The Insect Civilization-Cycle Three

From: Cheryl Baumgartner(C Baumgartner, Posted Date: Sep 24th, 2011

            Echias had identified several mistakes he had made.  The first was assuming that the Kai-human was dead.  The second was the fact that his children were incapable of reasoning for themselves.  The third was in assuming only the Kai-human was a threat.  It was time to correct those mistakes.  Echias had created thousands of children for this new extermination effort.  But this attempt would be handled differently he thought as he drifted closer and closer to the area of greatest human infestation.

                As he passed a small cluster of worlds just outside of the area the humans had claimed he felt the discordance of humans on these worlds.  Echias called to his children and told them to take these worlds and exterminate the small human populations before they grew any larger.

                Echias directed the extermination effort two of the three worlds were quickly cleared of the infestation.  The last world had a small population that remained but very small.  He had his children establish huge burrows on these worlds.  He sent 1000 to each world and ordered them to focus on reproduction.  He assured them that he would be nearby and continued to drift into the area of infestation.  He settled into a spot that was close to his children and waited.

 

 

                “I have felt your pain little brother, I wish to ease your suffering.  I can ease your pain.  I can help you join with her but you must help me.” Rakias said.  “Our brother Echias once again plots to upset the balance of the universe.  I will send you to her but you cannot join with her until Echias’ plot has been thwarted, but you will be near her until then.  You must prevent Echias from destroying the city known as Duha’naur.  My child will keep him from exterminating humanity.  When my child returns to the city in the next cycle, you will be released to be together.  Make sure that he safely leaves Brunnis after his return, and your suffering will end.”

                The Blue Dwarf agreed to Rakias offer.

 

 

Minister Wass was annoyed.  Sleep was a precious commodity at his age and this young technician had awakened him for this.  “Young man, I hardly think a comet crossing our shipping lanes is just cause to deny an old man his sleep!”

“Sir it did not cross our lanes.  It is just outside of them.  And I don’t think it is a comet, it is sitting there stable.  It seems to have just suddenly appeared within the past week after the last transport when through that sector, but their long ranger sensors did pick up an object approaching from beyond the frontier.  This moon that is sitting there now.”

“Curious.  Update the star maps and then keep an eye on it.  See if it does anything else strange.”

 

 

Echias had been biding his time, there was no reason to rush this extermination.  He had plenty of time to eradicate the humans.  He would progress slowly and methodically.  He knew that the Kai-human had come from the world they called Brunnis but there were many infested worlds.  He would avoid Brunnis for now.  The thing to find out now was whether the taint of the Kai-human existed on any of these other worlds. 

His children had successfully exterminated the humans on all but one of the three worlds outside of the major infestation zone.  They had not encountered anything like the Kai-human on them and had been very fruitful in the last few centuries or so.  Thousands were now tens of thousands.  Huge burrows offered them safety and shelter. 

It was time to step up the extermination process.  He had sent a few hundred to a small insignificant world just inside the infestation zone.  They had easily destroyed the humans.  Those who remained hid themselves from his children avoiding confrontation and the Kai-human had not shown up.  Echias knew that the humans on Brunnis had the technology, much of it insect based.  Echias deduced that the Kai-Human must not be interested in the worlds he had conquered so far.  Echias knew that he must now destroy the Kai-human.  The energy beam he had fashioned was powerful enough to reach Brunnis with devastating power.

Echias called up the memory of the Kai-human’s first appearance.  The forest clearing was long gone, the human’s having destroyed the forest to make way for their sprawling city.  This was where the Kai-human had originated from, It is where he would be.   Echias released the beam and then ordered his children to increase the rate of destruction, working their way ever closer to Brunnis.

 

 

Adana smiled across the table at Zinn as Irina and Kai argued with each other, ignoring their breakfast.  Watching the two, you would think they children going through a phase, not adults.  The two argued constantly when together, Irina still considered Kai her baby brother and treated him like one of her children.  Kai constantly had to remind her that he was a man grown, and an experienced blooded Warrior who had attained the highest rank possible without being a member of the Warrior Panel.

“Kai, why don’t you pull that stick out of your rear end?  Tamini is a wonderful woman and would make a perfect mate for you.  When are you going to stop reading more into a woman’s attention than is there?  I swear you will be as old as the Warlord and still not mated.” Irina said.

“Tamini may not fear me but she definitely annoys me with her constant bowing and scraping.  I can’t even hold a simple conversation with her without her breaking out the kneepads to worship the great and powerful Kai.  Besides I already told you that I have found my mate.” Kai replied.

“The Pordyan girl? Kai, you know it is not allowed.  She would never be accepted.” Irina answered.

“Exactly, which is why I will not mate.  I refuse to take some scheming Brunnen G social climber as a mate because of one weak-minded idiot who did not appreciate finding his own lifemate off-world.  He didn't appreciate the gift he was given choosing instead to curse the universe because the woman had a short lifespan.” Kai replied.

“Irina, you are wasting your breath,” Adana interjected.  “You know how your brother is.  Dava has earned his respect and she truly has the heart of a warrior.  If she were Brunnen G, I would have already gone to the Temple at D’bai and declared their joining before the Brunn myself.”

“Mother!” Kai protested.

“Dava has your heart, son.  You would be thanking me for taking matters into my own hands.”

Zinn smothered a chuckle.  “Your mother is right, Kai.”

Kai was about to reply when the ground began to tremble.  Photos fell off the wall and sirens began going off.  The Comm link began beeping furiously.  Kai along with his mother and sister hurried outdoors to see a huge cloud of smoke off to the east.

“What has happened?” Irina asked alarmed.

“Whatever happened, it looks like it was in New Duha’naur.” Kai replied.

An ashen Zinn joined them.  “New Duha’naur has been destroyed, and much of the eastern portion of Old Duha’naur along with it.”

 

Kai was frantically digging through the pile of brick and dust.  He and others had heard the cries for help in this spot.  Cries that had stopped several minutes ago.  Although a few survivors had been rescued, most of the victims unearthed were well on their way to the Dream Zone.  A string of curses filled the air as a warrior gently lifted the body of an infant from the rubble.

Kai looked around at the bodies laid out along the street hastily covered with whatever could be found.  Over 20 dead here.  The number of dead reported by all the rescue teams frantically searching was already closing in on 200.  Over 175,000 Brunnen G had called New Duha’naur home.  That was not counting off-worlders staying at the Visitor’s Center and those who may have been there tending to business or starting on their day’s work.  That number of dead could be well over 200,000 but there was no way to know how many died, a huge crater now sat where New Duha’naur had once stood over the valley.

This is Mara’s fault. Kai thought to himself.  She refused to listen to the warnings.  Even with the majority of the council backing his mother, Mara had blocked every effort to protect Brunnis, more concerned with amassing wealth for her Merchant Guild than securing the planet’s safety. 

               It was not just warriors that were angered by the morning’s attack.   An undercurrent of anger blanketed the city.  Many forgetting the most basic law handed down by the Time Prophet in the days of the Warlord to call for Council blood as payment for the blood that had been spilled by the insects. 

                Survivors wailed in grief at the side of loved ones who had perished.  Mothers cradled children who would never reach adulthood.  Children huddled in fear, orphaned by the insect attack.  Kai started walking away from the destruction.

“Kai! Where are you going?” Lowen asked.

“My mother may be bound by the rules of the Council, but I am not.  Put together a squad and send them there to protect the members of the council that have been trying to prevent this.  Mara will step aside this day if it kills her.” Kai spat without slowing his steps.

 

 

Echias could not understand it.  His successful conquests of human infested worlds along with the massive devastation he had caused on Brunnis should have had those humans scurrying in fear.  Instead they had taken to the void en masse.  The Brunnis humans were everywhere and worse yet, the Kai-human was among them.

The Kai-human had no fear.  He was not only personally killing Echias’ children, he was leading the other humans from all worlds in doing the same.  Echias knew that there was only one thing to do, face the Kai-human directly.  He began calling what was left of his children to him.  They did not question why they were being told to leave worlds that they had conquered giving them back to the humans.  They all followed the order, gathering in numbers around him.  It took no time for the humans to follow.  Echias children would kill the Kai-human this time.

 

 

Four days of battle and the Kai-human had still lived.  He had left Echias children scattered about him, the dead and the dying.  The only thing left to do was escape.  Echias selected 12 of his children and told them to run, to hide.  The rest were sacrificed.  Echias had not been discovered and when the humans left, he had decreed that they would escape into the other universe where the world called Brunnis and the Kai human did not exist.

But the Kai-human had relentlessly pursued them.  Now the Kai-human would finally die here within this collapsing fractal core, as would Echias’ body.  The Nymph stopped and gave one last glimpse to the explosion of the fractal core behind him.  Echias watched, feeling nothing as his old body was destroyed.  But caution was in order.  The Brunnis humans lived on the other side of the core, and there was no guarantee that the Kai-human was dead.  He would never go back.  The only thing that Echias could look forward to on the other side of the Fractal Core was death.