Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace: Chapter 8

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Okay, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. I know I said I was saving this for the novel project, but I couldn’t wait okay? I had to get it out. Anyway, yeah, chapter seven of Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace. Enjoy. 🙂

Whoops, that was a mistake. This is actually chapter eight. Hang on, lemme get chapter 7.

VIII

The Fifth Columnist Organization And Richard

Date: Feb 3, 900 A.C.

__________________________________________

“I hear you have an army at your disposal,” Imperetor Malvolent said through the communication relay.

“Yes, master, I do,” Karkamnoba said humbly.

“Well, I wish you to get your army ready. My pupil will go and inspect them. Then, I want you to train them however I see fit. Am I understood? They must be ready in one hour.”

Karkamnoba’s face blanched slightly, because if there was anything that could match a personal visit of Imperetor Malvolent, it was a personal visit made by Draconian Vengance. In fact, there was the slight possibility that a visit made by Draconian Vengance was worse than a visit Imperetor Malvolent, since the latter’s pupil was constantly trying to prove himself to his master.

“Yes, master, I will be ready.” Karkamnoba said, bowing low and switching his communication relay off. Then whirling around he rattled out a series of orders which his disorganized servants struggled to follow.

The time given was barely enough, and Karkamnoba’s Elite Guards were just lining up when Draconian Vengance’s shuttle was seen flying rapidly across the horizon to come to land on the small landing-pad that stood outside of Karkamnoba’s palace.

Draconian Vengance got out of his personal shuttle and instantly began examining the disorderly array before him, deliberately ignoring the bow that Karkamnoba had managed. In his own exclusive mind, Draconian Vengance could not understand how his master was willing to work with such lowlife as Karkamnoba; but he had his orders.

Standing in front of the crooked line of men, he snarled, “Who is your ranking officer?”

A pudgy man wearing a crumpled oily uniform stepped forward. Draconian Vengance, ignoring that man completely, walked to another man who was the exact opposite of his counterpart. Instead of quailing before the Vilth as most would have done, he looked up boldly into the eyes of the beast who looked down at him.

“You must be the ranking officer,” Draconian Vengance said.

The pudgy Elite Guard who had stepped forward before snorted contemptuously, thinking it was some kind of joke. Draconian Vengance walked over to the man, who instantly cowered before him. Then there was the flash of an enerblade, and the man fell to the ground, a hole through his heart.

Draconian Vengance continued this process, appointing officers from those he saw as fit to lead and killing any who opposed him, which, after the first lesson, was not many. Then he assigned men to each of the leaders and showed them how they had to transmit order from officer to officer to soldiers.

“Now,” he growled, “I have brought some training coms with me. I want you to give them everything you’ve got!” So saying, the beast pressed a button on his wrist control and five elite mechanoids, made to look like coms, rolled out. They instantly began a sniper fire, from a deltoid form, firing at the hapless Elite Guards.

“Get under cover!” Draconian Vengance roared. This however, did little more than confuse them more, and the Vilth was forced to shut down the mechs. Twenty Elite Guards lay on the floor; dead.

Karkamnoba had had enough and he managed to sum up enough indignation to speak to Draconian Vengance. “You are slaughtering my army! Those were elite mechs. Don’t expect me to not have noticed. Not the best unit of men could face five elite mechs. No–” Karkamnoba was overreacting now. “Not even you, nor any Defen or Vilth could face them.”

Draconian Vengance, in a fit of anger, would have struck Karkamnoba down, but instead, he switched on all five elite mechs and ten more, ordering them to kill him. Then, as they began firing, he stretched both hands forward. Instantly, all fifteen crumpled up into hapless hunks of metal.

Karkamnoba was silent. Turning to the man, Draconian Vengance continued quietly. “I will return to my master and give him my most unsatisfactory report. You, in the meantime, better learn to think before you speak.”

***

In the presence of his master, Draconian Vengance was nowhere near as haughty as he had been with Karkamnoba. Yet he gave his report with a quiet certainty that what he had done was acceptable to his master.

“We will have to train them for guerrilla warfare, they will serve no purpose in main battle.” Imperetor Malvolent said smoothly.

“Why do we even need them?” Draconian Vengance muttered.

“They are an essential part of my plan, and if any of the memory banks of our mechs are retrieved and read, they will say our base is in the Fifth Network. Then, Karkamnoba can take all the pressure, while we regroup and target their capital.”

“Why don’t we just attack their capital now?” Draconian Vengance, who had no taste for strategic finesse, grumbled.

“You know exactly why. Until the Dark Menace is completed, their space fleet will overpower us. We must have something so powerful that even the proud Defen must succumb to. We must humiliate them, and cause them the pain and suffering they have caused us all these years. We will have our revenge!

“Come, my pupil,” Imperetor Malvolent said, seeing Draconian’s downcast look. “Let me show you the technological terror that we are creating.”

So, saying, they both rose and, as they walked down the corridor, Imperetor Malvolent’s smooth voice and assurance soon healed the sores that Draconian Vengance’s impatience had opened.

When they rounded a corner, Draconian Vengance stopped short in sheer amazement at the sight that appeared before his eyes.

***

“Faster.” Savantone egged. “Run faster Richard, you’re never going to outrun a mech at this pace.”

“I did fine enough before,” Richard grumbled.

“Ah, but that was only a short period of time,” Savantone said, and urged Richard to run even faster.

Then, as Richard, was rounding a bend, Savantone, who was standing beside the track, pulled a string, releasing a branch which whacked Richard stoutly on the head.

“Ow!” Richard exclaimed, holding a hand over his eye and coming to a stop.

“Keep running,” Savantone said. “And dodge next time.”

Doggedly, Richard started running again, his calfs and feet now aching from the constant shock they were experiencing. Just as Richard had decided he was doing well, a taut wire suddenly appeared at knee height from nowhere and before he could stop himself, he hit it and was sent flying.

When he woke up and his vision cleared, he found himself lying in a bed with Savantone bending over him anxiously.

“Wh–”

“Hush boy,” Savantone said, in a soothing tone. “You have taken a fall and hurt yourself. You must rest.”

Richard wanted to argue, to say that he had no time for rest, but Savantone’s soothing voice had upon him the effect of a drug, and his eyelids drooped.

When he awoke, it appeared to him as if Savantone had never moved from the place in which he had been before. Savantone did not seem to notice him, but Richard knew better. “It is time I told you the history of Defen, Richard.”

Savantone paused, as if waiting for a comment.

“I would actually prefer to hear about the difference between you and the enemies.” Richard said. “If it’s not too much trouble of course– I want to make sure I do not fall.”

“The difference between us and the Vilth? Be careful, your concern about falling may very well lead to it.”

“How is that possible?”

“There are really few differences between us and the Vilth.” Savantone continued, apparently ignoring Richard’s question. “The Vilth take their emotions and channel them into surges of power to twist and warp the power that we use. This can be very effective, but leaves them drained at the end. This leads to depression which tends to drag them farther down their path of evil.

“Defen on the other hand, do not use their emotions. Rather, they allow the power to channel through them and guide them. They do not use the power, but rather direct it. We feel a love for everybody and every decision we make is made towards the greater cause. But we must be careful for love for anybody can also lead us to fall.

“You disbelieve that statement, but I tell you it is true. Love, when left uncontrolled, can lead a Defen to make potentially harming decisions. You see, both Defen and Vilth fight for control over their emotions, but for different reasons. Defen control their emotions so they are not controlled by them. Vilth control their emotions so they can use them to devastate and destroy.

“It is strange, that something like love can be bent and warped and twisted into hate. But that only happens when you let it control you. You need to control it. There is nothing wrong with having emotions, but make sure that you control them well. All decisions a Defen makes must be made for the greater cause. A Defen must look ahead, and see what effects his actions will have. He must analyze all outcomes and make his decisions from that.

“Vilth are selfish, their actions are made only for themselves, and what they want. They do what will be best for them. But yet strangely, Vilth and Defen are very similar in a way. We are two sides of the same coin that constantly flips over. It is our goal as Defen to have our side facing up when the end comes.

“You asked how a concern for falling can lead to falling itself. Well, it happens in this manner. A concern for falling leads a Defen to examine the difference between light and dark, and the closer they look, the more clouded and grayed out the line becomes, until there is no line at all. Then the Defen becomes confused, and in his confusion becomes insecure. This insecurity then leads to making rash decisions, which in its turn leads down the path of the Vilth.

“Another thing I should mention is this. Whatever you do, you do. There is nothing that forced you to do it. It was your decision and your decision alone. You alone are responsible for the outcome. Whatever happens as a result of that decision is all because of you. Nothing should ever influence your decisions. Probably the defining difference between Defen and Vilth is the outcome of their actions.”

“There is something I don’t get,” Richard interjected. “You said you love everybody. Surely that love is not extended to Vilth.”

“It is. We only battle them for the greater cause. Their actions, if left unchecked, would potentially hurt others, and that cannot be allowed to happen.”

“But how can you kill somebody you are supposed to love?”

“I never said we kill our enemies. But then, the few that are killed, should be thought of this way: If you had to either kill a person, or let him live, and if you let him live, he in turn would kill thousands of people, if you let him live, it would be like you indirectly killed the thousands of people. You see, it is like I said before, making no choice is making that choice. You are still responsible for the outcome of that.” Savantone said quietly, and Richard fell silent.

“Pre-Collision, we had existed, but it was only after the Collision, the galaxy was threatened by a new order, the Vilth. They threatened the survival of all, and in an act of love for those around us, we rose, armed ourselves, and drove them away. Some we changed, and they became some of our most renowned Defen, others would not listen, and died in a jail cell. We thought we had eliminated all of them, until these past few days.”

“So a the creature who killed my mother and siblings was a Vilth. Do all of them look like that?”

“No. That one was a DAMARC who was created by DAMARS, the society that has mastered control of genetics. They made him like that, and when he entered the order of the Vilth, he was then branded by his master to show his master’s dominance.”

“Who is his master though?”

“That is unknown. For like I just said, we thought all the Vilth had died off long ago.”

“I wish to become a Defen. How do I do that?”

“Are you sure?” Savantone asked. “Becoming a Defen will change your life forever. It will never be the same. You will have more responsibilities than you can imagine. But with it will also come the joy of know that you do right.”

“I want to become a Defen.” Richard said firmly, the determination showing in his face.

“Well then, open yourself up mentally and accept your role as a Defen.”

Richard did so, and when he had finished, his face was radiant. “I feel – changed” he said.

“Yes, Richard, it is not surprising, for you have just become a Defen.”

***

Back in the palace of Imperetor Malvolent, the said Imperetor was seated in his throne with a armored figure bowed before him. At first glance it appeared as if the figure was paying the Imperetor homage, but if the situation was looked at more closely, it could be seen the shadowy figures of two Imperial Warlords each had a hand on his shoulders at were holding him in that position. Also, it would be noticed that the armored man, for man it was, had his hands held behind his back in a force restraint.

“Well, Commander,” Imperetor Malvolent said in a silky voice that did not match the quiet hatred hidden behind the words. “It seems that you were lucky my mechanoid aimed high when it gave you that pretty scar down the center of your bare head.”

“No thanks to you,” the bluff Commander Grennet – for it was indeed he – said.

“True, true, I would have wished you dead long ago, for aren’t you the valiant commander who leads the valiant 99th regiment of coms?”

“It does me good to hear even my enemies acknowledge the valiance of my unit,” Commander Grennet growled.

“Well, you won’t feel so good after so long. Draconian Vengance, come forth.” The Imperetor said this with a wave of his hand.

The familiar cloaked figure stepped out from behind his master’s chair.

“Take this fool to the Fifth Network and have Zee torture him as he sees fit. Then throw him to the grimalkins.”

Commander Grennet’s expression did not change as he heard his fate thus callously laid out. He was a soldier, and faced death every day of his life, but he had never expected he would die in cold blood. When he imagined his death, which was not often, he always imagined dying in the midst of the battlefield with his comrades around him. But if this was how it was to end, he would face it head on.

Draconian Vengance reached his left hand forwards, and Commander Grennet felt as if something was grasping his head, with unrelenting force. He even thought he could feel claws, but he was not given much time to think about all this as the invisible hand jerked his head towards the doors and he was forced to go.

Thus Draconian Vengance led him through the doors and into his personal shuttle.

When Zee was told that Draconian Vengance’s shuttle had been sighted, his face blanched, for he had the dread feeling that Draconian had come to ‘train’ his army again.

However, he was relieved when he saw Commander Grennet emerge from the shuttle followed by the Vilth.

“Torture him how you will then throw him to the grimalkins.” Draconian Vengance growled.

“Will do,” Zee said, rubbing his fat hands together in anticipation.

Draconian Vengance shoved the Commander into the hands of two Elite Guards, then, whirling around, he stalked back into his shuttle, the boarding ramp closing behind him. A few seconds later and his spaceship rocketed off.

“Well now,” Zee said, turning to Commander Grennet with a grin plastered across his face. “What shall we start with?”

“This!” Commander Grennet said, tripping over his two guards and grabbing one of their guns. He would have dashed over to hold Zee hostage but Elite Guards were already swarming in to protect their leader. So, turning, the valiant Commander leaped off the docking pad, and as he came under, shot from his wrist a hidden grappling hook which attached itself underneath the pad.

It was well for him that he did this, for in a couple of seconds, hundreds of Elite Guards swarmed to the edge and began a pinning fire.

“Commander Grennet to ACC, this is Commander Grennet. Hurry. I’m pinned under the docking pad in the main planet of a network called the Fifth Network. Please! Is there anybody out there?”

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