The Fifth Cycle of Time Part 24

From: Cheryl Baumgartner(C Baumgartner, Posted Date: Apr 2nd, 2011

Typhos System

The people of Typhos had lost their faith.  They had been praying to their gods for a couple of decades with no response.  The suffering under Mantis just got worse.  They had no idea that their prayers were about to be answered by a new ‘god’.

The group of men in the shadows of the treeline were all dressed in black.  They watched the guard timing them to see when they passed.  They soon had the rhythm timed down to the second.  Steathily they moved forward placing the small explosive charges around the high wall.  Just as stealthily they fell back and regrouped melting back into the shadows.  The explosives were small but powerful.  Each of the 12 bombs now planted against the wall could take out a city block.  The Central Government building of Tyhpos did not stand a chance when they were detonated.  Those who managed to survive the explosion were quickly killed.

One man stepped forward and shook a can of aerosol pigment before spraying a message on a section of wall that miraculously still stood. “The dead do not rule”

The Typhians flocked to their temples in droves to give thanks to their gods for the blow that had been struck against Mantis.  But they found all of their temples blocked by strangers.  Strangers who told them that it was not their old gods who had answered the many prayers of the people, but a new god.  This new god had a price for his intervention.  The Typhians were now expected to finish the job, and their new god would provide them with what they needed the men said passing out weapons.



Arno had managed to remain hidden for a week, surviving by stealing food where he could but his luck had finally run out.  He was rummaging through the crew quarters looking for food when two crewmembers had entered the room.  He was now in the captain’s private quarters four blasters trained on him.

“So which of you two would like to tell me how this man got on my ship?” the captain asked the two men who had been on guard during the brief stop on Terlara.  Neither man had an answer. 

“So be it.” The Captain nodded to his second in command who pulled out a knife and quickly cut the men’s throats.  “The dead do not fail in their duty.” The captain said.  “Take this stowaway to the brig until I decide what to do with him.”

The two who had discovered Arno dragged him out of the room.  "Find out who he is and why he is on my ship.”



The Typhians had to be dealt with.  If not this small uprising would turn into a full scale rebellion.  Something he could not afford right now.  He was still rebuilding his force from the loss he had suffered in his failed attempt to conquer Alteri.   The machine calculated the best way to handle the situation, use the assassins.


The Lexx

“Dara there’s a message for you” 790 said.  Dara followed 790 to the bridge.

“Hi I’m supposed to tell you that Mantis ordered us to Typhos to squash the rebellion.  We are supposed to kill all the leaders.  But then he told five of us to go back to our cryopods.  30 others are boarding a shuttle now.” Bunny said.  The viewscreen went blank.

“We’d better tell your Kais about this 790.” Dara said hurrying off to the Cryochamber.  Third Kai was giving another of his Aka’tai lessons. 

“I just got a report from Bunny. Mantis is sending all but five of his assassins to Typhos to put down the rebellion.  They are supposed to kill the leaders.”

Fourth Kai spoke. “The weapons the Typhians have will do no good against the assassins.  They will need a plan.” He thought for a moment.   “How much of the planet is water 790?”

“About 60% dead and dreamy one.”

“How deep?” Fourth asked.

“What has water got to do with it?” Second Kai was confused.

“The dead do not swim.” Fourth Kai replied.

“Actually we do swim, just like rocks.  We sink straight to the bottom.” Vlad corrected.

“But you don’t drown so I’m just as confused as Second now.” Third replied.

“The more effort you expend the more protoblood you burn through and it takes a lot more effort to move through water than air.” Fifth Kai guessed.

“Exactly!” Vlad said.  “And the deeper the water the more pressure it exerts.”

“I get it now.  If they ended up in the middle of the ocean, they would exhaust their protoblood trying to get out of it.  So how do we get them in the ocean?” Third asked.


“Vlad, you and I need to tackle this problem.  We’ll send a message to Niko on Corleone with the solution.”



The little flotilla rocked gently on the waves.  All the leaders of the rebellion were gathered below in the middle of a secret meeting according to all the intelligence that had been gathered.  Several large ships and smaller ocean going pleasure craft nestled together.   

The shuttle came in low over the ocean and took up a position hovering over them.  Several figures could be seen lowering themselves down from the space going vessel.    Either the pilot never saw it coming or had been ordered to remain until the last figure had reached the targets below because the shuttle never took evasive action to avoid the missile that came tearing up from beneath the ocean surface.  Almost immediately the ships below also exploded in one well timed blast.  One by on each of the figures sank below the surface.

“So that takes care of that, right?” Third Kai said watching the vid on the viewscreen.

“The Typhians picked an ideal spot.  The flotilla was situated above  a six mile deep trench.  They would have to first climb out of the trench and then make their way across the ocean floor.  The odds of any of them making it to shore is all but impossible.” Fourth Kai said.

“So why don’t you sound happier?” Second Kai asked.

It was Vlad that answered.  “Those women did not ask to become what they are, it was forced on them just like it was forced on Fourth Kai and I. What you just witnessed is more cruel than you can imagine.  Everything these women have done since Mantrid got hold of them is locked in their minds festering.  They cannot die or escape.  That pain is locked inside of them with no way for them to release it.  And it was Fourth and I who planned this.” She turned away sadly.



Torq had a bad feeling.  It was as if Arno had simply fallen off the face of the planet.  No one had seen him in 2 weeks.   Arno having been a priest of the order knew things that could be dangerous.

Mantis was not happy with this spreading rebellion.  A rebellion that was spreading hand in hand with a ‘new’ religion,  a religion based on the banned Book of Kai.  Old gods were being abandoned left and right.  Torq allowed a small smile at how well this ‘god’ provided for his followers.  Even though it was a large network of arms dealers and smugglers doing the ‘providing’.  Terlara was now a central hub in that network.

The frown returned to his face.  The Arno issue.



Torq was frowning down from the viewscreen.  “So we have no idea where Arno is.  We have all been very careful in what we say about this religion but it is spreading like a wildfire.  It’s bringing us new allies everyday but sooner or later Mantrid will figure out that two plus two is four.  That will bring him straight to Terlara.”

“The Third Incarnation did tell us that this could be an issue.  However First Kai thinks that having Mantrid involved in fighting on two fronts will keep him too busy to worry about ‘religion.”

“Let’s hope so.  By the way General Bann sends his regards.  He personally delivered the electromagnetic mines, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about carrots now.  He also delivered instructions on how to build them.  We now have 5 worlds actively building the mines and shipping them out to allies.”

“That is good, we are becoming a coordinated army.”

“Yes.  We will keep hunting for Arno.  Take care Dara.” Torq signed off.

“So Arno has disappeared?” Third Kai questioned.

“Yes, with the humiliation he suffered, there was no way he could regain his honor on Terlara.  Let’s just hope that wherever he is he manages to do so.” Dara replied.



Arno had thought that He might find some kinship between himself and the crew of the smuggling vessel.  Instead the captain had brought him here to this prison planet and dumped him six months ago.  And now he and the rest of the incarcerated were being loaded onto a transport ship, offered their freedom.  It was only when the carrots attacked the remaining population that Arno realized who his ‘savior’ was.



His plan had been flawless and yet, it was failing.  He was spending as much time trying to control the worlds he had already conquered as he was spending conquering new ones.  The opposition was fierce.  His carrot probes were all but useless.  It was no longer a case of resistance to his advance it was an all out war.  The uprising behind him had turned into an all out rebellion.  And all the assassins had completely disappeared on Typhos, leaving him with five defectives.

The only thing that had changed was this pretender to godhood  that these worlds seemed to be embracing.  Mantrid was god.  These humans would learn that as soon as he had squashed this upstart god.  But to squash him, Mantrid first needed to know who he was. 

The defectives would be no help, there was no way that he could personally oversee them.  So how to find out what he needed to know?  It was Mantis who gave him the answer.  “Are you so disconnected now from your human side that you no longer know how they think? Humans suffer from greed.  All you have to do is meet their price.”



Arno was confident, his ambition had grown the closer he got to his destination.  He had been brought to Mantis personal transport.  When word came that Mantis was looking for information on this ‘god’ Arno saw his opportunity ,his opportunity for revenge.  All he had to do was direct Mantis to Terlara and the Temple.

“So you know of this new ‘god’?  Tell me what you want from me in exchange for this information.”

“I want Terlara.  I want to rule it.” Arno said.

“You mean you want to govern it on my behalf.” Mantis corrected.  “Tell me what you know and I will indeed make you the ‘governor of Terlara.”

“This is the work of the Pantheon, the Four Incarnations and The One.  The Temple on Terlara spreads this religion.  They are all followers of the Brunnen G.  Some are even descended from the Brunnen G.  Destroy the temple and you will destroy the Brunnen G along with their religion.”

Mantis managed not to react.  “Your information is well worth your price.  Return to your duties.”

Mantis fell to his knees as he felt the agonizing pain.  What the Machine has sought to avoid was beginning to happen.  The insect’s fear was so great it was violently trying to tear itself from its other parts,  Machine and Man.  The Brunnen G still existed.  Kai was not the last of them.  Somehow his age old enemy had survived.