Beast of Xeriel

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Chapter One

Fei surveyed the landscape, a beautiful green planet beneath his exposed feet. The grass brushing against his shins from the breeze. He possessed a powerful physical frame that easily resisted the wind. He wasn’t very tall, around 5 feet 7 inches, yet his figure would strike fear into any opponent’s heart. Every muscle appeared to be expertly forged and hardened by combat. His long dark red hair followed the winds direction. Eyes a cylinder of yellow inside a sea of orange.

Fei wore his custom mesh body suit, it is hugging every inch of his muscles, stopping just beyond his calves. His attire worn from use; the sleeves torn just beneath his shoulders. The diamond design typically matching the color the wearer chose for their personal armor. Each mesh suit made was uniquely similar to the mass-produced material from his home world. Fei hated wearing it, a constant reminder of the past. Still, it was the only alternative he had to wearing his armor all day.

Using his unnaturally heightened senses, Fei observed his surroundings. Taking in the countless aromas that hung in the air. Nothing lived nearby, beside the usual fowl, critters and common decently sized wildlife. The planets ecosystem unmarked by outside influences or foreign apex predators. Fei would have heard anything abnormal, even the faintest of steps would register in his ear. This day the wind constantly contesting the silence of a sun drench day.

It was the same result for a year according to the similar time structure on the planet he was from. His suits technology continuously calculated the terrestrial differences from planet to planet. The vibrant red holographic data began displaying contrast to his black suit above his wrist.

The three-dimensional schematics presenting days and nights were 72 hours in total. Every shift of light felt like it lasted for ages. Darkness resisting the urge to leave. Another day with nothing but a polite breeze and a large sun in the sky. In view, a large planet had been slowly revolving by for a couple days. Two separate planets having voyaged by twice since they’re arrival.

Finally, the subtle hum of a ship approaching caught his ear. The opaque crystal cube halted just before reaching Fei. Its smooth edges and milky luster absorbing more light than reflecting. To a common ear, the ship’s hum would go unheard until a couple meters away, as it was designed for stealth and recon.

Landing on the grass so gentle, no blade would break with only the faintest imprint where it rested. The ship began to dissipate until all that was left was the translucent floor on which she stood.

A beautiful woman emerged. She stepped down into the grass, allowing the flooring of her ship to disappear until only a purple shard remain. Her skin appeared as golden oil with no imperfections. Her mesh suit a regal purple covering most of her body, revealing her impressive abdomen.

A velvet black cape blew behind her attached from where her trapezius muscles are. She picked the shard and returned it to the line around her wrist. Taking a moment to visually enjoy Fei, she embraced her love.

Fei’s skin presented quite the parallel to her, appearing brown as a tree bark, covered in battle scars and healed wombs. Each scar from a poor soul who thought to challenge him to a duel or had the unlucky fortune of being in his way on the battlefield.

Fei ran his fingers through her shoulder length curly brown hair. She stood slightly taller than Fei. “Lale, I really wish you would wear your armor when you are on reconnaissance. You could get hurt.” He said as she walked past him toward their home.

“I could? I remember fighting in all the same wars as you, including one against each other. Yet I have obtained no battle scars.” She said shrugging off his concern. “I guess, I can’t be touched.” Lale chuckled, thinking her retorted to be funny. She approached a small structure shaped like a dome. Without her uttering a word, the dome split to provide a doorway and allow entry.

Ignoring her retort, Fei waited a while longer among the beautiful scenery. His mind explored the ideas of the purpose for such a planet. Untouched by war, sentient life or technology. He foresaw himself creating a place free from the evils of the universe.

A true home for its inhabitants, one where they would never have to live in fear, struggle for prosperity or resources. Peace in abundance and depravity non-existent. This was the planet he and Lale had decided would be the perfect place to begin their dream. Their extensive scouting and research leading them here.

Fei made his way to the small dome shaped hut to join Lale inside. The hut nearly identical to the ship in properties. “I say we give it one more month. If nothing truly occupies this planet, we begin our plans.” He said. Inside was an empty but moderate space.

The couple didn’t require much as far as decoration or chic art. They lived a minimal life by design. At the wave of a hand, a resting structure formed for the couple to lay down. “Month? Ugh! Why so long?” Lale pouted. Fei rolled his eyes. “Oh, my apologies, I forgot we only have an extremely prolonged life, not immortality. What was I thinking? We must begin preparations.” He joked.

The two hardened warriors shared a laugh as they laid down gazing up through the translucent ceiling. Like the ship, the dome’s material appeared cloudy from the outside, but transparent from within.

All those outside of its structure would merely see their reflections against the opal colored hut. Inside, a clear panoramic view in every direction. The sun wouldn’t set for a while, but Fei and Lale were finished scouting for the day. The pair had become accustomed to sleeping, despite the great sun in the sky.

Lale held up her wrist for both Fei and she to see. A 3D schematic populated to reveal her vitals and various personal information. She swiped through a couple files with one finger before bringing up one particular dossier. After a brief glance at the information, she frowned.

Fei kissed the side of her head as she laid in his arms. “It’s okay my love. It will happen again. Try not to stress out about the things we can’t control.” Fei assured her, before quickly falling asleep. Lale looked a while longer at the information, following Fei shortly after.

Fei’s heightened senses and reflexes woke him hours later. Breathing heavily, large claws as sharper than razors protruding from his fingers. His teeth exposed and lengthening slowly. “Lale.” He lowly growled. Her face bewildered as she sleepily awoke to his familiar voice. Gathering herself, Lale stared in the direction Fei was focusing. In the distance she could see them. A small group of people marched their way, swords and shields in hand.

Their armor tattered and beaten as if used second hand. But nonetheless recognizable. At the helm of the group a slender pale skinned woman with a waterfall of blond hair. “They’re human. Primitive looking. But they’re armor resembles ours. That’s impossible.” Lale said. “Put on your armor.” Fei implored his love. Lale retrieved two shards resembling crystals. They were shaped much like her ship’s single shard.

She placed them on her wrists where they held in place. Both shards expanded, gripping her respective wrists in the arrangement of very thin and rigid bracelets. “Fei, let’s talk to them first, find out how they have eluded our detection for this long.” Lale requested. “What?! It’s because of that very fact, that we must consider them a threat. How indeed have they avoided us for a year?” Fei reasoned aloud. Lale tapped together her wrists twice, a crystal-like purple armor crawled over every inch of her body.

Two slim black capes extended from her shoulder pauldrons draping down till a few inches above her feet. Her helmet formed around her head and face, as crescent shaped golden horn became adjacent to her forehead and aimed toward the sky. “Fei, what is the point of starting a new life, if you’re going to bring old ideologies with you?” Lale asked placing her hand on his shoulder.

Fei silently watched before retrieving his own shards and latching them to his wrist. Tapping them together his dusk black armor encompassed his body and head. His helmet in the shape of a lion baring its teeth with a full shadowy red mane sprouting out the rear.

A gold belt circled his waist accompanied by a deep red train down to his ankles. Fei waited for the perceived threat to approach further. His blood rushing through his veins urging him to act.

His muscles reminding him of the feeling of battle, of the great feats he is capable of. Fei was ready to protect his love, their future and more importantly kill everyone if provoked. He stepped toward the wall, it obeyed as it trickled away to reveal an exit, closing shortly behind him. Fei waited for the unknown inhabitants to arrive within speaking distance. “Be still!” He called out.

His voice boomed with a hint of a ferocious growl. The troop of 20, comprised of men and women halted after his orders. All but one woman kneeled. The woman spoke regally, answering Fei’s call. “Prathaman!” Her voice echoing a more refined speech and not at all primitive. “We humbly ask for your peaceful departure.

We wish for your silent discretion about our existence here. Tetcht is the untouched.” The blond-haired woman spoke polite, while her steely blue eyes expressed her seriousness. Fei’s heart began to beat faster, blood speeding through his veins. The assembly before him, by their looks would present no real threat, yet why did he feel so anxious?

“How do you speak my language and know my planet of origin?” Fei interrogated. The inhabitants appeared primitive from the distance. Up close they have shown to be more advanced and civil. Their armor maltreated and missing pieces. Similar only in style to his own and Lale’s but the luster and glory of the armor beaten away.

They betrayed no secret of possessing weapons, but Fei was no fool. Retrieving weapons came from within the armor, at any moment they could become properly armed despite how they presented themselves. “You are not the first Prathaman to discover Tetcht. The great Vanakan taught us and saved us from the evil Tumakako, casting her from this place forever. He is finally at peace.” The blond woman informed him.

Listening through Fei’s armor was Lale. Each person’s armor creating a symbiotic bond between the hosts, its mate, distinct or unusual relationships. As well as the people most connected to the individual.

The stronger the connection between the hosts, the stronger their link and connections made while wearing the armor. “If you were saved by a Prathaman, why fear this one in your midst?” Fei asked. The woman never broke her gaze from Fei’s position. She was clearly the leader and the one he needed to assess.

“A Prathaman was also the one who attacked our planet.” The woman responded as a matter of fact. “Vanakan does not speak for all who hail from Pratham. He took pity on us. No one will ever be given the chance to do the same. Leave now. It is your last warning.” The woman demanded.

Fei homed in on the inhabitants breathing. He could smell their sweat. This wasn’t exhaustion, it was fear. All but their clear and apparent leader was afraid of this encounter. But she stood firm, powerful, sure and determined to protect and die for her fellow comrades, peace and planet. Fei admired her courage. But her existence threatened Lale and his eventual rule.

“We are not here for a fight my love. Compassion is the catalyst for connection.” Lale commented through their linking. Fei begrudgingly heeded her counsel, although they both knew he preferred a fight. “I believe we all want the same peace. Is there no agreement to be reached?” Fei asked to the troops before him.

The woman shook her head much to Lale’s chagrin, as she listened from inside the dome. “We do not accept your peace star traveler. We want our own.” The blond warrior answered stoically. Her blatant stare into Fei’s eyes was beginning to insult him. “This is your last warning. Leave and return to your planet.” The woman warned.

Fei rolled his neck, feeling the frustration of his very brief attempt at diplomacy. He was a far greater diplomat when it came to combat. His massive pole halberd was much better at communicating than his rhetoric. Keeping Lale in mind often was the saving grace for him.

“Please. I wish not to spill blood on such a pristine planet. However, I do not intend to leave.” Fei answered. The woman nodded acknowledging the choice made.

A helmet clicked and clacked as it formed to cover her head only revealing her face with a viewing slot down the front. Her blond hair pulled up atop her head and pouring out the back as not to distort her vision. Targeting Fei, she drew her broad sword from her older Pratham armor.

The bladed shiny in the light but could easily be seen as dull and not battle ready. A smile crept across Fei’s face, staring down his opponent. Fei had not experienced a proper duel in years. Their arrival on Tetcht was no exception, neither he nor Lale had seen combat at all.

Fei welcomed the opportunity for a fight. He proceeded to hold out his hand to retrieve his favorite weapon. Lale barged out of the hut, sensing Fei yearning for battle more than peace. Removing her helmet. Lale made her hands visible to address the people.

“I am Lale of the First Planet Pratham. We do not wish to spill blood. Please stand down.” The remaining men and women stood to their feet, on guard. “How many of you are there?!” One yelled. Lale kept her hands in a submissive location. “I assure you just Fei and I.” Lale responded.

Fei could hear the drumming of their hearts dramatically increase. He turned to see Lale had removed her helmet. “Negotiations were, adequate.” He growled with a smirk. Lale’s intoxicating sent slowly passing as she ignored his report. He was hoping they would be able to fight together. However, his wish was quickly quelled as she addressed the people.

“We came to this planet to begin a new world. For our original home is long gone and the first planet is plagued with war and hate. We are no more associated with Pratham as you are.” Lale told the crowd. The blond woman refused to lower her aggressive stance but Lale did not falter. “I promise you, people of Tetcht. We would not see another war begin.” Lale proceeded.

The woman remained calm, but not willing to completely drop her guard. After a moment of contemplating and critical thinking the blond woman provided her answer to the new threat.

“We are aware of your history and culture. We know full well the power you possess. I will not yield to the invasion of another evil. I offer you no quarter or refuge.” The woman said, twirling her sword. Fei stepped forward, being halted by the signal from Lale to cease.

“If that is true. Then you are aware we could have ended this before you put on your helmet. We have allotted you grace. Have we not earned more time to dialogue?” Lale queried as she skimmed her audience. None would answer her, only the blond-haired woman would speak. “Are you all on one accord? Does this woman speak for you?” Lale inquired further.

Silence. The men and women nonverbally spoke amongst each other, exchanging looks and nods. Fei and Lale perceptive enough to notice when others communed through their armor’s connective link.

“Not as primitive as we thought.” Fei said to Lale via their own link. The groups eyes holding conversations, the looks on some of their faces curiously changing. One man dropped his shield. Hammering his sword in the ground. Head bowed.

One after another the rest followed suit gradually. Only the blond-haired woman remained standing. “Maybe they are as primitive as we thought.” Fei spoke again.

Lale waited patiently. She hated how much Fei loved to spill blood. Lale found it taxing always keeping his hunger for battle at bay. But Fei, for the moment was right and she hated it. If this woman would not surrender, she would have to be put down for all her comrades to witness.

Although unmatched in her eyes, Lale loathed her skills in combat when forced to use them. “There is no need. Please. I do not want to fight.” Lale said to the lone blond soldier standing. The woman observed her comrades. Her blue eyes scanning the defeat on their faces. Tightening her grip on her weapons hilt the warrior locked eyes with her invaders.

“You cannot construct a new world in place where one already exists. I cannot live under your rule. I will not accept your world. A ruler who has been kissed by evil, will never rule virtuously.” The blond woman admonished as she readied her sword.

“If I alone must stand before you. I will.” The blond warrior smashed her blade onto her shield, hyping herself up for duel. Lale tapped her wrists together twice. Her armor shattered into mist before being reabsorbed by her bracelets. Lale shooed toward Fei, ensuring he would provide space for their contest. Fei obliged stepping aside, his disappointment in missing a fight only surpassed by his love of being a spectator of Lale’s prowess in battle.

“So be it. Know this before your last breath. If you have a family, they will be treated with respect. We will return your body to them. What is your name brave Warrior?” Lale asked. “I am Dara.” The woman answered.

Lale nodded in acknowledgment. “Be grateful Dara. Today, I will give your name meaning.” Lale lowered her body into a protective fighting stance only known to the most skilled fighters of Pratham.

Dara watched Lale’s feet and movement, almost as if she was more trained in combat than she revealed. But Lale, took notice in the flaws of Dara’s reactionary movements. Lale understood the mistake Dara would make soon enough.

Dara cautiously charged forward. Swinging precise attacks toward her opponent’s body. Lale dodged effortlessly. Twirling as if she were eloquently presenting a dance. The soldiers viewed in awe; it was clear their leader was vastly outclassed after a few seconds of the duel.

Dara lunged, sword forward in a desperate last effort attempt in her combat progression. As Lale predicted, she evaded. While twirling Lale snatched the sword away ending up behind Dara. Before Dara could react, Lale drove the sword threw the back of her opponent’s armor.

Dara’s vision blurred through the tears. Gasping harshly as Lale removed the blade. Dara rotated to see Lale’s eyes like hers. Lale no longer enjoyed killing, only when she felt it necessary would she commit to the act.

Unlike Fei, who would have no qualms with doing the deed. Lale didn’t trust Fei to stop at just defeating Dara. Lale knew, Fei would have proceeded to devouring the others. Lale made the choice instead to strike first.

Dropping to her knees, Dara took her last breath and fell over. Lale watched as the blood dripped into the grass. It was a direct representation of exactly what she didn’t want to happen. Her annoyance now level with her heart break. Seeing Fei’s excitement pushing her over the limit.

Lale picked up the lifeless Dara and carried her into the hut. The remaining warriors sniffling, and whimpering could be heard just above the white noise of the blowing wind. Yet they did not move from their placement, as if awaiting instructions. Fei approached the remaining group solemnly. “Should we work together, this will be merely just one note of this great planet’s opus. We must labor to see that Tetcht remains a place of peace.” Fei said.

His dusky armor glossing in the last remaining gleams of daylight. “Let our grace not betray our purpose. We do intend to rule. Not with fear, but with true benevolence. Objections will be heard and if necessary……. quelled. I stand before you Fei Zeall of Pratham, descendent of the planet Earth. I am now and will forever be your Sovereign.”

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