3.03: Showdown at Home
DS Day 276-290
Gunthar was oddly comfortable in the bridge of the now immense alien colony ship. Ever since he healed the ship with the Force, the cruise through the Rift was so much easier and faster. He felt at one with the ship, almost. But the ship told him that his journey was not complete, that Home lied ahead.
They has stayed in the ship for almost 3 weeks, rationing supplies until they ran out, and then relying on what the ship could provide. The Farstar was cleaned up of the Mynock-like creatures they had been found inside the engine ports. They crew awaited impatiently to be let go by the ferryship.
The first sign they got was the release tentacles wrapping around the ship again. Gunthar was awakened by the ships thoughts, telling him they had reached Home. The ship released Gunthar from the chair, who sped off towards the Farstar. His last glance at the holoscreen showed a world orbiting what looked like a binary star system, with the colorful back drop of the Rift.
The Farstar was released out into the thin Rift gases surrounding a new system. Beyond them was another world the Farstar’s astro-nav systems recognized as Yvara. Scanners read it as a habitable planet with odd atmospheric anomalies, an predominantly fungal flora. There was also a population on the planet.
“The Horns of Waryl, their very presence beckons me. Across the seas of mist, they light the path to home, to glorious Yvara, wherein the Majjvara dwells. ” Gunthar spoke in almost poetic prose.
The bridge was quiet for the longest moment ever after the alien spoke. “I am home” He said simply.
“You mean to tell me you are from the Rift?” The Captain said.
The alien nodded assuredly.
“Captain, Sensors pick up signs of civilization, and life on the planet. Rift interference is minimal, but still there. No signs of communications systems, however. It looks abandoned.” Thyte said.
“Surely, a man in your role recognizes the importance of peering past the shells of illusion, and searching for the truth that lies underneath.”
Once again, the crew stared at the alien, stunned.
“Good point…” the Captain said after a pause. “Mr. Kl’aal… You and Mr. Gorak prepare an away team.”
“Permission to stay aboard on this one.” Gorak said, almost sounding nervous. Gunthar threw a menacing glance at the Rodian.
“…OK, if you think you will have nothing to contribute. We will land the ship near the largest settlement, just south of the polar region. There, I am sure we can find out what this Majjvara is all about.”
Gorak’s past was continuing to haunt him. His slaver connection would come out one day soon, and he had to some up with a plan to get out. Loh’Khar had already approached him with some possibilities, but he wasn’t sure if he trusted the Twi’lek anymore.
Back on the Tanquilla Beach, things had come so close so early that he had to commit a heinous act to cover his own back. The crew thought Qesya had deserted to pursue her own goals. She was a little more bent on revenge against Sarne than the rest. However, that was not true. Gorak had arranged for her disappearance when she discovered his true past on Tanquilla. He had her voice-box surgically removed, then sold her to slavery through some of his contacts. It was a quick and clean disposal, the kind he liked. Since then, his heart has felt a tinge of guilt for his actions, and he has taken paths to change his dark fate for the better. However, the information Qesya had found was related to Gunthar’s species. Some others of Gunthar’s species, the Yvarema, had recognized Gorak as one of the slavers that had captured them and sold them to Sarne. The word had gotten to Gunthar as well, but at the time, Gunthar was too stupid to understand the full meaning and was easily tricked into believing otherwise.
Now Gunthar has somehow gained an intellect, and Gorak was certain Gunthar would remember. His fears were confirmed not long after he had left the bridge. Through his comlink “Gorak, report to tactical.”
“What are you afraid, slaver? Afraid we might find out the truth?” Gunthar towered over Gorak.
The Captain stood watching the Rodian, infuriated. Dajus, Thyte, Loh’Khar, and Seedar stood there in tactical as well. All were confused, although Dajus seemed worried. “So what is this about you being a slaver, Mr. Gorak?”
“It was a past-time, once, yes. However, recently, since I have been given a position of power within the ranks of my comrade slavers, I have taken great steps to change the … market of my business. We were only doing what we could do to survive in the hard times of Sarne’s rule. Since I have been a member of the crew, my group and I have worked hard to bring down that worm, Chuborro and stop the factions of the Sabiador that aren’t loyal to me…”
“You are with Sabiador…after all that they have done to us??!!” Thyte roared. “Kl’aal’s not going to like this.”
“I don’t” Kl’aal’s voice grumbled from a dark corner. No one knew he was there. Gorak swallowed hard. Kl’aal stood, walked towards Gorak and the door. As he passed the Rodian, he stared into his eyes, the red glare burning like a flame of hate. Then the Defel left.
“If I can speak in his defense…” Loh’Khar piped. “He has done so much for this ship and the mission that I feel his has absolved himself of any past doings.”
Gorak was caught in a corner. What does one like Gorak do when caught in a corner…fight or flight. This time it was time to fight. “While I know that I have kept important information from you, captain, I do believe it was in everyone’s best interest, much like I believe Colonel Dajus here feels…”
Dajus turned white. She looked coldly at the Rodian. She knew it would come down to it someday. They had been holding this information over the other’s to long.
“Colonel??!!” Thyte and Adrimetrum both yelled simultaneously. A long pause followed, waiting for Dajus to say something.
“Colonel and lover to Sarne, himself” Gorak continued.
She had to stop the Rodian before he started lying to save his own skin.
“It’s true. Colonel, Lieutenant, what’s the difference? They are titles. He was my lover, yes. I was getting close to him to get more on Darkstryder. I, myself, wanted to know more. I was one of Sarne’s primary information gatherers. He used this information to purge his own ranks. So I basically helped him frame other Imperials, some innocent, others not so innocent. What difference would that have made?”
The Captain laid her head in her hands, frustrated. Even after all this time, there are still secrets. “And perhaps we should ask Mr. Thanis about his role in your husband’s death, Captain, as well.”
This jerked a nerve in the captain. “ENOUGH!!” She glared at Loh’Khar, knowing exactly what the Twi’lek was doing. She would no more of it. “Confine Thanis to his quarters. Dajus, I will deal with you later. Mr. Gorak, you are correct. You have served his ship well. We really don’t have time to deal with this in the right manner. For here on out, Gorak, you are demoted to bridge officer and tactics officer. Thyte, you are my second in command now. Let’s hope you are as good with the whole ship as you were with the bridge. Gorak, you do realize you will have to face New Republic trial.
“And Loh’Khar, keep you mouth shut for the rest of this stay…”
Gunthar was not pleased. He wanted to bring the Rodian to trial before the queen of his people, the Majjvara. But with his new assignment, he will be remaining on board for most of their stay. He felt betrayed by the captain.
He stared out into the stars, at the colony ship several thousands kilometers away from the Farstar. Did this ship belong to him, or did he belong to it? He felt like it was calling to him.
The away team was readying, and of course, he was a part of it. He packed the remainder of his few belongings. He grabbed the hall-sweeper he used to use to clean the halls of the ship. He thought, the placed it back into the closet. Someone else will probably need this.
Bifzik felt an odd feeling while he sat in his quarters. A whispering seemed to re-awaken from the Qek-nanites that still inhabited his body. He had regularly checked with the doctor about the alien disease that flowed harmless through his bloodstream. The Qek had not prepared the nanites for his physiology, so the nanite probes went dormant with only their receivers partially active, as if awaiting for a signal from the Assemblage. Bifzik had figured out little ways to manipulate the nanites in subtle ways. This occasionally served him well, but he had difficulty using the Qek-Assemblage network to his advantage.
He had in the past patched in to find locations of specific other Qek, like when the Captain was a part of the Assemblage. There were thousands upon millions of nodes, representing all the Qektoth drones. Before the nanites went dormant, he had noticed a very large, new node. He patched into it, and before he knew it, he had found his long lost friend… Cuthbert. However, something was wrong with him. He couldn’t quite tell what, but he knew it wasn’t good for their side.
However, since they had entered the Rift, all the nodes were silent… until now. Resistance was suicide… he heard the nodes say first. The true Assemblage is nearly understood by the Qek Assemblage. We need the queen.
This again, did not sound good for their side.
The landing was made, the away team sent. Gunthar lead them into what he called the Capitol city of his people, where the Majjvara awaited. At the gates, a processional awaited them as if they knew they were coming. Some were armed with primitive weapons, but all greeted with friendliness and joy to see their lost comrade. However, what they called him even surprised the Captain. They called him their Prince.
“Good returning, my Prince. I hope things went well. Are these the warriors you were sent to bring to us. It is not too late, the Evil ones have yet to ascend.”
The Yvarema were a mixed people, of different physiologies, and make-ups, but all with the same base biology. There were large massive versions, like Gunthar, and smaller skinnier ones. Hasslock guessed they were all bred for specific tasks, genetically enhanced to do that job perfectly. It was definitely apparent they had a complex caste system. But all were loved and loved the Majjvara, queen of all Yvara.
They were brought before the Majjvara, the queen of all the Yvarema. This creature was only slightly similar to the rest of it’s children. It sat in a massive thrown in a genetics chamber, it’s massive worm-like body was topped with a friendly, almost motherly face. It’s bulbous body was lined with three pairs of legs , and a fourth pair extended from the head-stalk.
It spoke to them in their minds, using telepathy as if it was its second nature.
Welcome back, my son. It is so good to see you return after so much time. Report your finding.
An odd tendril fell from the ceiling and wrapped around Guthar’s head. A few moments later, and the tendril retracted.
There was a pause as the Majjvara processed the information. The Captain and the others could only guess what Gunthar was telling his Queen. They hoped not everything. However, they had not planned on the Yvarema having a perfect hive-mind
“Your journey was quite… interesting, my son. You crew members are quite noble to chase down this crimnal, Sarne. However, who is this one called Gorak…”
The Captain turned white. She was trying to protect him.
The Showdown at Home continues…