• Published 29th Jul 2012
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Life Giver - Nightwatcher

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Chapter 3 : Audience with the Queen

/ 2/11/8252 CE

/ Corporal John Maxwell

/ Playback begin

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I bolted up from my prone position with a scream, "AH!" I closed my eyes as soon as I opened them. It felt like my body was ripping itself to shreds from the inside out, like someone had poured lava into my veins. I rolled over and off of...something, what it was I could not tell through my pain filled daze, and retracted my helmet and voided my stomach onto the floor. I slowly opened my eyes and looked around as my helmet reconstructed itself around my head once again.

I was in a dark room, and was still underground if the obsidian like walls were any indication. I looked at my HUDs clock and saw that only thirty minutes had passed. I forced the pain into the back of my mind as I stood up, I looked at what I had fallen off of and found it to be what looked like a crude bed. I held my head as a headache came crashing into my head, it felt...wrong. I turned to face the 'door' of the room which was little more than a curtain, I could hear something coming.

I looked around and found that my AR-548 had been placed in the corner, and my MOR-94 was still on my waist. I quickly realised that I was not being held as a prisoner, the little one had seen me use the AR-548 so they at least knew that was dangerous. Yet there it was, and even if I was being held I doubt they would use a curtain to keep me in this room.

At that another thought entered my mind, 'How did they get me in here?'. In full combat gear I weigh just under a ton and a half, and those....bugs don't look that strong.

I shoved my thoughts to the back of my mind as the curtain was drawn back, to reveal the same insectoid as before. The little one that I had saved riding on its back.

The little one caught sight of me, its eyes glowed with the same fluorescent green as before and a wave of nausea hit me like a wall.

Along with a feeling of.....relief? It felt wrong though, like an echo of the feeling. The bigger ones horn glowed again and I tensed up and reached for my MOR, but something happen that I did not expect.

The small insectoid was surrounded in a green...energy and lifted up and placed back on the larger ones back. I stared at the larger one for what seemed like hours, trying to figure out what had just happened. I was brought out of my thoughts when the bigger one began to approach me, each step it took I took a half step back, it was making clicking and whistling noises all the way, obviously trying to tell me something. Deciding that the insectoid was of no threat I stopped backing up and left it approach. Then its horn glowed again as another necklace floated into view, this one being the same as the ones they were wearing. It pointed at the necklace then to me.

I looked at the large insectoid for a moment and then to the necklace it was....holding, it was a near perfect copy of the one the larger one was wearing. Same stone, same shape, same metal. The thought of accepting the necklace unsettled me, as I had no idea that they were used for or what they meant. I shook my head in refusal. The large insectoid recoiled as if I had struck it. It let loose a hiss and waved the trinket at me.

I let out a grumble as I snached the necklace from the insectoid. I looked at it in my hand for a moment before slipping it around my neck.

The large insectoid looked almost happy as it waved me out of the room, with nothing else to do I followed it out. Hoping I had not just agreed to some awkward alien social contract.

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One Hour Later

We had been walking through a maze of tunnels and chambers for nearly an hour. Every so often we would walk by a group of the insectoids, some of which looked almost like a copy of the larger one but with subtle differences. Some of which were wearing necklaces, the ones that did were always in groups according to their necklaces.

'the necklaces definitely signify something, what they signify though is what I want to know.' I thought to myself.

Another odd thing is that none of them have batted an eye at the eight foot tall alien walking around their...hive.

My AI told me that we were coming up on a huge chamber, at least a hundred feet tall.

What could be called a door was flanked by two massive insectoids, they had a weak resemblance to the others but where their wings were supposed to be was replaced with massive claw like appendages. The two of them caught sight of me and hissed loudly, and in response I raised my AR-548 to my shoulder. The insectoid that was leading me did not do anything when they had hissed but the moment my rifle was pointed at them it gained a panicked expression and jumped in between us. When it did this the massive one razed a claw but before it could do anything I fired my rifle once making a huge hole right next to its head. The one that was trying to stop the fighting just stared at my rifle, then its eyes flashed green, as did the massive insectoids. It stayed like that for a moment before the glow in their eyes dimmed and the large creature stepped aside and did something....odd.

Using one of its claw like appendages it gave itself a small cut on the neck, just enough to draw blood. It then let the blood pool on its claw before offering it to my escort, to which it lapped up. All the while the smaller one danced around my leg.

With that strange ritual done the two massive beasts stepped aside. Then the massive doors opened, and we stepped inside.

I was treated to the sight of something I could only describe as a throne room.

The room was as wide and long as it was high, the roof held up by massive twisting onyx pillars. Hanging from the roof were huge gemstones, each the same color of the necklace hanging around my neck. My motion, and more prudently the shaking floor, tracker told me something massive was making its way slowly towards us. I look over to my escort and saw that it had not moved, in fact it had taken what looked like a bow.

'Why is it do-' The rest of my thought was cut off as the lumbering beast final showed itself, I took a step back in surprise.

"What the fuck!" I said under my breath as I took another step back.

This new creature was truly massive, it had to be just over forty feet tall. It payed my escort no mind as it lumbered over to me. It finally stopped a short distance away and used its long neck to get a better look at me. I Stayed perfectly still as it looked my up and down. It gave me an sniff and a odd look. Its massive head shifted to my escort and the small insectoid, I could feel the air shift and rumble as it talked to my escort, its own responses seaming weak and meager in comparison. Its horn glowed and it touched it to my escorts head. I felt something brush up against my leg, I looked down to see the little one practically clinging to my leg. I knelt down and put a hand on the little ones head, lightly petting its green 'hair'.

I failed to see that the massive insectoid was staring at me intently now, at least until it let loose a low hiss. My head snapped up to meets it gaze it looked at the little one still next to my leg then to me and it..... smiled. Its eyes flashed green and I cringed in pain as a feeling of gratitude entered my mind. I finally made the connection of what was happening.

Those were not my emotions.

They were theirs.

I shook my head to clear the haze of emotions from it.

"You're welcome" I said in a vain attempt at communication.

It gave no indication of understanding, what it did do though I wish it didn't.

Its horn glowed once more and it touched my head.

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Memories came unbridled into my mind, coming and going in flashes. Thousands of images were flashing by in seconds.

It almost felt like something was.... surrounding me, something old, something powerful.

I could feel it stretch on for what felt like miles. I saw a image flash by, I could see myself at the UEG training facility in the Epsilon Eridani system. Then the image changed to the battle of Curia VI, my first deployment. I watched my self killing HLF forces, with my rifle, my sidearm, even my bare hands. I watched myself pick up cars and toss them around like toys.

All the while a sense of pure awe was bombarding my mind.

Along with a mounting sense of fear.

The memories changed again and I was now looking at the bridge of the UEG dreadnought 'Hades Gate' watching a blue-green planet slowly turn on the main view screen. This was the Destruction of GW - 245, a HLF staging base.

The Captain of the 'Hades Gate' finally spoke a single word.

"Fire"

With that I watched as a small line shoot out towards the green-blue ball, after a moment of nothing there was a bright flash. I watched as a wave of fire ringed its way around the doomed world. I watched was the oceans were boiled away. Finally the world itself cracked under the stress and broke apart.

At that moment I felt the sense of awe was completely replaced with an indescribable primal fear.

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I gasped as a flash of white brought me back into the real world, I wobbled on my feet for a moment before falling to a knee. I looked up to see the massive insectoid franticly backing away, my escort looking between myself and the gigantic insectoid. I looked towards the massive creature in front of me, its wide eyes locked on me.

'What the hell did that thing do to me?!' I thought as I gripped my rifle tighter.

After a sort stare off between the two of us the huge creature looked towards my escort as spoke with it for a moment. I watched as its face ran through many alien expressions before its head snapped to me.

After a short time it did an odd bow to the larger insectoid, the turned around and walked out beckoning me to follow.

I gave the large creature one last look, then walked out.

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Two Hours Later

We had been walking at a brisk pace for the last two hours and had come to the conclusion that we were heading to the exit of the cave. My suspicions were confirmed as a voice crackled over my COM.

"-negative sir I thin- we lost him" I recognised the voice of the ships AI, "WAIT- I ha- I'm reading som-"

"Gaia, this is BLUE 1-1, can you read me? Over." I said back.

"Ye- but the sig- is weak, can you boost the - somehow?"

I could see the mouth of the tunnel so I sprinted to the opening and deployed a marker.

"This is BLUE 1-1, I have deployed a marker."

"Good, I'm piggybacking on the signal, Wait one..... the Chairman would like to speak with you 1-1."

"Copy"

"Corporal, can you hear me?"

"He doesn't sound happy' I thought to myself, "Yes sir, loud and clear."

"Good then do you mind telling me to why you failed to report in!?"

I looked at my escort and the little one on its back, "Sir, I've made contact."

The line was silent to a full ten minutes before he spoke again, " I see.... I'm sending a dropship to your position, are they near you?"

"Two of them sir, their docile enough."

"Good, We'll be following the protocols to the letter from now on, you'll report back to my ship for debrief. We can talk on the way back to the ship."

"Copy that." I said and I closed the COM.

I found a place to sit near my rock and took a seat, the little one jumping onto my lap immediately after. My escort also took a seat near by, keeping an eye on me.

After about half an hour I heard the telltale sound of a sonic boom as a drop ship came into view.

The little one jumped off my lap as I stood up and walked towards the drop ship. Its ramp opening up to show the Chairman and his two Praetorian Guards.

As the Chairman walked out I gave a crisp salute, out of the corner of my eye I could see my escort backing up wide-eyed.

"Chairman, Sir"

"Stand down Corporal. Come on, we have to get back to the ship."

I began walking to the ship and the chairman let out a chuckle and pointed to my leg.

"It seems you've made a friend John."

I looked to see the little insectoid following me to the ship, I pointed to it then to the other insectoid. In response it just jumped closer. I looked to my escort and it also shook its head, then pointed to the little one then to me.

I looked to the Chairman and shrugged. He simply chucked again.

"It would seem it wants the small one to go with you, and I would rather not offend them. I don't think one guest will be much of a problem." The Chairman said walking to the ship.

I took a seat and the little one jumped into the seat next to me and looked around in wonder.

The Chairman looked at the small creature for a moment before voicing a question to me.

"Does it have a name?"

"Not one I know of sir." I answered.

"Well it needs something we can call it."

I looked at the small creature for a moment before my gaze fell on the necklace it was still wearing.

Its eyes glowed green, and small bit of happiness filed my mind.

"Chrysalis"

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