Soul of the Progenitors – Act 14

Act 13 | Landing Page | Act 15

Soul of the Progenitors

A Homeworld Fanfiction

by Crobato

Originally posted November 13, 2004 – 6:34AM

Act 14

“There is very little known about how Makaan got his power, and how the Vaygr, rose from a collection of obscure backward nomadic tribes into the most formidable fighting force in the Galaxy. There are many legends how Makaan became the power that he was, stories that may be true or not.

But the most prevailing story, or legend or myth for whatever you call it, was that Makaan, himself only but a son of a slave, chanced upon a discovery so great, so unprecedented. He came upon, or perhaps, he himself was discovered by a race of beings so ancient, so powerful, that their time lines reach past the moment of recorded history. It was suggested that these entities were among those responsible for those massive ancient derelict graveyards, which were seen by our ancestors as titanic battles fought among the Gods. These godlike beings anointed Makaan, gave him the power and the technological resources, to unite the Vaygr tribes into one unified fighting force the superior of anything in the Galaxy. And among the things they gave him was the Third Hyperspace Core.

Who can wonder what power these beings have?”

—- Anatolius Shakmundi, Taiidan Historian, Author of the Rise of Makaan.

Aboard The Ark of Geddon, Taal-Shiia System, Tarim Sector

Radal awoke with a terrible headache. He staggered up the floor, trying to regain his senses and bearings. All around him, were small robots of various shapes, forms and sizes, sensor feelers slowly waving, optical scanners surveying the people around them with curiosity. Dazed, he had for a moment, forgotten where he was and what was his situation, but the sight of the robots quickly brought him to his sense.

“Iisha…” he cried, as two arms brought him to his feet. It was Gursal and Banaan. Radal cried again. “Iisha…” His arms stretched out to the direction of what must be the end of the long passageway, a room that appeared like a ship’s bridge.

“She’s alright,” Gursal answered. “But something has happened to her…”

As Gursal turned, Radal had a clear view of the bridge. What he saw made him scream.

He saw his daughter crucified on some apparatus, wires and tubes coming out from her back and the back of her head.

Gursal struggled to find his words. “This must have happened while we were unconscious. We were all knocked out by some explosion of energy, and when we came to, we found her tied to this thing and she is directly interfaced with it. Apparently, these robots are the ones who tied and connected her there.”

Radal ran to her daughter’s side, panting in panic, and tried to pull the connections from her body. “No! You can’t have her! She’s the only thing I have left…”

Mani grabbed Radal and pulled him away from Iisha. “You might kill her instead. Iisha…she’s interfaced directly with the ship’s computer core. She is one with this ship, like our Sajuuk-Khar with her ship.”

“Mani, you mean…”

“Yes, Radal, She has control of it.” With a sweep of his hands, Mani showed the flickering lights of the control panels. “The Ark of Geddon is alive.”

“But why, Mani, why my Iisha?”

“I think you know the answer to that, Radal.”

Radal staggered back and stared at the image of Priestess Geddon framing the bridge. She has the face of Iisha. All this was destined to be…my Iisha…the chosen incarnate of this Geddon…

Then a weak voice from her lips…”Father…”

Radal ran to her side. “Yes, my dear Iisha.” He held her hand closely.

“I’m sorry, Father…I think I should have been more careful…” She smiled.

“Stay calm my child, we will find a way to get you out of this.”

“Father, I don’t think that is possible now.” The apparatus that held her began moving to a more upright position. “I’m think I’m stuck here.”

Radal shouted at Mani and Banaan. “Is there a way we can get her out of this?”

Mani answered back. “We don’t know how. This Progenitor technology, that is something beyond our understanding.”

Her lips moved. “Father…”

“Yes my dear.” Radal wiped the sweat of her forehead. From her expressions, he knew she was suffering, her body struggling with all these changes, her mind being overwhelmed.’

“Father…I think I belong her now.”

“No, Iisha. You belong with me. We are a family.”

“Father…I think I was meant to come here. I am meant to be with this ship.”

“No, Iisha, we can still change all that.”

“Father, I am sorry. But it has begun. Everything has begun.”

Iisha opened her eyes, and her pupils gazed into the air like there was nothing in front of them. Suddenly, the doors in front of the bridge’s windows began sliding open. The orange light flowed into the room.

“It cannot be stopped, Father.” The apparatus turned around to face the light.

The three of them walked to the windows, and saw, into the wreckage of the graveyard, into its beige and pinkish clouds of nebula, lines and lines of ships—Movers, Keepers, Dogs, and other ships that looked like even larger derelict capital ships. An armada of every ship in this forsaken graveyard, arrayed in front of the Ark.

“Oh the gods of Kharak!” Gursal exclaimed. “What is happening?”

Her voice changed, one from fear, into one of commanding confidence, deep and calm. “They are all waiting for us. The Ark controls all of them.”

“Control? Mani asked.

“Yes, the Ark is the centerpiece, the command center of the Keeper fleet. It was built as a Mothership, to carry the sleeping bodies of our Progenitors in a journey across the Galaxy to the great Gate and beyond. Geddon was to be the Ark’s Fleet Command. The Ark was damaged in the last battle, and the Sleepers inside perished in their cubicles. With all their remaining power, our Progentors banished their souls all over the Galaxy, so that one day, they would awaken once more, to rejoin and complete this quest.”

“Now, I must complete this quest, as was written. And now I must ask something from you all. I have a duty to do. You have a choice. You can leave with the Naasha, or stay and be witness.”

“Witness to what?” Gursal asked.

“Something most wonderful…” she replied. Then she began to sing a hymn in a language they could not understand.

“This isn’t helping. This has all happened millennia ago, and bygones should be bygones. But if this was so written.” Radal sighed in frustration. “Then I am staying. No matter what, a father will never abandon his child, come high, come low.”

“I guess then…” Gursal laid his gun on the floor and took a seat on the control panel. “…that I would be staying with you.”

“I too,” Mani said, and took a seat in the bridge.

“And I…” Banaan said, and took a position in the bridge as well.

Iisha stop singing and smiled. “I am all proud of you.”

“We came here to get this ship,” Gursal stated. “And no matter what, we are getting out with the ship. The circumstances now differ somewhat from what I originally expected, but heck, we have control and we will see this through.”

“It would help if we have an operator’s manual for the ship, don’t you think?” Mani smiled.

“The Ark can operate in ways no one can imagine…” Iisha said. “Like everything can respond with a thought of the mind. I am accessing the databases of the Naasha right now. With a little help I can get the linguistic databases of our language and tie them with the Progenitor language. Give me a few minutes, and we can reformat the interfaces to our convenience.”

The panels light up with displays. They seemed to be typical system displays that provided information on the workings and status of the ship—a universal language to anyone who has ever flown a starship. One by one, the language and the inscriptions in each of the displays were changed into something they could understand—Hiigaran.

“All the known tongues of our galaxy came from our Progentors,” Iisha explained. “They passed civilization, science, art, and language to all the lesser races they encountered, to bring them the Light as they call it, to be enlightened with knowledge, and with knowledge, every race and soul within them will step closer to the Divine.”

“In other words, that makes translation easier,” Mani said.

“Not easier. Rather one can see what connects us all, and turn that into a strength,” Iisha replied. “Father?”

“Yes, my child.” He stood next to her.

“I am Iisha. And yet I am Geddon. The soul of Geddon is inside me, one with me. Legions more of our souls are inside many in our Galaxy. They have all awakened. They are waiting for me, calling me, calling me at the Gate.”

“The Gate of Karnak, I presume,” Radal said.

“Yes, father, the Gate of Karnak. There our destiny will be fulfilled.”

“But what precisely is this destiny, Iisha?”

“I cannot tell, father, at least not right now. The only thing I know is that we must go.”

“Except that, father, I do not know how to fly a ship. While everything in this ship, the Movers and Keepers, I could control with my mind, I do not know what to do with this power. They gave me the power and they gave me the direction, what I must do, but I do not know what to do to accomplish this.”

“To captain a ship and command a fleet is something one cannot learn overnight, my child.” Radal stroked her forehead.

She smiled. “I think they brought you here too, father, for another reason. You may not have one of our Souls, but they know you can lead. Help me lead, father. Lead for us.”

“You seriously mean this, my child, Iisha, or Geddon, or whatever you want me to call you.”

“I am still Iisha, and you are still my father. Nothing, not even the power of this ancient race, can take that away from us. And yes, father. I want you to be captain.”

“Captain? You mean that, Iisha, captain of this very vessel?”

“Yes, father, to captain the Ark and command this Fleet. I will be your instrument.”

Radal scratched his chin in one moment. “I guess there is something wrong if an entire fleet goes out in the universe with only a robot’s intelligence to guide them. Nothing beats good old fashioned experience, the experience of a Somtaaw Beastslayer.”

“Okay, but we got a lot of work to do in such a short time. Banaan, call the crew of the Naasha to meet us in this bridge. There are still a lot of seats in this bridge, which is one heck of a big control room, and I want to fill them with bodies. Mani, can you figure out the navigation screens?”

“Yes, Radal. It seems easy enough. The translation helps a lot.”

“Very well. See if you can plot a course to the Gate of Karnak.”

“Aye, aye sir. But first, where is the Gate?

“Harados System, Kalkuth Sector,” Iisha interjected.

“Thank you, Iisha.” Mani went to work right away.

Radal turned to Iisha, still not very comfortable with the sight of the cables and tubes coming out from her back. They said that when a person become bound with the ship, they become the Unbound, free from their physical mortality. And this, his daughter, has become one of the Unbound.

“The Movers, Iisha. I want you to dock them into this ship, and into anything that looks like a carrier. They cannot hyper space on their own.”

“Yes, father. Commands being given now. I am opening all docking hatches. Docking commands have been broadcasted.”

“That is excellent,” Radal answered. More of the screens have come online, some of them showing hatches in the ship opening, and the Movers began a long procession to dock.

“I have a feeling we are still going to need every one of them.”

“Should you desire, Captain,” Iisha said. “The Ark has the facility to manufacture more of the Movers. For salvaging bigger ships, the Dogs are in your command. Should you desire, we can make Movers specially designed to mine resources. There is nothing they cannot do.”

“Yes, Iisha. I quite remember the Movers. Remember that we in Hiigara managed to obtain their technology, even in building them, in the last excursion to the Karos Graveyard. I must say, a most ingenious design that can possibly influence the next generation of Hiigaran corvette design.”

“Father, the Calling is great. We must leave soon.”

“Yes, I understand Iisha. Do we have enough fuel and resources to get to our destination?

“We understand that at least we may have to resource some systems on the way,” Iisha replied.

“Well that answers the question.” Radal watched as more of the crew of the Naasha entered the bridge. “Banaan, see to it each one gets a console and a seat. And try to learn the commands as quickly as possible. We do not have much time.”

“Correction,” Mani said. “We do not have even little time. Vaygr probe in the area.”

“What?” Radal ran to Mani’s console. There it was, a bleeping star in the map.

Gursal watched his screens, where the probe’s bleeping was also present. “And I bet you the Vaygr is coming back for round two to finish what they have started. Persistent fellows they are. I will also bet you they will send a bigger fleet this time to capture this very Ark.”

Radal frowned. “Curses! Gursal, anyway you can work the tactical systems on this ship?”

“Negative, Captain. I think you better leave that with Iisha. She should have direct control.”

“Gursal,” Iisha said. “I have little experience in fighting, just like in captaining the ship. I need your experience. The battle maps will be set into your console, but tell me what action I must take.”

“And father. I—they—the ones we call the Progenitors, the Ancients—-they do not want to shed any more blood that is needed.”

“Neither do I, Iisha, neither do I.” Radal thought of the prospect of seeing thousands dying like he has seen before in the failed Vaygr attack.

“Father, the Keepers, Dogs and Movers will defend the relics and the Ark according to their programming. They will fight with no conscience or mercy to achieve that goal.”

“I understand that Iisha. But we can avert bloodshed if we can hyperspace out of here quickly. What is the status of the Movers? Have they all docked yet?”

“They continue to dock and will soon be finished. Do you want them to be released for battle?”

“Negative, Iisha. Keep them docked inside the ship.” Radal turned to Mani. “Have you laid out a course yet?”

“I think I got a course. There are a lot of systems here that are uncharted in all known Hiigaran maps. It is taking me a while to digest this Captain.”

“We do not have a while, Mani. We need to hyperspace to the next system as quickly as possible.”

“Aye, Captain.”

“Iisha, send the coordinates to the entire fleet. Inform them we will jump soon. Hurry.”

“Yes, father.”

Like the good old days, he thought, when he commanded the Somtaaw Task Force with the Khontala as his flagship. Only this time, this was a Progenitor Mothership with his daughter’s body and mind bound to it, and with the responsibility of an entire ghostly fleet of derelicts and Keepers behind it.

***

The Tartarus, System Unidentified, Sector Uncharted

Under the command of the Holy Orders of Messengers, scaffolds were built around the derelict ships of the Shivakan,as the Nameless Ones were called by the Vaygr. For many years, the Order of the Messengers tended to the needs of the Shivakan, carefully restoring the derelicts. Long ago, Makaan founded this Order, this holy church, of acolytes and deacons, and Makaan as high priest and Prophet. The Order protects the holy relics, the ships of the Shivakan, and act as the mediation between the Nameless and the people of Vaygr.

For millenia, the Vaygr roamed the other fringes of the East, a race of nomads who long ago, left their mythical homeworld of Vey to roam the stars endlessly. Legend has it that the Vaygr left Vey when another race came upon the world, and destroyed it. To survive, the warring Vaygr, with no more home, left completely for the stars, a once peaceful people turned completely savage by the trauma of war.

But in all the ages, the Vaygr, through their disunity, never posed a threat to the peoples deeper inside the inner Rim. The Turanic Raiders predated on their convoys, and the tyranny of the Taiidan Emperor and the might of his forces, kept the Vaygr banished to the thin stars of Fringes. There, with stars relatively few, where belts were sparse, and nebula thin, the resources were but sparse, and the Vaygr tribes struggled in their cyclical existence.

Then one day, a young slave escaped from the tyranny of his master. His small ship was caught by the vortices of a hyperspace inhibitor. When he came back to consciousness, there they were, in the sight of his shuttle’s windshields, vast ships the size of cities, their five arms stretched out like the tentacles of the predatory anemone in the planet Malos, who can grasp entire beings and consume them in the mouths in the center of their bodies, the prey still alive and its muscles grasping for life.

For the Nameless Ones, they chanced upon this helpless pathetic being. They could have easily ended his miserable life, an insignificant bag of blood and bones. They could have kept him for their amusement, a pet it seems, or as a slave. But what they found in this pathetic being was a force, the feelings of one the Nameless shared—the feelings for vengeance. And through those burning passion of retribution, were the feelings of power. They felt this through this small being, a flame that ignited long dormant fires.

And so, they gave this creature, power, understanding, and knowledge. They fed his will with the hunger of power and revenge, and the feelings of ultimate destiny.

“Unite your peoples, and become the sword of our Destiny. Enslave the Galaxy and be its ruler. Offer the slaves and all lesser beings as a sacrifice to your Gods, so they may toil in our upkeep,” said They to the being named Makaan.

And so Makaan did. With Their powers unholy and the Third Core, Makaan united all the Vaygr tribes and converted them to the faith of the Nameless. Those who defied were put to the sword, the same fate shared by his former masters. Each of the twelve nomadic tribe was given a mission and the banner of a crusade. And so the Vaygr arose from the Eastern Fringes, and chanced upon the convenient collapse of the Taiidan Empire. Disunited and disenfranchised, the Taiidan factions and republics, as well as the factitious Turanics, fell against the Vaygr onslaught one by one, and the Vaygr converted many to their cause.

The rampage went on. Till the Vaygr meet the indomitable force that was Hiigara.

They, the Hiigarans, had the same light that was passed on by the Ancients and seeded race after race across the rim of the Great Wheel. The taint of the Ancients was upon the Hiigarans as they called upon the name of Sajuuk, in their quest and in their war against the Vaygr. Long after the Ancients have gone, the light was passed to a race of the Unbound, among whom were the Bentusi, who came to posses the first Core of Sajuuk. The second race was the Hiigarans, who came upon the second Core. They once ruled an empire as vast as the Taiidan, and when that fell, they were exiled. Now the Hiigarans claim empire, and that destiny brought them into conflict with the Vaygr.

With the opening of the Eye of Arran and the Gates, the Nameless knew that the signs of the End Times were upon them. Makaan has failed in his quest, and a new Vaygr leader was chosen. Already the soul of Sajuuk has revived.

The stink of Sajuuk and his ilk. They believed in the futile Mission, to serve the higher Order, to bring forth civilization and flower them across the stars, to guide these civilizations into a higher state of evolution so they too, will one day, see the light of the Divine.

But there were those who did not see the purpose of this path.. We are already Gods. Why serve a higher cause when we are the highest cause one can aspire. Why believe in the Divine when we have proven to be divine? The only real aspiration was that of our own relentless pursuit of our own perfection and of our evolution, they said.

And so began the Heresy, and the great wars that followed. As penalty, They had their names removed from the Registry and the Charter that binds them to the Covenant of the Mission. Their names, damned forever, shall never be spoken again, no longer worthy to exist.

In the wars, They hunted and destroyed the Followers. Their great ships bombarded entire worlds from space, purging them with fire. Billions died, entire races and civilizations destroyed.

The Followers were destroyed or so they said. The act of desperation pulled by the saint Sajuuk only served to delay the inevitable. The Followers planned one last act of desperation to survive, but that was squashed too, or so they said.

But the wars have left the Nameless Ones mortally wounded, their ships and cities, battered beyond repair. In time, They would never recover from their own wounds, and their worlds collapsed. Those who survived packed into their great motherships, and left for the darkness between the stars. There, they would be gone, their signals faded into silence.

Until a slave would rekindle that fire once more.

But now, another light flashed through out the Universe, a calling for the Light once more.

The souls of the Nameless called for themselves among the ships, for they knew what the signal was. They met in the darkness, and their thoughts passed from one to the other.

In the days before their own end, the Followers planned one desperate act, a mighty ship to open the Gate of their Forebears that brought them from one Galaxy to this Galaxy. By opening the Gate again, they could move to another Galaxy and continue their Mission, maybe one day, to return to this Galaxy and reclaim its light. In a great battle, the Nameless ones thought they damaged the ship, killed its Sleepers and its Fleet Command, Geddon, in the process.

Legend has it one day, that Geddon, and the Ark, would one day rise again. The souls of the Followers, scattered in the winds of this great Galaxy, would be reunited. Once again, the battle will be rejoined.

The Nameless Ones sent the new Vaygr-Khar, Taklan, to stop this by reclaiming the Ark.

The Signal reverberated throughout space. Geddon has been reborn, and the Ark, reclaimed. The Calling has been made, and with it, the Souls have awakened. They will again gather under the great Doorway from which their Forebears came from.

And it must be stopped.

This could only mean that the Vaygr-Khar has either failed in his mission, or was too late.

Incompetence. We, as beings in the forefront of evolution and perfection, will not tolerate incompetence.

Regardless, action must be done.

The scaffolds vibrated as the engines of the Tartarus came to life. Lights all over the ship flashed and flickered. The Messengers, the beings robbed as monks, panicked and ran to the nearest shuttles.

Another signal was sent, and one by one, the engines of the Shivakan motherships across the entire graveyard came to life. The signal, traveling much faster than the speed of light, came upon the receptive arrays of other ships of the Shivakan in undiscovered graveyards at the edge of the Galaxy. Time to awaken, my brethren.

The five massive arms of the Tartarus extended themselves, shattering the scaffolding and railing built around the ship for her restoration. The workers in their spacesuits were thrown screaming and tumbling into space.

The arms of the other Motherships also broke free from their scaffolds. There was screaming as Vaygr crews escaped in their shuttles and ships, only to have their shuttles incinerated by white lances of ion beams.

They are no better than vermin…

With a flash of light, an ion beam projected from the central eye of a Planet Killer and cut a maintenance Vaygr ship in half. Another beam torched a Vaygr Transport Frigate used to ferry supplies to the Order. A fleeing Vaygr Resourcer, used in repairing the derelicts, was vaporized as an ion beam cleaved through its back.

Beams flew out from the monster ships, torching the fleeing shuttles, and screams filled the com channels. A Vaygr Heavy Missile Frigate, assigned to guard the site, did not know what to do at the sight of the Gods killing their own people. His hesitation was the cause of his demise, as an ion beam sliced the poor ship in half.

In a nearby listening station, an operator gathered his wits and began to broadcast, “Mayday, mayday.” His compatriots ran to the shuttles and life pods. The operator watched in horror as the big white ball of a siege cannon blast came looming larger in the direction of the station. His warning alarms were going off at detecting the massive burst of energy headed their way.

“By the Gods—“ he screamed, as he was cut off. The giant wave caused by the blast of the plasma ball caught the station like a house of cards against a killer storm. The hull and the armor of the station was torn, and then the structure, In half a second, the station’s reactors turned critical. The pods and shuttles could not escape from the twin shockwaves of the siege cannon explosion and the nuclear explosion of the station’s reactor.

….No better than useless vermin…all of them. These beings who call themselves the Vaygr, they cannot even do a simple task assigned to them. Their incompetence brought this upon them…

The Tartarus closed its five giant arms into its body, curling into a ball. Around the Tartarus, other the Planet Killers and Destroyers all closed their arms into their bodies. The space sizzled and shimmered as hyperspace fields formed around the Tartarus and its brethren, then swept past their bodies, leaving only empty space and the wreckage of their destruction.

Some things you have to do yourself…

Act 13 | Landing Page | Act 15

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