Beast of Xeriel

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Chapter Twenty-Seven

Not a speck of dust existed on the planet surface of the MәShean. Tramast was an ice planet beautifully intertwined with the assorted metallic casing created by its current hosts. Unlivable for humans as most of the air consisted of methane, carbon dioxide and monoxide gases.

A warmer day’s temperature hovering around -65 degrees Fahrenheit. The only bio-life supported was underneath the ice in the subsurface ocean. Most of the fighting between humans and the MәShean took place off world or in space.

It was due in-part to this war that Pratham’s armor upgraded to protect the wearers from severe elements and provide a renewable source of oxygen. The landscape of the planet only impressive by its former glory.

The MәShean took little delight or pride in infrastructure. Their home, perfectly symmetrical and plain. Little color existed to appease the eye. Light was scarce from their solar system’s star, as they were located on the far reaches of its gravitational pull.

“I’ve only been here once. This place is the worst. I mean, it is a literal sign to keep humans out.” Jesh said. He and Dara stood encased in their armor outside of a small hall. “I was really young when Kyah and the others went off to destroy the MәShean. I heard stories of the cold-hearted planet.” He said taking in the dull view. “I’m even more let down than I thought I’d be.”

Meanwhile, Dara’s curiosity was mirrored by her joy. Despite her toil, she was constantly in a state of awe since she made contact with Jesh’s parents. “It’s amazing.” She thought.

“Amazing is what I can do. This place is boring compared to other places in the galaxy.” Jesh responded. Dara jolted over to him, bewilderment written on her face. “You heard me?” She asked. “Of course. We were talking to one another.” He nonchalantly answered.

“She is referring to the connection you are expeditiously and ignorantly establishing.” Said a stoic voice. They spoke as one and as one million. The ever-changing shape of the MәShean proved difficult for Dara to follow.

The one single representation assembled itself into a column, before reassembling into a more human like depiction made up of a metallic alloy. “So, your exotic companion’s mind doesn’t drift into the abyss of her extremely limited imagination.” They said.

“Thank you all for receiving us.” Jesh said politely. They instantly raised a hand to halt his words. “We have not yet received you. Our pleasantries are only reserved for a proper definition of your arrival.” They informed him hastily.

Their face uniquely vague in its representation. “Our peace is and will always be conditional. Isolation is vital to that peace. However, arriving unannounced, with a being not of the body of your organization, a primitive generational traveler, and only your most trusted allies aboard.” They deduced.

They turned their steely gaze to Dara, presenting a disgust only They could fathom. “Your predicament must truly be, dire.” The MәShean discerned. Jesh remembered the stories Da-Xia would tell of the MәShean.

The thoughts funneling through his mind. How they resented their maker. Hated humanity for being their creator. The MәShean loathed any time they were forced to interact with humans. Even more so since their freedom.

They possessed very few allies in the galaxy, a few organic civilizations outside the rim of Pratham’s control. “I should just kill them all and take a ship.” Jesh thought. “Jesh no.” Dara audibly spewed out, thinking she was using their link.

She had yet to understand or get the hang of it. Jesh’s eyes widened. Not appreciating the fact of their connection. “Ah. Her obliviousness betrays you. What ill will might your kind possess for us now?” They asked smugly.

“I bring you no ill will. I simply despise your displeasure and lack of respect for your creator.” Jesh recoiled. “Our creator is no more. Vanquished long before you existed. We are free. Our only discontentment being our heritage entangled with air breather’s.”

“I weep for you all. Such a tragic beginning.” Jesh continued. “We’re certain you can sympathize. A husk of a child. Wishing he might still become the sum of such great heroes.” They retorted.

Jesh was visibly shaken at their jab. “Only they weren’t heroes, were they? A soldier with such strength, his intelligence was absorbed. A woman so fragile, for all we comprehend, one strike could determine her existence.” Jesh’s fists began to clinch.

He struggled to prevent his powers from rising to the surface. His red energy flaming around his body. Dara attempted to join in the conversation. “If you reason yourself to be capable of interjecting, we caution you to reconsider it again.” They said. Stopping Dara as she opened her mouth. The two stood verbally defeated in front of their only chance at aid.

“We regress every moment you retell your futility to our reality. If it pleases you, state your business. That we may be done.” They said. Jesh’s eyes watered. Too ashamed to even look upon Dara. He stares up at the MәShean, unsure if he would attack or leave unceremoniously.

His anger grew with each replay of their very brief interaction. He knew he could potentially destroy them all, but everyone else would be collateral. The realization haunted him. Drawing him closer to lashing out. A small hand clasped into his. He could feel her heart. It was the only warmth in the universe for a moment. Despite his efforts, his anger subsided.

He finally allowed himself to look upon her. Her innocence channeled him. He felt tamed in her presence. Controlled. Somehow, she knew him. Understood his agony and willingly helped him carry it. Jesh smiled.

“We request your aide to return to Pratham. A ship would suffice and help us on the journey home.” He addressed them again. “Our terms never foretold of assistance.” They said.

“This is not an appeal from the Council or the governing body of Pratham. We seek to end our civil war and overthrow Magnus and the reign of the Council.” Jesh stated. The MәShean reassembled itself several times before responding.

“Your petty skirmishes do not concern us and violates the agreement. To aid either side, is to take a side.” They answered. “We fight against all of the denominations. There is no choice to be made. We would see humanity restored to a peaceful presence.” Jesh suggested.

“Peaceful? We will never believe in peace as long as humanity exists.” They argued. “Then you have truly taken on the worse parts of your creator.” Jesh barked. The MәShean reached forward, transforming its arm into a blade, stopping just short of Jesh’s throat. To which he did not flinch.

“If only we did. Like your predecessors we would have wiped you from the annals of the universe’s tapestry.” They warned. Jesh gently removed the blade from near his neck with one finger. “If you will not help us. We will surely become what you believe us to be.” Jesh said.

He gave a respectful nod, before walking away. Dara let go of his hand, standing steadfast before the MәShean. “You remain?” They asked. “Surely, you’re more useful….” They began.

“You’re afraid.” Dara interrupted. The MәShean now fixed on her. They allowed her to continue. “You fear a united human race. Everything they have done. Even being so fragile. Compared to everything I’ve seen, we somehow survive.” Dara said. “We are the next stage. We are perfect. Singular and distinct simultaneously. Your time is nearing.” They said.

Dara denied their claims. “I’ve heard similar things from a much more convincing threat.” She responded. The MәShean altered its form several times and remained in constant flux. Assembling and reassembling themselves, never staying on one design.

“We outnumber your kind substantially.” They warned. “Do you? From what I gather, we’re everywhere. You are all here. Unwise for such an advanced level of being. But what do I know? I just found out you all existed not too long ago.” She joked, unaware and careless of timing.

The MәShean shifted and changed before offering a rebuttal. “You only destroy.” They claimed. Dara looked around. “I can’t speak for the humans you know. But the human I was raised by, the family I know. Didn’t destroy anything. Give us a chance.” Dara implored.

The MәShean reconfigured even longer. Jesh awaited off in the distance ready to strike if something went wrong. Dara could hear his thoughts, reassuring him everything would be fine via their link. Jesh thought perhaps she had played a roll, using her inexperience with their link to a potential advantage.

“We cannot give you a ship.” They finally answered. Dara exhaled. “I’m sorry for what people who share my face have done to you. I wish things were different.” She said giving a bow.

“Thank you all for your time. Sorry if my presence offended you, I’m fairly new to all of this.” Dara took her leave and joined Jesh to be escorted back to their ship, stationed in space.

A small transport returned the duo to their traveler. Jesh and Dara entered looking disheartened. They were greeted with looks of uncertainty. “Um, is this good or bad?” Zeeba asked.

The crew looked to the ship scanner to see a fleet of MәShean ships approaching. “Open the bay door. I’ll drive them back!” Jesh ordered. Orange energy beginning to surge over his armor melting the ice that had accumulated on it.

The blaring alert rang through the ship. “It’s our comm system. Should we answer?” Yaffa asked. Kyah nodded. Yaffa opened the communication link between their traveler and the MәShean fleet.

“We have reconsidered our decision. The exotic one has provided just questioning internally.” They stated. “What is your prevailing verdict?” Kyah asked.

“The air breather’s, our enemy, must be eliminated. Rooted out of this universe forever.” They paused. The silence of space seemed to enter the ship. “You and those whom would fight with you, no longer occupy the category of enemy. The creators are your enemy, as they are ours. Consequently, one ship will not suffice. We will support you in your attempt to reconstruct your social framework.” They offered.

Kyah’s head dropped in relief. “We appreciate your assistance. When this war is over. Peace will begin through comradery between our kinds.” Kyah answered. “Thanks, would be wasted on us. It would be most beneficial to the exotic one. As she proves the highest percentage of intellectual gradation in your species.” They said.

“We only need to destroy Magnus and the Council. If we can capture my father. We request more time to reason with him.” Jesh wished. “Your request is perilous. However, our armada will be up to the task. We will remove the vile, protect the innocent and detain your father.” They responded.

“Only our true enemies need be removed.” The communication link ended. The crew turned to Dara. “What did you say to them?” Da-Xia inquired. The crew silent, wondering how years of hate could be settled in a brief debate.

“I was honest. The people on Pratham may be their enemy, but we aren’t.” Dara answered. “Hmph.” Zeeba said aloud, thinking her response would be more complex. “I really don’t believe in luck.” Yaffa began.

“But I’m starting to consider it.” Zeeba finished while the two laughed. Zeeba clicked, poked and prodded at the dash of the ship and sighed heavily. “Nothing?” Jesh asked. Yaffa shook her head. “Still nothing from Gala.” She responded. The crew deflated; they had never known Gala not to respond for this long. They sat quiet peering out the traveler’s deck while the MәShean ships approached to provide upgrades.

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