Kai repaired him. Kai was the first person he saw when he was turned back on, after that he only had eyes for Kai. 790 would do anything for Kai and would only obey and listen to Kai.” Xev added. “But Kai is dead, I think it’s better to just leave him shut off. There’s no telling how he will react with Kai dead. Just put him somewhere safe and secure and let him stay shut down.”
“But couldn’t it perhaps help us?” Tano asked.
“Xev is right, without Kai here to instruct him, there’s no telling what 790 would do. Besides why should he suffer? It’s kinder just to lock him away somewhere in storage.” Stanley said.
“We’ll place him in the vault along with the belongings of Warrior Mother Adana. We will put him in a place of honor next to the protoblood you gave us as the personal property of Kai, Last of the Brunnen G. He will be guarded day and night.” Tano decreed.
Dara had insisted on having a ‘family’ dinner to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Xev and Timor. Tano had pretty much demanded to preside over the nuptials, insisting that only the highest ranking priest would be the proper person to conduct a wedding between one of the Messengers and Terlara’s highest ranking security officer. Dara was insisting that Xev had to wear her wedding dress and Stanley was basically cringing in a corner trying to escape the madness when he was cornered by Ari.
“It has turned into a circus, hasn’t it Stanley?” She commented. “Grandmother has been waiting to plan a wedding ever since I went through the change. Since Xev has no female relatives here I think that Xev will find herself stuck with my grandmother’s idea of proper nuptials. I was just about to escape when I saw you hiding in the corner, what do you say we both slip out before they figure out that we are not participating in the free-for-all?” Stanley allowed himself to be pulled out the door into the night. “Come on, I know the perfect place to hide.”
Stanley and Ari were in the museum. She led him through an archway to large room filled with artifacts. On the far wall was a life-sized portrait of a gray-haired woman seated in an ornate carved chair, standing behind her his hand resting on the back of the chair was a younger man just entering middle age. The woman sat very erect in her chair, even in the portrait there seemed to be a presence about her. But it was the man who had caught Stan’s attention. The raven hair was well sprinkled with strands of silver falling well past his shoulders, a single lock of braided hair fell from his left temple. Although the face was slightly older it was Kai.
“That is a portrait of our Warrior Mother Adana and her son Warrior Delegate Kai. It was painted on Brunnis right before he came here to train our warriors. She brought it with her when she moved here and donated it to the museum on her death. You seem fascinated by it.”
“So this is the Kai that fathered Dava’s son Tano?”
“Yes, the father of our bloodline here on Terlara.” She replied.
“He looks like the Last of the Brunnen G, or our Kai looked like him. Our Kai was younger and wore his hair different. Our Kai wore the clothing of Brunnis 2 but it had been decarbonized so it was all in shades of black, but in life it was really colorful. Our Kai was also pale, almost white. It’s because he was dead.” Stan looked away from the portrait at the glass case placed under it and saw a nasty looking dagger. The serrated curved blade was almost a foot long. Next to it was a piece of parchment yellowed and faded with age.
“That is Kai’s Gortha. It was the ceremonial weapon of the Brunnen G warrior caste. When a young man became a warrior of the caste, he received the Gortha. He would wear it as a symbol of his status. When he defied the council to continue fighting the insects, he left it along with the letter for Adana. Because he knew his actions would bring shame on the Warrior Caste he left it behind. When Adana found his letter and the Gortha , she ordered that the Gortha be abandoned as a symbol of the Warrior Caste. She said that those to come would not be worthy of it until Kai was reborn.”
“So is everything in this room Brunnen G?” Stanley asked.
“This entire wing of the museum is dedicated to the Brunnen G but this particular room is dedicated to Kai and his mother, Adana.”
Stan wandered around the room examining the different artifacts while Ari explained what they were.
Kai's words of Wisdom
The scribes wanted to try to capture the words and wisdom of Kai first, so they had been hounding Stanley and to a lesser degree Xev to repeat everything Kai had ever said. Having now run out of words of wisdom Stan resorted to repeating every “dead do not” He could remember. Kai was dead after all he explained to them, what else would a dead man talk about most of the time besides the dead?
“Stan you didn’t!” Xev laughed. “You let them record ‘The dead do not poo’?”
“Xev, the scribes are driving me crazy. I can’t get a moments peace with them constantly hunting me down to ask ‘what would Kai do about this?’ ‘what would Kai say about that?’” Stanley angrily threw another shirt into the case he was packing. “Thank whatever god these people worship that Tano asked me to go back to Terla City and advise the council on our progress here. I need the break.”
Stan gave her a mischievous look. “Speaking of needing a break, how are the wedding plans coming along? Last I heard Dara had invited half the planet. And she had browbeat Ari into standing up with you. Who knew that sweet old woman would turn out to be more of a cluster lizard than you? And she’s making plans Xev. Devious plans.”
“Oh Stanley stop it. You’re imagining things.” Xev said.
“She sent Ari to the LEXX today with lunch, just for me. She sends Ari to bring me messages. She always seats Ari right next to me at dinner. She’s matchmaking Xev! If the Dragon Lady has her way I’ll be married off to Ari before you know it.”
“Well Stanley Tweedle, you could do worse. She could be sending her other granddaughter after you.”
“No”! Stanley said in horror. “I’d rather be sent to the protein bank. I’d rather face His Shadow! Dana scares the hell out of me!”
“You know Dana does kind of remind me of Giggarota!” Xev laughed as Stan shuddered.
Mantrid’s body was finally mature. No more trying to create constructs he thought. He now had a ready supply of bodies he could use until they wore out. The next item on the agenda was to figure out where to start his take over of the universe. He thought about the planet Terlara where Stanley Tweedle and Xev Bellringer had finally settled down. The best course of action was to avoid that part of the universe for now. As long as Stanley and Xev lived that part of the universe would be too risky. Besides there were easier pickings elsewhere. Like this little planet sitting out here in the middle of nowhere.
It would make a perfect capitol for his new empire, but the people here needed a reason to accept him. People were always grateful to a savior, so he would be their savior. The probes were ready. He would send them out and let them taste what his little creations could do and then he would rescue them. He would not even need to create a Lyekka asteroid for this. Yes he would play both parts, attacker and savior. Once they had accepted him he would subjugate them. He would rule with an iron fist. If they did not like it, he had an army of special ‘guards’ ready to adjust their attitude. The reign of Mantrid begins he thought to himself.
Tagar was a peaceful little world full of peaceful people. They spent their time immersed in philosophy and the arts. Unfortunately philosophy and arts aren’t much help when you are invaded by carrots determined to burrow their way up your ass. Mantrid had been expecting some form of resistance but it never happened. Instead the people began committing mass suicide to avoid death by carrot. In less than 72 hours the entire population was dead. The people of Tagar had unknowingly thrown a monkey wrench into Mantrid’s plan and bought the universe just a little bit more time. He had to now search for another planet suitable to be his capitol.
Mantrid was having a conference with himself, or rather the machine that housed what he was. What was once known as the Noah. “You must practice restraint. The carrots are probes you only need send a few. Let the people discover this threat in due time. They must try to fight this threat on their own. Then they will realize that they are helpless. They will be open to you saving them. Remember overkill and impatience is what allowed the Last of the Brunnen G to defeat you in the Light Universe and it is what caused your defeat when you faced them here, on Earth. You must develop patience. You have eternity to conquer this universe.”
A New LEXX
Stanley, Xev, Dara, Ari, Timor and Tano were inspecting the new LEXX. The first one grown by the scientists on Terlara. Brother Torq was explaining the improved key to them.
“Many centuries ago on Brunnis the scientists developed a way to tie a fighter to a specific pilot using that pilot’s DNA. The first Dragon Fighters were grown this way. The key was a combination of DNA from the pilot and fighter. After hearing how easily the key to the LEXX could be transferred we decided to revisit the DNA key and we have improved on the original idea. From what you have told us, the LEXX is a long lived ship, and it will outlive the key holder.
The key as we have developed it does not need to be transferred. Tano hold’s the key to this LEXX. Please Tano if you would demonstrate.”
Tano climbed up on the command platform and said ‘Hello LEXX.”
“Good morning Captain, what are your orders?” The LEXX replied.
“No orders, LEXX, just checking your systems.”
Tano climbed down. Torq now nodded at Ari. “Ari please help your grandmother.”
Ari and Stan helped the old lady up onto the platform and Ari guided her hand to the holographic display.
“Do you have orders for me now Captain?” LEXX asked.
“Wait a minute.” Stanley said. “I thought Tano has the key!”
“He does,” Brother Torq explained “but Tano also has his grandmother’s DNA. The key is a permanent part of Tano. But should something happen in battle, a close relative can still control the LEXX. It will only respond to those who have a close enough DNA sequence to the keyholder. In the Passing of time when Tano takes his walk along the path to the Dream Zone, he takes the key with him. But the next relative in line will take over command of the LEXX. Over a period of time the LEXX will bond with its new keyholder. Each Lexx will be commanded by the same family until it dies and then it will be replaced by a new LEXX.
The benefit is that no outsider can steal a LEXX. They must carry a close enough DNA sequence to the Keyholder.”
Waking the Assassins
Mantrid paced the cryochamber. The last time he had tried to put his plan into motion had been a disaster. The entire population of the planet had committed suicide en masse. They were weak, unworthy to be the homeworld of Mantrid’s empire. This time he would make sure the natives were not weak. He would send his assassins to evaluate them first.
Slowly cryochambers one through five opened. In one voice two through five said “Who would you like me to kill?” Number One looked at the others and said “Do we have to kill somebody?”
Number One was defective, on the Cluster he would have immediately sent her to be destroyed. However she had been converted and Assassins were in short supply. There was a reason that only the bravest or most intelligent of the Divine Orders enemies were chosen to be Assassins, anything less ended up like Number One.
“I do not wish you to kill anyone yet. I want you to observe the people of this planet and report back to me. I want to know if they will fight back against a threat or simply kill themselves. Once I have that data I will give you further instructions.
Go down to the planet and visit different cities. If they question where you are from simply ignore them. Do not fail me. Number One, do you understand?”
“We are supposed to be like tourists right?” The blond asked.
“Yes Number One, you are tourists. Just get the information I need and then return to me.” Mantrid instructed. “Now ladies, take the shuttle and go accomplish your mission.”
“Kai had a pet cluster lizard?” Timor laughed. “I thought you said that they were dangerous predators?” He said as he adjusted his dress uniform.
“They are once they become adults.” Xev adjusted his collar. “But Squish was hatched on the LEXX after we had escaped from The Light Universe the first time. Kai was the first thing Squish saw so Kai in effect became Squish’s mother. Kai could not feel but he understood that others feel. He would carry Squish around and show it affection. And if he wasn’t carrying Squish, Squish would roll around the LEXX following him where ever he went.”
“What happened to Squish?” Timor asked.
“Squish actually killed the Gigashadow by eating its brain. Brains are a cluster lizard’s favorite food.”
“I assume you have some reason for telling me this.”
“Yes. It’s been almost six years since we got here. The female cluster lizard goes through estrus every seven years. She becomes highly aggressive during that time and at the end of her cycle eats her mate. I went through it on Earth. I had blackouts and Kai told me that I was ‘eating’ people during my blackouts. While we were on Earth we came across a living version of Kai, I ate him. I don’t want to wake up in the morning to find out that I have eaten you too. You need to know if I start acting weird or funny what is happening.”
“We will talk to Tano. Perhaps Brother Torq can help. After all he figured out how to grow a LEXX, so maybe he can figure out how to control this creature inside of you. But either way we will deal with it. I won’t let you eat me.” Timor said as he hugged her to him.
“We had better get going. Stanley will forgive us for being late, I think he would treasure every second of extra freedom we would give him, but Ari will throw a fit if we are late. Do you know how hard she and grandmother worked to get Stanley to the altar? Or should I tell him that you are the one who suggested Grandmother attempt to match-make between him and my cousin Dana?” Timor teased.
Last edited on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 05:05 am by Abby1964
| Posted: Fri Jul 16th, 2010 02:13 pm||
| The Reunion
“Welcome back” First Kai said. “It took you long enough Fifth Kai is due to celebrate her sixth birthday in a week.”
“It took longer than we expected because Vlad directed us to another source for help.” Third Kai replied. “There have been no attacks on her?”
“No but a strange woman has been asking questions all over Terlara. Second and I had Dara tell the priests to instruct everyone not to speak of her on pain of eternal damnation. It does help that we can use this religion to our benefit.”
The door opened and a small red-haired girl came in followed by Dara and Second Kai. She walked over to where Third and Fourth Kai were standing. “I have it now.” she said. “What was in that room, it’s mine.” She then wandered over to the corner and picked up a ball which she immediately threw at Second Kai. It passed though his head and bounced off the wall behind him.
“I am so glad that I couldn’t feel that. I don’t know what this brat has against me.” Second Kai said.
Third Kai wandered over to where Fifth Kai was now scribbling on a piece of parchment. “What do you have?” he asked.
Fifth looked up at him and her eyes were glowing pools of golden light. When she spoke it was with the voice of KAI. “What was in the Chamber of Purging.” Her gaze had shifted to Fourth Kai. “She has the weapon but does not know how to use it. She must learn. You will protect her while she learns.”
“You have a funny hairdo” The voice was once again a little girl’s.
The Kais and Dara had left had left Fifth Kai playing in her room surrounded by a detail of guards.
“Let me get this straight, Fifth Kai is a walking emotional garbage dump and you are going to bring yourself back to life?” Second Kai questioned.
“Fifth Kai carries the pain of every Divine Assassin and Divine Executioner ever created by the Insect Order. In her hands it’s a weapon. But she has to learn how to control it.” Third Kai replied.
“And I am going to bring us back to life, of a sort.” Fourth Kai added.
“What do you mean us?” Third Kai asked. “Brizon only spoke of you.”
“But the process can be repeated for all of us. I cannot stay inside the construct forever. It will periodically need to ‘recharge’ in the cryopod. She also needs to learn everything we can teach her. That will be more easily accomplished with a physical body.” He turned to Dara “I will need the help of the priests and four cryopods.”
“Then we will need to go back to Brunnia, to the LEXX farm. It is where the priests grow LEXX’s we have grown 50 of them since Stanley Tweedle and Xev Bellringer arrived. The main Scientific Labs are also conveniently located nearby, and then there is the vault. There is an item in the vault that may interest you.”
The blond woman could not feel frustration, but she knew that a human in her place would. She was asking everyone she could about The One. But no one knew anything. Mantis would have a human reaction, he would be angry. But she had done what she was told to do, ask questions without drawing attention to herself. She signaled for the shuttle to come and get her. Time to make her report.
The cryochamber on this new LEXX was very crowded. Dara, five Kais, a squad of guards and six Priests were all surrounding a cryopod. Fifth Kai piped up “It’s a Kai!”
The construct took no time at all to grow. Most of the time was spent with Dara relaying instructions from Fourth Kai to the Priests on the wiring and configuration of the cryopod and its controls. Fourth Kai had stepped into the Cryopod and the construct had coalesced around him.
“Can’t we get some elbow room in here?” First Kai grumbled. “This place is packed tighter than an insect burrow right after a hatching.”
“The priests will not leave.” Dara whispered. “They wish to witness the rising of one of the Pantheon Major. It’s not everyday a ‘god’ comes back from the dead. And you are the one who insisted we feed them religion.” She reminded First Kai.
Everyone held their breath as they waited. Fourth Kai opened his eyes as the cryopod opened. “Please step back.” He said to the priests that had all gathered around him in excitement. He carefully stepped down from the cryopod.
“Well how does it feel?” Third Kai asked.
“It is not awkward, I don’t feel anything. It’s like clothing on your body. It is there but you are not aware of it.” He replied. He took a step forward and ran his fingers through Fifth Kai’s red curls. “The sensations are the same as I always felt in my Assassin’s body.” He turned to the priests, “We will to go to the vault now.”
“What’s in the vault?” Fifth Kai asked.
“There is only one thing that I can think of that Stanley and Xev would not want as a reminder of me. I think that we will find a 790 robot head.”
“Number one, you disappoint me.” Mantis’ image on the viewscreen reflected his disappointment.
“I knew you would be mad at me but I tried, I really, really tried. No one will say anything about The One.”
Mantrid took a deep breath. Number one was the least threatening of his assassins which made her perfect for covert missions such as this, but she needed very detailed instruction. It was obvious that she was did not fit among the others. He often wondered how this lackwit ended up among the otherwise intelligent women.
“Have you gone to the Temple Number One?” he asked.
“No, should I have?”
“Yes Number One, go to the temple. Someone there will know. Find a priest and ask him. Hurt him until he tells you where to find The One.”
“I can do that.” She replied.
“Number One, do not forget to kill him when you are done.”
Fifth Kai was fascinated with the brace. As the crowd of priests, guards and Kais made their way along the path to the Vault entrance she stated that she was hungry. Fourth Kai had used his brace to snag an apple from a tree as they passed and handed it to her.
It was indeed 790 that was stored in the vault. They had retrieved him and a jar of protoblood and were on their way back to the LEXX when Fifth Kai announced that she was still hungry, which got her another apple. And resulted in her trying to walk along the path and look up Fourth Kai’s sleeve at the same time. This resulted in a near fall, prevented by Fourth Kai bracing her collar and pulling her upright. At this point Fourth Kai had made an agreement with the child. Let him finish taking care of what he needed to do and he would take her with him to practice. After that they were able to return to the LEXX without any more incidents.
Kai had carefully inspected 790. There was no damage he was just turned off. He sat the head on the cryopod control unit and switched it on. It took a minute for 790 to completely power up and see him. “Kai you’re alive! Kiss me Oh Dead and Delicious One. My heart was broken! I thought you were gone.”
“Oh dead and delicious one?” Third Kai laughed.
“I am truly dead 790. I died when The Higgs Bosun accelerator reached its countdown.”
“Then I must be dead too. I’ve gone to robot heaven where I can spend an eternity having my dead man all to myself.
“Not with this crowd.” First Kai grumbled.
“790, if you love me you will be quiet long enough for me to tell you why you are here.”
“I am here to spend eternity at the side of the most gorgeous man who ever died.”
“Am I the only one here collecting ammunition for later use. The robot head is in love with him.” Second Kai laughed.
“790 be quiet! I need your help. I need you to analyze the configuration of this cryopod and then help these men to configure the other three cryopods just like this one.”
“Only if you give me a kiss. I thought you were really dead. Just one little kiss and I will do anything my beloved corpse says.” Fourth Kai gave the robot a quick peck on the top of its head. “Oh joy!! I’ll never wash that spot again.” 790 yelled at the priests. “Well what are you waiting for my hunk of delectable death wants these cryopods configured. Hop to it you lazy good for nothings!”
Fifth Kai looked at Fourth Kai “Ewww! You have robot head germs!”
“Yep, she’s definitely a Kai” First Kai said.
“It will not take long to finish the other constructs with 790’s help.” Fourth Kai said.
In fact with 790 bullying the priests it had taken just a little more than an hour. Once the modifications were finished, 790 cleared the room of priests by threatening to zap them all and turn them into piles of ash.
In minutes the other three constructs were complete. First Kai was waltzing Fifth Kai around the cryochamber like he was a teenager again. The old man was quite pleased with his body. Third Kai was doing a basic Aka’tai warm up exercise and Second Kai was just stepping out of his cryopod. Fourth Kai looked around at the other Kais and then taking careful aim, sent his brace flying at 790 knocking him off the control unit.
“Why did you just brace the robot head?” Second Kai said as he picked up the damaged head.
“I do not think it is fair that I keep 790’s devotion to myself when there are five of us.” Fourth Kai stated as he took the head and began repairing it. He had been careful to try to do only minor damage. He unplugged the brain cube did some quick adjusting on the wiring and then used a bit of Protoblood on the brain cube.
Fourth Kai gathered all of the Kais around him.
“Feels like I’m posing for a guild class picture.” Second Kai complained as Fourth Kai inserted the brain cube.
The head powered up. “I will love you forever! All of you. I will love you my old and wise one! And I will love you my distinguished and hunky one. And I will love you my dead and divine one. And I will love you my young and studly one. And I will love you my tiny bud of beauty!”
“So much for ammunition.” Third Kai said.
“ Wise Kai! Distinguished Kai! Dead Kai! Young Kai! Little Kai! I’m surrounded by Kais! I think my circuits are melting!”
“790 you will be spending most of your time with little Kai. You will entertain her and keep her happy.” Fourth Kai handed the robot head to Fifth Kai.
790 spoke “Oh delicate flower of innocence!”
Fourth Kai now turned to the other Kais and just begun explaining that they were all decarbonized when a priest interrupted them.
“I apologize for disturbing the Pantheon, but we have just received news from the Terla City Temple. A body has been discovered on the temple grounds.”
“Wait.” Dara said. “Come Little Kai, let’s take your robot head outside in the sunshine.” The guards immediately moved to follow the woman and child as did Second Kai. Once they had left the room First Kai nodded at the priest to continue.
“One of the brothers was found dead on the grounds. His body was discovered by a group of acolytes who followed the sound of his screams. There were numerous internal injuries. His throat had been crushed. All of the bones of his extremities had been broken. There were reports of a young yellow-haired woman around the temple previous to the discovery.”
“Thank you. You may leave us now.” First Kai nodded at the man. “That is the description of the woman who has been asking about our Young Kai.”
“Vlad said that as a Divine Assassin you were strong enough to crush a human’s wrist just by squeezing it?” Third Kai questioned Fourth Kai.
“Yes it was a very effective technique when we needed to get information from someone before killing them. Divine Assassins are strong enough to pulverize most bones, those we cannot pulverize like the ribs and spine can still be broken as easily as a human would snap a twig.
Blondes are not common here on Terlara. They mostly exist among the refugees.” Fourth Kai thought for a moment. “If this is indeed one of Mantrids ‘Divine Assassins’ our job may be easier than we think.”
“What do you mean?” First Kai asked.
“In cases where discretion is needed, we did not kill publicly nor did we leave bodies to be discovered so easily. If I were given an order to kill someone with discretion, I would not kill them publicly and I would make sure that the body was well hidden. The programming of this Assassin is lacking. I believe that Mantrid may be either overconfident, or he does not have the means to properly program and train his creations. Even if a Divine Assassin is not specifically told that discretion is needed, we were programmed to analyze the situation and use discretion if warranted. This is a case where discretion was warranted.”
“I did it. I found out where The One is. She is on the island of Brunnia with a guard of Warrior Priests.”
“Very good Number One. Replenish your protoblood and then go to Brunnia and kill her.” Mantrid said.
“I did just what you told me to do. I found a priest and then I hurt him until he told me what I wanted to know, then I killed him.”
“Excellent! You did hide the body?”
“Was I supposed to hide the body?” She asked with confusion.
The Flight to Terla City
First Kai would stay with Fifth Kai. Since all of the constructs were decarbonized they could keep an assassin busy fighting them until it exhausted its supply of protoblood. Second and Fourth Kai had taken the protoblood back to the vault and were now in a moth headed toward Terla City. It wasn’t exactly a Dragon Fighter but Second Kai was enjoying flying the moth.
“I’d forgotten how much I loved to fly.” He said. “So what happens when we get to Terla City.”
“We will examine the priest’s body. I will be able to tell if it was a Divine Assassin that killed him. Then we will get a complete description of this inquisitive woman.” Fourth Kai replied.
“And Third Kai, do you think that he can convince Vlad to come back with him?”
“She was completely purged the last time we spoke to her but she was still there. She said that she felt she could not leave. If she is still there, there is a reason for it. Besides Third Kai is capable of charming women into doing what he wants.” Fourth Kai replied.
“Maybe he can charm Fifth Kai out of her dislike for me.”
“I do not think it is ‘dislike’, I think Fifth Kai inherited more than her red hair from Xev Bellringer. Xev was part cluster lizard. When we escaped from the cluster the first time an egg was somehow left behind on the LEXX. I was there when it hatched. The first thing it saw was me and then it growled at me. Baby cluster lizards communicate in growls with the mother cluster lizard. They are highly aggressive creatures. It is a form of bonding. The Cluster lizard we had on board the LEXX, Squish, bonded with me as if I were its mother.
I think that Fifth Kai carries cluster lizard also and it has bonded with you in the same way that Squish bonded with me. The cluster lizard part of Fifth Kai thinks you are its…mother. It is why she growls at you and displays such aggressive behavior where you are concerned.”
“What?!” Second Kai sputtered. “So how do I get her to unbond with me?”
“You don’t, the bond between Cluster lizard mother and hatchling is a strong one. But you do need to establish your ‘dominance’ over her. You are the adult and she is the child. If not her behavior will simply grow more aggressive over time.”
“Great I get to have a battle of wills with a six year old.” Second Kai whined. Fourth Kai would put his money on the six year old.
The Chamber of Purging
Vlad was still stuck in this empty chamber. She had helped thousands to purge and been purged herself. Then the “light” had told her to wait, had said that there was one more task for her to accomplish. And now here was this older Kai saying that Kai needed her help. It made sense that they would turn to her, she was an a Divine Executioner after all.
“Did you know that Kai was a bogeyman to the humans of the Divine Order? They called him ‘Death Incarnate’. I think that it was a toss up which they feared more, being sent to the Protein Bank or Kai. Divine Assassins in general were feared, but having Kai come after you meant that the order personally came directly from His Divine Shadow. No one was allowed to reanimate Kai except the Divine Shadows. He was the exclusive Assassin of the Shadows.
The Fourth Shadow he served under was concerned about Kai malfunctioning. There were moments when Kai would be ‘difficult’, that is why only the Shadows were allowed to wake him. This shadow is the one who programmed me to hunt Kai in the event that he became uncontrollable. When he defied a direct order from His Shadow and then killed him, my programming was activated.
I was the equivalent of Kai among the Assassins. Assassins don’t feel ‘fear’ but when faced with me all of them ‘gave up’. They simply gave themselves over to the destruction process, Kai did not. Kai hunted for me, that is unheard of. Even having his memory back he should have been too ‘afraid’ to come after me but he did. He knew that he would lose, yet Kai fought me to the end. He was almost completely drained of his protoblood when Stanley Tweedle saved him by destroying me. Just a few seconds more and he would have been destroyed.
Kai once called me ‘The Apocalypse Made Flesh’. I will come with you, I think this is why I am still here. Mantrid’s army has much to fear. If Kai is ‘Death Incarnate’ and I am ‘The Apocalypse Made Flesh’, then this new Kai when she comes into her power will be ‘Armageddon’.”
The priest’s body was a mass of injuries. Fourth Kai examined the body in detail lifting the arms and legs, bending them this way and that way while Second Kai tried not to watch. It was unsettling to him to think that this broken carcass had once been another human being. He like all of the Brunnen G born before the Exodus was incapable of murder. No Brunnen G in their long history had ever committed murder until Fourth Kai. The idea of deliberate violent death at the hands of a human, even one that was more machine than man made him uncomfortable. He had finally left the room unable to watch Fourth Kai poking and prodding any longer.
When the blond woman came up to him he was not expecting any violence from her. He was shocked when she stabbed him. They were both shocked that he just stood there. She pulled the blade out and plunged it into him again. This time Second Kai grabbed her arm. He never thought to fight her, simply to prevent her from stabbing him again.
“I have to hide the body. He said that I have to hide the body. He will be really, really mad if I don’t.” She said.
Fourth Kai hearing the commotion in the hallway, came out of the room. He looked at her in recognition and shock. “Bunny.”
Reevaluating the situation
Bunny was safely frozen in a cryopod with a detail of warrior priests guarding her. Second Kai’s construct was also in a cryopod so that the damage done by Bunny’s attack could be repaired.
“You know her?” First Kai asked.
“I knew her, or rather the woman she was before Mantrid changed her into an Assassin. I met her first in the Light Universe. Her name was Laleen. She was one of the teenagers I killed on board the LEXX. The next time I met her was on Water where she was known as Bunny. When Fire and Water were destroyed, she was one of those whose spirit had traveled to Earth. She was known as First Lady Bunny, the wife of President Priest.”
“President Priest? As in the Priest that was with Prince?” Second Kai asked.
“Yes. Priest and Bunny had escaped Earth on board the Noah. A vessel that was built by a scientist named Dr Longbore. He is also the one who built the particle accelerator designed to determine the mass of the Higgs-Bosun Particle. Prince obviously knew that Mantrid had possession of the Noah when he visited us.”
“So he played a game with us after all.” First Kai said. “If she was Priest’s wife, why didn’t Priest mention that himself?”
“Because in his own way, Priest is just as smitten with Prince as 790 is smitten with us. As long as she remains frozen she is no threat. However Mantrid will grow suspicious of her lack of communication. Also we can no longer depend on the debacle inTerla City being an indication that Mantrid’s Assassins are inferior.”
“Wait you said that it was not the work of a properly trained assassin.” Second Kai said.
“It was not, but Bunny did not possess an overabundance of intelligence to begin with. She was a good person just not very bright. There is a certain level of ‘intelligence’ needed to be a Divine Assassin. She would have been deemed unsuitable. If somehow she had been created on The Cluster, she would have been destroyed immediately for being ‘defective’.”
“So the whole mess in Terla City could have been because she is a ditz, rather than a fault with Mantrid.” First Kai reasoned.
“Yes, we have to assume that Mantrid knows about Fifth Kai and also knows that Bunny knew where she was. Bunny was frantic to hide the body of the murdered priest. That is also not a trait of Divine Assassins. The dead do not panic.”
“She was past frantic. She fought the whole time we were flying back here, at least until she ran out of protoblood.” Second Kai looked through the glass at his body in the cryopod. “These constructs hold up well. So the cryopod will fully repair it?”
“Yes. The cryopod will replace any mass lost. Although minor damage such as this we could repair on our own. But we do need to recharge regularly. This way if Third Kai takes longer than we expect, your construct will be fully charged so First Kai can rest.”
“Are you sure that you should still be running around instead of repairing your body too?” First Kai asked.
“She did only minor damage to me. I will wait until Third Kai returns or until after you have recharged” Fourth Kai said nodding at Third Kai’s construct resting in its cryopod. “Until then we need to keep a close eye on Fifth Kai. We also need another Cryopod in here. Vlad will need a body too.”
He went to the entrance and motioned Dara and Fifth Kai into the chamber. “Dara, who holds the key to this LEXX?”
“No one yet. They have not assigned a Captain to it.” She replied.
“Tell the priests that Fifth Kai is to have the key. The constructs are stored here and now we also have an assassin stored here. It is best that this particular LEXX remain under our control.”
Last edited on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 02:15 pm by Abby1964
| Posted: Mon Jul 19th, 2010 01:00 am||
|The Kai storyline is beginning to develop a lot faster than the Xev/Stanley storyline. So there were two chapters in that one this weekend.
The Arrival of Vlad
The scene that greeted Third Kai and Vlad could have been taken straight from a comic entertainment vid. First and Fourth Kai’s constructs were resting their cryopods. The two Kai’s and Dara were watching Second Kai in his construct try to avoid Fifth Kai who seemed to be all teeth at the moment. Teeth she seemed determined to sink into his construct.
“That’s the way to show her who is the boss.” First Kai laughed. As Second Kai attempted to keep a chair between himself and the little terror.
“She cannot damage the construct even if she does bite you. You can’t feel what she does anymore than you could feel the knife Bunny plunged into you. But you are showing her that you fear her. As long as you fear her she will continue to attack you.” Fourth Kai said.
Fifth Kai stepped on the chair and used it to leap up locking her arms around Second Kai's neck putting her face to face with him and giving her a perfect target. Her small sharp teeth latched on to his nose
“Kai, don’t hurt my Kai.” Said 790, seriously conflicted since he loved them both equally.
Dara had decided that mortals should not interfere in disagreements between the Pantheon members.
“I leave you all alone and look at what happens.” Third Kai remarked.
“Kai.” Fifth Kai said as she let go of Second kai's nose and dropped down to run toward him. She stopped as she caught sight of Vlad. A look of fear crossed her face as she ran back to Second Kai and now hid behind him.
“So now you want me to protect you.”Second Kai grumbled as he checked his nose for damage.
Fourth Kai spoke up “I think she is reacting to the natural ‘aversion’ a Divine Assassin has for Divine Executioners. Although it did not manifest in us this way Fifth Kai being human it manifests in her as fear.” He went over to his cryopod and activated his construct. Stepping down he went to the girl and took her hand leading her over to Vlad.
Vlad knelt in front of the girl. “You don’t have to fear me little one. I am here to protect you and keep you safe. Your name is Kai, my name is Vlad.”
First Kai was looking at Vlad’s hair. “So what was with all the comments about her hair?” He asked Third Kai.
“You are not seeing her Divine Executioner special. It puts the bun to shame. The bun almost looks normal next to her do.” Third Kai whispered.
Vlad stood and looked at FourthKai. “So Brizon did indeed have a way to bring you back.”
“Yes. We are ready to bring you back now also.” He said as he indicated the waiting cryopod. He gestured her into it. Once she was settled inside he activated it.
He then turned to Third Kai. “We need to talk.” He said as he nodded toward Second Kai. He motioned Third Kai to follow him out of the cryochamber.
“We have one of Mantrid’s Assassins. She attacked Second Kai. She only managed to do minor damage to him, she stabbed him several times. She only should have been able to stab him once. He would not fight her.”
“First thought this would be an issue. He’s a pilot, up close and personal is not his strong suit.”
“No it is not. There’s also the bond between him and Fifth Kai. Fifth Kai carries cluster lizard. 790 checked her DNA, the cluster lizard part of her has bonded with Second Kai. He cannot stand up to her either. He cannot be left alone to protect her, one of us or Vlad will have to be with them at all times. If it comes down to a fight he will be no help.” Fourth Kai responded.
“His mother didn’t raise him to be a fighter. She encouraged him to become a pilot and avoid the rough stuff so he never learned how to fight.” Third Kai thought for a moment. “We all have things to teach Fifth Kai, I think I will start her lessons tomorrow. Start her on some basic Aka’tai and at the same time teach Second.”
“I don’t think he will take an order to learn to fight very well.”
No he won’t so I’ll have First Kai make it an order that all of you learn. We will train and Vlad can keep watch. We’ll even include Dara in the training, that way he doesn’t have an excuse.”
They had been walking as they talked and were now entering another Cryochamber . Five guards stood around a cryopod. They moved aside as Fourth Kai approached. “Third Kai, meet Bunny or rather Laleen.”
Fifth Kai Had grabbed Vlad’s hand as soon as the cryopod opened. “You really are here to help keep me safe. You will make sure the Bunny’s don’t get me right?”
“The bunnies?” Vlad questioned completely confused at why Kai needed her help to fight rodents.
“Yes the Bunnys. Come on I’ll show you.” Fifth Kai said dragging Vlad after her.
“Second and Fourth Kai brought her here and put her in one of the cryopods. She's sleeping now like they do sometimes. Fourth Kai said she’s not dangerous as long as she sleeps.” The two had entered the second cryochamber.
Vlad walked up to the cryopod. She looked at Bunny through the glass “So this is a ‘bunny’?” She asked the girl.
“It’s what Fourth Kai calls her.”
“Her name is Bunny. I knew her before Mantrid changed her. She is a defective. I don’t think Mantrid checked her intelligence level before he converted her.” Fourth Kai said.
“Well now. This is an interesting development.” Vlad said. “I cannot believe Mantrid made such a mistake.”
“Are you sure it is a mistake?” Third Kai asked.
“Oh yes and a big one.” She replied. “By the time Kai was made it had been standard practice to destroy defectives as soon as they were created. Most had forgotten why.
The lack of intelligence means that the the assassin needs very clear detailed instructions. If they encounter something no covered by their instructions they cannot reason out how to accomplish their mission. This makes them easy to tamper with.
This was proven by the Austrel B heretics centuries before Kai was created. A defective was sent to kill the leader of the heretics at the time. But because the Assassin needed clear detailed instruction, the orders had to be very specific. When the assassin could not complete it’s mission it was ‘lost’ and did not know what to do. The heretics modified his orders. They programmed him to assassinate His Divine Shadow. He came very close to succeeding. Her supply of protoblood is exhausted or we could reprogram her.”
“Reprogram her how.” Asked Fourth Kai.
“We could program her to report her mission successful.”
“That would probably remove the immediate threat against our little one.” First Kai said as he joined them with Dara.
“But without protoblood it is a moot point.” Vlad said.
“Well it just so happens , that we have protoblood. And a robot head to do the programming part” First Kai replied.
“Get away from my Kai’s you homicidal bitch!” 790 now yelled catching sight of Vlad.
“What’s a homicidal bitch?” Fifth Kai innocently asked.
790 broke the silence in the cryochamber. “Which one of my loves will give me a kiss as a reward for all my hard work?” Second Kai picked him up “Oh yes! My young and studly one!” And handed him to Fifth Kai who gave him a peck on the cheek.
“You are not worried about catching ‘robot head germs’?” Fourth Kai teased.
“No silly! Only boys can get robot head germs.” She said as she hugged the robot head.
“Oh promise of perfect beauty!” 790 sighed.
“So are you going to tell us what you did?” Third Kai asked.
“Well reprogramming the airhead was easy. She will return to Mantrid and tell him that she found the people of Brunnia in mourning for The One. She questioned the Priest who told her that The One was dead, Drowned in the ocean that surrounds this island. When she got the information, she drowned him in the ocean. But since she was so easy to program, I gave her a secondary program. Whenever Mantrid Wakes her she will secretly contact Dara and Tell Dara word for word what Mantrid says. Even if Mantrid tells her not to repeat her orders, she will still report to Dara unless Mantrid tells her specifically not to tell Dara.”
“So you have programmed her to be a spy in Mantrid’s camp.” First Kai patted the robot’s head. “Too bad I didn’t have you around back in the day. That war would have been over in half the time.” 790 basked in the praise.
“So all that is left is give her protoblood.” Vlad said as she moved In front of Fifth Kai.
“Wait, we don’t want her waking up here on the LEXX.’ First Kai said. “Mantrid may know what this is from her description. She needs to wake up somewhere else. Is that possible?”
Fourth Kai replied. “Her protoblood is completely exhausted. She is in complete protoblood failure. She will stay that way until she is resupplied. We could take her somewhere else to wake her.”
“It can’t be you or Vlad that does it.” Third Kai spoke. “Mantrid would figure out what you are from her description.”
“Third and I will take her to the beach. There’s nothing suspicious at all about an old man and his son walking along the beach. And we certainly would stop to assist a woman we thought might be hurt.” First Kai said.
“How can you not love such wisdom?” 790 piped up.
“You are one devious old man.” Second Kai said.
Fourth Kai handed Third Kai a small tube of protoblood.
“Of course I am! How do you think I managed to survive for 240 years!” First Kai asked.
Duke watched as the two older Kais placed the body of Priest’s wife in a moth and took off. That meant that they were aware that Prince had not been exactly forthcoming in his meeting with them. Duke had never met Kai but he had seen him from a distance. It was time for an introduction.
Duke thought about the deal he and Prince had made 500 years ago. Duke would spy on Mantrid and in return he and Prince would divide the universe between them. He knew that Prince would stick to the deal, the problem was that Prince would stick to the deal in his own time and his own way. It was time to cut out the middleman.
“So we store the construct in the cryopod and it ‘recharges’? And while it recharges we are not stuck in the cryopod.” Vlad asked as Kai stepped down from his cryopod after settling his construct inside.
“Yes it allows us to interact with the physical world but also allows us to travel in the Other Zone as we need to. Dara and Fifth Kai can see and speak to us in either form. 790 can also see our energy fields but cannot distinguish who is who if we are not in the constructs. Tomorrow all of us Kai’s and Dara are going to start taking Aka’tai lessons from Third Kai. Fifth Kai should learn personal combat skills but she is not alone. Second Kai has no knowledge of how to fight. He will be no help to Fifth Kai if it comes down to having to fight with someone. We hope that learning some basic self-defense will help.”
“How can he be one of you and not know how to fight?” Vlad asked.
“His talent is aerial combat. He is the most accomplished pilot the Brunnen G ever produced and he died at the age of 25. When it comes to going head to head in an aircraft, he can kick all of our asses with ease. But until he learns close up fighting he cannot be left as the only guard she has. You, I or Third Kai will need to be with him.”
“Kai, Last of the Brunnen G come here!” Dara’s voice was panicked.
Vlad and Kai hurried out of the cryochamber to find Second Kai and Dara standing in front of Fifth Kai. Standing in front of them was a man. Kai did not know him personally but he knew who it was, Duke.
“Kai, I am here because you recently had a visit from a mutual acquaintance. I think it’s time we had an introduction, and a meeting of our own.” Duke said.
“You speak of Prince.”
“Yes Prince. You should know things that I believe he has kept from you, such as the connection between Mantrid and the Noah.”
“We are aware that Mantrid has possession of the Noah.”
“Yes I saw the other two Kais loading First Lady Bunny into a moth. So you are aware of that. You are not aware that Prince and I have a deal. He will share the ruling of this universe with me if I spy on Mantrid. And so I have for 500 years. But you better than most know how Prince sticks to his deals. After all he filled his deal with you only when you would die moments later. He certainly filled the letter of the deal but the spirit of the deal is another story.
I am well aware that although our deal is to share, he will find a loophole that allows him to avoid filling the spirit of the deal with me. So I came to put a deal on the table with you. I will report directly to you what I learn of Mantrid, in return you will help me destroy Prince. Discuss it with your other Kais, take your time.
As a good faith gesture I will give you this. Bunny is not the only soul from Water on board the Noah, May is also there. And interestingly enough, she shares the same ‘malfunctions’ that Bunny has.”
“My knowledge of Duke is limited at best. I only saw him once at a distance in a moth with Fifi when Gametown was attacked. I do not know if he is more trustworthy than Prince or less.” Fourth Kai said to the Kais in the cryochamber later.
“So it’s the age old dilemma of ‘the devil I know vs the one I don’t’. First Kai said.
“What was your impression Second?” Third Kai asked.
“He made a very good point. While Prince may honor his deals, he does so in a way that violates the spirit of the deal.” He directed his next words to Fourth Kai. “He had a deal with you to ‘bring you back to life’ if you defeated him in a chess game which you did. If it had been his intention to honor the spirit of your deal he would have filled it immediately after his defeat. Instead he waited and filled it just moments before you were trapped in Mantrid’s asteroid. Although your death was necessary to end the Fourth cycle, his timing indicates that he had no intention of ever giving you life.”
“Prince and Duke were involved in a struggle to rule Planet Fire. Both Duke and Prince were tied to Fire and Water. Their destruction has given them free reign of the universe and the struggle continues. The two seem to balance each other, I do not know what the consequences will be if either of them can tip that balance.” Fourth Kai said. “But I do believe that we would have just as big a problem as we now have with Mantrid.”
“There is another option, my mother was quite fond of a political ploy called ‘playing both ends against the middle’. We could use them both without ever committing ourselves to either side.” Third Kai spoke.
“I keep forgetting that you are your mother’s son. And no one played the game of politics better than Adana. So how do we play this ends against the middle game?” First Kai chuckled.
“We offer them both the same deal. They help us save the universe from Mantrid and we leave them assuming that we will support them in their power play without ever committing to it. “
“Why don’t we just tell them that we will remain neutral?” Second Kai questioned.
“Because it is not neutrality they are looking for, it is the backing of the Brunnen G. We want them to assume that they have it.” Third Kai replied.
“It seems that I am not the only devious one in this group.” First Kai laughed.
“I think I will have to revise my opinion of petty bureaucrats. It seems you are good for something after all.” Fourth Kai teased.
“So what’s the plan?” Second Kai asked. “How do we bait them without them getting suspicious?
“Well you and I will visit Prince. He knows Fourth does not trust him and I believe he has an idea that First has not been fooled by him either. But you and I just might be swayed to his side. We will make a deal with him to help us. First and I will offer the same deal to Duke. I guarantee that they will both bite.”
“So it seems you are two Kais short.” Price said as he sat at a table on the beach in the Other Zone with Second and Third Kai.
“Fourth Kai still remembers your little prank and First Kai just does not trust you.” Third Kai replied. However the two of us are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. You brought us important information, we simply wish to keep the lines of communication open. You could be a great asset to us against Mantrid.”
“Yes I could. And if I were to be an asset to you, what would I gain?” Prince asked.
“We had a visit from Duke.” Second Kai replied. “He wanted to cut you out by making a deal directly with us. Luckily Fourth Kai trusts him no more than he trusts you.”
“And it seems that he is right not to trust Duke. Duke always was looking for a way to get defeat me and take my place. His coming to you is no more than I expected.”
Third Kai continued. “We thought that you might like the option to deal first. Here’s the deal, both of them mistrust you they will not agree to assisting you once Mantrid is defeated. But we can guarantee that the Brunnen G do not back Duke when he makes his move against you. We are both sympathetic to your cause being betrayed in this manner but you understand that there are things that the two of us cannot publicly promise lest it get back to the others?”
“Of course, the old fart and the Divine Assassin would not understand or agree.” Prince smiled. Gentlemen I believe we have a mutually beneficial ‘understanding’.”
“I cannot believe how quickly or easily Third played Prince.” Second Kai laughed.
“So you promised him what you could and then implied what you could not promise. Your mother taught you well.” First Kai said.
“Well now it is time for the two of us to go play the other fish.” Third Kai said.
“So Duke, we understand that you came to offer us a deal.” First Kai said. “We have discussed it and find ourselves in a bit of a situation. You see Kai remembers you from Fire. He remembers that you attacked a city full of innocent people. But both of the Kais you met with are young still, according to Brunnen G lifespans they are babies and like any babe they are ‘innocent’. The two of us however are older and wiser. We understand that sometimes there are things you must do that cannot be helped.”
“Exactly.” Third Kai said as he went into his pitch. “Second Kai and Fourth Kai are standing on high moral ground about the attack on Gametown. However the two of us understand that you can be a great asset to us. We would like to make a deal with you but slightly modified. The deal is simply this, you report to us but also continue reporting to Prince. We do not wish him to get wind of our deal. In return we will guarantee that the Brunnen G do not back Prince when he makes his move against you. Since Second and Fourth Kai have their panties in a twist about your little attack we cannot openly promise to help you destroy Prince but the two of us are sympathetic to your cause. We see Prince for the devious creature that he is.”
Duke thought about it for a moment. “You guarantee that none of you will back Prince?”
“We both guarantee it. It was a nasty trick Prince played on Fourth Kai. We have neither forgotten nor forgiven him for it.” First Kai answered.
“Then we have a deal.” Duke said.
Last edited on Thu Oct 21st, 2010 10:55 pm by Abby1964
| Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 03:21 am||
| *This is the last chapter in the Stanley Xev storyline, the rest of the story will continue to the conclusion with the Kais*
Xev opened her eyes. Sunlight was streaming though the open window along with a warm breeze. It took her a minute to realize where she was, the hospital in Terla City. Brother Torq entered the room followed by Timor and another man Xev did not recognize.
“How do you feel Xev?” Brother Torq asked her. “Any pain or nausea?”
“No I feel fine.” She replied. “Did it work?”
“Yes,” The other man now spoke up. “Although we had to change our plan once we started the procedure. The Cluster lizard DNA is completely fused to your human DNA. However we were able to manipulate it to separate the genetic sequence for cluster lizard from your lymphatic and glandular systems controlling reproduction. So although you still carry the genetic sequence, it is dormant. We basically unplugged it.”
Brother Torq spoke up. “You still carry the DNA sequence and your children will also carry it. But the gene has been made so weak it’s a million to one shot that any of your descendants will be affected by it. It will just be something that they carry in their genetic make up. Rest now, the healer will check on you later and if you are well enough, send you home.” Torq and the healer smiled at her and nodded to Timor on their way out of the room.
“See, I told you we would handle it. Thanks to the healers here and brother Torq’s research, Timor is no longer ‘on the menu’.” He laughed. “But I do have news for you. When they did all the testing before the procedure, they discovered something. We are going to have a child. It’s why Brother Torq told you how this would affect our children.”
“I’m pregnant?” She asked in wonder.
“Yes Brother Torq’s theory is that since you were already pregnant, the cluster lizard’s reproductive cycle was blocked. Your nausea and ‘funny feelings’ in your stomach were not the cluster lizard going into estrus but you experiencing human morning sickness. Ari and Stan are out in the waiting area, I think she will be pleased to hear that you are also pregnant.”
“Are you happy about this Timor?” Xev asked. “I mean really happy. I don’t want this child growing up in a box somewhere.”
“That is not our way Xev. No parent would willingly give away their child, no matter how fat and ugly. We keep and love our children. You should have seen Dana when she was young, and my aunt and uncle still kept her and thought she was the most marvelous miracle in the universe. Our child will grow up surrounded by family; aunts, uncles and even cousins to love him or her just as much as we do.”
Dara had finally started her walk to the Dream Zone. Timor, Ari and Dana were explaining the funeral rites of Terlara to them.
“We cremate the bodies of our dead.” Ari said. “We burn the body to release the tie to the physical plane so they may walk the path. After the body is consumed by fire, we grind the bones into a powder which we release on the wind so that the physical part of us returns to the soil and nourishes our world.”
“We will accompany the body to the ‘Place of Release’. It is located in the central gardens. Tano will preside over the rites. Stanley and I will have the honor of placing Grandmother’s body on the altar. Xev you and Ari will sprinkle the body with herbs to purify it as it burns. Dana will light the fire. ” Timor continued.
“When the fire is lit, we will all sing her home. Each of us in turn will call on an individual who has already taken the walk to accept her and intercede on her behalf with the “Honored Ancestors”. We may even ask them directly if we wish.” Dana added.
“Tano will start the intercessions by calling on our Warrior Mother Adana. I will go next, everyone will take a turn. It can take a long time depending on how many mourners attend. We expect Grandmother’s funeral will be large.” Timor said. “Now we must go so we are not late. All of us will be in the front part of the procession.”
Tano was dressed in the robes of his office as High Priest. He led the procession in front of the body. Six warrior priests carried the litter that Dara’s body rested on. Directly behind the body, Timor led an honor guard of the Ground Security Force. Stanley, Xev, Ari and Dana followed the honor guard. Family members were lined up behind them and friends and acquaintances brought up the rear. It was a huge procession, Dara had been a well respected woman.
Stanley and Timor gently laid the body on the altar. Xev and Ari sprinkled the herbs on the body. Dana stepped forward with the torch in her hand. She touched it to the wood stacked high beneath the altar. As the fire sprang to life the hundreds gathered around Dara’s body began to softly sing.
Tano spoke. “Dara begins the walk we must all eventually make along the path to the Dream Zone. We bear the sadness of her departure, but we also sing to let her know that we share her joy in reuniting with the loved ones who walked before her.
Dara was respected and well liked. Her deeds were many, bringing honor to those who walked before her and leaving a legacy of honor for those still to come. We now call for intercession from those who have walked the path before her. Dara is of the Kai Bloodline we ask her Honored Ancestors to accept and welcome her. Speak of her deeds to those who have gone before. Let us begin the Intercessions on her behalf.
I speak to our Warrior Mother Adana. Accept this child of your son Kai she taught me that a warrior is judged by his honor.”
Timor now took his turn “I speak to Kai, father of our Terlaran bloodline. Accept this child of yours she taught me that honor is not just for warriors.”
Ari spoke “I speak to my parents. Accept your mother she took your children in and raised us as her own.”
Xev spoke up. I speak to Kai, Last of the Brunnen G, accept her because she was friend and family to me and to Stan.”
Stan spoke “I speak to Kai, Last of the Brunnen G accept her because of the respect she had for you.
Dana’s turn was next “I speak to Warlord Kai, accept her because she she encouraged me to walk the path of a warrior and answer my calling.”
And every person in the crowd took their turn calling on the Kai bloodline, friends of Dara’s who had walked before her or even their own deceased family members. The intercessions continued throughout the night. No one had any doubt that Dara was welcomed with open arms.
Timor was nervously pacing the waiting room like some caged beast. Stanley was attempting to calm him and Dana was feeding little Stan a bottle. Ari had gone to the “Room of Welcome” to see if she could help in any way.
“Timor, Xev will be just fine. She’s faced death more than once, escaped The Cluster and had an entire universe collapse around her. Giving birth will be a walk in the park for her. She’s a strong woman, just remember that.” Stan said.
“Stanley Tweedle,” Dana teased. “I think I recall you pacing a rut in this very same floor just a few weeks ago. Your father was a nervous wreck.” She said to the baby as she lifted him to her shoulder and patted his back.
“Hey. I was an expectant father. I was allowed to be a nervous wreck.” Stan replied.
“So Timor is allowed now.” She replied.
The far door opened and Ari came through smiling brightly. “Congratulations Timor. It’s a girl.”
“Xev is alright?” He asked.
“She’s fine. The midwife said she’s never seen a woman have such an easy first birth.” Timor let out a sigh of relief. “Xev is waiting to introduce you to your daughter, and Xev and I agree that she is an absolute beauty. So don’t you dare ask if babies are supposed to be wrinkled like someone I know.”
“Well Stan was the first baby I’d seen right after it was born. I was used to cute chubby little babies not red wrinkled little creatures.” Stan said in his defense. He took little Stan from Dana as she stood.
“I’ll head over to the temple and let Tano know he’s an uncle again.” Dana said. “I know exactly what he will say. ‘Only the highest priest of the temple is the proper one to conduct the Naming and Welcoming ceremony for a child of The Messenger’. It’s amusing how much of a pompous ass he can be. Give Xev my good wishes Timor.”
Tano had once again bullied his way into filling the need for a priest in a family function. Xev and Timor were beaming as only proud new parents can beam. Ari and Stan stood next to them.
“We emerge into this world estranged and nameless. We are given into the care of parents. Our parents bring us into the care of our families. There is one among at this time who is estranged and nameless. Her parents bring her before us so that she may be taken into the care of family.”
Timor and Xev stepped forward. Xev cradled their daughter in her arms. “We ask that our child no longer be alone and nameless.” The two of them spoke together.
“Then lay her on the altar. Let her be offered up to us.” Tano spoke.
Xev stepped up and laid the infant on the altar. Tano carefully unwrapped his niece saying a quick prayer of thanks that unlike his nephew Stan, she would have the dignity not to baptize him. Tano picked up the now naked child and held her up. “Into the world we come naked and helpless. It is our people who protect us and provide for us.” He dipped his fingers into a bowl of water laced with herbs. “I now purify this child so that we may freely welcome her.” He now laid the infant back on her blanket and gently swaddled her. He handed her back to Xev.
“We come into this world nameless. It is for the parents to name a child. The name of a child is the most important gift a parent can give. It lasts forever. A name can carry honor or shame. There are many names, only three forbidden to us. Of the many names you may choose from, which do the parents gift to this child?”
“Dara. We wish to name her Dara.” Xev spoke up.
“Dara is a name of great honor. We welcome you Dara. Who stands as second parents to this child” Tano continued.
“We do.” Stanley and Ari stepped forward.
“Let it be recorded that this day Dara, daughter of Timor of the Kai bloodline and Xev of the Bellringer Bloodline was named and welcomed. Ari of the Kai bloodline and Stanley of the Tweedle bloodline stand forward as second parents.” Tano bowed to Xev and Timor.
The Story of the Messengers
Tano had secured the three complete copies of the book from the scribes. It had taken ten years to finish but it was finally done. His first stop was the vault. The first edition would be kept here locked inside Adana’s chest with the Scroll of the Ancients. His next stop was at Ari and Stan’s home. His last stop was at Xev and Timor’s house to give them their copy. Other copies would be distributed to each temple.
No one knew that this book would cause the birth of a religion, be the basis of the biggest misunderstanding in the history of the universe and the one thing that would ultimately lead to the final defeat of the insect civilization.
Tano finally made it back to the temple and began to read. The book was written to outline the historical struggle between man and insect and cited the best sources available; Adana’s Journal, Stanley Tweedle and Xev Bellringer. It also drew on the knowledge of Xev and Stanley to serve as a forewarning of the future. Of course scribes are notorious for putting their own spin on things and this book would be no exception. It was structured in three sections which could be read together as a whole or separately. Each was a self contained story of it’s own.
The first was the Book of Adana which had been taken mostly from Adana’s journal. It was Adana’s journal that had created the Legend of Kai. Over time people would elevate Kai to the status of a god and begin worshipping what they called the ‘Four Incarnations’. The story of the first two incarnations was basically accurate. Having no information on them the scribes restrained themselves and followed Adana’s words.
When Tano began reading about the third incarnation he began to see the hand of the scribes at work.
Since the third incarnation had walked on Terlaran soil, the scribes felt justified to mix in rumors handed down through the ages. High Priest Tano ordered the book banned, near the end rumor and innuendo had tarnished the image of the third incarnation. He ordered Adana’s personal journal to stand in it’s place.
It was with the fourth incarnation that things really went to hell, thanks to the scribes twisting the words of Stanley Tweedle. While the Book of Kai started out with the wisdom of the fourth incarnation as it progressed it turned into a rambling discourse on things that the dead found impossible or repugnant. Tano had spoken to both Stanley and Xev about the fourth incarnation and understood that the Kai they knew had been dead for 2000 years when they met him and that he had often dropped ‘dead do not’s’to make a point or explain his position. The words had come directly from Stanley Tweedle (albeit twisted by the scribes)so there was no reason for people to doubt that the fourth incarnation was unworthy and downrightevil. In order to protect the Kai Legend The Book of Kai was also banned by order of High Priest Tano. But there was something that Tano did not know.
The little print shop was very busy for this time of night. The presses were turning out copy after copy of The Book of Kai. The smuggler was packing boxes of books into his jump ship. He would become a wealthy man from this. Banned books always sold well on other worlds. He now had 200 copies of the Book of Kai. He paid the printer a generous sum and then climbed into his jump ship and headed toward his freighter in orbit around Terlara. Although his family specialized in antiquities, these books would create another income stream.
He was surprised at this father’s reaction. “You fucking moron! This is the only world that we know we can find artifacts from the Brunnen G culture. You were supposed to raid the museum dumbass and instead you’re out trying to build your own fucking library!” That’s what I get for letting his mother talk me into sending him to school he thought to himself. The boy had a head full of educated ideas.
“Father, the books tell the story of the Last Brunnen G, Kai. They are his words.”
“It’s a fucking religious text you idiot! No one is going to pay for this garbage! That’s it. I’m putting you and your damned books off my ship first chance I get then I will go back to Terlara and do the job you were supposed to do!”
The smuggler sat here in this seedy bar drowning his sorrows. The Book of Kai sat in front of him on the bar. “So this book is the source of my problems.” He said to the barkeeper. 200 copies and no way to sell them.
The Barkeeper picked up the book and flipped it open. “Last of the Brunnen G. eh. That’s rich. Brunnis is a myth. It never existed, it’s just some ideal created to convince good people to try to be better.” He flipped forward in the book and then stopped. He read through a few pages. “You say this is a Terlaran religious text?”
“Yes it was banned by the high priest.”
“I don’t doubt it, This guy went from being one of those perfectly good people so nice it makes your teeth ache to a killing machine. Listen to this: ‘I killed mothers with their babies. I've killed great philosophers, proud young warriors, and revolutionaries. I've killed the evil, the good, the intelligent, the weak, and the beautiful. I have done this in the service of His Divine Shadow and his predecessors, and I have never once shown any mercy.’ This guy is a stone cold killer, no remorse at all. Hey guys check out this book my young friend has for sale.”
“There must be good pictures in it if you are pushing it.” A large man walked up to the bar and grabbed the book from the bartender. After a minute or two he looked at the smuggler and asked. “Got another copy for sale?”
Thanks to Stanley Tweedle’s words, ‘creative’ scribes and a visionary smuggler; the banned Book of Kai became a mainstay among the criminal element. This was their kind of religion. He was cold blooded. He killed people. He indulged in intoxicants. He even had a nice long list of reasons for killing people called ‘Dead do nots’. Kai, Last of the Brunnen G, had just become Kai, Patron Saint of murderers, thieves, smugglers, swindlers and every other unsavory type of character you might name.
Last edited on Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 05:58 pm by Abby1964
| Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 01:09 pm||
| Mantrid’s Setback
“So what did Prince have to say?” First Kai asked.
“That Mantrid may have run into an ‘obstacle’. Third Kai laughed.
“An ‘obstacle’? That’s a good one!” The old man laughed.
“Did Duke happen to give more detail?” Third Kai asked.
“Oh yes. It seems that the great Mantrid took a beating this time. The Alteri mined their entire solar system with these high powered electric magnets. The carrot probes didn’t even get close. So he deployed the Lyekka asteroid. That’s when Mantrid found out about the thermonuclear mines in the corridor leading to the populated worlds. Over half his Imperial Army was wiped out. But the amazing thing is that Mantrid backed off. It looks like he is hunting easier prey.”
“So there is some resistance building. I guess people are getting tired of running from him and his deceptions.” Third Kai said.
The General laid his hand on the book sitting on his desk. It had become one of his most treasured possessions. The Story of The Messengers. It was an old story, a tale of wanderers who came here from another universe. It would never have caught his interest except for the fact that they claimed to have arrived here in the company of the last Brunnen G, named Kai.
Brunnis was considered a myth until the great quake had unearthed the Repository. Books and records stored so long in the depths that you almost had to scrape off the dust had revealed the truth. Brunnis had existed. At one time an ally of the Alteri system. The Brunnen G had come here during The Devastation. They had brought weapons and trained the armies of the day to defeat the menace of the insects.
Then just a few short years ago in a run down stall in a bazaar he had found this book. It told the story of how The last Brunnen G and the Messengers had escaped the destruction of a universe to come here. How the last Brunnen G had died to prevent the universe from being overrun by a new threat, the threat that the Alteri had just turned away for the moment. But the most surprising revelation in this book was that the Brunnen G still existed on a little planet called Terlara.
He picked the book up and lovingly packed it in his bag along with the ancient blade passed down to him by his father. It was claimed that the blade had come from Brunnis. It was time to go find Terlara and renew the alliance that had defeated an enemy bent on destruction eons ago. Perhaps between the Alteri and The Brunnen G, victory would once again be within reach.
The influx of refugees had slowed over the last few years. Fifth Kai was rapidly approaching her 12th birthday. She was growing in leaps and bounds, Dara was hard pressed to keep up with her clothing. She seemed to outgrow them overnight. She was also turning into quite the little warrior. Although the other Kais did not say it they were all proud of her progress. She was an apt pupil.
She was at level five in Aka’tai. She had been solo flying the moths for a year and would soon start her lessons in a dragon fighter. She wielded a blade as if she had been born with it in her hand. She often went hunting with Fourth Kai and could tell you multiple spots to land a killing blow on any animal or a person if necessary. But it was 790 who noticed that the biggest change was forthcoming.
“We need to talk about our little bud of innocence.” 790 said to the first four Kais. “She is ‘blooming’.”
“What do you mean blooming?” First Kai asked.
“She’s growing…a bosom.” 790 replied.
“Most females do grow those eventually 790.” said Third Kai.
“Yes I know but she’s not most females, she’s our little promise of perfect beauty.”
“790 she is filling the promise of that beauty.” Fourth Kai replied.
“We all know she can’t stay a little girl forever.” Second Kai added.
790 rolled his eyes. “Let me start again. She’s starting to go through puberty. The four of you keep her busy from morning to night. She has not had any contact with her mother in years and often only limited contact with Dara. That would be all well and good if she was a boy, but she is not and someone needs to talk to her about the upcoming changes she will experience.”
790 was facing four blanks stares. “Menstruation!” he yelled totally exasperated. “And the cluster lizard estrus cycle!”
“I’ll leave that to you young ‘uns. In my day women went out of their way to keep it secret and men went out of their way not to discover anything about it!” First Kai said.
“I died young and we didn’t have Sexual Education classes at the guild school!” Second Kai replied.
“Well you all know my experience with the female anatomy. I know my way around the playground but nothing else.” Third Kai remarked.
“Why is everyone looking at me?” Fourth Kai asked.
“Probably because you are the only one not blushing.” 790 observed.
“Well you are the one least likely to be embarrassed talking to her about, well you know…things.” Third Kai said.
“And you are the only one here who knows anything about cluster lizards.” Second Kai said.
“Yes we vote you talk to her.” First Kai said. “And the majority has already spoken.”
Fifth Kai was sprawled across the bed in her room aboard the LEXX reading a book. She seemed to prefer staying on the LEXX to her room in the temple. Vlad’s construct was in the cryopod which had been moved into the room. With all the Kai constructs on board, a full detail of guards on duty at all times and Fourth Kai and 790 helping her program the LEXX itself to be a defense mechanism, security was not an issue. Besides she needed someplace where she could go to get a little privacy at times.
“Hello Fifth.” Fourth Kai said from the doorway. “I would like to speak to you.”
“Is Second complaining again? I can’t help it if he’s a wuss.” She said. “He should practice more and then I wouldn’t be able to toss him around like I do when we spar.”
“Do you really think that you toss him around because he is a wuss? Can you toss any of the rest of us around?”Fourth Kai asked.
“No but you aren’t wusses.” She replied.
“I think it is more a case of his concern with hurting you. He thinks girls are soft and treats you that way. The rest of us know that you are not and we are less concerned with you getting a few bumps and bruises. But I am not here because Second Kai is complaining.”
“No? Then what did I do? You’re using the ‘you’re in trouble’ tone of voice.” She was now thinking furiously trying to figure out what she may have done.
“You are not in trouble, it has been brought to our attention that you are no longer a ‘little girl’. And that you will soon be going through some…changes. 790 thought that someone should talk to you about it and I was the one who got volunteered.”
“Poor Fourth, I guess they figured you were the least likely to be embarrassed huh? You can relax Dara and I talked about the birds and the bees already. I know that I am getting ready to go through ‘The Change’.” Sometimes it seemed the other Kais forgot that Fourth Kai could emotionally feel just as much as the rest of them. He just had problems expressing it, like Vlad.
“Well then I do not need to speak to you about your human sexuality.” The relief in his voice was evident.
“No and Vlad told me all about the cluster lizard estrus cycle too. You are off the hook.”
“Well then I will leave you to your book.” Fourth Kai turned to leave.
“Hey Fourth.” He stopped and turned back to her. “Thanks. It means a lot that you would make the effort.”
Fourth Kai gave her one of his rare smiles. “You are welcome.”
“Third, can I ask you something?” Fifth Kai had said to him once their Aka’tai lesson was over.
“Sure what do you want to know?”
“Why am I growing bumps on my chest?” She innocently asked.
She managed to contain her laughter as he grew beet red and stammered something about Dara being the better one to ask that question before quickly walking away.
“Hey Second, what’s an Estrus cycle?” Fifth Kai sweetly asked in the middle of his lecture on the controls of the dragon fighter.
“Um, we’ll go over the controls later.” he said as he made his escape. Two down, one to go.
“First Kai, where do babies come from?”
“Um, the baby fairy leaves them on the doorstep.” he said as he hurried off. That will fix them she thought to herself.
“You were supposed to talk to her!”
“Do you know how embarrassing that was.”
“I can’t believe you didn’t explain things to her.”
The first three Kais were all shouting at him. Fourth Kai couldn’t help himself he laughed at the thought of one red haired slip of a girl getting the better of the other three Kais.
“I did not speak to her because it was not necessary. Both Dara and Vlad have already spoken to her about the changes she will go through. I believe she was paying you back for volunteering me without ever thinking that I too might have been embarrassed at having that particular conversation with her.” He said as he walked out of the cryochamber.
The Refugee Camp
Ivo noticed the man immediately. He stuck out from the other refugees like a sore thumb. He was missing the glazed look in his eyes that spoke of horrible things endured. His clothing was still fairly new missing the signs of repair that came from the many mendings of the others. His bearing was almost regal. No this one definitely did not belong.
“You,” He signaled a young man who lived near him in the camp. “Come here. Take my skimmer and go to the temple quickly. Ask for Dara tell her she must come to the camp immediately. There is a stranger among the refugees.”
“You want me to demand the ‘Voice of the Pantheon’ come here?” the young man said in disbelief.
“Tell her the message is from me. She will come. Now go quickly.” Ivo turned and caught sight of the man again. He was heading into Dennia’s Pub. Ivo hurried off to follow him.
“It’s a refugee camp, there are nothing but strangers there.” Second Kai said.
“If Ivo sends word that there is a stranger, it’s because this person does not fit in. Ivo has been keeping an eye out for suspicious people among the refugees since Fifth was a baby. He would not have sent word to me unless he had a good reason to believe this refugee is different.” Dara said.
“All refugees no matter time or place have the same look about them.” First Kai said. “Their experience marks them. They carry the story of their escape in their eyes. The weight of their suffering presses down on their shoulders. Second, Fourth take a moth to the camp and see if you can find this ‘stranger’. It will be quicker than the skimmer. Dara you go back with the young man.”
“We should go over to the temple. This stranger could be a spy for Mantrid or he could have some connection with the building resistance to Mantrid’s advance into the universe. We need to know which it is.” Third Kai said.
“Will you notify Vlad? If he is indeed a spy, Fifth could be in danger .” Fourth Kai said.
“Yes Third and I will find her. You go find this stranger.”
Ivo looked up at the odd chirping sound. He had seen these things flying around but now one was landing here in the camp. Two young men were climbing out of it. One was wearing black, his long dark hair arranged in an elaborate style. The other was dressed in what looked like a green Jumpsuit his hair was cut short. The resemblance between the two was amazing they must be twins he thought to himself. As they approached he saw that one was younger than the other, not twins but definitely brothers. They walked directly up to him.
“Hello Ivo, Dara sent us. She is on her way and will be here soon but for now show us this stranger.” The older of the two said.
“He is inside.” Ivo opened the door and pointed to a man sitting at a table in the far corner. “That is him. He is no refugee.”
As they entered the pub Fourth Kai thought to himself how well this man had positioned himself. His back was to the wall in a corner where he could blend into the shadows yet keep an eye on the entire room. Although he appeared to be slouching in his seat there was a wariness about him. Fourth Kai had seen that type of behavior before many times. The more experienced fighters of the Austrel B had displayed the exact same behavior. This man was a soldier of some sort.
Sitting at the table with him was one of the refugees. The man’s tongue had been loosened by the line of empty tankards in front of him. He was telling the stranger about his own escape to Terlara. The stranger seemed to be hanging on the drunken man’s every word, but his eyes were on the approaching Kais. These two men no more fit in among these poor souls than he did.
He placed his hand on the other man’s forearm. “I thank providence that you and your family were able to safely escape.” He reached into his pocket as he stood laying a coin on the table. “Have another round on me my friend.” The man picked up a satchel off of the floor and threaded his way through the tables toward the two men.
Fourth Kai watched the man approach. There was nothing threatening in his manner. He stopped in front of him giving a glance to Second and then turned his attention back fully on Fourth Kai.
“I am General Bann of the Alteri Defense Alliance. I’m looking for the Brunnen G.” He said.
Fourth Kai replied. “You have found them.”
Dara, General Bann and Five Kais sat at the table in the temple’s conference room. Vlad stood a few feet back from Fifth Kai’s chair. Vlad and Fourth Kai had positioned themselves so that they both had a clear shot at the General if he turned out to be a threat. It would be overkill with the brace and Vlad’s daggers but they would take no chances with Fifth Kai’s life. The General had sat his case on the table and opened it.
“The Alteri System was an ally during the Insect War.” Third Kai stated. “It was one of the locations we sent warriors to with weapons. They had a group of five allied worlds under the alliance.”
“We only have three worlds now. We converted two of those planets into decoys. An invading force would come upon these decoy worlds first which is what happened recently. Although this invading force has withdrawn, I and others believe it will return with reinforcements. This is why I have come.”
General Bann reached into the bag and pulled out a blade. The first four Kais all knew exactly what it was and with the exception of Fourth Kai, all of them had carried one. Fourth Kai had however seen them in the museum on Brunnis 2, a Gortha.
“What is that ?” Fifth Kai asked. She eyed it the way most women would eye a piece of jewelry displayed in a shopkeeper’s window.
“It is the Gortha, the ceremonial blade that tells others that one is a member of the warrior caste of the Brunnen G. It is modeled on the fang of the Gort. A large feline creature that was native to the southern jungles of Brunnis. Bann the Demented was attacked by one of them. He was injured and sought shelter in a ruin he found. The turned out to be the temple of an ancient goddess called Rakais. He claimed that while he was in the temple Rakais healed him, his presence had awakened her. She offered him a boon in thanks. Bann asked that his bloodline not die out. Rakais granted his wish. She claimed his bloodline, said that his descendents would be sacred to her and would survive until time itself came to an end.
Gorts were ferocious animals that would fight until their last breath. It was decided that the Gort was an appropriate symbol for Brunnen G warriors and the Gortha was created.” First Kai explained.
“I did not know the importance of it or what it was called. It had been passed down in my family for generations.” General Bann spoke up. “I should tell you how things are on Alteri now. Brunnis was considered a myth among us. Kind of a Utopia that did not exist except in the imagination. 20 years ago, Alteri 2 suffered a major earthquake which unearthed ancient ruins. Among those ruins was a library, we call it The Repository. The books had been buried for eons but they confirmed that Brunnis had indeed existed and was once an ally of the Alterians. Brunnis rallied many worlds to fight together against a race called the insects.
The researchers worked out the location of Brunnis. Before we could mount an expedition, refugees began arriving speaking of an occupation force. Brunnis is located in middle of the occupied zone.”
“There is no need to mount an expedition to Brunnis, it was destroyed millennia ago when the sun went supernova.” Fourth Kai advised him.
“Then your homeworld truly is no more. The book must be true.” He reached into the case and pulled out an old well worn book. “Several years ago I visited a small bazaar on Alteri 1. I found this in a shabby looking stall, The Story of the Messengers. This book gave us hope. It speaks of the Messengers, a man and a woman who came here from another universe in the company of the last Brunnen G. When he died, they thought the Brunnen G were no more until they arrived on Terlara. The Brunnen G were here. It also speaks of this invasion force, creatures that eat every living thing they come across.
I was sent here to find the Brunnen G and renew the alliance we once had. The Alteri Alliance would once again combine our might with that of the Brunnen G to defeat a common enemy.”
“May I see the book?” Fourth Kai asked. Bann handed the book to Fourth Kai who realized that is was written in Terlaran. He began rapidly flipping through the pages. After a few moments he handed it back to Bann.
“Thank you. It is the story of Xev and Stanley. It speaks of my final death and their lives when they arrived here.” He told the other Kais.
Bann looked at Fourth Kai. “What do you mean ‘your final death’?”
“I am the Kai spoken of in this book.” Fourth Kai said.
“That’s impossible, Kai died over 1000 years ago and you are quite alive!”
“Actually more like 7000 years ago, when Brunnis 2 was destroyed. I spent 6000 years as an animated corpse before my spirit and body were reunited.”
“They are all dead.” Fifth Kai said “Other than Dara and my honor guard, you and I are the only living beings in the room. What you see are physical constructs that house their spirits.”
She pointed to First Kai. “This is First Kai, son of Bann the Demented. His father dedicated him to Rakais, he was the first chosen one. He was the first person to kill an insect and rallied the Brunnen G to defeat and enslave the insects on Brunnis long before anyone knew that there were other worlds. He is the father of the Kai Bloodline and we are all his descendants.”
She pointed to Second Kai. “Second Kai, the next to be chosen. He is the greatest pilot ever born among the Brunnen G. He was given the choice to live and allow Brunnis to be totally annihilated by the insects or to die to save it. His sacrifice allowed Brunnis to repel a massive insect invasion force.”
She now pointed to Third Kai. “Third Kai, son of our Warrior Mother Adana and the founder of the Kai Bloodline here on Terlara. He was the highest ranking Brunnen G general during the Insect War. Both Terlara then known as Pordyah, and the Alteri Alliance fought side by side with him. When most believed the war was over he knew better. He defied the Brunnen Matriarch Council and continued to fight even while others turned their attention inward to their own concerns. His sacrifice kept the insects from regrouping and overrunning this universe.”
Finally she pointed at Fourth Kai. “Fourth Kai born on Brunnis 2 in the Light Universe. Last to die when it was destroyed, imprisoned by the insects and made into a Divine Assassin forced to serve the Insect order for 2000 years. He destroyed the Divine Order in the Light Universe before coming here with the Messengers. He sacrificed himself to prevent the Divine/Insect Order from regaining a foothold in this universe 1000 years ago.”
All four of the other Kais were looking at her in awe.
“I am Fifth Kai. The four of them are my ancestors, my family, my mentors, my teachers. I learn from them in preparation for the day that I answer my calling to face the insect menace. ‘Kai will be the hand of Destruction as Kai was in the past and will be in each cycle of time. The Brunnen G will once again follow Kai and Mankind will follow the Brunnen G. Kai will follow Kai.’”
She looked at the four dumbfounded Kais. “KAI speaks to me sometimes.” She explained.
Last edited on Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 05:59 pm by Abby1964
| Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 05:57 pm||
| Dara later spoke to the Kai’s alone. “The book is not complete. The Story of the Messengers is the final ‘book’, in The Holy Reference. The reference in its entirety starts with The Book of Adana, then there is the Book of Kai and finally The Story of the Messengers.”
“Holy reference?” First Kai asked.
“Yes, it is the ancient text we’ve based our belief system on since the Messengers arrived. However the Messenger story was published separately and copies were available to anyone who wished to buy them. The first two books were banned by order of the high priest at the time, only high priests have access to them. I’m the “’Voice of the Pantheon’, and even I am not allowed access. There were only three complete private references made. One went to Stanley Tweedle it was destroyed in a fire and one to Xev Bellringer no one knows what has become of that copy. It was stolen along with several copies of the Messenger story about about a year after she received it. However the First Printing was placed in the vault. The temple copies are kept under lock and key.”
“Why didn’t you mention this before?” Third Kai asked.
“It never occurred to me. But having The Story of the Messengers surface from such a distant source brought it to mind. Xev Bellringer’s copy could be on another world somewhere.”
“You say the first two books were banned? Why would a high priest ban the books his religion is based on?” Second Kai asked. “Usually they do their damnedest to make you take a copy of religious texts.”
“The One has free access to the vault,” Fifth Kai said. “I can go get it.”
“Yes I would like to see why it was banned.” First Kai said.
“Take Vlad and your guard with you. If at all possible avoid the current high priest.” Fourth Kai said with an enormous level of distaste evident in his voice.
“You mean Arno the Asshole?” she innocently questioned.
“Kai!” Dara admonished. It would have been more effective if everyone wasn’t doing t heir best not to laugh.
“What the hell?!” Third Kai said.
Coming down the path from the vault was an entire freaking parade. The parade was led by the High Priest ‘Arno the Asshole’. He was wearing the most colorful and garish of his many ceremonial robes. Behind him were two men carrying an ornate carved chest. Third Kai recognized it immediately, he had given it to his mother as a gift on his 18th birthday. Strung out behind the two carrying the chest was an honor guard. Behind them a long line of acolytes. Finally bringing up the rear Dara, Fifth Kai, Vlad and Fifth’s guards. Third turned and went into the LEXX headed to the cryochamber.
“High Priest Arno the Asshole is on his way” He said to the other Kais.
High Priest Arno had arrived four years ago to take over as High Priest of the Brunnia temple after the retirement of the previous High Priest Stanley. Where Stanley had been an easygoing reasonable man, Arno was a self important prig. His first day on the job he had managed to insult Fifth Kai and Dara, anger the other Kais and get himself bodily thrown off the LEXX.
Arno had stormed aboard the LEXX and attempted to set himself up as Fifth’s guardian claiming a unintelligent child could not be allowed to hold the key to a LEXX, and that she needed proper guidance from the temple and that ‘ghosts’ and a woman who thought she outranked a male High Priest were not acceptable. Fourth had been tempted to simply kill the man at that point, but Third reminded him that it was not good form for ‘gods’ to kill their High Priests. Instead Fourth had used his brace to grab the man’s neck and drag him off the LEXX. He had been warned not to return.
The first four Kais in their constructs now went outside to meet the procession, none of them were happy.
As soon as Arno caught sight of the Kais he puffed up like balloon. “I am bringing the chest of Our Warrior Mother Adana. The book is among the contents in the chest.”
First Kai looked around like he was searching for something “Where is The One?” He asked even though he knew full well where Fifth was.
“She follows.” Arno said in his self righteous way. “As High Priest I am the highest ranking it is my place to lead the chest and make sure that it is not tampered with by the unauthorized.” As usual the self important bastard was so full of himself that he failed to think.
“I carved that chest for my mother with my own two hands. Does that make me ‘unauthorized’?” Third Kai asked.
Arno deflated just a bit. “No the Pantheon is certainly authorized.”
“Do you outrank the Pantheon?”Fourth Kai asked.
“No, no.” Arno quickly replied. “I would not put myself above the Pantheon.”
“Then why are you trotting along at the head of this ’procession’? Why is the fifth member of the Pantheon following along in the dust created by you and your entourage?” First Kai asked.
“For that matter, why are you even returning to the LEXX?” Fourth Kai now asked.
Second Kai who had collected Dara, Fifth, Vlad and Fifth Kai’s personal guard returned to the other Kais. He stood behind Fifth and placed his hands on her shoulders urging her forward and forcing Arno to back up. “This is The One. She is a Kai just as we all are. She is the living incarnation of us. When you place yourself above her, you place yourself above the Pantheon. When you offend her, you offend the Pantheon. You admitted that the Pantheon outranks you, so you must have intended deliberate insult to The One. Or perhaps you meant insult to the Third incarnation? The father of the Terlaran Bloodline, the son Adana carried in her womb?” Second Kai said springing the trap that Arno had neatly walked into.
“It does not matter who the offense was meant for, Third, Fifth or both. Offending one offends us all. Fourth Kai said “And you have succeeded in your goal.”
“Dara you will contact the temple in Terla City. Tell them that you speak as the Voice of the Pantheon. This self important pathetic excuse for a High Priest has twice offended the Pantheon. If they value his continued existence, they will remove him from Brunnia and our presence. This is the second time we have shown him mercy, next time he will face the wrath the fourth incarnation the one that kills.” First Kai decreed in his ‘I am the one in charge around here’ tone of voice.
Several snickers and giggles were heard coming from the crowd of acolytes and guards who liked Arno no more than the Kais did. Third Kai now took charge of his mother’s chest, carrying it himself.
“The rest of you may leave, we take no offense with you. We understand that you were all following the orders of the High Priest.” Fourth Kai said as his brace shot forward wrapping around Arno’s throat and squeezing slightly. “The next time you feel my brace will be when it separates your head from your shoulders.” He said releasing Arno and turning to follow the others.
That evening they received a respectful message from the temple in Terla City saying that Arno would be recalled as soon as they could send a replacement. Those assigned to the temple at Brunnia had included a gift basket full of fresh fruit and a thank you note.
The chest had been sitting there for two days. Out of respect everyone was waiting for Third to open it. It had after all belonged to his mother. Finally tired of waiting for him to open it Fifth Kai chased him down.
“Third, your mother’s chest has been sitting on the bridge collecting dust for two days. We would all like to be able to find out what is in the book. That means you have to open it.” She took his hand in hers.
“I rarely see my mother, she’s like a distant acquaintance so it wouldn’t even be bothered to open a chest that belonged to her. It would be like it belonged to a stranger.
But this is my family here on the LEXX. In every way that matters, Dara is my mother. Vlad is like my aunt, I can talk to her about things I wouldn’t talk to anyone else about. Fourth is like the older cousin who always looks out for me. Second is the annoying older brother that just makes me want to kill him sometimes. First is like the grandfather that spoils me. And you are like my father, always keeping me on the straight and narrow. So I guess in a way that makes Adana my grandmother.”
Third Kai smiled at her. “Okay let’s go open it, together. Just one question first, you mentioned everyone except 790. Where does he fit into our ‘family’?”
“He’s the family dog.” She laughed.
The other Kais were already on the bridge when they arrived. Kai did something to the front of the chest and it clicked open. He took a deep breath and lifted the lid. The contents were covered by a piece of red velvet, he lifted it. “I think Adana would want you to have this.” he said to Fifth reaching into the box and lifting out a Gortha. It was slightly smaller than the one given to warriors of the caste but more important. “My mother was the High Warrior Delegate. She represented every warrior on Brunnis no matter their birth clan. This was her Gortha, the symbol of her position.” Third said as he held it out to her.
He spoke as her hand curled around the hilt. “This is the Gortha. It carries the prestige of warriors from the time of the warlord. That prestige is yours. But with prestige comes responsibility. This blade makes you a Warrior of the Caste. A warrior is nothing without honor. It is your responsibility to live honorably from this moment forward so that those who have gone before will welcome you with open arms into their ranks when this life is over.” He released the blade.
“I will honor those who have gone before and leave a legacy of honor for those yet to come.” She said not knowing where the words came from.
Third turned back to the chest, his reluctance to disturb his mother’s things now gone. The next item that emerged from the chest was a small Brunnen harp. Third plucked a string which was sadly out of tune. “When I was small, she would play this for me every night when she tucked me into bed.”
“Would you mind if I tuned it?” Fourth Kai asked.
“Do you know how to play it?” Third questioned.
“When I was tested as a child on Brunnis 2, I showed a high aptitude for music. It was one of my areas of study. I learned to play several instruments including this one.” Fourth responded.
“In that case I think she would want you to have it. You are of my sister’s bloodline which means you are also of Adana’s bloodline. It’s yours.”
“Theres two more things in here besides the book. The Scroll of the Ancients and this.” He lifted out a necklace of odd shaped crystals. It was iridescent and brightly sparkling all at the same time. It seemed to be made of all the colors in the spectrum of visible light.
“Wow!” Said Fifth Kai
“Shit.” Said First Kai
“What?” Said Fourth Kai
Second Kai responded. “Do you know how expensive that necklace was when I bought it for Aranna? The entire economy around the Gravity Desert depended on these starfire crystals. Several members of Jute’s family were jewelers. I had this one custom made for her. They are insect droppings compressed over time by the immense pressure of the Gravity Desert into starfires.”
“Like I said, shit.” First Kai repeated. “You gave your mate a necklace made of shit!”
Second Kai ignored him “So what will you do with it?”
“If you agree, I think it should go to Dara.” Third Kai said.
“I think Aranna would like that as much as Adana would.” Second replied.
Third finally pulled out the book and handed it to Fifth Kai. “Here you read it.”
Dara was thrilled with her gift from the Kais. When First Kai cornered her to point out that it was ‘made of shit’, Dara calmly told him “Sometimes shit leads to good things. If not for the shit storm Mantrid is stirring up I would never have met the Pantheon, or been a part of Fifth Kai’s life. So I treasure the gift since it was shit that brought us all together.”
“General Bann of the Alteri Alliance asked that this message be delivered to you.” A guard announced. He handed the envelope to Dara. Dara and First Kai hurried off to the cryochamber. Fourth Kai was playing a haunting but lovely melody on the harp. Fifth Kai had her nose buried in the book.
“General Bann sent a message.” Dara opened the envelope.
I send my thanks to the Brunnen G for your help. The Council of Judges agreed to honor the Alliance signed between Brunnis and Alteri all those eons ago. I return to Alteri to coordinate the delivery of the magnetic mines to Terlara, they have proven to be an effective defense against the orange ‘carrots’. I will keep the young Kai’s existence secret until she is ready to take her place. She will have my full support.
The success of my mission here gives me hope that we can bring others to our cause, quietly without much fanfare. I will make sure that the Alteri system understands the tactic of this Mantis or Mantrid.
Until the time comes for providence to bring us together again,
“So Alteri stands with Terlara. It’s not much but it is a beginning.” First Kai said. “The first Insect war started with a much smaller seed but look what it grew into.”
“Yes, its time Fifth learned a new game, politics. She will need to understand how to use it to her advantage. As First said we have a start, but the more people we can bring to this resistance the better.”
“What about using your mother’s method? Visit some of the worlds that have not yet been touched by Mantrid’s ‘invasion.” Second Kai said.
“That is not a bad idea.” Fourth Kai added. “And those worlds that have no idea what is happening can also be warned. Mantrid started his invasion beyond the frontier on the far side of the universe, there is a frontier on this side also. Allies may be found among them also.”
“That would mean leaving Terlara.” Dara noted. “We have the means since young Kai has the key to this LEXX, but we would have to notify the Temple and keep them informed of what is going on. The only way to do that would be for me to stay behind to pass your words to them.”
“No we will not leave you behind, Dara.” First Kai said. “We will take another LEXX with us. Who is the most respected that holds a LEXX key at this time?”
“That would be Dana of the Bellringer bloodline. She is a formidable warrior and quite frankly intimidates everyone she meets.”
“Well then it’s time for you to make a trip to Terla City to speak to the highest of our high priests.” First Kai said.
Fifth Kai had finally finished reading the two banned books of the reference. Now she knew why they were banned, she hoped Third and Fourth would not be too upset. She made her way to the cryochamber.
“I finished it.” She said laying the book on the nearest cryopod control unit. “I know why the books were banned. High Priest Tano was attempting to protect Kai’s reputation.”
“What do you mean?” Second Kai asked.
“The book of Adana is almost identical to Adana’s journal which stands as the official version of Brunnen G history. First, Second your stories are completely accurate. It gets kind of wonky with Third’s story.”
“What do you mean, wonky?” Third Kai asked.
“The bloodline of Dava is the only recognized bloodline that comes from you, but according to this account, you fathered six different bloodlines.”
“What?!” Dava was the only woman I ever slept with on Terlara!” he shouted.
“There were cases of some women attempting to claim they had children by you in the years after your departure, all of the claims were investigated and dismissed as false. The scribes who wrote this book uphold those claims stating that Adana used her influence to have them dismissed. It leaves the impression that you were some kind of ‘Lothario’ bent on working your way through the entire female population of Terlara.”
“Well that explains that.” First Kai said. “And The Book of Kai?”
“Actually the first part of the Book of Kai is filled with the history of Brunnis 2 and childhood memories that you shared with Stanley and Xev.” She now directed her words to Fourth Kai. “The scribes never mention that you died when Brunnis 2 was destroyed or that you were turned into a Divine Assassin. Instead they make it sound like you were a prisoner of war. You became ‘addicted’ to a substance called protoblood. You served the Insect Order to support your ‘habit’. They discount your trial and conviction on Brunnis 2 as a lie to explain your addition. They falsely assume that you were never tried or convicted, there was no death sentence. You were still ‘immortal’.
Stanley had told them of what happened when your protoblood ran out. They imply that protoblood failure is nothing more than intoxication.”
She picked up the book rifled through it and then began to read:
It was on Earth in a small town called Prime Ridge Ohio that Kai once again fell victim to his protoblood addiction. Numerous people were attempting to kill the messengers while Kai blundered around in a chemical induced fog, unable to protect them. Stanley and Xev were forced to take Kai to safety.
“And when you weren’t high on protoblood, you just ran around indiscriminately and unremorsefully killing people. The High Priest at the time banned the books because he realized that the scribes had taken ‘poetic license’ with the stories. He wanted to protect both of you.”
“Damned idiots!” First Kai said.
“There was a note tucked in the back of the book written by Tano, the High Priest at the time.”
I have failed. My ancestors will reject me when I walk the path and rightly so. I tried to protect them both. Kai the father of our bloodline, gave his life to keep the insects from rising again and now he will be remembered as a lecherous womanizer and his beloved Dava disrespected through association. Kai Last of the Brunnen G gave his life only moments after he recovered it to keep the Lyekkas from overrunning the universe and instead of being remembered as the last warrior of pure Brunnen G blood he will be remembered as a remorseless murderer and dope addict.
I banned the books to protect their memory and now I find that it was for naught. Timor came to me and told me of the burglary to his home. Xev is overwrought that her copy of the book was stolen. And then the very printer we commissioned to create the book tells me that his shop was also burglarized. Over 100 copies of the Book of Kai which he had been illegally printing to sell on the black market were stolen along with several copies of the messenger’s story. I have failed my ancestors.
Tomorrow I step down as High Priest, Brother Torq will take my place. I have told him what has happened and he too is heartsick. I can only beg the forgiveness of my ancestors and pray that the damage done does not come back to tarnish the memory of them. I am no longer worthy to claim my place in the bloodline of Kai.
“Tano acted honorably.” Fourth Kai said.
“He was welcomed. Adana would have personally opened her arms to him.” Third Kai said.
“Did you really tell Stanley Tweedle that ‘the dead do not poo’?” asked Second Kai who had picked up the book. He was expecting the brace, not the the small Gortha now buried to the hilt in his ass. But the effect was the same Third and Fourth both cheered up at the sight of him and Fifth fighting over the Gortha. He was trying to pull it out and she was trying to push it deeper.
Last edited on Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 06:02 pm by Abby1964
| Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2010 03:57 am||
| Dara’s trip to Terla City was over almost as soon as it began. She no sooner got there and sent a request to speak to the Grand High Priest, when it was answered. She was ordered to return to Brunnia and arrange for him to address the Pantheon. He had added a postscript to the message. He would be arriving in two days and would see her then. She returned to the LEXX in a high dander mumbling about ‘pompous assed Grand High Priests’. With all of Dara’s constant grumbling everyone was expecting Arno the Asshole Part two.
The entourage coming up the path was certainly as large as any Arno had ever put together and as expected Arno was among them. Dara went forward to greet the Grand High Priest. The man was not tall but his bearing made him seem taller. His robes were understated and elegant. Dara started to bow but stopped at a look from the man.
“Did you arrange for me to address the Pantheon?” He asked all business.
“Yes they are waiting for you.” She said gesturing toward the five gathered Kais and one robot head.
“Then present me and let me take care of the business that has brought me here.” The Grand High Priest did not sound very happy, he sounded pissed.
“Arno, come here. You requested a formal review of your recall. Do you still want that?” The Grand High Priest asked him. “This is your last chance to change your mind and accept your recall. From this point on you are bound by the decision I come to today.”
“I beg a review. As I said this woman does not know her place. She has allowed the child to run wild. The girl has no respect for authority or her betters. And the woman has poisoned the Pantheon against me.” Arno stated.
“Very well let us get on with it then.” The Grand High Priest said with exasperation. He went to where Dara stood. “You have heard Arno’s charges, I must now publicly judge this situation and you will both be bound by my decision.”
He turned toward the entourage. “Who would like to bear witness on the situation that took place last week, the one that resulted in Arno’s recall?” A sea of hands shot up into the air. He pointed to a mousey looking young acolyte. “You come here and tell me what happened that day.”
“A group of us were in the garden at meditation when the high priest ordered us to be a part of an escort. He lined us all up and told us that we were going to be escorting the Warrior Mother Adana’s personal chest. The One was there with the Voice of the Pantheon, and her personal guard. The high priest simply walked off and left them standing there.”
“Did he ask The One to walk with him?”
“No, he just walked off.”
“Who was bearing the chest?” The Grand High Priest now asked.
“I did along with Brother Lowe.” A new priest answered.
“So you heard and witnessed the exchange between Arno and the Pantheon?”
“Yes, they were not happy with the insult to The One, nor were they happy by his implication that ‘unauthorized parties’ would have access to the chest. It was The Third Incarnation that took the chest from us. Arno’s words were an insult, the Third Incarnation is the son of Adana and the father of our Kai bloodline on Terlara. I am of the Kai bloodline and was also insulted. I was gratified when the Fourth Incarnation said he would separate the high priest’s head from his shoulders, but also embarrassed that one such as Arno was the spiritual leader of our temple.” The man said.
“I have heard enough. Arno this whole charade is for your benefit. I did not need to hear the words of either of these witnesses to stand by my decision to remove you. Dara’s words were enough. I have known Dara since we both came from the same womb five minutes apart. You have insulted the Voice of the Pantheon and the sister of the Grand High Priest. You have insulted The One. And you have insulted The Third Incarnation and the memory of our Warrior Mother Adana.” He now turned toward the Kais and bowed. “It is your right to punish Arno but I beg your indulgence. I would set punishment for him. He has allowed ambition to overrule his honor. I would have his punishment stand as an example for others who may think as he does.”
“How exactly would you punish him?” Fourth Kai asked.
“It is not just High Priests and worship leaders that allow a temple to flourish, there are many areas of service. Those who join our order mostly aspire to the first two callings so other areas are sadly lacking, namely the maintenance of our temples. Many of them are falling into disrepair in places. We have carpenters and other skilled brothers who take care of the structural maintenance but it has been brought to my attention that right here in Brunnia the septic systems have not been tended to in years. The tanks need emptying and the pipes are almost clogged. Arno thinks highly of himself, I believe that assigning him this task will teach him humility.”
“Well I happen to think that is just perfect.” First Kai said. “And if you think you are above the task Arno think again. In my day a man was expected to make repairs to his own dwelling as a part of caring for his family, so I’ve pumped out a septic tank a time or two. It will do you good.”
“There is one more item to take care of. I promised a replacement for Arno. The temple at Brunnia can only be led by a member of the Tweedle bloodline. Arno won the position by default. He was the only Priest in the Tweedle bloodline with enough years of service to qualify. I have checked the laws of the order and although temples are traditionally headed by men, there is nothing that says it must be a man.” He beckoned one of the priestesses forward. “Allow me to present Arno’s replacement, Xev High Priestess of the Temple at Brunnia.”
Dara made the less formal introduction. “This is my twin brother, Torq and Grand High Priest of the Order.” Now the Kais understood why Dara had spent the last couple of days calling the Grand High Priest a ‘pompous ass’. Third Kai also understood why he had refused to see her in Terla City. Arno had been dealt with quite splendidly although the punishment was decided more by the brother than the priest.
“I owe you an apology for the treatment you received in Terla City but unfortunately I had just received Arno’s request for a review of my decision. I had hoped to handle the situation quietly but Arno would not accept that. He thought he was secure in his position and that the order could not find a replacement for him. Instead of being quietly shipped off to a small temple where he could have eventually regained the position of High Priest he was publicly humiliated and permanently assigned to a section of the order everyone avoids like the plague.” Torq sighed. “You came to Terla City for a reason, now that Arno has been dealt with I can give you my full attention. What was it that you wanted to talk to me about?”
“We will need to leave Terlara. The agreement between Terlara and The Alteri Alliance is a start, but we will need more allies. There are things that you do not know. The Lyekkas are not the threat we need worry about, they are a deception.” Dara said. “Our true enemy is Mantis.”
“Mantis has been fighting the Lyekkas and saving entire worlds. The price is steep for his protection. But he has been effective. I don’t believe he understands the word ethics but right now he is all that stands between the Lykkas and this part of the universe.” Torq said.
“He does not stand between you and the Lyekkas, he is the source of the Lyekkas.” Fourth Kai corrected. “Mantis is a being called Mantrid and he is the latest incarnation of the Insect Civilization.”
“That cannot be, the insects are extinct. It is why we observe the Day of Departure. The Third Incarnation killed the last insect.” Torq replied.
“I killed the last insect in this universe. A young one escaped into another universe. The same universe the Brunnen G eventually migrated to.” Third Kai spoke. “The war continued there where the insects had created their Divine Order. When that universe was destroyed by the war the Fourth Incarnation and the Messengers escaped to this universe as did our enemy Mantrid. He will create a new Divine Order here if he is not stopped.”
“Mantrid caused the final death of the Fourth Incarnation 1000 years ago. As far as he knows, Kai is dead and the Brunnen G are no more. He thinks that there is no true opposition to him here.” Second Kai said.
“The Alteri Alliance repelled his attack, for the moment. He does not need to defeat them right away, he can save them until he has conquered everyone else. His success is based on subterfuge.” First Kai added.
The Lyekka asteroids are no match for a LEXX. The LEXX is a planet killer. It was grown for one purpose, to destroy entire worlds but it is not made for combat. For that we need fighters and ships that can maneuver with ease. We need warriors that can fight on the ground. We need our own army.” Fourth Kai said.
“We have to amass that army while there is still time. For that Young Kai must be the one to gather them, she is the one who will lead them.” Third Kai said. “There are worlds beyond the frontier that have no idea of the approaching threat. That is where we will concentrate our efforts.”
“I wish I could argue with your logic but I cannot. Mantis’ arrival as savior has always seemed contrived to me. You are right we must gather an army now while there are still worlds free of Mantis. I will dispatch a LEXX to the Alteri Alliance and other worlds already allied with us. I will work with the Council of Judges to secure alliances within the inner rim. You should leave as soon as possible. However we cannot send another LEXX with you. I will send Dana to Alteri. We will run out of LEXXes to send to our allies quickly. We will need every available one here.” He stood and opened his arms to Dara. “Be careful my womb mate and return safely to us, you and the Pantheon.”
“First Kai you were kidding about cleaning out septic tanks weren’t you?” Fifth Kai asked.
“No I did it myself, messy, smelly job that it was. Like I said men were expected to keep their homes in good repair. And with seven children it seemed I was either pumping out the tank or clearing pipes every week. So I know just how distasteful Arno will find it. He’s probably wishing The Grand High Priest had just given him to Fourth right about now.”
“I do not think that I could cause him any more suffering than he will endure in his new appointment. I could only kill him once.” Fourth Kai stated.
“And there will always be another septic tank that needs cleaning!” Second Kai finished.
“I am not sure which he found the worse punishment, becoming the order’s plumber or a woman sitting in his place!” Third laughed.
“Either way he got his due!” First Kai chuckled.
They heard the whir of a motor before 790 rolled into the cryochamber. “Five Kais to adore! How could I ask for more!”
Fifth Kai picked him up and planted a kiss on his cheek “Oh heavenly bliss, I’ve been blessed with a kiss!”
“Did you plot a course for us 790?” Fourth Kai asked.
“Yes we will pass three inhabited worlds before we reach the frontier but I would advise against stopping at the last two. One is completely lawless and the other is a penal colony. We can find better allies than that.” 790 replied.
“Do not discount criminals 790. One of the most determined units in the Insect War was made up entirely of felons who signed on to fight in return for their freedom.” Third Kai noted.
“Criminals also often have skills that are welcome. The ability to avoid patrols is critical to their operations. The Austrel B used smugglers as blockade runners.” Fourth Kai added. “Criminals would suffer under Mantrid as will everyone else if we do not stop him.”
“My Kais should not have to sully themselves with felons and unsavory types. Suppose they are homicidal maniacs?!” 790 shouted hysterically.
“I believe that is a case of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’. Technically I am a felon, I was tried and convicted of treason, and how many people were on Earth when you had the original LEXX blow it up?” Fourth Kai asked.
“Mmmmm I have to go oversee the supply list.” 790 said as he quickly turned his cart toward the bridge.
“This is neither a setback nor an obstacle. It was to be expected that eventually you would face resistance. This system is not of great importance at this time. What is of importance is that we replenish the ranks. We will revisit this system later with a larger force. For now, let Mantis find another world to save from its doom.”
“You are Mantis also” the man spoke “Just as I am Mantrid.”
“You are a human clone created to interface with humans, nothing more.” The thing that was once the Noah replied.
Everything was set for the LEXX to depart. Fresh fruits and vegetables were occupying several cryopods in the second cryochamber. The Pantheon Guard as they had started calling themselves had gathered what weapons and supplies they needed. All that was missing was Dara. She had said that she needed to gather her things and went to the temple. A group of priests had arrived bearing a pile of large trunks and chests. They had informed the Kai’s that Dara had said she needed to take a trip to the refugee camp to see Ivo and make arrangements for Ivo to report to High Priestess Xev. That had been a couple of hours ago.
Just when First was getting ready to send out a search party another group of priests came up the path laden with boxes and crates. “Good grief! How much more can the woman need?” First grumbled.
“I think I have everything. You forget Fifth is still growing, I’ll have to replace her clothes as she out grows them.”
The Kais all looked at this woman in shock. She was wearing trousers and a short sleeveless tunic made of a soft leather. Her hair had been gathered into a single long braid that hung over her left shoulder trailing down to her hip. Poking up over her right shoulder was the hilt of a sword.
“Dara?” they all questioned at once.
“I may be a bit rusty but I am a trained warrior you know.” She said as she sashayed past them yelling commands at the priests to be careful of the boxes they now carried.
“Damn! Who knew all that was hidden under those robes.” First Kai exclaimed.
Third Kai was staring at the sway of her hips. “Well there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the view!”
“She’s a bit long in the tooth, but like you said nothing wrong with looking.” Second Kai agreed as he too watched Dara’s backside.
“Intellectual concept, intellectual concept.” Fourth Kai was chanting.
“Hey Dara you’re right men do lose their minds when they see a beautiful woman, even the dead ones.” Fifth Kai laughed.
Dara had no idea how boring this trip would be. But like everyone else she found ways to fill the boredom, namely cornering everyone for little chats. With nothing to do except wait she was learning quite a bit about her companions.
“She’s going to end up as tall as the rest of you.” Dara sighed as she stitched another pair of trousers for Fifth Kai.
“Of course she will.” First Kai said. “Look at Second and Fourth, the only difference between them is the fact that Second died when he was 25 and Fourth was just under 40. All of us are exactly the same except for our age and the time we lived. We are all individuals personality wise but physically we are all the same person. Fifth Kai is exactly the same as the rest of us except for the red hair and being a girl. Look at her and Second together some time.”
“There is one thing that I don’t understand. Second looks of comparable age to any Terlaran male in his early 20’s. Fourth was almost 40 but he looks more like a Terlaran male just entering his 30’s. Third Looks like he’s in his late 40’s maybe just turning 50 and he’s 127. You look like you are in your late 90’s pushing 100. I understand that Brunnen G are long lived but I don’t understand the discrepancy in appearance.” Dara said.
“You mean why some of us look closer in age to our Terlaran counterparts?” he asked.
“Yes. There’s not much difference where Second and Fourth are concerned but a huge difference with you.”
“A Brunnen G child ages like a Terlaran child. The change comes with puberty. All humans have a gland that controls growth. With the end of puberty, the gland undergoes changes that tell our bodies to stop developing that we are ‘adults’. From that moment on we just age. In the Brunnen G, We have a secondary gland that has atrophied in other human races for some reason. Once we become adults, it starts to produce a hormone that retards the effects of aging on our bodies. At first the amount of hormone produced is very low. In Fourth Kai the hormone level is low, in Second it’s almost-non existent. Third Kai carries a higher level of the hormone than Fourth. In me it’s very high.”
“So that’s why the difference is so much greater the older you get.” She replied.
“Yes, this hormone is the key to immortality unlocked by the scientists on Brunnis 2. They were able to isolate the hormone and produce a synthetic version which completely stopped the aging process. When a ‘newborn’ reached 40 they gave them the shot. In a way the scribes were right, Fourth’s death sentence was not something carried out it, it was something withheld. He was barred from receiving the shot and technically could have aged just as I did.
Truth is he would have died of illness long before that. The shot also affected the immune system so that those on Brunnis 2 did not suffer illness. This caused the breakdown of the immune systems of those born to mothers who had the shot. Those children were born without the ability to build immunity to infection and disease. Their immune systems were completely destroyed. All infants born on Brunnis 2 were inoculated immediately at birth. That inoculation would last until they were about 45. After that they had no immune system, unless they had gotten the shot.”
“So by withholding the shot, Fourth Kai would have caught some disease and died from it?” She asked.
“Death by aging does not really sound that bad, but in reality it was a very cruel punishment. Since there was no disease among them, there were no medical treatments either. Fourth was only the second person ever to be sentenced to “death by aging’. The first happened 250 years before he was born. The man had been born on Brunnis 2 but he was old enough to have been given the shot, they gave him a counter-agent to the hormone. He fell ill within weeks of receiving the counter-agent. He caught a virus that attacked his nervous system. Within a few weeks after falling ill he was in constant agony. A few months later he was begging for death just to escape the pain. He lingered like that for about a year before the virus finally claimed his life.
When the court handed down Fourth’s sentence they knew what would happen. He had five or six years at the most before his immunity from the birth inoculation would have completely broken down. They were prepared to sit by and watch him suffer untold agony as punishment for pointing out their cowardice and stupidity.
The Brunnen G had become a race of people that we did not recognize. It’s why almost all of them were turned away from the Dream Zone when Brunnis 2 was destroyed. Only a handful that were among Fourth’s friends were accepted by their ancestors. The rest of them went somewhere else. I’m sorry Dara but I don’t feel like talking anymore. I’ll leave you to your sewing.” He said.
“Vlad, you have been a part of my life almost from the beginning but you are still a mystery. I know almost nothing about you except bits and pieces from Fourth Kai. And that only concerns his fight with you.” Fifth Kai said.
“That’s all he knows about me. Divine Assassins and Divine Executions did not exactly mingle. Assassins avoided us as much as possible. Meeting one of us usually meant they ended up destroyed.” Vlad answered.
“I’d like to know more about you.” Fifth Kai said. “All I know is that you and Fourth fought and you won.”
“What would you like to know?” Vlad asked.
“Well what was you homeworld like, where are you from.”
“I was born on Bingo 9. It was one of those worlds that constantly rebelled against the Divine Order. My family were all staunch heretics. Eventually it became one of the reformed planets but that was long after I had been turned into what I am. My childhood was spent just surviving. I was taken during a battle with His Shadow’s forces. Those of us who were captured were taken to the Cluster.
My father was one of the leaders of the rebellion. So unlike my companions I was not sent to the protein bank. Instead I was turned over to the Biovizers. They had been making Divine Assassins for quite some time and some had ‘malfunctioned’. They used me to create a new type of Assassin, to hunt and destroy malfunctioning Assassins. I was the first Divine Executioner. They saved me for ‘special’ cases.
Kai was a special case. He was under the direct control of His Divine Shadow. Only His Divine Shadow could wake him and assign missions. He would often show signs of reluctance to carry out missions unless the order came directly from His Shadow. Not only did he end up defying a direct order from His Divine Shadow, he killed His Shadow’s body. I had been programmed long before that happened to hunt and destroy him if he ever fully malfunctioned.
I tracked down the Time Prophet and forced her to show me where to find him before I killed her. I went to Earth and waited for Kai to arrive. He discovered my presence before my servants discovered his. He actively hunted for me which should have been impossible. His only options should have been to flee or surrender. He did neither. Instead he challenged me and yes he lost because I was created to be stronger, faster and well versed in exploiting the weaknesses of the Assassins.
Xev managed to save Kai the first time by knocking me into a cryochamber and freezing me. She was immune to my bite. Stanley Tweedle was not. The second time I faced Kai I killed Xev first to keep her from interfering. Stanley was under my control. Kai was as good as destroyed when he was saved by Stanley who was influenced by survivors of an ancient and powerful race called the fey who had migrated to Earth. At the very moment I would have destroyed Kai, Stanley destroyed me.”
“So you were Kai’s enemy?” Fifth Kai asked.
“No I personally was not Kai’s enemy. The Divine Executioner was the enemy of the Divine Assassin. Both Kai and I were under the control of the Divine Order, like puppets. But unlike puppets deep inside, everything we did was locked in our minds where we were unable to access or process it. Until we were destroyed or died, then all of it would hit us at once.
We would go through the process of purging. All the anger, pain and fear that had been locked inside of us over the years we served the Divine Order was collected in a chamber. It became a weapon that you now carry Young Kai. It’s locked inside of you. You carry the emotional pain of every Executioner and Assassin ever created.
You also carry a direct connection to that pain. You are Kai. If I understand correctly the explanation that I got from Third Kai, you all share the same soul. Everything they were, you are. You must find that part of you that is the Fourth Kai; you carry his pain, and mine.”
| Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2010 01:32 pm||
| Fourth Kai gives Fifth a scolding
“What can you tell us about this planet 790?” Fifth Kai asked.
“Besides the fact that it’s populated by felons who wouldn’t know decent if it jumped up and bit them in the ass? It’s a case of inmates running the asylum. From what I can tell there is no Government and no central authority. It’s every man woman and child for themselves. I would not suggest you go down there my sweet. As wonderfully as you did on our first stop, you were dealing with people who had a certain level of decency that these people totally lack.” 790 replied.
“Third and Fourth are going to visit this world. Third is a politician, he can talk his way out of almost anything and if that fails Fourth can handle any hostility.” First Kai replied.
“That would be for the best. You are still an innocent.” Fourth Kai said. “Third and I may be accorded a certain respect that they would not give you simply because you are young and female.”
“You are beginning to sound a lot like Second. I am not weak and I don’t know what being a female has to do with it.” Fifth Kai said. Lately she had been developing a temper and a rather dark streak. However Fourth Kai was not the one to use it on. He had a much darker streak than she did.
“It occurs to me that you have been overprotected and sheltered. Almost spoiled in a way because you are The One. You are Fifth Kai. Do not let that go to your head.” Fourth Kai told her. “You have no idea of what people are capable of, I do. You are a 13 year old girl. One day you will be KAI but that day is not today. Today you will do as you are told, which means that you will stay here where you are safe.”
Fifth’s temper snapped. Her Gortha was out of its sheath and flying toward Fourth Kai before she realized what she had done. He snatched the blade out of the air and handed it to First Kai. “I believe we should hold onto this until the young lady can act like a warrior instead of a small child having a temper tantrum.”
Fourth walked over to her, although she was tall for 13 he was still much taller than she was. “Never forget the dark streak you are developing is just a shadow of the one I carry. The next time you attack me I will retaliate. I am not Second Kai. I still have all the skills I had as a Divine Assassin. I can cause you pain beyond anything you can imagine without seriously injuring you. If that is what it takes to teach you, I will do so.
Mantrid will not give a rat’s ass that you are Fifth Kai. He will not bow before you or stay his hand because of it. He will actively seek to kill you. If you do not control your temper he will succeed and then have free run of the universe. You are no longer a child, you had better start acting like the adult you are becoming.” He turned and walked away from her.
“I hate him!” Fifth Kai was in her room in tears. She wasn’t sure if her tears were caused by her anger or the fact that Fourth Kai had done something he had never done before, something that none of the Kais had done. He had scolded her like a two year old.
Dara looked at the crying girl. “You don’t hate him. You are just hurt that he scolded you and put his foot down where your behavior is concerned.”
“He took my Gortha and called me a child.” She sobbed.
“Allow me to handle this?” Vlad asked Dara who nodded her agreement.
“Kai, you attacked him. You threw the Gortha at him because you did not like what he said to you. You allowed your temper to overrule your intellect. But you also did it because you believed you would get away with it. He showed you that your actions will have consequences. And he is right you have been spoiled and sheltered by everyone around you including the four of them.” Vlad said to Fifth Kai. “That is a liability. He is attempting to show you that. Not because he is being mean or because he is bigger than you or because he is male. He is showing you that because he cares about you, they all do. If you face Mantrid unable to control your temper you will make mistakes and you are not the only one who will suffer for those mistakes. The entire universe will suffer. You cannot afford to indulge your temper, the responsibility you carry is too great.”
“The four of them promised to watch over you from the moment of your birth. They spend their time here with you instead of enjoying the rewards they earned in the Dream Zone. They all want you to follow the path of First Kai and die peacefully in your sleep as an old woman, but you have to survive this upcoming war with Mantrid. That means you have to be every inch the controlled warrior using your intellect and not reacting emotionally when things do not go your way.” Dara added.
“When Third Kai gave you his mother’s Gortha, he was acknowledging you as a warrior.” Vlad told her. “He once spoke words appropriate to your situation. ‘A warrior faces both his triumphs and his shame with equal courage, anything less is an insult to those who have gone before’. You may want to think on those words if you wish to consider yourself a warrior.”
“Well how did it go?” First asked the returning Third and Fourth Kais.
Fourth Kai was scowling and Third Kai seemed to be trying to control his mirth.
“Well let’s see. We no sooner get there than this gang of thugs tried to mug us. Of course they learned that was not a good idea. A couple of them ran off and reported to their ‘boss’ what had happened. With 15 minutes of being attacked everyone was running from us in terror, or rather running from Fourth in terror.” Third laughed as Fourth Kai’s scowl grew even darker.
“From the look on Fourth’s face, I have the feeling this is going to be highly amusing to me.” Second said.
“It seems they have created an anti-religion down there based on the banned Book of Kai.” Third managed to get out before cracking up himself.
“It is not amusing, it is embarrassing!” Fourth said. “They think I am a murderous drug addict! And since they don’t have my ‘drug of choice’ protoblood, they offered me tribute in the form of a case of fermented grain l like I am some drunk!”
“Yes a case of the most expensive high quality liquor on the planet donated from the private stocks of the 12 ‘bosses’ who make up the Committee that runs this world. Their ‘god’ was not amused. In fact he was even more insulted after the tribute! You should see how they have twisted that list of ‘Dead do nots’! It’s a list of excuses to kill people! When Fourth told them ‘The dead do not drink whiskey’ they thought he was going to kill them!”
“Well hell Fourth, having one planet worship wasn’t you enough?” First Kai laughed. “You had to have your own private religion?”
Third Kai had finally recovered enough to get to the important part. “So they wanted to know what they could do to appease their pissed off deity. Tomorrow we are going back with Fifth Kai so she can meet the leaders of her new army.”
“Wait a minute the whole evil god thing was funny, but taking Fifth down to that planet? I thought we all agreed that was a bad idea.” Second said.
“Don’t forget who my mother was. One of her better tidbits of wisdom was ‘use what you have’. Well I suggested their dope addict drunken murderous deity would only be appeased if they help his ‘daughter’ answer an insult offered to her by a power hungry man named Mantis. That they understood quite well. They do have a twisted code of honor based on respect. Insults are unforgivable. Insulting the daughter of their ‘god’ has them up in arms. They have a new one on that dead do not list ‘The dead do not insult the child of Kai.’” Third said.
“And now they insist on paying their respects to my ‘daughter’.” Fourth said still scowling.
“You have a daughter?” Fifth asked entering the cryochamber just in time to catch that cryptic remark.
“He does now.” Third Kai snorted.
“I was waiting for you to get back. I have something to say to you.” She said to Fourth Kai. “I’m sorry. I acted like a brat and you’re right I have a lot to learn. I apologize for throwing my Gortha at you it was not the act of a warrior. I embarrassed myself and dishonored all of you. I will work on controlling my temper.”
“We must bear some of the blame too. We are all proud of you and what you have accomplished but we all avoided teaching you some things that you need to know.” Fourth Kai said.
“You start with your first lesson tomorrow. You are going down to the planet with Fourth and I.” Third said. “Oh and you’d better practice calling him ‘Dad’ and read the Book of Kai again, just so you know all about your dear old Dad.” Third laughed.
“Dad, huh? Okay I’d better go talk to Dara and and Vlad and see what to wear. I wouldn’t want to be an embarrassment to my father.” She teased as she left the cryochamber.
After Fifth had left, First Kai spoke up. “I think all of us were trying to avoid being the one to kill her innocence. But it can’t really be avoided. She has to know the good and the bad. I think we all owe you an apology too.” He said to Fourth. “We just always seem to stick you with the crap jobs.”
“It’s because I’m usually better at them old one. After all I am an evil god.” Fourth said, finally finding some humor in the fact that the murderous ‘god’ Kai was worried about the safety of a girl who would one day be more powerful than he was.
“Kai, your ‘daughter’ has to have an entourage. You are putting on a show for these people, so you have to fill the cast so to speak.” Vlad said. “I am coming with you and a few of her hand picked personal guard.”
“She’s right, Fifth has to have an escort. It’s all about appearances.” Third said.
Everyone had taken their cue from Fourth Kai. The color of the day was black. The only hold out was Third who finally agreed to wear a black armband. Of course Kai and Vlad had no problems with their wardrobe. Both were decked out in their ‘Divine chic’ attire which meant Second finally got a look at the ‘Executioner’ beehive. Second was pulling a dagger out of his arm after asking if Vlad had killed Assassins by running into them head first.
Dara had also invited herself to the party and was wearing a black Priestess’ robe complete with cowl to hide her face. She explained by saying a ‘god’ must have a priest or priestess. Fifth Kai was wearing a long sleeveless black duster over a black tunic and trousers. Dara had loaned her starfire necklace to Fifth saying it would set off the outfit. Fourth had surprised the girl by doing her hair, she was now sporting a bun and braid exactly like his.
“Well don’t you all look like a funeral escort.” First Kai said stepping onto the bridge. His gaze went to Fifth Kai. “Now that is just wrong. Did you really have to do that to the poor child’s hair? Its bad enough we have to look at a black bun but now here it is in flaming red. Third you look like the proverbial ‘sore thumb’.”
“Thank you.” Third Kai replied. “Someone had to add some color to this motley crew.”
First Kai handed 790 to Fifth Kai. “790 wants a kiss for luck before you go. Damned head thinks you have nothing better to do than slobber all over him.”
“Pay attention Fifth, these men have a different mindset from most humans. You will need to be able to deal with these types of people also. Not just honorable ones.” First Kai took the robot head as she climbed into the moth squeezing between Third and Fourth.
“The bun looks better on her.” First and Second watched the moths leave.
On the planet Corleone
The owner of the restaurant was falling all over himself to personally escort the party to the private back room. “Please tell me if anything is not to your liking, anything at all. This is just a humble restaurant but whatever you wish please tell me and I will provide it.” The man said as he bowed yet again. Fifth Kais guards were now manning the door. Fourth and Fifth Kai were seated at a table. Vlad stood behind Fifth and Third and Dara both stood behind Fourth.
The Committee filed into the room. None of them doubted for a moment this girl was the god’s daughter they looked almost exactly alike. They also took note of the deadly looking blonde protectively standing behind her and of the female guards. This was a protective father, no wonder he was in a bad mood. Any one of them would be pissed if someone had insulted their daughter.
“Kai is protective of his daughter and he values his daughter above all else. It is why he gifted her with his name, she is also called Kai.” Third said to them. “Be careful not to offer her insult or face his wrath.”
One man stepped forward and spoke “We have come to pay our respects. An insult to one’s child should not be ignored. The dead do not offer insult to the child of Kai. We do not wish to offer insult, we bring tribute for the young lady.” He motioned forward two men bearing a good sized chest . “A collection of the rarest and most exquisite gems in the known universe, the most expensive of perfumes, cloth from exotic worlds. We offer these small tokens to you Kai daughter of Kai.”
Third motioned two guards forward to open and examine the chest. It was as the man had said full of gifts that any normal girl would find pleasing. “Kai the daughter of Kai accepts your gift.” Third said.
“We also come to appease Kai.” The man held out a scroll. “This is a list of worlds that follow the path of Kai. We contacted them all after you left us yesterday. They have all pledged all their resources to your daughter’s vendetta against Mantis. The insult will be avenged.” He looked hopefully at Fourth Kai.
“How many worlds have you gotten to swear allegiance to my daughter?” Fourth Kai asked.
“Fourteen, and several of these worlds have diplomatic relationships with others beyond the frontier. They will assist you in anyway to draw others to your cause.”
Fourth Kai looked at the man and said “My daughter was born on Terlara. Send a representative there and ask to meet with Grand High Priest Torq to sign a formal alliance. Once that is done, I will be appeased.”
Torq’s image on the viewscreen was thoughtful. “Who would have thought Stanley Tweedle and a group of creative scribes would bring us fourteen allies at once. Tano banned the book to protect the legend of Kai, instead he made it irresistible to less savory types who used it to create their own form of worship. I once heard it said that a stone thrown into a pond today affects the outcome of tomorrow. This is proof of that. I will look for your envoy. Congratulations, it seems your mission to collect an army is well underway.” The viewscreen went black.
“So Fifth Kai has an army of thugs. And we have news also.” First Kai said. While you were gone we received messages from both Prince and Duke.” First Kai said.
“Prince was his usual cagey self. He told me only that there seems to be some issue growing between Mantrid and his human avatar.” Second said.
“Perhaps not so cagey this time. Duke also reported some friction but could not get any details on what that issue is.” First added.
“So Fifth what did you learn from your experience with the criminal element?” First Kai asked.
“Not much. They were polite and respectful but it was more a respect created through fear at first. But I did get a chance to speak to some of them all under the watchful eye of my ‘father’ of course. They have people that they love. They protect and provide for their families also they just have a more selfish means of doing so.” The girl yawned. “I’m worn out. Good night everyone.”
“So you said that there was more.” First Kai said after the girl had left them.
“We have reason to believe that our search beyond the frontier will be quite fruitful.” Third unrolled the scroll. “Every one of these planets follow the teachings in the Book of Kai but the ones marked also have established legitimate diplomatic relationships with other worlds. We will go to this one next. They are expecting us. From this moment on it becomes much more of a political process.
But we also need to be aware that this world has received a visit from their ‘god’, a very well documented visit. It could turn out to be the spark that causes this ‘religion’ to spread like a wildfire. If it does, Mantrid will learn of what we are doing sooner than we wish.” Third said.
“Then we need to focus his attention on something else.” First Kai said. “790 Can you show us some of the worlds Mantrid already controls? Some close enough to be reached quickly but that have been under his control long enough that he would feel comfortable not watching constantly?”
“Of course I can. My wise love has a plan?” the robot head asked.
“Do you think that there are some smugglers in that army of Fifth’s?” He asked Third and Fourth.
“Considering the amount of contraband they are dealing in, I would guarantee it.” Fourth answered.
“Well then lets see if they can’t smuggle a little destruction Mantrid’s way.” First said.
“Kai, How may I serve you?” Boss Niko who had been appointed spokesperson for the Committee asked as he noticed Fourth and Third entering his office. The man quickly stood and offered his plush leather seat to the ‘god’.
“I would have Mantis begin to learn the error of his ways.” Kai replied as he sat in the seat leaned back and placed his booted feet on the expensive desk crossing his ankles.
“Kai wishes for you to send a few ships to harass Mantis, give him something to think about. Here is a list of the worlds you will target.” Third Kai handed him a scroll. “Do not get caught, small quick raids at this point. We do not wish to engage him fully yet. You will find that there are those who will follow your example, those who feel that Mantis has insulted them on those worlds. Your aim is to stir them up. Get them to attack Mantis also.”
“So you wish to make him suffer a bit first?” Boss Niko concluded.
“Yes,” Fourth Kai responded. “Make him suffer.”
Within 48 hours a small convoy of smugglers carrying explosives and other weapons had started on their journey. One ship detoured to Terlara taking a representative to Terlara for a special secret meeting with the Grand High Priest. When the ship left Terlara no one knew that they had picked up a stowaway named Arno.
| Posted: Fri Aug 6th, 2010 05:09 am||
| Typhos System
The people of Typhos had lost their faith. They had been praying to their gods for a couple of decades with no response. The suffering under Mantis just got worse. They had no idea that their prayers were about to be answered by a new ‘god’.
The group of men in the shadows of the treeline were all dressed in black. They watched the guard timing them to see when they passed. They soon had the rhythm timed down to the second. Steathily they moved forward placing the small explosive charges around the high wall. Just as stealthily they fell back and regrouped melting back into the shadows. The explosives were small but powerful. Each of the 12 bombs now planted against the wall could take out a city block. The Central Government building of Tyhpos did not stand a chance when they were detonated. Those who managed to survive the explosion were quickly killed.
One man stepped forward and shook a can of aerosol pigment before spraying a message on a section of wall that miraculously still stood. “The dead do not rule”
The Typhians flocked to their temples in droves to give thanks to their gods for the blow that had been struck against Mantis. But they found all of their temples blocked by strangers. Strangers who told them that it was not their old gods who had answered the many prayers of the people, but a new god. This new god had a price for his intervention. The Typhians were now expected to finish the job, and their new god would provide them with what they needed the men said passing out weapons.
Arno had managed to remain hidden for a week, surviving by stealing food where he could but his luck had finally run out. He was rummaging through the crew quarters looking for food when two crewmembers had entered the room. He was now in the captain’s private quarters four blasters trained on him.
“So which of you two would like to tell me how this man got on my ship?” the captain asked the two men who had been on guard during the brief stop on Terlara. Neither man had an answer.
“So be it.” The Captain nodded to his second in command who pulled out a knife and quickly cut the men’s throats. “The dead do not fail in their duty.” The captain said. “Take this stowaway to the brig until I decide what to do with him.”
The two who had discovered Arno dragged him out of the room.
“Find out who he is and why he is on my ship.”
The Typhians had to be dealt with. If not this small uprising would turn into a full scale rebellion. Something he could not afford right now. He was still rebuilding his force from the loss he had suffered in his failed attempt to conquer Alteri. The machine calculated the best way to handle the situation, use the assassins.
“Dara there’s a message for you” 790 said.
Dara followed 790 to the bridge.
“Hi I’m supposed to tell you that Mantis ordered us to Typhos to squash the rebellion. We are supposed to kill all the leaders. But then he told five of us to go back to our cryopods. 30 others are boarding a shuttle now.” Bunny said. The viewscreen went blank.
“We’d better tell your Kais about this 790.” Dara said hurrying off to the Cryochamber. Third Kai was giving another of his Aka’tai lessons.
“I just got a report from Bunny. Mantis is sending all but five of his assassins to Typhos to put down the rebellion. They are supposed to kill the leaders.”
Fourth Kai spoke. “The weapons the Typhians have will do no good against the assassins. They will need a plan.” He thought for a moment. “How much of the planet is water 790?”
“About 60% dead and dreamy one.”
“How deep?” Fourth asked.
“What has water got to do with it?” Second Kai was confused.
“The dead do not swim.” Fourth Kai replied.
“Actually we do swim, just like rocks. We sink straight to the bottom.” Vlad corrected.
“But you don’t drown so I’m just as confused as Second now.” Third replied.
“The more effort you expend the more protoblood you burn through and it takes a lot more effort to move through water than air.” Fifth Kai guessed.
“Exactly!” Vlad said. “And the deeper the water the more pressure it exerts.”
“I get it now. If they ended up in the middle of the ocean, they would exhaust their protoblood trying to get out of it. So how do we get them in the ocean?” Third asked.
“Vlad, you and I need to tackle this problem. We’ll send a message to Niko on Corleone with the solution.”
The little flotilla rocked gently on the waves. All the leaders of the rebellion were gathered below in the middle of a secret meeting according to all the intelligence that had been gathered. Several large ships and smaller ocean going pleasure craft nestled together.
The shuttle came in low over the ocean and took up a position hovering over them. Several figures could be seen lowering themselves down from the space going vessel. Either the pilot never saw it coming or had been ordered to remain until the last figure had reached the targets below because the shuttle never took evasive action to avoid the missile that came tearing up from beneath the ocean surface. Almost immediately the ships below also exploded in one well timed blast. One by on each of the figures sank below the surface.
“So that takes care of that, right?” Third Kai said watching the vid on the viewscreen.
“The Typhians picked an ideal spot. The flotilla was situated above a six mile deep trench. They would have to first climb out of the trench and then make their way across the ocean floor. The odds of any of them making it to shore is all but impossible.” Fourth Kai said.
“So why don’t you sound happier?” Second Kai asked.
It was Vlad that answered. “Those women did not ask to become what they are, it was forced on them just like it was forced on Fourth Kai and I. What you just witnessed is more cruel than you can imagine. Everything these women have done since Mantrid got hold of them is locked in their minds festering. They cannot die or escape. That pain is locked inside of them with no way for them to release it. And it was Fourth and I who planned this.” She turned away sadly.
Torq had a bad feeling. It was as if Arno had simply fallen off the face of the planet. No one had seen him in 2 weeks. Arno having been a priest of the order knew things that could be dangerous.
Mantis was not happy with this spreading rebellion. A rebellion that was spreading hand in hand with a ‘new’ religion, a religion based on the banned Book of Kai. Old gods were being abandoned left and right. Torq allowed a small smile at how well this ‘god’ provided for his followers. Even though it was a large network of arms dealers and smugglers doing the ‘providing’. Terlara was now a central hub in that network.
The frown returned to his face. The Arno issue.
Torq was frowning down from the viewscreen. “So we have no idea where Arno is. We have all been very careful in what we say about this religion but it is spreading like a wildfire. It’s bringing us new allies everyday but sooner or later Mantrid will figure out that two plus two is four. That will bring him straight to Terlara.”
“The Third Incarnation did tell us that this could be an issue. However First Kai thinks that having Mantrid involved in fighting on two fronts will keep him too busy to worry about ‘religion.”
“Let’s hope so. By the way General Bann sends his regards. He personally delivered the electromagnetic mines, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about carrots now. He also delivered instructions on how to build them. We now have 5 worlds actively building the mines and shipping them out to allies.”
“That is good, we are becoming a coordinated army.”
“Yes. We will keep hunting for Arno. Take care Dara.” Torq signed off.
“So Arno has disappeared?” Third Kai questioned.
“Yes, with the humiliation he suffered, there was no way he could regain his honor on Terlara. Let’s just hope that wherever he is he manages to do so.” Dara replied.
Arno had thought that He might find some kinship between himself and the crew of the smuggling vessel. Instead the captain had brought him here to this prison planet and dumped him six months ago. And now he and the rest of the incarcerated were being loaded onto a transport ship, offered their freedom. It was only when the carrots attacked the remaining population that Arno realized who his ‘savior’ was.
His plan had been flawless and yet, it was failing. He was spending as much time trying to control the worlds he had already conquered as he was spending conquering new ones. The opposition was fierce. His carrot probes were all but useless. It was no longer a case of resistance to his advance it was an all out war. The uprising behind him had turned into an all out rebellion. And all the assassins had completely disappeared on Typhos, leaving him with five defectives.
The only thing that had changed was this pretender to godhood that these worlds seemed to be embracing. Mantrid was god. These humans would learn that as soon as he had squashed this upstart god. But to squash him, Mantrid first needed to know who he was.
The defectives would be no help, there was no way that he could personally oversee them. So how to find out what he needed to know? It was Mantis who gave him the answer. “Are you so disconnected now from your human side that you no longer know how they think? Humans suffer from greed. All you have to do is meet their price.”
Arno was confident, his ambition had grown the closer he got to his destination. He had been brought to Mantis personal transport. When word came that Mantis was looking for information on this ‘god’ Arno saw his opportunity ,his opportunity for revenge. All he had to do was direct Mantis to Terlara and the Temple.
“So you know of this new ‘god’? Tell me what you want from me in exchange for this information.”
“I want Terlara. I want to rule it.” Arno said.
“You mean you want to govern it on my behalf.” Mantis corrected. “Tell me what you know and I will indeed make you the ‘governor of Terlara.”
“This is the work of the Pantheon, the Four Incarnations and The One. The Temple on Terlara spreads this religion. They are all followers of the Brunnen G. Some are even descended from the Brunnen G. Destroy the temple and you will destroy the Brunnen G along with their religion.”
Mantis managed not to react. “Your information is well worth your price. Return to your duties.”
Mantis fell to his knees as he felt the agonizing pain. What the Machine has sought to avoid was beginning to happen. The insect’s fear was so great it was violently trying to tear itself from its other parts, Machine and Man. The Brunnen G still existed. Kai was not the last of them. Somehow his age old enemy had survived.
Arno had undone millennia of maneuvering and manipulating. Each of her chosen ones had a hand in imprisoning Echias in this being called Mantrid. Her fourth had locked Echias in this form, cutting him off from most of his powers. Arno’s revelation had created a weakness in that prison. If Echias managed to break out, humanity was doomed to destruction. Her hand had been forced. Echias had to be destroyed before it was too late.
Rakais knew that unchecked Chaos and Order were equally dangerous. Echias did not understand that chaos eventually led to balance and balance allowed life to flourish and adapt to a changing environment. She had created each of her chosen ones to be a balance. Now that balance must be tipped. She reached out searching for those she called her own. Her anger followed her call.
You could cut the tension on board with a knife. Everyone seemed to be at everyone else’ throat. Dara and Vlad had just managed to calm yet another fight between Fifth’s guards when 790’s panicked voice echoed through the halls. “The cryochamber, now!”
The two women one living and one dead ran to the chamber and stopped in disbelief. The Kais were fighting. Not arguing but physically having a knock down drag out free for all. Even Fifth Kai was getting in her licks, kicking and punching anything she could connect with. Dara snapped.
She grabbed Fifth Kai by the collar and simply slung her into Vlad’s arms. Although Dara claimed the Kai bloodline she was also descended from Xev Bellringer. She carried the cluster lizard DNA and she had inherited a little something from Xev too, speed.
Dara snatched up the staff that Fifth used when sparring with First Kai and waded into the melee swinging furiously. Vlad watched incredulously while holding Fifth listening to the thuds and thunks of staff connecting with construct. Fifth Kai stopped struggling now, watching in awe as the Kais all forgot about their own fight and instead tried to avoid the blur of fury now attacking them. Dara was so caught up in her own rage that it took her a couple of minutes to realize that the fight was over.
You could have heard a pin drop in the silence. Everyone looked at Second who always managed to put his foot in his mouth at times like these. Even he remained quiet. Fifth finally broke the silence. “You do realize you just beat up the Four Incarnations right?” Dara blanched. The five Kais all burst into laughter.
“And I thought Lynna could swing a weapon!” First Kai said.
“Beat up by a girl…again.” Second admitted.
“So much for my irresistible ‘charm’.” Third added.
“I think I would rather face Vlad than Dara with a staff.” Fourth noted.
“What were you all fighting about.” Vlad asked.
The Kais all looked at each other and admitted “We have absolutely no idea.”
“Hello Arno.” Arno spun around to find himself face to face with a smiling blond man. “I have a proposition for you.”
“Who are you?” Arno asked.
“That is not important what is important is that you wish revenge on the High Priest of Terlara. I can give you that revenge. Mantis will never keep his promise to you. I however always stick to my deals. I’m here to offer you a deal.”
790 was involved in his favorite pastime, Kai watching. Looking at the Kai constructs in their cryopods. It was the one time he could truly appreciate their gorgeousness without distraction. Each one safely sealed inside, utterly still and motionless. He could stare to his heart’s content. His beloved corpse…twitched. They all began to stir restlessly.
“What the hell?” 790 exclaimed.
Fourth Kai found himself in a jungle. He was surrounded by thick brush and vines . There was only the path in front of him. Third Kai saw no other option, He stepped onto the path. Second Kai hurried along the path. He could hear something in the underbrush and it sounded big. First Kai identified many of the cries he heard coming from the greenery. Fifth Kai stepped into the clearing at the same time as each of the other four.
A woman stood there among the ruins, a large Gort laying at her feet. “This is where you were conceived. This ruined temple that was once the place of worship for your ancestors, abandoned long before the day Bann stumbled across it bloody and injured. This is also the place where you were born, the place where KAI entered this universe.
In this place I planned what each of you would be. Each of you was born by my design. I planned the balance that you would represent, and that you would bring to humanity. Through each of you humanity has been given greater understanding of the potential of being human.
Love and hate, my first chosen one. Why did you lead humanity here on this world? Was it hatred for the insects or love for your fellow man? You hated Torq and yet you avenged his death.
Selfishness and selflessness, my second chosen one. Why did you sacrifice yourself? Was it because your life meant so little or because you selfishly wanted your mate and child to live? Would you have been so quick to kill yourself if the priestess had not told you that they both would die?
Obedience and rebellion, my third chosen one. Did you truly rebel by defying the Matriarch Council? Was it rebellion that drove you or obedience to the teachings of your mother handed down from the time of the First chosen one?
Good and evil, my fourth chosen one. Was it the act of a criminal to seek out the Time Prophet? Was it evil to try to save your people, your world. Humanity is still embracing what you brought to them.
Always before I have held you back, kept you from completely destroying the insect race. Humanity needed the insects to provide the order that was lacking. A lack humanity no longer suffers. Order and chaos, my final chosen one, humanity will soon learn your lesson but only after this battle is done. I gave 20 years to the first four to train the last. That has changed, you will remain until the insects are erased from existence.
The time has come to totally obliterate them. I unleash all of you to do what you were created to do. Destroy the insects completely. Kill them all, no mercy to their followers. You must kill Mantrid before Echias escapes the prison you contained him in.
Arno betrayed you. He sought revenge by telling Mantrid of your existence and the existence of the Brunnen G on Terlara. Arno has motiviated Echias to attempt to escape. You will also kill Prince. He has forgotten what he is and why he was created. Prince also betrayed you by making a deal with Arno. The two of them have caused blood to run in the streets of Terlara. Arno seeks to set himself up as Terlara’s ruler. My will is now your will. By whatever means necessary the battle between insect and man ends now, in this cycle.”
790 and Dara were frantically trying to open the cyropods when suddenly all four opened. Fifth Kai came running into the chamber only moments later followed by Vlad. 790 was now frantically rolling from Kai to Kai demanding to know if they were alright.
“We are fine.” Second Kai said picking him up.
“You were moving, in the cryopod. All of you. Dara and I couldn’t get them to open.” 790 said.
“We were dreaming, I think.” Third said.
“It was not a dream. You do not dream in cryostasis.” Fourth said.
“It was a vision. The Temple of Rakais, on Brunnis.” First said. “I recognized it. I visited it with my father not long before he started his walk to the Dream Zone.”
“That was Brunnis?” Fifth asked.
“Yes the Southern Jungle. The ruined temple my father took shelter in when he was attacked by the Gort.”
“The animal with her was a Gort, Symbol of the Brunnen G warrior Caste. They were extinct by the time I was born. I only saw examples in the museum.” Third said.
“Would you care to explain what happened for the benefit of those of us who are not Brunnen G?” Vlad asked. “Young Kai started tossing and turning in her sleep so badly that it triggered my cryopod. Then she awoke and bounded out of bed like His Divine Shadow himself was after her.”
“We just met the Goddess, all of us.” First Kai said. “Let’s get comfortable, this may take a while.”
The Kais and Dara had filled Vlad in on the entire history of the war between the insects and humanity. It had taken a couple of hours but Vlad now knew the whole story.
“I’m not sure that ‘goddess’ is the right term for Rakais. She is more of a sentient primal energy force.” Third Kai finished.
“And you all had a vision? At the same time?” Dara questioned.
“It looks that way.” Second said. “She ‘planned’ each one of us. Who we are, what we are, even down to the time of our births.”
“She also told us other things.” First Kai said. He was interrupted by 790 rolling into the room. “Well 790?”
“I finally got through to High Priestess Xev at the Brunnia Temple. Terla City has been occupied. Arno has taken over the Temple there claiming that he is the Grand High Priest. He has instituted a policy of public execution of any priest that will not follow him. Torq did escape Terla City but he has not shown up at any of the other temples.” 790 reported. “Arno is methodically taking over nearby smaller temples. The Priests still loyal to the order are gathering in Brunnia and fortifying the temple there.”
“Fifth, turn this bug around. We are returning to Terlara to deal with Arno and Prince. Then we will deal with Mantrid.” First said.
Last edited on Fri Aug 6th, 2010 05:11 am by Abby1964
| Posted: Fri Aug 6th, 2010 02:31 pm||
| Terla City
Arno had dressed with care. He was in the gaudiest of his robes. Today was special. Today Torq would be executed publicly. Who knew Torq was such a fool as to think he could free the priests scheduled for execution today. Instead he would join them.
“You’re in quite the cheery mood today.” Prince remarked.
“Almost 2 years ago I was looking at the prospect of cleaning sewers for the order and today
I run it. And the only person capable of gathering support against me on this planet will not see another sunrise. Torq was caught last night trying to free the condemned.” Arno said cheerfully.
“Ah so no more reason for concern is that it? Have you forgotten your Pantheon?” Prince questioned.
“The Pantheon is not here they are off somewhere catering to the whims of a little girl. Well not so little any more. She’s almost an adult by now. Anyway, by the time they get back the people will have forgotten all about them.”
“Is he really that full of himself or just underestimating us?” Second Kai asked.
“Well he does have a rather inflated view of himself.” First Kai replied.
“Traitors often do.” Third Kai agreed.
Arno and Prince both spun around to face the first four Kais.
“Arno do you recall a promise I made to you concerning my brace and your head? I am keeping that promise.” Fourth said as his brace tore through Arno’s neck.
“That was a short reign.” Prince noted.
“We also have business with you. Arno was not the only traitor in this room.” Third Kai said.
“Ah but we have a deal.” Prince replied.
“What deal would that be? You betrayed us, any deal we may have had with you was made null and void as soon as you made your deal with Arno which was counter to our purpose.” Third Kai said.
Prince smiled smugly. “Yes, well then I’ll just be going.”
Fourth Kai stepped into his path. “Yes, you will, to wherever it is that dead elementals go.” The brace tore through Prince’s heart.
“But you can’t kill Death” he said in shock as he collapsed.
Almost 50 Priests were discovered to be loyal to Arno. Brother Torq was pleading with the Pantheon for their lives.
“This is cold-blooded slaughter!” Torq said. “Its murder.”
“It is the will of Rakais.” Fifth Kai said.
“Torq, this is a necessary evil. The Fourth Incarnation is the balance between good and evil. He is the one that commits evil for the greater good. As much as it disturbs us to think of what he is about to do, it must be done.” Dara said.
Fourth Kai looked at the Priest and spoke “I have killed mothers with their babies. I've killed great philosophers, proud young warriors, and revolutionaries. I've killed the evil, the good, the intelligent, the weak, and the beautiful. I have done this in the service of His Divine Shadow and his predecessors, and I have never once shown any mercy. Many of those I killed were deserving of mercy and found none.
I was condemned to death by the Brunnen G for treason on Brunnis 2. My crime was seeking out the Time Prophet and learning the fate of my world and my people. I tried to prevent the destruction of my world, my home. For this I was convicted of treason, labeled a criminal and sentenced to a slow agonizing death. These men helped Arno commit treason and are guilty by association. They did not commit this treason to protect Terlara, they committed it for greed and hope of gain.
We have been given our orders by the one who created us. No mercy to those who show any loyalty to the insects. Mantrid has targeted Terlara because of Arno. More Terlarans will die if he arrives. Hundreds are already dead thanks to Arno and these men you would save. They receive the same mercy from me that they held for the people of Terlara, none.” He left the room to carry out the bloody task.
“He will show them more mercy than Mantrid will show to the children of Terlara. Their deaths will be quick and relatively painless. They will not be orphaned. They will not fight for survival in the streets while dying of starvation. Their bodies will not be maimed by the weapons of war.” First Kai said. “That is the mercy Mantrid will show.”
The insect was still imprisoned within Mantrid. The Machine had managed to stop the separation for now but only by gratifying the insect. The carrot probes had been abandoned. All of the effort was in creating more of the Lyekka asteroids. The first 25 were done. The Machine launched them on a path towards Terlara. The asteroids would destroy everything in their path.
“I understand that thanks are in order, Prince has been destroyed.” Duke had appeared to the Kais at the Brunnia temple where they were working on the battle plan against Mantrid. “He forgot what he was and who he served.”
“Duke, did you come here just to say thanks or is there a good reason for your presence?” Third Kai asked.
“You are not the only ones who serve ‘her’. With Prince out of the picture things are righting themselves. I also serve her. But I know that I am not ‘Death’. I punish the evil so that they can learn from their mistakes and in their next true life avoid repeating them. It is what Prince was created to do. That task is now mine, Arno is in my care.”
“Well whoop de doo.” Second Kai said.
“I also bring information. 25 of the Lyekka asteroids are now heading in this direction. Many of your allies stand between you and Mantrid. They will suffer total destruction if something is not done.
The machine in Mantrid managed to postpone Echias escape by offering him this concession. Mantrid is creating more of these asteroids as we speak. Those allies who survive the first wave will surely be destroyed by the second wave. You must move now.”
“Do you know which worlds are in the path of the asteroids?” Fourth Kai asked.
“Yes, the Alteri system, Dagos and Donova.”
“Thank you Duke. We will handle it.” First Kai said.
Duke’s report had caused major changes in what the Kais had been planning.
“We have to change the deployment of our forces. The heavy artillery in our army is the LEXXes. We have 50 of them, we have almost 2000 ships that can maneuver and fight in a combat mode and 125 allied worlds contributing to this effort.” First Kai summed up.
“But of our allies only 30 are between us and Mantrid, the others are all beyond the frontier. So we have 50 LEXXes to protect 30 worlds and attack Mantrid. That’s still spreading ourselves pretty thin.” Third Kai said.
“So there’s no way we can protect them all and mount a successful offense against Mantrid.” Second concluded.
“Yes there is. Fourth simply does not want to put the idea forward.” Fifth said nudging him.
“We have to reduce the number of allies we must protect.” Fourth said. “Dagos has gone to hell, three more are prison planets and a couple are sparsely populated. There are a couple more that are not important strategically. Evacuate as many as we can. Let Fifth take her LEXX and four others to destroy them. Let the LEXXes feed then deploy to Mantrid’s rear just as we originally planned. Send two LEXXes to patrol beyond the Frontier. That still leaves us enough LEXXes to flank Mantrid and herd him to where we want him. While protecting our remaining allies since they will be behind the front lines.”
“It is the only option.” Fifth said.
“And we become as bad as Mantrid.” First Kai spoke.
“No we won’t. Mantrid would not attempt to save as many as he could. He would just destroy everything in his path.” Third said.
“Sometimes the only option is sacrifice.” Second said quietly.
“I know, but I don’t have to like it.” First Kai said.
It was time to set the plan in motion. First Kai would remain on Terlara to coordinate the battle. Terlara was the central base of operations.
Second Kai would hitch a ride with Fifth Kai to Typhos where he would be in charge of the combat fighters. Typhos had been chosen as the staging area for the new Dragon fighter force made up of over 2000 ships and vessels of various configurations.
Third Kai would take a LEXX to the Alteri system where he would continue to foment rebellion against Mantrid. He would be overseeing training and weapons manufacture for the different rebel factions.
Fourth Kai was also taking a LEXX to head up the front line forces that would seek out and destroy the Asteroids as they approached. This was the force that Mantrid would be herded toward. It was also a mobile force with LEXXes able to break off and intercept approaching asteroids.
Fifth Kai would take five LEXXes and come up on Mantrid’s rear pushing him forward into the trap that had been set. Dara and Vlad would remain with her.
“You two try not to kill each other.” First Kai joked to Second and Fifth. Looking at the two of them together they looked almost like identical twins. The cluster lizard in her had settled down and she rarely showed her aggression toward him anymore.
“Don’t give her any ideas.” Second said. “She’s been behaving like an angel lately.”
Third and Fourth finally arrived. Fourth held something out to Fifth, the Gortha he had taken from her a few years earlier. “Honor us young warrior.” He said as he handed it to her.
Fifth Kai reverently took the Gortha. “I will honor those who have gone before and leave a legacy of honor for those yet to come.”
“We’ve taught you all we know and you are all that we are. Remember that.” Third said.
“This is the last time we will all be together isn’t it? When the battle is over you will all leave and go back to the Dream Zone.” She said.
“When the time comes you will see us again. When you set foot on the path you will find Fourth waiting for you, just as Third waited for him. We always wait to welcome the one who follows us. He will bring you to us and we will all be there waiting with open arms to welcome you.” First Kai said as He hugged the girl. “Remember use your intellect. Think about your moves before you make them and do not react emotionally. Let your enemy be the one to react without thinking.”
Third Kai now spoke to her. “Plans are a good thing but remember unforeseen circumstances may alter the effectiveness of any plan. You may be in a better position to see the outcome. Never be afraid to do what you know is best, even if it is not what was planned.” He gave her a hug.
“I do not need to give you a speech on the need for evil. It is appropriate that we put you forth as my ‘daughter’ because you have inherited the darkness I carry. Remember that the darkness also serves a purpose. I will be waiting on the path for you little shadow.” Fourth said as he too hugged her.
“What?” She said tearfully “I don’t get a speech from you too?” She looked at Second.
“We still have a few weeks together, brat. I’ll wait and say my goodbyes when we part.” Second told her.
“Nobody said goodbye to me!” 790 wailed. The first four Kais spent the next 15 minutes soothing a distraught robot head.
The insect was still restless. It was remembering the past. The slaughter and enslavement of its children on Brunnis. The moment when Mankind first challenged the rule of order. It remembered who was responsible. The human called Kai.
When it planned the liberation of its children. What should have been an overwhelming force was decimated by the human called Kai.
When it planned the take over of the universe was actually succeeding it was defeated and and exiled to the other universe. It was exiled by the human called Kai.
Even in a universe where no Brunnen G existed they followed it there. It destroyed and killed all of the Brunnen G, keeping one as its servant to mock Rakais and show her the power of order. Instead this human killed his servant and and child then locked him inside this biomechanical prison and destroyed the haven it could have run to. That human was called Kai.
“Yes Echias.” A voice spoke “You have always suffered defeat and destruction at the hands of my children. I did not want it to come to this. I had always hoped you would gain understanding but you have not. Insect and human once lived peacefully together, each respecting the other. They could have continued to do so but you would not allow it. You have destroyed your own creation through your attempts to destroy mine.”
Five LEXXES approached Dagos. According to Niko on Corleone this world was completely evacuated 100% so it was with some shock that Fifth Kai received a message from the surface.
“Who are you? We thought this world was completely evacuated.” Fifth Kai asked. The old man on the screen had skin the color of the rich brown Terlara rosewood that was so popular with the furniture makers on Terlara.
“I represent those who remain. Some of us chose to remain, our young ones have been sent off. What remains behind here are the old and the infirm. We would like to know one thing before you destroy our home. It is said that the LEXX must have organic matter is this true?”
“Yes, it is.” She said.
“Then humor me for a moment. We will send word of your reply to the other worlds on your list. Some of us trace our lineage back to the Brunnen G warriors who came here eons ago just as it is on your homeworld of Terlara. Many myths and legends have been passed down through the generations. In my family there is a legend of a young Brunnen G warrior who lived long before the Insect Wars raged across the cosmos.
Allow me to tell you this story before you destroy us. You will understand why none of the worlds are completely evacuated. My Brunnen G ancestry comes from a man named Jute. He was the head of the Dragon Fighter Program on Brunnis for many years. He took over the position after the death of his best friend. They had come up together through a guild school established for the training of warriors. The two were like brothers, each family treated them both equally as sons of the house. They were both hand picked to be among the first in the Dragon fighter program when it was established.
On their first mission they thwarted an invasion by the insects. It was only the sacrifice of the one my ancestor called brother that prevented Brunnis from falling. The young man’s name was”
“Kai.” She finished. “Descended from the Warlord of the same name.”
“You know the story then?” The old man asked with surprise.
“Yes I also carry the name Kai. I am descended directly from Kai son of Adana who was descended directly from the Kai of which you speak.”
“Then we ask a favor of you Kai. When the insect war ended my ancestor returned to Dagos. He brought with him something that he said should be honored and saved for future generations. We ask that you remove these items before you destroy us. Save them for the generations to come. We have three memorial markers that we wish to preserve. Once the markers have been removed those of us who remain will add to your efforts by becoming a part of the organic material that powers your LEXX. All those worlds targeted agreed to the same, you will find the old and infirm on each of those worlds committed to the path of sacrifice, we only ask that these three artifacts be saved. They are the memorial markers of Kai and the warlord and his mate.”
Dara was speaking with First Kai. “She told me to tell you that there would be an unexpected delay. She has gone down to Dagos. She also said that if you questioned me to tell you that she is doing what she knows is right.”
“Where is Second?”
“Looking for her. He followed her down as soon as he realized she was gone.”
Dagos was exactly like Second remembered it from his visit with First Kai, minus the rude crowds. The streets were deserted except for one old man who was piling more garbage in the street. The man looked up at his approach. The old man was quite helpful directing him to a residence on the outskirts of the city. That was where the beautiful young lady was headed.
Second found Fifth in a well tended garden on the grounds of the residence. She was standing with an old man looking at three obelisks which stood in the garden. As he approached he recognized two of them. They had stood in the central square on the campus of the Warrior guild school, the memorial markers for First and his mate Lynna. He did not recognize third. As he approached he saw who that marker was dedicated to.
“Second!” Fifth went over to him and touched his arm. He was staring at his own memorial marker.
Dedicated to Kai First Unit Leader
Dragon Fighter Squad One
Mate to Aranna
Born to the Kai Bloodline of the Northern Continent
Until we all meet again in the Dreamzone
It is not just birth that creates brothers,
Sometimes it is choice-Jute
“Son, are you alright?” the old man asked.
“This is Second Kai, The one honored by this marker.” She told the old man.
790 had conferenced all the Kai’s together. First was trying to explain how important it was that these planets be destroyed. Fifth Kai was stubbornly insisting that Dagos would not destroyed until certain archeological artifacts were safely removed.
“Things can be replaced Fifth, destroy the planet, we need you in position.” First said.
“These things cannot be replaced. Once the items have been removed and are on their way to Terlara, then I will blow up Dagos. Not a moment sooner. The old ones choose to sacrifice themselves in return for the saving of these relics. I will honor the sacrifice that they make.” Fifth said.
Second hadn’t said a word through the entire meeting but now he did. “Let her have her way in this. I would be happy if she left the third item and just took the first two.” He walked off the bridge.
“What is wrong with Second?” Fourth asked.
“He’ll be fine.” She said as she left to check on him.
Last edited on Fri Aug 6th, 2010 02:33 pm by Abby1964
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