Friday, February 12, 2010

Dawn of the Dragonsworn-Part 2

Homsar answered the automated signal informing him that he approached his destination. He strapped himself into his pilot's chair, took hold of the controls and disengaged the automatic driver. A moment later, he switched drives and his ship went inert with that sudden whump that comes with emerging back into normal space. A moment later and Homsar matched his velocity to that of the planet he now had on scope- all part of the normal planetary approach procedure. It occurred to him that, just twenty years ago, this was what the deserting pilot, a man named Michael saw just before he engaged the enemy.

Homsar calmly, carefully put his ship into a high orbit over the planet and move to a scan of the planet. Immediately, signs of habitation--significant settlement--showed and Homsar furrowed his brow; this was just the sort of development that he figured would happen. In his mind, the plan immediately changed; instead of landing near the site of the lost hospital, he would now seek out the largest settlement and contact the leadership to seek intelligence and assistance. He knew that if his uniform did not prove sufficient to garner the locals' trust, then just one display of his true badge of authority would make it happen- or reveal them as hostile to the Republic.

The scan returned more results. Power generation, localized but potent enough, in a mountainside location showed that this was the very central location that Homsar had in mind. It seemed to be a settlement built into a dormant volcano, with lush farm fields nearby and other prime qualities for a thriving colonial settlement. Homsar noted the rivers feeding the fields, and the other nigh-idyllic climate features, as well the lack of housing- it seemed that workers commuted to those fields when they went to do farm work, and otherwise let them lie fallow for their tamed beasts. Yet no sign of the locals yet appeared.

Homsar felt a hunch, a guarded feeling to make that approach- but be wary. Putting the automatic driver back on, and setting it to hold position, Homsar again went to the hold. Donning his armor, he then took his boat--a craft barely larger than his armored form--and flew that towards the surface to land in a cleared and open area not far by flight from the dormant volcano. As expected, the atmosphere was Earth normal; if this was a Republic colony, then whomever settled here was compatible with the usual array of peoples in the Galactic Republic. He stepped out of the boat, opened the faceplate of his armor and opened up his communicator.

"Greetings. I am Homsar Delgana, Agent At Large of the Galactic Republic. Please respond."

Homsar now felt the mental presence of hundreds of sentient lifeforms, minds that had a distinctly reptilian quality to them, and he sensed their apprehension. He could not see them, but he felt their approach; it was as if their mountainside home shielded their minds from his perception until now- and that, Homsar concluded, was probably the case.

He feared them not. Even if they became hostile, neither as individuals nor as a mob did they pose a threat to him- not when wearing his battle armor, at least. He had the advantage of distance, avoiding ambush-friendly landing sites being as second-nature to him, so when they came into view he had all of the time needed to assess them- and he did. Homsar saw a small horde of humanoid lizard-men, and as not one looked or thought themselves female he concluded that those individuals had to comprise the minds of those still unseen- and, if his expectations held, those in contact with their masters or prepared to fire upon him.

He let the men approach him, surrounded him and demonstrate about him for some few minutes. Then, knowing that speech was useless, he focused himself and resorted to telepathic means.

"Enough!" he said, "I am here to collect the remains of people long dead, my people, and I have no desire to do harm to you. I require contact with your leader, what or whomever that being is, and I would appreciate it if you would just get on with it."

Homsar saw that the lizardmen painted themselves with some sort of bodypaint in a mixture of gold and black colors all over their flesh, flesh curiously covered across the loins as if they were human men, and barely naught else but a harness about their chests.

Seeing in their undisciplined minds where they came from, Homsar sighed and did not wait for them to show him the way. With a power-assisted leap Homsar took to the air; in mid-jump he kicked in the other feature of his armor- man-sized gravtics. Effortlessly he flew through the air back towards the mountainside. The lizardmen followed, albeit left far behind, but that didn't matter to Homsar. Moments later, he arrived at the entrance of their mountainside home- and he pounded his armored fist on the door.

"Open up!" he said, telepathically, sensing minds on the other side now, "I demand parley with your leader, and I have no patience for these damned status games."

The doors opened. Giant-sized, armed and armored lizardmen stood ready to do violence- and before them stood a a human-like female, clad as scantily as most of the natives, with eerie green eyes.

"Behold! The Lady of Holy Fire!" one of the bodyguards said, aloud.

Homsar was not impressed.

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