Before I begin I just want to say two things. Firstly, I'm sorry this has taken me so long, real life decided to mug me for thinking I could manage a fortnightly schedule. From now on the chapters will come up whenever I finish them. Secondly, thank you very much to all those who have reviewed. It was these that have made me try and keep going with this story and hopefully the reviews I get in the future will do the same. Also you may want to look at the wookiepedia entry for the Talz.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, setting or story elements used in this story, unless they are an OC and no money is being made from this fiction. It's purely for fun.
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Arc 1 – Live, Grow Stronger, Fight Another Day
Chapter 1 – Finding a R.O.G
201,984 A.D (last time you'll see this)/ 4,016 BBY
195,984 standard years after the fall of Earth
Far out near the edge of the Galaxy, there is a small star system that has lain unnoticed by all for hundreds of millennia. Compared to some of the wondrous and spectacular stellar phenomena that exist in the Galaxy, this little system isn't very unique at first glance. The only planet that would be of any interest to most anyone was a small red and blue sphere, the third planet from its star. On closer inspection, you would find this little planet to not be a very welcoming place. The majority of it was covered in raging, uncontrollable seas or volcanic wastelands, all with continual storms brewing above them. The only exception to this was a relatively tiny stretch of land in between these two unfriendly landscapes with a strange land formation in the exact centre of it. Stretching from this centre point, the land seemed to spiral outwards, almost as if the ground was trying to imitate a whirlpool. And if there had been anyone to observe this strange place over any length of time, they would discover that the storms that seemed to never end on this dreary world spiralled out from this point as well, leaving this one stretch of land on the planet as an eternal eye of a storm, through which the heavens could be glimpsed.
Although this lonely world had once sustained many, many life forms, it now boasted only one, a being who had slumbered unknowingly through the eons, waiting to be discovered by any brave enough to try.
It was on a morning just like one of the many thousands of others that had graced this anomaly of a place that a ship seemed to blink into existence in the sky far overhead, and make its way to the resting place of the planet Earth's last inhabitant.
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Beiwi of clan Jalba in the tribe of Jorda, the first of his tribe, no, of the entire Talz race to Captain a starship, one of the greatest honours he could ever have been bestowed by his tribes Elders and Chief, a role that his entire tribe thought only he could fill, was absolutely terrified.
The journey so far had been relatively easy on himself and the 20 other Talz warriors and 2 healers that he had been tasked to command on this historic voyage for his people. That he was even up among the great lights of the sky was more than almost any from his tribe had ever dreamed of seeing. Despite the magnificent ship he travelled on, what his people had named the "Eyes of Alzoc", he had no clue what to do. The ship had not been made by Talz hands, indeed his people were still vastly primitive compared to whoever had constructed the marvel he rode in. The 'Eyes of Alzoc' was one of the great treasures of his people, the main reason that the different clan's of his tribe had initially come together was because of the discovery of this ship in a great series of ice caverns that were perfect for a new village to be set up in. It had sat, undisturbed and revered as a sacred relic of some distant past for centuries next to the village of Jorda, that is until 10 years previously when a young Talz warrior in training, with the mark of the Elders and the Healers, had decided that he wanted to explore this strange place.
This same Talz, now no longer a youth but a fully recognised Elder in training, was standing next to Beiwi Jalba as he started to feel the cold grip of fear tighten more and more upon him.
Soryn Finn Jorda could see that his Captain for this great voyage was nervous. In fairness, he wasn't the only one. Among the 24 Talz aboard the 'Eyes of Alzoc', only he was feeling more awe than fear. It had been him who had defied the ancient taboo of his tribe and set foot aboard this very ship 10 years previously. He was the first in 6 generations of his tribe to show potential in the arts of both the Elders and the Healers of his tribe. It had been him that had discovered the secrets of this great metal beast, and learned how to make it soar in the skies. Admittedly everything wasn't going quite how he thought it would, but it didn't mean they should panic, like the rest of his tribes people were.
"Peace, honoured Captain" Soryn said. "There is no reason to be so afraid. We knew when we first started this journey that the purpose of this metal beast was to soar the skies."
"Peace!" sputtered Beiwi, " You would caution peace at a time like this!? This is not some hunting expedition that hasn't gone exactly to plan, young one, and I know very well how you told us all that this metal creature was made to roam the skies. But this was meant to be a trip to the southern tribes, so that we could open a new trade route without fear of predators or ambushes, and show the other tribes the new might of our tribe. I may not have the knowledge that an Elder in training such as yourself has, but I know that the Southern tribes are still on Alzoc, and not out among the great lights as we are!"
At this Beiwi started to rapidly pace and click his claws, as their kind was prone to do when facing stressful situations.
Soryn couldn't deny what Beiwi had said, and he perhaps could have been a bit more diplomatic in trying to calm down the terrified Captain. Despite his skills in the arts of the Healers and Elders, he had always had trouble choosing his words wisely and knowing when not to let his own curiosity and excitement override the worries of others. In hindsight that might have been why an accomplished Warrior and Hunter like Beiwi had been made Captain and not himself. But if he didn't follow his own curiosity above all else then they wouldn't have discovered the amazing secrets of the 'Eyes of Alzoc' at all.
"Soryn Finn Jorda, are you even listening to me?" shouted Beiwi. "This isn't the time for you to be distracted by your own curiosity. I may be responsible for the safety of this voyage and our tribes people but we both know the only one who can work this metal monster is you. You pledged your obedience to me for this expedition on the honour of your clan name, the same as every other Talz on this trip, so it's time to start honouring your word. Now tell me exactly where we are and what this metal trap is doing"
Soryn flinched, knowing he had been caught out again. He was an adult now, a full member of his tribe allowed to proudly claim his clan and tribe names, and he would not dishonour that. He made himself focus back on the moment, as his teachers were always telling him to do, and reached out to the ship through the energy field that he had been trained almost since birth to use as an Elder and a Healer.
"My Apologies, Captain Beiwi Jalba Jorda, I allowed my excitement to get the best of me. I do not yet know what is happening but I will try my best to find out as quickly as possible. But I will need you all to calm down if I am to do so. It takes a great deal of concentration to communicate with this vessel and the fear and worry radiating from you all is making it difficult for me to do so."
This didn't seem to be the answer Beiwi was looking for, but he was old enough and experienced enough with the ways of the Elder's and the Healers that he knew when to leave well enough alone, so he decided instead to try and calm down the others stuck on the adventure gone wrong this was turning out to be and set an example of calm for them. He nodded once to Soryn to acknowledge his apology and went to see to the rest of his tribes people on the ship.
Seeing that he was being given some time to discover what was happening, Soryn sank to the floor and delved into the energy field that his people knew as the 'great flow'. As amazing as it was for them to be flying through the skies, he and the rest of his people had no idea how it was possible. Whoever had built this great metal beast, had possessed an understanding of both how to work with metals and how the 'great flow' could be used far beyond anything his people were capable of. They had somehow managed to merge a part of the 'great flow' with the ship itself, and had controlled it through their mastery of it.
Soryn himself didn't know how this was even possible, but he had discovered on that faraway day 10 years previously that he could reach out with his senses and interact with the ship through his connection with the 'great flow'. He had fallen through some thin ice while exploring the surface of the ship and hadn't been able to get out of the strange metal room he had found himself trapped in. He knew that no-one would find him there as he was the only one foolish enough to venture into the forbidden place. He had been on the verge of panic, when he had remembered some of the lessons he had been given on remaining calm and centring himself if he ever found himself in trouble, so he had sat himself down, identically to how he was currently sitting on the bridge of the 'Eyes of Alzoc', and centred himself on his connection to the 'great flow'. He had been beyond surprised when he had felt something, as if there was another accessing the 'flow' right next to him. In his panic he had broadcast a desire to escape from the room he was in into the 'great flow' and had got another great shock when the door to the room had opened itself up. The rest, as they say, was history.
As he again reached out for the strange presence that the ship had, he braced himself for the rush of anger he always got when connecting with it, and focused on 'asking' what was happening. He never got any words back, more an impression of the meaning behind words and what was happening. What he found almost made him lose his connection in panic. He had never felt the ship feel so 'alive', there were parts of it that had energy flowing to them that he didn't even know where there. Beyond this, he saw where he had gone wrong before. The ship must have been in a type of slumber, only able to give half impressions of what it truly meant. When he had learned that it could fly, what he had envisioned was it soaring through the air like some of the birds he had heard existed far down South from his village. But what it had been trying to tell him was that its purpose was to fly amongst the stars, not the clouds. Beyond even this, he saw that it wasn't even going to stay close to Alzoc. When he had activated the ship fully, it had sensed a planet full to the brim with the energy of the 'great flow' and the way that the ship worked was to use places such as those as a rock to pull itself forwards among the sea of the stars. He could feel the ship building up enormous amounts of energy in preparation to make this leap and he tried desperately to tell it to stop.
But to his surprise, and annoyingly that was becoming a far too regular occurrence, the ship locked him out. The last impression he got before being forced out of his concentration was the image of the people who had commanded the ship before him and his people, those who had built it giving it a mission. They had only been stopped at his planet to leave something and then they had planned to leave Alzoc and investigate the strangely large energy source. Something had gone wrong though, and none of those previous builders had returned to the ship, so it had went dormant, waiting for thousands of years for someone to awaken it so it could fulfil its mission.
Soryn immediately jumped to his feet and raced off to find Beiwi and let him know what was happening. He had just made it to the door of the room he was in when he felt the ship jump beneath his feet and suddenly they weren't in the Alzoc system anymore.
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As the ship 'Eyes of Alzoc' slowly landed on a desolate piece of ground, its inhabitants were terrified. They had no idea where they were, if they could get home or even if the place they were was safe for them. The one person on the ship who they had thought would know the answers to these questions was just as clueless as all the rest. What they saw through the windows of the ship and through the strange images that were somehow made to float in the air before them was a place from their nightmares. Alzoc, their home planet, was a cold place, with very little liquid water and a temperature that never rose above what many beings would describe as freezing. So to see an entire planet that seemed to consist only of either huge expanses of liquid water that looked as if it would swallow them whole if they got too close, or liquid fire, something they didn't even know was possible outside of a weapon smith's furnace, rightfully sent a primal shock of terror through their systems.
They tried everything they could think of to make the great metal beast they had arrived in move again, including hitting it, but all that their interpreter for the ship, one Soryn Finn Jorda, could get from it was that its mission was to retrieve whatever it was giving off so much energy into the 'great flow' and until it had this in its hold it wouldn't be moving. It was 'kind' enough however to project an overhead image of the area they were in and to mark the area's that would need to be searched. It was a strange thing, it seemed the land itself was spiralling outwards from a central point, and along the spirals leading to this point there were thousands of tiny energy readings the ship wanted checked as well as the massive one in the centre. When they had asked how they were meant to check those places when the image clearly showed there was nothing on the surface in any of these areas, the ship was also nice enough to show them a device it had onboard that when aimed at the ground and used correctly caused the earth to float up and let them collect whatever was underneath it.
Even with this amazing tool, Beiwi Jalba Jorda the captain of the ship and leader of the expedition, knew that it could take them as much as a month to complete the search. But despite everything they tried, the ship wouldn't move until they completed its mission and so it was decided that they had no other option but to try. They would be pushing their supplies to the limit and would just have to hope that when they were finished they could return home just as quickly as they had gotten to this new strange place, but there were no other options.
So the crew of the 'Eyes of Alzoc' went about setting up a camp and a work rotation and started working from the outside edges of the spiral inwards. Despite several accidents with the strange equipment as well as the exposure to high temperatures they weren't used to, and the fact that the resources and knowledge of the Healers they had with them was stretched to the limit, they managed not to lose anyone.
What they quickly discovered at each of the locations they checked was incredibly strange. Each site they checked had a metal blade buried underneath the ground, every one of them different from anything they had seen before and from each other. One of the strangest things about them was that, according to Soryn and the healers, they each had a different 'feel' to the energy they gave off into the 'great flow'. As the month wore on and they got closer and closer to the centre of the spiral, the crew became increasingly tense. It didn't help that they were all getting thirstier every day, yet they could see water continually falling from the clouds on every horizon and yet never getting any closer. They also didn't know what they would find, as the energy in the centre was much stronger than anywhere else. On the day they finally reached the centre of the unique landscape, everyone was on edge and ready to run to the ship if need be.
When they used the machine they had been given for hopefully the last time, what it brought to the surface was both familiar and completely bizarre. There was another blade, as there had been at each of the other locations, but the bizarre thing was what was clutching the blade.
It appeared to be some type of child sized, almost completely hairless creature. It had two arms and two legs just like they did but instead of the usual four eyes, it had only two, set weirdly in the middle of its head, on either side of some strange almost hooked protrusion. It was also missing a proboscis and instead had a strange slit where it should be as if someone had cut it off and they could see part of the inside of its throat through the slightly open gap. Beyond even this though it had two strange fleshy things sticking out of its head, one on either side and seemed to be missing claws of any sort. The tribal markers it was wearing differed from anything they had ever heard of as well. Whereas most only warranted an armband or belt to show their status in a tribe, or even the poncho the honoured Elders of the council wore along with the Chief and his headdress, this strange being was covered almost head to foot in cloth of a sort they had never seen before. The only conclusion they could draw was that it must have been a mighty chief in whatever strange tribe it came from; especially to wield a blade as fine as the one it held onto.
They were all quickly snapped out of their stupor by Beiwi buzzing out for them to hurry up and grab whatever it was and get back to the ship. Maybe now that they had gathered everything they could find, the 'Eyes of Alzoc' would co-operate again. This may have been an unprecedented disaster of a trip, but at the very least the wealth of high quality blades they had acquired were worth a fortune in both trade and for the defence of their tribe, if only they could make it back safe with them. With these incentives they quickly got back to the ship and got everything stowed away.
When Soryn once again tried asking the ship to take them back to their tribe on Alzoc, it thankfully obeyed and got under way even more quickly than when it had left Alzoc, seemingly pleased to have finally fulfilled the last mission from its builders. Just as they leaving the planet and the 'Eyes of Alzoc' prepared to make another of those strange 'leaps' to take them home, Soryn felt a change in the ship, as if it had been hiding its true nature till that point. When they came in to land beside the Talz village of Jorda, while the rest of the tribe's people celebrated by trumpeting as loud as they could Soryn alone stood silent, feeling the dark nature of the ship unfold now that it had used them to fulfil its purpose, and felt that no more would this ship answer to the call of the Talz, or anyone else who couldn't prove themselves worthy in this twisted creations eyes. For once in his life, Soryn understood why it might have been more wise to leave well enough alone sometimes, and how even his curiosity needed to be denied in these matters.
What no-one was around to witness, was that lonely planet, the cradle of Humanity, forgotten by all but one, seemed to let out a long held sigh into the force as the storm that had raged on its surface for eons, protecting its last child, finally collapsed on itself and let the planet Earth begin to heal.
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Well, hopefully you all enjoyed this new chapter, and I plan to start work on the next one shortly. This is un-beta'd so please point out any glaring mistakes you see so I can get them fixed. On a side note, for some reason when I was writing Beiwi's line he sounded Scottish in my head. I think It might of been that little rant he had that I could imagine Scotty from Star Trek going through. Anyway enough of my Rambling's. Please leave a review if you could, see you next time and God Bless.