|Series:||Scorpio Galaxy Chronicles|
|Name:||The Gormin Cathedral|
|Previous Episode:||The Last Mechanoid|
|Next Episode:||Ghosts and their Machines (SGC)|
The Galaxy, or to be more accurate, the Scorpio Galaxy, as known by those outside of it, was in a state of repair. The Great Mechanoid War between the Cyberbots and the Destroids was now over, and there was no victor. Both races of mechanical beings had been wiped out by the event known as the Wave. It was a wave of unknown energy that rolled across the Galaxy, causing any Mechanoid, Cyberbot, Destroid or the destructive Titans, to short circuit and self-destruct. All connected technology was also ruined leaving their ruins as useful only as sources of metal.
In the aftermath of their destructive War, the Galaxy had to deal with the fact that it was now in an energy crises. Many of the sources of energy which should have lasted centuries, or millennia were used up in the thousand year war to power both war machines. Many worlds were scorched by their battle and the campaign of the Titans to wipe out both tribes of Mechanoids.
It began with the collapse of the Cross System Empire, which had always been at war with numerous rebel factions and alliances. It attempted to invade Shaka V, the home of the ancient and isolated Ice Lord society, the most advance culture in the galaxy. It resulted in such a spectacular military defeat, within the decade the rebels nuked the capital city, turning the region into a series of stellar kingdoms and states.
The Galactic Pan Species Alliance and the Planetary Federation fared better, but became embroiled in a cold war, as both power competed for power, but neither wanted to risk open warfare. Solar Energy, Wind Power and Hydro Electricity, all served to maintain their cities, stations and colonies, but for star-spanning civilizations this was not enough. They needed more potent fuel sources to power interstellar travel, trade and relations which maintained their existence as Star Empires.
This is the galaxy as is now, where Deuterium and Spacium are being forgotten in search of Uranium, Thorium, and Diesel. Despite all of this, the most sought after source of energy remains Engen, life blood of nearly every Mechanoid race to ever inhabit the galaxy. In comparison, highly stable, to other forms of fuel, it could be used to produce the large amounts of Plasma needed to power star ships. However the secret to it died with the Mechanoids.
This is the time of the great Galactic recession, where a wrong move could mean the end of galaxy wide civilization.
The room was composed of metal tiles, with cylinder shaped lights. The window, which covered a majority of the room, looked out to space, it looked out to the other side of the space station. In this room the man stood in front hologram projectors, which projected images all around him. They showed graphs, charts and statistics. They showed resources, power ratios and progression charts.
The man had slightly tan skin with pointed ears and thick, wild bristle like hair. He was handsome, he seemed young he wore a black suit and drank something with a blue glow, from a mug. In they came, pushing aside his secretary. Three Salan’s, they were humanoid, small child sized being with rubbery grey skin, and large all black eyes. The two on the side were shirtless but wore a backpack that gave them large mechanical spider legs, and red pants, with belts sporting large pockets and devices. The one in the middle wore a red and gold robes and cowl, and a golden necklace or ceremonial value. She sat, legs cross, on a small hover platform. His secretary, a young Basik girl with purple hair, wore a black skirt and carried a tablet sized computer.
“I’m sorry sir…” she said worried “they just…”
“Leave us Ms. Davik, it is quite alright…” She bowed and left the room, while the man continued looking at his images.
“Does she know…” asked the female Salan.
“That you’re the Queen Mother of the Salan people, considering how secretive you are…no, obviously not…” His tone was mocking.
“I refer to your true nature…”
“And I expect you to recognize sarcasm…What do you want I’m busy…”
“Looking at charts…
“Yes, charts of the energy and material resources needed to build this thing, you lot demanded of me, like you can’t get a computer to do this nonsense…”
“You are a computer…”
“And you can’t breathe in space, what is your point…?”
“Why have you not used Super Engen…?” He sighed.
“Because I don’t plan on blowing up this place! Seriously, do you people not get this? Now what do you want? I know it’s important, usually when you come to be a b!tch, you have the consideration to do it over the phone…where I can hang up. So what is it…?”
“We have found a derelict vessel…”
“Great go get a salvage team…”
“It is of a design we have never seen before, and we believe that it…predates…”
“Everything…” He finally turned around.
“This ship it predates the Alliance, the Federation, the Covenant, the Empire, all major Star Empires in known galactic history. It even predates…the Commonwealth…”
“The Chromiums…Mechanoids, now that is interesting… By how much…” He began to walk towards them and the other two Salan pulled out extendable staffs with gun barrels on the end and pointed at him. He seemed uninterested with their blasters.
“Several thousand years…” He stopped in front of them and as they loomed over him they notice the content of his cup, a glowing blue substance, a liquid, it was Engen.
“Oh, that would mean that the Chromiums were just…advanced drones back then, maybe even before rampancy began to kick in. This thing could be from…the war…”
“If I have to tell you…” He down some Engen. “Data…” He said holding out his hand. She stared at it before pulling out a data-pad and handing it too him. He turned and walked back to the screen. Looking at the data he was unhappy. “Why, was I not called before…?” he looked back at them and she just sneered. “Oh…that is most interesting…”
“Yes, it is a form of Engen, a variant of the kind you are most…”
“No, not that, I got that already. I refer to the fact that your soldiers are all too afraid to approach the thing…” She was speechless for a moment.
“How do you know that...?” she shouted.
“Phobia Field, rather advance stuff…”
“Don’t make up things…”
“I’m an inventor at heart, it’s kind of my job…but I digress, who am I going with?”
“This field causes feelings of terror and dread in organic minds, and I’ve seen the A.I. of your drones, frankly I’ve had toys that were smarter than them. Also, as your foremost, and rather ‘only’ expert on Engen and similar substances…I am going…”
“This is not for discussion…”
“So long as you understand…” She sneered.
“You think you can just do as you please…?” she shouted.
“Firstly, how would you stop me from going, secondly, how would you stop me from going, thirdly, if you didn’t want me to go, then why bring me this information…”
“We wanted you confirmation before we began harvesting…”
“I would advise against that, this Engen is…different and not in a good way…”
“I said no…”
“This Engen, odd as it is, I can tell it’s dangerous. You’re going to send people into their, into a place filled with a dangerous substance, and which also causes unnatural levels of terror. When they die, and they obviously will, you’re then going to send me, and by ‘you’ I refer to the Councils. I am going, now or later…”
“Many have…When do I leave…?” She sneered.
“Your air tank is not plugged in, Mr. Ion…” said the Kota. The scientist plugged in his oxygen tank to his helmet. He was in the back of a transport shuttle, a small hallway with chairs on each side, ten in all. Most of them were Kota, humanoids, with pointed ears, black, bowl cut hair, grey minds, and a variety of skin tones. Everyone wore a grey, slim space suit, but the Kota wore a version with ceramic armor.
These were Peacekeepers, ancient order that grew to become the default police force for the core worlds of the Planetary Federation. The Kota were always known for their mental discipline, for their addiction to protocol. Their very presence annoyed him, they were boring, and lacking in any passion or imagination with which he identify with. They radiated the feeling that he was with machines, not people, which was the only thing that amused him.
The other person was a Morgan, she was feminine, like all her race, blue skinned, bald and green eyed. Unlike the Kota, her outfit had some color to it, blue and purple. Mera was her name. He was ‘Max Ion’, an agent and scientist sent by the Federation High Council, one who specializes in Energy, Robotics and A.I. systems. She was an anthropologist, which meant she studied civilizations.
“Something wrong, Mr. Ion…?” Asked Mera. She was reading a datapad. “You seem upset…”
“I’m not upset, I’m bored…which oddly enough, makes me upset…”
“Don’t you have the…?”
“I read everything before I got here, now all I have for company is this boring bunch.”
“Behave yourself…” said the Kota leader, a woman “you are acting like a child…”
“What’s the point of being an adult if you can’t act like a child once in a while…” The Kota all turned towards him, clutching their rifles, and giving him a strange look. He just looked back at them and waved with a stoic expression.
“What is wrong with you…?”
“Please, call me Max…actually no, I don’t like, call me Mr. Ion, or Ion, the mister part gets annoying fast…” She just looked at him.
“You’re one of them aren’t you…?”
“Not sure who ‘they’ are, but I’m going to go with no…” She gave him a look.
“Are you going to antagonize them for the whole trip…?” asked Mera
“Perhaps, if this whole thing turns out to be boring…”
“You’re an odd one…”
“You know full well how so…” He gave her a look a confusion. “Look what do you know about this thing…this place…?”
“A derelict ship, it predates all current Star Empires, it appears to be running on some form of Engen…”
“What do you mean… ‘some form’, Engen is Engen…”
“Engen is just a stable form of plasma energy, and depending on the process, the materials used and the skill of the maker, one can create Engen of varying grades. The most common, pink, is a low quality version created when all natural forms began to disappear. Blue, is the ‘natural’ variant, the kind all the others are trying to mimic. This version…is poisonous…”
“To everything, your suits have been line with a special plastic based polymer to specifically block its radiation. It’s even in your visor, or have you not notice the hologram projectors on your temples…”
“I was wondering why I could see them. I guess I should thank the suit designer…”
“You are most welcome… Our mission is to examine this energy source and determine if it can be converted into a safer fuel…”
“How, how do you know so much about Engen…?”
“…I specialize in it, well I specialize in all forms of energy but aside the point…”
“What is the point…?”
“…That this energy is unlike anything documented, all we know is that it is a form of Engen, but the quality is oddly impossible to determine from scanning. So, a little ground rules, no handling any strange substances, no touching anything, also no wondering off…”
“You do not order us about deserter…?” said the captain. He just gave her a look.
“I’m going to chalk that up to the Field…”
“There is a psychic energy field around the ship, which has been determined to cause unnatural feelings of fear…” said Mera
“In other words, the ship is trying to scare us away, so if you’re going to have a panic attack…don’t.” said Ion.
“I don’t think ‘we’ are the ones that need to worry about that…”
“I think ‘you’ are the ones that need to worry about it. You Kota may be known for your discipline but do remember, that mentality came about from your rampant emotions. Still as peacekeepers you have the best chance of resisting the fields of perhaps anyone in the galaxy…”
“I don’t know if you’re insulting us or commending us…”
“Why the ‘or’? I’m just saying it as it is. The lady Mera over there is a Morgan, her species is naturally telepathic, well empathic, so she has some natural resistance to it as well…”
“And you, you are neither disciplined nor a psychic…”
“I’m stubborn as all hell, is what I am, besides…this isn’t my first Psychic Field.”
“Oh, and when did experience something like that…” Ion turned to her.
“That is classified…” The captain sneered again.
Chapter 3 Edit
“Why here…?” asked the captain. The group were on a platform on the side of the ship, a massive ship. It resembled several gothic cathedrals of different sizes, stacked together in a line, while thrusters and engine pods were slapped on the side. The material seemed to be a cross between a dark metal and bone, the two textured merged together as one.
The team stood outside on one of the makeshift platforms, their shuttle parked behind them, though Ion insisted it be kept on autopilot in case they needed to retreat. Their demolitions expert was trying to figure out a way to open the door, to the protest of Ion, who claimed an easier way.
“I’ve never seen anything like this…” said the soldier. He looked at it all through a special eyepiece he put on his helmet.
“No, doubt…” said Ion, in the back with his arms crossed. The others looked back at him.
“And I assume you know how to get in…”
“Do you know what that is…?”
“No, but I’m sure Mr. Special is to tell me…”
“It’s Mr. ‘Ion’, and yes. Do you know of Active Metal…?”
“That stuff they used to build Mechanoids…?”
“You may be right, but you’re thinking Birth Metal. Active Metal saw convergent design across the galaxy, it’s a metal object with integrated circuits to recreate the sensations of touch, pleasure and in some pain. What you’re trying to blow up…is a ‘version’ of it…”
“Why do you say version like that…?” asked Mera. He walked towards the wall and pulled out a silver device from seemingly the ether. Its top opened to reveal a glowing blue crystal.
“Because this stuff, while it works on the same principle of Active Metal, it’s using Protein Circuits…”
“What…?” said the scanner, with a look of disgust shared by all the others...but Ion. He had a serious look to him and he touched the wall. Protein Circuits were a rarely used technology, outlawed in most parts of the galaxy. They were meant to replace standard computers and be the foundation of Bio-Computers in the form of chips, but after they caused several drones to go rampant, they were banned.
“Fascinating, merging organic molecules with crude metal. I’ve seen the odd microchip, but this, this is beyond cybernetic this is…techno-organic…”
“It is disgusting…” said the Captain.
“According to you…” he replied dismissively.
“What does that mean…?” he said angrily.
“This culture, clearly did not share the same views as you, this entire ship is this techno…organic metal. No doubt feeding off sunlight, no wonder it’s still active. Who knows, we may even meet the original crew…seriously, did none of you read the briefing…?”
“There was no talk about techno-organic anything in there…” Ion looked at her.
“Troubling…” he pressed the button on his device and the hangar opened like a garage door. “But then again they may not even know what they would look for…”
Inside was just as dark as the outside, only now there was no sun in the background providing lighting. The lights on their helmets turned on and it immediately became clear…that this ship was built for giants. The door to the next room was massive, for something at least two to three times their size, it was built for mechanoid sized beings.
Ion used his device again, opening the door to a strange hallway. The halls were large and gothic, was a foreboding feeling to them, or that was perhaps the field. Regardless, they looked less like the hallways of a star ship and more like the fossilized remains of some creature’s innards. The only thing familiar was the floor, metal panels composed of small hexagon tiles. It was flat, straight.
“Okay…” said the Captain “we split up…”
“No…” said Ion.
“You are not in charge of this operation…!”
“Firstly, this is not some military game, this is a scientific inquiry, ‘my’ inquiry, your job is to protect us and act as the first line of defense if something threatening appears. Secondly, we are inside the ship, in the heart of the Phobia Field, you separate your men, who like all sentient beings, take comfort in the familiar, and you are giving the field more chance to affect them. Worst case scenario they go crazy and try to kill each other. When the field is down, you make run off and eat candy for all I care, until then, splitting up is an unnecessary risk. So yet again…no…” She sneered.
“You two, search that way, you two guard this passage ways, the rest of us are going forward…” Ion face palmed as they group walked past him and the others went off on assignment. “Coming…?” Ion rolled his eyes.
The two peacekeepers walked down the hallway, now some distance away from the others. Looking back, they couldn’t even see the light of their helmets that was how far they had gone. They did as they were trained, taking deep slow breaths to calm themselves down, and actively suppressing their emotions. It was what all if not most, Kota were taught as children, but even more so as Peacekeepers. Yet the effects of the field were undoubtedly sneaking into the back of their minds. It caused them to keep sensing a presence behind the, the sensation of being watched.
Several times, one or both of them turned back, only to find nothing but the vacuum that occupied the hallway.
“You know…” said one of the soldiers “thinking about it, how are, we supposed to open any of these doors?”
“Huh, didn’t think about that…nor did the captain…”
“Yeah, I’m beginning to think she sent us out here just to spite that deserter”
“Imagine, one of them becoming a scientist, he has no discipline, he complains like a child…”
“Yet, he seems to know what he’s doing…odd”
“Not as odd as this place, I mean Phobia Fields, Protein Circuit construction, like a bad horror novel from one of the other races…” he said with fake confidence. He suddenly took note of the silence and looked to his side to see that his comrade was gone. He turned around, whether by his own fear, or the fear cause by the field, though there was not much difference at this point. He turned around and saw what happened to his friend. He looked up in terror, jaws wide open and opened fire with his blaster rifle, letting out a fury of plasma bolts.
Ion’s group stopped by a door, it was the end of the long hallway, with nowhere else to go.
“Open it...” said the captain. There was silence and confusion as everyone looked around. Mr. Ion was gone. Sneering she put her finger to the side of her head, activating the com-system they had setup. “Mr. Ion, where are you?” she barked
“Come here...” he said stoically. She could barely contain her anger. She tracked his signal and went after him, the others following her. They turned the corner to see him through a door, one he had obviously opened. She ran towards him only to stop when she saw what he was staring at. Fear gripped her, and the others stayed outside from the same fear. “Tell me…” he said without looking back “what do you feel when you look at this…thing…?” On the circular platform, was a spherical mass of flesh and circuitry, resembling a brain, with a spike rising from the center to bloom with several antennae dishes. “I’ll take your silence as confirmation, behold, the Phobia Field Generator…!” He said with an ecstatic tone.
She tried to open fire on the device but found that her blaster didn’t work. She looked to see that Ion was looking back at her, with his device on his shoulder.
“And who do you think you are telling me what to do…?”
“This device is a safeguard, meant to keep away the scavengers and such, it’s a defensive system, you destroy it and it will most likely set of some manner of security system…” He pointed his device at it, the arcs of energy about it, reduced in intensity. The feeling of terror they felt died down to a simple discomfort. “There, I’ve lowered the ‘volume’ of the broadcast, hopefully none of you fire on everyone else…” She marched up to him.
“You are not the head of this expedition, I am...”
“…NO, you’re not…”
“This is a scientific expedition, the sole purpose being to ascertain the nature of the energy detected, through that it is to be determined with said energy, the vessel running on it and any being connected to it, are an assistance or threat to the galaxy at large. A helmet-head with a blaster isn’t going to know how to do that, it was why I am here, it is why following your reckless lead, is simply…illogical…”
“Illogical, coming from a deserter…?”
“Why do you call me that…”
“It’s what you are…!” He leaned to the side.
“Lady Mera, explain…”
“Huh…” she replied “well a ‘deserter’ is when a Kota abandons Kota doctrine and behaves according to their feelings as opposed to logic…” He stood back up straight and stared at her stoically.
“…I am not a Kota…”
“Do not lie to me, you species was listed in the briefing…!” He grabbed her arm, and she was on her knees. Her men aimed their guns at him. The pressure on her arm paralyzed her with pain and he pulled her up. He still had that same stoic expression, it was clear to her that if he wanted to he could crush her bones rather easily. Was this a cyborg arm, was it genetic therapy. The first one was looked down upon, which why people got synthetics, the other was basically blasphemy and outlawed, so how…?
He revealed his teeth, normal not much different from a Kota’s or most humanoids, but then they appeared, they slid out from under his gums, hiding his first row of teeth, sharp, very sharp, fangs, retractable fangs. Said fangs then slid back in.
“I am not Kota, they fact that my species was listed as anything other than ‘classified’, but particularly ‘Kota’ tells me, that b@tch, queen-mother of the Salan was trying to sabotage this operation, which makes me wonder what other misinformation you have been fed in the name of getting me killed…”
“I, I don’t fraternize with terrorists…” she said reclaiming her courage.
“Child, and you are a child compared to me, it is within my power to inflict upon you unspeakable pain, while keeping you alive…But I do not have time for that…” He dropped her. “Get you wits about you, get over you ego, and let us do our job…also, why are the rest of your team not connected to the com network…?”
“Check the network, the men you sent of are no longer connected…” She did, they weren’t responding.
The group was back at the entrance, and the two guards were nowhere to be found.
“They cannot be serious…” said the captain, fuming.
“Calm down…” said Ion. She glared at him, but he was looking about. “No seriously, calm down, the field is down and…”
“A level head is more likely to get us out of here…”
“Why would we need to get out of here…?”
“Firstly…” he pointed out the door “where is our shuttle, secondly there is carbon scoring on the wall…” he pointed to the wall opposite the door.
“Carbon scoring…?” asked Mera
“It scorch marks, caused by high temperature gas rubbing up against a surface. Plasma is just high ionized high temperature gas, so when it hits something and doesn’t melt through, it often leaves those black marks…your boys were shooting at something…”
“They went mad…?” said one of the Peacekeepers, the captain looked at him and he was silent.
“A good guess, but no, they shooting at something, leaving a trail…” a trail that went from the wall to directly above them. As if in response the lights suddenly came on, ambient glows from the ceiling with no obvious source. The Peacekeepers jumped together into a circle, having been startled and falling back on their training. Behind them door closed. Everyone was startled, except Ion, who stood there arms crossed and stroking the chin of his helmet. “Well, that’s discomforting…”
“You think…!” shouted the captain.
“You are losing your Peacekeeper reserve, now, I think it time we go and meet our…host…”
“We know nothing about our ‘host’!”
“Which is what makes him so ‘scary’, and nothing is scarier than the unknown. Come, or would you lot rather stay here, shivering in your boots?”
“You are not in charge here…?” Ion stopped and looked at her.
“You have a serious, ego problem do you know that…?”
“I do not…”
“Shut it, my expertise is clearly an asset here, but you refuse to listen to me in the name of your ‘rules’, most of which are lies fabricated by some b@tch with a grudge. I would call you illogical, but I’ve met other Kota commanders, and sadly your behavior is not abnormal…”
“Child, I will smack you if you flare up at me again…” He said with his hand to the side. Everyone was silent, as the commander finally got it. He didn’t see her as a commander, and it wasn’t about her gender, he simply saw her as a brat, a spoiled child not getting her way.
“Fine…what do you suggest…?”
“I suggest we find our host, figure out what’s going on, and along the way, come up with a plan to deal with them if they are a threat, which right now, seems very likely. For now, we explore, we stick together and if anyone has an idea, let’s here it…”
“Shouldn’t we keep calm chat to a minimum…” asked a peacekeeper.
“We are on their turf, I doubt that it matters, besides, the probably need to figure out Basic first…”
“Okay please stop…” said Ion, his hand was on his face, from his attempt to rub his eyes in annoyance. They had spent some time walking about the ship, searching rooms. All the while the soldiers gave ideas, each with their own glaring flaw, until his patience wore thin. “Exactly how is blowing up the reactor, ignoring the fact we probably don’t have the weapons to do so, how does that save us…”
“It’s just worst case scenario…” said a Peacekeeper
“Fair enough…” he replied more sociably. The captain was in the middle of group silent, sulking perhaps, her face didn’t say. Ion was in the front, with his device, his modified EM Wrench serving as a scanner. “Oh…what is this place…” they stopped in front of a door. It had markings on the edges, a double door instead of the more common single doors.
“What’s wrong…?” asked the captain.
“I don’t know, this place…” He opened the door, revealing a large room, filled with mechanoid sized capsules, all made from the same material as the rest of the ship.
“Cryo Chambers…?” asked Mera. The group entered the room, layers of capsules on both sides of the walls. Round screens were to the side of them, all of them turned off.
“I…I don’t think so…” said Max.
“How so…?” Max put his hand against one, he felt it up, touched the sides.
“It is room temperature, meaning it has neither stasis gas, nor a normal refrigeration system. Also, this looks like…” He scanned it with his device and looked at the data. “A mechanoid gestation pod…?”
Thousands of years agoEdit
The mechanoid walked through the chamber alone. He was red and blue, with a black windscreen for a chest, large tires on his back and his ankles. The room was filled with spheres, held in pockets in the wall. They were filled with a green substance, and other things. These occupied capsules had turned blue for a specific reason. Some of them had only blue orbs of energy. Others had liquid metal floating around said orb, energy arcing between them. Slowly but surely the metal wrapped around the orb and began to take a shape, each was different in small irrelevant ways, but overall the same shape. Still others had the final product, babies, hooked up to tubes, feeding them Engen, glowing blue liquids. These children were metallic, robotic, these were mechanoid babies, a next generation waiting to be hatched.
“Wait…” said a peacekeeper, breaking Ion out of his trance “why would mechanoids need a gestation pods, aren’t they just built…?”
“Some of them…” he said putting his hand on the pod again “Some of them are built, the end result of A.I. evolution. The Chromiums, they had plasma base Blue Boxes. A.I. computers, those had to grow, develop, and grow-up basically before given a body… The Cyberbots and Destroids, before the switch to Birth Metal, they were also built, constructed around a Plasma Heart. Yet, some had to be grown. The Vandoricons, they were created using Birth Metal, programmable matter, they had DNA, and they started their life cycle as children, fed and nurtured to adulthood. The Rodanians, they were composed of Mechanical Cells, they were more like life forms than most other Mechanoids when you got down to the cellular level. I’ve seen various designs, but the basics are always the same. This device, this room is for creating new mechanoids…but these are different…”
“How do you know so much about Mechanoids…?” asked the captain. Max looked at her and then looked away, showing for a brief moment a sad expression, before taking his hand of the machine.
“It’s one of the reasons I came here. Engen is the fuel of many Mechanoid Civilizations. Some used it a safe alternative to plasma, and nothing more, for others it was a sort of currency, but for others it was their life blood.”
“Don’t dance around the question…” said a voice. It was feminine, wicked and mocking in tone. Everyone who was armed had their guns in the air, while Ion had his device waving about, probably trying to trace the source of the transmission, for it wasn’t through their suits that they hear that voice. “Why don’t you tell your friends how you know so much about Mechanoids, why you are so intimate with their technology?”
“The field is back up…” said Ion.
“Oh more than that is ‘up”
“Who are you…?”
“I…I am this ship…”
“Do you represent a threat to the Planetary Federation?” asked the captain.
“Oh, yes, yes we do…?”
“…’we’…?” said Ion. He looked to the side, and his eyes opened wide. Then he grabbed the gun of a soldier and turned it around. Inside the room, down their path it stood, clearly a mechanoid but it had organic ‘aspects’. The chest was box like with twin ventilation grids, but the rest was more organic, smooth curves made from the same metal as the ships; the forearms, the lower legs, the shoulders and the groin area. Connecting them was dark green tubes wrapped together like rope. On its forearms were stingers of a sort, it had insect like wings made of either crystal or plastic, with, green circuit lines. It hands and feet were four and three digit limbs with claws. The least robotic thing was its head. It was insectoid, with a snout that ended in pincers and a circular row of fangs, while three pairs of grey compound pearls served as eyes.
It took no order, for him to open fire, and no command for the others to follow his example. Their guns fired bursts of plasma bolts, striking and exploding against the armor of its chest like fireworks.
“Shoot it in the head…” Maxion said with an annoyed tone. The attacks that barely scarred the chest armor were now blasting chunks of its head, and like that it was down.
“What was…that?” asked the captain, trying to calm herself down.
“That was a mechanoid…of sorts” said Ion who approached it with his device.
“Are you kidding, that thing…”
“Control your emotions…” She stopped and took a deep breath. “This thing is a mechanoid, ‘constructed’ with a similar anatomy to most, but…”
“On a macro level, this thing is a cyborg, with organic parts for things normally reserved for a machines. On the cellular level, this is just large humanoid robot, but instead of active metal with integrated circuits, its active metal with protein circuits and it’s running on the same energy source we initially detected…” He slammed his fist into the ground. “What am I forgetting, I know this, I know that I know this…” He shouted.
“Stop screaming…” said the Captain. He looked up, with a look of revelation, then shock and then horror.
“Cassus…” no one understood that “The Screaming world, once called the Singing world, for the natural long lived echoes of its caverns, valleys etc. It all changed when the Gormin attacked…”
“Oh, no, no, no, no, we should never have come here…”
“Because ‘we’ are the Gormin…” said the voice.
“Is that supposed to mean anything…?” asked the captain with a defiant tone.
“Ask your friend…” the voice replied. They looked at Ion, hands on his helmet, walking about in a circle muttering to himself.
“Hey, you…” he stopped “what are the Gormin. Ion sighed.
“Do you know of the Ancient Mechanoids…?”
“My point exactly…They were the original mechanoid civilization who disappeared before the formation of modern galactic powers. Their left behind drones, went on to become the Chromiums. They fought two wars, a civil war, between those who would protect and those who wanted to rule. The other war, was a war for the sake of all life in the galaxy, a war against the Gormin.”
“They don’t seem so dangerous…”
“They are starving, kept alive only by solar energy, which while it may be enough to keep the ship active, I doubt it has enough for anything important, weapons, shields etc. That requires Amalgomous Energy…”
“It is the worst kind of energy, arguably…” he sat down and sighed again. “Engen, it’s plasma, mixed with exotic particles to make it stable and less…designed to explode. Like plasma, Engen can take on the form of the other three states of matter. The variety depends on what was used to make the plasma, and the kind of particles placed in it… I do not know how Amalgomous energy was first created, legends say it was a dark and profane ritual, but it was the most dangerous tool of the Enemy…”
“Our master…” said the voice.
“I know not what it is, how it was dealt with, but as far as I can tell some…force, took over the Worms of Akhar, and had them create the Horror factories. Millions, billions of lives used as construction material to create…abominations…”
“To create wonders…” said the voice.
“STOP THAT…!” There was silence “The Gormin were standard soldiers, ever heard of the Xeno Dragons, the Space Krakens, the Harvesters…?”
“They are brothers to the Gormin, made from the dead and the soon-to-be dead, all powered by Amalgomous Energy…poison in the veins…”
“Amalgomous energy, overtakes all other forms of energy, it converts other fuels into plasma, and that plasma into Engen and then into Amalgomous energy. All things touched by it are connected, corrupted, mechanical or organic. It’s why this ship it just…drifting through space, it probably takes centuries to gather up a charge from star light to make a jump. It is alive, but weak.”
“I don’t understand, if it has power…” said Mera.
“It’s not the amount, it’s the currency. What do you think plasma is used for, run through coils it generates electric magnetic fields; that is the bases for Plasma Technology. Beyond that it’s a medium for the ships to transfer large amounts voltage. No plasma, and no matter how much charge you have, you can only transfer so much. The fact that we use it to power our weapons doesn’t help. Now replace Plasma with Amalgomous energy…” Ion rubbed his finger against the floor, green sparks flew up.
“Every inch of this vessel is charged with Amalgomous energy…” he thought for a minute “This whole thing has been one big trap…”
“How can you say that…?”
“Do you know what I do…?”
“You’re part of the joint Federation and Alliance project to counter the galactic recession…” said Mera
“No, I am head of that project, the guy charged with fixing the galaxy’s energy problem…”
“And…” said the captain “if you put Amalgamous Energy into said project…”
“Total, galactic conversion…” he paused for a moment “Maybe…” He said thinking, he then scanned the ground, only it wasn’t the metal he was interested in. “By the way, more are coming…”
“What…?” Now they began to feel it. There was no air in the ship to transmit sound, but the vibrations through the metal they could, feel things were coming, large things, in mass. They aimed for the door, but then Ion got up. “Take this…” he said, handing his device to Mera “It’s working on analyzing the composition of the energy…”
“Why should I take it, aren’t you…?” He gave it to her and walked forward, past them.
“You lot, you run, hide, just stay alive until that counter virus is finished, I will hold them off…” There was silence and disbelief.
“Like this…” Ion’s body glowed a bright prismatic blue it morphed and grew, and when the aura was gone, there was only a mechanoid. He was white and red, with blue legs, forearms and helmet. Tires where on the side of his legs, and his chest sported a red intended windscreen. His helmet sported a battle mask, a retractable face plate that covered everything from his nose down.
They immediately aimed their guns at him, part of it was bias, part of it was the field.
“Anything that gets past me, kill it…” he said. From his right arm, came a gun barrel. His left hand retreated in and part of his for arm, flipped over and created an edged blade made of energy. He took a stance, ready for the battle to come. Somehow it calmed them down, the fact that was backing them, saying nothing about his revelation.
“How many…are there…?” asked the captain.
“I am called The Last Mechanoid…” he replied “I am Maxion Prime, and if you’re not going to help me, then go…” The captain lowered her weapon and turned and grabbed Mera, pulling her along as she and the others hid themselves.
Now the rumbling was almost audible, as the large number of Gormin drones descended upon the door way. They came crawling on the ground, crawling on the walls and the ceiling. Maxion was a quick shot, his mind was clear and his aim was steady. Within moments, he down five of them from five different directions. His plasma bolts, were larger and denser than the puny weapons the organics used, and tore through the armor, or took their heads clean off. He quickly figured out where their energy core was, when bolts melted through their armor and exploded from the inside.
He kept shooting, pushing forward, until one dove down from the ceiling, on to be stabbed in the chest and slammed into another jumper. His blade cut through both of them via the potency of his sword and the strength behind his swing. He exchanged his blade for another gun and dove forward, blasting all in his path. Outside the room he switched to twin blades and began slashing. From their hiding spots they could see it all. He cut of parts of their heads, limbs, down their chests, he stabbed him, almost always in the power core, and split them in two. It was brutal, even they both sides were so alien to them. The captain instead was disturbed not by the violence he unleashed, but the ease at which it was done. He was spinning about, almost like a dancer, fluidly slashing, stabbing, throwing away the corpses on his blades, giving the odd kick and moving on to the next enemy. He didn’t look like he was doing it with much effort, it almost looked like dancing. That was what really scared her, not the Gormin, yeah they were frightening but they were animals. Maxion, Maxion Prime, leader of the Senticons, was a sentient being with the power and willingness to unleash such massive levels of carnage upon his enemies. By now over a hundred where dead on the ground, stepped by him and the others, yet he kept moving. He wasn’t looking for them, it was all just flowing, he was in tune with his instincts, not so concerned with his next opponent, but with where to move next, how to move next.
That was what disturbed her, what her father warned her about as a child, Mechanoids were sentient war machines, it was what made them so dangerous.
The yellow laser struck him in the back, making Maxion stumbled. Whatever intelligence they had kicked in, when they realized over sixty percent of them, were now dead on the ground. They couldn’t even see the floor, just bodies and spilled fuel being absorbed back into the ship. Maxion knew that sting, Hyper-Lasers, powerful, more effective than blasters, also more energy demanding, which is why they weren’t in use. They didn’t use them, not because they were stupid, but because they didn’t have the energy. Now they were desperate…
Maxion stepped forward, and the pulse came faster than he could react, from the sealing and the floor, bolts of green electricity flowed to the other and through him. He screamed out in utter agony, unprepared for that level of pain.
Young Maxion looked at them, the next generation of Vanodricons, of his people.
“And these will be our children…?” said a woman’s voice with skepticism. He looked back to see a female mechanoid, much taller than him, with her feet on wheels and yellow armor. Her arms were crossed and she had an annoyed, disbelieving expression.
“Hello, ‘mother’…” he said.
“Don’t doge the question with passive aggressiveness, answer my question…”
“These things, grown in a lab, in a petri dish…?”
“We are mechanoids now, but that really doesn’t say what we are. The Ember, it holds us, our life force, our minds, our souls, it is that we feed, which generates the energy field that moves our bodies, our genetic encoded…I’ve told you all of this…”
“That doesn’t mean I believe…”
“You don’t believe, or don’t understand…Spirituality never was your thing…”
“And practicality wasn’t yours. Your brothers claim these things are abominations, that you focus figuring out the old fashion way of procreation…”
“I did…” he said stroking a pod.
“Procreation, ones genes are passed down to a new life form, the memory of your form, and the form of your ancestors, creating a new form, a new memory. Our genetic code, is in our Embers, digitized broadcasted within the field they generate, saturated in this programmable matter, creating, deciding their new form. It may now be as ‘fun’ as the original way, but the modus operandi is the basically the same. That is how the Birth Matrix works, the life code, the genetic code of our race is stored and broadcasted in an Energy wave, creating new Embers, new plasma life forms bearing our genes, new Vandoran…well Vandoricons. You lot are too concerned with the physical. What do you want me to do, ‘build’ new Vandorans? Make an A.I. and call it my son. If this is about bloodlines, parents can be decided.”
“By you…?” Maxion rubbed his eyes
“Do not make this about that…”
“You are bearer of the Matrix, control of that massive ship being, the only hope for our people to survive. You’re the one whose drones built this city, whose technology is drawing fire straight from the sun to power our civilization. The people worship you, most of them. The soldiers, most of them, don’t like you, or your militia. You are throwing away our ways, and substituting your own.”
“Our ways…lead to this world being reduce to slag, molten glass and now the desert around us, our ‘ways’ was just a means of directing our bloodlust outward, instead of inward. Our ways are not going to do anything but have the galaxy our throats again…”
“You spit on centuries of tradition…!”
“Oh please, once upon a time, our ancestors leaped for the stars, for challenges, they demanded discipline and control, then out ancestor took over and then what? Our Federation became a hunter reserve, for the rich and noble, while everyone else fed on scraps. Well most of them are dead and gone.”
“And you have it stay that way, I noticed none of these…children, were assigned to any noble families…”
“Yeah, the council is what, a few nobles, but everyone else is a commoner, face it, the time of nobles is over…”
“You little…” From her arms came, blades, solid metal blades. From his arm, came a gun. A plasma bolt slammed her into the wall, leaving scorch marks and half melted chest armor.
“While you lot slept, I roamed the galaxy and found this form by my research. I admit, I don’t exactly know how, or why you all were transposed to a form so akin to mine, nor do I care, but know this, when next you wish to come at me, I know for more about these forms than you…” She was silent.
“You’ve seen war…” she said with a smirk
“You have your father’s look, my eyes his look, a soul consumed by it, burned by the fires of war. How many genocides did you cause?” He retracted his gun and walked outside. They were there, Marik and Gallus, his larger, older brothers. They had teased for all of his life.
Marik moved to put his hand on his Maxion’s head, only for him to grab it, pin him on the ground.
“Brother…!” shouted Gallus who moved to defend his older sibling. Maxion moved quickly, to grab him by the arm and throw him through the window. Gallus fell, several stories, down and it was impossible to say if he would survive. Marik roared, ready to flare up, onto be stopped by the plasma bolt that missed his head by a few inches. Maxion had his cannon pointed at him. It was ready to fire, primed and charging, but then the light died down and Maxion looked at his weapon, and then his brother, the hole made by his other brother and then his gun again.
He retracted it, turned and transformed. His armor plating expanded out, partially lifted of his person and everything moved about. His head disappeared into his chest, as his arms swung back, and the wheels swung forward and down. His limbs contracted inward, as the metal around them moved about. His leg armor, swung back as his legs shortened. Eventually he was a small four wheeled off-road vehicle which took off at high speed.
“So why didn’t you kill them…?” said a mechanoid in white and gold armor. He was hunched over, and wearing a blue cloak. Maxion sat on the edge of the roof, looking down at the relatively small city in the middle of the desert. “Come now, don’t be ashamed, most would’ve killed them, and you know that’s why they gathered around you…”
“I…I have seen war…”
“As have we all…”
“Not like me, I didn’t just slaughter the defenseless for my amusement, I fought in a war. My enemies, they could’ve killed me as easily as I killed them. I have burned…worlds, now I just want to save this one. I don’t want to be that monster anymore. Killing is so easy now, so very easy, it’s too easy, it shouldn’t be so easy it shouldn’t be my default. If I killed them, they would be dead, out of my hair…and I would be no different…”
“Maybe, but I can’t lead them away from the path, if I’m on it now can I…”
“And what’s wrong with ‘that’ path…?”
“It has no future…I want to build something, for me, for my people, I have people again, you don’t know what it is like to be the ‘last’ of something…”
“So it is pain that drives you, pain that pushes you forward. Unique, I’ve seen warriors motivated by glory, by fear, anger, hate, bloodlust, I suppose pain makes just as much sense…”
“I am no warrior…”
“But you are, you don’t fight because you’re told to, you fight for a cause…Sometimes, that cause may lead you to dark places, but you need faith, faith in your cause, that it’s right, faith in yourself…and wisdom, the wisdom to see where you have erred. So many rulers had the faith, well, more bravado than belief, but your stop and questioned, never forget that. You may regret your decisions but never be ashamed of them, not those made in the best of intentions…”
“I don’t even know what my cause is!”
“Yes you do, people, not yourself, not the ruling class, those sad, pathetic innocent individuals who will be caught up in the mess of the nobles…again, if you do nothing. The other races call us destructive, dangerous, aggressive, and war like, but how much of that is actually us, our people, the simple folk who just want to smile, be happy and survive? They worship you, because whether you realize or not, whether they realize it or not…you carry their hope, and not just with what is in your chest…” Maxion was silent. “This is the part where you get up…” he said in a half-joking tone.
Maxion awoke on the ground, it was different, completely smooth instead of the hexagon pattern of before. It was also clear of bodies. But like the other floor, it gave him a burning sensation that he had long endured in silence. There was something evil flowing in the floor, the wall, but either because of his age, or the Perception Field, he ignored it. Now, it had him wondering, why did this energy not affect him so…?
“The Prime awakens…” said the voice. He got on all fours and noticed the sickly dark glow in front of him, his EM sense expanded out telling him more Gormin were behind him, but the crew was in a group together bound. He looked over to them first and nodded. They gave no reply, probably still in shock over him being a mechanoid. He looked forward, above a rose petal of metal, with a green orb of wicked flames and a sickly green light, wherein dark shadows made the form of a woman’s pair of eyes.
“What…are you…?” asked Maxion.
“Yes, we would like to know…” said the Captain.
“He already knows…” said the orb.
“…You’re an Ember, or insult of the concept…”
“A, what...?” asked the Captain.
“She’s the soul of this ship, for lack of a better explanation…”
“But there is a better explanation…” the orb said with a snicker “but I don’t think they would believe it, no, it goes against their bias, their little ideology that puts them oh so high in their little worlds. Go ahead tell them…”
“Who are you…?”
“I am Cathedral, as you said the ‘soul’ of this ship and since the war with your predecessors Mechanoid, I have waited for a chance to strike back at the Galaxy, as per my master’s orders.”
“So…” said Mera “she’s the ship’s A.I. construct…?” Both Cathedral and Maxion looked at her.
“No…” said Maxion “I told you that this ship’s metal is integrated with protein circuits…well, that and the fact that Amalgamous Energy forms a link, a hive mind between all things corrupted by it…she is the literal ‘soul’ of this ship.”
“You’re kidding…” said the captain.
“He’s not…” said Cathedral, “tell me, what, is a life form…?”
“What does it matter, oh, it matters, it will explain why we are so dangerous…” she said with an amused tone. The captain was very uncomfortable, particularly with how…alive this computer seemed.
“That is a lifeform, and not even the be-all or end-all. Tell them Maxion, you’ve tasked and tooled the cosmic stuff, what is ‘life’…?” Everyone looked at Maxion.
“Life…” he said “It is the difference, the energy that signified, that defines the separation between that which is alive and that which is not…”
“You’re kidding…” said the captain.
“He isn’t…” said Cathedral “How long does it take a cell to decompose after death…? The answer is, no time at all. The moment it dies, the bacteria that have been living in it, turn on it, destroying from the inside. Why? There is literally no chemical or physical difference between a living and immediately dead cell. So, why, what little ‘switch’ decides this. My masters knew how to manipulate this switch, this ‘force’, so does Maxion here. His life force is different from other mechanoids, it is why he can resist the green glow, he is a ‘Prime’ after all… You don’t know what that means, do you…?” Maxion was silent “No, you do, but you refuse it why…?”
“I do not like being anyone’s servant…?”
“Even, if they are on the side of the angels? You amuse me…”
“I do not understand any of this…?” said the captain.
“Engen…” said Maxion “It is used not simply as a power source but to fuel and maintain the bio-fields of we mechanoids, particularly those with Embers and made of Birth Metal, or Mechanical Cells.”
“Your machine you don’t have ‘bio’ anything…”
“Yet you protect them…?” said Cathedral “You, who can warp tear at the fabric of the universe, you who tasked and tooled life itself, it is your birthright to play with cosmic forces, yet you serve such ingrate with egos so petty and pathetic that they cannot even acknowledge that you are…alive. Why…?’
“Is this the dark side speech…?” said Maxion “that part where you ask me to join you…?”
“What’s so special about you…?” asked the captain. Maxion looked at her, with annoyed eyes.
“You don’t know how much damage I can do…” he said
“NO…you do not know, you do not…” he turned back to cathedral “Which why you want me…”
“Indeed…” said Cathedral “A Prime, in service to the master, in service to the green, do you know how easily we could conquer these galaxy, convert every single world!”
“Does it matter…?”
“It does. I thought it strange, I thought it weird, I thought it…bizarre, that you tried to just dump some Amalgomous Energy into a star, convert it, turn everything in the solar system to your cause…but as I interact with this stuff…” he dragged his finger across the floor, blue and green energy arcing. “I realize something…it can’t can it…?”
“I think our little game is over…” she said with an angry tone
“Really, because it’s now getting interesting. Captain…”
“Yes…?” she replied
“Do you have my Wrench, if so can you raise it…?” Someone raised the device into the air and the top opened and shot a beam towards his eyes.
“What is that…?” asked Cathedral
“An analysis of the composition and nature of Amalgamous Energy…”
“Oh, and what does it say…?”
“That you’re all servants of some…eldritch things from beyond this universe.”
“So you see…”
“But he’s gone, because this stuff that you’re so proud of…it doesn’t have the kick as it did in ages past…”
“Silence, I will hear no more of your blasphemy…!”
“Indeed…” Maxion’s chest opened up, revealing a cylinder shaped crystal lattice, glowing a very bright blue. “Then here this, there are so many forms of Engen, there is the blue version, the finest variety, there is the pink, yellow and green versions, pale substitutes, and a medical concoction for my kind. There is Necro Plasma, which causes rusting, there are theoretical version I don’t have the tech, or lack of ethics to try and see, but none are like Amalgamous Energy, which corrupts, it’s photo-electron field absorbs, incorporates the electrical and magnetic fields of machines, plasma, Engen and even life forms, organic or robotic. This ship doesn’t just run on it, it tied to it, write down in the DNA, CNA, whatever ‘A’ you have. But then, there is no other form of Engen like this…”
“And that is…?”
“Super Engen…!” There was silence “I’m not kidding, this stuff is powerful, it rips through every known capacitor, you could instantly charge a warp engine with this…and the next second it would blow up from overloading…”
“And you think it can stand to the might of Amalgamous energy…?” she said with disbelief.
“Alone, no, but with a counter virus to the Amalgamous code…?” The container glowed bright, as blue fire erupted from his body and energy arced all over it. The Gormin tried firing on him, but the aura either blocked their attacks or he couldn’t feel them.
The Vandoricons gathered had gathered, their city was blasted and in process of being repaired by drones, but they themselves gathered in mass around a large area like a coliseum. Within the ‘arena’ were numerous spike like object over which the bodies of the dead floated and spun around. They were all painted in tribal markings, with a red dye. In a private box, was the council of whom half were gone; the Predabot supporters and sympathizers, who had lost their seats. Above came a platform, from which several tendrils came down, towards the bodies. Each mechanical limbs had several smaller tendrils at the end.
This was unexpected, to all, but they didn’t question it afterwards. Before, they burned their dead, but their bodies were now metal, and the crowd had wondered how the mass funeral would go now. Each body, touched by the tendrils, broke apart into particles of light, which floated upward, towards the platform. It was beautiful, it was soothing, the mere vision of it came them some comfort.
Maxion’s mother entered the council chamber. A large circular room, with seats around the edges. She came and found the council members in the middle talking among themselves. They stopped and looked at her.
“Scheming without me, how uncouth…” she said, hiding her hostility behind a smirk.
“We need to talk…” said a councilmen. She walked around them to her seat, which faced the door directly on the other side.
“In light of the Predabot revolt, we are concerned with the idea of there being sympathizers…”
“All of their supporters have taken off…”
“Are you sure…?”
“Yes…!” she said with a sneer.
“Your policies are very close to what they want, the path the wished for our people to take.”
“Are trying to imply something…”
“We think it is best that you step down, as Archon…” She slammed her hands into arms of the chair, making a loud metallic clang.
“I am Archon, Archon Sagus, you dare…!”
“Indeed, the people worship Maxion, it was his science that built this city, that saw to our needs, that provided us with the militia that held back the Predabots, he is providing them with children, thanks to him we have a future as a species. Many flock to his ideals and those that didn’t have left the city.”
“Maxion, is not his name, it is the name of the stupid ship…!”
“What is his name then…” She was silent and confused “we have looked, we have searched for his original name but it is gone. Many here remember him, but when we think back, all we have is ‘Maxion Prime’. This, and the talisman he carries, have made him a deific thing to our people and many wonder why he is not leading us…”
“I am leader, I am Archon!”
“In contrast, the people fear you, despise you, you who maintain the old way of economic segregation…”
“Why should I care, I have…” she paused
“All of your allies…are gone, into the desert with the other Predabots, another reason why we take issue with you being in charge. The people are tired of conflict, tired of senseless wars, your budget called for a majority of our resources be put to creating war fleets...”
“We have to defend ourselves…”
“We cannot afford said ships, literally, our economy cannot afford what you are asking for. Even now, Maxion seeks to harnest fire from the suns, just to keep us alive for another couple of years! It is painfully obvious that the one best suited to lead us is Maxion.”
“He is a child, my child…”
“Thought he clearly has no love for you…The council has voted, you are hereby removed from office”
Sagus forced open the doors to the lab. Maxion turned and looked back at her. He pulled a lever, and the insides of the large transparent tubes in front of him lit up as electricity arced about inside them. From the bottom up bubbled and rose a grey chrome metal that flowed upward, most likely guided by the electrical charge.
“What is it…?” he asked with annoyed tone
“Do not use that tone with me…!”
“Considering that the last time you were in my lab, you tried to kill me, I will use whatever tone I like woman, now what do want. I am busy…”
“What, what is there to recycle…?”
“What…?” said Sagus.
“The dead, their genetic information is being purged from the metal to be used to for newborn Vandoricons.”
“Why would you…?” she asked in disgust.
“Do you know how to create the metal we are made of…?”
“Just mine it…”
“But you can’t, ours is not Iron, Steel, Titanium, Tin or Aluminum. You can feel it, with it you can taste, hear, touch, smell, and see. The entirety of your body is composed of the same material, it is not simply…mined. I am busy, trying to figure out how to reproduce it.”
“Okay…and whose corpse did you melt down to do this…?”
“Marik’s…” he said coldly she flew at him in a rage, but he grabbed her in the air and slammed her down on her back, keeping her down, by placing the barrel of his arm cannon above her head.
“He was your brother…!”
“Indeed…” he said coldly
“And I suppose that platform…?”
“Was mine, yes, I built it to harvest the corpses…”
“Have you respect for the dead…?”
“The dead don’t care, and their metal is in storage, to be used to ‘build’ the next generations.”
“So, that’s it, we just live of our dead, not robots, zombies born out of the corpses of our ancestors…”
“You make it sound so grim, besides there is little choice in the matter, until I figure out how to make more of this…Birth Metal…Our numbers are limited.
“What of the other Predabots, and the prior corpses…?”
“You know the answer to that, but I doubt that is why you are here…”
“You are to be leader of the Council now, all hail Archon Maxion Prime…” she said with spite.
“Oh, well that will be annoying…”
“ANNOYING, YOU ARE LEADER OF OUR PEOPLE, YOU HAVE…”
“I don’t care, some of us don’t care we don’t spend our days looking for authority over others.”
“That is our way!”
“No, that is your way…and everyone is sick of it…”
“You think you can take it all away from me? You? A little runt…!”
“Oh, mother…I ‘took’ nothing, your failure to realize that is part of why you lost it. We are new, in form, but also in spirit. Our people don’t want to go the way that got us here, a ruined planet, hiding from the rest of the galaxy, barely surviving, perhaps not at all if not for Maxion helping me. You, you’re less interested with our next generation being ‘alive’ as you are having an army, stroking your ego, dominating everyone and everything around you, and for what, poverty, war? Considering the amount of energy I culled from the stars, I can see no logical reason why people were starving.”
“They suffered because that is the price of weakness…”
“Weakness is not a sin, without the weak, you could not call yourself ‘strong’. The only true weakness is refusal to take control of your life and actions, and the people have spoken, they want you gone. You always said the ‘strong stand on the weak’, well maybe you should’ve paid attention to where you stepped.” She sneered.
Maxion sat uncomfortably at the head of the table. He was not used to being so celebrated. He sat with the council, his mother included, to celebrate the defeat of the Predabots, exiled forever from their lives.
“To Prime…” said a Senator, holding a metal chalice “may he lead us into prosperity!” Everyone took a gauntlet and drank the Engen, the glowing blue fuel that they ran on. Later on, they would be sampling, other variations and mixtures. Everything went well, until Maxion put down his cup. There was a burning sensation in his mouth, and it was spreading. He looked in his cup, a secret compartment had opened. Before long, blue fire erupted from under his armor plating, and everyone began to panic, everyone but Sagus, who got up calm and collected.
It was Super Engen, the same thing he used to defeat Marik, by making him explode. The issue was…it converted normal Engen. It was far too energetic for most system to contain, already he could feel veins and arteries bulging, popping, the fuel he leaked, ignited, hence the flames.
Then he felt it, the secret he had kept hidden in his body, in his chest, something forced upon him. His body glowed with a new green-blue glow. He keeled over in pain, as said pain changed, first it was pain, now it was…the old burning away, he could feel his body, his cells, reconfiguring.
He glowed bright, and when it was over he had changed. He was taller, his limbs longer and his chest wider. His body had burned through the energy by using it, converting it into mass and fueling the change. Only it wasn’t a change. This was the size his body would’ve taken had injuries of his childhood not stunted his growth. He knew, he checked, but he didn’t want this, this power, this form, especially not with what it meant. He only had an inkling of why Maxion chose to call him ‘Prime’, but he could tell how much weight was behind it.
He looked around, everyone was smiling and cheering, except for his mother
Maxion was on his knees, blue fired erupted from his person and swirled around. He was screaming in pain, as nerves and engen vessels burst and reattached, over and over again. This was not the first time he did this, use the Super Engen he had stored inside him. He began to wonder why he kept it. In truth, all he needed was a little vial stored somewhere, to give him the energy boost he wanted, then when it was over, one of his reserves would open to resupply him with energy.
Yet in truth he knew why, ‘Prime’ was what Maxion used to describe his new existence. It wasn’t a rank given by anyone, it was a status carved on to his very soul. It encapsulated the weight of his responsibilities and his mission.
The blue flames became a bright blue/green glow, that seemed to burn the Gormin and Cathedral who all recoiled in pain. Blue-green bolts arced out of his eyes and his hands, and he slammed them into the ground, burying them into the organic metal. His glow, all of that energy, translated into the electrical arcs and waves of energy that flowed across the room, into the energy sphere, into the walls, into the Gormin, all over the ship.
The organics were safe, thanks to Maxion’s suits. Everything else, that wasn’t Maxion changed. Cathedral was seemingly expunge, her avatar, becoming no more than an energy orb. The Gormin began to change, their black armor, their organic components morphed into smooth, curved chrome. The insect visages morphed into asymmetrical but otherwise, human like metal faces, with different numbers of optics on each side.
As an alarm seemingly went off, Maxion stood up again and roared and he focused on the large amounts of energy he had to bend to his will.
The ship itself morphed and changed, from the black menagerie of gothic buildings, to a more smooth and streamline, chrome cruiser. Yet it wasn’t enough, large bolts arced up and down the hull of the ship, before it exploded into particles, in an explosion of blue flames.
Maxion didn’t know what happened, all he remembered was a bright flash of light, and then darkness. He had to check his memory files, to confirm it, but he knew he had been given assistance as he fell through the phase.
He was tired, too tired to turn on his optics, to move, to do anything but lie there. Then moments later, he felt strength return to his body. He awoke, rising from the sand to find himself surrounded by the former Gormin, who had transformed their arms into emitters of a sort, to transfer Engen radiation to him.
He stood up and looked around, in the distance he could see the Captain, Mera and the other survivors. They were gather in a circle looking suspiciously at the mechanoids, most of whom were walking about aimlessly like lost children.
It didn’t take long for him to figure out where he was, when he looked up to the sky. He walked over to the expedition team.
“So, you survived…” he said. It was hard to tell if he was serious or not.
“We’re on the only ones…The Gormin…”
“They are not Gormin, the Gormin had Amalgamous Energy tied into their very genetic code, when I used the Engen to purge it, to convert it into normal Engen, they were also altered, to my surprise.”
“So, what are we…?” asked a Mechanoid, having a grasp of the Basik. “Our computers…they are silent, there’s no voice commanding us, controlling our minds, just, our own voices.”
“You can hear each other…?” They nodded.
“A hive mind, a first for a mechanoid race as far as I know.”
“Good for them…” said the captain with a sneer “but they are…”
“No threat to you or anyone. Honestly, that prejudice it part of why Mechanoid and Organics never got along.”
“What now…?” asked a mechanoid.
“Now…go, learn, discover. I am sure Maxion would take you on as learners…”
“You are Maxion…”
“I…am Maxion ‘Prime’. He is Maxion…” Everyone looked up to see a massive ship suddenly appear out of thin air. The captain knew that it wasn’t an FTL jump or a cloaking device, but she couldn’t figure out how, it had just appeared like that. Then it changed.
The ship morphed from a vessel for crossing the void, to a mountain sized mechanoid. It was a Titan, but different from the one’s she was familiar with. Those were large true, but they had numerous guns and couldn’t transform. This one had less weapons than its other form.
“Behol, Maxion, my namesake, my name giver and last of the Technomorph Titans…”
“Not all mechanoids can transform.” Maxion began speaking in a loud language of beeps, deep basses and screeches that all sounded like words, words she was not familiar with. ‘Maxion’ responded to Prime in the same language and then shined lights from his eyes, scanning the area and the group.
“What was that…?”
“He was confirming that all connection to Amalgamous Energy was gone, for good. This new race will stay here under his watch and guidance, they seem to not have much in the way of aggressive genes, oh I’m sorry, protocols…”
“That was uncalled for…”
“It never stopped you organics, but I digress. It is time to go home…”
“And how do you suggest we do that, we have no ship, we don’t even know where we are…” Prime spoke to Maxion again, who outstretched his massive hand which glowed. A swirl of energy appeared from a focal point of light. “Is that…” she said with genuine shock “never mind…”
“Yes, and when I return I shall have words with that Salan, her pettiness is not becoming of someone of so high a position…”
“What are you going to do stomp on…?”
“Heavens no, there are subtler ways of getting rid of someone…” She raised an eyebrow.
“Disturbing…” said the spectral being “Disturbing indeed…” It hovered in the dark above the miniature nebula that was once the Gormin ship. “I knew he would be an issue, but I never suspected this. Too purge Amalgamous Energy so completely, requires more than Hyper-Matter Charged Fuel.”
“Perhaps he has what it takes to stop ‘it’…” said another
“Does it matter, he will never assist us willingly…And controlling him is both beyond us and not a guarantee.”
“What of the other machines…?”
“They are not naturally violent, clearly and do not have the metal for what we need.”
“Then another path is needed…”