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So this chapter of The Dark Menace is a shorter chapter, but I didn’t have as much to say. Mainly all I was doing is introducing a few new characters. Yes, I do realize that it has been forever since I’ve posted anything related to Galactic Battles, but give me a break alright? I’ve been busy. Okay, so I’m pretty sure you didn’t come here to listen to me complain, so just scroll on down, and enjoy chapter 12 of The Dark Menace. 🙂
The Twin Sisters of Demise
Date: Feb 10, 900 A.C.
And-Son knelt in front of the Imperetor who sat on his throne with an air of indifference. Silent Imperial Warlords flanked the elevated seat and stood alongside the elaborate rug that led towards the Imperetor and on which And-Son was genuflecting.
“I have finally arrived,” the prone figure said, voice slightly muffled by the floor.
“Yes, my pupil. I am glad to see you. I felt the death of E An Por. However, I see that you do not have the esteemed Senator with you. Why is that? What caused a devoted student of mine to fail? Who was the cause of this error?”
With each question, the pitch of the Imperetor’s voice dropped several semitones, and his voice was a mere growl on the last word.
Silence hung in the air the way a curtain hangs from its rack; dead, motionless, and– silent. And-Son felt the beat of his heart quicken. Though his feelings to the Imperetor were mostly of respect and fealty. There was still enough fear left behind to wonder what the Imperetor was implying. However, he knew better than to answer Malvolent’s rhetorical questions, so he remained silent.
Something began prodding at And-Son’s head, but he resisted the urge to scratch. Then he realized it was inside his head. For some strange reason though, he felt no fear. Instead, as his world slowly shrunk before his eyes, And-Son felt nothing. When he dreamily realized that he was dying, he felt deeply grateful that his service had earned him the right of dying painlessly, and when he finally rolled over as a corpse, his presence left the galaxy entirely.
“Take him away,” the Imperetor said, gesturing vaguely in And-Son’s direction. Two Imperial Warlords, their masks leaving their faces expressionless, stepped forward, and seizing the body, dragged it away between them. Two more of the silent soldiers quietly filed in to positions flanking the Imperetor while the murmuring of the voice pickups transmitted the message for the coordinated system of people to fill in the gaps left behind.
“Draconian,” the Imperetor said.
The dark ruler’s disciple stepped out from the shadows a moment later.
“You called me master?”
“Yes. I think it is time you paid a visit to DAMARS and see what new things they have for us.”
Draconian stiffened. He was not about to disobey his master, but of all the places in the galaxy, DAMARS was the place he hated the most. It made no difference that he had been born there. As long as DAMARS existed, there was always the chance that something new, more powerful than he would be created, and the Imperetor would discard him for that new creature.
As of yet, nothing had been made to suit the Imperetor, but genetics were an unpredictable field, and he never knew just when his replacement might arise. Thus it was that Draconian’s reply was tight-lipped.
Richard stood with his head bowed as Savantone intoned the funeral speech for E An Por. It had all been so sudden. “If only–” Richard thought. There had to have been something he could have done. If he had not been defeated so easily, he could have saved the Defen. Why? Why did someone have to die?
“…and as we lay our friend to rest, all feelings of revenge must be laid to rest as well, for it does a Defen ill to maintain such feelings of anger, hatred, and bitterness.”
This struck Richard particularly hard. He had just been on the point of planning some method to exact his revenge on And-Son. Was he not allowed some way to exact his solace? Why did the code of the Defen have to be so strict?
Richard quickly pushed these thoughts aside. He knew all too well why such feelings were discouraged throughout the Defen order. Better to keep a level head and plan for the good of all than deal with things his own way for his own purpose.
It was at this point that Richard, even with his own primitive mental skills, detected a surge of emotion. Ivan stood up abruptly. His face was dark, and anger rippled through him.
“And-Son betrayed us, he betrayed me, he killed one of our friends, and you tell us that we should not seek vengeance for this foul deed? How can you say this when your friend lies dead before us? This is no savior’s code. This is the code of a coward. Just because he defeated one Defen doesn’t mean he can defeat others. If you are all so fearful, then why even call yourselves Defen? We may as well cower in holes.”
“Sit boy,” Savantone said quietly, gesturing smoothly with his right hand. Ivan felt a gentle but insistent force pressing him back down, and he sat, albeit unwillingly. “You do not know what you speak of Ian.
“The Defen– Excuse me, Vilth, you speak of is no longer of this galaxy. He was, no doubt, killed by his master after Joh here foiled the ploy to once again capture the senator. Your harsh words are pointless, and aimed in the wrong direction. Devote your efforts to locating the source of this corruption in our midst, and you will have served well.”
Later, after the funeral, another meeting was held between the Assembly members, along with a few guests.
“Senator Westerbridge,” Savantone said, addressing one of the guests that had been invited. “Do you have an idea why you would be hunted like this? Is there any secret information you have that would be of such value to some enemy that they would hound on you like this?”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot think of anything,” Jennifer replied, after a moment’s thought.
“She is a prominent figure in the senate, that is, not counting those who disprove of her occasional controversial points of view,” Senator Shore put in.
“Hardly more prominent than others, Jeremy.”
“If prominent characters are who they are searching for,” Yris, the Assembly’s Archiver began.
“Then why not target me?” The Dictent, also present, finished.
“A good point Yris, Dictent,” Joh said.
“There must be some other reason,” Savantone intoned grimly. “And this worries me. So far, our enemy has been one step of us the whole time. We need to catch up and figure out exactly what is going on. Admiral Yive, I assume your scouts have discovered nothing?”
“Nothing of value, I’m sorry,” the Admiral said, shaking his head quietly.
“Then we have to wait,” Savantone sighed. “Wait, and see what happens next.”
Draconian hated waiting. But that was exactly what he was forced to do know as his ship was repaired. Sure he could just phase over to DAMARS, but that would leave him mentally drained, and ill-equipped to deal with what might be there. To tell the truth, half of him was quite satisfied that his journey to DAMARS was delayed so, but the other half, the more sensible half, knew that too many such delays would earn him the same fate as And-Son.
True, he was a favored pupil in the eyes of the Imperetor, but that did not mean he was above and exempt from all punishments. He had countless scars on his body to remind him of that. A banging on his spaceship woke him from his thoughts. He glared out of the cockpit at the mechanic who, suitably cowed, gave him a thumbs up.
Draconian boosted the throttle and was satisfied at the roar of the rocket engines. So much for waiting.
The planet of Miralku, ice, jungle, desert, and ocean combined, was home to the genetic research facility known as DAMARS. Draconian’s memories of this planet were none too fond. This was no time to orbit it though. He had received the green light for landing a minute ago, and swinging the nose of his spaceship around, he lined himself up for touchdown.
The operation was executed without a hitch, and upon his exit from the plane, Draconian was greeted by a bobbing and bowing scientist who beckoned him into the building. Ever suspicious, Draconian tightened his mental grip on his enerblade.
“I assume you are here to investigate our progress towards DAMARC Type T. They’re called Type T because they’re twins you know. We’ve succeeded in making it so they mind-sync. It has had quite interesting results. Because they essentially share a more developed but single brain, they are capable of achieving some ridiculously interesting feats. We’ve had them do things like–”
“Just shut up and show me the new DAMARCS,” Draconian growled, and mentally pricked the scientist on his neck for emphasis. An audible gulp followed as the loquacious researcher put an end to his flow of words.
They rounded a corner, at the scientist, remembering his previous instruction, gestured to the viewscreen before them. Draconian, despite his forebodings, was curious about the new DAMARCS, and peered through the window quite eagerly.
A pair of what appeared to be young girls, around the age of sixteen, were engaged in battling some dueling robots. Each of the two girls had a pair of practice enerblades, and their execution was perfect. They danced around the robots in perfect synchronization. Their blows weaved in and out creating a network of attacks and parries that both confused and distracted the robots’ artificial intelligence.
“Quite remarkable don’t you say?” the scientist said agreeably.
Draconian whirled on him and seized him by the throat.
“What did I say about shutting up?” the Vilth growled. He had seen what he came to see, and what he had seen did not sit well with him. This new DAMARC was more than competition for him; it was pure, threatening– rivalry.
The scientist’s face turned white as paper before Draconian finally dropped him. With a voice void of emotion, the Vilth said, “Prepare them for a journey. I’ll be taking the two to my master.”
“Y-yes, Lord Vengance,” the scientist stuttered, and scrambled off.
Draconian stood silently with a hand on either of the girls’ shoulders. The Imperetor was examining them, feeling their powers, finding their strengths and weaknesses. Finally he sat back, ready to give his verdict. Draconian held his breath.
“It is an interesting pair we have here, my pupil. I think they will serve well as assassins for our cause.”
Draconian exhaled. If they were to be assassins, that meant they held no future rivalry for him. Then his enerblade shot from his belt to his master’s hand. “Leave now my pupil. It is time for me to establish my dominance.”
Draconian bowed deeply and exited. No one wished to see the Imperetor demonstrate his superiority. Even from where he was standing he could hear muffled cries. These reminded him of a time not too long ago when he had suffered the same treatment, and he zoned out, ignoring the noises completely.
The doors swung open, indicating the ordeal was over, and the two DAMARCS walked out, wobbling on their feet. An intricate design had been carved on their faces and hands, and it was clear to see that Malvolent had broken them; their minds were obviously under control.
He stood a side to let them pass, then entered the room after them. Draconian’s enerblade came flying towards his face, and it was only his lightning-quick reflexes that saved him as his hand shot up to catch the weapon deftly. Silently he returned it to his belt.
“Well, Draconian,” Imperetor Malvolent said, breaking the silence. “We have ourselves a new pair of assassins. Their name shall be feared all throughout the galaxy. Especially among the ranks of the Defen. I have christened them as:
“The Twin Sisters of Demise. Suitable, don’t you think?”
Draconian nodded mutely.