Callib walked ahead with Blip to work on his device leaving Sarab and Dantos alone in the ship.
It was a beautiful vessel; Rossiana’s touch in the design could be seen in various ways throughout it. They were using it as a base while upon Neptia. The environment outside was breathable for them but it took less pressure off their bodies to stay within their own environment for times.
Stanannokians all had a unique set of dual lungs. They had evolved to the point that they could adapt quickly to nearly any alien environment.
Their bodies need certain types of gasses and elements to survive; like every living creature, but for them their first set of lungs, located in their throats, could filter out the harmful gases and only allow the ones into their system which sustained them.
For them it was nitrogen they breathed, portioned against at least 10% oxygen. Their lungs were able to turn even low amounts of nitrogen and oxygen into the percentage they needed to survive on an alien world.
This affected them in different ways; some planets could make them feel sluggish and fatigued quickly while others seemed to double their stamina and make them more enhanced.
This planet had enough for them to feel comfortable, being a smaller planet the gravity was heavier but Stanannokians have a natural strength and ability to adapt quickly so this bothered them only slightly.
“You know I respect you?” Dantos asked Sarab.
“I assume nothing;” Sarab responded quickly, “I have done nothing which deserves respect.”
“That’s not true,” He said with a sad smile; “We all look up to you, many of my friends wonder… wondered; why you never became a full warrior? You could have commanded fleets or led armies against our foes; yet you stayed on Cryostar monitoring a normal quadrant of space, a quadrant that was 99% explored and catalogued already, why?”
Sarab paused for a moment, thinking about her answer;
“I suppose it’s because I still want to learn what that 1% has to offer. There’s always more to explore, always more to discover and certainly always more to learn. Even if you have uncovered everything about something you think you understand, there could always be something out there that may surprise you.”
“I took the position I did; not because I was avoiding a fight with the universe, but because I was scouting where the next one may potentially come from,” Sarab continued.
Dantos leaned against a table, absorbing her every word.
“We are an advanced species, compared to the many other civilizations we’ve encountered. We live much longer lives then the majority of them also. We thought we had discovered all there was to offer out there, that we were prepared for any threat… and now? Now we are reduced to 9 of us remaining in full retreat. I’m sure we have kin out there, hidden and hiding from Rogue, but we lost everything because we were not prepared.”
“Nothing could have prepared us for such an event,” Dantos said; “I’m just as much to blame for this as anyone. I was on patrol near the Treebok system not long before this occurred. If I had seen this coming… had waited a little longer…”
“Then you would be as dead as the rest of our people.”
This was said by Chancellor Lycon, who appeared almost from nowhere behind them.
“Commanders” He greeted them; but Sarab could see a hint of reservation in his face, a nervous twitch in his eyes as they darted back and forth between the two of them.
“I suppose I should go find something productive to do…” Dantos said with his eyes down and away.
“Yes I think that wise,” Lycon spoke; “We have less than 48 hours before Rogue may arrive, we need everyone ready.”
Dantos left, leaving Sarab alone with Lycon.
“Commander,” Lycon said once they were alone; “I haven’t had much time to speak with you since this whole ordeal, are you feeling well?”
“Very well Chancellor,” She lied.
Lycon nodded in return.
“I know how hard this has been on you, on all of us for that matter. But, we have a clear plan and path to victory now. Once we defeat this Rogue we can get back to our former glory. I have been tracking deep space signals that align with our Coalition ships; we may have several bases and ships out there with our people aboard.”
If Lycon thought this news would cheer Sarab up it was not the response he was hoping for.
“This is fine news Chancellor,” She said with a forced grin.
“Yes…” Lycon shifted uncomfortably. “Well I won’t delay you any longer…” He turned to leave. “Also, Commander… Sarab, I don’t think it is wise for you to be alone with Dantos, respectful as he is, I believe that you could be sending him the wrong signals that he may mistranslate.”
Lycon walked out of the room before Sarab could respond, leaving her alone with a growing mistrust within her.