The Final FrontierEdit
Deep in the outer reaches of the Cyrannus Galaxy, a star cruiser sailed smoothly and without interruption into the deep blackness of space. The blackness was only interrupted by the occasional white dot, a star system that on its own could be harboring an entire civilization within its gravitational influence. On the side of the sleek, silver hull bore the words Mar'leti. In the language of its creators and current inhabitants, this unusual word meant "Messenger".
Its origin? Jora.
An old Jovar lie down on one of the cruiser's many comfortable cots, looking out into that deep black mass that engulfed everything it seemed to touch. To the old creature, space was indeed quite a beautiful thing to admire and ponder on. That being said, he had been a part of a great, albeit ancient spacefaring fleet. In his personal starship, he and the rest of the fleet had journeyed through the stars and beyond, having fought countless hostiles and discovered countless more friendly nations. In his lifetime, he had seen many star systems, a number that was quite impossible to fathom easily. And looking out of the port window brought those distant memories back.
But no longer did that grand fleet he once belonged to exist. His old nation no longer flew its banner of justice and authority. And his old ship was probably a heap of scrap metal at this point. To be fair, there was no telling what it was now.
At first glance, the old Jovar was nothing more than that. An old civilian. A tourist. Not that the URC would mind that much at all.
But anyone that was even partially involved in intergalactic politics and affairs could easily recognize this particularly well-known Jovar. He was the figurehead of the race, along with his late brother. Heck, his name was Jovar.
Jovar wasn't all that used to being the passenger of a starship. Yet here he was, sitting in the residential department (first class, of course) of a star cruiser (which, for all he knew, could very well have been part of the Jovar Fleet when he was still serving). If anyone had recognized him, he was sure that they would have made him the honorary captain for the trip. It was only Jovar custom to do something like that. It was a sign of respect. But not one soul had recognized him. There were a few close calls, but he quickly shrugged off the "absurd idea". And everyone went on with their daily lives.
He didn't mind. In fact, he was sort of glad that no one noticed.
Having lived the life of royalty for some 230-plus years was quite stressful. So for the aged Admiral, living in the shadows in the guise of your typical elderly citizen was a welcome commodity, to be fully honest. To say the least, the royal life was hectic. And even after the terrible disaster of a civil war that had split his great nation in two had come and gone, and the title of "Chancellor" became that of "President", it had been exactly the same. The name change meant nothing. It was exactly the same.
In eight years, he had come to fully grasp and understand how difficult it was to lead an entire nation. But at least now he knew what his brother had to deal with for even longer, forty-five years.
Sometimes, though, he did wish that he could go back to those old days of power, glory and fame. It was a natural human instinct (something the Jovar acquired from their creators) for him to want that. Despite the stress and dangers involved, he did find it to be quite fun. Somewhat regrettably, he missed it.
But there was nothing wrong with feeling that way. And he knew it.
Even now as he stared off into the distant white dots, he pondered on what might be out there. It was only normal of him. Space was his interest. And it had been since his childhood.
But for the first time in more than two centuries, he found himself slowly dozing off. Sucumbing to the endless beauty of the stars.
And for once, he let the sleep overtake him.
Just this once.
A Cup of Jovar JuiceEdit
Jovar was quite amazed by what he saw when he first stepped off of the cruiser and onto the surface of the small world of Civona. He accustomed himself to the planet's light gravity remarkably fast (he was used to these things, after all) and began to walk to a nearby cafe. It seemed odd to him that there would be a cafe immediately adjacent to a spaceport. But it seemed to fit right into the smooth, silvery Capricornian architecture just fine. if there was one quirk the old captain had with his species, it was that simple lack of commonplace gorgeous architectural style. But the Capricornians seemed to have captured the idea relatively well. It was beautiful, to say the least. Sure, the Jovar had their own masterpieces of architecture. Especially Jora. But it was not elegant. And most definitely not as widespread as this.
Another comment bombarded his head as he walked. What's with naming so many planets with names that have the "C" sound to it?
The planet was beautiful. It may as well have been a utopia. The grass was a rich green color, and the sky was a magnificent blue. The local star blazed brightly, but not too hot as to be uncomfortable. A cool breeze was aloft in the air, swaying the grass and budding flowers back and forth in an endless serenade of peace and tranquility. Well this is why people always visit the URC. It's a beautiful place indeed.
Once inside the cafe, Jovar found it to be relatively empty. Behind a wooden counter, a young and seemingly naive Libertus waitress eagerly served the old Jovar. He could only hope that she was young enough not to recognize him.
"Hello kind sir! Welcome to Civona's finest cafe, Civona's Finest! How may I serve you?"
Jovar chuckled at the name. "You're really going to stick with that name?" Even old age couldn't keep away a sense of humor.
"Oh yes, sir. It is, after all, the only successful cafe on the entire planet. There's only one settlement here, mind you. Civona City. I know, seems like we can't come up with any original names, here on Civona. But I guess you don't really need to if there's only one settlement on the entire planet. Not that I mind at all. I personally love this planet so much!"
Jovar smiled at the young girl. She was energetic and excited, yet obviously quite intelligent. And, by Capricornian standards, it was pretty obvious that she was quite beautiful too. In a way, she reminded him of his late wife. But he wouldn't dare think of that. Not now.
"May I ask what you have to drink, ma'am?"
"Oh, certainly sir! Sorry to keep you waiting! Hmm, since you're a Jovar, I bet you'd love to have some Jovar Juice, wouldn't you?"
They serve that here? "Oh, of course I would! It's my favorite drink of them all. Of course, after having had the one from Jora herself, it's hard to have other flavors and varieties of it. But I'd like to see how the URC has made their Jovar Juice. I heard it's the best outside of the Jovar Empire."
"I thought the Jovar Empire was gone? Didn't it split some decade ago or so?"
"Well, someone obviously knows their history. And yes, it surely did."
"You're not JSR loyal, are you?"
"Oh no. Of course not. I am loyal to the original government. The one that the URC first made contact with. Not with those rebel scumbags."
The young waitress heard the hatred in his voice at the thought of the JSR, so she quickly shut up, knowing it was probably better for both of them. She quickly got him his Jovar Juice, and took his payment. "Thank you sir, and have a great day on Civona!"
Jovar sat at one of the Jovar-specially made chairs in the middle of the cafe. Relaxed, he took a sip of the Jovar Juice. It was impressively good, at least for some not made on Jora. It did, however, taste of the Auder-2 variety. Good nonetheless.
Its rich, sweet taste reminded all too well of his wife. His old lover. Oh, how he remembered her so dearly and tenderly. She had been a gorgeous creature, by Jovar standards. Salisa was her name. She was native to some desert farmworld, where people made a living either as gangsters and crooks or as moisture farmers. She was quite unlike himself in many regards, at least in background origin. Yet they both were deeply fascinated by space. For different reasons, of course: Jovar was fascinated by the art of naval combat, while Salisa was a sprouting diplomat of sorts, eager to go out and meet the various races of the Gigaquadrant.
And it had been on Auder-2 where they had first met. At the Institute of Knowledge of Foreign Races and Cultures. More importantly, however, was that sweet Jovar Juice (then called Kral'ink Slurp) they had shared together on their first dates many months later.
After only a year of courtship, they were wed at the front of the Capital Building, much to the delight of the fledgling Salisa. The first years had been happy, he remembered. But then the real world began to kick in to both of them. After their first child had been born, Jovar became Senior Admiral of the Navy. With a career of that magnitude, it was impossible for him to be around with his family. Only when he had watched his children get married was he ever able to see his family for extended periods.
And then Salisa dies at a far too ripe age of 70. And he failed to be there when she needed him the most.
Even now, Jovar wished that he could spend another moment with his wife. Just one more. Just to make up for all the burdens that his career placed on him. But looking into the sweet orange liquid, he knew that was simply an impossibility. He regretted that sour fact. But he accepted it. With every sip that he took.
A small tear ran down his cheek. But there were few people in the quiet cafe. No one noticed or cared.
Even as the holoscreen blared on about the Great Cyrannus War, he continued on with the thoughts of his wife. He wad retired, after all.
He had all the time in the world to think about things such as this.
When he did finally finish, he walked up and gave the empty glass to the waitress. "Thank you very much."
"You're welcome, sir."
"Mind if I ask where that flavor was shipped from?"
"Auder-2, I believe."
Jovar could only smile as the image of his wife reformed in his head. And he walked out, still thinking of her graceful face.
After spending a few cozy and relaxing days on the small, tranquil colony of Civona City, Jovar boarded another shuttle at the small spaceport. This time, the cruiser was not filled solely with Jovar, and it was not of Jovar design at all. Instead, it was a typical URC design, and its inhabitants were of all sorts of various species. Libertus, a Carcubalan, an Osteola, a few Rambo citizens, some Adelphi, and even a Gjigantrox of all things. And to his surprise, he even saw a sole Jovar sitting in the back of the cruiser's rows of seats. The old creature decided to sit by the fellow Jovar.
"Mind if I sit here?" Jovar asked politely.
The Jovar nodded his head. Jovar sat down, struggling to keep his back from snapping into a thousand pieces. When he was finally comfortable, he noticed that the fellow species member had a small blue patch on his skin above his center eye. That only signified that the creature was a mute.
He had a particular pity for any Jovar such as this male. His younger sister was best friends with a servant's mute child for years. Eventually, the child died due to heart complications, but even to this day he was sure that his sister, who was aged just as much as he was, remembered that old childhood friend. Jove sure did.
Luckily for the mute, the former admiral had experience with speaking to mutes. For some reason, mute people were quite common in Jovar society. It was not common enough to pose any serious threat to the species as a whole, but it did exist. And since he had been raised from royalty, he was quite fluent in speaking the language of mutes. It was a special method of speaking involving eye and body motions. It was very difficult, yet rewarding to master.
"Hello, sir. What's your name?"
"Mirluer. And you can speak sign language? How so?"
Jovar chuckled. "I have my connections."
"What brings you here to Cyrannus? Business ties, as is my case?"
The shuttle lifted off the ground effortlessly.
"Oh no, just here to visit. I'm far too old for work."
"I always promised my daughter that I would take her to visit this galaxy one day. She hates it whenever I leave without her. I come here a lot, you see. And she really, really wants to come with me one day. One of these days, I'll make sure she does. Even if I have to sneak her on a ship." The mute smiled.
"I bet she'd love to. Sounds like she really loves you. What's she like?"
His eyes grew somewhat dreary at the question. "Well, unfortunately she's a mute like me. It's a horrible thing for any child to have to deal with, but especially her. She's about as sweet as any girl could ever be. Very intelligent too. And she's quite beautiful. Reminds me of my wife every time I see her. it's almost as if I'm seeing in doubles when the two are side by side. Except that one's a little bit smaller than the other, of course."
Jovar smiled once more by the man's keen sense of humor. "I bet she is. Might you have a holopad with you, so I can see what she looks like?" Maybe she'll look like my sister did, he thought to himself.
"Oh of course!" His eyes widened happily. "Here, let me show you."
Just as Jovar had suspected, she looked almost exactly the same as his own sister once had. Behind the slight blue glow of the holopad's screen, a beautiful, young, and slender was seen smiling alongside her mother. It was something expected of Jovar females, for better or worse. The skinniness, and the strict adherence and respect for the family structure. But it was beautiful, in Jove's opinion. Then again, he was an old timer. It was supposed to be beautiful in his eyes. And as he had observed only seconds before, she looked exactly like his sister.
His sister was always the "perfect child" according to Jove's parents. Everything that was expected of a female could be found in her, and then some. She was a perfectionist, no doubt. And unlike most perfectionists, she truly indeed was perfect at everything she did. It was an amazing quality, and Vromm had always remarked that "she's not gonna have any trouble finding a husband someday." And he was right. She found herself having caught the eye of a particularly famous businessman's son, who was successful in his own right as well. They got married even before Jovar had met Salisa. She had only been 18 years old, mind you.
But it wasn't long after that she became the exact opposite of what she had grown up to be. She was heavily influenced by the soul that she married, to the point that her entire personality and outlook on life changed completely. She was soon snobby, stuck up, and outright rude to everyone she came into contact with. Even to their parents. But that's what she got for marrying a businessman from Osion. It was only natural for those Osionese.
But it only got worse.
That brother-in-law's of Jove had a cousin. But this wasn't an ordinary cousin in the slightest. This particular cousin ended up marrying another Osionese male (in Jovar's view, this was incest). They wouldn't conceive a child for nearly 40 years. But when they did, they had a son.
This was no ordinary son they gave birth to, mind you.
This was the infamous Jem'rar.
The thought that Jovar could possibly be related to that scumbag of a creature was an abomination of a thought. But it was, regrettably, the truth. That didn't change the fact that he hated the idea.
It seems only natural that the roots of the family's power's demise came from someone within it. Or partially, anyway.
Rumors were that the evil quadrupedal was in exile within CAS territories, and that was ever so close to the URC. Ever so close to where his starship currently was.
If I ever see that bastard, I'm going to kill him. And I'll make sure it hurts. Jovar, however, kept a smile on his face.
How was that possible?
Because the memories of his sister before her fall to lower, Osionese standards, were enough to leave a good impression on him. Even in his age, he remembered her then more than he remembered her as she was now.
In Jovar's opinion, purity, love, beauty, and kindness were all much more powerful than corrupt greediness and snobbishness.
"She's beautiful," Jovar told the mute. Smiling.
"So what's it like to have no arms?" a rather curious, albeit rude fellow tourist asked the old Jovar in a classical-themed restaurant. In all honesty, it was a question innocent in intent. Its execution, though, could have been much smoother than actually delivered. Much smoother.
The witty Jovar replied sharply, "Tell me. What's it like to have arms?"
The creature was silent. Jovar smiled. He seemed to have gotten his point across.
The old Admiral had been in a rather cheery mood since the eerie reminder of his sister. He had decided that it would simply be healthiest for him to avoid any more negative thoughts or memories, and to simply enjoy the serene landscapes of Cyrannus. Besides, it was better for his health. And if he absolutely needed to delve into those painful thoughts, he may as well do it back home.
If there was anything that fascinated the Jovar, it was the fact that Joran cuisine seemed rather commonplace among the various URC restaurants he had been to in the past few days. Not that he didn't want to try out the Cyrannian touch of flavoring foods; he just was wary of getting potential food poisoning. He didn't need another Orgon-4 scenario. That was quite the embarrassment.
After finishing his paltry steak, he quietly walked out of the restaurant, classical music quietly humming in the background. He made sure to give the curious tourist a nice, obvious wink as he walked out. The creature could only smile in utter shame.
Outside, the warm air of Acrocanthaí surrounded the furry quadrupedal almost immediately. He didn't mind the weather in the slightest; as a matter of fact, by Joran standards it was a rather cold planet. It felt comfortable to him, actually. The cool air was a nice touch to the planet.
The old Jovar had been surprised when the "tour guide" (hardly) had declared that the planet had a population of only 170 million; he figured that any planet as important as Acrocanthaí might have a massive population. But it seemed apparent that the smaller population promoted the sense of Utopia far better than any large population might. Save for Orbispira.
Overhead, a Venator-class Star Destroyer rumbled discretely into the planet's hazy blue atmosphere; the ship quite reminded him of the old Ardent-class warships that had been used by the Jovar Empire more than a decade ago. He had even had one of his own. Of course, it was much larger and had a mass driver attached to its hull, but that was beside the point. It was always a good sight for the Admiral to see. In his view, the JPA's new starships were an eyesore in comparison. He was one of those picky people when it came to things such as starships. They had to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
His leisurely stroll gave him quite a few stares, but they did little to sway his happiness. And the parents that accompanied the curious young eyes were usually quick to hush his or her child. And every time a seal of embarrassment grew on a parent Libertus's face, Jovar always made sure to reassure them that all was well. He always smiled.
The jaunt through the brick and stone boardwalk that glided over the crystal-blue tropical oceans eventually lead to the main city on that particular portion of the planet. It was small, but despite its lack of size several skyscrapers found themselves with their foundations deeply anchored into the small city. The orange creature came to the city for one purpose and one purpose only: to find the Grande Acrocanthaí Suite Tower, and stay there for the night before departing to Orbispira.
The building was, in such a cliche manner, the tallest in the city, and impossible to miss with its glamorous crystalline blue shards of glass reflecting any incoming sunlight with intense beauty. It looked rather short from a distance of a few hundred meters, but once reaching the actual base of the tower it became quite apparent that the tower was indeed very tall.
After dealing with a tired and grumpy receptionist, Jovar made his way up to the 174th floor elevator, and ascended to the top. He walked out and headed to the room he would be staying at. Floor 174 was a Jovar-designated suite level, so it was relatively empty at the time (for tourist season had not reached its peak yet).