Newcomers Pt 19
“What do you mean they have stopped?” Deeter asked after hearing the latest update from their commander Hopoln.
“It seems the Human advance on all fronts has ground to a halt, we are not sure why” Hopoln said rather annoyed that he had to be the one to tell them as it was demanded of him but it took his attention away from other matters.
“Then now is the time to attack and drive them from our world once and for all!” Seewol shouted getting to his feet.
“Forgive me High Chiefs but attack with what?”
The chiefs looked down at him confused as if he had asked what colour the sky was.
“With our armies what else?”
“Our most experienced warriors were lost when Geeda fell, I have had to evacuate all the surrounding towns and those in the path of their advance and call for the militia. Potellan, our capital is the most heavily defended city on the planet and WHEN the Humans come here I will have a better chance of defeating them. Out in the open? No, they are too manoeuvrable especially now with the Gal at their side. But behind our walls that dwarf those of Geeda? Yes, I believe I can halt them here, like water against a rock they will crash against our walls and break”
“Is this the voice of cowardice I hear? Rather to fight behind a wall where you are safer than fight in the field” Peepel said grinning and the guard moved a step closer to Hopoln.
“You are confusing cowardice with caution and strategy, but as is your right and if you truly believe me a coward. Kill me and take command yourself and lead the army from our walls and face the Humans in open battle, I am sure the warriors would take heart from seeing their High Chiefs set and example of such courage”
The other two Chiefs looked at Peepel who looked around and remained silent for a time before finally finding his voice. “You are the commander of the army, and we trust your decision and counsel”
“Thank you High Chiefs for the honour you bestow upon me” Hopoln said bowing.
“What of the news of a disease running through the Human camps?” asked Deeter.
“Rumour, speculation and hear say, we have no evidence of this and what news we have is contradictory. It is not a reliable source of information to act upon”
“Very well” he replied not to convinced though.
“What is the status of Karamora’s activation?” Seewol asked.
“Slow, it has slumbered for so long and it’s awakening is proving difficult, but it is awakening but we should not put our hopes on such a god. I still believe I can defeat the Humans without it”
“You fear Karamora will accomplish what you can not?”
“I fear what Karamora is, as any rational Benamarian should”
“Enough!” Deeter shouted “The god of war has not yet awakened, Hopoln still has time to appease it, now go and continue your work”
Potellan was a grand city and the largest on Bento Prime, the jewel of the Benemar it’s buildings were artistically constructed even if many had fallen into disrepair, the streets were intricately woven together so that no road ever ended but connected to another. This meant if one was not familiar with the city it was easy to get lost. The High Chiefs palace was a massive pyramid that towered over the other buildings, it also doubled as the Alliance’s embassy and offices on the planet. They had fled the moment the Humans arrived giving promises of reinforcements but he held no hope that they would ever arrive. Hopoln knew that it was likely that other Human fleets were entering Alliance space, they had not taken kindly to the betrayal the Alliance and the Elong had done to them. Hopoln had voiced his objection to invading the Humans home world, especially since they only had the knowledge of it’s location for a week before the invasion fleet left. For his unpatriotic speech he was demoted but subsequently reinstated when the invasion went sour. He had no love for the Humans but he did respect them, in war they knew what they were doing and how to use an enemies advantage against them. He had studied the fall of Geeda for countless hours, the satellite images and recordings smuggled out and the com recordings of the conversations. The Humans had expertly brought a great city down in a few hours but it must have been in the works long before they made planet fall. In some ways they were doing the same to Potellan. The city was flooded with those fleeing the war and seeking safe haven which will stretch the city’s resources. He watched them from the High Chiefs pyramid, a long column stretching to the horizon, farmers, scavengers, merchants, breeders, elderly and many more from all walks of life but none of what he wanted. Warriors. He had put any who could carry a rifle into service and was still in the middle of training them.
It was slow as they had never fired a rifle before and Benemar rifles are bulky and have a huge kick to them when fired, some were knocked over when shooting their rifle for the first time. But, they were still there to defend their homes and one man defending his home is stronger than ten invaders. Besides, he had the walls too, these were not like the walls of Geeda, these were three times higher and twice as thick. They had cannons mounted on them that were usually mounted on starships and with this arsenal and a desperate army he was confident he could break the Humans here. But the worst part of it all, he had to wait for the enemy to come to him. They had the initiative and could depict the flow and pace of this war, that was an advantage he needed to take away.
Oolana sat on a bench staring into space, she had not eaten in nearly two days as what little she could carry when fleeing home had either been stolen by others or she had had to eat herself. She thought of her son Creten and her husband Malthos. She had already lost three children and Malthos was determined to make sure she lost her last one, she never scorned him the way his father did in fact she had found delight in the fact he was so different from his siblings. Preferring to disappear and look for new plants or creatures while his bothers and sister practised their shooting and bladework. But now, like them he was gone and so was her husband, he may have been hard but he was loving in his own way she wept at the thought of how he might have died. These Humans, these monsters that were ravaging their world had come and taken everything from her and she hated them, loathed them, cursed them. Then someone got her attention, a merchant mentioned the town of Mela, her town.
“Excuse me” she said grabbing his arm “What did you say about the town of Mela?”
“Oh that place, it’s gone, burned to the ground I saw on my way here from Geeda, where the survivors were taken”
“Yeah, I hear most of that town are in Geeda now, there is a little one there causing a bit of mess by talking about peace and understanding with the Humans”
Her eyes lit up “Was he small with short hair and no tusks and with a scar across his left brow?”
The Merchant looked at her confused “I didn’t get a good look at him but he was small and had no tusks”
“Creten!” she screamed “Take me to Geeda, NOW!”
The Merchant was taken back by her sudden request and held his hands up “I am not going back for another three days while I restock and return to trade, and besides, can you pay me to take you there?”
Oolana froze and released him, she ahd nothing, no money and nothing to trade…except. She pulled him close and whispered in his ear and the merchants eyes lit up with desire.
“I accept your payment”
Jenkins was about half way through his metamorphosis as it was being called, he had refused to rest which would make it go faster but as he said he had too much to do so as a side effect he was at a point between Human and what was next. He ached and was still getting used to the extra joint growing in his leg, the tail was a bit annoying as well as he kept sitting on it and it was very sensitive so it hurt.
But all that was forgotten for when his connection to the Link intensified he heard a conversation between the Conduit and the Nerve. What he heard shocked him.
The Conduit sat opposite him in his office tent neither saying anything.
“Can you say that again please” he asked.
“The Gal…are dying”
The Conduit seemed uneasy speaking about this, or maybe it was not sure how.
“We were never meant to take the form that you see before you now, we were originally designed to be a biological weapon. Microscopic in size, the physical form was not supposed to be available to us but we evolved and overcame, but at a price. We are dying, we can no longer produce new spawn”
Jenkins sat in shock, he didn’t want to believe this “Is there a way to reverse this, can we help at all?”
“You already have” the Conduit said and even though it had no true face Jenkins sensed it smile.
“Yes, we used the last of our spawning capabilities to produce as many of them as possible to give to you, the Gal as you know will go extinct but our genetic material and legacy will live on in you. Right now your president is being told this too and soon through the Link everyone shall know”
Jenkins sat back in his chair, it had had a part of the back taken out so his tail could fit comfortably through and the chair was higher as his legs were now longer. He held his head with one hand watching the Conduit.
“You’ve been planning this since the beginning haven’t you?”
The Conduit could not hide his surprise that Jenkins figured that out.
“It did occur to us during our first contact that we may be as Humans say, cut form the same cloth, we knew of our impending end even then and were searching for way to continue. Finding you we saw ourselves for what we could have been and this plan was formulated as a possibility. When peace came to our races we began putting it into action”
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Jenkins asked.
“We were scared, we were afraid you would refuse or even kill us and wipe us out and our work to liberate those oppressed under the Alliance would go unfinished” the Conduit said feeling an emotion it could not understand, if it had eyes it would have cried.
“Oh Gal” Jenkins said getting up and embracing the Conduit “You have nothing to fear form us, we accept you and are thankful for these gifts you have given us. I admit these new bodies take some getting use to but Humans are very adaptable. You are us and we are you, knowing that how could we ever hate you?”
The Nerve heard this and this conversation was heard by every remaining Gal and even the Humans heard it, the Gal’s secret as they thought was in fact, their hope and the Humans cried and laughed and embraced the Gal thanking them and saying how happy they were to have met them. Such a scene would have been thought impossible years ago when these two races met on the battle field intent on killing each other. Now they were family and they were sad for one was dying, but they would live on, inside Humanity. Or as they were now calling themselves, The Celestrians.