Happy Friday everybody. Hope you all have fun things planned for the weekend, but if not, perhaps I could interest you in reading a bit more Master’s of the Universe. Here is the long awaited Part Fifteen of the story. Hope you enjoy. Leave me a comment and let me know somebody is still out there reading this thing.
Master’s of the Universe, Part Fifteen
Panic and confusion coalesced in a potent mixture beneath Ryol’s calm exterior, but she maintained control, refusing to allow either emotion to surface. In the periphery of her mind, she was aware of the similar expressions of fear that Hari and Gerald wore. Blood trickled from Hari’s ear, but Ryol estimated the wound was not fatal. Gerald seemed physically unharmed, but she dedicated a portion of her attention to monitoring the man’s vital signs regardless. Ryol glowered at the three Graesians filling the room with their unsettling cacophony of buzzes and clicks that comprised the fundamentals of their speech. As a species, the Graesians never stopped growing over the course of their short lives, and in most primitive cultures, size was directly related to power. Because of this, she recognized the enormous features of Tzalear, the Graesian King.
As First Recruiter, Ryol oversaw the recruitment of the Graesians into the Allliance, and remembered the young world doomed to destruction if not for the intervention of the Lenorean’s. The Madam Leader had taken a great risk accepting them into the Alliance. To repay that act of kindness with violence against an inferior race was beyond comprehension.
“What is the meaning of this, Tzalear?” Ryol said.
“Retribution.” The Graesian said, twisting his head unnaturally to the side so that Ryol saw a thousand reflections of herself in his compound eye.
“My people wish nothing but peace with your kind. We welcomed you into the Alliance..”
“Our nature is one of self-preservation, as are all intelligent species. Do not pretend you have come here seeking anything less.” Tzalear said in a high pitched buzz that set Ryol’s teeth on edge. She could not comprehend how he had determined the purpose of her visit, but it filled her with dread blacker than the Graesian’s carapace that drank in the light so greedily as he paced the room.
“No harm will come to this people.” Ryol said, gesturing towards Hari with an open hand. “Through the spirit of cooperation, we hope both our worlds might prosper.”
“Your words fall flat, Lenorean. You say you seek peace with these people, but you will not settle for anything less than their servitude. If they refuse, you will destroy them and take what you need, regardless.”
“We would never do any such thing.”
“Your Leader already has.” Iridescent wings fluttered behind Tzalear, adding to the ambient noise that filled the room, as he lifted a few inches off the ground.
“Excuse me.” Hari said, holding a hand in the air. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but would somebody explain what’s going on?”
Tzalear stared at the human without comprehension. A thickly muscled tail with broad spikes that narrowed to a needles point flicked over the alien’s shoulder. At the end of the tail, light glinted off the razor sharp edge of a stinger the size of Hari’s head.
Hari held his hands up with palms out, “Never mind.”
Ryol reorganized her thoughts while Hari spoke. She hadn’t noticed right away, but now she became aware that something was blocking her connection with Lenora. It was the first time she had ever experienced the severing of that tie, and the pain was almost physical in its strength. Reestablishing connection with Lenora to warn of the Graesian threat became her primary objective.
“What are your demands, Graesian?”
“I demand nothing. I have what I need. With the knowledge passed to you, the Graesians will harness the power of the Eitr for themselves.”
“You overestimate my value. The Madam Leader will not be manipulated into a position that threatens the lives of the trillions represented in the Alliance.” Ryol folded her hands.
Tzalear’s face contorted, but Ryol could not understand the intended meaning behind the expression.
“She doesn’t know.” The Graesian laughed, and it sounded like a swarm of bees.
“What is there to know?”
“The Alliance has fallen.”
“Without the Madam Leader to guide them, they threw themselves at our feet and begged for mercy.”
Ryol’s head snapped to attention. All her thoughts ceased, save for one.
“Where is the Madam Leader?”
“She is dead.”`
“No, I would know. I would feel it.”
“Would you? This world is under my quarantine, and you have been cut off from Lenora. But ask yourself, if I am lying, how did I come to possess this.” Tzalear held a round white stone up to the light between his spindly protrusions that passed as fingers. He tossed the stone in a high arc across the table. Ryol snatched it out of the air, and turned it over in her palm. Her heart skipped a beat. Recognition was immediate.
It was her mother’s computer implant.