From the Ashes[]

12th January, 2789
For over a decade, Argena V was of little notice. During the Holy Shadow War the Imperial Talon Navy had glassed the planet after an infsstation of undeath had overrun the planet. Warping otu in mid-orbit was the Kalmvadus, an 800m long civillian cruiser outfitted as a science vessel. It was esorted by a small wing of gloryhunter-class frigates which were half the length. Upon arriving several shuttles were launched from the Kalmvadus'shanger bay and descended to the planet's surface. One shuttle touched down in the crumbling ruins of a large city. The buildings surrounding the pad had been blown clean to reveal the ground beneath. The mildly coarse surface was indicative of a planet-glassing shockwave that had been obscured and eroded from a decade's worth of wind and dry ground. The dhuttle door opened and three figures resembling a Heeyorian, a Terratrix and a Draconis stepped out, their figures obscured by advanced hazardous environment suits that covered their bodies and sheated the wings of the latter two. Their heads were enveloped in helmets with large visors that stopped mid way around their heads.


After emerging the group took out a medium-sized tripedal device with an emitter at the bottom of a cylindrical body. the Heeyorian and the Terratrix fixed a probe into the hard ground while the Draconis plodded around, he looked at the crumbling city in the distance. After fixing the probe, translucent energy fields extended form the legs to create a contained area while a scanning lazzer swept the ground. The results appeared on HUD systems projected onto the visors of each team memeber.

Terratrix - Residual ionising radiation at background levels. Atmospheric levels at 25% oxygen, 58% nitrogen, 15% neon and 2% other. High levels of gas-like hydrocarbons, particulates and carbon dioxide making up 1.6% of atmospheric levels. Air is mostly breatheable.
Heeyorian - It sounds like a lot of dust was kicked up from the blasts, or these buildings have rotted for the best part of a decade.
Terratrix - Surface scans show prokaryotic life traces.
Heeyorian - Oh good, so we now know this atmopshere isn't completely inhospitable.

The Draconis had wandered away as the pair debated their findings. After travelling a few metres away he kneeled down and scooped up a clump of soil and rubbed it into his palm with his thumb. He seemed distant as the other two called over to him. After a few shouts he perked up.

Terrareix - Erunvos?
Erunvos - Hm? Oh. What about areas that were not directly hit by planet-glassers.
Terratrix - Reports from other teams are that debris particles have a reduced level. We estimate an average 13% difference in particulate Levels per kilometre from each glasser impact site.
Heeyorian - We run these tests but orbital scans indicated the planet was habitable to an extent.
Terratrix - It never hurts to be thourough.

The Heeyorian rolled his eyes inside his helmet. Erunvos kept rubbing the soil, scattering clumps until he disturbed what appeared to be a tiny seed pot, his eyes widened inside his helmet and he stood up quickly to pull out a small scanning device. Pressing a button at the top a line of blue light passed over the seed in his hand and he linked the findings to his HUD once it had finished. He was surprised to see that the scanner had detected evidence that the seed could still germinate.

Erunvos - Continue the operation and inform the captain we can go ahead with terraforming protocols.
Terratrix - What changed your mind?

Erunvos pressed a few buttons on a console mounted onto his wrist and the data he had found in the seed was transferred to the other two

Erunvus - This kreeda bush seed is capable of germination, life can return to this planet without needing radical atmopsheric alteration. And like you said there is a thriving culture prokaryotic life in the soil.
Terratrix - What about that 1.6% of material? And the particulates?
Erunvus - Have a nanite cloud disperse in the atmosphere and inform the local university that the restoratino of the Argena system can continue as planned.
Heeyorian - As you wish boss.

Erunvus looked at the ruined skyline in the distance. Once-shinging towers were covered in dust and ash and had been dulled to an earthy orange. His gaze honed in on one tower in the foermer inner-city and he could barely make out the balcony jutting out from the side, some of which had crumbled off. Behind him the pair conducted a few more readings before they packed the probe away and carried it back into the shuttle. the Terratrix walked up to Erunvus and looked out to see waht he was looking at.

Terratrix - Former home?
Erunvus - Do you see the remains of the balcony on the 42nd floor? That was my own home. I was one of the lucky few who managed to escape the plague... I lot my brother to those creatures.
Terratrix - When we fix this place up we can always plant a tree in his memory, perhaps his soul will find peace in time.

Erunvos chuckled.

Erunvos - Perhaps it will. We will continue our studies by visiting the urban areas, perhaps one day this city will become glorious again.
Terratrix - Only tiem will tell, right now it looks like the prrfect home for rock-slugs.

The Terratrix chuckled as he and Erunvus returned to the shuttle. After stepping aboard the doors closed and the shuttle lifted off, heading towards the ruined city as pods fired from orbit burst open several kilometres above the atmosphere, releasing silvery clouds that dispersed when the capsules erupted. inside these capsules were clouds of nanites that set to work re-adjuting the atmosphere's composition while on various other locations across the planet, other science teams probed the ground for signs of restoration. It would be years before the planet became anthing like what it used to be, but for now the scientists returned filled with hope.

Aurora Nova Andromedae[]

Members from every member of the commonwealth gathered in a central chamber within the Seat of Light on Alcanti. In the centre of the bright, five-tiered tiered council chamber was a holographic projector. Uriel stood in the middle of the room wearing his finest as everyone sat down. he cleared his throat as an enormous holoram of the Andromeda galaxy appeared behind him.

Uriel - Esteemed members of the Andromedan Light. you ahve been called here today to discuss the future of this commonwealth. Roughly one year ago our forces had dealt a final crushing blow to the Grox in the galaxy's core, and now reports come in that they have left it behind.

The projection magnified to focus on the core of Segmentum Mechanicum.

Uriel - This is what they have left behind; a potential source of energy that is greater than what has been seen before. The super-massive black hole on the centre of our own galaxy could catapult the galactic community into a new age!
Tyraz - One year ago we found a cure to the Mechovirus, today we find something even more amazing...a new way to push our technology into the league of maybe even the gods!
Uriel - Indeed, Lord-councillor. Before that dreadful war started the Imperium had begun a construction project to harness this enrgy, sadly this project was left unfinished when we had to evacuate the segmentum.

A Ryketian in a white robe stood up, who represented the Solonese Union in the Andromedan Light.

The Andromedan Light discusses the galactic core

Solonese delegate - Ryketian - Highlord Uriel, as much as the deeds of the highlords are impressive, who is to take charge of such a source of power? Surely you cannto trust such a region of space to one power?

Tyraz - Hehe, well, that is an excellent question.
Uriel - You are right councillor, we can't. Which is why I make this proposition: A new organisation aligned to the commonwealth but neutral to individual members, who will be responsible for harnessing the enrgies released.
Tyraz - That sounds like a good idea, but how do you plan to do this?
Uriel - We each have our own energy firms so why not contribute part of them into one organisation?
Iovera - The gaps between the empires and the core are immense, what if we were to use wormholes to transmit the energy?
Uriel - That would make sense. Scouts report that some remnnants of the old project remain which, thankfully, means we do not have to start from scratch.
Tyraz - It's a good idea. But what if something poses a threat? We need an organized military force to go along with it.
Uriel - That brings me to my second proposal.

The hologram changed to show a group of various Commonwealth-aligned aliens with highly advanced-looking armour and equipment.

Uriel - Members of the Light, let me introduce the Guardians of Light; What I propose is that like the energy organisation they are part of the commonwealth as a whole but neutral to its members. What I propose is this: They shall be hand-picked from the most prospective of all our militaries, clad in the finest armour and given the finest weapons. There is an old saying which may apply here; "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts".

Tyraz sat up and rubbed his chin with glee whiel the Ryketian widened his eyes in awe.

Tyraz - I am impressed. I would also gladly donate Shidium weaponry and armour.
Solonese - You take the Union's philosophy to heart, Highlord Uriel. I am most impressed!
Uriel - Perhaps, Lord Breek. But what if we were to combine the technologies of each member for their equipment?
Tyraz - Then we have a military force to be feared.
Iovera - Such a military would indeed be feared. If it were abused then...
Tyraz - Then we have somebody you can trust leading it.
Uriel - Also I suggest they focus on being protectors rather than invaaders or conquerors. Deterrence is a powerful tool. Solonese - And who would lead this army of yours?
Uriel - Not mine, ours; as in the commonwealth's.
Tyraz - I would gladly take charge if the Highlords allowed me so.
Uriel - It is a tempting offer. Zazane are indeed known for their combat prowess.
Tyraz - A great number of Zazane would take pleasure in having a role as important as protecting the galaxy. But of course, Draconis have more fleet experience than us.

An alien from one of the commonwealth's more minor meber states stood up from his chair.

Alien - Are you really asking us to trust the galaxy's most powerful military outside the Confederation to a Zazane? Five years ago they were conquerors, they are only in this council because they decided to migrate and buddy-up with you Draconis!

the chamber bustled as members discussed worryingly with each other. Tyraz stood up.

Tyraz - Hmph, settle! If it was not for me, you would all have been part of some necrotic bastard's flesh!
Alien - A "necrotic bastard" that apparently you were responsible for!
Uriel - Enough! Tyraz's actions are not in question here.

Iovera stood up from ehr chair. She was wearing an impressive robe.

Iovera - I would like to remind the council that we Radeons were in the same position; We originally came from darkspace, drawn here from a rumoured, and nwo confirmed, ancestry. Migrants are a prt of this gaalxy as much as the natives are. We can trust the Zazane.
Tyraz - Hmph, well if you still don't trust me, I'd like to seek redemption by taking larger steps to protect this galaxy.

The alien pouted. He folded his arms and sat back down with a scowl. When he did so his advisors approached him.

Uriel - So far Tyraz is the only one of us opening to accepting the commander's mantle. I propose that we use a meritocratic system for the position; if he slides then perhaps the Highlord's council could hold the right to choose another?
Tyraz - If I slide I would gladly exile myself from this galaxy.
Iovera - There is no need to be so extreme Tyraz.
Tyraz - No, no. I would like to show the galaxy how serious I am about seeking the redemption I fight so hard for.
Uriel - Would self-exile for failing really be appropriate?
Tyraz - If a Zazane fails in his duty then he deserves death. And as you know, I cannot die.
Solonese - All the more reason for him to be a commander I suppose.
Uriel - Very well. By the authority of the Andromedan Light, Tyraz Breek shall hold the title of grandmaster of the Guardians of Light. He shall be granted any rights and permissions that such a title holds and should he be found lacking in his duty the Highlord's Council has the right to give his position to another comamnder.

Tyraz smiled at the announcement and sat back down. he let out a relieved sigh and still had a genuine smile on his face.

Tyraz - I shall not fail Andromeda.
Uriel - Choose your commanders well, highlord Breek. I will gladly commission a special set of armour for your new position courtesy of House Ultanos' own royal armourers.
Tyraz - Thank you for this divine opportunity, highlord Ultanos. I shall choose well.

the chamber roars with the sound of applasue as supporters of Tyraz's new position cheered for him. A small tear tricked down his cheek. He swiftly wiped it away, stood up and raised a hand to settle the crowd. The roar of clapping died down a few minutes later and iovera stood back up.

Iovera - I have another proposal to bring to the light's atention. Since the end of the war the Divinarium's shipwrights have been working on a new class of ship that we shall name "the New Dawn". Much of our galaxy remains unexplored and the new Dawn will spearhead the effort to chart our home.
Tyraz - The New Dawn? A fitting name, highmistress Iovera!
Iovera - I believe it is only appropriate that the crew of such a vessel should be made up of a mix of the commonwealth's members.
Uriel - An interesting proposal. I am sure the Royal Academy can provide scientists for the mission.
Tyraz - I would gladly donate several of my best Zazane security forces working aboard, mainly Niddan Ho.
Uriel - An excellent idea.
Iovera - The galaxy's brightest and best shall spearhead the age of the commonwealth. Is there anyting else any member would like to bring up before this meeting is concluded?

Councilllors looked around and at each other with a low bustle, none of them had anything to say. Tyraz smiled and clapped his hands together. Uriel nodded and the crowd filtered out leaving the Highlords alone in the now-empty chamber. Not long after Tyraz headed down to where Uriel was. he smiled a little and turned to both Tyraz and Iovera.

Uriel - A bright future is ahead of us. I only hope these rumours from Segmentum Ignotum are untrue...
Tyraz - What rumours?
Uriel - The Vartekians, something bothers me about their isolation and I do not like it.
Tyraz - Vartekians...It has been a while since I have heard that name.
Uriel - I find it unsettling that such a race of conquerors would be so content with the comparatively-small territory they currently have.
Tyraz - If I know the Vartekians, then they are obviously planning something or other.
Uriel - I jut hope the Guardians can be ready in time, I do not like possibility of a second Andromeda War.
Iovera - I shall eb on my way. Good day highlords.
Uriel - Good day, highmistress Iovera.
Tyraz - I shall see you both very soon, especially you Iovera. I have "matters" to discuss.

Tyraz smirked and winked at Iovera. She felt uncertain but, reluctantly understood what he meant.

Iovera - If you insist... Tyraz.

The three of them left the room and the lights turned off. Andromeda was changing.

Building the Furnace[]

Deep in the galactic core, professor Reovius Senvinus looked over infornation on a datapad as his ship orbited roughly some 10 light years from the galactic core. He was working aboard the Cordevia, a research ship chartered by the Royal Academy. Despite this distance he preferred not to look outside and had modified his portholes to show images of his homeworld. Outside, the supermassive black hole was a void in space twelve light-hours across, the accretion disk stretched further and without the negative mass drives that had been installed it was possible that his own ship could have been part of that accretion disk as clouds of gas and dust swirled like water int oa sinkhole. There was something else. His ship sat some 20 degrees above the accretion disk. Closer to the black hole light was bent around it and light from the accretion disk behind the event horizon was bent around to create a partial and pale 'ring' as light from behind the event horison was warped by gravtational lensing.

Reonvus was a keen mind who enjoyed his research on improving the effectiveness of Senvinus Reactors, which provided abundant sources of energy across the Imperium, he was mesmarised by the beauty of the accretion disk of this particular anomoly. He relied on diagrams and visualisations as he planned the designs, the required technology was more demanding than anything he had buit before because the black hole in this project was several orders of magnitude larger and more massive than any black hole he had previously worked around. One thing did mesmarise him however and that was watching as dozens of stars orbited around the enormous void. When he wanted to relax he would watch recordings of the stars as they visibly moved in orbit around the cosmic entity. It was somewhat enchanting to him. The stars orbited this void like satellites as though this was another solar ssytem on an enormous scale.

One day he was working in his study sipping from a wine glass, he looked decided to take a break and changed one of the screens to show a camera recording from closer to the supermaasive black hole. He saw a rogue blue giant pass very close to the event horizon, as it approach the star was streched and as it closed in the corona formed a 'tether' of stellar material that spiralled and descended into the black hole. It was too early to tell if the star was a stellar capture or if it would one day dissapear past the event horizon. What intrigued him was that as the stelalr matter spiralled down to join the accretion disk it forked in two as it passed behind the event horizon, the view was hard ot describe but as the stream of stellar material spiralled around and returned to being in front of the view the two forks (which were simly an optical illusion caused by the effects of gravity) rejoined. The stellar material of the blue giant hilighted the accretion disk.

It was a good distraction for a few minutes, but the work came first and he returned to perfecting his schematics. As he worked one of his assistants, a Radeon assigned to the design team, walked in and saw the recording of the blue giant being consumed.

Assistant - Beautiful isn't it?
Reonvus - Hm? Oh... yes. Yes it is. If the mathematics are right the blue giant is on course to be an stellar capture with a 20% chance of falling through the event horizon and a 3% chance of being thrown off.
Assistant - Indeed the mechanics of the universe are a wonder to Spode.
Reonvus - If you wish to see it that way then fine, as long as you don't go thinking 'Spode' is responsible for the entire event.
Assistant - He oculd be, Spode is everywhere at once.
Reonvus - That powoer, my fiend, could soon be ours to decide. The problem with somthing this large is that the amount of radiation it emits is inversely proportional to the diameter of the event horizon. Which means that for every unit of volume we are better off harvesting from a black hole of a smaller radius. The same goes for tidal forces.
Assistant - Do you have any thoughts on how we could improve this?

Reonvus stood up and walked around, expressing with his hands as he spoke.

Reonvus - I have one. The accretion disk descending into the entity is enormous - the volume alone is greater than even the largest of stars. If we tapped into the full potential of that we could harness levels of energy many orders of magnitude beyond the output of a typical reactor.
Assistant - That seems reasonable, but how do we cover such a region?
Reonvus - Nanites, my good man. They can harvest material from the accretion disk and then transfer it to matter-energy stations or industrial facilities for further use. We can then transmit the material or energy through the portals your people are establishing.
Assistant - An interesting idea. We could save more time and material costs if we use replicatable nanites.
Reonvus - Seeing as theis project is a joint-commonwealth effort I can overlook my principles on such technology. As long as they can be kept under control
Assistant - My people learned our lessons from The Nanohorde crisis. If all goes well these nanomachines will remain under our control.

Reonvus nodded with a stern look and handed the assistant a datapad containing schematics for his proposal. He asked the assistant to take it to the engineering corps and the Radeon nodded. He headed out of the door and left Reonvus to gather his thoughts. Reonvus was already planning for further stages of the project - Andromeda's central black hole was only a single part of a whole, even if it may have been a very large part.

Maiden Voyage[]

Tarsus sees the New Dawn for the first time.

Tarsus Senvinus sat in a shuttle with several scientists from the Imperium. He looked outside to see the planet of Laenari below, in front of it was a white 600m long vessel with a very prominent sail near the back. It was a stark contrast to the black ships that patrolled the planet nearby. Several scientists were muttering, they were curious as to what could await them on the voyage of the New Dawn; the ship sitting prominently outside.

When the shuttle landed in a station docking bay he noticed Quendor with a group of the ship's new crew. He was dressed in light, lainated armour that he had been given in honour of his new position as an officer of the Guardians of Light. The crewmen looked at him and nodded, some with interest others were not so interested. Tarsus looked at Quendor and approached him after the crew were dismissed.

Tarsus - I was told you recived a field promotion.
Quendor - Yeah, the Guardians were quite impressed with how me and my dad saved the fleets over Cathamera.
Tarsus - I see.
Quendor - I was assigned as part of yor security detail on the voyage.
Tarsus - Thoughts?
Quendor - Well it is nice to have more freedom. I just wish I was doing something more exiting.
Tarsus - We do not know waht we might find out in Segmentum Exterioris. You may get your chance.
QUendor - Yeah I guess...

Tarsus looked up at the New Dawn outside the hanger bay and smiled.

Tarsus - It is quite a ship.
Quendor - Yeah, its bigger than quite a few ships the Divinarium builds.
Tarsus - I read the schematics on my way over - prototype Dawn-class long-range exploration cruiser with comfortable officer accomodation, advanced science labs and medical bays and a crew compliment of 200 plus officers and 20 passengers. Personally I am amazed the Divinarium could fit so much into such a small frame and still have it working as a long-range vessel.
Quendor - I guess. The Divinarium builds small.

Several Niddan Ho approached and saluted Quendor and Tarsus.

Niddan Ho - Sirs, we will be your security detachment during the voyage. Tarsus - I am looking forward to this.

Tarsus chuckled to hismelf as he and Quendor boarded a shuttle that toook them aboard the New Dawn.

After several hours of exploring and getting accustomed ot the ship the last of the supplies were aboard. Manning the bridge the crew settled down and the nearby station created a portal that would lead into Segmentum Crepusculum. The ship powered up engines and flew towards vortex created above the planet and they emerged on the edge of Segmentum Exterioris. Tarsus stepped onto the bridge and looked at the viewscreen. The screen showed an image of the galactic bulge. Everyone was in awe.

Helmsman - All systems report nominal, command ahs recieved our signal and there appears to be no imemdiate hostiles i nthis area. Everything looks good captain.
Captain - There it is, the heart of the galaxy. I never realised fro mhere is look wuite stunning don't you think professor?
Tarsus - Indeed. begin subsapce scans and set a course for the nearest star system.
Captain - Understood, you all heard the professor.

The ship turned and activated FTL, setting course for a red dwarf star some six light-years away

Royal Playdate[]

10th April, 2789

Returning from Orbispira with his son Kezoreg, Tyraz had decided to visit Uriel on Alcanti. Tyraz had mentioned Uriel to Kezoreg and Kezoreg enjoyed the sound of meeting a warrior-emperor. When they arrived they discovered that the family had provided the two with private transport to the imperial palace. After arriving at the front doors, Tyraz looked down to his son.

Tyraz - Now, Kezoreg, Uriel Ultanos is a good friend of mine. I want you to be polite and on your best behaviour--
Kezoreg - He sounds cool but nobody beats my dad!
Tyraz - ...Just keep your mouth shut.

The doors opened and Alessa approched them with two blood dragons flanking her. She approached the two and left her guards at the door. She smiled at Tyraz and kneeled down to Kezoreg.

Alessa - It is good to see you again, and who is this?
Tyraz - This is my son, Kezor--
Kezoreg - I am the son of Tyraz, heir of the Brood throne, Kezoreg Breek!
Alessa - --How wonderful. *stands up* Do come in.

Alessa leds them inside and down a large hallway. Tyraz looked around and smiled, a sense of amiliarity returned to him, remembering the days of the Battle for Alcanti and the end-war celebration.

Tyraz - It seems so familiar.
Alessa - I believe Father is in one of the conservatories with Septis, one of his youngest.
Kezoreg - This place looks okay, I gotta admit. Where are all the weapons and armour and shyrak?
Alessa - The royal armoury is in the lower levels...

Tyraz stared at Kezoreg for his language and then turned back to Alessa.

Tyraz - Thank you, it would be nice to get acquainted with Uriel's own spawn.
Alessa - Septis and his clutch-siblings came out of the creche recently.

Alessa led them into a greenhouse. The plants growing in the conservatory featured a wide range of colours and they could hear Uriel's voice somewhere within the plantlife growing isndie the room*

Alessa - Father! Lord Breek is here to see you!

Uriel emerged from behind a bush with a Draconis roughlty Kezoreg's size riding on his back. The child had a large and jovial grin on his face as he rode on Uriel's back. Kezoreg stared at the child blankly and whispered to himself.

Tyraz - Uriel! So good to see you again!
Kezoreg - Pfft, he seems lazy...
Uriel - Indded it is. This is Septis, one of my youngest.

Septis tilted his head in curiosity at Kezoreg. Kezoreg looked at Septis, who clung to Uriel's shoulders.

Kezoreg - What's wrong?
Uriel - Septis do you remember Tyraz?
Tyraz - Your son has grown since I last saw him!

Septis climbed down and hugged Uriel's leg as he looked at Kezoreg.

Fathers and sons meet in a conservatory on Alcanti.

Uriel - Septis, would you like to say hello to Tyraz and his son?

Septis - ...Hello.
Uriel - We have not had the pleasure with little...
Alessa - Kezoreg, Father.
Kezoreg - That's Kezoreg BREEK to you.
Tyraz - Kezoreg, watch your tongue while you still have one!

Septis clutched Uriel's leg more tightly as Kezoreg snapped. Uriel keeled dow nto tend ot his son.

Uriel - Quite a fire your son has. *kneels down* Septis would you like to get aqquainted?
Kezoreg - Come on, I won't bite.

Kezoreg smirked as he kept looking. Septis looked at Kezoreg and back up to Uriel with a look of worry. After soem thought, Septis let go and walked over to Kezoreg who walked over to him and loooked with cuiosity.

Septis - Hi... I'm 8-and-three-tenths.
Kezoreg - Well, Eight-And-Three-Tenths, my name is Kezoreg.
Septis - You're funny.
Septis - My dad calls me Septis, not eight-and-three-tenths, that is how old I am.
Kezoreg - I am about a decade old. So, have you received your first battle scars yet?
Tyraz - Kezoreg, Draconis children aren't like Zazane children. They aren't taught in fight schools.
Septis - I play with my brothers a lot. Does that count?
Kezoreg - Hmph, describe what you mean by "play".
Uriel - Draconis children like to play-fight.
Kezoreg - Oh, I guess that counts.
Septis - Like yesterday, I won against my brother.
Kezoreg - Really? How did you finish him off?
Septis - Huh?
Kezoreg - ...Nothing. So, uhh...Septis, have you learned about a weapon yet?
Tyraz - Kezoreg, how about you show Septis your "Vala Dance"?

Kezoreg groaned at Tyraz's suggestion.

Kezoreg - But dad...
Tyraz - Go on, it'll be cool, and Septis would be impressed!

Uriel stood up and chuckled. Kezoreg sighed and he then leaned forward and moved his arms in a quick "digging" motion with his tail in the air. Septis tilted his head and smiled. Uriel chucked softly as he watched.

Uriel - That is adorable.
Septis - My mummy always tells me I will grow up biig and strong like my daddy or uncle Larnus!
Kezoreg - My father says that I will grow to become a powerful warrior that will rid this Universe of all unjust!
Septis - I bet I can do that before you!
Uriel - *chuckles* Then you had better grow up fast my son.
Kezoreg - No way! I'm a whole decade ahead of you!
Tyraz - Uhh, Kezoreg, you're only a few years ahead.
Uriel - No he is somewhat right, it will be another thirty years before Septis is ready for military service.
Kezoreg - So yeah, I'm gonna be a famous hero!
Septis - I already have what I will use to save the universe!

Septis pulled out and held up a wooden sword

Kezoreg - I will use my Dispencing power!
Septis - What that?
Kezoreg - Dispensing power, like what Tyraz has!
Uriel - Septis would you like to show Kezoreg your other toys?

Septis turned to Uriel and nodded. He turned back to Kezoreg with a smile on his face.

Septis - Want to see my armour?
Uriel - Tyraz, I hope you don't mind?
Tyraz - Of course not. Go on Kezoreg.
Kezoreg - It would be an honour!
Alessa - I will watch over them, Father.
Uriel - Very good.

Alessa bowed and left the conservatory with Septis and Kezoreg.

Tyraz - They will grow to be like us.
Uriel - Indeed. Thank you again for making sure Alensia was afe on that dark day. I dread to think what could have happened to him or his siblings.
Tyraz - You are welcome, I hope I won't have to do the same for Septis. He seems like a rather shy tyke.
Uriel - The events of that day have made him cautious of strangers. After all he did see his mother shoot someone in the head.
Tyraz - For a Zazane it is no big deal. But I can understand the trauma.
Uriel - The boy does dream of becoming a warrior.
Tyraz - Then perhaps he should stick around with Kezoreg, the two of them seem to get along okay.
Uriel - *chuckles* true, true. I hope Kezoreg does not mind that the weapons and armour Septis spoke of are only toys.
Tyraz - Kezoreg would be convinced. He is young too, after all.
Uriel - He seems to enjoy saying he is a 'decade' old.
Tyraz - He thinks it makes him sound older.
Uriel - I rememebr when I reached my first century, the title does seem to carry a certain grandeour compared to 'one hundred years old'.
Tyraz - Indeed, I should stop teaching Kezoreg big words.

Uriel made a gesture indicating for Tyraz to walk with him as he left the conservatory. They both walked down a hallway while uriel was somewhat distant.

Uriel - You said he was a decade old, does that mean he hatched during that zombie crisis? Tyraz - Umm...you could say that.
Uriel - Septis is similar, he hatched several moths after the whole mess started.
Tyraz - Kezoreg actually hatched...at the start...just before it began...
Uriel - He did?
Tyraz - Yeah...
Uriel - I can understand if you do not know much of the events that happened to us during that war. Not many like to talk about it...
Tyraz - Yeah...A-Anyway, now that I am here, perhaps we should leave Alessa to babysit while we go and have a talk about plans for Andromeda in the future, a.k.a. we should go and have a drink.
Uriel - I would like that. Kezoreg will not be too much trouble will he?
Tyraz - He better not be, or I'll send him to his mother's.
Uriel - Oh. Is she a harsh woman?
Tyraz - She's an Asgord.
Uriel - Oh... one of 'those'. I now understand why he woud cosnider it a threat. How did-- Actually, it may be better if I did not pry.
Tyraz - Old times, Uriel. Old times.
Uriel - That was not what I was going for but I suppose that was in the days when you were... not quite yourself?
Tyraz - Yes, you could say that. *he coughs* Anywho, drink?
Uriel - *smiles* Indeed. I have a bar counter within the palace or we could visit a bar I used to visit in the Centis District.
Tyraz - Heh, I appreciate the royal surroundings, but a more public place sounds good as well.
Uriel - Alessa has had some experience with children, I will arrange for transport within a few minutes.
Tyraz - Nice. *he chuckles* I hope Septis and Kezoreg won't prove too much trouble.
Uriel - Septis is genrally a nice boy, how much trouble could Kezoreg get into on his own?
Tyraz - Hehe, I've heard stories that Kezoreg has been seen messing with portals. But that's for the bar.

The two of them headed outside and a private car arrived down the path.

Uriel - Draconis drinks are strong so you can always order smething more...diluted if you wish.
Tyraz - Hehe, are you joking? With my status as Descended, I'll be needing the strongest you have!
Uriel - I take that as a challenge?
Tyraz - Hehe, only if you accept.
Uriel - I was never fond of going for the strongest drink available. But the bartender may know a concoction that could suit you.
Tyraz - Hehe, well then, I'm looking forward to it! You should also have a try.

Making Mischief[]

While Uriel and Tyraz headed out int othe city, Septis led Kezoreg into his bedroom. The room was a reasonable size with drawings and boyish toys scattered about. As soon as they entered Septis dived into a large wooden chest in front of his bed, his legs and tail dangled outside as he rooted around. Kezoreg looked at him with cuirosity. After a few minutes Septis pulled himself out and emerged holding a painted plastic sword and a toy breastplate. Kezoreg's eyes lit up and he ran over to admire the toy sword and armour.

Kezoreg - Oh wow, awesome! Where did you get this stuff?
Septis - Daddy gave me the sword two years ago and the armour is from one of my big brothers.
Kezoreg - Hehe, wow. Is that your first sword?
Septis - Yeah! Its so cool and when I grow up I'm going to have a sword just like my dad's!
Kezoreg - When i grow up, my dad is gonna teach me how to use my Dispencing powers properly!
Septis - What is ...dis-pencing powers?
Kezoreg - Dispencing powers are what my dad has! He is able to do tons of Shyrak with it all!
Septis - Cool, like what?
Kezoreg - Like, uhh...like, uhh...h-he can transform into this huge demon thing!
Septis - I think my dad showed me that, it was so cool! But it was scary seeing him that big.
Kezoreg - My dad is a scary man! He can beat everybody!
Septis - I think he's nice. When Mummy was threatened by those meanies, he came to see if she was alright.
Kezoreg - Hehe, I bet he beat them up so bad they died! My dad could kill anybody! Easy!
Septis - Well... mummy killed this meanie by asploding his head. Then Tyraz came in.
Kezoreg - She blew his head apart? Wow, your mom sounds awesome!
Septis - She said she rere-regre...didn't like doing it though.

Septis gave Kezoreg the armour and walked over to a jar on a table. Clambouring ont othe chair he opened it and pulled out two fried sausage-shaped objects. he walked back to Kezoreg and pointed one in his direction while playfully chweing on the other. Kezoreg sniffed it and grabbed the other end, he bit into it and rectched, he spat out the pice of meat.

Kezoreg - Blegh! This is cooked?
Septis - Uncle Larnus always brings me some when he visits.
Kezoreg - No offense but cooked food tastes like Shyrak to Zazane!
Septis - Oh okay... what's 'skyrak' because you talk about it a lot.
Kezoreg - Shyrak means the same as what you call poo.
Septis - EEEW!
Kezoreg - Hehe, all the big Zazane say it!
Septis - Wait. you said your dad does 'tons of shyrak'. So you said he does 'tons of poo' with it? I don't get it.

Alessa walked in as the talked. Kezoreg turned to Alessa and squeaked befoer he regained his composure.

Alessa - Don't get what dear?
Kezoreg - Nothing, miss!
Alessa - Are you boys having fun?
Kezoreg - Yeah, Septis has awesome stuff!
Alessa - Glad to hear.
Septis - Kezoreg doesn't like my meatsticks!
Alessa - Now Septis, you know that everyone can't like the same things as you.
Kezoreg - Zazane don't really eat cooked food. It tastes like shyr---It doesn't taste nice.
Septis - But...but... Meatsticks are the best food ever! I like them because they are crunchy.
Alessa - Perhaps we can find something in the royal kitchen that Kezoreg would like?
Kezoreg - Hmph, well I like Horuce guts!
Alessa - I'm not sure if we have any of that but we could always check.
Kezoreg - 'Yay! Zazane like to eat raw materials.
Alessa - Follow me then, and keep close because the palace is a big place.

Kezoreg smiled and swayed his tail. Alessa took them down int othe kitchen and when they arrived the group were hit by the strong smell of meat and spices. Kezoreg's eyes flared red a little and he smirked as he enoyed the smell. Alessa walked over to a Terratrix wearing a white uniform. Alessa clared her throat and he turned to her, he flicked an eyepiece up that was over his left eye. He then looked down at Septis and Kezoreg and scowled.

Alessa - Gorovi do we have any raw meat for our guest?
Gorovi - Raw meat? Hm, I suppose... Also mylady I would prefer it if those children were nto in my kitchen.
Alessa - Kezoreg would just like a raw snack and we will be out of your feathers.
Kezoreg - Feathers?

Kezoreg licked his muzzle with an eager smile.

Gorovi - Hrmph and.. what kind of meat is our little guest after....
Kezoreg - Anything like intestines? Or maybe mince?
Alessa - Do you have any entrails?
Gorovi - I suppose, one moment... And get those brats out of my kitchen!
Kezoreg - Brats? Hmph! Daddy will come get you one day!
Gorovi - This meal is for the Paragon and "honoured" guests and I do not want their grubby hands on my art!

He grammed a handful of Krann intestine chunks and tossed them onto a clean plate, tossed a few spices on and handed Alessa the plate. Kezoreg smirked and looked at Septis. Alessa guided the moutside and left Gorovi to squawk at at a careless assistant.

Gorovi - At least not yet, now please.. go.
Kezoreg - Is that guy always like that?
Septis - Yeah.
Kezoreg - He seems like a total Shyrak eater.
Alessa - Language, Kezoreg.
Septis - He doesn't like visitors in his kitchen because he thinks we'll steal his food.

Kezoreg looked at the plate and sniffed. Satisfied he shoved handfuls into his mouth, talkinh al lthe while.

Kezoreg - Mmph! This *nom* This is really good!
Septis - Krann meat is the best!

Kezoreg nodded and kept eating with his tail swaying exitedly. As they headed back to Septis's room, A servant walked up to Alessa.

Servant - My lady a mr. "Vorthonus" wishes entry int othe palace.
Alessa - Hm, him again. Fine I suppose I will talk to him, can you keep an eye on the children?

The servant nodded as Alessa left. Kezoreg smiled innocently and leaned over to whisper to Septis.

Kezoreg - Can we go see your dad's sword?
Septis - Well... it in his study I think but i'm not allowed in there without his say so...
Kezoreg - Aww come on! If we don't touch anything I'm sure he won't mind!
Septis - Well... okay. First we need to get rid of the servant.
Kezoreg - Hmm...I could vapo...vapo-...gah, how do you say it?
Septis - Waht that?
Kezoreg - Gah, lets just run away and send him on a....K-K-Kraaaan chase.

Septis thought for a moment. An idea came to his head and he tugged on the servant's tunic. The servant looked down with a cautious smile.

Septis - I'm thirsty!
Servant - Wh-what would you like sir?
Septis - I want juice!

The servant nodded and for a brief moment compensated leaving the childre nwith asking them to stay put. With a smile they both ran dwo nthe corridor and Septis led Kezoreg to Uriel's office.

After arriving they both stood in front of a paneled wooden door, Kezoreg looked up at the door and tilted his head.

Septis - Only my dad can unlock it, its got this special lock that knows its him and mummy somehow.
Kezoreg - Hmm, how do we get in?
Septis - When daddy wants to go inside he presses his hand against that panel and the door unlocks.
Kezoreg - You got your daddy's DNA, right?
Septis - I think thats what mummy told me.
Kezoreg - Then if I put you on my shoulders, maybe you can open it!
Septis - Hmm... okay.
Kezoreg - Climb on my back!

Kezoreg bent down and Septis climbed up, he was a good deal heavier than kezoreg and reached towards the pad. Kezoreg stood up a little, he grunted grunting and tried giving Septis more opportunity. After a little balancing act Septis managed to touch the pad.

??? - Recognised: Septis Ultanos, authorisation: Denied.
Kezoreg - Gah! I guess we need a Plan B!
Septis - Hmm... Dad told me that your dad can telly-port. Can you?
Kezoreg - I think I could! I was gonna blast the door off but we can do that!
Septis - Daddy might notice if you did that.
Kezoreg - Maybe. Heh, okay, let me try telly-potting.

Septis climbed down from Kezoreg's back. Kezoreg took his hand and closed his eyes in an attempt to focus. The servant was dow nthe hall and calling out to Septis. As the latter panicked, both of them teleported to inside the room in a flash of red energy. Inside the walls were lined with bookcases and in the centre of the room was a large wooden desk trimemd with gold. On one of the walls there were two mounted sowrds: A longsword and a greatsword. Underneath the longsword was a plaque which read "In honour of Uriel Ultanos's exempaly service upon heeding the Imperium's call to arms. May this weapon serve you always". The room echoed with the sound of an ornate clock that ticked with a regular and rhythmic tone.

Septis - Those are daddy's swords. he's had both of them since for-ever! They look heavy so my dad must be super-strong!
Kezoreg - Wow, they look so big and awesome! I wanna have a go!
Septis - But dad says he doesn't like people touching his swords. He once got mad at this servant who asked if she could polish it for him.
Kezoreg - Don't worry, I'll put it back.
Septis - Okay... how do we get it down?
Kezoreg - Hmm...Lets throw something at it!
Septis - Yeah we could. Dunno what though.
Kezoreg - ...Could I throw you?
Septis - Yeah, then I could pull it down!
Kezoreg - Alright! Hehe, gimme your arm!

Septis held out his arm and Kezoreg grabbed it firmly. He spun around in circles several times, before throwing Septis who hit the wall and knocked the longsword from its mount, he fell down and landed as the word fell into his lap. Kezoreg laughed and rushed over. When Septis recovered he threw his hands in the air with exitement. As he did so, Kezoreg grabbed it by the hilt and held it up to the light.

The blade was almost two metres long and engraved with delicate patterns. The handle was trimmed with gold and bound in a soft red leather. Gems of all types were encrusted into the hilt and a large red ruby occupied the apex of the pommel. Unkown to both of them, Septis had left an impression on the wall but they were too busy admiring the sword.

Kezoreg - This sword is pretty big! But daddy's sword is 7 feet long!
Septis - Wow... I like the patterns. When I grow up, I want a sword like one of these!

Feeling the handle, Kezoreg noticed there was an ominous lump near the middle. Kezoreg looked at it with curiosity. Septis was also intrigued and when he poked it and a light blue energy rushed up from the base and tinged the blade. Once enveloped the blade seemed to make a faint humming sound. The two boys were mesmrerised by what they just did.

Kezoreg - Wow...That's so cool!
Septis - Are we gonna put it back now?
Kezoreg - Yeah yeah, I just wanna hold it a few more seconds.
Septis - Well... okay.

Septis looked around the room waiting for Kezoreg to put the sword down. He noticed the impression on the wall. Kezoreg stood and true to his word he stood for a short while longer and then walked back over to put the sword back.

Septis - What do you think that blue stuff does?
Kezoreg - I think it helps your daddy see in the dark!

Resting the blade on the hooks, the blade gradually sliced away at the mounting and fell onto the floor. The clang fro mthe sliced hook caused both boys to widen their eyes.

Kezoreg - ...Shyrak!
Septis - Uh-oh...
Kezoreg - Turn it off!

Kezoreg and Septis discover a dangerous feature of Uriel's swords.

As the blade sliced into the floor Septis ran over to the blade handle and felt for the lump, the floor around the blade began to dissolve. Kezoreg panicked while Septis felt for the lump, his middle finger passed over it and the field dissapated. Septis dragged the sword out of the gash it had made and the pair looked at the damage they had done.

Kezoreg - Maybe he won't notice!
Septis - How do we put it back? Because the thingy's broken and if we don't I am so grounded!
Kezoreg - Uhh...J-Just stand it upright!
Septis - Yeah. That was so cool though!
Kezoreg - Yeah! That sword is awesome!
Septis - Do you think the other one does the same?
Kezoreg - Maybe! But we spent too much time here!
Septis - Yeah. The door can be opened freely from our side. Haha, you said that poo-word a lot.
Kezoreg - Have you ever heard your daddy say the word "shit"?
Septis - No... I've heard my mummy say it once or twice, but she tried to hide it.
Kezoreg - Well Shyrak means that.
Septis - Oh.... Mummy told me this one time that is a bad word to say.
Kezoreg - My daddy doesn't like me saying it either.

As they talked, Alessa called out to the mfrom the other side of the door. Kezoreg squeaked and grabbed Septis's mouth, indicating he shouldn't say a word. Septis nodded. and Kezoreg suggested he could teleport both of them out. Septis nodded eagerly and smiled behind Kezoreg's hand. Kezoreg closed his eyes and then teleported them back to Septis' room.

Septis - That was really cool! You are so awesome!
Kezoreg - Aww I'm nothin compared to my dad!
Septis - Can we be friends?
Kezoreg - Sure! We can be friends!
Septis - I promise I wont' tell anyone what we did.
Kezoreg - Yay! That's great!

Alessa walked in a little later and smiled to see the two boys.

Alessa - There you two are! Your fathers are back from the city and a banquet is about to be served downstairs.
Kezoreg - Ooh a banquet? That sounds cool! I hope that chef knows Zazane don't like eatin' cooked food!
Alessa - He knows. I hope yo two are hungry.
Kezoreg - We're starvin!
Alessa - Good to hear. I will leave you two to tidy yourselves up.

Kezoreg nodded and looked at Septis. Alessa smiled and walked out of the room to freshen herself up for the banquet. Septis showed Kezoreg to an en-suite bathroom connected to his bedrom and the two of them cleaned themselves up.

Degenerate Search[]

The New Dawn continued on its journey. Curious to study a neutron star the ship passed by one that had been designated KTR-731 by the Solonese Union. As they approached the ship's sensors detected spacetime stretching as they approached the hyperdense stellar body. To counter the spacetime warp the New Dawn had increased the power of the forward warp field as it cloed in. The ship reached 0.5 AU and stopped. Tarsus had called his science team to the astrometrics lab. There, Tarsus had projected a hologram simulation of the star from the central projector. Along with it was astrographical information. The star was seven kilometres in diameter but readings showed it was 0.8 solar masses.

Tarsus met with three other senior scientists: Doctors Voli'Khal and Relith'Varr were Ryketians; the former an engineer and the latter an astrophysicist, Doctor Grebeda was a Colmar quantum physicist.

Tarsus - According to evidence, this neutron star has been virtually untouched. Many known Inner-Rim neutron stars have been siphoned for neutronium by various powers both modern and ancient. This star however there are no such signs so it is pristine.
Dr. Voli'Khal - What do you think we'll find?
Tarsus - That, professor, is what we are here for. There are stories and hypotheses that in an early era of the universe there was life but in a very different form. The mass and spacetime curvature could theoretically mimic the early universe.
Dr. Grebeda - That is if this star is old enough. How old is this one?
Dr. Relith'Varr - We estimate it to be the remnant of a population II star. Emissions suggest it is nearing 10 billion years old.
Tarsus - A very old star indeed. I suggest we dispatch a monopolium-framed probe fitted with a negative mass field to counteract the tidal forces
Dr. Voli'Khal - I will have the armoury prepare the probe.
Dr. Relith'Varr - If this thing is like a proto-universe then time would theoretically be slowed considerably within the deepest regions. How do we counter that?
Dr. Grebeda - Hmm, that is a bother. Fit the probe with a counter-rotating microsingularity then program the probe to use its rotation as a clock. The spin and the counteracting tidal forces should counteract any time dilation. I suggest a matter-antimatter energy battery to keep the singularity from evaporating. However in the interest of science I suggest we allow for some time dilation so the probe can more easily gather data.
Tarsus - Good, set the runtime for... two Alcanti hours, thoretially even a few microseconds should me enough to gather a million years' worth of history. For safekeeping I advise a 15 yottabyte memory core.

Everyone nodded and headed to their posts. Voli'Khal approached Tarsus a few minutes later.

Voli - Professor are you are this will work? Fueling a micro-singularity is a tremendous job for just a timepiece and two hours? We are going to need a lot of energy.
Tarsus - It is too dangerous to send ourr own people down, this is really the only effective way outside of godtech or a long-term research post.
Voli - *sighs* Fine, the armoury has been aware you should have your probe in two Alcanti hours.

Tarsus nodded and headed inside his office. The crew wated patiently for almost a day once they had launched a probe. The scientists were nervous and wondered if it would be enough. FInalyl the probe emerged from the surface of KTR-731 however scans showed its framework was bucking as the phasic shields surrounding the monopolium framework had begun to fail. Once they finalyl managed to haul the probe inside and dsicovered that a few minutes before emerging the probe's micro-singularity had failed. Voli'Khal and Tarsus approached the damaged probe.

Voli - You set the thing for a two hour mission and it takes fifteen for the stupid thing to get the mission done and come back.
Tarsus - According to the probe's logs there was nothing wrong with the clock, it worked fine until it re-emerged. So I presume it experienced a rough six-five-hundred percent difference in the passage of time, that is accounting for the gradual change as well.
Voli - In Commonwealth Standard?
Tarsus - The probe spent six-and-a-half times more time than what we experienced. We shall have to see what it managed to pick up.

Tarsus operated a console on the probe and data seamlessly transferred to the New Dawn's scientific mainframe. Tarusus's jaw dropped as he saw that in two hurs the probe had gathered what appeared to be more than 10 yottabytes of data. It would take a very long time to cross-reference and study the data on their own.

Tarsus regained his composure and compressed the data. he added it to the memory core and filed a report to Captain VOlkamen t oreport a succces. He spoke with Dr. Relith'Varr later about adding the star to the logs for further study. She nodded and marked the star's coordiantes on a three-dimensional holographic chart of Segmentum Exterioris. Although the finding was fascinating, the New Dawn had an overall mission to complete and headed away from the neutron star after another day.

Torment Within[]

5th December, 2789

The Ghost of the Warrior was docked in the skies above a lush, jungle planet in the Borealis Galaxy. Tyraz sat on a balcony protruding from the ship with his legs folded while he looked upon two moons, with it being early enough in the night for the sunset to occur at the same time. As he relaxed he looked blankly at the beautiful landscape before he began to close his eyes, he sighed as he did so. Arsac was walking about the ship, exploring her temporary home as she passed a door to the balcony. She looked through the doorway with curiosity at Tyraz. She observed him for a few minutes before she lifted a clenched hand in front of her snout and coughed quietly. TYraz did not flinch and he kept his eyes clsoed as he relaxed.

Arsac - I am ont interrupting am I?
Tyraz - I was about to meditate...Are you available to talk?
Arsac - I am; Speak your mind.

She walked though the doorway and joined him on the balcony. Tyraz sighed and opened his eyes to look out on the landscape again.

Tyraz - Arsac...I grow doubtful.
Arsac - If you worry for your sanity, it is why I am here.
Tyraz - What if I don't come back...?
Arsac - I wish I could say. But giving in to this entity or beleiving such a battle is unwinnable is not the right attitude.

As she spoke she folded her arms and sighed. Tyraz sighed and closed his eyes again.

Tyraz - I guess...Please, no matter what...don't touch me.
Arsac - You're going to draw it out aren't you?
Tyraz - I want to see where I am going wrong.
Arsac - Do you mind if I join you? If you feel yourself slipping I may be able to bring you back.
Tyraz - Feel free. But don't touch me, just...talk.

She walked over and sat a little distance beside Tyraz. She positioned herself and clsoed her eye. Tyraz let out a sigh and Arsac could feel the air around her getting somewhat hotter as Tyraz began to turn. As they both meditated, she drifted deeper and deeper into subconsciousness while Tyraz's body began to blacken, yellow scars appeared over his body. As Arsac's attunement reached deeper.

She eventually began to feel herself sensing Tyraz's thoughts and eventually she found herself within his mindscape. She was surrounded by thoughts of anger and violence, as well as memories of times long past, images of old Zazane warlords fighting one another as well as depictions of epic battles raging across miles of land. As Arsac did her best to make sense of the imagery she was able to see a young Zazane boy, walking around innocently within the mindscape. Arsac noticed him and cautiously waked towards the boy, she called out to him and the boy slowly turned towards her. She noticed him carrying a little sword.

Arsac - Are you alright? come closer.

The boy slowly walked closer, and he looked up at her. She smiled as he did so.

Arsac - What's your name?

The boy hesitated for a moment before answering rather timidly. Arsac kneeled down to more closely-reach his level.

Boy - T-Tyraz.
Arsac - Is everything alright? You can trust me. I promise.

Tyraz blinked for a moment and then looked at the sword in his hand,

Tyraz - I'm s-scared.
Arsac - Come closer, what are you afraid of? Is it all the violence?

She reached out her hand to him. He looked about a little and slowly reached for it. Arsac reassured him and asked what he was doing. He only said a few words before he stopped and kept quiet. She continued reassuring him. As he stuttered and grabbed Arsac's hand he almost-instantly turned into Tyraz's Demon Form and now towered over her. The demon cackled while he observed her struggling to free herself. The sudden change left her in shock and the demon smirked as he kept a firm grip.

Demon - Who the hell are you?
Arsac - I am Mistress Arsac. If you were really Tyraz you would remember me!

He cackled loudly as he glared at her.

Demon - Oh, I know who you are! Tyraz thinks about you all the time! What I meant was...who the hell are you to be in his head?
Arsac - Your actions are eroding his mind, I came to help him! I came as a friend and as an ally!
Demon - You mean...you came to try and get rid of me?
Arsac - If that it what it takes to save him... I will consider it.
Demon - I am afraid...that will not do.
Arsac - That child... Was that really Tyraz or you in disugise?
Demon - You don't seem to understand. That child was simply a memory. Inside his head, memories roam free like animals. Memories can be mistaken, but for Tyraz, not forgotten. But I assure you, I am no memory.
Arsac - Then what are you, why are you doing this to him, because he fears that you will take over completely.
Demon - I am Tyraz!
Arsac - No.. you can't be the Tyraz I know, he would never want to act like this; not around me.
Demon - I know Tyraz better than anybody else, I am Tyraz! I am his instincts, his purest instincts! The instincts he tries so hard to deny, it makes me sick!
Arsac - You...You are his subconscious self?

Realising the situation she backed down slightly. She could still feel the demon gripping her arm tightly.

Arsac - If you are removed, there is nothing left of him...
Demon - Ever since Tyraz first gained his Descension power, I was born. His hate and anger was my embyro, the Descension marked my birth! Yes, I am indeed Tyraz, the part of Tyraz in which all his other actions are based.
Arsac - The way he acts, the side I see daily and you... you are unbalanced.
Demon - And now he tries to deny me, he hates himself! He continues to not accept me as himself, he sees me as some seperate entity! An "it"! And yet, the power he is capable of...all he needs to do is switch control over to me, and he will be at complete harmony with what he wants to believe. Meanwhile, my own desires, his desires want to break free! I am his heart!
Arsac - But wouldn't your takeover make him like the rest of his family? I know of the Breek Line's atrocities, I know what they are like from him and I do not approve.
Demon - I know what he really thinks. He isn't scared he is going to be the same, he is scared that he won't be the same! He wants to be great, just like his ancestors before him! The only thing he is scared of is his methods of achieving that greatness.
Arsac - I know he can be great. I do not deny him of that, but I agree with him that the methods his family used were atrocious.
Demon - He is weak! I am ashamed to have him as my counterpart!
Arsac - Truly you two are unbalanced. He rejects you while you find his rejection sickening.
Demon - 'I want to be accepted! I am him! I am no malignant entity, I am his goddamn self! But...after so much rejection...I want control!
Arsac - You are his primal instincts. But if you take over then Tyraz will become no better than an animal; You are unrestrained, Tyraz's higher consceous thoughts temper you. You both need each other to become great!
Demon - If I take control, I shall kill everything! Let me tell you how things work...What is the difference between a horse and a king?
Arsac - A king leads, a horse obeys, but a king needs strength for the horse to obey. However a horse is an animal, it brings the king to where he must go. It gives the king power, but without the king that is all the horse is; an animal.

The demon pulled her closer at its eyes burned. He glared down as his rage flowed almost visibly from his body.

Demon - I am not Tyraz's horse! For once, I wish to be king! I wish to be in true control, and use this strength the way it was meant to be used! And every day, I get closer to finally taking over Tyraz's body! Every moment he is weak, physically or emotionally, I am there to pick him up off the ground!
Arsac - And what of his friends in your plan? What about the people he cares about?
Demon - Tyraz is such an amatuer! He doesn't know the first thing about true, raw power! If I could, I would've killed him already by now! Burned his body to oblivion, I am his power! His raw instinct! But...I need his body to survive. His "friends" have no place! I am his raw power, I am what gives him his strength! I have no desire for friends!
Arsac - You think you can stand alone? Many try in the outside world. And everyone needs help at least once in their existance. I know the temptation of raw power. I would not be here if i had not at least once been exposed to it.
Demon - Everybody's basic instinct is to survive! And I don't need friends to survive! All I need is control! When he imagines or sees his friends in trouble, he becomes lost! He doesn't do a thing! All those times he has saved you, Uriel, Iovera, that was me! I influenced his body to act in that way! Want to know why?
Arsac - I'm listening.
Demon - Because, it gives me that feeling of true control! I just get you out of the way so I can fight the real threat!

The demon grinned at her and cackled.

Arsac - He claims that every day he feels weaker, he tells me he brings the demonic form out during these sessions of meditation, is this empowering you in any way?
Demon - When he brings out his raw power during meditation, he often gets lost along the way. As I said, when he loses himself, I am there to fill in the gap. So in effect, I stop his body from burning to ash through taking control of the power, which he can't handle. I am not being empowered, he is simply losing himself more often because he doesn't understand himself.

As he spoke, a sly smile crept across her face.

Arsac - Thank you.
Demon - For what?
Arsac - I knew all the time that you were not some foreign entity, I did not come to destroy you but you have been very helpful to me.

She smiled as a duplicate emerged from nowhere into view. The demon looked at the second Arsac and cackled.

Demon - What is this?
Arsac - She is like you, unlike you let us just say that "horse and rider are one".
Arsac 2 - Let her go. She is no threat to you here.

The demon gave a look of confusion. He let go of Arsac and stepped back. The original arsac rubbed her arm as the second Arsac approached and looked to the original.

Demon - But that isn't possible...there must always be somebody in control!
Arsac 2 - We are as one. Like you I was born out of passion, Arsac's rage and fury was my womb. Howeve rwhen she discovered me, I was accepted with time. With my guidance Arsac grew in power.

The original Arsac nodded.

Arsac - When the horse attunes ot the needs and thoughts of the rider and vice versa, there does not need ot be a controller because there is harmony between the two.
Demon - Are you suggesting me and Tyraz coexist...peacefully?
Both - Yes.
Arsac - Neither of you can reach full potential without the other.
Demon - Hmph! Why would I need use of my counterpart aside from his body?
Arsac 2 - I thought the same way about Arsac. However she had thoughts that allowed her to move through the world more smoothly. If I had taken over then the body would have been attacked by outsiders, perhaps even destroyed because I exist as instinct. As she said, when we are just instinct, we are like animals.
Arsac - I must take my leave.

The orignal Arsac smiled and walked away and the other Arsac joined her with the demon looking on with confusion.

Demon - Hmph...Then Tyraz needs to make the effort. I am already comfortable in the knowledge that we are the same! But he...he rejects me, just like he was rejected by everybody else!
Arsac - Very well

The two faded away and left the demon in his mindscape.

In the physical world Arsac opened her eye slowly, she looked to the side to see Tyraz's body slowly revert to normal. It was night time, the sun had fully set and and three moons could be seen in the sky. TYraz opened his eyes slowly and let out a sigh.

Arsac - Tyraz? How do you feel.
Tyraz - I cannot remember...How did it go?
Arsac - I understand now. That beast you claim to be choking you and throttling your sanity... that is you.
Tyraz - What?

Arsac stood up and walked to the rim of the blacony. SHe rested her forearms on the ledge and

Arsac - Your subconscious self to be precise. It... he.. is your sense ofinstanct.
Arsac - You were right though, it wants to take over. But only because you reject it.
Tyraz - I reject it because it is no good!
Arsac - Even I know that such a thought is wrong.

Arsac turned to look at him.

Arsac - Like I said it is instinct, you rejected it when the best solutino was to accept it for what it was. Instinct has to be restrained or cooperated with, not rejected or ignored.
Tyraz - But I worry...a lot of Zazane use their instinct and they are violent and bloodthirsty...
Arsac - Moderation is key, Tyraz.
Tyraz - So...I am at fault?
Arsac - Those warriors lost themselves to bloodthirst just as you are losing yourself to it. He-- You told me that when you try bringing out the demon during meditation, you were losing yourself in a sense. He stepped in to stop your body destroying itself.
Tyraz - I lose myself because I see things that I wish not to see...but I guess that is denying who I really am...
Arsac - it is. My advice Tyraz is this: Accept that your instincts are there, let them be your shield and your sword, but stick to normal meditation sessions. If the demon takes control when you try bringing out your power then the best course of action is to strengthen your conscious mind through regular sessions of meditation. Use it as a way to relax and heal yourself, rather than as a method of controlling the demon within you. That can come later.
Tyraz - And then what...?
Arsac - All the entity wants is freedom and by rejecting your instincts you imprison it, and it can only stay in its prison for so long.
Tyraz - I guess you're right...I should stop my denial...It has troubled me for far too long.
Arsac - If instincts became your controlling mindset, it would discard notions of frendship. By keeping it locked away you put risk on everyone you know.
Tyraz - So...I should accept it? Accept that the monster inside...
Arsac - I am willing to stay with you and help you to commune with the entity. I know now what needs to be done and I will teach you.
Tyraz - Thank you Arsac...
Arsac - It will accept it needs you so long as you accept that it cannot be rejected, suppressed or ignored.
Tyraz - So in other words, instead of trying to hold it back...release it?
Arsac - First, you will need to learn howto commune with it in meditation and release it slowly.
Arsac - Aknowledge that it is there and that such ciercumstances cannot be changed.
Tyraz - Alright.

Tyraz let out a sigh as Arsac turned and headed towards the door and back into the ship.

Tyraz - I find it hard to believe that the one holding me back is me...
Arsac - You're not the first I have told that to.
Tyraz - Huh? W-Whaat?

She turned back to him momentarily before she passed through the threshold.

Arsac - Nothing, you still have your friends.
Tyraz - Okay...I guess you need your sleep...
Arsac - Remember: Refrain from meditating as the demon.
Tyraz - Okay, I'll do as you say. Thank you, so much.

Arsac passed out of view as she headed to the chambers Tyraz had given her. He turned to look up at the moons and sighed.