(So, uh... long wait, eh? I had to resubmit this.)
"All hail Na'ario!"
The cry repeated. The chill, crisp Amaron winter air shivered with the roar of the crowd.
"Well, well." Samsa sneered. "Aren't we a merry little group?" Hr'asaam said, "Our plan has reached its final stage..."
"Your orders are ours to command, Admiral." The crowd, under the hypnosis of the virus, nodded in agreement with the evil admiral.
La'harrh and a group of other Amaronians gaped in awe. One of them whispered to La'harrh, "Look at those fools! They are absolutely oblivious to what that...vile... creature is saying. I can't possibly believe that! That's my son, taking orders from Samsa!"
La'harrh said, "The only way to recover those people is to remove that virus. Those people are like sheep without their shepherd. Just watch them, acting all zombie-like, taking orders from a stranger."
Galactic domination... Those words lingered in his mind. So confident, the way Samsa spoke.
Amaron was in danger!
La'harrh dashed into the oblivious crowd. The Na'ario admiral stared blankly at him with his gleaming Remenon eyes. "My, my, my. What a pleasant surprise." He snarled, and the blank, unworried look disappeared. "You are a disgrace! Here are your people, taking orders from me. You --"
He was cut off by La'harrh. "Stop this outrage immediately! Show some mercy to us Amaronians! We honestly don't know what you are doing!" He was getting frantic. "Free our people, hand them their freedom! You beast!"
"Ah, here comes some company, Admiral." Hr'asaam pointed toward the gray sky. The sky was illuminated with lights. White ships emerged from the dense clouds, at first camouflaged. The ships landed, scattering the crowd.
The admiral seemed shocked at first, then he began to laugh uncontrollably. "Well, if it isn't the most primitive alien race in this galaxy! I am impressed that --" He laughed between words. "-- you even got here on your pathetic, retro sub-lights!"
A human stepped out of a ship. Apparently, he was not amused by that remark. He was obviously the commander of the ship, judging from his uniform. "Although your presence disgusts me, Na'ario scum, I must to introduce myself to you foreign life-forms. I believe introduction is most important.
"I am Commander Agnes. We humans have traveled far, and we need rest on this planet. I heard some interesting news..."
More humans clambered out from the ships.
"We are researchers. We seek this bio-mechanical virus, known as the Veusse-Tristar virus. Our mission is to investigate, and ultimately eliminate this viral menace. Any clues as to what we are looking for?"
Samsa replied glumly, "The virus..." He paused, uncertain of what to say. "I do not know anything of this virus. It is unknown, even to us Na'ario, the most advanced race in the galaxy."
"Well, I am looking for a virus , not a pompous, bragging Na'ario," Agnes said creully. "Well, it would make no difference anyway. You Na'ario are hopeless." The other humans nodded.
Hr'asaam remained silent. Samsa asked quietly, "Shall we?"
Hr'asaam finally spoke up. "Yes, sir." He raised his voice, so the humans could hear. "Allow us to demonstrate!"
"Demonstrate what?" The humans sounded puzzled. Agnes scratched his head absent-mindedly.
"Our technological sophistication..." He paused. The air smelled of suspense, and it was getting stronger. "Demonstrate... your doom!" That was the cue. The hypnotized Amaronian crowd charged toward the humans.
"Ah!" The human crews rushed into their ships. "Cheapskates, aren't they?" Samsa chuckled. "They do not know one thing: We also have ships..."
The angry Amaronians rushed to the nearest shipyard. Dozens of ships were parked, sitting there silently. A few minutes later, a squad of Amaronians ships flew into the sky. It lightened and thundered. "This is the perfect setting for your demise, pathetic human fools." Hr'asaam said.
The humans looked worried. Agnes shouted into his intercom, "Attack with all of your force. Stay in one group. Show them no mercy!" The crews followed his order. "Bunch up in a wedge and... Charge!"
The ships fired a rain of pulses and beams.
As if the Amaronians were reading Commander Agnes' mind, their ships formed a circle around the human ships. "Fire."
The circle of ships fired viciously. The humans were heavily outnumbered and outmatched! Luckily, Agnes and his battlegroup dodged just in time.
The battle was growing more brutal every second. The ships ascended into the space, firing and dodging. After what seemed like hours, Samsa and Hr'asaam heard a series of explosions.
"My prediction is this: Humans lose!" Samsa cried gleefully. "I never thought I'd be a fortune teller before." Hr'asaam said, "Indeed, Samsa. Those humans were no match for our superior technology."
However, their prediction turned out to be incorrect; the human ships rushed back to Amaron.
Samsa looked calm and unworried. He merely said, "Very impressive." An eerie grin was on his face. "That was not all."
A fleet of light blue ships appeared in the sky above. Reinforcements.
"Oh, bull. If we defeated a superior force," Agnes muttered. "We can defeat an inferior force, like yourselves."
"'Inferior?' That is a miscalculation, my friend Agnes."
La'harrh was watching. He was tired of this confusion, this outrage. The Amaronians have been a peaceful race. How could this happen?
He said to Samsa, "Why are you doing this? You are not accomplishing anything by battling with us. Why? Why us?"
"Because you have a lot to learn, my young friend." Samsa said. "Hr'asaam, explain."
"You Amaronians have an interesting history." The humans listened intently.
"Us Na'ario were a peaceful --" La'harrh snickered sarcastically. "-- yes, peaceful race. Although we were parasitic, we were peaceful. Yes. That is the case. Our early hosts were lush plants. Rich vegetation that was abundant on our planet. However, another race on our planet Tharris, the Remenon, were abusing these plants, using them for disgusting reasons, such as clothing and food. Quite a number of us were killed, ingested with the plants they ate. That was our cue, our cue to become evil.
"The plants were becoming scarce on Tharris. We slowly adapted to the different environment. Our new hosts were Remenon. However, there was one problem. This was considered slavery in our sector, and we did not want to get caught. We were extremely worried.
"Thus, the development of ships and shipyards. Our technology was superb, superior to even the Elejeetians and the Audemedons.
"The next thing I am going to say might disturb you.
"We created the virus."
"No! That cannot be!" Agnes cried.
"Yes, face the music, Agnes. Face the truth. We created this virus, to avenge our heritage. Our hearts were filled with evil. We wanted power. We wanted to conquer the galaxy!
"This virus has similar capabilities to us. They enslave, and control people's minds. But if the host is unworthy, the virus... will kill them."
"But Hr'asaam, your race has not enough reason to do such an evil, cruel deed."
"No. Not only the Remenon were angering us, but... the Amaronians."
La'harrh gasped. Never in his life had he heard such a frightening sentence, or such an insult. "Us?" His father didn't tell him anything about this. He was surprised.
"Yes, you Amaronians. You stole our technology, and enslaved us. We were considered trash on your world. This virus is the result of your foolishness to enslave us."
La'harrh seemed puzzled. He asked, "How are the Remenon involved in this conflict?"
"They motivated us to be evil. They were the cause of our evil. They ruined our reputation!" Samsa was on the verge of sobbing. "We are fools! We let ourselves be accepted into hell. We are evil!"
La'harrh sighed. There was a moment of dense silence.
Hr'asaam broke the silence. "Now, it's your turn to feel the pain. Revenge is ours!"
The Na'ario fleet flew up into the darkness of space. The Amaronians followed.
"This will determine the future of our race." Samsa said.
"This will determine who is superior!" La'harrh shouted.
"This will be the end!" Hr'asaam cried angrily.
The battle was incredible. Every single ship in the battlefield fought violently, shooting like berserk. In seconds, an Amaronian carrier was shredded to pieces by a Na'ario ship's beam. Debris skittered around, bouncing off of the ships' hulls.
La'harrh's ship, the Omega Blaze , fired a series of pulses at a Na'ario gunship, obliterating the entire left side of it. It returned fire, shooting a blazing blue beam at it, cracking the hull of the Amaronian destroyer.
La'harrh pressed a button. A torpedo was launched at a Na'ario cruiser, and before it could dodge, the torpedo sent it sailing into an asteroid. An explosion rocked the battlefield.
Soon, all of the ships were burnt black cinders, pieces of useless debris drifting through the dead of space. All except two.
Samsa's newly constructed heavy destroyer, the Crimson Death , and La'harrh's ship, the Omega Blaze. They faced each other, guns at the ready, tensed for a duel.
Samsa said cruelly through the intercom, "Give it up, primitive idiot."
La'harrh was greatly angered, but he couldn't get the words out. Instead, he pleaded, "Please. Do not do this. This is pointless. All this proves is that we are both losers. Stop this now."
His crew roared at him, "Fight, you fool! Don't stop here! The fight is almost over! We will defeat that Samsa!"
"No! I won't fight!"
"Oh, yes, you will."
Finally, La'harrh gave in. "I will. But under one condition..."
The crew were no less puzzled than Samsa.
However, it became obvious what that "condition" was, as Samsa finally realized...
Omega Blaze cranked its engines up to full power. La'harrh sat on his seat, his brow furrowed in concentration. He had a look of determination on his face.
...La'harrh was charging.
For one split second, it seemed that everything was in slow motion. That moment passed quickly. Samsa searched frantically for an escape pod. He found none. "Those blasted fools! They forgot to equip my ship with escape pods! Nooooo....."
Amaronian destroyer met Na'ario destroyer. Samsa braced for the impact. La'harrh remained as calm as ever.
Goodbye, everyone. You have taught me everything I needed to know. Now, I must die for it.
Unless La'harrh was hallucinating, he caught a glimpse of his father's face, staring at him in space. The vision disappeared quickly.
The explosion was titanic. A roiling, cauliflower cloud erupted from the explosion. The blast knocked asteroids out of their orbits. So powerful, so awesomely powerful. Where the two opposing destroyers were, there was nothing. A void. Amaron shook with the space around it. The humans watched in disbelief. A piece of black debris missed Agnes by meters, burning a crater in the ground.
The battle was over. The gloom was slowly sinking in. Amaron will never be the same again...