Read Star Force: Perquisition Online

Authors: Aer-Ki Jyr

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Colonization, #Galactic Empire, #Military, #Space Fleet, #Space Marine, #Space Opera, #Two Hours or More (65-100 Pages)

Star Force: Perquisition

BOOK: Star Force: Perquisition
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1

 
 

May 12, 2966

Aphat
System (Bsidd
Region)

Nym

 

Demmcha walked through the hallways of the Star Force
colony in full armor, drawing mild attention from those he passed but not
nearly so fierce as his attention for them. Nearly every person in the colony was
Shanplenix, yet they weren’t. Where he had yellow patches of skin and yellow
eyes, these had red in exactly the same proportions against the base green and
black exoskeletal patches. These people were the same race as him, yet in all
his life he had never seen a Shanplenix of another color, nor knew that any
existed outside of the three systems they controlled.

Sure, there were always rogue individuals roaming the
spacelanes, but an entire civilization was more than he ever expected, let
alone two. Archon Paul had explained much to him initially, but when he’d
parted the
Gvaris
System it was with the escort of
another lower ranking Archon. The two ships had come here, whereupon another
peer of Paul’s had met him in orbit and they’d have a very long discussion
concerning everything Shanplenix…to which Archon Brad had added a great deal of
information about the ‘Protovic’ that left Demmcha with more questions than he
had started with.

But it was only now, walking through their city on
their planet did it all fully sink in…then he passed an oddball amongst the sea
of red and green, with the first purple-skinned coming into sight. Again, the
same patterns but a different color.

“What occurs when the two interbreed?” he asked Brad
who was walking beside him, via the translation software in the
Shanplenix’s
triangular helmet.

“The female’s genetics take priority as far as
bioluminescence is concerned. All other biological aspects are identical. You
may look different, but you are in fact the same race.”

“Very curious…” Demmcha mewed as they walked through
one of the main promenades until they got to a lift car that took them up into
the higher reaches of one of the Star Force buildings. He’d been learning a
great deal more about their empire as well, with it being more impressive than
he’d heard. The ability for them to incorporate so many races together was
virtually unheard of without a leadership matrix defining who had priority. The
Humans were clearly in charge here, but the more he learned it seemed they viewed
everyone as peers…to a degree.

This was the first Star Force world the Shanplenix had
ever been on, so he was having to reference information on the others. These
Protovic were a faction of their own as well as being part of another faction
called Axius. That one was a conglomeration of dozens, if not hundreds of races
split between two size categories, ostensibly so the larger ones wouldn’t be
stepping on and killing the smaller ones when they cohabitated. The Protovic
had been part of Axius for a very long time, the purple skins anyway, with the
red skins being a new addition via conquest of a quite unsavory civilization…if
Star Force’s information was accurate. One could never be sure of such things,
but Cal-com had vouched for them and for Demmcha that increased the likelihood
that the information was accurate.

The fact that Star Force had attacked and conquered a
twin race to the Shanplenix was disturbing and immediately set them at odds
within the delegation that had arrived here. They’d been told in loose terms
what had happened by Paul, but it was Brad’s detailed account of the invasion
that had almost put their accords into jeopardy…not that the Shanplenix were in
a position to wage any kind of war against Star Force. Weapon-wise it was about
an even fight, but size-wise Star Force was huge and had many client races to
pull soldiers from. What would have occurred was an ‘icing’ diplomatically,
though what stalled that was the accounts of what these Veliquesh were doing
and the fact that Star Force had gone to the excessive trouble of using stun
weaponry to take them all captive.

Typically when one conquered a race blood was shed,
but this had apparently been a clean invasion and that was what softened
Demmcha. Star Force hadn’t been interested in the
Veliquesh’s
territory, but rather its people. The fact that most of the 3 trillion
population had died out in prison wasn’t a high note, but seeing those red
skinned individuals in person here and now, walking these corridors casually,
suggested that Star Force may have done them a favor if the rumors of their
living sacrifices were even remotely true.

“How many are here?”

“This system holds the bulk of Star Force’s Protovic
population, though a significant number still exist within Axius. There are 4.7
billion here with a scattering of other races, skilled individuals that have
helped develop this civilization or those that have migrated here for similar
reasons.”

“You allow intermixing outside of Axius?”

“When the occasion merits,” the Archon said as they
stepped out of the lift car and began to walk through a large, elongated
chamber with various holograms situated on both sides depicting what he wasn’t
sure, but the individuals were not Protovic and mostly Human, involved in
various types of combat. “Travel is permitted with few restrictions throughout
Star Force, though this is one of a handful of regions where it is limited.
Those that can travel here cannot live here permanently, and therein lies the
distinction. The divisions do not exist for cultural reasons, but biological
ones. We have learned from Axius that there are both advantages and
disadvantages in living in close confines with varied races, and Star Force
aims to have enough diversity to allow for both options. Hence this colony is a
Protovic one.”

“Yet you, a Human, lead it?”

“That’s what Archons do for Star Force. All of Star
Force.”

“And are there any Archons that are not
Human
?”

“No.”

“May I ask why?”

“Because you cannot do this,” the Archon said as he
held his arm up and pointed his hand at Demmcha…then suddenly the
Shanplenix’s
feet left the ground and he lost control of
his body, floating in midair.

“What are you doing?”

“No, this is not a form of anti-
grav
,”
the Human assured him as the few Protovic passing by stopped to watch from a safe
distance. “This is what we call psionics. Archons have special powers that not
even all Humans possess. We are rare, and these powers are partly a reason why
we are Archons.”

Demmcha returned to the ground and the constriction
around his chest vanished.

“We are leaders and protectors,” he continued to
explain as Demmcha tried to get a handle on what just happened, “because we
have the ability. Those that do not cannot be Archons. I was tested a long time
ago to learn if I had potential, and only a very few Humans did. No other race
has the same abilities that we do, though a few outside of Star Force have been
known to have one or two.”

“What exactly did you do?”

“I created an invisible energy field that allows me to
manipulate matter. An invisible third arm, if you understand the metaphor.”

“Not completely,” Demmcha admitted. “What other
races?”

“Are you familiar with The Nexus?”

“Somewhat.”

“We know of one, and rumors of others that have
psionics. The Dsevmat have telepathy.”

“You mean they can read minds?”

“Yes.”

“I thought that was fiction.”

“I used to think so as well,” the Archon said as they
reached the far side of the holograms and two small doors pulled open. They
entered a lush indoor park that was lightly populated with only three Protovic
in sight, though with the greenery there could have been dozens more hidden
elsewhere. It was quiet though, save for the sound of running water, and the
Archon pointed Demmcha on a path to the right.

“Do Archons have
telepathy.

“Our abilities are not widely known, and we prefer to
keep it that way. But yes, we do.”

Demmcha took a half step, suddenly realizing how
vulnerable he was if that was true.

“You can relax. We are not your enemies. And had Paul
sensed any duplicity in you he would not have sent you here,” the Human assured
as he turned around and looked at where Demmcha had stopped. This was all
happening so fast and he wasn’t sure how to proceed.

“Let me fast track this for you,” the Archon offered.
“I am far more powerful than you. No, you can’t insulate your mind from me.
Yes, I can dig out memories if I wish. And no, you can’t keep secrets very well
if we get curious about something, but do not assume we are constantly
monitoring the minds around us, for we are not. The effort required is not a
small one, so we only pry when needed.”

“But you still pry.”

“It helps us spot the liars,” Brad said evenly. “And
allows us to build an honest empire.”

“And what happens to those that are not honest?”

“They are not trusted with responsibilities.”

“Yet you have prisons.”

“Mainly for those who insist on bothering others. Star
Force feels that individuals should be allowed a bit of respect and space to
live their lives as they wish. But if someone is insistent on interfering with and
hurting others, being able to read minds helps us determine the truth and take
action quickly. Which is why only those with these powers can become Archons,
and only Humans within Star Force have the potential.”

“Some would say you have too much power to be
trusted.”

“If one is trustworthy, the amount of power they have
is irrelevant. If someone is untrustworthy, then they are a threat no matter
how small their power is. Star Force doesn’t fear power. The more we have, the
more people we can protect…and rescue.”

“So you say,” Demmcha said, though he made his mind
obvious that he was not passing judgement on Star Force, merely not taking
anything at face value.

“Which is why you’re here,” the Archon said as they
passed through a bottleneck of bushes and came into a small courtyard with a wall-spanning
window that looked out onto the city with 8 Protovic standing in front of it and
apparently waiting for them to arrive. “To learn.”

Six of them were red skinned, with the other two being
purple. All wore Star Force uniforms save for one of the purple ones.

 
“You and I have
talked a great deal,” the Archon continued. “Now it’s time for you to get
acquainted. Ask whatever you like, the more questions the better. You can lose
the helmet now.”

Demmcha reached up and hit the external releases, then
pulled the triangular helmet off revealing the green/yellow glow from his
facial skin, then the pure yellow beams coming from his eyes. The other
Shanplenix were visibly shocked when they saw him, but adjusted quickly enough.
They stared at each other for many seconds, speaking a language he could not
understand until he eventually put the helmet back on and the translation
software kicked in.

“Seven of them are Star Force,” the Archon said, then
pointed to the one in a different style uniform. “This one is not. She is from
the independent Protovic and another observer here, much like you. I believe
the two of you will want to have a separate conversation latter, but for now I
will leave all of you alone. I will return when you are finished, or wish a
break. There is much to discuss.”

“Yes there is,” Demmcha said as the Archon turned to
walk away, with him wondering how far his telepathic range was. If he picked up
on that thought he didn’t say anything, disappearing back through the path into
the bushes and leaving him with his oddly colored kin.

“Hello brothers and sisters,” Demmcha greeted them
with a shallow
bow
. “Do not be shy, and please tell
me everything. Then I will reciprocate to your satisfaction.”

 

“What?” Clark-066 said when walking into the genetics
lab behind Vortison and a handful of other high level medtechs.

“Sorry, did I interrupt your snack?” Star Force’s lead
geneticist quipped as he turned around from his holographic displays and looked
at the trailblazer.

Clark smirked. “What did you find?”

“Concerning that sample Paul sent back,” Vortison
said, highlighting one hologram to the room’s central display. “I still don’t
have nearly enough data to work with, but I have confirmed, to my satisfaction,
that this is a genetic locking device.”

“Suppressing what, exactly?”

Vortison shook his head. “Not suppressing. Whatever
this is, it does not exist in their genome. What each of these three races have
is an incomplete book, not in chapters but in letters. The original Protovic
have a full book but only every 3rd letter. Add in the Veliquesh variant and
you get the 5th letter, now the 2nd with the Shanplenix. That’s not enough to
read the words, metaphorically speaking. You’d need at least six or seven of
the eight components to be able to guess at the contents, but whatever this is,
it is huge, size-wise. I’m
guestimating
13% of their
overall genome is missing, or you could call this an addition. I have no way to
know, yet.”

“Wait,” Clark said, holding up a finger. “You said 8.
I thought there were 7 variants.”

“So the stories from the
nutjobs
said.”

“Right. What about the coloration? That’s not
dormant.”

“No, it’s not. They have different genes there, rather
than suppressed varieties inherent in all of them. We already knew this from
the cross-
breedings
, for the offspring only had one
genetic signature rather than carrying a latent second. It’s a guess, but I
think the colorations are to mark which piece of the puzzle each variant has.”

BOOK: Star Force: Perquisition
10.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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