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The Lost Race: Part Three
Posted By: Imperorator_Jon<darthbalfy@yahoo.com>
Date: 18 August 2006, 7:03 am

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      Captain Tellak, his green eyes weary of the impending attack, sighed at what he would have to do. The captain was proud of his people, of the technology they gathered; Hell, he was even proud of the bridge he stood in! The glorious Rose of the Stars was one of the few fully-functioning ships his people had constructed. The tall alien was only able to watch with pride as his crew went to work, comforted by the faint echoing Song moving throughout the organic body of the Rose.

      Tellak sighed deeply; even the Song couldn't lighten his spirits. The Honored Captain only looked at the sleek pink and silver ship ahead of it, attacking the harmless humans without remorse. Those evil creatures that tried to give themselves the title of "Covenant" and cause havoc to the harmony of the universe! He loathed them, hated them deeper than any of his kind had been known to hate.

      Tellak sighed though, it was only indulging in his people's primal nature to let such emotions run him, to let them possess him. He listened to the pure sounds of the Song, letting each harmonious note wash over him. The pure energy helped him become refreshed, let his mind stay clear of all primal urges. Yet when he looked upon his crew, he saw them lacking in spirit, but with their hearts set pure by each note. He focused on each note, the deep tones vibrating on every frequency his people spoke and thought on.

      Space was silent, the gentle sounds of everyday life could not be heard within the dark vacuum that would often claim lives in this most holy war. One Covenant vessel, a Scout ship, would sit motionless outside the planetary defense forces' reach with their weapons, Phantom landing craft would be launched one after another. As they were fired upon, some of the unlucky dropships would explode in a brilliant explosion of red and blue. Silent, but visually appealing— the sole reason why Ship Master Oana Oan'weuii often loved to watch orbital command from safety, a personal habit.

      Within the bridge of the mighty vessel, Ascending Truth, Oana leaned back within his comfortable chair that came with the necessities of being a Covenant Ship Master; this included a portable viewer, communication's control, and a switchboard for inter-ship communications. He relaxed as Grunts and Jackals worked furiously at their stations, a symbol of keen leadership. Soon, however, a blinking red light caught Oana's gaze as he lazily looked down. He flipped the switch with his left index hoof, or what would be surmised as a finger.

      "Scanners, I hope you have a good report to file."

      On his portable viewer, the screen jumped from gray to blue; an indication that the viewer was switching to visual communications. Runes quickly flashed across the screen, identifying what station was being switched to and what section of the ship it was on. The face of Coadjutor Elya Ena'owii appeared on the screen, the background showing Elites and two Grunts who were jumping and celebrating with joy.

      "Ship Master, we have discovered the Luminated Path to the Beyond!"

      Whatever held Oana in his state of laziness, he broke the holds that held him as he lunged out of his seat. His mandibles formed a look of surprise, as the bridge crew who worked around him immediately stopped completely with what they were doing and viewed the Ship Master with awe. They heard the report Elya made; they knew what was on the planet. Oana growled deeply, looking towards the planet that the holo-viewer was projecting.

      "Send every unit on board the Ascending Truth, the Wraiths, the four Scarab walkers, the Banshees—everything that is within the holds of this vessel!" he proclaimed, slamming his fist onto the arm of the Captain's chair. "How dare the humans defile the great artifact that is the Luminated Path! No Elite, or Grunt, or Jackal, or Brute shall rest until we take that planet back!"

      Tellak, noticing the sudden buzz of activity on the Scout ship, began to pace back and forth in the aquatic bridge. The commander breathed in the mix of oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen that helped keep a stable balance for all the warriors onboard. He carefully pressed one pointed finger into the yellow yoke of the control console; swirling it until the hologram of the ship was of the bow first with the flank facing towards the covenant ship.

      Tellak smiled at the organic hull, his eyes briefly checking all of the built-in weaponry... all was as it should be. He merely had to awaken the warriors deep inside of the Rose of the Stars, then he could save the defenseless humans. The sky-blue colored alien tapped onto a few of the holographic symbols, each one flashing in response to his delicate and precise tap. As each rune flashed, Tellak smiled as a second Song begun, the notes rougher, but sharper. He knew that the slumbering warriors onboard the Rose were about to awaken after their long and arduous journey. His race was prepared to hunt the foul locusts that called themselves the "Covenant". Animals! That is all they truly are! Pests and bugs that feed off the lives of the innocent and peaceful! The commander berated himself again, the Song that had played to awaken the fighters deep within the ship was letting a savage part of him awaken as well. Yet he fought it, reprimanding himself as he suppressed such primal emotions into the back of his mind.

      The captain smiled as the sub light engines allowed the ship to drift into firing range, the momentum carefully programmed so that the ship would cut off in the perfect position. The only real task left was to commit the eons-old ritual of when the warriors are brought into existence via the Awakening. Tellak replaced his smile by a stern look as he entered the small pod at the end of the hallway, tapping on a few of the semi-organic runes inside. The leader merely shut his eyes as the thick doors closed around the small pod; a small flash and the smell of ozone awoke him to a familiar pod not too far away.

       The captain merely reached out with his mind as the doors slid upon silently, revealing a completely different hallway. Tellak to maintenance, one of the pods have malfunctioned. There was no response, but the captain knew it was going to be taken care of. Instead he focused upon the gargantuan room that was at the end of the short hallway. This was going to be the exact location where many would be sent to die, but only to be reborn in a higher form. He looked at the imposing room, mostly metal with few handrails to prevent someone from falling off. Yet it was not the massive fall that inspired both awe and fear in most, no, it was the large structure in the center of it all. He watched with glee as hundreds, if not thousands of organic and metal containers exited and entered into a large, pulsing, mass. That was what Tellak had the job of caring for, the mind and souls of the entire ship focused and amplified from that structure.

      It was also where the Song was emitted, the many Singers and Waycallers keeping a single consciousness, a perfect harmony that would tighten the resolve to any who listened to it. This mind, this single force, was where his people drew their strength, their will and might; he was in charge of guarding it. The leader smiled at the product of what this massive structure of pure beauty was helping to awaken. What lined the walls of the massive room were green-layered pods, each one a foot taller than Tellak. There were strong walkways that covered each perfect row—that covered the hundreds upon thousands of pods in this massive chamber. It was the very core of the ship, even more secure than the reactor room. For if this centerpiece of the ship and core fell, all those upon the ship would as well.

      The captain stared down the massive rows, pulling out a circular disk that had a mark so ornate that it inspired fear and intrigue just by looking at it. Tellak knew what he had to do. The tall alien clung onto the device in his right hand, his pointed fingers grasping the smooth surface made of only the purest materials on the oceanic homeworld. The captain placed his left hand onto the flat of the disk, focusing his thoughts solely on the disk and it's purpose. He felt a small prick as the device took a sample of his royal blood, expanding four precisely carved triangles with carefully shaped edges. Nothing could reproduce such elegant and miniscule formations, which was exactly the devices' purpose. He walked forward, advancing towards a large polished stone in front of him. The stone, sensing that it's key was near, formed a small rut for the circular disk.

      The object, in return, seemed to pull magnetically towards the imprint. Tellak did not resist as the device sunk into the semi-stone pedestal. The captain merely kept a stone-cold gaze as the dormant pods began to pulse, a green glow beating inside of each husk. The alien leader began to smile as the first of the pods opened, a mixture of yellow pus and green liquid oozed out along with the occupant. His grin deepened as he watched the sky-blue colored warriors exit onto the floor, their liquid-like skin slowly hardening into a thick carapace as they became more and more conscious. He also noticed increasing precision and coordination as they formed the semi-telepathic links that was characteristic of all warriors. He knew this due to the extensive education his entire pod had given him.

      The captain, satisfied that the ritual had finished and confident that the other crew would take care of the warriors, returned to the bridge. He could tell by the sudden loss of gravitational pull that the ship had finished its drift, finally pausing just in range for the heaviest of weapons. Tellak was prepared; he quickly jogged into the command room after exiting the smaller room. The commander came to a dead halt as the ship fell silent; it's many electronic stealth devices blocking the ship from all manner of detection.

      Tellak quickly pushed a series of runes on the familiar command console, a large holographic screen appearing in front of the command console. He rapidly pressed down on the runes, finally stopping when half a dozen circles slowly converged onto the explorer ship's hull. "Lower the electronic barrier and fire the primary lance turrets!" Tellak roared, his voice given the luster and aurora of command that was essential to his class. However, his quick command was not fast enough; a sudden long-range communication shot from the Covenant ship entering into the deep void of space. Fortunately, the orders were not in vain, for a dozen long beams pierced into the ship, tearing and cutting the enemy hull into sections—the twelve shots carving into the ship with mechanical grace. The captain finally let out a sigh. He had won the fight, but the battle was far from over.