The Meeting is an event known in both Dhragolon and Eteno history. When King Rustiagon Karrel was returning to a nearby colony after being badly damaged from a skirmish with the Grox, he ran out of fuel and ended up in Eteno territory where Karrel docked with the Eteno Imperial Navy Destroyer, the Harmony, for repairs. In Dhragolon history, this marks the first encounter with a civilization in another Galactic Arm than their own, as well as one that was the most advanced compared to other species. In Eteno history, this signifies a turning point in Imperial galactic warfare.
Part 1: First ContactEdit
Admiral George Ernel sipped his warm coffee, noting its unusual richness. He sank deeper into his command chair as the stars danced around the viewscreen. He smiled lightly, and put the coffee back into the holder. An all-too familiar alarm rang across the ship.
"Ensign! What in Marana's name did we find? I swear, we must've destroyed half of the galaxy's pirates today..." Exclaimed the Admiral.
"We don't know sir, but it looks like it may be a new design for a pirate ship!" The Ensign replied hastily, not wanting to invoke the Admiral's wrath.
"Well, what are you waiting for? Send out interceptors!"
"Sir yes sir!"
The Ensign turned his chair towards a micropone and held down a button. He leaned in close.
"All hands, to battle stations. Gamma squadron, to your ships. I repeat, all hands to battle stations." He said clearly into the mic.
The Destroyer Harmony was going to battle.
First Lieutenant Jeremiah Bankley grabbed his flight helmet from the ready room, almost forgetting it, and ran towards the hangar for all he was worth. He had never been in live combat before, and he certainly didn't want to miss this opportunity. He put on his helmet and zipped up his flight jacket whilst running through the hall, almost knocking over an Electronics Officer that was carrying a stack of papers. He reached a turbolift, and rapidly pressed the button for deck B5. The door began closing, until a hand clutched the door, stopping it from closing. In walked three other pilots who were in the same squadron as the Lieutenant.
"You ain't the only Brownshoe 'round here, y'know." Colonel Chester said calmly.
"I... apologies sir. I thought that you were already in the hangar."
"Well y'know that ain't true now."
An embaressed First Lieutenant looked away sheepishly as the other Lieutenants in the turbolift snickered.
"Y'all cut that out, the boy was itching to get into battle, unlike you ladies."
The taller Lieutenant stiffened and saluted while the shorter one saluted and muttered an apology.
Lieutenant Bankley felt a little less embaressed with the spotlight being on the others, and returned his gaze to the level ticker on the wall. As if on que, the doors opened and revealed the hangar. He smiled to himself and walked out onto the catwalk where his and the short guy's fighters were berthed. He nodded to Colonel Chester and opened the canopy of his fighter. He hopped in and attached his helmet to the Oxygen tubes. He closed the canopy, and strapped himself in. He activated the fighter and did a quick pre-launch check. He then gazed to his left and saw shorty close his canopy, and beyond him, the Colonel and the taller Lieutenant activate their fighters. Jeremiah wondered why he was first, and then remembered he had forgotten a very important step in readying his ship. He
checked all of the valves in the cockpit quickly, hoping that nobody would see him doing the important step last. Confident nobody saw him, he sunk into his seat, waiting for the launch system to catapult his ship out of the hangar. After confirming he was ready with the Colonel, he stiffened and waited for the launch.
The feminine computerized voice rang through his radio seconds before he was catapulted out of the hangar. He grinned with pleasure as the adrenaline began to rush through him, as it always did when he takes off. Jeremiah moved into position with his squadronmates and headed for the medium-sized pirate ship.
As they apporached, Jeremiah began to get a strange feeling about the craft ahead. It didn't hail or fire at his squadron. Still, he had a job to do. He listened intently as the Colonel begain hailing the craft. He heard a gasp, followed by wow.
Apparently, they had just discovered a new race. Whether they were hostile or not was of no consequence in that moment, only the awe of first contact.
King Rustiagon Karrel was sitting in his Dragon Cruiser returning from a raid on Arkos Prime, a former Grox colony. He was quite low on energy and his ship was damaged from the swarms of Grox fleets. He was headed for the colony of Yanya outside the Groxlands in order to recharge. The colony was remote, away from the rest of the kingdom, but it was nonetheless the nearest destination. During the trip, his warp engine suddenly stopped working leaving him stranded amongst the vast expanse of space.
"Computer, what is going on? Why are we no longer in warpspace?"
"Our energy reserves are too low to maintain travel in warpspace, though we have enough for our Electron Engines."
"Curses! I was too careless. Are there any nearby planets?"
"Your Highness, we have detected what seems to be a relatively advanced civilization at the nearest star system."
"I have no choice but to stop by. I must thank Kray enough for allowing me to end up in such an area out of the billions of stars in this galaxy."
Karrel turned on the Electron Engines and travelled at lightspeed into the star system. As he entered, he gradually slowed down until he detected something strange on his radar. Suddenly, a ship appeared within view seeming to have dropped out of lightspeed as well. It was of a design he did not recognize.
"How puzzling. I have never seen any such ship. Computer, scan if you would please?"
"Certainly, Your Highness," the computer replied. "Analyzing...The ship does not appear in the Grand Archives."
"It must be a new species I suppose. There are plenty of stars in this galaxy that my kingdom has yet to explore."
"The ship is sending out a signal to us."
"I see. Whatever species this is must be capable of radio communication. It is strange indeed how the people of the galaxy develop the same as us."
Upon receiving the signal, an image of a rather short, yellow creature appeared on screen. The creature looked at him in awe, and began to speak to him in an alien language. The translator went to work attempting to decipher what the creature was saying to him. Finally, subtitles appeared in front of the screen with some text. It read, "What...what...are you? Are you...a pirate?"
Karrel responded, "My name is King Rustiagon Karrel, rightful ruler of the Dhragolon Kingdom and the son of King Rustiagon Reckar. I am pleased to meet another people who heard Kray's divine roar of wisdom. We are peacekeepers of the galaxy maintaining balance by eliminating those who go commit terrible acts of sin. I do not wish to sound intimidating, but what are your intentions, stranger? Do you follow the path of righteousness or the path of evil?"
Colonel Chester couldn't believe his ears. His translator was telling him that he was the ruler of some sort of empire. He quickly recollected himself and said clearly through the radio,
"I am Colonel Brandon Chester of the Eteno Imperial Navy. While I cannot speak for the Empire, I can assure you that our intentions are good. We are definetely not evil. I also cannot stress how happy I am to meet someone that doesn't want to kill us."
"That is very good." The King replied back.
"What is your purpose in this system?" Colonel Chester tried to say as polite as possible, as to avoid commiting some sort of faux pas.
"I was on my way to the colony of Yanya, until our energy reserves dipped too low to run our warp engines. My ship also took heavy damage from the Grox. My ship detected this system and your empire apparently, and I came here to recharge and repair my ship."
"The Grox? Well, thats good. At least we have a common enemy. Hold on, please."
The figure on his HUD nodded, and he then opened a secure channel to the Harmony.
"Admiral Ernel, my squadron just made contact with an alien race. Their King is on board that ship. He was pretty banged up, courtesy of the Grox, and his ship battery is low. Requesting permission for a Charlie-Delta-Niner?"
"Confirmed, Gamma Lead, he is cleared for mooring port seven, and hangar three is availible to you."
"Thank you Admiral. Gamma Lead out."
Colonel Chester reconnected with the alien ship, and nodded when he appeared on the HUD.
"King Rustiagon Karrel, you have clearence to dock with Destroyer Harmony for repair and recharging. It is with great pride that I welcome you to Eteno space. Lieutenant Bankley will guide you in to the mooring station."
"Thank you Colonel. Have your man lead the way."
First Lieutenant Bankley couldn't believe he was getting such an important job. He flew slightly closer to the alien ship, to let the pilot know that he was leading the way to the mooring station. He then openned up communication with him.
"Sir, I will be leading you to mooring station seven, please link your navigation systems to mine and I'll get you there in no time. Sending you my bandwidth now." A strange electronic noise was heard over the radio, and a binary code appeared on his screen.
"Can you link to that, sir?"
"Yes I can. Computer, link to that bandwidth please." The last part almost wasn't heard by the Lieutenant.
"Alright sir, sit back and relax."
Three Gamma Squadron fighters began flying back to the Destroyer Harmony while Lieutenant Bankley began leading the alien ship to one of the mooring points on the Harmony. The Lieutenant didn't start further conversation, as he was contemplating what he could possibly say when and if they met face to face. He was amazed he could even speak when he was giving the King his bandwidth. When he finally figured out what to say, he had arrived at the mooring point. He flew slightly past it on purpose. A metal tube extended from a spot in the hull of the Harmony, and a thinner see-through airlock also extended below it.
"Sir, this may be quite the conondrum as this system was not designed for non-Eteno ships. Line up any sort of exterior link to the ship battery with the metal pipe, and your airlock with the see-through one."
The King said nothing as his computer guided the ship into a decent position. The King was slightly surpirsed that the ship was able to attach to both of the pipes.
"I just got the results of a scan, and it seems it will take a few hours to fully charge your battery, let alone repair all of that damage. You should probably come on board, if you would like. I'm sure the Admiral would like to meet you."
The King began speaking to himself in a very quiet voice with the radio output link turned off.
"I suppose it would do a lot of good to met some higher-ranking Eteno. They may also have some nice diversions aboard that ship."
He opened up the radio output link.
"I will come on board. Thank you for your help, ahead of time."
"Anytime sir, I'll probably see you some time on the ship. Bankley out."
The Lieutenant flew into the hangar and berthed with the recovery system with stars in his eyes.
Regardless of the Eteno's hospitality, Karrel was still cautious. His sword was still sheathed as it always was and he was ready for hand to hand combat at a moment's notice. Ever since Dralla discovered the ruined civilization thousands of years ago, the Dhragolon have been cautious about meeting new races.
"Computer, would you do a quick analysis of the atmosphere composition?"
"Yes, Your Highness. Analyzing... Oxygen levels are normal. No pathogens detected."
Being reassured, Karrel opened the hatch and stepped out into the Harmony. He took a deep breath, adjusting to the air. He was much taller than the Eteno.
One of the Eteno approached him. "King Rustiagon Karrel, may I escort you to the Admiral?"
"Why certainly, yes."
After a short walk, the Admiral was waiting for him in a luxurious room. Karrel deduced that the Eteno were quite advanced, almost as much as the Dhragolon themselves. Karrel was greeted by the Admiral. "Welcome aboard the Harmony. I am Admiral George Ernel. It is an honor to meet you."
"Pleased to meet you as well, Admiral." Karrel quickly raised his right arm, bringing his hand to his left shoulder; the official Dhragolon salute. "I must say. Your technology is quite advanced compared to ours."
"Thank you. So, King Rustiagon Karrel-"
Karrel politely interrupted, "Please. You can call me Karrel for short."
"My apologies. Anyway, Karrel, would you care for some coffee?"
"Coffee, what's that?"
"It's a drink created to warm you up and get you working."
Rather than going through the effort of explaining why Dhragolon cannot consume levo-protein foods, he simply said, "Oh no thank you. I'm fine." A butler brought a single cup of coffee for the Admiral.
The Admiral asked, "So, could you tell us about your kind?"
Karrel began, "Ah yes. We Dhragolon have been in space for about 7,000 years. The first city Yallvus which still stands today was built 17,000 years ago. Before then, we had no writing system so hardly anything is known of the times prior to the founding of Yallvus. We do know that we were once two separate species who lived in harmony until a flood covered the whole world. The second species, the Rimor, were wiped out, but we Dhragolon were able to settle on the highlands. One of these areas is where Yallvus was built. The flood also cooled the planet's core resulting in the stability of tectonic activity."
"Wow! That's quite a long time ago!"
"For us, not so much. We live up to 500 years and we age very slowly."
"May I ask how old you are?"
"I'm only 102; I have yet to reach adulthood. You may ask why I'm so young? I took over about 20 years ago when my father was killed by those blighted Grox."
"Oh my. I'm sorry for your loss."
"It's alright. I will have vengeance. My ship, the Dragon Cruiser, is the most advanced ship we have. Although it's small, it is as powerful as an entire fleet. However, only a king is worthy enough to pilot it."
"Amazing!" the Admiral exclaimed.
Karrel continued to recount his tale of vengeance and his ultimate goal to wipe the Grox from the face of the Galaxy.
The Admiral was awed, "Wow! That's quite a story."
Karrel said, "I would like to know more about your people. How did you get tangled up with the Grox as well? How did you come to be the advanced empire that you are now?"
"Well, thats quite a story Karrel. A lot of wars and even more patriotism."
The Admiral smiled slightly, and took a sip of coffee.
"Although our scientists can trace our "Theorized Social Structure" during our species years of primitive tribal existence, its pretty boring and there is no solid history there, so I'll just start with where we first began to create true cities."
"Sounds good to me."
"The very first city that was founded was actually just a huge trading post for all of the seperate tribes. Our most advanced weapons were spears at the time. Over a period of several years, that post evolved into a large and powerful state, which taxed a bit of food and gold for each transaction. All the other tribes woke up to the fact that cities are probably better than a group of huts made out of animal skins. So a whole bunch of groups followed the example and we had a whole bunch of city states."'
As the Admiral stopped to take a sip of coffee, Karrel spoke up.
"So I'm guessing that the city states began warring over territory and resources, right?"
"Hit that one right on the money. Incredible technological advances over a somewhat-peaceful period of 400 not only improved life, but military technology. This increased aggression exponentially. The whole world of Malisk II was thrown into chaos. But one special city, Eteno City, as it is now known, was the home of an incredible general and leader, known as Jonathan Keplat. He led the armies of Eteno City to countless victories against the other cities."
"He must've been an incredible military leader."
"He truly was. Every graduate of every military academy takes a course on him and his exploits."
"Indeed. Anyway, he swept across the globe, gobbling up the warring states. Until one thing changed our warfare forever. A scientist in Eteno City, Vladimir Toreo, along with other engineers created a prototype aircraft. It was originally designed to be a military scout for General Keplat's armies, but their was infinite potential in the man's radical new invention. I don't need to elaborate on flight, for obvious reasons. Anyway, the invention of flight doubled the speed of which General Keplat swept across the globe, until finally, the last city fell to his genius."
"How long was the war and how many died?"
"The war only lasted six years, and surprisingly, only a few hundred-thousand were killed. The fantastic thing about Keplat's strategies was that they almost always focused on capturing the infrastructure, be it military or civilian, instead of right-out destroying them. This means his army grew stronger after every victory."
"He sounds like a god among men."
Admiral Ernel chuckled and took another sip of his coffee.
"Some say he was an embodiment of our deity. Of course, it only seemed like that because of his godlike wisdom."
"Please continue. This is very fascinating."
"Alright. The entire globe was under the banner of the Eteno Empire, and no rebel group dared to stand against him. He instilled a great sense of pride and patriotism in his people. A lot of our national pride stems from his achievements, actually. Some of it is inderect, though. Like pride in things he had set in motion. Anyway, nothing stood in the way of research, economic, and military growth. But one sad day, October 17th to be exact, the great Jonathan Keplat passed away in his sleep."
"That must've been a very sad day for the citizens."
"Indeed it was. There was mourning all across the globe. Even those that opposed him politically joined in the mourning of the great uniter. We have a holiday on his birthday and a national day of mourning on the day of his death. But a few years before he died, he wrote a very famous book titled: Strategy and Warfare, a Strong Man's Guide to Love, War, and Life. In the book he detailed every single strategy he knew of, when and when not it worked, where it worked, and why. Some have said it was true beauty on paper. I have a very old copy in bulletproof plexiglass on the wall over there. I keep it around for decoration and use. But the most valuable thing about this copy..."
As the Admiral paused for a second, Karrel looked at him seeming very incredibly intrigued.
"Please don't leave me on a cliffhanger."
The Admiral smiled slightly and continued.
"This copy was signed by the great Jonathan Keplat the exact day before his death. It was a gift to my great-grandfather who had the incredible honor of being a lifelong friend of Jonathan Keplat. He had even included two special lines in the beginning and end of the book, in pen, for my grandfather about 900 years ago."
Karrel was unequifically fasinated by this Jonathan Keplat. He was a great hero to the Eteno it seemed. But that also meant they were very warlike. Karrel took a mental note of this.
"What were they?"
"The first one is: When the enemy is destroyed, we have failed. When he is cut off, encircled, and broken, we have succeded. The second one is: Know your enemy and know yourself, and in a hundred battles you will never be in peril."
"He sounds like a very wise man."
Admiral Ernel smiled and took a large sip of coffee.
"Well, back to the subject at hand. Our progress in technology and political science were on levels unseen anytime before. We adopted full Democracy, and discovered space flight shortly after. We looked up at the stars and basically said, "Watch out universe, here we come."
Karrel chuckled lightly.
"Well, please continue Admiral."
"We built up the Imperial Navy, purely with spacecraft, and we spread like wildfire across this sector. Systems and planets were being colonized almost daily. Inventors almost couldn't keep up with the new opportunities for quirky gadgets and very useful items. Everything was hunkey-dorey. We also maintained a very rigid and strong military, very aware of the possibility we might run into a hostile species. Eventually, easy space to expand ran out, and all that was left were resource-poor inhospitable planets, many of which were turned into huge fortresses, military bases, academies, and command centers by the military after we were sure no civilian settlement would ever pop up there. During the period that we expanded, we met a lot of friendly species, and even more nasty and annoying ones."
Admiral Ernel took a deep breath.
"This usually doesn't sound impressive to species' that we meet, but we're proud of what I am about to tell you."
Karrel mentally prepared himself and nodded, signaling him to go on.
"Our top military strategists, one of which being a direct descendant of Jonathan Keplat, formulated Operation Sparrow. The plan was to launch lightning invasions into the annoying, evil, and unjust empires."
Karrel nodded slowly.
"The operation was a wild success. Our soldiers were better trained and equipped than our enemies, and had much higher morale. Our ships were better and our sailors had hearts of iron. We swept over our targets in a matter of days. Morale and confidence in the military swelled to unimaginable heights. The military was given the go-ahead to double the size of the operation and grab even more territory. Everything was going great, until a race called the Grox noticed us."
Karrel's face darkened.
"Was it a massacre?"
"Almost. Our brave troops fought them off, but with huge casualties. There was a draft, and a whole empire of manufacturing corporations sprang up, offering over a hundred thousand different contracts for weapons, vehicles, and starships. We finally found a true enemy. They seem to have bigger fish to fry elsewhere it seems, and we are doing a good job holding the line at Omicron-19."
"Where is that?"
"A relatively unimportant, habitable planet. Except for the fact that it is a major chokepoint. It is the only passageway into our sector from Grox territory. The Grox have greater technology and numbers, but we have much better morale and higher-quality soldiers. But the war may just turn upside-down now that we know that there is a far-more technologically advanced empire out there actively warring with the Grox as well."
"Interesting. You seem to have more than enough will to fight off these despicable creatures."
"Thank you. Now I have one important question."
Karrel leaned in slightly, listening intently.
"What do you think of us a species and an empire. Please be honest, this information is invaluable. I also just want your personal opinion, because I think it would be very interesting to hear."
Karrel cleared his throat politely.
"I must say. Your people have advanced quickly. In a few decades, you may even catch up to us. Although we are on par with the Grox technologically, we Dhragolon are still alone in the Grox Wars. Fortunately, it seems that your race is capable enough to put up a good fight. Szathgolon. That's what we Dhragolon would call you. It means wise, warrior people in our language. What also intrigues me is that your species also exihibits the characteristics of the Chosen race."
"Chosen race? What's that?"
"In our people's history, a prophecy was written stating that after countless years of crusades, only two intelligent species will remain in the galaxy. Ours and the Chosen race. The Dhragolon will depart from the galaxy leaving the Chosen as the peacekeeper for future races to come. However, not all Dhragolon agree with this. I'm among those who don't. There must be more than one Chosen race out there."
"Amazing!" the Admiral said.
Suddenly, the alarms wailed. "Admiral! Grox ships have been spotted in our system!" said an Ensign on deck.
The Admiral said to Karrel, "This is terrible! Your ship is still not fixed. I apologize for getting you into this."
"That's alright. Part of the rite of passage to become a king is to master both aerial and hand to hand combat. I will be just fine."
Meanwhile, the Harmony began to fire back as the Grox fleets approached. However, there was too many of them. The Grox blew open a small hole on the starboard side of the ship and they invaded the Destroyer from the inside.
A computerized voice spoke, "Warning! The Grox have boarded. All non-combat personel return to your quarters.
The Admiral said, "Are you ready for this?"
The two of them hurried to the starboard side of the ship preparing to face off the Grox army. Many Eteno marines had their blasters ready, while Karrel drew out his sword which glowed with energy. Then, the battle began. While the Eteno and the Grox fired lasers at each other, Karrel dashed into the battlefield with supernatural speed hacking away at the Grox effortlessly. Karrel did a few leaps into the air, diving down and stabbing Grox from their heads. After only a few minutes, the battle was over. The Harmony destroyed the last Grox ship and the Grox commandos were dead. Karrel twirled his sword and put it back in his sheathe. The Eteno stared in awe at the power of a single Dhragolon.
One of the soldiers said, "Amazing! Imagine an entire army of Dhragolon."
Another said, "He didn't even use any guns."
Karrel replied, "Well, I'm amazed myself that so few of you can take on an entire army. You managed to defeat this army of Grox without a single casualty."
Lietenant Bankley approached Karrel in absolute awe and delight to see a figure with almost godly power.
"Sir, I cannot stress enough how honored I am to have spoken to such a warrior. You have our undying respect on the field of battle. We will never forget what you did today." Lieutenant Bankley said with great pride in his voice.
"Thank you very much. I'm glad to have the respect of such a resiliant species."
"Sir, my name is Jeremiah Bankley, I brought your ship in. It is an honor to meet you."
"Ah, so that was you. It is very good to meet you as well."
"Thank you sir."
Lieutenant Bankley bowed slightly.
"If you will excuse me sir, I have to run a salvage patrol to see if we can scrounge up any sensitive Grox information."
"Alright Mr. Bankley, I'll see you around sometime probably."
Lieutenant Bankley nodded and walked off towards the hangar bay.
The Admiral approached Karrel.
"Karrel, we took minimal damage to the hull, but a stray shot severly damaged the coolant systems for the reactor. We're gonna have to head to the dockyards of Station 6 around Malisk II for repairs."
"I see. What of my ship?"
"It can be repaired and recharged there. We cannot repair it in our condition, as all availible power must be directed towards the engines if we want to even move."
"Alright Admiral, how long until we get there?"
"Only an hour or so."
"That doesn't sound too bad. What should we do until then?"
"We could discuss a possible military alliance against the Grox."
"That sounds alright. I have to thank you for your hospitality."
"Not a problem, Karrel. Its very rare to meet someone that doesn't want us extinct."
Karrel chuckled slightly at the joke, and began to ask a question.
"Is it alright if at some point I meet with your nation's leader?"
"Of course. I am sure that the Supreme Commander would be ecstatic to meet you."
"Good! It will be very interesting to meet your leader."
"Once we get to Station 6, we'll take a VIP shuttle off of the station and down to Malisk II. Once we get there, we can get a limo from Field Marhsall Granger to get to the palace. He's in charge of palace security right now. General Jackson is out conferring with the commnders on Omicron-19."
"Very well. For now, shall we discuss that alliance?"
Karrel and George began walking back to the room they originally were talking in. They walked by a few welding teams, and finally arrived at the VIP room. They both sat down where they had before.
"Alright, you could probably work out the specifics with the Supreme Commander on Malisk II. We should probably discuss how we'll coordinate our military strikes now."
"Alright, do you have any specific ideas?"
"One. We could send out our reservists to bolster our line at Omicron-19 and make a push into actual Grox territory while you make a push where your line is. The Grox will have to split their military between two receeding lines. Once our fleets meet up, we move towards the galactic core and smash their inner line of defenses. That would prevent Grox troops from reinforcing weakened lines elsewhere, and allow Eteno allies to break through at the Zordi sector. The Grox lines would collapse, and we'd be able to move reinforcements in to help invade the Grox core worlds."
"That sounds like a very sound plan."
"Ok. Any suggestions?"
"Yes, I do have one suggestion. One of our greatest technological advances is the Telepathic Amplifier. Only we Dhragolon can use it, but it allows us to instantly contact any Dhragolon colony from anywhere in the universe. This should be a major advantage as we can relay information much faster. The colony of Yanya should be close enough to your territory for us to pass information from other parts of my kingdom."
"That's incredible. Being able to pass information over countless parsecs in an instant," said the Admiral.
"Indeed. Also, we have a small outpost at the Galactic Core in the Cledrosia system known as Raycaon. Though it is not militarily strong, it can serve as a major advantage if we manage to arm it. It can serve as a waypoint for both of our forces; I will allow you to set up your own base of operations on Alpha - the largest of Raycaon's moons."
"Excellent. We shall see what we can do."
The Harmony soon started to move and after a short trip, they arrived at Malisk II. After Karrel and the Lietenant boarded a VIP Shuttle, they were soon on the surface. Karrel noted that the gravity was slightly higher than it was on Ucharpli. There was also slightly more oxygen so he felt energized. The architecture of the buildings was quite different as well. It seemed much more modern compared to the old structures that continued to stand at the cities back at home. Field Marshall Granger was waiting for them.
"Whoah! What is that tall, blue thing?" Granger said.
The Admiral scolded, "Show some respect if you would. This is our new friend, King Rustiagon Karrel of the Dhragolon Kingdom."
"I'm so sorry, Your Highness. I didn't realize that-"
Karrel said, "No need to worry."
Granger said, "Ah yes, I have a limo for the two of you if I recall." He led them both to a vehicle that was quite long. Karrel was much taller than the car itself. "Um...are you sure that you can fit in this?"
"So this is a limo? I'm sure I can."
Granger got into the front seat while George sat in the passenger seat. Karrel tried to open the door, but accidentally broke it off.
Karrel said, "I apologize. I did not realize this was delicate."
"Don't worry about it. We've got enough Sporebucks for that." Granger said. Karrel climbed inside. He had to get on his knees to fit inside. The limo sped off taking them to the palace building and soon arrived. As Granger and George escorted Karrel to the Supreme Commander, all other Eteno passing by were awed at the site. Soon they arrived and saw the Supreme Commander.
"Ah, so you must be the visitor? My name is Supreme Commander Vole Monore."
Karrel saluted him. "I am King Rustiagon Karrel of the Dhragolon Kingdom."
"Ah yes, the Admiral informed of the events on the Harmony. I see you have come to consider an alliance."
"Yes. As the ruler of the Dhragolon, I can rightfully say that your people are one's of good heart. You are among the most technologically advanced races that we have discovered and are worthy of being an ally in our fight against the Grox. So what will it be? Will you join us?"
The Supreme Commander nodded at the Granger and Ernel, who then unsheathed their ceremonial curved swords and dropped to a knee.
"I, Supreme Commander Vole Monore, recognize your valiant actions aboard the Harmony and politeness to Vice Admiral Second Class Ernel's sailors. I hereby accept your offer of an alliance, and will re-direct Sector Attack Group East to assist your military wherever they are needed, if the Council of Admirals approves it."
"Thank you, Supreme Commander Monore. Together, we will surely destroy the Grox."
"Most indeed, King Rustiagon Karrel."
"Please, call me Karrel."
"Very well. In that case, I insist you call me Vole."
"Of course, Vole."
"Admiral, you are hereby promoted to High Admiral for your valiant actions aboard the Harmony and in the Zyrtis Cluster. Congratulations, and enjoy your two days of leave, because you will be in charge of the fleet pushing the line at Omicron-19."
High Admiral Ernel bowed even deeper.
"I am honored to be promoted by your greatness. I will push the line, sir."
"Very good. Field Marhsall, you'll be working with High General Jackson and Lieutenant General Gutarov. You will also have two days of leave."
Granger also bowed deeper.
"As you will, sir."
Karrel was very impressed by how Granger and Ernel respected Vole.
"Your men respect you greatly. It is very impressive."
"Thank you, Karrel. Granger, Ernel, you are dismissed."
The Field Marshall and the High Admiral sheathed their swords, bowed once more, and exited the Imperial Palace.
"Karrel, I shall be leaving in two days with them for the front. I will be with my men as the tides turn, I want to be with them during this significant event."
"That is very admirable. Many leaders would stay at their palaces to avoid the risk of being hurt or killed."
"It is very dishonorable, how so many would do that."
"Indeed it is."
Vole rose from his desk, and began walking towards Karrel.
"There will be fancy papers and documents to 'officially' ratify our alliance, but I think that for right now, a good handshake will be enough."
Vole extended his hand, and Karrel grasped it firmly. They shook once or twice, and then let go.
"Before you arrived, I planned a military parade for you in your honor."
"Are you serious? You really shouldn't have."
"But I did. Let us step outside, I believe it is starting."
Vole smiled lightly and patted Karrel on the shoulder, which was as high as he could reach. They stepped outside and saw that the street was full of columns of marching soldiers, tanks, APCs, walkers, artillery trucks, and even more soldiers.
"This is amazing! You planned this for me?!" Karrel looked flabbergasted.
"Yes, sir. In your honor. You have the respect of us all as a warrior. Your arrival was also an excuse to bring out some of our newer walkers. Thats always fun to watch."
About ten seconds after he finished his sentence, four huge walkers lumbered down the street, right behind three standard bearers. Karrel noticed that there were no viewports or canopies.
"Are those beasts piloted?"
"But how? How does the pilot see out of the walker?"
Karrel was confused about this walker, and had a quizzical look on his face. Vole smiled fully for the first time.
"Its very interesting how that walker's piloting system works. You see, the pilot literally infuses his conscience into the AI of the walker, making the pilot literally be the walker. While the pilot's body is encased in the armor, his mind's new temporary body is the walker. The walker's arms are his own, the legs are his own... you get the point. The weapon systems are also very deadly."
"Amazing! That is just amazing!"
"There is one slight drawback to the system. Even for a well-trained pilot, being in one of those suits for longer than 24 hours or so, is deadly. While the self-aware AI of the robot has the safety of the pilot as its first priority, the system of linking pilot and AI has a very detrimental effect. The AI will take over the pilot's body and sentience, if given enough time."
"That sounds terrible. Has it ever happened?"
"I thank Marana every day that it has only happened once. I pray that it never happens again."
"Me as well. By the way, is Marana your deity? I have heard the name several times today."
"Yes, Marana the Almighty Merciful."
"I see. Intersting."
As the last of the marines and soldiers passed by, Vole again turned to Karrel.
"Do you have any plans? The Eteno assault begins in two days, so you could go back home once your ship is repaired, or stay here and see what Malisk II has to offer, or check in with your kingdom and then come back. Just a few ideas though."
"They all seem pretty good."
"Alright, what'll you do?"
Karrel said, "It is best that I inform the rest of my kingdom of these events. I shall hold a Council Meeting using my Telepathic Amplifier. In order to do this, I must be able to completely concentrate so I need to go to some place quiet."
Vole said, "Ah yes, we have a small courtyard nearby. Is that suitable enough?"
"Yes, it is."
"Granger, would you escort Karrel to the courtyard?"
Granger said, "Right away, sir!" He led Karrel to the courtyard. It was very peaceful and quiet with only the sounds of nature.
"Yes, this is perfect," Karrel said.
"Alright, do your thing."
Karrel grasped the Telepathic Amplifier and closed his eyes. Then images of the ancient Castle Hall appeared. By coincidence, a Council meeting was already going on.
The Peacekeeper counsellor, Yuris Prelite, seemed to be worried, "We have not heard from Karrel since his assault on Arkos Prime! He could be dead!"
Tangas Reputo intervened, "We cannot say for sure!"
Karrel soon entered the conversation, "Hello? Counsellors! Can you hear me?"
Ralvath Faber heard Karrel's voice, "Karrel, is that you?"
"It's Karrel!" said Uripat Mundus. "Your Highness, where have you been?"
Karrel replied, "My apologies, I was unable to talk to you. You see, after I got back from Arkos Prime, my ship was seriously damaged. It could not use warp, so I ended up in this remote star system of a species quite advanced. They call themselves the Eteno."
Toragon Opera said, "You met a new species?! What are they like?"
"They are a kind folk. I can assure you they are on our side. They have good morales much like us. I was taken aboard one of their Destroyers and begun repairing my ship!"
Yuris intervened again, "How could you let a species so primitive handle the Dragon Cruiser without your supervision?!"
Karrel said, "Yuris, relax. I sensed nothing evil about them. They see the Grox in the same way we do. Anyway, some Grox fleets invaded and I was quite surprised at the Eteno's ability to hold them off. I essentially proved myself to them and we considered an alliance."
Yuris said, "You made an alliance with them after only a few hours?! What sort of king are you?! How could you possibly trust a species so foreign!"
Quallis Pondera intervened, "Yuris, you must trust our king! Respect his decision!"
Toragon asked, "What planet is that you are on?"
Karrel said, "This is planet is known to the Eteno as Malisk II. It is close to the colony of Yanya."
Yuris once again said, "You are not wearing any protective armor! How could you be so certain that there are no pathogens on that planet!"
Quallis intervened again, "Yuris, you are too untrusting! Calm down!"
Karrel said, "Listen, we must mobilize all of our fleets at the edge of the Groxlands. The Eteno are planning to invade the Grox. This would be a perfect oppurtunity to strike back with a new ally on our side."
"That sounds like a good plan," Toragon said.
Yuris said, "I'm still a bit suspicious on your decisions, but I will have to go with this."
Suddenly, a dark power passed through the entire Council's heads. Yuris asked, "What was that? I feel something very evil passing by!"
Toragon said, "Karrel are you alright!"
"I'm losing focus. This dark presence is overwhelming me. I can't hold much longer," Karrel said.
Soon enough, what Karrel saw faded to black. He heard a deep, menacing voice in his head. It sounded familiar, but he could not put his finger on it. "Karrel...you should not trust strangers!" Karrel suddenly opened his eyes.
"Karrel, are you okay? You were shivering uncontrollably!" Granger said.
"It's...it's nothing," Karrel said.
"Are you sure? I got a chill down my spine from just watching you."
That moment, Karrel realized something. Granger must have unknowlingly felt the dark presence. Deciding to hide it, Karrel said, "Don't worry. The Dhragolon Council was fine with my decision." However, in the back of his mind, Karrel knew something. There was someone amongst the Eteno who did not have the motives of the rest of them. Whether or not it was actually an Eteno he did not know. There was a traitor on Malisk II.
Karrel decided to stay on Malisk II for a little longer before the assault.
Vole was talking with a Command General about the specifics of moving troops to assist Dhragolon assaults if needed, until he noticed Granger and Karrel enter the room. He dismissed the Command General.
"How was the meeting, Karrel?"
"It went very well. The council approves of the alliance."
"Excellent. Will you be staying here or leaving?"
"I will stay here for a little longer. I'd very much like to see everything."
"That is fantastic!"
Karrel smiled, and checked his chrono.
"Dhragolon usually have supper at this time of day. Is that the same for Eteno?"
"Uhuh. What are you in the mood for?"
"Well, I'm not entirely sure I can eat your food seeing as we are dextro-amino acid based."
"That's okay. We were totally prepared for this. We have a machine that converts our food's amino acid composition into whatever it is safe for to be consumed by other species."
"Wow! Not even we have such technology. Anyway, I would like to try something along the lines of that dish you call pasta."
Vole smiled and nodded. He then looked at Granger.
"Granger, you remember that one great Vernussian restaurant in lower town, right? The Dancing Freital?"
"Yes sir. Went there just last week."
"Good. Karrel, does that sound alright to you?"
"It does, but I'm afraid I don't know what Vernussian is."
"Ah, my bad. Vernuss is a planet two systems away. Their cooking focuses on spices and small ingredients to make a very diverse dish. You really never get the same experience each time, but its always good."
"That sounds delicious!"
"I guess that's where we'll be going."
"And one last thing, put this on. The press will be all over us unless we wear some sort of disguise."
A palace servant handed all three of them greyish jackets and an armpad with a strange character written on it.
"The ID cards of three fictional dock workers that were invented for this purpose. You can still use regular names, as people probably won't notice." The servant spoke.
Everyone then put on their jackets and armpads. Whilst doing so, Granger winked a code at Vole.
"Karrel, please go ahead. There is a hover-pickup waiting for us outside. I have to sign one last document and I'll be right out."
"Alright, Vole. See you in a minute."
After Karrel walked out, Vole turned to Granger.
"What is it that is so important?"
"When he was having his meeting, I was geeting some weird vibes. He said everything was fine, but I really doubt thats true. Just to be safe, we should probably assign some Deeps and Keepers on him. Stealthed of course, in case anything happens."
"Alright Field Marshall, make it happen. And thank you."
Granger nodded and signaled a squad of special forces on a communicator. They walked out to the truck, and Vole got in next to Karrel. Granger mentioned that it would be best to use a larger vehicle so Karrel would be a little less uncomfortable, and he also volunteered to drive to keep up appearances. Granger started up the engine, and began driving towards lower town.
"Wait... we take a left at Benny Avenue, right?" Granger asked.
"I think we go forward another two streets and then take a left." Vole answered.
"Oh yeah, Benny goes on for a few blocks and hits a dead end."
A few minutes later, the hover-truck turned left into a parking lot.
"Here we are. Il Ballo dei Freital. Otherwise known as the Dancing Freital." Granger added.
"No need to impress us with your knowledge of dialects, Field Marshall."
"Yes sir." Granger chuckled.
Vole just grinned.
As they got out, Karrel took note of something.
"Mr. Granger, you seem to be pretty casual with your Supreme Commander. How come?"
"We went to school together, Mr. Karrel."
"For a few years. I was three grades ahead of you, Granger!" Vole added.
Granger shrugged, and the three of them walked inside the restaurant, Karrel unknowing of the multiple stealthed figures following close behind.
When they walked in, waited, and were seated, Karrel looked over the five-page menu.
"I had no idea there were this many kinds of foods in the galaxy." Karrel joked.
Granger and Vole chuckled, and Vole began to suggest something.
"Try the Original Pasta with Gurrieul Sauce. Its do die for."
"Testify." Granger added.
Vole nodded and set his menu down a few seconds after the others. They ordered, and got their food about 20 minutes after. They had talked about a variety of subjects, including the size of the city, and the wisdom of putting a dead-end avenue in the middle of a huge city. Once they got their food, Vole and Granger began eating. Karrel made sure the food was converted properly, and then when he was satisfied it was safe, he twirled some of the pasta on his fork and and ate it. He really liked the food, and truly loved the aftertaste it had. They continued eating and talking for about an hour or so, and once they were finished, paid the bill and left.
"That pasta was amazing!" Karrel said as he walked out the door behind Granger.
"Turst me, everything there is amazing." Granger said.
"I bet." Karrel replied.
As they walked towards the parking lot and the truck, Vole heard extremely quiet footsteps. He froze, which made Granger and Karrel stop. He twisted around and yelled,
"Karrel, look out!"
Before Karrel could even move, he heard the all-too familiar noise of a sharp object through flesh. He heard a body drop to the ground, and turned to look.
A cloaked figure about as tall as Karrel had stabbed another Eteno in the restaurant with a sword. The figure said, "No one ever questions me!"
Vole confronted the figure and said, "Who are you?! How dare you commit a terrible crime on such a glorious day!"
"Is that so? You call what I did a crime?! Your people are a crime upon this galaxy! I am passing rightful judgment on you!"
Karrel knew the stranger's voice, but could not put his finger on it. Vole continued, "Stop this madness, now! You are under arrest!"
"It wouldn't be wise to approach a Dhragolon, lightly!" That instant, everyone in the restaurant turned to Karrel staring at him in fear. "Oh, hello Your Highness. I haven't seen you in a while."
Karrel then stepped forward, "If you say you are a Dhragolon, then why don't you behave like one?"
"You got it backwards, Karrel. You have no idea why Kray made us in the first place, do you? He destroyed the Rimor thousands of years ago because they were evil. He only spared us because we were the least evil of his creations! He is using our race as a tool which he will discard later. I don't understand how you even got a perfect score on the Royal Exam! I should have easily become king, but that ignorant Council still did not let me just because I didn't act like a hippie!" The stranger removed his hood revealing himself to indeed be a Dhragolon, but his scales were dark, and his eyes were glowing blood red.
Karrel was awed, "Rustiagon Rarsan?!"
"Ah yes, long time no see, younger brother. It's been 100 years since I last saw you. You were just a hatchling. Your father was cruel to exile me from the family! I have nothing to do with Rustiagon anymore. I am just Rarsan, now!"
"You were exiled because you were not following the Commandments!"
"You don't get it, do you? All races must be destroyed including our own! Everyone has evil in their hearts!"
"You son of Uszaroth!" Karrel charged towards him with his sword, while Rarsan charged at him as well. The rest of the Eteno were watching what seemed like a battle between gods. Their swords clanged, and they somersaulted all over the restaurant. The Eteno were scurrying away trying to avoid getting tangled up. In the end, Karrel was outmatched. Rarsan delivered a kick that knocked Karrel to the ground, and pointed his sword to Karrel's throat."You are weaker than I thought. I'll spare you for now, Karrel, but the next time I see you, you will die along with these primitive scum! May the galaxy be freed from the clutches of evil!" Rarsan jumped into the air crashing through the ceiling and flying away with his unusually developed wings, a rare sight amongst the Dhragolon.
Everyone could not believe what they just saw, and neither could Karrel. Vole was suddenly suspicious of Karrel. Vole looked at him with both fear and anger. "What is the meaning of this? Your race wanted to kill us all along, didn't they?"
Karrel said, "No, that is not true! We Dhragolon are not like this. Most of us are good hearted just as we are."
"Then explain what just happened!" Vole shouted.
Karrel began, "Please, calm yourself. Allow me to explain."
"I apologize. Go on."
"You see, even in a race as powerful as we are, there was still tension between factions. We Dhragolon have different beliefs on how Kray created the universe. My exiled brother is an extreme example of this. One hundred years ago, Rustiagon Rarsan was going to become the next king. I had just come out of my egg. Before a Dhragolon can become king, he must do a 1000 question exam on Dhragolon beliefs and society. Nine-hundred and fifty must be answered correctly to pass."
"That sounds hard. I don't think I could do that."
"Yes, although Rarsan easily passed the exam with a score of a perfect 1000, the Council did not let him become king because the answers he put down did not reflect his true views. This enraged him so much that he begun to break the Commandments of Kray. Eventually, he was exiled to a distant planet far from any civilization. No one knows which planet this is, but since then, he has become corrupt."
"I'm a bit scared now. That Rarsan fellow actually beat you in a duel! I'm not sure how even an entire army could hold up against him."
"But then, that brings up the question. Have you done anything that would make him want to exterminate your kind?"
"What do you mean?"
"The one thing you need to worry about is if you destroyed a planet, whether it be physically or just the ecosystem. It is the greatest sin that anyone can commit. I must ask myself. Has your kind ever committed such an offense? Surely, I would not want to have to call off the alliance we just made."
An Alliance in PerilEdit
"Not a single planet or ecosystem has been destroyed by Eteno hands. In fact, we grow ecosystems nowadays in order to spread life. I mean no disrespect, but I am slightly insulted you would accuse us of that. Our species' hero, Jonathan Keplat, always believed in capturing and preserving." Vole said.
"Ah, Admiral Ernel told me about him. I suppose you as a species would be less likely to commit that sin."
"Listen, its fine. But I really don't think this is a good time."
As he was speaking, an ambulance along with seven police cars and two APCs pulled into the parking lot. Two paramedics put the impaled Eteno on a stretcher and carried him off, whilst the police and soldiers cordoned off and secured the restaurant. Vole flagged down the head marine.
"You there, Captain! Listen closely: I want two squads of Iron Pauldrons with the king at all times, don't have to be visible, and I want a 50,000,000 Sporebuck bounty on that guy ASAP! You hear me!?"
"Yes sir! Right away sir!" The Captain replied, unfearing of Vole's tone.
Vole then began directing his anger towards several Deep agents and Keepers. If looks could kill, those operatives wouldn't even have their spinal cords left.
"You! You wusses failed your duty! He could've been killed! If you are so low quality, go join the circus! You're lucky I don't have your head on a stick! Get to Omicron-19, you've been re-assigned there."
The agents all stood in fear of their lives, frozen.
"DID YOU FREAKIN' HEAR ME?! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT ASAP!"
The agent's feet didn't even touch the ground on the way out the door.
"Vole, don't you think that was a little harsh?" Karrel asked.
Vole took a deep breath to calm himself down.
"Those are supposed to be the best agents we have in the military, and I assigned them to your protection. They failed, and failure is not tolerated. Especially when you have such an important and simple job."
As they walked out the door and under the cordon tape, Granger began speaking into his radio.
"This is Field Marshall Granger of the Imperial Army, be on the look out for a dark-scaled. tall, blue creature with wings. He is armed and extremely dangerous. Kill on sight with extreme prejudice. There's also a 50 million reward and a promotion attached. Get every scout we can get into the air and scour the streets. Granger out."
"Do you think that they could handle him?" Karrel asked as they got into the hover-truck.
"I'm quite sure a group of well-trained men could take him down. Especially some Tsej. Best asassins we have and fantastic in teams. A flametrooper could also probably turn him into smoldering goop before he could even scream."
"I hope you're right."
The drive back to the palace was uneventful, except for the four police cars that escorted them and the chopper that stayed close overhead.
"Karrel, to build on my answer to if we have destroyed any planets or ecosystems, we have weapons that could definately do it in a few days. Flamethrowers, Triflam-31, and Nuclear weapons."
"A bio-weapon that was created for exterminating large groups of Grox that were holed up in a city or bunker. It could, in theory, mutate a planet in a few days but the pathogen can be remotely controlled using nanites."
"If you aren't using it for bad purposes I suppose that it wouldn't be sin."
Vole drove the truck into the palace plaza and turned off the engine. Karrel noticed a huge military buildup was taking place.
"Is that all for security?"
"We want to catch this guy effectively, and we don't want anyone else killed." Granger stated.
Karrel nodded as he got out of the truck. They walked into the palace, and Vole led them to a secret door.
"Didn't know this was here..." Granger said dryly.
"Karrel, this is a panic room I had built in case a dignitary was under threat of asassination. There is a barracks with two platoons of men, a bedroom, and a bathroom right next to that. You'll be sleeping here tonight." Vole said.
"No, I assure you I'll be-" Karrel was cut off mid-sentence.
"Karrel, listen please. You almost got killed an hour ago. Do this just for me."
"Alright, I'll do it Vole. But where will you be sleeping?"
"I'll be with my family. I would be lower than dirt if I hid and they were at threat. Don't worry though, I'll have Keepers and Androids guarding my kids' rooms and my room."
"I didn't know you had a family."
"I sure do. Well, I have some paperwork to do before I hit the sack. See you around."
"Yeah, see you around."
Meanwhile, Karrel lay down, but couldn't sleep. His mind was clouded with thoughts of fear.
"What if Rarsan was right?" he wondered. "Am I really worthy for king? I am still young after all, younger than any king. No...I can't let him do this. These are good people. They can't die because of me!" Then, Karrel was even more fearful. "How could these people possibly kill him? Rarsan is as strong as an entire army of Eteno! I must stop him myself!"
All of the sudden, Rarsan contacted Karrel telepathically. It was the same deep menacing voice from before. "You should have left while you can, Karrel. Because you are here, you put an entire species at risk. That leaves me to wonder why the Council even considered you for king! You are a disgrace!"
"It's futile! You know what? I changed my mind about your fate. I will leave you alive to watch every Eteno perish right in front of you."
"You are no longer a Dhragolon! Only Uszaroth will consider doing that!"
"Once again, you got it backwards, Karrel! I am doing Kray a favor by destroying this race." Karrel's mind became clouded again and he lost the connection. This time, Karrel tried to go to sleep.
Rarsan was up in the ozone layer wearing a breathing mask far from any detection of the Eteno below. A cloaked Grox ship had entered the atmosphere which had shot a tractor beam at him. Rarsan was taken aboard, and the Grox Overlord approached him along with several of his minions. The Overlord said, "What's a Dhragolon doing in such a remote area? Oh, why should I be wondering that?"
"What do scum like you want with the true cleanser of evil known as Rarsan?"
"I see, you have a large ego." Quickly, Rarsan stabbed a nearby Grox killing it instantly. The Overlord was surprised at the murderous act.
"Don't you question me or I will kill all of you! Now tell me what you are doing here!"
"Same as always. Preparing an attack."
"I cannot let you attack these people! Why? Because they're my kills!" Rarsan stabbed another Grox minion. "You know what, how about we make a deal?"
"Deal? This better be good."
"I have knowledge of the location of a Kklxin colony outside the Milky Way. As you may know, these people are responsible for developing the Galaxy Buster. I am willing to give you the location of this colony."
"Sounds good. Go on."
"In return, you must allow me to destroy the Eteno empire myself."
The Grox Overlord thought for a moment. What was this guy trying to get out of them? He could not figure it out. If the Grox had the Galaxy Buster, it did not really matter. So the Overlord said, "Hmm...Answer: Why do you make the deal lean more towards our side?"
"Or should I instead massacre everyone aboard this ship? Would you like that?"
"I do not want to lose any more crew, so I suppose I will agree to your terms," said the Overlord. Still, he was suspicious of Rarsan's motives.
"The location is on this chip right here," Rarsan said handing it over to the Overlord. "If you break the terms of our deal, I will kill you, Overlord, and erase all traces of your kind's existence! Now get out of this sector before I blow your cover! Though primitive, these Eteno could easily take down a small ship such as this one!" yelled Rarsan who left the ship and still remained flying in the ozone layer. The cloaked Grox ship took off into space with none of the Eteno below knowing.
Karrel woke up the next morning unaware of any of the events that took place high in the ozone layer. Most likely, none of the Eteno knew either.
Karrel awoke, worried about what Rarsan would do soon enough if he didn't stop him. He got dressed, and cleaned himself in the underground bathroom. He walked towards the door out of his room and took a deep breath.
"I must inform Vole about this... perhaps he can organize something that could at least stall Rarsan wherever he may pop up until I get to him." Karrel thought to himself.
He walked out the door to meet a squad of soldiers chatting. They snapped to attention when they saw him. One of the soldiers spoke.
"Sir, I'm Captain Shang Doffin, Iron Pauldron's Third Division. My Regiment has been assigned to your protection."
"Hm. Thank you Captain. I'll be fine right now though, stay here."
"My apologies sir, I have direct orders from command not to let you out of my sight."
Karrel sighed, and began walking upstairs towards the secret door. Of course, the Captain and a few of his men were following. When Karrel opened the door, he was shocked beyond belief at what he saw.
A dead Eteno that had been slouched against the hidden door fell on its side, evoking a gasp from Karrel.
"This is Captain Doffin, everyone get your best weapons and head to the main office!" The Captain yelled into his radio.
Karrel heard gunfire and swords clanging in the distance, and then unsheathed his sword.
"Captain, I believe this may be the work of an evil Dhragolon named Rarsan. I must face him if this is true."
"No way sir, get back down there and lock up."
"You'll have to kill me first. I must stop him!"
"Agh. Alright boys, cover the King!"
Shang took a gattling gun out of a sling on his back and hefted it in front of himself. The men behind him alse unslung their weapons. Luckily, one of them was carrying a shock blaster. Karrel dashed to the main office, which is where he heard the gunfire from, with Shang and his men close behind. When Karrel rounded a corner into the room, he was shocked. There were several dead Eteno soldiers across the room, with even more living ones firing at Rarsan with everything they had. Karrel clutched his sword and held it in a fighting position as Shang's men began firing a variety of weapons. Rarsan took notice of his brother and the Eteno soldiers, and dodged the shots fired at him. He deflected one he could not dodge back at the soldier who fired it, beheading him. Karrel looked at the bloody, headless body and cringed. He then charged at his brother.
"Rarsan! You twist Kray's intentions for us simply to justify your bloodlust!"
"Wrong, insignificant brother. I was going to spare you for a while, but you leave me no choice!"
Karrel and Rarsan were dancing a dance of death in the center of the room, ignorant to anything and everything going on around them.
Captain Shang signaled his men to hold their fire as he picked up a dead soldier's shotgun. He then crept slowly around the room to get behind Rarsan. When he got about 3/4s of the way, he winked at Karrel.
Karrel made a quick jab that was parried by Rarsan, who then twirled his sword and attempted to decapitate his brother. Karrel dodged and tried to sweep Rarsan off his feet. Rarsan did a back flip and sliced downwards, hoping to hit Karrel. Karrel dodged, and lept towards his brother.
The swordfight raged, slicing and dicing any objects that were in range of their attacks. Nobody seemed to have the upperhand as they clanged and clashed. After some time, Karrel got the upperhand until he tripped over the body of an Eteno. He quickly grabbed his sword to block a final strike as he saw Rarsan raising his sword to stab him.
Karrel prepared to block and die at the same time, knowing that in his position, his block could very easily fail.
Before Rarsan could bring his sword down, Karrel heard a very loud gunshot, and a gigantic hole appeared in Rarsan's chest. Rarsan shuddered, and looked down, allowing Karrel to make a killing blow. Rarsan dropped to the ground, and a hand reached towards Karrel.
Rarsan lay on the ground uttering his last breaths, "You fool, Karrel. You...you have doomed...the galaxy."
"What are you saying, Rarsan?!"
"Your mistake...to kill me...will soon...be realized!" Rarsan finally breathed his last. Karrel sensed his spirit leave his body, but it was stuck in the mortal world. It neither found salvation nor damnation. Something wasn't right. The though of this made Karrel shiver.
The Supreme Commander came up to him. "Karrel, are you alright?"
"It's over. Rarsan...is dead."
"Did he have any last words?"
"Well, something about me dooming the galaxy, but other than that, it was nothing."
"You know, that sounds a bit scary. The Grox are still at large after all. What if he was trying to stop them? They are evil after all."
"I am not entirely sure. For now, I think it's time that we rest. It's been a long day."
"Your right. The Grox assault begins tommorrow, and Rarsan already gave us a huge blow."
Meanwhile, outside the galaxy were a fleet of Grox ships. They had stumbled across a planet in a remote star system. They had sent a message to whatever species lived there.
The Grox Overlord said, "Hand over the Galaxy Buster!"
Meanwhile, the Kklxin on the surface responeded, "What do you want, Grox scum?"
"I already told you. Give us the Galaxy Buster."
"Oh, did that weakling Rarsan tell you our location or something? I have no idea what he was thinking. Yeah, so what he was trying to use it destroy you guys. He was probably planning to take it back from you anyway, which is a stupid idea if you ask me."
"Just hand it over!"
"You're gonna have to take it from us! We made this destructive weapon after all!"
A furious Grox Overlord ordered the complete annihilation of anything and everything, except for the Galaxy Buster. The Kklxin fought as hard as they could, but the Grox were more numerous and they were stronger. After the Kklxin fleet and planet were razed, the Overlord sent a team down to mop up any survivors and acquire the Galaxy Buster. After a few hours, the Grox Overlord heard the team over his radio.
"Sir, we've found it!"
Four hours later, Burlag Airfield, Malisk II...
"Sir, I have a damage report in from command." An aide said as he walked up to the Supreme Commander.
"Well, tell me."
"37 civilian deaths, 29 military deaths, 7 police deaths, and 183 combined wounded. Estimated 23.7 billion Sporebucks of civilian damage and 3.1 billion of government property damage, including vehicles and equipment."
"See to it that everything is paid off and the empty military posts are replaced with reservists."
The Aide scurried away to a command center, undoubtedly to carry out Vole's orders. Vole walked towards Karrel, who was conversing with a Flametrooper. The Flametrooper being slightly taller than the King.
"Karrel, I'm going to speak to the men to boost their morale. I also want to know if you'll be coming with us for the push." Vole spoke up.
Vole politely dismissed the Flametrooper.
"I'll be coming with you in my Dragon Cruiser to provide support until our lines meet up."
"Very well. Our soldiers are heading out in about two hours. You have that long to get to your ship and into formation with the fleet in orbit."
"Alright, Vole. I have a question of my own, though. Is a Captain Shang Doffin here?"
Vole nodded, and pointed to a soldier and a fuel technician conversing near the control tower. Karrel nodded back, and began walking towards them. When Captain Shang caught sight of the King, he turned to the fuel tech and saluted to him, who saluted back and walked off towards a fuel truck.
"Captain Doffin!" Karrel said loudly once Shang was in earshot.
"I want to personally thank you for getting the drop on and mortally wounding my evil brother, Rarsan. You probably saved my life, and definately saved the lives of hundreds. You have my respect and thanks."
"It was all in the line of duty sir, but I thank you for your kind words. Was a cheap shot, though."
"What do you mean?"
"Ah, the darned bloke didn't even see it coming. I usually leave that to the snipers."
"Be that as it may, you still did a great thing."
"Thank you sir."
Karrel smiled and nodded, and walked towards a large assembly of soldiers. He peered around, trying to figure out what was going on, until he saw Vole standing near an armored vehicle.
"They thought they could pound us into submission!" Vole said loudly.
A loud chorus of no's erupted from the crowd.
"They thought we would give way and fall!"
Even more no's.
"But tomorrow, we will teach those Grox beasts how to fight!"
A huge cheer erupted from the crowd. Vole was on a roll. He climbed onto the armored vehicle and continued giving his speech.
"And tomorrow, we will show those Grox the might of the IMPERIAL TRIUMVIRATE!" Vole yelled as he raised his arms to the sky. As if it had been planned, a flight of Defender fighters flew overhead as he did so, adding to the immensity of his speech.
"Now, get to your vehicles and planes! WE GO TO WAR!"
An insanely loud cheer erupted from the now enormous crowd, followed by loud running to vehicles, planes, armories, and supply depots. Vole stepped off the armored vehicle and approached Karrel.
"Was that good?" Vole asked uneasily.
"That was the most inspiring speech I have heard in many years!"
"Thanks. I probably could've done better, though."
"Don't kid yourself, that was great."
"Ok, fine. You should probably flag down a pilot somewhere, you could easily get a shuttle ride to Station 6. You don't have much time."
"Thanks, I will. By the way, will you be flying to Omicron-19 with your men?"
"Of course. I'll be in that one."
Vole pointed to the third behemoth cargo jet in line on the runway.
"Ah. Well, I best be going now."
"Don't let me keep you, Karrel."
Karrel and Vole shook hands firmly, and the King quickly flagged down a pilot that was holding a cup of coffee.
Vole smiled to himself, and picked up his rifle, helmet, and bags and headed towards his aircraft.
Karrel returned to the Harmony and boarded his newly repaired Dragon Cruiser.
"All systems stable," said the computer.
Karrel grasped the controls, disembarked from the hangar and took off to Omicron-19. The rest of the Eteno fleet was in orbit above the planet.
"All units report in," Vole said. Every single ship in the fleet mentioned that they were present. "Our goal is to get to Raycaon in the central sector as fast as we can. Get ready to go to warp."
Karrel focused and grasped the Telepathic Amplifier to contact his own fleets. "My Brothers. Today, we make a run for our outpost on Raycaon. We will meet with our Eteno allies and bring justice to these Grox scum!"
Karrel talked to Vole for a bit. "Vole, are you ready for this?"
"The Grox shall be wiped from the face of the galaxy!" Karrel said to himself, "Father, you shall be avenged!"
At the same time, both Vole and Karrel said, "Three...two...one!" Every single ship somewhat instantaneously disappeared and took off to enter warp. The Dragon Cruiser took off as well. An hour went by until they encountered something.
Aboard the Dragon Cruiser, the computer informed Karrel, "Your Highness, something is disrupting the warp field!"
"Analyze!" Soon enough, it was detected. Karrel said to the Harmony, "Admiral, we've got a Grox armada up ahead! Get ready for battle!"
The Admiral said to the other Eteno, "All hands on deck! We've got Grox!" The alarms wailed.
Soon a battle commenced.
Part 4: The AttackEdit
"All transports, retreat to the rear line. The Battleships Geb and Vaschez will drive against the Grox flank while the rest of the fleet pushes forward. Cruisers Laguna and Phuku provide escort to the transports along with long range missile support. Fighter screen, don't let anything through. Bombers, hit the ships in the rear first and collapse the line. Everyone get to work!" High Admiral Ernel yelled into the fleet comm.
Geb and Vaschez fired their GroberFutzen missiles at the lead ship, desintegrating it. The Laguna and the Phuku took up positions near the transports and fired nuclear missiles at the center of the Grox fighter formations, annihilating them.
"All standby marines, get to your boarding craft. We're capturing the flagship, it will fit nicely into our plans." Ernel yelled again into the comm.
Karrel was blazing away at a few remaining Grox fighters, keeping them away from the transports.
"Karrel, don't let a single fighter through, half of the assault force is on board that convoy." Vole said over a private channel.
"I won't, Vole."
Several Defender pilots that were nearby the Dragon Cruiser were in awe of its power. Their fighters seemed like little toys compared to it.
"This is Captain Jeremiah Bankley to Zulu Wing, form up on the Dragon Cruiser."
"Lieutenant Bankley?" Karrel was surprised to see him here.
"Captain Bankley, Your Highness. Lead the way to victory!"
"With honor, Captain."
Karrel and Zulu Wing plunged into a giant dogfight between multiple squadrons of craft.
"Zulu 7, this is Zulu 10 coming to dust your tail!"
"Zulu 3 is down!"
"Zulu 2, check your six!"
"Zulu 11, engage!"
"This is Zulu 5, I just made Ace!"
Karrel had been in battle many times, but he was not used to so much chatter over the communications systems.
"Mother of mercy... I got something huge on radar! All fighters pull back from the Grox fleet! Pull back!"
"No need, Zulu Lead. Zis is zee Vattleship Osiris, coming to help."
A large battleship uncloaked right behind the Grox armada. It fired everything it had at the rear guard, decimating several large ships. A breach appeared in the Grox lines as they split up to avoid being turned to dust by the stealth battleship that just appeared.
"There! A breach in their formation! Everyone press the line! Oorah!" Admiral Ernel yelled over the comm unit yet again.
Dozens of large Eteno ships poured into the gap, effectively shattering the Grox line. Their fire was no longer coordinated, and their ships were being picked off like flies. After another large ship was annihilated, the remaining ships turned tail and ran. The only ship that didn't, couldn't. The flagship Groxia's engines were disabled by ion cannons, and the marines sent in called in to report the ship had been taken with no casualties or wounded.
"This is Admiral Ernel, I want a report from everyone."
The High Admiral discovered that only two frigates were lost and one transport slightly damaged, but only on the exterior. The Grox flagship had also been completely captured.
"This is yours truly again. Once we meet up with our fleet that just broke through at Omicron-19, we'll make a charge and the Utarka system. It is the home of many important Grox factories and mines across three planets and two moons."
Karrel sunk into his seat and grinned. Things were going nicely.
Soon enough, they all arrived at the Utarka system.
Karrel said to the Vole, "Alright, I can handle Utarka-2 by myself. I'll leave it to you coordinate the rest of the attacks on the other planets in this system."
"Aye aye, Your Highness," Vole responded.
Karrel soon entered the atmosphere of the dusty planet Utarka-2.
Karrel said, "Computer, go to sonar mode. I can't see a thing through this dust."
"Certainly, Your Highness."
As Karrel descended deeper into the dusty fog, he caught a glimpse of a Grox factory. He began to drop bombs on top of the facility. However, the defensive turrets were able to block off his bombs.
"Dang it! I can't get a clear shot! Computer, switch to auto-pilot. I'm going down there."
"Tractor beam is ready," the computer said. "You are safe to jump." Karrel put on a helmet over the top of his armor in order to breathe in the toxic atmosphere. Then he attached a device to his back which contained a parachute. Then he opened the air lock of the Dragon Cruiser and leaped out while activating his cloaking device. He was in free fall for about a minute until his parachute opened. Then he drifted downwards and finally reached the ground. As he approached the huge metal wall, he used his sword to cut a hole in it. Then he entered.
He searched around for the main power generator so that he could instantly shut down the factory. He remained cloaked, but stayed out of the Grox's sight. As he was wandering, he stumbled across a terminal with a wide variety of information. He stuck a chip inside to download whatever he could. Then, he continued on. Suddenly, the alarms wailed. He was detected. "Unauthorized download of information! Organic has been detected!" All of the Grox troopers swarmed him, but Karrel easily fought them off. Finally, he found the main power generator and drove his sword into it shutting down the whole factory.
Karrel said, "Computer, transport me, now!" Karrel teleported all the way from the ground to his ship. Then he proceeded to bomb the facilities reducing the area to nothing but rubble. He returned to the rendezvous point to find that he was the only one there. He assumed that the rest of the Eteno were still in the other systems fighting away. In the mean time, Karrel proceeded to decode the data that he just downloaded.
"Let's see..." Karrel said while reading through the data. Then, he came across something so startling and unheard of. "Oh my! That's...that's impossible!" It was a Captain's Log of a Grox ship.
The log read as follows:
The exile Dhragolon, Rarsan, was killed on Malisk II. What a fool he was. I don't care about his intentions to try to prove that Dhragolon monarch was incompetent. We now have the Galaxy Buster. The Galaxy Buster is a superweapon developed by the near extinct race known as the Kklxin, a once dominant race who destroyed its own galaxy as well as another's in a war. The Galaxy Buster, as its name suggests, is capable of destroying an entire galaxy if activated at the Galactic Core. In three days, we shall detonate it there leaving only the most important of Grox alive. The Overlord has gotten very impatient and wishes to destroy all other races. I personally don't know why he is destroying our empire along with the whole galaxy, but I guess that doesn't matter. As long as I survive, I don't care."
Karrel was absolutely stunned. "R...Rarsan was trying to warn me all along?! That's why he told me that I doomed the galaxy! This is terrible, I've got to leave now if I'm going to get to the Galactic Core! The whole galaxy is at stake!" Karrel tried to contact Vole via radio. "Karrel to Vole! This is an urgent message!" There was no response. "Vole, do you read me? I have an urgent message!" Still, there was no response. Karrel needed to inform Vole in order to continue the push forward. He travelled to the planet where Vole was closest to in an attempt to to rendezvous with him.
As Karrel drew closer he heard a voice in his head. It was the same menacing voice from before. "You say you are a good king? Prove it!"
Karrel uttered back, "Rarsan, I'll prove it."
"Alpha Squad, push forward!"
"We're taking heat! We can't advance!"
"Gamma Eleven, move out!"
Vole scambled across the blazing hot and rocky terrain to link up with a pinned down squad of troopers. Almost tripping over a dead Grox, he managed to dive into cover before a Grox gunner started firing everything he had at him. He tossed a grenade over the rock he was behind and heard a loud boom, shortly followed by the splatter of bodily fluids. He vaulted over the rock and continued running towards Alpha Squad.
"Sir! We have a communique from King Rustiagon Karrel! It reads: Urgent! Grox WMD to be fired in three days. Definite extinction of us all! Must push forward!" Vole's radio blared.
Recovering from a near heart attack, he grabbed his radio.
"Confirmed. Have the 9th Fleet push forward to meet up with the Dhragolon. And I mean push forward or die trying. We can skip some of the Grox outposts on the way."
"Copy that, sir. Your will be executed."
Vole put his radio back on his belt and met up with Alpha Squad. They were firing their guns and lasers at a swarm of approaching Grox. Vole was much needed help, but they would be overrun without some sort of support. Without warning, a chopper flew by and strafed a formation of Grox infantry. What was a moment's respite turned into definite victory as three Flametroopers hopped out of the helicopter's open cargo bay. The Grox poured all of their fire on the soldiers, but it just bounced off the thick armor.
"Buhn, pughny creatures! AHAHAHAHAHA!" One of the giant soldiers yelled as the turned the Grox soldiers into molten liquid.
As soon as the last of the Grox were dead, the chopper set down nearby and Vole, Alpha Squad, and the Flametroopers all got inside.
The ride was a short one as the main Grox factory was in view. The chopper launched a rocket into the exterior backup generators and dropped off the soldiers along with two more squads. The 25 Eteno swept through the base with only three regualr footsoldiers getting killed. Once they reached the reactor room, one of the demented Flametroopers melted the main reactor controls and the Grox manning them, setting it to overload.
"We can't get out in time! This is Supreme Commander Monore to all nearby helicopters. We need immediate evac at my coordinates!" Vole yelled into his radio.
"Aye aye, sir!"
After a minute or so of fending off panicked Grox engineers, a Dragonfly gunship blow a hole in the roof of the factory and set down next to the men.
"Hold on tight and shoot anything that moves, boys!" The pilot yelled from the cockpit.
The chopper lifted off and got well away from the plant just in time for it to go up in flames.
"AHAHAH!" One of the Flametroopers laughed manically.
"We're setting you boys down with the main advance force. Once we clear out the main Grox military base here we can keep pushing forward. I hear they really cleaned up on the other two targets in the system." The pilot said smoothly from the cockpit.
Vole seperated himself from the Flametroopers and Alpha Squad, and made his way to the heart of the huge infantry mob.
Vole then heard a huge rumbling.
"Do you hear that?" Someone in the formation said.
Vole looked ahead to see a huge dust cloud and thousands of small orange shapes.
"Swarmeeeeers!" A soldier next to Vole yelled.
The soldiers at the front raised their guns and fired blindly into the horde approaching them. Many were killed, but only a tiny fraction of the thousands of small Grox that were charging on all fours.
The men at the front either ran or were shredded by the merciless little creatures. A huge battle erupted, with soldiers shooting at the swarmers, and ones that had been swarmed desperately batting them away with their swords and rifles. The horde eventually reached where Vole and a few others were standing. He began firing his rifle and his pistol at the same time. .
"Hold your ground, marines! HOLD YOUR GROUND!" Vole yelled very loudly above the bloody battle, killing three approaching swarmers.
It seemed like they were going to be overrun until three giant walkers dropped in from orbit. They were the ones in the parade two days ago.
The E-1000s tore apart the swarmers by slicing them, shooting them, and stepping on them. Eventually, the swarmers retreated to the Grox base. Vole was about to give the advance order until orbital bombardment razed the entire facility and anything close to it.
"Alright, time to move out. We have three days people!" One of the larger walkers bellowed.
Three hours later, on board the Geb
"Karrel! I heard you really cleaned up down there!" Vole said.
"There wasn't that much resistance. How did things on your end go?"
"They went pretty well. We actually took very minimal losses, and we'll be meeting up with your kingdom's fleet tomorrow afternoon if I am correct."
"Excellent. We need to find and destroy this Grox weapon before we can effectively combat the Grox."
"Very true. Well, I have to confer with my Generals on how we'll be working with your people. I'll see you later."
"See you, Vole!"
When Vole left the small bar, Karrel heard the dark voice again.
"The clock ticks, Karrel! Best enjoy your last days before you are sucked into your certain death!"
"We'll see about that." He mentally said back.
The fleets took off again going to maximum warp. Approximateley two days as Karrel and Vole continued to push forward. On the third day, the Eteno fleet finally met up with the rest of the Dhragolon in orbit of Raycaon. The Galactic Core was like another sun for the Cledrosia system. Vole was in awe at the size of the fleet as well as the ships themselves. Each ship was a large as a flagship.
"Look at those ships!" Vole said. "That's the Dhragolon fleet."
Bankley said, "Good thing their on our side."
Karrel soon flew towards with them. Captain Brekar Urtag was there to greet him via radio.
"Welcome back, Brother. It's good to see you."
"You too, Brother," Karrel said. "Listen, the situation is urgent. The Grox are in possession of the Galaxy Buster. If we don't stop them by tommorrow, there will be no galaxy."
"Understood. I take it those ships behind you are our new allies?"
Karrel said to Vole, "Vole, I will now rejoin our fleet. You may use this system for repairs."
"Alright. It's been a pleasure working with you," Vole replied.
"Let's go!" Karrel said. A few ships stayed behind to repair but the rest of them took off at warp towards the Galactic Core. In a few moments, they saw one of the largest space stations ever. Even Karrel was in awe. "That thing is larger than a Grox Dreadnought!"
The space station was 5 miles in diameter with enormous engines attached to it. In the background was a pink singularity that was the Galactic Core.
Vole said, "This is it. Either we bring this thing down or die trying! We're going to make a hole on that thing and shut it down from the inside. Then, we destroy it!"
All of the ships sped towards the enormous station. The ships continuously fired at the weakest point on the station attempting to blow open a hole. Many lasers fired back at them. One of them hit the Harmony almost destroying it.
"We're hit!" Vole said
Karrel said, "We have an opening on the station! I'm going to disable it from the inside."
"I'm coming with you, Karrel." Vole said. "Alright, boys! Get this ship out of here before it gets destroyed! I'm going down there!"
"Sir?" Bankley said.
"You heard me!" Vole entered the escape pod to crash down into the hole they just made. Karrel beamed down with his Dragon Cruiser to join him. Karrel put on a breathing mask and stepped outside to meet Vole.
Karrel said, "Alright, Vole. It's up to us now to bring this thing down." Karrel said to Urtag, "Brother, you fire on this ship even if we are still on it. The whole galaxy is more important than the two of us down here."
Vole nodded in response. "Let's move out!"
As Karrel and Vole moved through the Grox space station, they soon enough encountered the Grox Overlord himself. "Stop right there!" the Overlord said. "No one invited you aboard this ship!"
"Says who?" Karrel replied.
The Grox Overlord said, "I make the rules here! Time for you to die!"
Vole said, "Oh really? You and what army?"
The Grox Overlord said, "This army!" Thousands of Grox seemed to appear from nowhere completely surrounding them. All of them had guns pointing at them.
Karrel asked, "Are you ready for this?"
"You bet," Vole said.
Vole smiled casually at the mob of Grox in front of them, and grabbed his chaingun from the sling on his back. He hefted it, and held down the trigger, pouring hot tungsten-core ammunition into the swarm of cyborgs. Karrel quickly unsheathed his sword to block several shots and lept into the Grox swarm. He sliced and diced as he waded through the shrinking horde. At this point, Vole was killing helpless targets as the blood and corpses from the last row of Grox would always blind the next row or severely reduce theirv vision. A large pile of hot bullet casings began to grow next to Vole.
"In the name of Kray, you will all be destroyed!" Karrel yelled, decapitating some of the last Grox in the room.
Once the last of the Grox had been made full of holes, Karrel and Vole turned to a very surprised Grox Overlord.
"How did you... what... don't kill me!" He pleaded.
"We'll let you live if you tell me where the Galaxy Buster is." Vole replied.
This slightly angered Vole, causing him to ram his chaingun into the Overlord's chest, causing extreme pain.
"Alright! I'll tell you! Irs in the center of the station, in a bulletproof box! Can I go now?"
"I changed my mind when you said 'center of the station'. Goodbye!"
Before the Overlord could scream he was full of hot tungsten. Although he was certainly dead, Vole decided to fire as many shots as he could into the body. To his disgust, he ran out of ammunition a few seconds afterwards. He tossed down the chaingun and pulled out a silenced laser pistol.
"We should keep moving. No telling how many of these fiendish creatures are on board this thing." Karrel said.
"Agreed. I checked a map on the wall and it looks like that corridor over there leads straight to an armored door right outside the weapon."
Karrel nodded, and they began running down the corridor. After several minutes of straight running, Vole was thinking of how they could get there faster and without getting exhausted. He noticed a small covered transport vehicle with four wheels.
"Karrel, we could probably go faster if we took that."
"Most definately. You drive, the drivers seat looks small even for a Grox!"
Vole chuckled and started the vehicle. Karrel sat next to him, but did his best to give himself more room without killing himself. They sped down the long corridor and ran over any Grox unlucky enough to get in the way. After a while, they finally reached a huge armored door.
"How are we going to break through that..." Vole said.
"With some help, of cours!" His radio blared.
"We're beaming down a Dhragolon soldier for the King and whatever you want, sir!"
"Hmm... Flametrooper, please."
"You got it, sir!"
Seconds later, two blue beams materialized behind Karrel. From one sprang a Dhragolon soldier, armed and ready. And from another sprang a Flametrooper, heavily armed and demented, as was every Flametrooper that ever existed.
"Trooper, melt that door please." Vole said with slight happiness in his voice.
The Flametrooper chuckled and turned the large door into a puddle of molten metal in a matter of minutes. The two Dhragolon and Vole carefully stepped over the hot liquid, whilst the soldier that made the puddle just walked right through it. A large assembly of unarmed Grox froze in place, and then began panicking like wild. Karrel and the Dhragolon soldier sliced their way through the panicked techs while Vole picked them off one-by-one. The Flametrooper simply bashed heads in with his giant armored fists, as he wouldn't want to hit any friendlies with his flames. The last of the Grox were dead, and Karrel noticed the casing that the large weapon in the center of the room was in.
"That glass can't be melted... this soldier and I are going to have to break this the old fashioned way."
"Do your stuff, Karrel."
The King nodded, and the soldier saluted before slicing through the glass with their glowing swords. The weapon fell out onto the floor, and everyone stood there for a moment, surprised by its relatively small size.
"Give it to me! I burn it to crisp!" The Flametrooper bellowed manically.
The Flametrooper burned away the Galaxy Buster with slightest of ease. He laughed manically!
Suddenly Karrel said, "Wait, that was not such a good idea!"
"What do you mean?" Vole said.
"I should have told you how that thing works first. This is my mistake. The Galaxy Buster fires miniature Star Busters to nearby supermassive stars surrounding the Galactic Core thus resulting in an enormous black hole that will swallow the galaxy. If destroyed directly however, it will still ignite into an ordinairy black hole due to the immense pressure required to generate enough power to destroy multiple stars."
Vole said to the Flametrooper, "What have you done?"
"Oh whoops, sorry," the Flametrooper said.
"This is no oops! We better get out of here!" Electric sparks flickered until a miniature black hole formed that begun growing larger. Vole said, "Harmony! Energize! Now!" Vole, the Flametrooper, the Dhragolon, and Karrel all were energized. Karrel returned to his Dragon Cruiser. The black hole began to grow larger destroying the Grox space station.
Vole said, "All Eteno fleets! Go to warp immediately or you'll be sucked into that black hole!"
The remaining Eteno took off with the Dhragolon, but the Harmony did not move. The black hole was getting larger and soon begun to merge with the Galactic Core. Immense amounts of radiation were being emitted and the force of gravity was beyond comprehension.
"Sir," said and Ensign. "The ship won't start. We've taken too much damage!"
Vole said. "Well, we die heroically!"
Karrel approached the Harmony and said, "Vole, take my fuel!"
"Are you serious? You're going to get yourself killed!"
"That doesn't matter! I'll be fine!"
"If you say so."
The Dragon Cruiser docked with the Harmony and transferred enough energy for the Harmony to escape from the black hole. Karrel said some last few words. "It was nice working with you. I am so glad to have been able to help your race in this fight against the Grox.
Vole replied, "Well, I hope you know what you're doing."
The Harmony took off while the Dragon Cruiser was caught in the black hole. Then Karrel said, "Computer! Activate the Wormhole Key!" A shield appeared around the Dragon Cruiser as it got dragged down. Meanwhile, space began to distort and twist. Soon enough, everything turned into what seemed like a paradise. There was no ground. Only clouds and blue sky. Karrel was still in his ship, while a giant, dark blue dragon flew into view.
"Young Karrel, you have much to learn," spoke the dragon.
"Yes. You have come here prematurely."
"Is it true what Rarsan said? Why did you let Uszaroth betray you in the first place?"
"For balance. What Rarsan said was true, but he does not understand why evil exists. Dear child, evil exists to balance out the forces of good. That is why I allowed the creation of the Grox. You may attempt to destroy evil if you will, but it must always exist to maintain balance."
"But why must this balance exist?"
"That is for you to discover."
"Thank you for your Enlightenement. I wish to return back home."
"As you wish." Everything faded to white and Karrel reappeared outside a black hole in the same sector as Ucharpli, but fifty years into the future. The Eteno had assumed him to be dead and the Dhragolon had to retreat to their sector to restabilize themselves. Contact with the new empire had been lost and it would only be appropriate if Karrel decided to go back to reintroduce himself.