Soul of the Progenitors – Act 25

Act 24 | Landing Page | Act 26

Soul of the Progenitors

A Homeworld Fanfiction

by Crobato

Originally posted February 18, 2005 – 2:30AM

Act 25

Aboard the Pride of Hiigara

The repairs were quick and the Hiigaran mothership have graduated from critical to serious status, although the great Mothership remained under constant attack. It was a testimony to the unceasing efforts of the ship’s inboard crew and the Collectors to save the Mothership from the brink of destruction. It has been a while since Karan was on the Pride of Hiigara, but the familiarity stored in her memories and nerve synapses quickly switched in, and it felt like no day has passed since time they battled Makaan for control of the Sajuuk.

Compared the Sajuuk, the Pride of Hiigara was always built with her in mind; the systems of the Mothership was tailored for her interfacing. This was not true of the Sajuuk, where she struggled interfacing Hiigaran techs with Progenitor technologies, as well as the DNA and physiological differences between a Hiigaran and true genetic Progenitor.

The familiarity was assuring, but…there was something lacking. A presence. The Sajuuk had the presence of its namesake, a soul within the ship, waiting to be awakened. The Pride of Hiigara had none, an emptiness…and it felt lonely. Not even with all the crewed around her. But Karan had evolved, and when she had become Unbound, she also became alone for that. Only the distant messages of the Bentusi assured her of an occasional but fleeting companionship. But the Bentusi were gone, their last ship destroyed. Now it was only…Sajuuk.

Then an inner voice called.

Karan…

She recognized the voice, which no one else could hear. Sajuuk… But how?

I still speak to you from my ship. We have little time to spare. The Deliverer is at the hands of the enemy. We need to help her.

Sajuuk. We are planning with the remaining Vaygr, for a last ditch strike against the Tartarus itself. We are currently gathering our remaining forces. At the same time, I am also sending Marine frigates inside the Ark to repel all drone boarders.

Karan, your forces and the Vaygr’s are too spent for this. Your efforts will only be in vain. I have a plan of my own. I want you to remove all your crew in my ship. Now.

What exactly is your plan, Sajuuk?

There was silence and the voice returned again. Order your crew to leave the ship.

Then silence once again, and Karan called out his name. But there was no answer. Then another voice.

“Sajuuk-Khar,” the new voice interrupted her daze. “We got communication with the Sajuuk. It’s Captain H’raal.” Admiral Serim said, shaking her to get her attention.

“Put him on the public comlinks,” Karan replied.

The screen fizzled with static as receivers gathered more output to overcome the EM interference from the battle outside. With heavy static, the face of Captain H’raal appeared with reasonable clarity.

“Status report!” Karan ordered.

“Sajuuk-Khar, we continue to receive heavy damage countering all repair and salvage efforts. The point defense systems remain operational and trying their best defending against drone attacks, but we’re also running out of defending fighters. We did manage to recover part of her navigation systems. Her main batteries are shot, but her point defense is still running on automatic. I am asking permission to stay longer, there is hope we save her.”

Karan was silent for a second. “There is too much risk of life here. I want you and the repair crews and Collectors to leave the Sajuuk. We need repair crews and Collectors on the Pride of Hiigara as well. We are still facing some attack. It is better for us to save one ship, than to lose two.”

“But Sajuuk-Khar—-“

“No objections, Captain. Prepare immediate evacuation of all remaining personnel. I am ordering a Marine Frigate to head to your position, with Flak Frigates for cover. I will have fighters escorting all remaining Collectors and assign them to the Pride of Hiigara. This is an order, Captain. The retrieval party have put themselves at risk rescuing you and the remaining crew.”

“As you wish, Sajuuk-Khar.” The last image of H’raal had him waving at crews to indicate execution of the abandon order just before the screen fizzled away.

Karan turned her head down. I am abandoning Sajuuk…perhaps the only friend I had left… But it must be done. I must follow him.

What are you planning, Sajuuk?

***

Aboard the Ark of Geddon

“Enemy assault drone in ten paces!” Gursal shouteed. Radal ducked as Gursal opened up with a kinetic assault rifle. The slugs tore through the bipedal drone, and as Radal knelt, he took his blaster and shot closeup, tearing large holes in rapid succession. Radal kicked the dead drone away.

“There it is!” Radal shouted and pointed at the intruding cable from the Tartarus. Already Keeper drones were gnawing away at it. Radal’s blaster has charged up sufficient and he started blasting away at the weak spots. Banaan, laser welding tool at his hand, began cutting through other parts of the cable.

“Look!” Gursal shouted, pointing to the missiles in storage. The light from the laser welder had illuminated the room, which now appeared to be a large storage center for munitions. “Looks like small point defense missiles, I’ll say.”

Radal clicked on his portable comlink. “Mani, get a fix on our position and tell us where we are in the ship.”

“Right away sir,” Mani replied through the comlink. “Okay, I got a fix on your position. Looks like you’re near the bottom of the ship in one of the munition storage areas.”

“Got it, Mani.”

“Captain, we also got Hiigaran and Vaygr Marines coming in from Marine and Infiltrator frigates. I can send the squads to your position.”

“Direct them to the concentrations of enemy boarding drones,” Radal said. “We need the drones wiped out to gain access to the other cables.”

Radal eyed the completely broken cable as his blaster cooled off. The Keeper drones began to quickly assimilate its raw material and automatically patching up the hole it made. “What is the status of point defense weapons in this ship?”

“Sir,” Mani replied. “Looks like much of the defense weapons on the upper decks have been silenced. That’s the part of the ship facing directly to the Tartarus. The Tartarus must have knocked out most of them.”

“And on the bottom?” Radal asked.

“Sir,” Mani replied. “We still have about twelve octal cell launchers, with each launcher capable of holding 8 missiles. In addition, there are another eight kinetic rotary cannons and four ionic beam batteries.”

“Holy Mother of Kharak, that’s still a lot of firepower,” Gursal remarked.

“Status on main armament!” Radal asked.

“Sir, the two main kinetic rails are out, along with four main beam turrets. Out of the two torpedo launchers, one is completely out sir. The other one is being repaired by the Keeper drones.”

Radal clicked on his portable comlink again. “Thanks Mani. Based on your scans, how tough is the armor of the Tartarus on the bottom.”

“Hold on for a moment,” Mani replied. “Okay, I got your answer. It definitely looks weaker on the underside where the tentacles are coming from. The thickest armor are on the top of the ship. So what’s going on.”

“The ship still has it maneuvering thrusters, right?” Radal asked.

“Yes, at least those still in the bottom are still working, Captain.”

“I want all the PDS armed. If we can rapidly rotate the ship, we can bear all the defense systems of this ship right at the very bottom of the Tartarus. I don’t think we may kill the Tartarus unless we get lucky, at the very least we can shear off the tentacles holding the ship, and the cables that’s trying to gain control of her. We cannot keep on cutting the cables and fighting off the boarding drones.”

“Understand sir. I will need to gain override manual control of the ship. Iisha, sir, I’m sorry she’s still out cold. The Tartarus may have affected her and the ship’s computer networks. If we can disable more cables, I can do more manual overrides from the bridge.”

“Okay, Mani, do your part, and we will do ours.” Radal said. “Now lead us to the next target cable so we can cut it off.”

***

Aboard the Ark of Geddon and the Tartarus

“So we had our successes and we had our failures,” said the voice, the dark figure that walked around her. “Nonetheless we played gods when we should not. Just like we interfered with the life of your mother, and your life.”

The figure waved his hand, and the entire dark dome above them turned to light, thousands of stars shining, the orb of a giant gas planet, its rings and moons. In between, there were flashes, and she understood them as ships in the moment of death.

“Your friends, your family are out there,” he said as he pointed to the fleets in combat. “Your precious race of Hiigarans. I have the power to wipe them out entirely. They fight gallantly, but they cannot ultimately resist our power. I will make it easy for you. Give me the knowledge I seek, and I will spare this Hiigaran species from total extinction. If I not, I will obtain the Key from you anyway, and I will wipe these Hiigarans and their allies from the face of their Homeworlds.”

“You can save your precious Hiigarans,” he said. The dome changed from darkness again to a scene. This time, it was the shattered remnants of the Hiigaran fleet still trying to fend off any attack. She knew he was just holding back, if he had wanted them all destroyed, he would have done it earlier.

“Your people, your tribe, your Sajuuk-Khar, in that Mothership now.” The Pride of Hiigara loomed in the screen. “You can decide their fate.” The scene showed a line of five armed motherships opening fire on the Hiigaran fleet like an execution squad, the Pride of Hiigara succumbing and exploding.

He waved again, and this time, he showed a scene, where an armada of thousands of the five armed motherships, converged on hundreds of worlds. From their orbits in space, plumes of fire rained from the ships. Flashes appeared on the surface, the blue skies on the planetary orbs turned red with fire and black with smoke and death.

The scene changed to that on the ground. A fiery comet fell from the sky, fire against the blue. It headed to the horizon where there was a big flash, the ground trembled and a massive wall of wind swelled, kicking dust and burning trees along its path. She watched a city, where the ground shook, and buildings crumbled. People ran screaming out, calling for their loved ones, carrying their children.

But the wave of fire overwhelmed them all. Living people turned to ashes in seconds, hundreds and thousands of them, all the screaming turned silent, leaving only the whisper of the wind and the crackle of embers.

She saw something in the ground and she picked it up, the partially burned remains of a child’s doll. The wind blew harder, sending her hair upwards, dark clouds of black sooth flying like the advancing storm, covering a sky formerly clear and blue.

“You have the power to prevent this,” he said. “You can spare them. I can guarantee the preservation of the species you choose.”

“So what do you really want?” she asked. The scene turned black, nothing once again. “Do you want to be a god, is that it?”

“We have been gods all this time,” he answered. “We just disguised it as faith. We did godly things for the sake of faith. Faith was our excuse. It’s time to change the social order. We have been engineering the fate of entire galaxies to some preconceived “will”. It’s time to engineering galaxies to our will, our own will.” He grasped his fist.

“I am just simply honest about it.”

“Who knows, we could do better. I believe I can do better,” he said. “So what will it be, Iisha Somtaaw. You know, you may have taken the mantle of the Deliverer, but you sure chose a poor incarnation for that. A Hiigaran girl, frail and mortal as you are, with conflicting emotions and loyalties.” The dome changed to a scene, showing her as a girl walking to school alone in a town in Hiigara. She seemed so insignificant then, so awkward, so lonely.

A darkness swept around the little girl, a coldness that chilled the bones, an emptiness that would any heart cry. She was alone, and she was with him.

“Give me the Key,” he said. “You don’t have to feel like you are now. You can be free and I can make you happy. Join me.”

She smiled….

“I think I know what you want,” Iisha said. “What you truly want. You won’t find it in the Key, you won’t find it in all the knowledge of the Believers, and you won’t find it in this Universe. You won’t find it in being a god either…”

***

Aboard a Marine Frigate

Captain H’raal was the last to get in. A captain was supposed to go down with his ship, and the ship he captained was going down. But orders were orders. He made sure all the crew was safely in, and he would be the one to close the hatch to the Sajuuk. At that moment, the fate of the great Dreadnaught Sajuuk was decided. It had survived all throughout the millennia. Today was the day it would die.

It has been a while he saw the Sajuuk from the outside. For well over a year, the Sajuuk has been his home. As the Marine Frigate gained distance from the ship, he could see the Sajuuk’s long bladed form, now scarred with burning cuts and holes where the ship took enemy fire.

“Good bye,” he said quietly before he walked to the bridge of the frigate. He could not bear to watch the final moments of the ship.

The Marine Frigate was some distance away when an office shouted. “Sir! The Sajuuk, Her systems have suddenly powered up.”

“What! The ship was literally dead when we left it,” H’raal answered.

“Not anymore,” the officer replied.

H’rall rushed back to the windows of the frigate. It was true. He could see the thrusters of the ship lighted up, and the ship was moving.

“That can’t be!” H’raal shouted. “The ship’s navigation systems and main engines were dead when we left it. There is no one piloting the ship either! Find out where the ship is headed.”

“Sir,” came the reply. “Projected course headings is taking the ship towards the Tartarus.”

“The Tartarus?” H’raal said. “The Sajuuk-Khar must be informed immediately.”

***

Aboard the Pride of Hiigara

What are you doing, Sajuuk?

Something grabbed her attention from her daze. “Sajuuk-Khar,” Admiral Serim’s voice said. “The Sajuuk is moving at its own power all of a sudden.”

“Didn’t Captain H’raal reported that the ship was immovable? Engines dead and navigation systems nonfunctional?” Karan asked, even though she knew the answer.

“Yes, he did.” Admiral Serim confirmed. “And he is not mistaken. Our sensors also verified that the Sajuuk was critically damaged and non functional. The Sajuuk, sir, she’s also moving without any crew and pilot.”

“Then it seemed, we do not know enough of the ship, didn’t we? Despite all the time we spent with her, we still do not fully understand the Progenitor networks and AI that runs the ship. But that is irrelevant now, Admiral. Track the ship and determine where it is going.” Karan ordered.

“We have done that too. The Sajuuk’s course is taking it straight to the Tartarus.” Admiral Serim replied.

She already sensed she knew the answer, but she needed confirmation.

“Sajuuk-Khar, our reports also indicate the ship is also picking up speed.”

At her command, her assistants moved her body closer to the instruments and screens of the bridge. Karan watched the radar screens. Speed? Is he literally going to do this?

“I believe the Sajuuk is going to ram the Tartarus,” Admiral Serim said. “But who is flying it?”

“Maybe we don’t need to answer that, Admiral,” Karan replied. “Leave that to the unexplained mysteries of the Progenitors. If this is the will of Sajuuk, let it be. What is important is to make sure the Sajuuk must survive to accomplish her final mission. Order all ships, and inform the Vaygr, to protect the Sajuuk at all cost.”

Serim snapped in salute. “Right away, Sajuuk-Khar. For the will of Sajuuk.”

***

Aboard the Ark of Geddon and the Tartarus

The hooded figure suddenly turned around. The dome turned from one scene, to black, and then another scene.

The burning silhouette of the Sajuuk Dreadnaught filled the sky, its point defense systems firing at the Attack Drones trying to stop it. A fleet of much smaller Hiigaran and Vaygr ships and fighters surround the Sajuuk, attacking the drones and other ships along its way.

“The Sajuuk,” he said. “It still lives. And it is headed our way. Welcome my brother. It is appropriate that you shall meet your fate here. I am waiting for this for so long.” He waved his hand and lights sparkled across the room.

There was enough of a connection between Iisha to the Tartarus through the cables grappling the Ark. She knew what the Tartarus was doing.

The Tartarus has ordered other motherships to stop the advance of the Sajuuk. Too late, the other motherships could not move themselves fast enough to put themselves between the Tartarus and the Sajuuk, which continued to gain speed. They tried firing their main armaments, but being located and fixed on the bottom of their ships, their weapons cannot track fast enough to lock on the Sajuuk. Ion Beams that could cut a Battlecruiser in half could only find empty space where the Sajuuk was seconds before. Cruise missiles fired were too slow, and quickly picked off by defending Hiigaran fighters and Flak Frigates. The Siege Cannons were even slower than the Ion Beams and even more useless to stop the Sajuuk’s charge.

Vaygr strike craft, missile corvettes and frigates quickly descended on the motherships, targeting the sensors, raking them with autocannons and missile fire. Distracted and with their sensor under attack, the motherships could no longer track the Sajuuk and had to fend on their own. A wave of Hiigaran torpedo frigates jumped in to support the strike craft, with a wave of torpedos aimed directly at the motherships’ sensors.

This had left the Tartarus to fend off Sajuuk on its own.

The Tartarus main armament was located below the ship, in the center maw surrounded by the five arms. But with the arms grappling the Ark, it would be unable to use its main weapon against another attack. Instead, the Tartarus have opened up the point defense systems located at the upper hemisphere of the ship, opening several ports across the upper hull to reveal rotary turrets, small beam turrets, and multi-cell missile launchers.

A volley of beam fire, missiles and automatic kinetic fire hit the Sajuuk, ripping holes across its damaged hull, but failed to stop the increasing momentum of something with the mass of a super dreadnaught. The Sajuuk redirected its point defense systems, and replied with its own rain of rapid fire kinetic slugs. The shells failed to penetrate the Tartarus armor at its upper hemisphere, where it was thickest. But the shrapnel damaged some of the exposed point defense weapons and sensors.

“No!” The voice screamed, as Sajuuk loomed, ever growing bigger and faster.

Suddenly the floor shook, and Iisha was knocked over from her feet. So was the hooded figure that was Nameless. The entire Tartarus tilted to one side, as Iisha could hear the sickening sound of the creaking and breaking of the ship’s internal structure. The entire front portion of the Sajuuk—its sword like beak—just rammed right through the Tartarus side, with such force and mass that even the hull armor buckled. The beak smashed through layers after layers of the station sized mothership, in the end, like a sword impaling the heart of its victim.

The Nameless one stood up. And he laughed.

“You cannot stop me. The ship is after all, just a ship.”

In the light, Iisha could see another hooded figure lying prone on the floor. She knew who he was, and she ran to him. She moved his body over and removed his hood. The man was bleeding, wounded. Even though Iisha knew that this was not his physical body, it was the essence, the ghost, the soul of the man that was wounded. He had a kind gentle face and he smiled at her.

“Sajuuk?” Iisha cried out as she held his head with her arms.

“Deliverer, I am at your service,” he said, his voice faint, as his energies drained away. His shaking hand tried to touch her arms. “It is an honor.”

The Nameless One stood over them both, and laughed. “A valiant sacrifice my brother, but you have not stopped me and my ship. My drones are just going to repair this ship and assimilate yours for scrap.”

“How long I have waited to see you once again. “ He raised and counted the fingers in his hand. “Perhaps more, each finger, perhaps a millennia. But I have stopped counting in the darkness, in the midst of loneliness.”

“You and your Council—you all banished me, pronounced that my name could never be spoken once again. You and your righteousness, you and your godliness. I smite on our race.” He spit. “I smite on you.”

The Nameless one raised both his arms and his palms up high. “Thank you, My Divine, for bringing my enemies, quivering and dying at my feet.” He laughed.

***

Aboard the Ark of Geddon

“Sir! Sir” It was Mani shouting through the comlink.

Radal took the device and placed it near his ear. “What is it, Mani?”

“Sir, I got the Sajuuk on sensors. She looks like—well she looks like she’s going to ram the Tartarus.”

“What?” Radal shouted.

“She just popped up all of a sudden, charging with a high velocity. Brace yourself, Captain, with the Ark still connected to the Tartarus by the arms and cables, we can expect some serious shakin’.”

“Lots of fire from both sides, the collision with Sajuuk is inevitable. Five seconds, four seconds…three…two…one…”

There was a large rumbling sound and the Ark shook and groaned like a strong earthquake has gripped the floor.

Radal grabbed his comlink. “Mani, are you alright?”

“I’m fine Captain. But what a sight. The Sajuuk has pierced the Tartarus like a dagger through a loaf of meat. But that Tartarus is a one tough ship. She’s holding together despite the impact. The Progenitor structural technologies are incredible.”

“Keep your admiration, later, Mani. Can you roll the Ark?”

“Captain, you mean turn it over so we can bear the Ark’s point defense systems on the belly of the Tartarus?”

“That’s right, Mani.”

“Sir, Captain. We got control of the thrusters and the point defense systems are all on manual override now. I’ve managed to trace and isolate the control points and bypass it.”

“It’s our chance, Mani, to stick it up to the gut of the enemy. We’re not going to get another chance like this.”

“Then I suggest sir, you all better hold on, because this is going to be one hell of a ride.”

Radal turned to his companions, and then to the Hiigaran and Vaygr Marines that joined his group. “You heard the guy, I suggest we all grab something and hold on to it tight.”

The ship began to rumble, then tilt. Radal could hear the rumble of the engine thrusters and the ship groaned against the arms and cables hold it. Then in a violent motion, the ship revolved like a snap, and Radal hanged on to dear life on a rail.

“We have turned. Opening fire with all defense systems.” It was Mani’s voice through the comlink.

Radal could hear from the echoes of the walls, the ship’s mechanisms groaning to life, clacking and clinking, belts and chains moving, gears turning. Hatches were opening, turrets coming out, missiles loading to their launch cells.

A rainstorm of rapid automatic kinetic fire ripped into the underside of the Tartarus, followed by ion beams shot in small rapid pulses. A hail of missiles shot out from the open ports of the Ark, and like silvery strands of hair, reached out to the bottom of the Tartarus. Flashes of fire and smoke followed.

From the comlink, Radal could hear Mani’s voice shouting in joy.

***

Aboard the Ark of Geddon and the Tartarus

The Tartarus again vibrated. This time, it was different, like lots of repeated fire smashing against the bottom hull, with slugs tearing through the heart of the ship.

Suddenly from laughter, the face of the Nameless gripped with horror. He clutched his chest, before he fell to the floor, next to the fallen Sajuuk.

“My brother,” Sajuuk said. “It looks like you too will share the same fate as I have.” Sajuuk smiled.

The Nameless one grimaced. “Why, what?”

Sajuuk laughed. “Once again, you have underestimated the ingenuity of the Hiigarans onboard the Ark.”

“I…” The Nameless One uttered.

Iisha could feel the energy going back to her feeble body, her control over the Ark regained. The attack from the Ark must have critically damaged the Tartarus, adding to the damage caused by the ramming attack of the Sajuuk. As the systems within the Tartarus deteriorated, the control the Tartarus had over the Ark loosened and she was able to break that control.

Her body began to glow with the regained confidence, control and energy. She noticed that her outfit had changed, the Hiigaran uniform into the white robes of the Believers. A clarity came into her mind. She knew what she had to do.

“You have won now, Iisha Somtaaw,” the Nameless One. “Congratulations. I have no more power over you.”

Iisha walked to his fallen body, and removed the hood. Underneath the hood was a young, surprisingly handsome face. He was like any person she could have fallen in love with. His mouth was agape, his eyes rolled, seeking the light.

“It is too bad, I will not see the Key,” he said, clutching Iisha’s arm. “I would have loved to see it.”

“And that you shall,” Iisha surprisingly answered. “If only for you to see that what you seek is not there.”

“What do you mean, Priestess?” Sajuuk said, his body still lying on the ground. “Do you realize that he is the enemy? We have won. He has no more power over you. He cannot force you to do what he asks from you.”

“You are right, Sajuuk, he cannot force me. But I will show him the Key nonetheless, out of my own free will,” said Iisha. The Nameless One smiled.

“Why?” Sajuuk asked.

“Because I am the Deliverer. I have now grasped the fullness of my Mission. I must deliver all Souls, and that means even that of the Heretics. No one, not Believer or Heretic will be left behind.”

She put her two hands together, and closed her eyes. “I will open the Key and all knowledge of our Race will be shown.”

“I will accept what you will give to me,” the Nameless One said.

“No!” Sajuuk said.

But she continued to chant. “By all what is Holy, from the four points of Universe, from the Alpha to the Omega, I shall release the Key. Open! Show us the True Meaning of the Word We serve.”

Lighted symbols appeared on her forehead, then on her chest. In front of her, a set of symbols appeared lighted on the ground ahead of her. Then behind, her another set. Then to her right, another set of symbols appeared, and then to her left. The language of the Gods they said, the language only the First Ones of their Race had written. Then rings appeared to connect the symbols, and each ring had its own script.

More rings formed around her, with words of the ancient script, and they lighted to fill the walls and the dark space right to the very top.

“Reveal to us who we are.” She shouted. With a flash of light, the symbols now filled the ceiling, the floor, the falls and every cube of space.

“We are the Osmordis, the first race of Sentients throughout the Universe. We are the first to be given the spark which we call the Soul, from which we have become immortal, living beyond the span of our mortal bodies of flesh. The knowledge we gained, the ends we serve, we believe in the highest order that is the Divine. As more sparks appeared, we taught them the Word and the Light, to bring all light to the Souls, and all Souls to the Light. We moved from one world to another, then one Galaxy to another. It is our Mission, to spread the Light and the Word.”

“All the words you see, these are our diaries, our journals. These are what we are. These are our Word.”

“Find what you are seeking for, Nameless One. Find what you are looking for in the glory of our words, of what we learned, and what we have achieved.

For several minutes, the Nameless One scanned the sacred texts, as Sajuuk watched and grimaced.

Then it has ended. She was right. The Nameless One could not find what he was looking for and his head bowed, his eyes closed, his features in disappointment.

“There is nothing here that I have not known before, or I have not seen before. The technology is the same, it is not superior to ours. There is no new insight, and I cannot see the Divine in the tasks we have accomplished. There is no trace of the Divine here, or the secret to the Divine,” said the Nameless One.

“If there is no Key to being a God, then there is no God. All this is at vain. The light will only give way to the Darkness. Life will only lead to loneliness. There is no meaning, only emptiness.”

Iisha bent down before the Nameless One. “You cannot find what you are seeking because you do not know what you are seeking in the first place.’

“You seek divinity when what you have been looking for had always been absolution.”

“What?” The Nameless One asked.

“My mission is to make you come here to join us. That I can see know. My task cannot be complete without this. Fate has guided you here with all the Heretics because you must have the chance, the right to be forgiven. The sins of the past must be forgotten, and all things must be healed.”

“What you are seeking for is not in the Key. It is what is absent within the Key. That is what we must fill.”

Sajuuk tried to object, but Iisha raised her hand. “I understand your concern, my brother Sajuuk. But this must be done. It is the Will of all things, that all sins and wounds must be resolved before we start anew. We must find this resolution.”

“In our quest for the Mission, we have done wrong ourselves. We have tried to mold the Universe to the image we see fit. In our quest we have done good but we have also done harm. When our faults was pointed out to us by some among us, our pride refused to see what was wrong, and our dogma to insist what is right has blinded us as well. All this had bred only resentment and hate, and therefore, it led to the Heresy. It was all a matter of pride with us all, that because of this, the Divine did not just leave the Heretics, but also to those that Believed.”

“We are no better than they are in the end, and only by making whole what we have broken, shall we rise again, shall the Divine shine upon us once more.”

“If that is your word, then so shall it be,” Sajuuk said. “To reclaim what was ours, through reconciliation.”

“I know what the Nameless One seeks, “ Iisha said. “It is time that you must return to us. To leave all hatred and anger behind.”

“Then tell me what I am seeking. Make me whole again,” said the Nameless One. “I have nothing left. Nothing to gain, nothing to lose.”

“You have a Name, Nameless One.”

“What good will that do?” The Nameless One said. “It’s so long ago, no one has spoken my name.”

“But it is who you are, and what you should be,” Iisha said. “It is he who I have came for.”

“It is the crux, the acknowledgment of your very being and existence. By removing it, you were banished from the Word, and with it, your chance for Deliverance and Absolution. You are not in the list of Souls that will move from this Galaxy to the next, and this only serves to deepen your loneliness. To seek divinity only deepens your loneliness, but that was never true goal. If we were to leave this Galaxy without you, you would have lost all your chance for absolution forever. You would rather destroy or be destroyed in the process. One way or another, your suffering has to end.”

“And I will say it. I shall release you from your banishment.”

“Your name is Jaz-rael. It means “Brother to all”. Let the Key bear the inscription of your name once more. You will be part of us again, and you will be Delivered.”

“No one has spoken my name in many a millennia. I have almost forgotten it, and with it, what I am,” Jaz-rael said. The glowing text that was the Key spun around him, till it stopped on a set of words. The words were not there before and it was now. He raised his hand and traced the form of the graceful script with the tips of his fingers. This was his name. This was what he was.

Jaz-rael. It was so long, too long since he last heard his name. And with it, came release. A flood of memories filled his mind, the days of his youth when he was in his first mortal form, and even the faces of a family long dead eons ago, but now for a brief moment was alive in image and memory again. I can see them now, was it so long ago?…

If his eyes could tear, it would, but they were only ghosts within the matrix of a ship.

“I…this is wonderful…my name…I was once, like you all…” Jaz-rael said. “I was….” His face groaned in pain. “I do not think I can last any more.”

“The damage to his systems is fatal, just as mine,” Sajuuk said. “It is only a matter of time before we depart.”

“But when he departs, he will have his resolution,” Iisha said. “If he had died, and incarnated without absolution, without being cleansed, the whole cycle of hate and violence will only begin again. We must heal, Sajuuk. All of us must heal.”

“I remember Jaz-rael as he was once was. He was among the best of us, and I wish to remember him as that. The Jaz-rael I know must return to us,” Sajuuk said.

Jaz-rael smiled as he lay. So did Sajuuk. “Did you find what you were looking for?” Sajuuk asked.

“I am not sure,” Jaz-rael said, raising his voice for one final time. “I only know for once again, I can gladly smile. Maybe this is what I was looking for.”

He raised his voice to Iisha. “I grant my soul to you, Deliverer, bring me back again to the fields of sun and flower…” He smiled as his ghost faded away.

“You will have your wish, Jaz-rael,” Iisha said.

“Farewell, Jaz-rael,” Sajuuk said, realizing he only had moments before he will depart as well.

“My work is not over yet. Many more have to be reclaimed,” Iisha said.

Iisha began to recite from a long list, the names of each of the Nameless Ones. “This must end. This exile, this banishment. I shall call you forth, and all shall be remembered and saved as one among the Delivered.”

She began. “Malzechiel — Your name means Follower of Joy.” With every name she spoke, a new set of words glowed among the revolving texts. “Your name is restored in our annals. Shaezenak — Your name means Lover of Peace. Let your name be restored. Malachiah — Your name means Fervent Disciple. Let your name be restored…”

It was a long list, and she recited them endlessly. More and more of the texts added and restored their names, and they revolved around her.

Sajuuk watched the ritual and smiled. Outside he could hear the legions of souls chant their hymns. The battle have stopped. The great Motherships that was their enemy had recoiled their arms and their turrets. Each began powering down as soon as their names were heard spoken once more.

He sent a message to Karan by thought, to cease all firing. His own misision had succeeded, the threat had ended. The war was won, and there was no need for more bloodshed. Only reconciliation lay ahead. He didn’t tell her he was dying. But then he sensed she knew the inevitable.

He watched the Deliverer recite the names, and like Jaz-rael, he too smiled as he faded away.

***

When the Deliverer called the names of the Nameless, at that moment, the Gate sprang to a new level of life since the awakening of the Deliverer. Mechanisms unmoved in ages, turned, unlocking one stage, then another. Power began to increase and flow across the Gate evenly. At the center of the Gate, electromagnetic fields began to rise, creating glowing auroras of plasma. Gravity fields began to shift, then bend, that even light was bent like lens. The wavering of light appeared like a pool of water to those who saw it.

Not far from the Gate, lay the impaled hull of the Tartarus with the blade of the Sajuuk right through it. Both ships did not die with one massive explosion. Instead, they slowly started breaking away, tiny explosions all over the ships blowing parts of hull and structure into space. It was like thousands of sparkling lights dancing across a dark mass. When the twinkling embers all ended, only a globular mass of debris lay where the two ships once were.

Act 24 | Landing Page | Act 26

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