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 No Retreat, No Surrender

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Command Sergeant Major

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Join date : 2012-02-19

PostSubject: No Retreat, No Surrender   Sun 09 Sep 2012, 4:48 pm

Archelaus took a deep breath, standing aside from his preparations in the 8th dimension for but a moment. It seemed whenever he stood up, there was something to knock him down again.

Save three million over here, so that we might save eight million over there.

Those results were simply not acceptable, and he would dive back into this battle strategies once more. He knew Verax was coming, with a force much greater than the puny army he had deployed at Crenel. Indeed, the Alteriians had attacked Voyager with less than half of its forces, and with barely a fraction of the new Flesher allies. In sending the Mat'Harai, he made was for his new flagship to take the lead, as well as several dozens more of capital ships, each stronger than the Mat'Harai had been, and outfitted with the new weapon.

But Voyager was only a tiny fraction of Verax's puppets, and Archelaus could not depend on any race but his own to fight the creature which called itself an emperor, a ruler.
Eventually, Verax's dream would end, and it would end in cleansing fire.
It only takes a single candle to light a dimension's worth of space.

But as Archelaus stood, Raicheylla, an officer aboard the bridge, walked slowly toward him.

Archelaus blinked, twice, and stood a little straighter. The only time that officers moved slowly, was when there was bad news. Bad personal news.

Raicheylla's voice was clarion clear, but swam with sadness and empathy for what Archelaus was undoubtedly about to feel. Archelaus could feel her heavy heart from where he stood without using the Rolxan swirling around his form.

"Druid..." she began, "Druid, there has been a report. Aya left the 6th dimension several hours ago, and headed straight toward Verax. It is as you predicted."

Archelaus' heart fell to the floor, as it often had in these recent days.
He had been betrayed, as he knew would happen, by the daughter he had loved so much. From her first days of speech, to the sudden and magical transformation into a young women that all Kazequi went through.

But she had hated him. From the very first day, she expected Archelaus to despise her, because she was the darker child. She had expected Archelaus to hate her, to curse her, and to wish she was of the light like her sister Ell was. She had attempted to hide her fear from him, her terror, with her own powers.

She was strong, no doubt, very strong, but Archelaus was a Grandmaster and High-Druid of the Alteriian people. She had not chance of hiding her thoughts from him. Indeed, it was strange from the onset that she wanted to. Archelaus could see her hiding from everything that happened. every offset caused her some kind of mystical pain.

So Archelaus spent so much time on her, so much effort, he gave her his heart, gentle and strong, clear and focused. Nothing but love, love for her, for everything good in the world.

Yet she ran.

Out of all the people in the universe that she could trust, Archelaus was one of them, and yet she ran from him. It was a dagger to his soul, and Archelaus visibly stumbled back half a foot, like he had been struck. He knew it would happen, but still, he was hurt. Knowing it would happen made it nothing but worse.

"Certainty of death, *small* chance of success... What are we waiting for?" - Gimli
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Fleet Commander

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Join date : 2012-02-16

PostSubject: Re: No Retreat, No Surrender   Sun 09 Sep 2012, 5:02 pm

((Thank you, John. Honestly, thank you. I like the way you did this. I appreciate it immensely.))

“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”
― Terry Pratchett
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Command Sergeant Major

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PostSubject: Re: No Retreat, No Surrender   Sun 09 Sep 2012, 11:19 pm

Raicheylla stood aggrieved, empathetically watching her leader, her idol, her friend, tremble from the loss. It was loss upon loss for him, every battle stifling a part the Alteriian people, and it was beginning to tear him apart.

She almost couldn't bear to tell him the rest of the news. She prayed a tiny prayer to Naru'shah that she wouldn't have to be the harbinger of ill will toward him. It hurt her to see Archelaus so enveloped in a tide of sorrow.

"My leader, there is more..." she spoke, softly as the wind upon the silver rheamay flowers of their ancient homeworld. Her eyes dipped slightly. "Eris-Tam and Ell have gone to Verax's meeting. They left a message with me..." She spiraled her hands through the air, ever graceful and comforting, as she watched The High Druid tremble slightly, a single shiver, and then steel himself yet again against the report.

The Arch-Druid laid one massive hand on her shoulder, the Alteriian gesture of thanks and respect. "Do not blame yourself, little one, the last thing I would do would be to cause you harm, or the harm of any of my people. Lift your head high."

Then the Arch-Druid turned away, back to his console, so that the bridge would not see his distress.

He had known that Aurora did not agree with him. That she saw some kind of honor, some kind of light, something worthwhile in that miserable fiend. He knew that deep within her, there a special connection between her and Verax that he could never touch, never break, never affect... Even though it was so deeply obvious to Archelaus that Verax was a denizen of nightmares, a foul and terrible horror to be cast into the abyss, Aurora thought him worthwhile.

Who did she think of first? Archelaus or Verax? Verax. Whom did she trust, truly trust, would come to her aide were she in danger? Archelaus or Verax? Verax. To whom did she level with completely, take at face value, never question? Archelaus or Verax? Verax. Who did believe would try his best, his unbiased best for the universe? Archelaus, or Verax? Verax.

It did not matter that Archelaus was her Neiede, Verax was her champion. Not outright, not blazingly so, but softly and subtly.

And it burned his heart sorely to see it so. Perhaps, it would not have been so painful, if Aurora had not at one point made Archelaus her champion. If at some point, Aurora had poured her entire life into him, just as Archelaus had given all of himself to her.

He had spent his entire life fighting for light, the light he saw in Aurora, he had given all that he could, became as strong as he might, loved as much as his spirit would let him, and it was not enough. His greatest fear, was a reality.

No matter how he tried, how he loved, how he strained and fought; tooth, nail, heart, claw, mind and soul. A thousand marches, a thousand battles, a thousand quiet afternoons on a sandy shore: there was an influence, a pain, a connection, that made sure it could never be again.

A solitary drop hit the console.

Archelaus knew he had no right to think those things, to accuse her in such a way, to question her. He knew that the Alteriian people needed a leader as brilliant as the Stars themselves to lead them through what would likely be The Last March of the Alteriians, before eventually they were crushed into the oblivions of time.

But he couldn't help it.
Another drop fell, joining its sibling.

Perhaps he would never win. Perhaps love was not stronger than hate, and he would die, his body broken, with his last breath leaving Aurora's name on his lips. Perhaps...

He gently felt the invisible fibers between himself and Aurora, and with a ethereal kiss, returned to the readying of war.

"Certainty of death, *small* chance of success... What are we waiting for?" - Gimli
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