Reign of Ashes: The Drone Bringer War [Chapter 1]

Posted: May 23, 2014 in Creative Writing, Fiction, Random Stuff, Uncategorized

Zarathan Beshon watched from the stations command deck as the lumbering chunk of planetary debris began to crumble, the five mining vessels tearing away at it, an elaborately choreographed dance that required weeks of preparation and planning for the highest possible output during this ballet of devastation. The Harvaren Mining Consortium had bought the rights to the dying system, the star having already gone into its Red Giant phase and consumed several potentially profitable planetoids, but the sacrifice of those few meant massive secured profits from the remaining five along with the stellar matter and plasma harvested from the dying star.

He’d make millions from this in commission alone from the unexpectedly higher yields the miners would bring in, because if there was one thing Zarathan Beshon understood better than anything, it was how to squeeze the most of out seemingly worthless rock. He’d probably even get an official acknowledgment from the Guilds, which would make his Personal Stocks skyrocket and insure his continued employment for the foreseeable future. This claim had officially pushed Zarathan Beshon into the top half percentile of all Harvaren.

A stubby, fat finger pressed on the comm as Zarathan Beshon watched the dancers in the void.

“Overseer to Breaker Fleet. Kyoga, increase forward mineral extractors by six percent. T’Kai, watch your armatures in the debris field. Zevrasta, hold Y axis rotation and move north on Z by twenty-three degrees, fifteen percent thrusters. We’re breaking down planets here, not waging war, no need to go full throttle.”

Zararthan Beshon had long since become accustomed to the comm echo as his orders were translated in multiple languages as he spoke, and the ponderously complex Harvaren language meant that most other species were always waiting for the translator to catch up to the speaker. At least he didn’t have any Ves ships in this team, the fact that the Ves spoke literally at light speed meant they were always waiting on you, and that notion made most Harvaren uneasy.

Never trust someone who speaks faster than you. His father had taught him that.

“Analysis of the current planetary fragment,” Zarathan Beshon asked down towards the Analyst’s Pit where fifty Harvaren, Kartoshi and Vele were watching every single bit of data coming from the various mining vessels and surrounding observer ships.

“This one reports all Organic contamination still reads nill,” said a young, pale skinned waif of a Kartoshi.

“Mineral extraction reads thirty six percent iron ferrite, high levels of assorted natural gases and the Kyoga is picking up a feathering of gold in quadrant eight. Recommend we crack Segmentum Helion and Kioshi after this to see if we can net the bulk of it before planetoid becomes to unstable,” piped up another, a wide shouldered Vele. One head was speaking to him while another watched the screens and the third head was crunching numbers and plotting mineral deposits.

Another Kartoshi gently tapped on the glass enclosure he stood in, the barrier that separated his ammonia based atmosphere from the methane required for the Kartoshi and Vele and allowed him to work without an encounter suit, unlike the unfortunate Harvaren in the pit. The Kartoshi was clad in blue and green silks, compared to the bland uniforms of the analysts, and Zarathan Beshon’s personal aid.

“Guild Office Chancellor on narrow beam transmission for Zarathan Beshon. Shall this one ask him to call again at a later time,” Hiyeni asked, her melodic tones hardly done justice through the speakers into the chamber.

“No, I’ll take it now.”

Her Harvaren was nearly perfect, although she’d never been able to shake the melodic quality of her birth race. Zarathan Beshon had to admit that the Kartoshi were more than pleasant to look at, and the diligence with which they did they tasks, no matter how mundane, was admirable. He was even considering paying for her next Youth extension, which of course would carry the benefit of keeping her a pleasant to behold female, rather than a curiously pleasant male if she aged and shifted to the male part of her life cycle. He pondered it more as he trundled over towards his Overseers Throne and engaged privacy mode, shading the glass of his environment cube and leaving the operation in Hiyeni’s capable hands. The vid screen flickering to life as he thumped onto the throne.

The Chancellor was fat, even for a Harvaren, unpleasantly so. It was a constant reminder that his station in the Guilds meant he never had to move and had enough underlings to do what needed to be done. Success meant never having to leave the comfort of your chambers, and Chancellor Jothun Getenki hadn’t needed to leave his in over a fifty rotations.

“Do I have the privilege of addressing Overseer Zarathan Beshon,” The Chancellor blubbered, all formality and pomp accorded.

“I have the honor of being named and titled such, most revered Chancellor,” Zarathan Beshon responded with equal propriety.

“Overseer, allow me to congratulate you on your most fortunate contract acquisition and assure you that the Guild Body has the utmost faith and confidence in your ability to bring -” The Chancellor blubbered on and on and on and all Zarathan Beshon could do was listen diligently and feign flattery as was expected. He kept his head nodding so as to avoid the Chancellor noticing that he was staring at the undulating jowls of fat that jiggled and bounced obscenely as the Chancellor droned on and on.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat that last part Chancellor, the planet break is causing some interference in the signal,” Zarathan Beshon said after the twenty minutes of flattery had caused him to open a monitor to continue observing the operation outside, but something the Chancellor had said pulled him back.

“I said, we require you’re assistance on a consultation brought forth by the Union on behalf of the Ves.”

The Union bringing a consultation to us on behalf of the Ves? I knew he was buttering me up for something…’ Zarathan Beshon thought.

“It would be my honor to lend me expertise, Chancellor. You may notify the Union, at your convenience, that I will be available in five rotations after the operations here have stabilized.”

The fat jowls and winkles obscured any discernible reaction from Zarathan Beshon, another perk of his station. No one could tell what he was thinking,

“I’m afraid, Overseer, that simply will not do. I am forwarding some images to you now, tell me what you can make of them.”

As the files began to steam onto his console, Zarathan Beshon let his annoyance show plainly. He had earned that right.

Images of a blasted landscape and charred and roiled ground began to appear, along with mineral and geological reports, making the Overseer frown.

“Chancellor, it would be quite obvious to someone even less skilled than myself that this world has been strip mined. Have I given such offense to the Guild that my time must be wasted on such trivial circumstances?”

That made the fatty wrinkles in the Chancellors brow deepen.

“That world is the third lunar body of Tyoga 7.”

Zarathan Beshon blinked, not sure he had heard that correctly. He chuckled.

“Tyoga 7.3 is a well known Ves research station. They engineered the cure for the Ulaty Plague there. It’s a jungle world with Nitrogen atmosphere. This…rock has no organic life to speak of, an atmosphere comprise primarily of carbon monoxide and its overall topography only matched with the moon in question by five percent. And that moon is inhabited by over-”

“Five million Ves,” The Chancellor said, ending his sentence for him.

More images began appearing on the Overseers screens. Destroyed settlements, blood stained sand, ruined structures, utter devestation.

“Chancellor, are you saying someone strip mined a Union world while it was still inhabited,” Zarathan Beshon said, almost in disbelief.

“No, Overseer. I’m saying something has strip mined eleven Union worlds.”

Zarathan Beshon couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“But, an operation the size of Tyoga 7.3 would’ve taken at least five rotations to even strip the surface. These reports show evidence that everything, down to 40 kilometers has been stripped, and I see strong evidence that even the atmosphere was harvested. An operation this big would’ve taken close to fifty rotations, and the planetoid would be crumbling apart. Why are we just hearing about this now?”

“Because, the operation you speak of was done in less than half a rotation, as well as the stripping and destruction of the other ten worlds.”

Zarathan Beshon leaned back in his throne, trying to come to terms with what he was hearing.

“There is no Harvaren technology that can do what you speak of. No Ves or Vele or Kartoshi or Sylandic nor a dozen other species combining their mining fleets could do this.”

“And that, Overseer Zarathan Beshon, is why we are sending you to Tyoga 7.3.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s