Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Mark looked out at the ground watching as the shuttle made its decent to the surface. In the shuttle along with him was Victoria, and Toncor as they went down to check on how things had gone.
They had secured the main city, and with new reinforcements from Earth they were heading out to the other cities to make sure they were also freed. Resistance had been lower than expected, and they had encountered a lot of other races who seemed skittish over what happened.
Toncor was already reviewing the situation on the surface. Mark was anxious to see his niece who had been such a help in all of this. Victoria was going over what needed to be done to set up a working government and see what help was needed to get the colony back up and running.
The shuttle bumped along though the atmosphere. The pilot mentioned something about a storm in their path but otherwise would be no problems. Mark waited patiently and looked out the window at the passing scenery seeing the town come up. It looked nothing like he could remember and instead had a very alien look to it all now. The buildings were not black and purple, an odd color and not at all attractive. It seemed designed to clash with the surrounding area rather than blend in. The shuttle swooped around, turned back and finally settled down on the surface with a slight jot indicating it had landed.
A few guards stepped out first which he followed and Toncor behind them. The area was full of soldiers working to construct a port. The previous port had been destroyed.
“Admiral, welcome to Sierra,” a man taller than him, with black hair, approached him.
“Thank you colonel,” Mark said to Victor. “How are things?”
“Since we’ve pushed out the last of the O’krad, very quiet,” Victor said. “We have patrols up and going, along with sweeps of the forest looking for anyone else out there.”
“We’ve come across two other groups so far, but we’ll need to sweep the entire planet to be sure, it will take time,” he said.
“And what of other alien races?” Toncor asked.
“So far we’ve encountered at least a dozen other races in the city who were slaves of the O’krad,” Victor said. “Not sure they really trust us yet.”
“You are violent, they associate such things with what they call the Dark Race, or O’krad,” Toncor said.
“What else?” Mark asked.
“They seem to build things very slowly,” Victor said. “Intelligence is already coming down to interview all of the rescued people. I think we’ll gain a lot of intel when this is over, even captured some of their tech.”
“That will probably go to intel, and Belru, he’s been quite vocal in wanting cooperation between our two groups,” Mark said. He figured it had more to do with figuring out a puzzle than anything else. In his few meetings with the alien he seemed only interested in solving such questions.
“Anything else you can tell us?” Toncor asked.
“Only that things appear calm for now,” Victor replied. “We have patrols out looking for any remaining O’krad.”
Mark was about to say something else when a cry interrupted anything else. He turned slightly to see a blonde young woman headed towards him. It took him a few seconds to recognize her, but it was his niece, Angie. Her hair had grown longer than he had ever seen it, but she appeared healthy.
“So glad to see you,” she said as she hugged him, her voice slightly muffled as her face buried into his chest.
“Its good to see you as well,” he said to her returning the hug. “I’m proud of you.”
“Really?” she asked. “After everything?”
“I never put it against you,” he replied knowing how she felt about him being in the military before all of this happened. She was almost ashamed of his career. It was an interesting mix as she liked him, just not his job. “After all, you’re my favorite niece.”
“I’m your only niece,” Angie said with a half laugh, half cry.
Mark turned slightly to the others. “Angie, this is Toncor.”
“Hello, I’ve heard much of you,” Toncor said, extending his hand, which she took.
“So, how did you survive the attack?” Mark asked.
He listened as she described that night and what happened. Coming home from work, seeing Jack and then the lights in the sky before finally the explosions. She was knocked out and woke up with Jack. She explained how she was scared at first over Jack, some weird pervert kidnapping her, but he never put a move on her despite liking her.
“Sounds like a gentleman,” Mark stated to her.
“He actually was,” Angie said to him before continuing.
Making contact with Mark had been the greatest surprise of all. It kept her hopeful that she might actually be rescued one day when spending nights out in the forest and a rain storm was approaching or something else and all she wanted was a warm bed and roof over her head. Then meeting the others had been a new hope as they were no longer alone.
He listened as she finished her story of the invasion and meeting up with the ground forces. After it all he was actually quite proud of her for everything she did. Despite everything the group managed to keep a level head about everything and gave them important information about the enemy.
Mark really was amazed at how much she had done, and gone through to this point. Of course they had helped out tremendously as well when it came to recapturing Sierra. Another person appeared heading towards them.
“Admiral, we have need of Toncor,” the young private said to him.
“Very well,” Mark said, watching as Toncor made his way away from them after saying goodbye to Angie.
“So, you’ve gotten to know them?” Angie asked.
“Not just him, but a few other alien species,” Mark replied to his niece.
“I see, things have really changed,” she finally said.
“And its only just begun,” Mark said to her, knowing the war was anything but solved. Until they found a way to live in peace with the O’krad things would remain in a state of war, something he hoped wouldn’t happen.
Toncor made his way down the street looking very unhuman like to him compared to what he was used to seeing. They were thinner, shorter, and more generic looking than what he saw on Earth. Like they were for a specific function and nothing else. Very rigid in structure and wondered if that was a reflection of the O’krad race itself. Beside him were several guards and a captain who was leading them. Toncor heard that there were a few other aliens who had been liberated as the humans stated, and they wanted him to help talking to them.
He had a few translators with him and hoped they might help, otherwise the main translator would have to be brought down and used to help with a translation. Toncor could only hope that their language was included in the data base they had received in their first contact. It had a lot of unused languages.
All around he noticed humans who were busy working, destroying one building to construct their own buildings.
“What god awful buildings,” one of the soldiers said beside him.
“And the colors, but intel thinks they see in shades of purple,” another one said.
Toncor thought that interesting and would explain a few things about reports of how they were dressed. To the humans the O’krads stood out in the forest and other areas. The O’krad seemed to have problems finding the humans. He himself had limited colors as well, but understood that the humans saw a very wide spectrum of what they called visible light and colors compared to other races.
“Purple, only made them stand out,” the first soldier said as they approached a large building.
“This is where they housed all of their prisoners, or slaves, whatever they called them. We’re using it as housing for now until we can communicate and figure out what to do with them, and keep them safe,” the captain said to Toncor.
“Ah, yes, Earth animals,” Toncor replied knowing some could be very dangerous to other races. He knew some were dangerous to humans, and while some were deadly to other aliens they were merely an inconvenience to humans.
Entering the building they moved to a large room which he figured was a sort of eating area. They moved to a table and the soldiers sat down, but Toncor could see the wariness on the faces of the others but many looked at him even as he scanned the crowd until he spotted a familiar form.
Making his way over to where the figure stood, many moving out of his way almost out of fear which seemed odd to him and stopped in front of the alien before handing a translator to the alien.
He watched as the alien hesitated for a second before putting it on.
“I’m Toncor, a Simian,” Toncor said to him waiting a second before continuing on. “I know your race, some of your survivors reached my homeworld and alerted us to the Dark Race, or the O’krad as they are known.”
“You are not part of them?” the alien asked.
“No,” Toncor said.
“Then who are you?”
“We left our homeworld when the O’krad attacked, and were forced to stay with another race, one called the Humans, the ones who were here. We informed them of the situation but they are unlike other races in the universe,” Toncor said to him.
“Yes, they are unusual from what we’ve learned here. They did not act like others, always defiant to the masters.”
“And they’ve defended their homeworld and liberated this planet again,” Toncor said.
“So, we now have new masters.”
“No, they don’t want you as slaves,” Toncor said.
“Then what do they want?” he asked sounding very confused about the entire situation.
“Well, their main goal was to liberate their people, you have also been liberated,” Toncor said.
“So, if I wished to leave, I could, they wouldn’t stop me?”
“Well, they probably would, but not for the reasons you think,” Toncor said.
“Then we are still slaves.”
“Actually, their environment can be very dangerous to alien races,” Toncor replied finally. “Many of their plants and animals are deadly to outsiders, that’s why they would stop you. But, there is an alternative that we can use.”
Toncor looked around seeing that a few others were listening in, most could probably only understand one side of the conversation but it was still interesting.
“And what is that?”
“They are terraforming another planet in their home system, refugees from my group and one other group are starting to create a new city for us to call home for now,” Toncor said. “We would welcome you to our city. There is one catch.”
“I thought there would be a catch, let’s hear it.”
“The catch is we support the humans in their fight against the O’krad, they are fighting so we might live free,” Toncor said watching him for a few seconds before he replied.
“All my life I was taught by my society killing was wrong, fighting was for primitives, those who didn’t understand were uncivilized,” he said, pausing and looking around. “I have learned from these humans something different, we have watched them. If they would take me, I want to learn to fight.”
That surprised Toncor, he had not been expecting to hear anything like that at all and realized the O’krad changed their outlook on life. Looking back he realized the humans had changed his as well.
“If they are fighting to regain their land, why cannot we do that for my land?”
It took a few seconds for Toncor to recover from his shock, but once he did he looked at the alien in front of him and then at some of the others who seemed to have the same expression in their faces.
“I will speak to the humans on your behalf, I do not know how they will take it, but I think they will welcome you on board,” Toncor said. “Until then, we’ll work on getting you into better quarters and head to Mars, the planet they terraformed.”
“Then we’ll look forward to working with them.”
Toncor made his way out wondering how the humans would take this. Perhaps the O’krad had done more than they thought, and it took the humans to show they could stand up to them.
End part 29