In the wreckage of the Yousari ship, its passengers slowly began to stir. Calla was the first to awaken, though the soreness in every part of her body made her instantly regret it. She didn't even remember losing consciousness in the first place. The crash must have been worse than she thought. One look at her surroundings caused a chill to run up her spin.
The bridge was a complete wreck, wires spilling out from the ceilings and most of the electrical equipment was shooting out fountains of sparks after being penetrated by giant rocky stalagmites. There was also a bit of flooding near the main monitor, ensuring anything on that end would be unsalvageable. One by one she spotted her team mates who were all lined up at the back wall of the bridge, unconscious. Her memories where a bit fuzzy but she was fairly certain that they had not been there during the ship's final decent, they had all been at their posts until Clemartis took position on the hull.
Oh god, Clem!
Calla increased her struggle with the debris that pinned her to the wall and forced it loose. She was a bit startled when she looked to her right to find a spire of solid rock, inches away from her head. Any closer and she would have been run through. Breaking free, she ran over to her comrades, shaking them awake.
"You guys alright? Hey, get up!" she said. Ophrys was the first to wake up, still a bit groggy. However once he became conscious of the situation he crawled over to his younger brother who was laying next to him.
"Come on bro, speak to me." Ophrys rubbed his brother's back. It took a few minutes but the boy began to move. Ophrys let out a relieved sigh. "It's okay, I'm here and your safe."
"Somehow I am not reassured." Sorrel moaned as he opened one eye to glare at his brother. Ophrys smiled and looked over to Calla as she woke up Azera. "He's okay, no sign of memory loss or brain damage."
"That's a relief. Lord knows what would happen to morale if Sorrel started prancing around and complimenting everyone." Calla smirked. Azera woke up and held his head, still in pain.
"In your dreams wench." Sorrel spit back as he tried to get up. Calla paid him no mind and tried to help Azera stand.
"What happened?" the old knight was finally able to say.
"Not too sure really," Calla said helping him get his balance. "Last thing I remember is the Queen leaving the bridge to use her barrier….then nothing."
"Same here," Oprhys chimed in as he hoped over debris to check on Forcytha. Sorrel said nothing but nodded in agreement.
"It was the same for me as well." Azera said as he braced himself on the wall.
"How could we all black out at the same time? The ship hadn't even crashed yet." Calla questioned.
"One idea comes to mind, but…" he paused, "Only the Queen could tell us for sure."
"Alright, I'm going up to look for her," Calla said as she forced the bridge door open.
"Oh dammit, Forcytha's not breathing!" Ophrys cried out. Calla stopped what she was doing and ran over to them. Putting her head to the young lord's mouth and nose, she couldn't hear anything, though she smiled when she saw one of his eyes peek open before shutting again.
"It can't be helped." She said, "He needs mouth to mouth. Ophrys, you're the medical expert here. Do your thing."
"Oh, okay." Ophrys said hesitantly before getting into position. He was only an inch away from Forcytha when the latter screamed and pushed the boy off him.
"Man, that's all kinds of wrong!" Forcytha said, still terrified.
"YOU'RE wrong if you thought that I would fall for that stupid gag." Calla said as she walked back toward the door.
"Aw come on, Calla. It was serious the first time!" Forcytha said, covering for his defeat with his usual smug attitude. "Besides, you know you enjoyed it as much as I did."
"As much as I enjoy bacterial blights." She retorted as she squeezed through the broken door. She could hear Azera following behind her, but not before he gave Forcytha a good scolding.
Calla climbed up the maintenance ladder and opened the hatch, letting in the hot light of the sun. The dry air and heat of the desert felt just as oppressive as others they had visited in missions past, but at least the rock formations provided some shade from direct sunlight. The desolate landscape seemed to stretch out for miles, leaving the tiny oasis they had landed in as the only water source.
Off in the distance, Calla could see the wreckage of the Cold ship. Half of it lay at the bottom of a cliff while the other half was nowhere to be seen. Calla focused her senses and could still feel ki coming from it. They had not been the only ones to survive the crash. Just as she heard Azera reach the top of the ladder, Calla took to the air and searched for their queen from the sky. Looking over the hull, she couldn't find any trace of their leader.
"Your Majesty!" She called out. "Can you hear me?!"
"Keep your voice down Calla!" Azera said in a hushed yell. "We don't want to antagonize this planet's predatory wildlife, let alone our enemies."
"I know that!" Calla whispered back. She flew lower to the ground, closer to the water. Her heart stopped when she found Clemartis, lying barely conscious with half of her torso in the spring water.
"My lady!" Calla yelled, forgetting everything else and flying down as fast as she could. She ran to her Queen pulling her weary body over to the shade of a few nearby trees, away from the wreckage. When Clemartis was a safe distance away, Calla rested her charge's head on her lap. "Clem-I mean Lady Clemartis, are you okay?"
"More or less," Clemartis smiled, looking up at her old friend. "I just used up more ki than I was expecting, that's all."
"I never thought a barrier that size would drain you so much." Calla said looking over the ship. The barrier had been big, but not that big. Clemartis had created larger ones and had never shown such exhaustion before.
"That's because she did more than that." Azera said as he flew down to meet them. Taking a small vial from his belt, he scooped up some water from the oasis. He added a chemical powder to the vial and shook until it mixed. He kneeled down to Clemartis and handed her the vial.
"I've sterilized the water, take a slow sip." He said. Clemartis nodded.
"Thank you Azera." She said weakly as she downed the water.
"It is I who should be thanking you." Azera said with a smile, "You used the Dominance technique to keep us safe, am I right?" Clemartis said nothing but returned the smile.
"Dominance technique?" Calla asked.
"I've only experienced it once, under the late Queen's military command during the Saiyan war. The Dominance technique is an ability that can only be used by Yousari of royal blood to control their followers, making them move and fight with one mind. Dangerous with how much energy it requires but effective when taking down a powerful foe, such as the Saiyans who transformed during a full moon." Azera mused.
"So that's how we fought them off," Calla said with shock. "I'd always thought that the fruit from the Tree of Might was what tipped the scales."
"No," Azera said, "The original Tree of Might and its fruit were property of the Kais. We've done our best in replicating it, but the fruit our trees produce only serve to give a short boost in energy." He looked down at Clemartis with questioning eyes.
"What I'm curious about is how you managed to master the domination technique when everyone capable of using it has been long dead?"
"Lots and lots of reading." Clemartis said with a smirk. "I'd been meaning to start practicing after this mission was over. But looks like it all worked out okay."
"That explains the black outs then." Calla said putting her hand on Clemartis' forehead.
"Everyone aboard is awake and accounted for. While the bridge is heavily damaged we may be able to salvage enough parts to make a communication device to contact the main fleet. Though we'll need our exact coordinates first."
"This appeared to be the enemy flagship's primary destination. We'll need to find them and get them to talk about what they know. Or at the very least, try to salvage the data from their ship." Clemartis said as she attempted to stand. Calla grabbed her by the arms and supported her weight.
"Sounds like fun," Forcytha called out as he landed nearby, the Iris twins behind him. "Some of the survivors are gathering around the wreckage of their ship. Want me to lead the strike?"
"Knowing you, you'll give away our position and force us into combat before we have the necessary info. That and level the entire canyon with those little toys of yours." Sorrel said.
"I've got more experience than you in stuff like this kid. Just cause there is a little bit of collateral damage doesn't mean I won't get the job done." Forcytha said confidently. Sorrel put a hand to his forehead, before stepping up to the queen.
"Your majesty, I volunteer to take the leading position. I promise that my brother and I will get what we need and finish off the enemy before they know we were there." Sorrel said as he bowed.
Clemartis smiled and attempted to stand up. Shrugging away Calla as she tried to assist her.
"I appreciate your concern gentlemen, but I am more than capable of leading the assault. In fact, I have a plan that will get us what we need and satisfy your eagerness for battle." Queen Clemartis smirked as she beckoned here team to her side, setting up a battle plan against their unsuspecting prey.