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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Astrobiology 106 - Part 2

My name is Mercedes Whitman and I'm a hero on a foreign world. I am the daughter of two heroes, and was trapped on this Earth during an Event that sealed the way back home forever. They call me Black Sapphire when I’m out patrolling, and these are my Blogs.

Several days had passed since she had seen the Scion Alex Whitman in an attempt to achieve some closure with her muddled past and feelings that had lingered since the Event. Her attitude had grown prone to outbursts of anger; anger not against anything in particular, but at everything that ever was.

She eventually took a sabbatical into the deserts near Las Juegos and knocked on the stars and meditated on finding her center, because if she could not she could swing violently into one of her explosive outbursts and lose the control that she had maintained for most of her life.

“Dune guides me.” She closed her eyes and controlled her breathing. Hours passed very quickly in the desert but soon the ground beneath her began to roil and the sand began to shift and whirl around her. She opened her eyes and watched as the Bounty Hunter Hr’lunes ship descended into the dunes nearby, its landing struts digging deep. The hatch hissed and opened and the little Minotaur strode out.

“If’n it ain’t the most beautiful bird on this planet!” he called out to her.

“I’m the only ‘bird’ you know, short round,” Sapphire retorted.

“True, true, but it would be the same if I knew the many flowers this world has to offer.” She sighed at his attempts at flirting. “If you wish, my princess, we will be on our way to the Academy.” Hr’lune bowed and gestured for her to enter his craft. She rolled her eyes and walked to the ship that would take her to the XenoBiological Institute for the Discovery and Archival of Foreign Species.

Astrobiology 106 - Part 2: Agent of…

“You may call me Director Antonius Nel’Sunn. I oversee the Academy and its multiple functions in this sector of time/space.” The Director walked over to one of the viewing portals and watched as several of the mining droids moved throughout the belt, harvesting the minerals from the asteroids around the Academy. Black Sapphire watched from a short distance behind him. He glanced over his shoulder at her. “They harvest minerals that can be converted into the energy that fuels the Academy. We use androids because of the risks involved.”

“Seems kind of harsh if you ask me,” she responded.

“It is good that I did not then.” He turned back to her, his full height just over seven feet, and his skin a deep onyx flecked with spots of an ivory mineral. The Director looked down on her with a smile. “I am kidding, of course. I frequently attempt Earther humor in an effort to be ‘cool’.” He held up two fingers on each hand of his four arms in air quotes.

“Hilarious,” Sapphire retorted.

“What is it that you need? Why have you come to us?” The Director began to walk away from the viewing portals and deeper into the complex. Sapphire followed close behind him as she began to tell her tale of the Event and the Scion kept on Earth.

“I see,” he responded after a while. “You have come seeking knowledge of the Scions in hopes of finding a way to purge the God Seed from the Scion you believe to be your father.” She nodded. “Our knowledge of the Scions are limited; the one called Alex Whitman is the only living specimen we have thus encountered.” 

She stopped in her tracks. “Living?” she asked. 

The Director nodded but continued moving forward she had to rush to keep up with his long gait. “We have the body of one of the older Scions. He was slain sometime ago by another Scion and one of our exploratory missions recovered the corpse, perfectly preserved in the depths of space. The find was quite fortuitous and accidental.”

“Which one was he?” Sapphire asked, her mind going back to the files Walters had her go through when the bounty hunter Hr’lune was on his way to Earth.

“We think he may have been The First. We cannot confirm that, however. But we do know that he was probably killed by Cyn’dre; she is the only one that controls flame.”

Sapphire thought a moment before responding, “Do you have a list of the Scions?” The Director nodded and stopped at a large mural afixed to the wall. It showed a vast alien landscape before he touched it. Immediately it showed a directory that looked like an encyclopedia. He stepped aside so that she might make her inquiry. She asked the monitor the question and it showed her…

Mercury - Cyn’dre <The Third>
Venus - Spin’dell <The Sixth>
Earth - Alex Whitman <The Recent>
Mars - D’eth <The Second>
Jupiter - A’Gon <The Seventh>
Saturn - N’tre <The Fifth>
Uranus - V’pr <The Sixth>
Neptune - Aq’uila T’rt <The Fourth>
Pluto - Fre’on <The Eighth>
Unknown - The First <The First>

“They are chosen from species that seem to dominate a planet or one of the moons of the world. We have them classified based on tales of their Chaos unleashed upon the universe and assume at their planet of origin,” the Director revealed. “Some races like the Z’rkull and the Shi’lar have not been used as far as we have been able to discern.”

“Why is that?” Sapphire asked.

“Well,” he paused in his walking before continuing, “The Z’rkull is a race of shape shifters, and their skin is a bright orange. Unfortunately the whole species is color blind and when they assume another’s visage they maintain this color. It has made for some awkward attempts at overthrowing governments or assassinations.”

“They have no clue about this defect?” The Director shook his head. “What about the Shi’lar?”

“Being a warrior race of bird men they suffer just as Earth birds do. They have hollow bones, which make them speedier than most races while flying but also hinders them in combat as they suffer broken bones easily. This of course does not deter them from waging war on every species that crosses their path.”

“That seems idiotic,” Sapphire said. 

The Director nodded before continuing to speak. “True, but they have developed ways to swarm and kill targets from a great distance or with incredible speed. They evolved past their limitations to control a vast amount of space near the Milky Way Galaxy. They are your direct neighbors as it were. I have heard tales of a vast intact Star Force at the center of their kingdom, but none of our expeditions have ever returned and their people are rather wary of outsiders.”

“I am beginning to think that you want something from me in exchange for the knowledge I wish to learn. Is that correct, Director?” Sapphire asked, her voice blunt as she stopped in her tracks.

The Director smiled. “Everything has a price, Ms. Whitman. And everyone has a boss.”

TBC in Astrobiology 106 Part 3

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