|The young heroes take up their mantle as the immortal guardians of the new world!|
Dispatcher: War Room
The starship approached Tel-Aora, where The Hand had taken over the Vayl government. The turbulence of FTL travel shook the Dispatcher. Yb cried out as he lost his balance and fell to the ground. Commander Tark reached down and took his arm, [Steady yourself, Yb. We will be alright.] He glanced over at the Empress as he pulled Yb back to his feet, [Our new friends have assured us that the situation is under control.]
Cath-En glanced over at him and smiled. “Kraken and Leviathan are still down there. They drove the Dragon back, and Hand forces are falling back as we speak.” The ship rocked violently to the side again, knocking Yb back to the ground. “Of course, a warzone is still a warzone, especially when it’s your first one.”
Yb groaned, the color draining from his face. “Don’t remind me.” His hearts were racing. Fighting the Dragon once had been bad enough, but he’d never been in a real fight before. Suddenly he felt himself being gently lifted into the air. He looked over his shoulder, but there was no one there.
[I am also nervous, Yb.] Kira stepped onto the platform with him, her hand held gently out. With a wave of her hand, the invisible force lifted him into the air. [But I know we will be alright. Kraken and Leviathan are down there as well. If we need their help, they will be there for us.]
“That’s incredible.” Yb looked down at her in awe. He kicked his feet helplessly and frowned. “Can you put me down?”
Kira laughed quietly and set him down gently. [Come on.] She said, [Shoji is counting on us to save him. I will not fail again.]
[Don’t feel guilty, Kira Takala.] Tark said behind them. [The fact that you escaped with your life is impressive enough.]
“Indeed.” Cath-En said behind him, “Getting past Jorath Kla and even Qu-Tashi himself? I’m impressed.”
Kira’s hood tightened. She didn’t care about the Empresses opinion, or any Kiliaak for that matter. [I cannot imagine the horrors Shoji has been subjected too as a result of my failure. I will not let it happen.]
Cath-En tightened her grip on the handrail. “Horrors indeed, if the Hand are treating him anything like-”
[We have arrived at the coordinates your visions provided you.] Commander Tark cut in quickly, [We are fortunate that your powers are developing so quickly.] He smiled and patted her on the shoulder proudly.
“My admirals were hesitant to base an operation off of dreams, but they never saw a savant in action. They were incredible.” Cath-En looked off into the distance, her face grim, “What the old empire did to your people was unforgivable.”
Kira felt herself blushing, and she turned away from them quickly. She hadn’t told anyone about Jorath Kla. It had been easy enough to convince them that her dreams had provided Shoji’s location, but no one besides Yb knew who Jorath Kla really was. Convincing them that not only was he not a traitor, but the Trickster himself was another matter entirely.
The Commander swiped his hand over his console, and a map of Tel-Aora appeared overhead. The Kiliaak and Hand forces were fighting across the planet, with the remnants of the Vayl military fighting in defensive positions. [Alright. You both know the plan. As soon as we drop out of warp Strider and R’Tyra will be dropped from low orbit. This will be Yb’s first combat drop, but your engineer assures me R’Tyra can handle it. Kira Takala, you will be performing a stealth insertion, so try to stay out of combat until you reach the site. Yb, your task will be to engage the Hand forces present along with The Empress and King Ghi-Darah. Qu’Ry might help, she might not. If I am being honest, I cannot figure out her motivations, but she seems to be attached to you Yb. The Dispatcher will stay nearby for retrieval. When you have rescued Shoji, we will either extract immediately or deploy Shogun and continue the battle.] Commander Tark turned to Yb and placed his hand on his shoulder. [Yb, the Kiliaak’s mission is to retake Tel-Aora’s capital. I understand if you want to stay here with your people.]
Yb hesitated before answering. “I…I don’t know. I’ll think about it after we save Shoji.” He hadn’t considered leaving his friends, but he knew his people needed him. With R’Ka still hurt, and Qu’Ry following the Dispatcher, Tel-Aora didn’t have any Guardians protecting it. Yb’s hearts ached, but he couldn’t abandon his friends, not with Qu’Tashi still out there. Kira’s voice in his head snapped him out of his thoughts.
[Yb, are you ready?]
“Yeah. Let’s go save Shoji.”
“Alright, this is your first time doing a drop like this.” Bo was still inside R’Tyra’s cockpit when Yb arrived. The old engineer was working on the chassis that Yb hooked into. “I’ve recalibrated your harness. R’Tyra can definitely handle the impact of a drop, but I was worried about how well you’d handle it. The harness will absorb the g’s from the impact, so you won’t flatten into the ground the second R’Tyra lands.”
“Thanks Bo. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Bo snorted and clapped him on the back. “Well for starters, R’Tyra would fall apart. Then you’d probably die.” He climbed out of the cockpit back onto the gangplank. “But besides that, you’ve done a great job kid. You’re making Tel-Aora proud.” He raised his horns respectfully and smiled. “You’re the last connection between the Vayl and the Sol. We were tricked into this war, Yb. The only thing we can do now is try to make up for that.”
Yb smiled back and said, “It’s all we can do. I just wish R’Ka was with us.” He stepped into his harness and clipped into the chassis.
“It’s not like he’s dead, kid. He’ll be back to normal in no time. In the meantime, you’re gonna have to take his place as Guardian.” Bo shut the door to the cockpit and stepped back from the mecha. “Now get out there and save our home kid.” The airlock flew open, and R’Tyra flew out towards the planet.
Yb screamed the entire way down. He could hear the air rushing past R’Tyra, and the sound of the battle raging around him. Below he could see the Kiliaak and Hand ships tearing each other apart, but he blew past them in the blink of an eye. Kira’s voice chimed in over his comms. [Stay calm Yb, you will be alright. Start firing your thrusters to control your descent.]
“Right!” He fired the thrusters on his legs, and immediately felt R’Tyra spin violently off course. “Ah! Kira what happened!?!”
Suddenly Strider appeared in front of R’Tyra’s visor. [Gently Yb! You are falling at terminal velocity. The slightest change in force will have a much greater effect. Stay calm, and watch me!] Strider gently floated back away. [See?]
“Easy for you to say! Strider flies! How does Shoji do this!?!” Yb grabbed the thrusters again and took a deep breath. “Okay,” He said to himself, “Stay calm. I just gotta stay calm!” Carefully, he fired his thrusters again, but this time he felt R’Tyra drift back into course. “I did it!”
[Excellent work, Yb! Now you just have to land.]
Land. Despite the force of gravity, Yb felt his stomach plummet again. He tilted his head down, and saw the ground rush towards him. “What do I do!?!”
[I don’t know,] Kira said calmly, [Strider is not built for impact landings, this is Shoji’s field of expertise. I am sure you will be fine. Bo assures us that R’Tyra can handle the impact.]
Kira winced as she watched R’Tyra make planet fall. I will never understand how Shoji does that. She set Strider down gently behind the dust cloud. [Yb, are you alright?]
The dust cleared, and R’Tyra stood unharmed on Tel-Aora’s surface. “I’m alive!” Yb cheered, “I don’t know how Shoji does it all the time, but I’m never doing that again!”
Kira smiled, [Great work, Yb, but we are not safe yet .] Strider began to vanish before his eyes. [We are in a warzone now. Come, Shoji is waiting for us.]
Jeez it's been too long since the last story update! Terribly sorry about that guys. Enjoy!