Through the pitch-black gloom of space, the sleek form of the Na'ario destroyer Ixxor Ovrat slithered along, minding its own business. The ship entered a sparse asteroid belt. The large, drifting chunks of rock and ice floated dangerously close to the Na'ario ship.
"Approaching Jumpgate #273," A mechanical voice droned.
"All right, people. We will reach our destination soon enough," Admiral Samsa told them.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a fleet of light-blue ships appeared. "It seems as though we are attacked by an unidentified force." One of the ships at the front of the fleet spat out a series of pulses and beams. The Na'ario destroyer shook lightly as the pulses collided with it. Soon, the entire fleet was spitting pulses and beams, engulfing the destroyer with a hailstorm of fire.
" WARNING. WARNING. SHIELDS LOW. "
Acid green letters appeared on the computer screen in front of Samsa. Numbers also appeared, indicating the shields' power. Samsa was obviously enraged. His long antennae bobbed. He slammed his fist down in anger, and placed his hands on the flight controls. "Prepare for battle, my fellow crewmen."
"Prepare the battle stations!" commanded the admiral.
The crew scrambled for the battle stations. "Fire the torpedoes!"
"Fire!" said one of the officers. There was a grinding noise, as the torpedos were loaded. Then, out of the ship, came a large, triangular torpedo, heading straight for one of the attacking ships. It evaded the attack. However, one of the rear ships wasn't so lucky, for the torpedo rammed headlong into the poor ship.
Titanic shock waves rippled across the asteroid belt as the unfortunate ship exploded. A roiling, flaming, cauliflower-shaped cloud of dust and metal emerged from the ship. Debris skittered around. The fleet kept on charging.
"I guess we have no choice, but to make them learn the hard way. Fire Two!" said the officer. Another torpedo was launched. It was aimed at the capital ship of that fleet. The carrier was too slow. The torpedo hit, and obliterated an entire side of the carrier. When the smoke cleared, Samsa took a glance at the inside of the ship. He saw the aliens.
Samsa glanced at his computer. "Biped aliens. Primitive ship designs, but still quite powerful. Known around the galaxy as the Ishimans. Well, it will take all of our force to get this vermin off of our tail..."
"Fire the primary weapons!" Samsa ordered, and Ixxor Ovrat fired a rain of glowing blue pulses. The shots hit the carrier, creating a series of explosions on its hull.
The Ishimans kept charging.
"When will these aliens ever learn?" Samsa thought, with an expression of annoyance on his face. "I hope this doesn't lead to extreme measures." But it did. The Ishiman carrier charged, with all its speed, toward the Na'ario destroyer. It engaged its FTL drive, and sped even faster.
"It's a kamikaze! Quick! Do something!" Frantically, Samsa reached for a button. He pressed it, and a red beam lanced out of the destroyer. The beam hit the charging carrier, and the carrier started to emit sparks. The beam created a string of large explosions, and melted a long trail on the carrier's hull. Suddenly, without warning, it exploded. A tremendous blast issued from the carrier, sending shock waves rippling through space. The shock waves knocked Ixxor Ovrat into a planet-sized asteroid. The Ishiman carrier exploded just seconds away from hitting the Na'ario destroyer.
The fleet decided to retreat. Before Ixxor Ovrat could turn for a parting shot, the light-blue ships vanished.
The destroyer approached the jumpgate slowly. Slowly, he steered his ship into the blue-green swirl of energy. The jumpgate closed, and the ship streaked through the jumpgate at lightning speed, as if in a black hole. After what seemed like days, the destroyer came out at the other end.
As if it was a hologram, a planet suddenly appeared in front of Samsa's eyes. "Prepare the landing sequence," he said grimly.
A crowd of Amaronian civilians gathered at the flat, treeless plain that Ixxor Ovrat was about to land on. The ship descended slowly out of the greenish sky, and a shadow covered the Amaronian crowd. The crowd was blown back by the wind, as the ship neared the ground. Finally, with a thump, it landed.
"Here we are, my fellow crewmen. Here is planet Amaron."
The Amaronians gaped in awe. What they first saw first, was a bony arm, with multijointed, crooked fingers. What came next, was a cluster of acid green eyes, glittering, anticipating. "Hah. So, you're surprised to see me, I suppose? Hmmm?" The alien chuckled. "Allow me to introduce. I am Admiral Samsa. We are here to retrieve our...um... fellow crew member, Hr'asaam. And his ship. Or what is left of that fighter." He signalled to the pile of wreckage that was the fighter. It was approximately seven Amaronian miles away, which was an extremely long distance. Steam was still rising from the debris. Crumpled, burned paper was scattered here and there. Samsa stared with his cold, unforgiving stare. "We have travelled hundreds of parsecs just to find a mere, useless, little fighter, you think? Well, that is not what I think! Every single ship counts, every one of my crewmen, every bit of my fleet! I, in the very least, should get some respect!"
The crowd remained as silent as ever.
Samsa walked away. He searched the ship, his long fingers snaking through the rubble, searching, searching. His antennae bobbed. Still, no sign of the missing Hr'asaam. The abandoned wreck was vacant. No life signs from within.
"Well, I'd say it was a fruitless search," said one of Samsa's engineers.
"I'd search a bit more carefully, if I were you," shot back Samsa. "It is not 'fruitless' until you prove that it is. Hr'asaam should be alive and well."
No sign of Hr'asaam.
"What are Remenon doing on our planet?" An Amaronian asked suspiciously.
"Ah, you speak of our...hosts? Yes, our hosts. The Remenon are an extremely advanced race." At the word "host", the Amaronians recoiled.
"We do not appreciate parasites here on Amaron. Depart immediately." A strict voice said sharply. It was La'harrh. He stepped toward Samsa. Suddenly, a device that looked somewhat similar to a wristwatch on Samsa's arm emitted a loud, high-pitched beep. A small computer screen was attached to the device. Samsa pressed some buttons with his odd-looking Remenon fingers, and there was a crackle of static. Then, a face appeared on the screen.
"Admiral. How nice to see you again." A voice said, only loud enough to be heard by Samsa. The Amaronians stared curiously, but didn't dare venture forth. Eavesdropping was an extremely impolite action on Amaron.
Samsa replied, "Well, if it isn't my...'missing' officer, Hr'asaam. Report your location."
"Eqinoas Complex, just eighteen miles northeast of your current location. You won't miss it. Seventy-five floors high. About 25% covered in glass."
"Excellent..." Samsa chuckled. "With that, my plan is complete."
"Refer to Section 3-C." The room was brightly lit. Humans and Ishimans sat working busily at computer terminals.
"Phase 3 of the Veusse-Tristar virus: Delirium, mania, and confusion. The virus uses bio-mechanically created toxins, and attacks the brain. The victim may be in a half-conscious state. Victims have been known to respond incoherently to questions, and have severe memory problems."
An Ishiman scientist said, "Due to that unsuccessful attempt to attack Ixxor Ovrat , our forces were greatly diminished. The Ishiman 48th fleet has been half eliminated by that deadly ship.
"However, we did retrieve this from the ship. An extremely narrow escape, if you ask me. One of our men survived the carrier's explosion, and entered the enemy destroyer. He jettisoned himself in a Na'ario escape pod. This is our reward." He took a computer chip from his pocket. "Congratulations on that daring move, Birmingham.
"We have just discovered the weak point of this virus." The scientist said, placing the computer chip on a table.
"Phase 2 of our plan: Dominate the galaxy." Samsa whispered into the hand-held computer. "Once the unfortunate people are infected, they will heed our every command! We shall be the ultimate race in the galaxy!"
La'harrh, meanwhile, was listening attentively. A few other Amaronians whispered to one another, "Well, La'harrh is breaking a law. That is illegal activity!"
He overheard them. "I must stop these villains, even if it means breaking the law. Laws are just there, so people will be under control. They are not compulsory."
"There is no stopping us, my friend." Samsa turned to La'harrh, eyeing him with vindictive pleasure. "We are the Na'ario. We were always the Na'ario. We are superior to you foul vermin. You were born a fool, and will die a fool. Just like the rest of your pathetic kind."
La'harrh looked at the Remenon, or rather, Na'ario admiral with great hatred. He took a step forward, just as the admiral took a step back. "Why, damn you! That remark would have cost you your entire race in the former Na'ario government! How dare you rebel against your own kind?
"Our race, despite all of its faults, still deserve respect. We are a peaceful race. You are greedy, oppressive, and the only thing that keeps you alive is the desire for power!"
Samsa seethed with anger. His Remenon adrenaline pumped, tinting his smooth, brown skin orange. "Well, we could always settle this with a little...duel."
Behind him, his men lined up. "Hr'asaam, I will be having a little delay. Wait at Eqinoas Complex, and do not leave the location."
"Shall we begin?" Samsa's eyes gleamed.
(This message has been edited by Laguna (edited 07-30-2002).)
(This message has been edited by Blood Eagle (edited 07-30-2002).)