The 8th chapter in the Terror-verse. Leave some feedback if you like, and I'll get better!
"We are the Third Recon Squad of the First Legion of the Golden Legion-" The boy began, but Samantha chuckled.
"Ain't that a mouthful?" I shot her a glare, and returned back to the boy, who looked slightly annoyed that he was interrupted so early into the explanation.
"-as I was saying, we are the Third Recon Squad, sent here to New Orleans to establish a base of operations for future use, as ordered by the First Commander of the Legion and our superior, Larius the Fourth. This is my team, Leki and Lyla, and all the Aerilosac soldiers outside are also members of my personal squad."
Daniel pressed on. "What kind of future use? What does the Aerilosac want from this level one civilization?"
"We do not know. This was our order, and my squad and I along with the four other commanding officers were sent out to different parts of planet Earth to establish a base of operations." He recited once again like reading from a script, but his brows furrowed as he said it once again. "This was our order. We lower ranks do not get to know why, and we are expected to follow it."
"And your duty is to simply establish a base? Nothing more?"
"We are expected to also establish a chain of command within each of the local cities we were sent to. Extend our influences, grow stronger with each day." The boy shrugged. "A boring job, if you ask me."
I frowned. "Then why are you commanding officer, if you think it's such a chore?"
"Because I am strong. Stronger than anyone else here." Samantha jeered at the comment, grinning at the boy savagely.
"I don't think so, golden boy. Wanna have a quick rematch?" She taunted, tapping her foot on the concrete floor with excitement. Lyla opened her mouth.
"I'm sorry if you think that it was a challenge to you, Samantha. Is that right?" Her soft voice was a distinguished contrast to Samantha's harsh voice. "Our commanding officer was simply stating that he was chosen because he is strong. And I have no doubts about that." She said the last bit with shine in her eyes, gazing at the boy with admiration. The boy, however, did not seem to notice this, instead holding out two hands in an attempt to placate Samantha.
"Please, let me finish." He said blandly, and Samantha sat down, visibly annoyed that the boy had not been provoked. "Thank you. As I was saying, I was chosen due to my affinity in controlling the Orbsic crystals. I am sure you have knowledge of our ability?"
We nodded. The boy smiled. "Did you know that the precision of controlling the Orbsic crystals depends on the range at which we control it at? The farther we are from the crystals, the less control we have over it. Think of it as invisible tentacles that control the crystals. The tentacles can only reach out so long."
"Interesting. Interesting indeed. We have never received any formal information on the nature of your race, just by what we observed." Rose dipped her head in thought, but looked back up with confusion on her face. "But why would you tell us that?"
The boy didn't seem to hear her. "And did you know our main army composition is made of Losac soldiers, Orbsic constructs controlled by Aerilosacs alone? That means our military is largely inanimate puppets. Should you target the Coordinate Aerilosac, the puppets would fall considerably fast." He continued on, eyes curled up in fascination.
Leki snapped his fingers in front of the boy, which seemed to wake him up from his ramblings. "I'm sorry, commanding officer, but you should stay focused. They can know about those later."
The boy looked thoughtful for another moment, but nodded after a while. "You're right. This can wait." He gave us a charming smile. "The reason I am telling you this, is because I have a proposition to make."
Those on our side said nothing, but everyone was visibly anticipatory. Daniel and Rose, being the sole survivors that saw the downfall of Raxar were of course still slightly on edge, but still looked open minded and thoughtful. Samantha, on the other hand, was still eying the trio in front of us with a murderous gaze.
"Help me become Commander of the First Legion. In return, I will help you and give you safety on Earth once I have become Commander. You can live out the rest of your lives here, on Earth, without any disturbance from the Aerilosac Legions anymore." The boy said, smiling at the thought. Leki and Lyla said nothing, trying to gauge our reactions.
Daniel had his chin propped up by his hand, and he frowned.
The boy opened his mouth to reply, but Leki stopped him once again with a hand. "Commanding officer-" The boy shook his head, and ignored the older man as he faced Daniel with truthful eyes.
"Honestly, I don't want to die. We don't want to die." The boy shrugged. "I've heard of Aerilosac soldiers being sent to other warfronts, and the mortality rate is too high for our liking. We don't want to die, so the only way to avoid that is to climb the ranks. The higher you are, the less chance that you will be sent to the frontlines."
Lyla nodded. "Yes, that's true. I don't want to die either, not for reasons that we will never get to know. If we die, we should at least die doing things that we find meaningful." She beamed cheerfully at us, and the boy smiled this time.
I looked at Leki, who has stayed silent for most of the conversation, trying to read the man. The Aerilosac that I badly interrogated grunted, and I could tell my staring was making him uncomfortable. "What, Raixien? You have a question to ask me?"
"No, just wondering whether you are on board with your commanding officer's plans for living."
Leki alternated between the boy and Lyla, then he also gave me a weak smile. "Nobody wants to die like that. Besides, if my commanding officer orders me to, I have no other option but to obey, right?"
The boy took our centre of focus once again. "Our ultimate goal is to bring all the Aerilosac under my command to the First Legion's Warship, and then work up there, where it's safe." He pointed up at the sky. "However, we've been running into some troubles with that plan of late. Mainly, we can't interfere directly in the upbringing of the current Commander."
Samantha squinted. "What do you mean by that, Aerilosac?"
The boy faced her, his friendly face replaced with a serious one. "To deal the finishing blow and become the Commander, we must first take away the current one, be it through voting or... more immoral ways. Larius will likely not easily surrender his position, and he will have the other commanding officers backing him up."
Leki picked up the explanation. "Frankly speaking, we need to take Larius out. However, we can't do it in a way that shows we had anything to do with it. That will alert the High Council to our actions and bring attention that we don't want nor need."
"So in other words, you need us to do your dirty work." Samantha concluded, shaking her head in disappointment. Daniel and Rose stayed silent, but I some questions.
"The High Council?"
The boy nodded. "They are the ruling council of the Aerilosac race. They control all twenty Legions and the majority of the population, ruling from their mothership somewhere in the universe right now. If they wanted, they can send all their Legions to Earth and raze it to the ground. As I have no use nor hatred for Earth, I will not invade this planet, so you don't have to worry about me harming human beings after I become Commander."
I was surprised at the amount of confidence he displayed during the entire exchange, speaking like he can become Commander, no matter what. "You said the majority of the population. So that means there are Aerilosacs that are not under the ruling of the High Council?"
The boy's eyes lit up. "Yes. The Rebels. They rebel against the High Council, calling them murderers and cowards that hide behind their Elysium while the people are sent out to fight and die at their command. They have a base of operations as well, but it has been thirteen years, and it is still somewhere in deep space, hiding."
"You admire them?"
"I do. I won't deny it." Lyla and Leki looked at the boy, completely unconcerned that their superior officer was speaking of treason. "I don't think the High Council is entirely right either, but I have no way of ever opposing them. Besides, I have no courage to desert and join the Rebels. The Commander I can fight, but the High Council? Not in a million years."
During all this, Daniel and Rose were conversing quietly to each other, with furrowed brows and hand gestures. Then finally, Daniel turned back to the trio.
"What exactly would you want us to do?"
Samantha exploded. "Wait, what? What about all that talk about retaking our planet and defeating the Aerilosac, Daniel? What happened to that?"
"Quiet, Samantha. This is far beyond you or Rivin's understanding. Just listen to us and trust our judgement." Rose snapped, annoyed at Samantha's constant aggression, who leaned back in her chair and rocking it hardly, scowling with her arms crossed.
The boy ignored her. "We need you four to oppose the Commander and his Legion up front. While they are distracted by you, we will take the Commander out in the shadows."
The Daniel nodded. "In order to face them up front, they will first need to know of our presence. What makes you so sure that the Commander wouldn't just bomb us all to bits the moment we walk out of this warehouse?"
"I may not know the ultimate goal of our race, but what I do know is that the Commander wants us to keep it quiet. There will be no bombings or large scale fights on the surface of this planet, especially not for only four Raixiens, no matter how powerful you all may be. Larius is arrogant that way. It will be his downfall."
Daniel mused for a moment. "Do you know what our goal is, commanding officer?"
"I do not."
"We were here investigating an Other of Rivin here, and that investigation led us to this very warehouse. Our original goal was to lay low, grow strong, and have these two return to our home planet and reclaim it as our own. What you are suggesting goes against everything that we have built up here on Earth, so what is in it for us, other than the promise of safety on Earth?"
"My team and I will support you from behind the Legion. We will deliver you information that will help you on your investigation and, if you later so desire, the reclamation of your home world."
I narrowed my eyes. "But you just said you dare not oppose the High Council."
"The High Council does not care about your home world much. Yes, there are forces there, but those can be rather easily dealt with at your strength. For our sake, we may not be able to aid you in fighting directly, but we can send you supplies that you would not be able to obtain otherwise. That goes for here, too. We will support your group while you combat the Fourth Legion."
"So you want us to do your dirty work? While you work in the shadows like cowards?" Samantha sneered, and I scowled angrily at her outbursts. She has always been like this, but especially when she feels threatened. The Corors and I have mostly accepted this as her character, but in moments like this, her attitude is really unhelpful.
Samantha was struggling and grunting as Rose dragged her by the ear out of the room, giving the rather peaceful Aerilosac a sorry smile, before slamming the metal door shut. The boy sighed.
"Damn, that girl is something."
I smirked. "Yeah, Samantha can be like that sometimes."
"Must be hell to deal with her all day, eh?" Leki leaned forward and watched the boy with a raised eyebrow, and the boy sighed once again. "Let's return to business. Do you accept our proposition, mister...?" The boy extended a hand towards Daniel.
"Daniel. Just Daniel." He took his hand and shook it in a firm grip. I frowned, wondering how Daniel can so easily accept their help and proposition, even if it might be the logical decision. After all, it seemed rather impossible that we could even defeat the Aerilosac by ourselves. But with their help... maybe we can live peacefully.
But what of Daniel's dream? To return to Raxar?
The boy stood up from his chair, and Lyla and Leki rose moments later, heading towards the door. The boy reached into his jacket pocket and threw a small yellow notebook at me, which I caught with both hands. I fumbled the catch, and caught it awkwardly between my wrists.
The boy laughed. "There are a few numbers inside that will allow you to contact us, along with some information on our infiltration of the Shadow Hounds. The location of their bases are all in their too." They headed towards the door. "We have to leave this location now, and report to the head of the Shadow Hounds about the recent murder we conducted."
Leki must have caught Daniel's stare, and he dipped his head apologetically. "It was an order from the boss. He wanted the man death, and I did it anyway. It was the only way to get ourselves in a higher position." One by one, they stepped out through the door, and Leki had one foot through the door. "If it makes it better, the two we killed weren't exactly free of guilt either."
Then the Aerilosac left.
I sat there on the bed, holding my phone in my hand with the final, unnamed phone number in the notebook that we received.
Daniel had suggested we stay at a hotel for the night, and go after the head base of the Shadow Hounds tomorrow. Daniel and I stayed in one room, while Rose and Samantha stayed next door. Daniel went out to do some more additional scouting, so I was all alone.
There were some things that I wanted to know, specifically about the Aerilosac and my Other, and they said we could contact them if we have any questions.
I started the call.