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Taker of Life, Giver of Death - Part 1: 'Making' New Friends
Posted By: Ian Barnes<panzerschreck15@netscape.net>
Date: 27 May 2002, 7:33 pm

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    Warlord Zerr sighed as he continued his daily walk.He inhaled deeply before exhaling again. Air. It was one of the most importantsubstances in his world. It allowed to body to function, to live. But itwas so plain. Neron on the other hand, was incredible. Althoughit was not necessary to live, as of this moment in time, it was keepinghim alive. It had the most unique sensation out of anything Zerr had everexperienced. It tingled, and left a cool sensation in his mind, but atthe same time burned with the intensity of a roaring flame.
    The pain of consuming the amazing substance hadlong ago subsided, once his body altered its physiology to accommodatethe substance. Without it now, his body would wither and die. He was addictedto it, and was happy to be so.
    Strolling through the countryside, Zerr was remindedof his home world of Terva. Green, rolling hills, lush with plant life.Birds squawked over head, and flew away in a panic. Zerr frowned. Evennature could sense that Zerr was something he wasn't supposed to be.
    Continuing his slow but steady gait, Zerr spieda large concrete square in a valley below him. He was almost two kilometersout of the city now, and this facility was one of his many Qal-Et-Hadatraining grounds. Littering the immense facility were barracks, firingranges, obstacle courses and sparring arenas.
    Examining first the barracks, Zerr smiled. Thisfacility alone contains a hundred thousand troops, easily. He had hundredsof such facilities, giving him an army that was rivaled by no other.
    Then the firing ranges. Hundreds of Elites tookaim at targets several hundred meters away, and fired simultaneously. Hundredsof targets were boiled away as an immense barrage of pinpoint plasma firestruck them.
    Zerr grinned devilishly, exposing rows of sharpteeth.
    Next the obstacle courses. Covered with plasma barbs,ten meter walls, automated plasma turrets and target dummies, the soldiersplowed through the courses. They tore apart the plasma barbs with theirbare hands, completely oblivious to the burns they had sustained. Theyran and leaped over the walls with power and grace, landed and kept running,no delays. The automated plasma turrets flared to life and the Elites barelynoticed, dodging out of the way of every blast like it was moving in slowmotion. As the Elites passed, they tore the turrets into scrap metal.
    Zerr chuckled.
    Foolish Devils have no idea.
    Finally looking to the sparring areas, Zerr couldn'thelp but burst into full-on laughter.
    The Elites were an almost indiscernible blur. Strike,block, counter strike, block, trip, throw, and repeat.
    They seemed to fight as a collective. They seemedto know what their comrades were going to do, and act on it. What seemedto be a collective intelligence was not something Zerr had planned for.
    It must be a side effect of several altered genes,combined.
    Zerr walked forward onto the hill, and marched downwardinto the valley. He struggled to keep himself upright against the steepincline. His advisors would warn him not to take such risks as this, walkingalone without body guards.
    His advisors were useless. They served only to letthe public think he needed advice. He wouldn't need them much longer, theadvisors, or the public.
    Finally reaching the ground level, a ranking officernoticed him immediately, even from a great distance away.
    'Welcome m' Lord.'
    Zerr managed a curt nod before issuing orders.
    'As you were, carry on!'
    Zerr glanced quickly at the soldier's rank insignia.Tursin.This soldier had risen the ranks quickly, judging by his serial number,he had been in existence for only several years. He commanded the entiremilitary station.
    'I want to mobilize my forces, Tursin. Whatis the status on the readiness of our men?'
    The soldier did not question where the troops shouldbe mobilized to, he simply answered.
    Zerr liked this man.
    'We are ready m'Lord.'
    'Can they kill, effectively?'
    'Of course m'Lord. Quite effectively. I've alsoinstigated a program. Any disputes are settled by combat. It roots outthe weaker ones, m'Lord.'
    'Hmmm, indeed.'
    Had something gone wrong? They should all bethe same. They were created from the exact same DNA.
    Then it hit him like, like a blast from a concussionweapon.
    'Tursin, I want you to conduct a full scaleblood analyses on all personnel here. I believe there are some naturalshere. Kill any that you discover.'
    'Of course m'Lord, at once.'
    'Very well, that is all, return to your duties.'
    Zerr watched the commander sprint off, golden armorglistening in the sun. That man was good material. He would see to it thatthat man was promoted. He would be his Na-Grer. His War Master.
    Zerr made his way past ranks of Elites, honing theirfighting skills to perfection. They paid no attention to him. Completelyfocused on their single task.
    Finally sighting an airfield, Zerr commandeereda Banshee, and flew himself back to his laboratory. He had much work todo. His army was ready, and he must be as well.


    Passing through security doors which would allownone other than himself through beeped and chirped. Any unauthorized personnelwould be vaporized instantly.
    Walking inside, Zerr inhaled deeply. The sterilesmell of his lab soothed him. Consuming another tablet of neron,Zerr was able to relax.
    He peered deep into places where no others couldsee. Many years away. He could see all that would happen in the near, anddistant future. Eager to examine what life would be like when he was restoredto his proper galaxy, and the Devils were gone, Zerr searched for a battle.
    Wandering the tides of time, Zerr found what hewas looking for. What he had envisioned as the final battle, over Earthitself. No matter how hard he tried, he could not see the outcome.It was darkened.
    A nexus. The merging of a thousand different events,culminating into one grand result. But he could not see it!
    Is my victory not yet assured? Why is this eventhidden from me? Surely, the Devils have nothing to combat me?
    Withdrawing from his vision, Zerr was troubled.The final battle which he had envisioned held new meaning for him. Hisvision had showed him there were several possible outcomes. His throatbecame dry at the thought. It is possible he would lose! Earth stood atopan abyss, and all around plunged eternal darkness.
    Why had God chosen to hide this event from him?
    Zerr had thoughts of canceling his master plan,and creating a new one.
    No, the ability to see the future does not grantme the right to change it. The plan will proceed.
    Zerr swallowed another capsule of the presciencegiving drug, and sat down at his work station. At the same time, shipyardsare constructing enormous ships to transport Zerr's massive army.
    It will take too much energy to transport suchlarge ships. Too powerful of generators. Such generators I do not have.
    Zerr would need something different. A new meansof transportation.
    Creating a new strand of DNA, Zerr chose to makeit quadruple stranded. His being would have to be as complex as possible.
    Zerr began coding. It had long been theorized thatif an organism used 100% of its brain capacity, it could do extraordinarythings. Zerr decided to test this theory.
    Using the appropriate base pairs, Zerr coded forthe organism to have control over its entire brain. But to ensure the creatureswould never turn on him, Zerr gave the creature no limbs, and a short lifespan.They would only be needed for several moments.
    Satisifed, Zerr began the replication process. Itwouldn't take long. He only needed several copies once the replicationwas finished. In the meantime, Zerr would confer with his new War Master.


    Arriving once again at the military station, Zerrmarched onto the training fields to find his soon-to-be War Master.
    Again, the characteristic cry to stand at attentionrang out through the camp.
    'Chuada! Ih sha nhoba!'
    The entire legion stationed at the base immediatelysprinted to their commanding Tursin, and future War Master. Liningup on either side of Zerr, the Elites stood rigid, unmoving in the traditionalsalute. The left arm at their sides, and the right hand balled into a fistand placed over their chest.
    Zerr realized he hadn't ever found out the commander'sname. As the Tursin approached, Zerr glanced at the name tag. Niuva.
    'Welcome m'Lord. It's a pleasure to see you again.'Tursin Niuva saluted, and Zerr nodded.
    'Come, we have matters to discuss. Where are yourquarters?'
    The commander led the way back to the barracks,and motioned Zerr inside.
    'Tursin, it is with great pleasure that I promoteyou to the status of Grand War Master of all my armies.'
    Niuva's three-pronged mouth drooped open, rows ofsharp teeth reflected the bright lights of the room.
    The War Master tried to speak but couldn't. MasterZerr chuckled.
    'War Master Niuva, assign your best man as Tursinhere, then report to my head quarters as soon as possible. We have muchwork to do.'
    The War Master could only manage a salute beforeZerr rose and left the barracks.


    Zerr inspected his creations the next morning. Theysat, floated rather, in anti-gravity tanks, as their body was not strongenough to support their weight. He had one hundred of them. Ten would beassigned to each of his massive cruisers.
    Each creature had been plugged into a computer program,trying to allow them to grasp the abilities of their improved brains. Zerronly hoped it would work. The concept which Zerr had theorized, allowedby their increased brain size, was a long shot at best.
    His War Master should be arriving. Walking to thefront door, Zerr spotted a fleet of Ghosts zipping through the city streets.They came to a halt in front of Zerr, and Niuva, clad in gold armor, disengagedhis Ghost and walked next to his Master. The other Ghosts spun, and spedoff in the direction they had come from.
    Following Zerr inside, the Warlord spoke.
    'Niuva, I want you to find out the status of mynew ships.'
    'It is already done m'Lord. They are finished.'
    'Excellent. Begin ferrying troops up to the ships.All of my armies.'
    'Yes Lord.'
    The War Master turned and headed off in the directionof the control room, to which Zerr had pointed.
    'And War Master..' Niuva spun. 'See to it that theseget ferried up to the ships as well. Ten for each ship.'
    Zerr motioned toward the large holding room whichcontained the many new creations Zerr had built.
    Niuva nodded.
    'Join me on the flagship when you are finished.'
    Zerr turned and marched down several corridors untilhe reached a shuttle bay. Climbing aboard his personal shuttle, Zerr roaredoff into the sky, and into orbit. Minutes later, he had docked with hisflagship, Hro-Et-Hada. The Hand of God.
    Staring out the viewports, Zerr watched as thousandsof large dropships ferried his massive army up to the carriers, as hisimmense fleet of destroyers and cruisers kept a silent watch for trouble.
    His latest creations would soon be on board, readyto deliver his army back to their rightful galaxy, if all went as planned.
    Several minutes later, Niuva appeared at Zerr'sside.
    'Everything is in place m'Lord. Your pilots areready. They have been informed of their task.'
    'Good. But there is one last thing we must do beforewe leave this place. Destroy the planet.'
    'M'Lord, there are still innocent people below!'
    'Do you question a direct order, War Master?'
    'Of course not, m'Lord.'
    Niuva walked to a control panel, and opened a linkto the dozens of Covenant cruisers and destroyers guarding the carriers.
    'All vessels, prepare to open fire at the planet.'
    The response was immediate. Hundreds of tendrilsof plasma roiled through space, and burned through the planet's atmosphere.Minutes later, Niuva reported.
    'No life signs detected Lord, the planet is clean.'
    'Perfect. Now no one knows of us. Instruct the pilotsto begin.'
    Niuva nodded, and again barked into a comlink.
    Several seconds passed before anything happened.Then, the collective power of the creatures began to work. In what seemedlike hours, but what was in reality only a fraction of a second, the creaturesperformed their task. The universe folded in on itself, bringing locationand desired destination into one small sphere. The pilots literally pickedup the fleet and moved it to the desired location. Upon completion, theuniverse unwound itself, and Zerr's fleet was in another part of the universe,their previous galaxy.
    All of the pilots simultaneously collapsed and died,their task completed. The immense bulk of the fleet had placed to greata strain on their powerful brains. They could not handle the pressure.
    But Zerr couldn't keep from smiling. They had doneit. They had returned. And vengeance was near.