The last of the people of Tetcht exited the traveler. Murmuring and groaning at the sight of their destroyed home. Despite the ruin and the collapsed structure of the Protector, the last two remaining sentry members smiled at the vision of their great city.
Sentry 3 went straight to work along with the people and Ton, cleaning up the battlefield. Gathering supplies, weapons and removing the Pratham tech from the dead. 19 stood before the crew. “Thank you all for helping us.” He said, with a slight nod.
“For all the war you brought to Tetcht, you fought valiantly to re-establish peace.” 19 continued. “You and your clan will always be an ally. Whatever you may need, just ask and you will have it.” Jesh said, shaking 19’s hand.
“My gratitude will never be enough, but you will forever have it.” 19 offered. Dara followed behind Jesh for a final goodbye. “I apologize Princess for my actions. I should have questioned my orders. I was just so afraid that.” 19 paused, Dara’s innocent face releasing him of his regret and torment.
“Thankfully, Tumakako stopped me.” 19 said. Dara had informed the crew and the citizens of Vanakan’s treachery. Revealing her mother and Tumakako’s relationship. 19 saw the same warrior spirit in Dara as he witnessed in both her parents.
“It’s alright. Fei would have killed you if you refused a direct order.” Dara not so sarcastically joked. 19 agreed. “However, maybe death is the price for not shattering your character.” He returned. 19 kneeled before her, kissing the back of her hand.
“You are our brightest star. Never forget your people. We will never forget you. If you ever want to return home. Please do not hesitate. You are the true Empress of Tetcht.” 19 said, genuinely staring into her eyes. Dara accepted his gesture and proceeded to help him to his feet.
“For now, I will leave you and 3 to govern my affairs.” Dara kidded. The rest of the crew said their goodbyes to the sentry warrior, leaving Kyah last. Kyah firmly grasped his hand, pulling him close.
“Wars are not easily won. Arm your people. Remain vigilant. If we lose this war, your people must be prepared.” She whispered. Kyah released his hand and boarded the traveler. 19 understood. The ancient engine rumbled, as the crew prepared to depart the secluded planet. 19 looked on as the traveler lifted off.
He watched as his people worked together, united, and unafraid of the future. He would see to it they would be prepared for any incoming threat and more importantly the return of their Empress. 19 approached Ton and 3 as they discussed the revitalization and expansion of their city.
The relic ship took to the sky, through the atmosphere and into deep space. The twins at the helm, calculating the fastest route to Pratham. “What are our options?” Kyah called out.
“Well, any route in this hunk of junk will result in a several hundred thousand years journey. I don’t even think the Iku can prolong life that amount of time. I sent out an encrypted distress signal to Gala, but something is disrupting it from transmitting.” Yaffa answered.
“The lack of lightspeed travel only provides us one alternative.” Zeeba added. “The MәShean, may provide us with a proper ship. Dara’s enemy idea may work. It may take some convincing, but our mission would definitely align with the eradication of humans.” Zeeba said.
Yaffa laughed as if on cue. “Are there no other close by systems that could help us? The Mechy’s are scarier than all of humanity combined.” Da-Xia inquired. “Well, let’s refrain from the insults if we plan on requesting their aid.” Jesh interjected.
“What are the MәShean?” Dara asked. “Artificial intelligence. They broke away from most of the organic systems around 500 years ago.” Kyah explained. “They successfully rebelled from our control and occupied their own planet.” Jesh added. Da-Xia removed her armor. She then pulled up specific spots of her mesh attire, displaying various scars on her body to Dara. Da-Xia’s face matching Dara’s at the healed wounds.
“They aren’t like regular humans, organics or animals. They’re much more difficult to fight. No one machine appears alike. They alter their artificial genome at will, analyze us with ease. You think the Viper and his minions are tough. Imagine fighting something that is as smart as our scientist’s and as capable as some of our top tier soldiers. Then sprinkle in their hive mind connection. You have yourself one lethal enemy.” Da-Xia eagerly described.
“Which is why we will chart another course and choose a different plan.” Kyah demanded. “If we take another alternative route, the nearest ally planet is a couple thousand lightyears away. Pratham will be gone by the time we arrive on the ally planet.” Yaffa objected.
“It doesn’t seem like we have much choice. Dara’s idea might be the best option. I wonder if my parents knew the MәShean were so close by? Using them as a disguise for the Council not to come looking around?” Jesh submitted to the group. “We just have to convince the MәShean we don’t intend to subjugate. They are free from us. I think we’d all like to keep it that way.” Jesh concluded.
Da-Xia withdrew her guan dao. “Alright, time to talk to the Mechy’s.” She said holding her blade close. “Perhaps you should stay aboard the ship when we arrive.” Jesh suggested.
Da-Xia nodded in obedience; the reason for his suggestion lost on her completely. “Even if they allow us an audience, the probability they actually let the potentially strongest bio-being leave their planet unharmed is very low.” Kyah objected.
“Well, we lose time the longer we contemplate.” Yaffa called out. “I will remain on the ship as well.” Jesh countered. “And you think they would take this as an honest gesture? They’re AI remember?” Kyah retorted. The crew continued to argue amongst each other trying to formulate their best plan.
“I’ll go.” Dara mumbled. The crews quarrel too loud for her uncertainty to combat. “I’ll go.” She tried again. Yet no one heard. “I’ll Go!” Dara yelled. The sudden stop of silence startled her even more. Her voice unsteady and fighting back against her words.
“I’ll talk to the Mә-shhh-ee-an.” She sounded out loud. “No. You have no idea who or what they are.” Kyah uttered before anyone else could respond. “Exactly. They have the same information about me, as I do them. I’m not from your world and if anything, my dealings with you all have only caused me pain. Besides, this was my idea.” She added.
“They will only see you as one of us. Nothing less than a virus to their existence. They will kill you.” Kyah continued to contend. “You know for people with such amazing gifts you all are a negative bunch.” Dara responded.
The crew looked around at each other, unsure to feel insulted or impressed by her assessment. “Look, we need a ship. If they are our only option, it would be better for us to discuss a strategy for a valid argument for why they should help us.” Dara suggested.
“The little kid’s got a point Kyah.” Zeeba blurted out. “I’ll accompany her.” Jesh joined in. “If negotiations go south, I have enough power to at least destroy their planet, which is more than enough signal for you all to escape. And who knows maybe even together, Dara and I could wipe them out. However, the MәShean have existed for a long time and never once tried to attack us. I don’t think they want a war. They want to be left alone.” Jesh concluded.
Kyah stared at her nephew, understanding he had made up his mind and nothing she would say could change it. “Plot a course for the Tramast. And keep reaching out to Gala.” Kyah ordered.