Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
The door opened to the office as Belru looked up from going over reports. Reports from the Dark Race had been quietly lately which was highly unusual for them and concerned everyone.
“What’s the news?” he asked looking at the officer in front of him.
“We intercepted an interesting message, it makes no sense to us,” the reply came. “They hoped you might be able to figure it out.”
Belru looked up as the report was placed in front of him. The message indicated, from what he could make out, that they had attacked another target but something strange happened during the invasion. Looking it over some more he deciphered a bit more from the message.
“Interesting, and unknown,” he finally replied. “It appears they attacked a new target, one we were unaware of. But this one has caused them trouble. From what I can decipher they had to retreat.”
“Retreat!” the reply came back sounding surprised.
“Yes, we must figure out what happened and where,” Belru said urgently now. “If they were forced to retreat something major happened to them. I can’t ever recall such a thing happening to them.”
“Shall I inform the council?”
“Yes, we will need to meet with them at once,” Belru said watching as the officer left the room.
His knowledge of the Dark Race meant he was the top official for gaining such knowledge as he could read and understand some of their language. It had been a tedious task without knowledge of a translator.
Somewhere out there the Dark Race had encountered another race. They must know who this race was, and were they as bad as the Dark Race. Were they about to become caught between two powers making them chose who to be a slave to?
His communicator activated much quicker than he expected and looked at the screen to see one of the council members, Tzittif.
“Belru, what’s this information we’re getting?” Tzittif asked. “Something about the Dark Race encountering a new race which they lost to?”
“It might be true, I’m going over the information now,” Belru replied. “I can only get a bit of their information so far. What I have learned is the Dark Race had another target we didn’t know about. It appears this new target race has given them problems. One invasion, it seems, was actually beaten back.”
“How is that possible? We’ve never been able to do anything more than delay them,” Tzittif stated.
“I know, but this group did,” Belru answered.
“I’m not sure I like this bit of information Belru. Are we about to encounter another race like the Dark Race?” Tzittif asked.
“That was my thought,” Belru replied wondering how things were going to go. Would the council want to meet with this unknown group at all.
“It might be worth it to meet up with this unknown group,” Tzittif said. “That will be my recommendation.”
“Its risky, the rebellion is still weak after that last battle,” Belru replied.
“We know, but something has to change or else we will cease to exist anymore. That last attack on the Simian homeworld nearly cost us everything we had,” Tzittif said.
Belru had not been part of that, having stayed behind to continue his work on translating some information.
“How did we miss this target?” Tzittif asked.
“Recently reports have been sketchy, but I think I can have a location soon,” he said back hoping he could do what he said.
“I look forward to your report then.”
With that the line went dead. Belru had no idea if his work would result in anything useful or not. There really wasn’t much there he could go on as the battle report was very different than anything he had encountered before. Even the Dark Race’s response seemed unusual, as if they didn’t know what to do next.
Taking the reports he looked more for their location so he could give that information to the council. With that they could decide what to do next.
Mark made his way to the bridge having been summoned there by Hans who wanted him there right away even as the ship went to yellow alert. That made Mark wonder what happened even as he reached the bridge which was bustling with activity.
“What’s the situation?” Mark asked moving over to where Hans stood.
“Unknown ship just dropped out of a jump,” Hans said. “No identification as of yet.”
“The O’krad,” Mark asked.
“Doesn’t match any known ships of theirs,” Hans replied.
Mark considered it all wondering what move to make. One ship was not something he expected to see at all. The fact it didn’t match any of the known O’krad ships didn’t ease his sense of caution one bit. If anything he was now more cautious than anything else. The last thing he needed was to allow a O’krad ship this close to the planet and scan their defenses.
“Move out, prepare to engage, but hold fire until they fire first,” Mark ordered even as Joaquin reported getting a communications from Earth HQ. “Put it though,” he ordered moving to the command console to see Richard looking up at him from the screen.
“What’s going on?” Richard asked, no introduction at all.
“Unknown ship approaching,” Mark replied.
“Don’t know, doesn’t match anything we have,” Mark said. “Getting a more detailed scan coming up.”
“We don’t know what all of their ships look like,” Richard replied, something even Mark considered which was why he was moving more to battle than anything else.
“Incoming message from the Pakkara,” Joaquin stated. “They can identify the ship, say its part of the rebellion.”
Mark froze at that bit of information and looked back at Richard.
“Did you hear that?”
“Yes, hang on,” Richard said. “Someone page Toncor at once, bring him here, and update the President.”
“What do you want me to do?” Mark said.
“Stay on alert, but don’t do anything. They could be potential allies,” Richard said.
Mark considered that and recalled what he had heard about this rebellion from intelligence. They had delayed the O’krad from invading Toncor’s homeworld but that was about it. They had failed to stop it though.
“Helm, slow to quarter speed, maintain scanner lock on the ship, last thing we need is to be taken by surprise,” Mark said to them all. He would wait for Toncor to arrive and try and make contact with this unknown race.
It seemed like a long time before Toncor appeared on the screen. Mark watched as he spoke and the computer translated making it appear strange as the words didn’t match what his lips said.
“Admiral, you stated my ship recognized this unknown ship?” the computer generated voice said for Toncor.
“Yes, something about a rebellion,” Mark said as Richard spoke up.
“If we need to communicate with them we’ll need your help,” Richard said speaking up. “If you know them they’ll have you’re language, but they won’t have ours.”
“Ah, that makes sense,” Toncor stated.
“Communications channel open,” Joaquin said.
“Anytime Toncor,” Richard said.
“This is Toncor of the Simian race speaking for the human race, do you receive,” Mark heard Toncor say.
Now they would have to wait.
Belru stood on the bridge, an unusual position for him as they approached the planet. It seemed no different than anything else he had seen. Scanners indicated it was the right conditions for life.
He listened as reports came in from everywhere about what was going on around the planet. They discovered several ships in orbit around the planet along with several space stations. The captain decided to cautiously approach the planet in case they were hostile while getting the jump engines ready to go.
He looked on seeing nothing out of the ordinary, in fact it appeared as any other planet they had been to and nothing seemed to stick out that this planet had managed to beat back a Dark Race invasion. Perhaps there was something else going on that he somehow missed.
“Anything on the scanners?” he heard the captain say.
“Nothing yet sir,” the reply came back.
The silence stretched and it worked on Belru’s nerves. He expected something by now, some sort of action.
“Sir, incoming message.”
“Send them our language information,” the captain said.
Belru waited knowing this moment would determine how the meeting would go. The exchange of languages so they could communicate.
“Um, sir, we’re getting this in Simian.”
“What?” Belru said.
“Relaying the message.”
“This is Toncor of the Simian race speaking for the human race, do you receive.”
Belru ran a hand though his grey hair wondering if this was some sort of trick by the universe. He looked down at the communications officer nodding that he would take over.
“This is Belru, Toncor is that you?” Belru replied.
“Belru, its good to hear your voice,” Toncor said.
“You managed to escape, we heard your ship was destroyed, too close to the planet to jump,” Belru said.
“We jumped anyways, damaged our jump engines, ended up here at Earth,” Toncor stated. “They were kind enough to repair our engines.”
“Then why are you still there, we have reports of the Dark Race attacking this planet,” Belru said.
“They did, it’s a long story,” Belru said.
“Sir, contact, three ships, they just appeared,” the scanner operator said. “Can’t get a lock or see what type of ships they are.”
“What’s going on?” Belru asked.
“The humans have re-engaged their signal enhancers for their warships,” Toncor said.
That bit shocked Belrus. This race had managed to keep their warships hidden from their scanners and they were within weapons range. It caused all types of question to race though his mind.
Who were they?
He quickly went to the computer scanning though the archives of explorers in this area they might have some information about. It took several seconds as the captain of the ship continued to talk to Toncor and the decision was made to send information back to the council and let them decide what they might do next.
“What do you think?” The captain asked interrupted any further searching.
Belrus gave it some thought before finally answering. “We need to figure out who they are, we make contact with them.”
“Very well,” the captain said turning back and scheduling a way to talk with each other.
Even as the captain was doing that Belrus continued looking though the old archives for any reports about this world and the humans here. Surely someone had seen them, or studied them and gave a report.
Finally he found an obscure article by the Kradicians, a race who went extinct about fifty years ago. They had been through this area almost three hundred years ago and studied the system which they described as unworthy of further study.
He looked though the report, seeing that the scouts described the planet as hostile despite supporting life. Many animals on the planet were dangerous to life. It seemed most animals on the planet were able to attack and many ate other animals.
Those words chilled Belrus a bit. Eating another living thing seemed barbaric.
As he thought that he ran across the description of the highest living form on the planet:
The ‘intelligent’ race of the planet is barely more than barbaric in nature. They make war with each other as easily as sentient beings breathe air. Their entire existence is centered around war, even praying to gods to help them in war.
The most disturbing part is despite their barbaric nature they adapt technology to the use of war and killing very easily.
It is the advice of this explorer that this planet is left alone as this race will surely destroy themselves long before they reach space faring technology.
The words were not what he expected to see. And it seemed the conclusion was wrong and they did make it to space faring technology. But were they helped out?
He prepared himself for the meeting and wondered what might happen next when he met with the humans.
End part 21