Friday, January 10, 2014

Homsar Delgana and the Dogs of Sirius-02

Homsar found the mind of the one that sought parley with him, and he made short work of the prisoner's feeble mental screens. Now able to rummage through the prisoner's mind as he willed, Homsar had no problem speaking with the prisoner while mentally searching his mind. For the sake of formality, Sprage stood next to him, but for all intents and purposes this was now Homsar's business and both men knew it.

"I am Captain Gamilas." the prisoner said, saluting, "You are the Republic Agent, I presume?"

"Homsar Delgana." he said, "Agent-At-Large. The man behind me is the commanding officer of this Patrol squadron, Commander Sprage."

"I would have preferred better circumstances." Gamilas said, "But this will have to do."

"Your attack wasn't meant to succeed." Homsar said, "You deliberately sandbagged your own efforts, minimizing casualties while maintaining a plausible threat to extend your time on the target. We've analyzed your ships. Even accounting for differences in technologies and crew competency, you should have done better than you did."

Captain Gamilas sighed. "True." he said, "The real objective was to maintain a plausible scenario for defeat and capture; my subordinates that escaped will report back your intervention occurred sooner than actually happened, taking us entirely by surprise as we expected different Patrol responses than what happened."

"You're defecting." Sprage said.

"Correct." Gamilas said.

Homsar telepathically connected to Sprage. "He's not lying, so far. That's not the whole story, but it is the truth."

"The Dragonsworn have your kind in thrall." Homsar said.

"Correct again." Gamilas said, "The Master, as they call their leader, fell upon us a score of your years ago. Using technologies we knew nothing about, The Master seized control of our homeworld and assimiliated us into its own networks within a year. Every leader we had either died fighting them or got turned into its thrall, as did much of our population. Since then, we've been exploited as workers and soldiers. Some of the more craven amongst us did join the ranks of the Dragonsworn, turning traitor in return for power and wealth beyond avarice."

Homsar delved into Gamilas's memories, seeing that his blue-skinned fell suddenly under invasion as Earth did when the Algolians attacked Homsar's homeworld. The timeline matches up to this happening concurrently with the Algolian War, with the same initial defeat, but the changes coming with this Algolian invasion led by a far more ruthless master. Defeated natives ended up in camps and forcibly experimented upon, transformed into one of a series of telepathically-enslaved, genetically-engineered monsters and deployed as terror weapons against their own people until all resistance ended with the collapse of the last significant faction. The survivors, originally from the Sirius sector, now served the Algolians as a slave race- these are the whispered "Dogs of Sirius", pirates and raiders preying upon the Patrol and its worlds throughout the Sirius Sector.

"So, you risk all seeking to make contact with the Republic, hoping that we will come to your people's aide?"

The captain nodded. "Yes, and after you aide in our liberation we would be glad to join."

Just then, Gamilas's eyes blanked. Homsar sensed the presence of a far more powerful mind seizing control of the captain's body. He nodded, and Sprage shot Gamilas thrice. As the prisoner's body slumped to the floor, unconscious, Homsar met the enemy mind; mental screens--unnoticed to all else aboard--warbled like rippling water after a splash with each mental blow thrown, a brawl of brains beyond the ordinary senses of those lacking in the mental discipline common to Agents. Homsar got knocked off-balance, as it were, with a sudden shot from an unexpected quarter of mind-space and that let the enemy mind escape and evade further attention.

"Algolian?" Sprage said, holstering his sidearm.

"Yeah, and a ruthless, vicious brute of one. White noise around the brig, and best speed for Sirius Prime." Homsar said.

"What of Gamilas?" Sprage said.

"Segregation. No one unscreened sees him, and no one but your or I talks about him. He's been spotted, and if this Algolian is as I think then every last thing of value to him back home is already dead and gone. His crew likewise forfeit their homes and families for this."

"Homsar, one thing." Sprage said after giving orders to the helm do as Homsar declared, "The genetic manipulation bit bothers me."

"Yeah, I thought so too. There's bound to be hidden triggers; there's no way this Algolian won't have failsafes in his Jannisaries. They have to stay in the brig until we can screen them during transfer. One slip up and we may see them hulk out and go on a rampage."

"Like Lichtenstein." Sprage said.

"Yeah," Homsar said as he recalled that horrific day, "like Lichtenstein."

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