Apex: Part 1
Three weeks passed since the Colonial Marines left the Thallatite homeworld of Tisilius, failing to destroy the Thallatite leadership, and just barely survived retreating off of the moon. Many Marines died due to the betrayal of the men that should have led the expedition, an expedition that was set up by the Colonial Senate to get rid of ‘undesirables’ from among the populace.
One of the casualties was a young Marine named Avery Saturn, who had survived the ill-fated campaign right up until the last battle at the Queen’s Towers, Where he was presumed eaten alive by the Great Adjutant, a bioengineered monster created by the Colonial government to better pacify the Thallatites, however unknown to anyone the Thallatite Queens took in the heavily injured Marine after he had slain the Great Adjutant with a grenade. And they changed him, slowly but with great skill the Queens rewrote his very genes, changing him into a Human/Thallatite hybrid. As was the Great Adjutant itself was.
After three weeks the Queens looked upon their work, and were pleased at what they had done. The young Marine stirred in his cocoon as it opened, dropping him onto the floor. “What… where am I?” Avery asked as he tried to get on his feet, only to notice through his foggy vision that his hands were not only colored a dirt brown, but that his fingers had become claws. “What? What happened to me?” Avery asked as he stood up, his legs now resembling those of a bird of prey or an Ulaagrag with Thallatite carapaces on them and covering most of his body. “It is good that you are awake… Lord Apex.” Said the High Queen Hiijnag, as she and the rest of the Queens bowed to the confused hybrid. “What? I’m not a Lord of any kind, and my name isn’t Apex, now would any of you bugs mind at all telling me what you did to me? Because I’m pretty sure that mutating into a giant bug isn’t normal for my species!” Avery said in surprise.
“Forgive me; I and my fellow Queens assumed that you wouldn’t have your old memories as a Human with you.” Hiijnag said, Avery could only look angry as his external mandibles clicked rapidly. “Listen closely, you are going to tell me what you did to me, and why?” Avery said as he bore his claws at the assembled Queens. “We were impressed that you had slain the Great Adjutant, we then concluded that making you one of us was the best chance that we had of liberating our people from enslavement by the Humans, and finally destroying those vicious soft-skins.” Hiijnag said. “So, you want to commit genocide on Humanity?” Avery said as bore his claws at the High Queen. “Yes, though it could be a bit hard to get the Vaalations on our side along with the Ulaagrag, but our numbers will be enough for us to-”
Avery then used his claws to separate Hiijnag’s thorax from her abdomen. “No! There will be no genocide! No extermination! If you want me to lead the Thallatites, then we’ll do this my way or not at all!” Avery said as Hiijnag loudly squirmed in pain. “The Humans deserve no mercy for the indignations they have forced our kin to endure! You know the betrayal of Humans firsthand Apex!” Hiijnag wailed as she slowly crawled towards the hybrid. “I do, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to go on jihad against them… though after being betrayed by the Brigadier General the way I… the way we were it’s more than a mere sore spot for me.” Avery explained.
“Then what do you intend for us to do Apex?” One of the Queens asked as Hiijnag slowly crawled towards her decapitated abdomen. “That depends, how is the war with the Colonial Government going off world?” Avery asked. “Well, the Queen’s on the Human worlds are mainly fighting a guerrilla war against them, using only the most basic of our subspecies to attack them.” Said one of the Queens. “Then we’ll reinforce them, do we have any ships with which to get off world?” Avery asked. “Well, we have an experimental lifeform or two that we have been working on since first contact was made with Humanity. It should allow us to cross the vast blackness between stars the same way the great metal ships of the other races do.” The Queen explained as Hiijnag slowly healed from her grievous wound. “You’ve been making something that can make a Quantum Tunnel? That’s just ridiculous, no organic being can bend the fabric of time and space like that!”
“We know, we have been trying to reverse engineer the Quantum Tunnel Drives to be used by the Voidiathans, but so far we’ve been unable to make any that can go at FTL speeds.” Explained one of the Queens as Hiijnag finally healed her wounds, now again able to use her legs again. “Regardless, we must find some way to transport our forces off world to fight the Humans.” Hiijnag said as she groggily wobbled on her feet. “Well, until that can be managed we will find some ships to get off this planet, big ones at that if you intend to get Titans off this world.” Said Avery.
Several days later a number of Marine dropships landed on Tisilius. Avery and a number of Thallatite Warriors and a Queen were hiding in the bushes nearby. “Alright, listen carefully because this is the last time I’m repeating the plan, now those are Normandy-Class dropships, they don’t have a Q-drive. But the ship in orbit does, now we sneak onboard the dropship, board that ship. Force the ship’s crew to evacuate the ship, then take that ship and find some way to better help the Thallatite cause. Now I have one last question before we sneak aboard… what did you say your name was again?” Avery said to the Queen. “My name is Selen Lord Apex, you tasked me with making the toxin that would enable us to take the Human ship despite our relative small numbers.” Said Selen.
“Good, now is it nonlethal? It can’t kill anyone right?” Avery asked. “No, as you instructed the toxin can only knock out Humans.” Selen explained. “Good, now let’s move out.” Avery said as he noticed that last of the Marines getting off of their dropships. Avery and his forces went onboard one of the dropships, threw the pilot off, and then proceeded to fly up to the Human ship in orbit.
“Attention, Dropship N-C 9160 Delta. You are not due to return to base for at least another hour, what is the meaning of this discrepancy?” Asked a flight control officer’s voice. “Uh… Private Duran insisted that we pick up his teddy bear for him.” Avery said, hoping beyond hope that such a dumb excuse would work. “He forgot Mr. Snuggles again? Very well then, proceed to landing bay 12.” Said the flight control officer. “What a clever ruse my lord, but what is this ‘teddy bear’ you spoke of?” Said Selen. “I’ll… try explaining to you latter; right now we have a mission to focus on.” Avery said.
A few seconds later the hijacked shuttle landed in the landing bay. “Okay, now all we have to do is get that toxin to the ships atmospheric controls. Now remember, try to subdue the crew, not kill, and remember this war is against the Colonial Government itself, not Humanity as a whole.” Avery explained. “Understood my lord.” Said Selene, then the Thallatites poured out of the ship, running frantically to find the ships atmospheric systems, eventually they found where they were.
“Okay, Selen, inject the toxin into the systems.” Avery commanded. “But… where my lord? I do not see how that could be accomplished.” Selen asked, not noticing a large outlet labeled ‘insert into slot’ that she was looking straight at. “Oh for the love of- you see that indentation there?” Avery said pointing at the slot. “Yes Lord Apex.”
“Just insert your stinger, or whatever you’ve been keeping the toxic stored into that slot.” Avery commanded, Selen then put her stinger into the receptacle, and within a few short minutes that ships entire crew was knocked out. “Now, get the crew into escape pods and contact Hiijnag, tell her that every Human currently on the planet is to be captured and held captive. But NOT killed.” Avery ordered as he surveyed the bridge of the ship. He then noticed a plaque that caught his eye. “Hello, the CNF Invictus? Well, well, well, I managed to capture the flagship of the Colonial Navy, with nothing but a handful of Thallatites and a lone Queen!”
And thus did the Thallatite War begin in true earnest, what began as a revolt against cruel uncaring masters would start the first proper war Humanity would have to fight in the Eden Solarius cluster against an alien race, and the conflict that would turn a once primitive species into a major power in this corner of the Hyperion Major galaxy.