Bloen [ Part VI ]

Anix & The Murder

Parts: [I] [II] [III] [IV] [V] [VI] [VII] [VIII]

“I find it very ironic,” Anix interrupted the meeting on board the main ship, “that our fathers were unable to save their planet from the clutches of war, yet here we are, bringing war to a virgin planet”. Anix always said things straight-up as they are-or at least as he perceives them, he bore no attention to the fact that I am the Admiral. I didn’t mind it though, we both knew that I would make Admiral eventually and he’d promised me to never allow it to ‘get to my head’. His words, although sound insulting, were wise. As the leader of the fifth scout battalion, he had swore allegiance to me before we launched off of the island and onto our current quest. In return I promised to heed his advice.

“This war would be for a greater purpose, Anix,” I explained, “Our fathers and their generation fought wars driven by the hunger for power and money, we fight for a noble cause, we fight to save Zoold from the horror infesting it. True, we do have self-serving motives as well, we want to make this planet our new home, but the inhabitants are already aware of that. The chieftain told me that he had foreseen our arrival.” Anix stared for a few seconds before he nodded his head and kept his silence.

“The beast called Bryxun had been terrorizing the peaceful natives. His minions had been kidnapping the native’s children and turning them into monsters under his command. The injustice got to me, it drilled a hole in me” I explained to the scout leaders. “But also,” I continued “Zoold can be our home, the natives welcomed us gracefully. We should protect our new home from the monsters terrorizing it, and drive them back into the abyss.”

I skipped the part about the purple crystal, I don’t know why, but I felt like they wouldn’t understand. Acquiring that crystal became my primary concern after I came out of that five-day slumber. I thought back to Xzain’s words, he had planted these thoughts in my head, he had planted this resolve, the will to acquire that crystal. But was I leading my loyal troops into a losing battle? I had no idea what we were going up against. Would we be victorious in the end? I did not know these things but I knew that we had to do it.

Only moments into the meeting, the room filled up with the noise from the ship’s protective counter-measures. The leaders knew that sound all too well, it made them jump out of their seats and head to their battle stations. We were under attack.

I ran through the ship’s corridors heading up to the main deck hoping that the crew had already identified the source of the attack and launched the counter attack. Anix ran beside me, but he was headed to the ship’s space hatch. He had his space flight suite on and was mumbling about how he’ll miss the fight if he doesn’t make it out before his “murder”.

A few years back, before I became Admiral, when Anix and I had just assumed our title as squad leaders; Anix had a vision for the perfect squad. He developed new training methods and recruited only the fittest and smartest scouts. While I was focusing on the political end, Anix focused on the military end. His squad later evolved into a battalion just about the same time I had my own battalion as well. My battalion was more concerned with science and the discovery of new planets and resources, but Anix had a different plan for his. After getting permission from the military council, he took his battalion to a strange planet which we had discovered some time ago. There, for a year, they trained.

Anix had prepared unconventional and extreme training exercises, he knew his scouts were up to it since he had hand-picked them himself. But that wasn’t enough for him. The planet he had chosen to train on was a harsh place. The atmosphere had oxygen, so humans could breathe it, but it also contained traces of cyanide. That is to say, breathing the air on that planet for more than one hour will get a human killed. It was why we had discarded that planet as a new home a couple of years ago.

Anix’s training exercises were designed as fourty-minute bursts after which the scout would need to sleep for five hours in the rejuvenation chamber to reverse the effects of all the cyanide he had breathed in. But it took a toll on them, and their skins turned grey.

The flight suits, that our military industry had perfected, were not satisfactory to Anix and his scouts. They designed and modeled a new one exclusive for their battalion.

When they first appeared in front of everyone at the military parade with their black flight suits and their grey faces, that was when they were dubbed the “crows”.

“…shit, they’re already out there, I can feel it” he said before he separated from me and headed to the left towards the space hatch. By the time I got to the control deck, I could see him not too far from the ship. He was headed straight towards the fight in the distance.

The communications lieutenant had already started booting up the telescope display for us to watch the fight closely, at that point, we were still unaware of the nature of the enemy. All we could see from the ship’s visor before the telescope display booted up was winged creatures locked in a battle with Anix’s murder. Our other forces had only begun heading there.

As soon as the telescope display booted up we had a closer look. Strange monstrous creatures they were, winged like bats with the torso and body of a bull-cow. Their gargoyle faces had a greenish glow surrounding it, as though some sort of energy is allowing them to sustain breath in space. Their leathery brown wings had purple lacerations all across them, and these too seemed to glow. They seemed swift and massive, but the crows seemed to be handling it.

Until the creatures doubled their numbers out of thin space.