31 Days Until The End – Dark Stars: Prophecy Child, Part Seven – Short Story
The Players so far..
Zander Kane, once a trusted and highly decorated general for the United Federation, Kane betrayed not only his own race, but his own flesh and blood to join the Dark Collective, so he could be with the woman he loved. Now, he rides stardust and slipstreams, captaining the Betha, fighting for the collective, in hope of one day freeing the worlds from the federations ruling grasp.
Gadamrie, a Golden Priestess in the Dark Collective, who before the federation came to power boasted over one million hosts as part of her mind hive, as well as existing across multiple realities, the High Priestess Dankika is her daughter.
Syin-To-Twenty-Seven (Sin), Betha’s sentient companion, through the link they share Sin can control and communicate between Betha and Zander, as well as accessing and sometimes controlling other forms of technology.
Touvler, Zander’s right hand man and Betha’s co-pilot, Touvler along with two others joined Zander when he defected from the United Federations to the Dark Collective.
General Salidazar, an officer in the Dark Collective, who’s loyalties, may lie somewhere else.
High Priestess Dankika, leader of the Dark Collective, a maker, a being who exists across multiple realities.
High Lord Quinn, Commander for the United Federation, and a Quadrapled, a slang term for a clone. Quinn’s past is still yet to be revealed, but his past association with Zander Kane makes his story more of a mystery.
President Balmires, the current elected president of the united federation, Balmires’ rise to power is one worth of it’s own story, soaked in blood and betrayal.
Last time on Dark Stars
After receiving a message, from what appears to Zander himself, warning of the Priestess and Salidazar, Zander acted, somewhat recklessly, and fled towards an unknown destination, with Salidazar following closely behind, Zander backtracked to take care of him once and for all, but, were faced with a greater problem. Unfortunately Zander and Betha’s crew, found themselves prisoners of High Lord Quinn, reveling himself to be a former crew member of the Betha, but, as he prepared to kill Zander, Gadamrie, who was cloaked, came to his aid, taking out Quinn and his men, although, before they could make their escape, another mind took control of one of Gadamrie’s host bodies, apparently killing her, but after a brief battle of minds, Gadamrie regained control of her final host. Making contact with Sin, Zander found out where Touvler was being held, and as they made their plans to rescue him, they came face to face with a resurrected Quinn and a league of Federation soldiers, using a cloaking technology, known as the walk of the damned, Gadamrie tried to guide them to safety, but her strength gave way, so Zander had to improvise, and, as the walls close in, Gadamrie finally agrees to answer Zander’s questions, revealing that he is not carry their child, but, slowly becoming like her, a being who exists over multiple realities at one time, and the Priestess, is her child, like him. Zander felt betrayed, and finally saw the truth for what it is, executing Gadamrie’s final host body, and surrendered to the Federation, asking to talk to Quinn.
And so we continue…
He feels their eyes digging into him, and rubs the back of his neck, the sweat slips through his fingers, drenching them, he pulls it away and stares at the droplets, as they run down his arm, and drip from his elbow, he looks up, into Quinn’s eyes, he can see the concern, the disbelief, if he is to win his freedom, and, his trust, he must do more than tell a tale, he, must give him something tangible, but, like the sweat running from his hands, the truth, is anything but solid.
“What make you think I’m going to fall for such an outlandish story? Do you think I am that gullible?” Quinn growls, as he leaps up from his seat, and strides towards a window, looking out into the depths of space.
“Why would I lie, you know me, you know how I work, do you think if I was trying to escape, I’d pull something like this? I’d rather go down fighting, than give myself over to the Federation, it’s be suicide, and, last time I checked, I was anything but suicidal.”
“The facts are not lost on me Kane, but, stories of beings older than time, multiple realities, and you locked in the middle of it all. It just sounds like you’re starting to believe all the stories they tell about the ‘great’ Zander Kane, the man who defied the Federation, for the love of a woman,” he says, slightly turning towards him, raising an eyebrow. “Prove to me you’re telling the truth, show me something, and, I will see you’re treated fairly, when you stand trial for your crimes.”
Zander laughs, “I’m not standing trial.”
Quinn turns around, “What? You expect me to let you go?”
“That’s pretty much the idea.”
“Do you really think I’m that stupid?”
“No, I think you’re one of the most intelligent strategists I’ve ever know, a man I could count on when everything was going wrong, to be by my side when the chips were down, Quinn, you know the right thing to do here, you know it’s better to have me out there, fighting against the rebellion, against that things who calls herself the leader of the free people, than locked in some cell awaiting execution?”
They stare at each other for some time, before Quinn calmly sits back down across from him. “You always had a way with words, oral manipulation we used to call it, I can see you still haven’t lost the knack, but, if I let you go, the president would have me locked away instead of you, unless…”
“Unless, you can prove to me what you’re saying is true.”
“Gadamrie was my proof, and she’s splattered at the bottom of a service vent.”
“Then, we are at an impasse, unless you can raise her from the dead,” Quinn says as he slowly stands up once more. “But, just so you know, this brings me no joy, I would’ve died for you once, that still holds something within me, but, I cannot take a risk on a tall tale.”
“I can show you proof,” Touvlar announces, they both turn to him, and Zander’s eyebrows raise with curiosity.
“Show me your proof,” Quinn says as he sits back down, and leans back in his chair.
“It’s not that easy, I can show you what Gadamrie said, but, it involves preforming a Terk’lock.”
“Do you both think I’m a fool as well? I’m versed in Sumarian rituals, and the Terk’lock is one that has been outlawed for centuries, one miss-step and my brain would be liquefied, so, you’ll have to try another way to prove your story.”
“You want proof, we’re offering it, or, don’t you really care?” Zander says, turning back to face Quinn.
“Don’t try and use my words against me, it will get you nowhere, so jus…” He doesn’t finish his sentence, as the room starts to disintegrate around him, Zander and Touvlar. He clenches his teeth together, and makes fists, with both hands, “How long?”
“As soon as you asked me to show you proof,” Touvlar says.
“Then, don’t waste time, take me to her,” he says, the room flashes with light, and then, the three of them are hovering above the ventilation shaft, as a distraught Zander peers over.
“What’s inside me?” he asks.
“Our child,” Gadamrie replies.
“What does that mean?”
“What do you want it to mean?”
Some Time Later…
“How long do you think it will take you to find them?”
“A piece of string, maybe less, maybe more, I’ve got nothing to go on except a name, but, I know a few people who might be able to steer me in the right direction, who knows, all I can do is try,” Zander replies as he extends his hand towards Quinn.
He looks down at his hand, then, back at Zander, before gripping his hand tightly, “Be careful out there, you’ve got a target on your back now, and the Priestess will want you dead once she knows you know her secret, so just remember, keep your nose down, and, as soon as you find something, contact me.”
“I will, and you do the same,” Zander says as he turns away and makes his way up Betha’s ramp, where Sin and Touvlar await.
“Zander!” Quinn calls out, he turns his head, looking over his shoulder. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
“I’m human, it’s our specialty,” Zander replies with a smile.
“Of course High Lord Quinn, I am pleased, with Kane on our side, the war has finally shifted our way, soon, the Priestess and her rebellion will be no more, you have done above and beyond,” he says as he switches off his communicator, then turns in his seat, to look out of a large window, into the vast space before him, and smiles. “The war is ours, with you once again by my side, and Kane itching to kill that vile abomination of a child, the universe, and the very stars themselves, will once more, be ours to bathe in, my daughter,” Balmires says as he turns to Gadamrie.