Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Toncor activated the screen seeing Hakkas appear on the screen.
“Want to tell me what happened?” he asked. “Things got real tense there for a moment.”
“The Dark Race appeared here,” Toncor said seeing the panic on Hakkas’ face.
“What do we do?” Hakkas asked confusing Toncor for a second. What was there to do with the engines down?
“Do? Do nothing. They were beaten back by the humans,” Toncor replied back to him. Hakkas went silent for several seconds before finally saying anything.
“Beaten back? That sounds impossible,” Hakkas stated, his voice sounding stunned by the events which happened.
“I know how you feel, but it’s the truth, it’s what happened out there,” Toncor replied. “I watched the events unfold as the humans fought back.”
“If they won, what’s next?” Hakkas said.
“That’s the real question. Our ship will be repaired in the next couple of days,” Toncor stated giving it some thought. “However, we might be able to settle down here, or close by instead of traveling through space forever.”
It was something he had recently given a lot of thought to. He knew they were just starting their journey through space in their attempt to flee the Dark Race. However, how long would it take before something really broke down and the Dark Race found and enslaved them? At least here they had a chance of freedom again.
He paused going over his thoughts wondering when those ideas came to him. Perhaps he had been around humans too much lately.
“At least we’re free,” Hakkas said and Toncor realized it was the very thing he said to the humans when they arrived. The idea Yissffer said as well upon reaching Earth.
“Limited to a spaceship,” Toncor said. “Is that really freedom, or are we deluding ourselves as to what freedom really is.”
“We would not be slaves,” Hakkas said.
“What is the debate about,” Aviella asked as she joined in on the conversation.
“The idea of staying here, the humans defeated a fleet of Dark Race ships,” Toncor said to her. It was obvious the news was a shock to her as she heard the news.
“The Dark Race was here?” she asked.
“Here and beaten back already,” Toncor said to her.
“You didn’t inform us they were here?” she asked him, sounding a bit disappointed in him.
“I had no time, I was called to a meeting where they told us they might arrive, and the next thing we knew they were here,” Toncor said. “I was watching the battle here, and what could I have done, informed you so the entire ship could panic? Our engines were in no condition to do anything.”
“He’s right,” Hakkas said seeing Aviella wanting to debate the point.
“Still, we should have been informed,” she said back to him.
“Yes, I was going to inform the captain, but not the rest of the passengers,” Toncor said. “It would have been better if they did not know. Panic could have broken out and in the panic people might been injured.”
He watched as she seemed to think about that and formulate some sort of counter argument so instead Toncor pressed on.
“Our engines will probably be repaired in a few Earth days, the problem is what do we do after that?” he asked them.
“We continue on our journey,” Aviella replied, and it appeared Hakkas seemed to think the same thing.
“Then if so, you’ll do it without me,” Toncor finally said shocking them both with his decision.
“You’d stay?” Aviella said.
“These humans are different, they have something unusual among the universe,” Toncor said to them. “They understand the violence, but they also understand the peace. It’s an interesting mix and one I’d like to understand more. I also think the Dark Race has never encountered any race like theirs.”
“Violence doesn’t solve violence,” Aviella said.
“I think they understand that as well,” Toncor said. “I get the feeling they want peace, but unlike so many others, they are willing to fight for it when someone threatens them. They would rather die fighting for that freedom than be enslaved.”
Toncor paused having recalled some conversations he overheard in the hallways.
“However, even if they were to be enslaved, I doubt they would do so willingly.”
“What does that mean?” Hakkas asked.
“It means, they are already thinking of ways to fight even if they are enslaved,” Toncor said.
“They are that organized?” Aviella asked.
“No, not the government, individuals, talking amongst themselves about how to fight back, subtly as they put it,” Toncor said.
“I think you’ve been among them too long,” Aviella finally stated.
Toncor didn’t reply considering he had been thinking about that earlier in the conversation. But he had made up his mind.
“I think we can help them,” Toncor finally said.
“I don’t know, they appear unstable to me,” Aviella finally said while Hakkas remained silent.
Angie watched as Jack made his way back as she looked on. So far they had found out a few things they didn’t know before. They had a name of the aliens, and the fact the invaders had brought in some other alien slaves as a way to placate those they captured.
Jack’s friend had no news of Angie’s family which, while she had hoped for, wasn’t surprised about. They also learned that there appeared to be other groups out there still on the run which was why they went out on patrols. It was surprising they had not encountered any of them in their travels. But it appeared most were still trying to lay low.
“Let’s go,” he said to her.
Angie was a bit concerned that Earth had been invaded as well by this alien species. They were hoping to find out something from her uncle about what might have happened, if anything.
She waited a bit until they were far enough away before saying anything.
“So, any news?” she asked.
“Yeah, but I didn’t read it,” Jack replied. “Only waited to get the connection for a bit before leaving. Thought I heard something nearby.”
“I didn’t see anything,” Angie replied. “You think the O’krad attacked Earth? What is they lost?”
“I don’t know,” Jack answered honestly.
Angie didn’t think she could live they had for the rest of her life. There had to be something they could do? After a bit further they stopped and looked at the messages on the phone at least. Her uncle had replied and the news was better than she expected. They had beaten back the attack and destroyed an enemy warship in the process.
“Better than I expected,” Jack stated making her wonder what he meant. “I figured their tech would be much higher than ours.”
She had no reply to that.
“So, now what?” she asked.
“You’re uncle expects another attack, but beyond that, I imagine they’ll be building up their military and if possible coming here to free Sierra,” Jack said.
“You think so?”
“Yeah, typical military tactics, free your people, and then they’ll go on the attack against O’krad positions,” Jeff said.
Angie shrugged her shoulders not really understanding military tactics but the idea they might come to free them, that idea would keep her going.
“They are going to need intelligence,” Jack said. “That’s where we come in, and I think its time we go looking for anyone else out there still free from enslavement.”
“Is that wise?” Angie asked.
“We’ll need more than two people,” Jack said.
Angie wondered how they would even find anyone in the forest when they were trying to hide.
“Where would they go?”
“I have an idea,” Jack said finally. “Come on, let get moving.”
She followed along wondering where they might be going.
Angie followed Jack, who had the O’krad weapon for protection, as he suddenly stopped and motioned for her to be quiet. She crouched low watching him and glancing around not making any sound, fully expecting to see the aliens pop up. Instead Jack seemed to be looking around for something else.
He moved on motioning her to come with him as they moved quietly forward. Angie concentrated on being quiet and following. He stopped again and this time raised the weapon as a figure rose up in front of them as well. Even as she looked on she spotted two more dropping from trees to surround them.
“Hold,” Jack said, lowering his weapon as Angie finally got a better look at the group. They were humans, and appeared to be two males and one female who she didn’t recognize at the moment.
“Where’d you get that,” one of the males said looking at the weapon Jack held.
“They dropped it when one of their comrades stepped into a fire ant mound,” Jack said.
“Fire ants, yeah, those are deadly to them,” the male said.
“Really?” Jack replied, and it was an answer Angie had not expected either.
“Seen two die from ant bites so far,” the man said eyeing them closely before speaking to Jack. “You, too tall to be one of them, but her, how well do you know her?”
“Known her for seven years,” Jack replied quickly, it was something Angie had to think about before realizing they were in Junior High together.
“You sure it’s her?”
“Yeah, I’m sure,” Jack replied.
“How’d you survive?” the male asked again.
“Was on Sixth Street when the attack happened, just out for some night air, couple of bad games of Star Marines, needed to get out before I punched my screen,” Jack said.
“Gamer?” the other male said, a bit older than Jack.
“Yeah, have, well had, the latest Gamebox,” Jack replied.
“You get the platinum version?”
“Oh yeah, how could you not,” Jack replied.
“Um, guys, not to interrupt your love fest here, but moving on,” the female said.
“Right, well, was passing Angie here, who was walking home for work, and noticed the sky light up,” Jack said surprising Angie that he knew where she worked. “Then everything started exploding, Angie was tossed into the trees and I made a decision to carry her away from the devastation going on. What about you?”
“Me and Ben were camping,” the older male said referring to the younger one, and now that Angie looked there appeared to be a resemblance between them.
“Was supposed to be a fishing trip to the lake,” Ben said as Angie and Jack looked towards the female.
“I was over in West Wilds when the attack occurred, ran into the forest. Met up a couple of others who fled into the forest. We decided to make our way to the lake, but were caught by a patrol, the other two died, they didn’t see me and I stumbled into Charlie and Ben’s camp,” she said.
“And you’re human?” Jack asked.
“She volunteered to be bit by fire ants, passed easily,” Charlie said.
“I’m not doing that,” Angie said crossing her arms.
“Any others?” Jack asked.
“A few more, we keep to ourselves, avoid detection at the moment,” Charlie replied.
“Let me talk to them, I have a lot of information you might like to hear,” Jack said.
“Very well, no sudden moves,” Charlie said as they moved on.
Angie wondered what they had managed to get themselves into now. She also was a bit fearful that as the group got larger it would attract the attention of the O’krads. She now wished she had gone to Earth for a vacation instead of working.
“How have you survived?”
“I was a regular boy scout growing up,” Jack said. “Something my dad forced upon me when I was younger. And I still read up on the outdoors and such. Never expected it to actually be useful. Bet my dad’s laughing right about now as he looks down at all of this.”
Angie said nothing even as they seemed to stop and she noticed several others, quickly counting about a half dozen people. It was more than she expected.
End part 18