Apex: Part 4
Several months later, the Thallatite Queens of Tsillius had completed their study of the Centimane Worm of Sahara Omega. Its ability to naturally create Quantum Tunnels reversed engineered for use in the Thallatite Voidiathans. The intention being to make their own bio-organic ship beasts capable of using faster than light speed travel, rather than have their species wide revolution against the HCG be limited to hijacked human ships.
On Tsillius Avery was looking over his handy work in the remade Voidiathans. “I tell you, not since the legendary Kwi’satz-Haderach has anyone ever rode on a giant worm like that before.” Avery said to Selen. “This Kwi’satz-Haderach, why did he ride a massive worm? Was it anything like the Centimane Worm?” Selen asked. “I don’t actually know, as far as I know the legend only really says that those worms produce some manner of spice that affects the mind. Most of the details are missing or half-remembered” Avery said.
“Regardless Lord Apex, the first fleet of Voidiathans is ready for your inspection.” Selen said. “Very well, where they?” Avery asked, the two then exited the massive Queens Towers of Tsillius. “Whoa…” Avery said in awe, the massive Voidiathans hung in the sky. Each one connected by a series of bio-tubes, and the beasts themselves were the size of small cities, and were in the appearance of the mythic Goliath Tigerfish and colored purple, green and red and covered in chitonous shells.
“Look at the size of those things! Where did you keep those things before I got the Worm?” Avery asked in astonishment. “Where else? They were hibernating underground where they Humans did not think to look.” Selen said, pointing down at the massive holes in the ground. “Yes well, you have me either looking at massive flying fish, or holes, guess which one I’ll pick?” Avery said. “Regardless, I wish to show you your personal Voidiathan.” Selen said.
Several minutes later the two of them were onboard the largest of the Voidiathans. The great beast was filled with Thallatite creatures. “It takes hundreds of thousands of hands in order to maintain the inner workings of the Voidiathans, if not for these workers. The great beast would not only be unable to maintain flight, but they would eventually grow dormant and fall into hibernation.” Selen explained as the two walked beside some drones as they were using some manner of pulsing organs.
“So… this thing basically works the same as an actual starship. Is there a bridge here?” Avery asked. “Yes, it was how we boarded this Voidiathan.” Selen said not understanding what Avery meant. “Is there a command center on this thing?” Avery asked clarifying his earlier question. “Well of course Lord Apex. You would not be expected to just command from anywhere now could you?” Selen stated.
Eventually, Avery was brought to the main command area of the Voidiathan. It was a cavernous room filled with bone like pillars, and organs that were somehow projecting holographic images. “Wow, gloomy and cavernous. Couldn’t have at least put in a window, maybe a plant that might tie the room together, really anything to make this all less dreary?” Avery said, dissatisfied with the look of the place.
“And what would be the point of such frivolities on a warship?” Asked High Queen Hiijnag, coming out of the shadows. “Well, you couldn’t hide in the shadows like this. Or anyone else for that matter.” Avery said. “My lord if you’re dissatisfied with the appearance of the command throne. You can open the view port at any time.” Selen said as she pressed down on some manner of bone like button. It caused a port-hole to open in the wall, revealing the jungles and skies of Tsillius. “Okay I’ll admit, that’s actually kind of cool. Is that thing sealed from the vacuum of space?” Avery asked. “Well of course, would not want to risk being sucked out into the void now would we?” Selen said.
“Can we please move on? We have a war to fight and win!” High Queen Hiijnag said impatiently. “Stop and smell the roses every now and again. There’s more to life than just killing and fighting.” Avery said as he sat down on a boney stool. “We have Human ships on sonar! It’s a massive fleet.” Said the Voidiathan. “Was… was that the ship?” Asked Avery. “Yes, and now I must command the fleet.” Hiijnag said as she approached the control console analog. “Isn’t this my Voidiathan?” Avery asked. “Do you know how to pilot this? No? Then leave it to me.” Hiijnag said curtly.
The Voidiathan’s then flew up into space to meet the massive fleet of Colonial starships. “Oh sure, now they arrive. It’s been what? Almost a year since I conquered Equineis Solaris, and there just now sending a retaliatory attack against us?” Avery said. “Are you disappointed that there retribution hasn’t come before?” Selen asked. “What? Don’t be ridiculous. I’m just surprised that alien bug monsters overrunning an entire star system and driving out its Human population didn’t garner this kind of response on day one!” Avery said.
“There leaders are fools Lord Apex, you should know that better than others.” Hiijnag said in an aggravated tone. “Of course I know! The initial invasion of Tsillius was just an excuse to get rid of everyone that the government knew disagreed with them.” Avery said, the Voidiathans then engaged the Colonial fleet. One of them actually crushed a Colonial Dreadnaught in its jaws, destroying the once proud ship.
“Let’s see what this baby can do!... what else can this fish do?” Avery asked. “I am already on it, I’m firing bio-pedoes-”
“You seriously called them ‘bio-pedoes’? I mean that is probably the dumbest name I’ve ever heard!” Avery said cutting off Hiijnag. “Well you were lazily lounging about instead of overseeing developing our weapons. Now, I’ve just fired the bio-pedoes and… they’ve hit!” Hiijnag said in excitement as a number of Colonial ships blew up before her. “So there effective, but you seem… more than a little excited by their destruction. Even for you.” Avery noted.
“They have treated us as mindless animals for fifteen-hundred years! Thanks to your efforts our vengeance upon the misbegotten mammals will be exacted, and brought down on their miserable heads!” Hiijnag said in psychotic glee. “Well, it’s nice to see that time hasn’t dulled your mindless bloodlust. Are you already forgetting my conditions for leading the Heirarchy? No genocide, at all!” Avery said as he stood up from his bone stool.
“I remember what you said Lord Apex. I also know the horrors and indignities that humanity inflicted on our people far better than you do. There misbegotten species must be expunged from all of creation!” Hiijnag ranted. “Then let me ask you a really simple question. Why did you even make me a hybrid in the first place? Or did you forget that the only reason I was on Tsillius in the first place was an expedition to bring your homeworld under heel?” Avery said as he angrily approached Hiijnag. “You were an impressive specimen of your race. You even managed to slay the Great Adjutant. Not only that, but we lack Human creativity and your races apparent cunning, and you proved that. You conquered the Equineous Solaris system with nothing but a hijacked Human ship and a handful of warriors. You captured a Centimane Worm, and allowed the Voidiathans to traverse the void beyond the speed of light.” Hiijnag said.
“I’m well aware of my accomplishments High Queen. I also know that it was humanities leaders, not humanity as a whole that enslaved and abused the Thallitites. They may continue it without really thinking about the consequences, but I for one will not condemn them to death simply because YOU can’t see beyond your own prejudices!” Avery spat back. “So… you sympathize with the Humans?” Hiijan asked. “Is that a threat?” Avery said as he bore his claws at Hiijan.
“You know, when we remade you I suggested that we make certain that your mind was wiped of all memory of your past life. Make you more susceptible to MY will, but the other Queens fear that you would lose that unique quality that we needed in order to finally exact retribution for the centuries of-”
“Look, either put your money where your mouth is or shut up and stand down! Cause believe you me, you won’t live to see such a twisted vision come to pass.” Avery said in a determined tone. “So be it half-breed.” Hiijnag said as she stood down from the console and charged towards Avery. Avery dodged and Hiijnag hit a pillar. “My lord! Do you require assistance?” Selen asked in concern. “No, I can handle this overgrown cockroach.You got any idea how that battle is doing?” Avery asked as he jumped on Hiijnag’s back. “It appears that the Humans are on the run, they did not expect us to have space worthy craft not stolen from them.” Selen stated.
“That’s good! How many Voidiathans are left?” Avery said as Hiijnag threw him off. “We lost none my lord, shall we pursue and destroy the Humans?” Selen asked as Avery stood back up. “What? No! Let them run back to Invictus. Let them spread word that we’re not to be trifled with!” Avery said as Hiijnag threw some sort of thorns at Avery. He dogged them, taking cover behind a pillar.
“Weak and cowardly, like the rest of your misbegotten race!” Hiijnag wailed, Avery looked along the ceiling. He saw that Hiijnag was standing directly beneath a large heavy bone looking object that seemed to be held up only by a mess of thin looking veins. “Your one to talk! Your no better than the Human leadership you xenophobic vermin!” Avery said as he ran out of cover, Hiijnag fired another barrage of thorns at him. Avery caught a few, and hid behind another pillar.
“The only enemy of the Thallatites is Humanity. All others will only be exterminated if they threaten us!” Hiijnag objected. “Oh really? Wouldn’t that mean every other space fairing race is a threat to you? The Vaalations? Up until now they’ve been your species best advocates to Humanity, as many problems as they have with my people they’d NEVER resort or tolerate even rumors of genocide! Even if you could find there homeworld and capital, there technological superiority alone would be enough to return you bugs back to the stone age!” Avery taunted.
“I don’t need the approval of the Vaalations, your race will suffer regardless of their word!” Hiijnag shouted. “What of the Ulaagrag? They’d see your aggression as a chance to test their mettle, and we both know that an Ulaagrag warrior is one of the most dangerous forces any being can come across, and many of their ships though ancient are rumored to be even more powerful then Vaalation tech! In short, you’re threatening to drown the entire galaxy in war just to satisfy your desire for revenge!” Avery said back.
“SILENCE! Your service to the Heirarchy is over Apex!” Hiijnag shrieked. “If you can’t see beyond your ambition and hatred, At least feign concern for your people… you have no business calling yourself High Queen.” Avery said grimly, he then threw the thorns at the veins holding up the bone like object. In turn crushing Hiijnag, and turning the High Queen into a mess of crushed chitin and green blood as she shrieked in abject pain. “Selen, I want this cockroach turned into a trophy. Her head mounted for all to see, and as an example to any Thallatite who would dare defy my command.” Avery said in an angry tone as the remaining Human ships entered Quantum Tunnels.
“Understood my lord, I will inform the other Queens of your will.” Selen said in surprise, an hour latter Avery and Selen were back on Tsillius’s surface. He stood before the gathered Thallatite Queens. “The Colonial Fleet has been driven off, and the Voidiathans have proven their capabilities in battle. But High Queen Hiijnag betrayed us.” Avery said, the crowd of Queens murmured among themselves. “She was obsessed with vengeance against mankind, to the point of genocide. Make no mistake, there actions against the Thallatites since first contact was made has been reprehensible. But genocide is not the answer.” Avery explained.
The Queens looked confused. “Hiijan would risk the wrath of the Vaalation Protectorate and the Ulaagrag to seek retribution. This war… this war isn’t about vengeance, it’s about justice. Single minded bloodshed won’t improve the lot of Thallatite-kind. The Colonial leadership has to be punished for what they’ve done make no mistake. But we can’t lose sight of that either. Humanity as a whole is not our enemy. Let the former High Queen’s head, hang over the main doorway to the Queen’s Towers. To serve as a reminder, both to never again defy my will without good cause, and as an example of letting ones hate get the better of them.” Avery said as a Jottunfly put up Hiijnag’s head over the door.
“Now, I want everyone to get to work. We have a long war ahead of us.” Avery said as he entered the Queens Towers, followed by Selen. “So… Hiijan is gone and the Voidiathans are space worthy and capable of Quantum Tunneling. Now what do we do?” Selen asked. “We organize the Thallatites, unless I’ve been misinformed our off world forces are largely disorganized. Sooner or later we have to reinforce their positions, and help them. In the meantime we also need to plan for the invasion of Invictus.” Avery said.
“I understand Lord Apex.” Selen said and Avery merely rolled his eyes as he heard this name for the umpteenth time. “My name is Avery; Apex is a name the other Queens made up.” Avery said. “Honestly? I had assumed that was your given name.” Selen said in earnest surprise. “Apex is not a normal Human name. Now, just leave me alone for a while. It’s been a long day and the sun is setting, I’m retiring for the evening.” Avery said, yawning loudly.
This was the turning point of the Thallatite War. The fleet that arrived over Tsillius was sent with the intention of eradicating all life on the moon, and to break the will of the Thallatites off world in Colonial Space. But the Voidiathans drove them off, saving the Thallatite homeworld. From this point onward the Thallatites were on the offensive, conquering star system after star system. Even Invictus itself was under siege by the once primitive and space-grounded Thallatite’s.
But that’s a story for another time.