Chapter 21.1 – The recovered weapon
“How can a weapon the size of a person really defeat someone who destroyed a fleet by themselves?”
“I know. I don’t get it. Why risk going back just to fire it?”
“If it doesn’t blow up the whole ship, who knows what it’ll do, it might kill everyone in our fleet and never touch the planet.”
“Yeah, I overheard one of the technicians say they have no idea how the thing even works. They won’t have enough time to even figure out how half the thing even works by the time we get there.” The two lower ranked technicians carry on as they exit the tram at the forward weapons level. Orlen and Roark both look over at each other wondering simultaneously what they had gotten themselves into. The tram changes tracks and moves down to the sixteenth deck, as the door opens the two look forward to see Siszero standing there.
“I’ve been waiting for you Roark.” Siszero says with an unusually unhappy tone.
“I’m sorry sir I was taking care of your orders.” Roark says. Siszero stands there thinking.
“Well are they done?” Siszero asks impatiently.
“Are they ever not sir?” Roark asks sarcastically. Siszero smiles back before turning to look at Orlen.
“Hello, you are the fabled Orlen. I suspect Roark here would be very unhappy if you hadn’t made it onto that duty for the earth survey. Your prowess in traditional combat settings put you above the rest in your class. I would likely have had to choose between you or Roark to be taken as my Adjunct. That is if you even remember who I am?” Siszero says angling his face down to stare up at Orlen.
“Sir, I don’t think anyone could not know who you are. You give me too much honor.”
“Nonsense, though I do have a gift to give you. Roark may have to see to it, I have unfortunately started the rite of passage and only have so much time to get everything in order for Roark to take over.” Siszero replies, the comment is a bit unsettling to Orlen. Siszero looks back and forth between Orlen and Roark before continuing. “This is your stop right? Why are you still in the tram?” Orlen turns to Roark and salutes him ceding to the higher ranked officer to exit first. Roark sighs a bit saluting Orlen before stepping out of the tram with Orlen quickly behind. Siszero leads the group to the secondary command room which had been activated for other higher ranked military staff important enough to watch from. The room was empty giving the illusion that the three could talk.
“So what do you think of the weapon, having seen it?” Siszero asks standing at a railing behind the captain’s chair.
“A lot was going on at the time, but the only thing I can really recall feeling was a sense of danger.” Orlen answers. Roark keeps his mouth shut knowing that the General had asked Orlen specifically.
“And what now?” Siszero asks.
“I am troubled by the chatter I have heard from the other crew members. Having seen the weapon once on its firing platform I am still filled with a sense of danger and terrible unease.” Orlen responds.
“Ah, the unknown of something built over 300 cycles ago.” Siszero says. He goes to continue but stops as the speaker in the room comes on. The audio is duplicated from the bridge to the room for any others. Siszero knows that the communication would be broadcast in as close to real time as possible to the command center of the primary Fleet base which would have a few General’s there talking with the Supreme Commander.
“Move the fleet out from the fifth planet and to the attack coordinates.” General Aldorin orders. Orlen looks around at the room as it gets brighter from the video display at the front lights up from the systems sun in the distance. Railings line much of the room giving it an odd and eerie appearance.
“It seems we’re the only other ones?” Roark says looking around.
“The rest are likely with General Aldorin on the bridge.” Siszero replies.
“I have heard he took quite a liking to you after what happened.” Roark says not paying any attention to Orlen.
“Yes, he understood first hand how badly that event went and what it means. I don’t really have to censor this, so I might as well say it: Aldorin will never respond to a summons like that again for sure.” Siszero says.
“Censor yourself?” Orlen asks watching the asteroid belt and a red planet go by in the distance.
“A few events happened that has put me at the top of a list of people the Supreme Commander would love to take all of their secrets from, being only one of a few who has a solid line of succession.”
“Yes, I was only out of training for a cycle when the General war ended. I grew up hearing stories. Despite both my parents being Eiris, they served under General Nyushe and were devastated when he disappeared leaving the spot to um.”
“Him.” Siszero cuts off Orlen. The blue planet grows large.
“Sensors shows that some sort of ritual is taking place and that the two targets, along with a third unknown target are heavily preoccupied.” The tactical officer on the bridge comes through the speaker.
“Is the weapon charged?” Aldorin asks.
“Yes General!” The tactical officer replies. Aldorin’s sigh is audible through the speaker. Roark and Orlen stand behind Siszero their arms clenched behind their backs in tense mystery.
“Fire!” Aldorin orders. Siszero clenches the railing in front of him. A dull orange glow emits from the front of the ship displaying on the top of the video display at the front of the room. A second later a dull orange beam fires out of the front specialty bay. In that second the crew stands on edge, everyone frozen in expectations. Their eyes going wide in disbelief as the golden glow illuminates every video display on the ship as the entire fleet watches the planet wide royal shield spin slowly stopping the beam from hitting the planet. Siszero looks back at Roark both giving each other a look of disappointment.
“128% gate use!” The tactical officer yells startling Orlen. The beam from the weapon ends causing lights on the ship to dim briefly from the end of the power strain.
“That’s not possible, how can someone like that exist?” Orlen asks. The royal shield around the planet ends. The screen in both of the command decks displays new sensor data of the planet surface showing nothing affecting the planet, however extreme damage is displayed around the site of the ritual the three targets were at.
“There is no way to know now. Even if we had a chance, it is gone with our attack.” Siszero replies.
“Recharged in 1.2 micro-cycles!” The tactical officer yells.
“Will he be able to do that again?” Roark asks.
“Look at the damage at the site. Even if capable I doubt he will. Look at that, he’s already massing energy.” Siszero says pointing to the image of the ritual site.
“That’s a lot of energy.” Roark says
“It’s a shield, but he doesn’t know why that won’t work.” Orlen says looking on. Roark and Siszero look back at Orlen.
“How do you know that?” Roark asks.
“It’s just something I feel, it’s exactly like when I was on Sear, I just knew.” Orlen explains but is cut off.
“Be quiet for now.” Siszero says returning his gaze to the front. Orlen is a bit hurt but something in the General’s voice says he said it for Orlen’s own good.
“Charge complete.” The tactical officer comes through again.
“Fire!” Aldorin orders. The top of the screen becomes a haze as the dull orange glow blots out the planet. The device finally prepared unleashes the dull orange beam at the planet. The beam hits another shield but the type is different. The mass of the beam hits it and stops but a haze of orange energy is dispersed into the planet. The haze quickly makes it through the atmosphere melding with the clouds, ensuring it would affect the whole planet.
“Retreat past the planet’s moon!” Aldorin orders happy anything had occurred. Ship data on the video screen shows the fleet moving in unison towards the opposite side of the moon in hopes to avoid retaliation while military command comes to consensus on how to move forward from this obvious failure. Orlen looks over at the face of surprise on Siszero. It seemed to Orlen that the great tactician Siszero hadn’t expected that. He looks up to see a magnification of the human boy on the screen, his own face show equal measure’s confusion and surprise matching Siszero’s. Before the image goes blank it shows the boy spinning around to something calling him.
Chapter 21.2 – of allies and hatred.
Ryan and Jason meticulously setup the sphere for the ritual now sitting waiting for Amelia and Sophia to arrive. Ryan looks back up at the night sky.
“You keep doing that.” Ryan says standing at the other side of the circle.
“I feel something. It was very far away but also close by. It doesn’t make sense. The feeling is something I hadn’t felt before coming back. However I feel like I should know what that feeling is.” Jason answers.
“Is it unpleasant?” Ryan asks. Jason looks at Ryan, his face contorted in thought.
“A bit, but also I feel like I should know what it is. Almost like the thought is just there, a primal feeling, like my body always knew what it was.” Jason responds making Ryan contort his face wondering how to take such a statement.
“It’s far away but also nearby?”
“Getting closer actually.” Jason replies. This causes both to look up at the sky but they aren’t given any time to ponder it as the two feel Amelia arriving quickly.
“Phew!” Amelia yells coming to a stop as her teleportation kicks up a huge gust of snow sending it into the meticulous circle that Ryan and Jason had cleared out.
“Gah! Pick me up!” Sophia exclaims as she lays in a bank of snow her feet kicking into the air. The three laughs, but Amelia stops quickly and pulls her out of the snow. Sophia’s face was bright red partially with anger, partially embarrassment. She looks around for a split second before continuing. “Never again!” Ryan and Jason try to hide their smiles at the statement knowing what would have to happen to get the woman into the center of the sphere. Sophia looks at the two letting her embarrassment slide away to just pure anger.
“What are those two dumb faces for huh?” Sophia yells at the two. The two bust out laughing.
“Nice to meet you again, Sophia.”
“Again my ass, I just met you even if the whole time traveling bullshit she said is true, according to my memory I never met you, so hello, for the first time.”
“It’s nice to know your demeanor is still the same, even if I wouldn’t have met you for another five years.” Jason replies.
“So in five years we were supposed to all meet huh?” Sophia asks.
“You don’t meet Ryan for another 15.” Jason says pointing to Ryan as he waves at her.
“You ok?” Amelia asks looking at Jason.
“Something out in space is bothering me. I feel like we should get Sophia done as soon as possible.” Jason replies as Amelia comes to stand in front of him.
“I hate to say it, but I had to travel a considerable distance for this, I am exhausted.” Amelia points out.
“I know, just get her in the center.” Jason replies.
“Nu uh, I can walk.” Sophia says trying to trudge through the snow towards the mostly clean ritual circle.
“No you can’t.” Amelia responds with a smile, teleporting behind Sophia. She grabs her before teleporting above the middle of the circle. She lets go of Sophia planting several small orbs of air. As Sophia falls down Amelia looks down winking at her with a smile.
“What the!” Sophia exclaims as she closes her eyes and waits for the drop but a moment later she stands cringing on the ground, barely noticing how lightly she was set down. She mouths out ‘ok’ after opening her eyes and looking around.
“Should we move them?” Amelia whispers to Jason referencing a family which was watching the group from a tree line some 100 feet away.
“No it’s fine. I can feel others coming too, we’ve attracted too much attention here. After this we’ll have to move spots if we want to bring on a fifth.” Jason replies. Amelia nods and moves to a side between Jason and Ryan. Jason nods to Ryan and gives out orders. “Ok Ryan just like we went through, nice and easy.” The two begin to pour in raw energy waves into the bubble as Amelia goes over instructions to Sophia. White orb manipulation goes quicker with Sophia as she’s able to manipulate the gate far easier then Jason expected.
While the ritual seemed to be moving well the unpleasant feeling nagged at Jason greatly as it seemed to draw closer to earth. As Sophia finishes with the blue orbs Jason darts his head up to the sky realizing the feeling was almost on top of earth. The feeling had been just minor unpleasantness but now even Amelia, Ryan, and Sophia stare up at the sky as the energy masses. Instinctively Jason pushes his gate open generating the royal shield around the planet in an instant. The orange beam hits the shielding reverberating like a shock wave through Jason’s body. His interaction with the shield around Sophia becomes highly unstable. With the circle still containing a lot of primal energy Jason couldn’t’ risk letting the sphere crumble and exposing the now multiple groups of other humans running to watch them.
“Amelia, take over!” Jason yells. Amelia frantically teleports to Jason’s side shoving her hands into the field, but the beam that was hitting Jason’s royal shield was creating massive fluctuations in the output of his energy waves in the sphere making him dump a large amount in before he is able to cut it off and pull his hand out. The large amount causes Sophia to pull her gate all the way from 25% up to 60% bypassing the green and red stage.
“Ah!” Amelia yells instinctively as she pushes her gate open to 100% to try and keep the bubble stable but she was already severely strained and the ritual normally required four to eight people to do it properly and was really only possible with two because of Jason’s vast power. The bubble cracks from the massive amount of energy Sophia unleashes as she tries to gain control. Amelia dodges as a massive lightning arc cuts through the shielding along with a gigantic gust of primal energy at the six individuals that had come out first to watch them. The lightning bolt hits the tree the group is huddled around sending the six flying in different directions.
Sophia clamps down on the gate stopping the flux of offensive spells immediately allowing Amelia and Ryan to repair the shielding around her and absorb the rest of the primal energy waves. The orange glow of the beam disappears. Amelia and Ryan keep up the shielding around Sophia as she collapses breathing heavily.
“I never expected it to be like that.” Sophia says as she stares up.
“I assume no one does.” Ryan says. Jason drops to his knees in pain as the reverberations of energy finally stop. He begins channeling all forms of energy to him sucking nearly everything he can get. The other three watch on mesmerized by the sight of so much energy in such a small sphere. A minute passes as they look up and feeling the energy mass again. Jason activates the clear chromatic shielding.
“What a spell.” Sophia says amazed.
“You have no idea.” Ryan responds nearly breathless.
“I can feel it.” Sophia responds indignantly. Ryan looks down at Sophia to see her staring back at him.
“To see it and know the complexity of abilities like this after having tried even the most basic ones that both of them can do, it just humbles you at such a wide level.” Ryan says as the orange beam fires again. The beam hits the shield but not everything is stopped. Ryan’s mouth drops open, he looks over at Amelia and continues. “Why is some of that getting through?”
“I don’t know.” Amelia replies in shock, however Jason realized why, but he was too late to modify the shielding as the beam stops and the mist of energy descends into the clouds making it impossible to stop it from making its way to the surface of the planet.
“AH!” The woman screams at the top of her lunges as the orange mist plummets to the surface in areas where no cloud cover was. Amelia and Ryan disengage the shielding around Sophia and the four make their way to the woman screaming.
“Oh god, did I do that?” Sophia says looking at the group strewn about the area near the tree.
“It wasn’t your fault. If anything it was ours.” Amelia says putting her hand on Sophia’s shoulder as Sophia holds her hand to her mouth. The four gather around the woman as Jason kneels down and uses white energy and black energy to analyze her body for injuries.
“She is fine physically, but she opened her gate.” Jason says. The woman wails loudly as she rolls back and forth in the snow. Ryan looks around at the other five that had been with her.
“They look like her family maybe.” Ryan says looking back at Jason. Ryan continues. “They’re dead.” Jason nods. This statement aggravates the woman greatly causing her to swing her fists around in between bouts of smashing them into the ground.
“She can’t handle the sudden gate, to her with no representation in her mind it is just like a constant screaming of something that she has no idea how to handle.” Jason says.
“It’s not like that at all though.” Ryan says.
“She’s had her gate ripped open to gold level. It would almost be like being mentally torn apart and being stitched back together.” Jason says, the effect hitting the other two well, however Amelia knew what it was like to go straight to a green level and how much that hurt.
“How far into gold?” Amelia asks.