In case you were wondering about me... don't worry. I'm doing fine!
In fact, I just talked with the designers and they have assured me
that the sequel will be all about me! Isn't that great!
They said they wanted to move away from the warrior mythos
and expand more into the healer cycle.
This may be my big chance!
The only thing I'm not sure about is the new costume they want me to wear.
They said this one would be REALLY revealing.
Attention unidentified space vessel!
Be warned! This slave world and its inhabitants belong to the Ur-Quan.
I am Starbase Commander Talana of the slave planet Gaia.
Your ship is not responding to standard Hierarchy identification sequences.
You are therefore classed as Independent and... WHAT?!
Is my monitor display correct?!
Is that a human commanding that vessel?
Who are you guys?
Hello again, pleasant Human.
It warms me to greet you again.
Welcome back, Earthling.
What do you wish of us?
We're the Ethics Police. Justify that costume... Immediately!Huh? What ARE you talking about?
This is the uniform of a Syreen Commander.
The climate aboard this starbase is maintained at a constant 22 degrees C.
What are we supposed to wear in here... parkas?
I am the right one for you, baby!Ah, yes... I had almost forgotten the sophistication of human social graces.
Manners were never the Earthlings' strong point, were they?
Your species' undeniable appeal can be found... elsewhere.
I am Captain x of the flagship z.Hello, Captain x from the Starship z.
We're... we're.. we're greatly impressed!So am I, Captain. So am I.
Earthlings are so... so... earthy!
But you haven't answered my question fully.
Why are you here? Where are you from?
Has the slave shield been lifted from Earth?
Are the Ur-Quan finally defeated?
Simply put, Captain...what do you want from us?
We have come here to free you from slavery to the Ur-Quan!Look friend, I appreciate your offer, but we don't want your help.
Why? I'll tell you why
because we're not going to do anything to antagonize the Ur-Quan. That's why.
We may not like slavery, but it's a damn sight better than our alternatives.
Below us we have a beautiful world... maybe it's not Syra, but at least it's a home.
That's a lot more than we ever had before the War... before the Ur-Quan became our masters.
To be honest, we need your help to destroy the Ur-Quan.Look Captain... I like you... even though you're an obnoxious human... I like you.
In another time, we might have become good friends... perhaps more
but that's a fantasy, and my job is dealing with reality.
We're not going to do anything to jeopardize what we've got here.
We've come too far... lost too much, to ever risk losing Gaia, our new home.
Don't get all judgmental on me, Captain... you don't know what we've been through.
Hey, baby... what I need is you!Look. Human. Get this through your head.
Under other circumstances, I might be interested in your antics, you're kind of cute
but we've got a serious situation here and we don't have time to fool around.
Our lives are at stake, and so are yours. If the Ur-Quan discover that you've been here
I don't know what they will do to us... much less you!
Now get serious... please.
What I need right now, is a Touch-o-Vision.Why only fantasize, Captain, when you can... no... wait a minute. What am I saying!?
Talana, have you ever heard of the `Deep Children?'Yes, I think so. Aren't they part of the Mycon religion somehow?
We have recordings of Mycon HyperWave transmissions from the War... pretty weird stuff.
The Mycon just kind of.. rambled, never making much sense.
They talked a lot about the `Deep Children', and `Spears of Light'
but we couldn't ever understand what they were talking about.
What if I told you that Mycon Deep Children shatter planet crusts... like your Syra?What?! What did you say?!
Human, you had better not be joking. Syra is not a subject for Earth humor.
Now what do you mean, shatter planet crusts? How?
That IS what happened to Syra, yes, but we presumed it was a natural cataclysm... a meteor.
Do you have proof that it was something else... these Deep Children?
I don't have proof YET, but I am certain the Mycon destroyed your world.Captain, if what you say is true, it would turn my universe upside down.
You have no sorrow to match what each of us Syreen feels every day of our lives
when we remember what we have lost... Syra... our Eden.
The very idea that the Mycon, or any alien race, may have been responsible for Syra's destruction
fills me with BURNING RAGE!... then I want to lash out and STRIKE the viewer!
It it were true, none of us here would rest until we had avenged ourselves on the perpetrators.
We would find some way to leave this starbase, locate our starships, and hunt down the evil monsters!
Captain, if you ever gather proof of what you say, you MUST inform us immediately.
but until then... do not mention the subject again. It is too painful.
I have proof the Mycon Deep Children destroyed Syra.Let me see this proof, Captain!
We found these egg sacks on a shattered world.Great gods! These fragments... they are IDENTICAL to the debris we found near the punctures on Syra!
We never guessed that the fragments might be organic!
To have survived re-entry!... nothing organic would remain!... unless
UNLESS, it was genetically constructed for this purpose!
AND ONLY THE MYCONS POSSESS THIS CAPABILITY!!
We will make further tests. Genetic comparisons. Compositional analysis.
If what you have suggested is true... THE MYCONS WILL PAY DEARLY FOR THEIR CRIMES!!!
Now LEAVE US, Captain!
We have work to do.
So, Commander Talana, what are you doing here?When the Ur-Quan conquered us, over twenty years ago
I was only a young girl living in Habitat Thirty-One.
My older sister, Diani, was a starship officer in the Space Patrol
she was part of the final defense at Raynet... she didn't make it back.
When the Ur-Quan caught us in open space, we all thought we were going to die
but then, instead of killing us, the Ur-Quan offered us a choice
we could join the ranks of their combat thralls, or we could be slave-shielded on our homeworld.
Like the people of Earth, we chose peace. We became fallow slaves.
When the Ur-Quan told us to return to our homeworld, we explained that we had none.
Ur-Quan Master Nine explained that they had encountered this situation before
and if we would provide them with a list of our requirements
they would use their extensive astronomical data-stores to find a planet for us!
So we told them about Syra... about the color of its sky... about the abundant, varied lifeforms
about the fertility of the soil and seas.
Less than an hour later, we received a terse message from Master Nine
we were to proceed to these coordinates and disembark. This was to be our new home.
I don't know how, or why, but our new world, Gaia, was everything we described, and more.
We'd been searching for a home planet for seventy-five years
and in the end, it was our enemies who gave one to us.
I grew up on a small island off the main continent, and like all my people
we lived each day under the sick, red glow of the slave shield.
When the Ur-Quan arrived seven years ago to refurbish and recrew this starbase
I was selected as the new commander.
So what happened to you at the end of the war?When we first met your people, we'd been wandering through the stars for almost seventy five years
ever since the death of Syra... our home planet.
We joined your Alliance, and I use the word `joined' loosely, because we had no other choice.
The VUX were raiding our slow Habitat columns, and we had nowhere else to go.
We fought for survival, Captain. Nothing more.
When your people on Earth were defeated, the Alliance just plain fell apart.
The Yehat and Shofixti retreated to their native stars and didn't want us to follow.
The Arilou, those creepy little weasels, just plain bugged out -- vanished
leaving us alone, with nowhere to go, smack in the path of the oncoming Ur-Quan Armada.
What were we supposed to do? Fight? Two-thirds of our Habitat fleet was unarmed!
Many aren't even super-luminal.
We were going to be annihilated if we resisted, and we knew it.
When the Ur-Quan surrounded us and started giving orders that all ended with, `Or Die!'
we took them at face value. We obeyed.
In exchange they gave us Gaia, the planet below.
It's a beautiful world, Captain. I wish I could show it to you.
So don't misunderstand me. We love our freedom as much as anybody else
but we've got a good life here, and we don't want to lose it.
You love your freedom. Why won't you help?Like I said before, Captain, we would like to help
but we are unwilling to risk losing Gaia.
Unless you can find a much more compelling reason for us to get involved
you are on your own.
Would you tell me more about your people?Our bodies are very similar, Captain. Ha! ha! Except for... certain parts...I mean
What I am trying to say is that our SPECIES are almost identical
almost too close a match to be just a coincidence.
Well, our cultural development is also mostly parallel.
Like you Earthlings, we evolved a society from primitive tribes
whose main function were to protect themselves from the large reptiles native to our old world.
The main difference between our two sets of cultures... the split in the paths of our development
occurred in what would have been your prehistory, say 5000 BCE.
In your world, the agricultural communities which formed from hunter-gatherer tribes
were conquered by the more primitive but also more aggressive, migratory herding peoples.
This led to a particular kind of sexual and political dominance structure
which pervaded almost all of your Earth Cultures until the early Twenty First century.
On Syra, our only primitive migratory tribes were confined to our mountainous regions.
Their herd beasts, the Yma, did not do well in the agricultural basins and plains
therefore, the two cultures were isolated until much later
when the technological superiority of the farmers curtailed any major conflict.
What was Syra like?It was our paradise, Captain, our Eden.
You would call our world Beta Copernicus I... we called it Syra.
You may wonder about our relationship with the Mycon, who now control that area of space.
When we lived on Syra, their sphere of influence was much smaller.
We never laid eyes on a Mycon until we met them in combat during the War.
But back to our beloved Syra.
Earth is the only world we know of whose variety and richness of life even comes close to Syra.
Again, like so many other things about our two species, our worlds were very much the same
at least before you began encasing yours in concrete and plastic.
Syra's gravity was a bit lighter than Earth's, and its day slightly shorter.
Our diurnal cycle is, therefore, quite compatible with yours.
What happened to Syra?Ah... the death of our world. This subject is very difficult for us, Captain
but I will try to recount those sad days.
Like your solar system, ours had a large population of comets and asteroids.
Large meteor impacts, though rare, were not unheard of on our planet.
So it was not a total shock when an asteroid penetrated our atmosphere and hit the surface.
What was odd was that unlike most other meteors, this one was not pulverized on impact.
It penetrated the crust, and indeed went all the way through to the mantle
causing a major caldera... kind of a super volcano.
The earthquakes caused by the impact were severe.
The magma pumped out of the caldera wreaked significant damage on the nearby terrain
but within a few weeks, it had cooled, forming a solid rock bandage over the wound.
Within a few months we had cleaned up the mess, the caldera was calming down nicely
and things were pretty much back to normal.
Then, just over a year after the impact, all hell broke loose on the surface of Syra.
Huge calderas were opening all over... not just around the meteor impact, but everywhere!
The scope of the disaster is impossible to imagine
Entire cities sliding into oceans of molten lava
kilometer-wide sections of land being instantly pulverized by cataclysmic explosions
and clouds of poison gas and superheated steam creating a death shroud around Syra.
Come on now, isn't that outfit, knife included, a bit absurd?Maybe some other time, Captain, I can show you the hidden functionality of my uniform
What happened to the males of your species?When Syra was destroyed, the only people who survived were in orbit
and most of them were members of our newly established, mostly female, Space Patrol.
From their ships, their orbital platforms and their lunar outposts they watched Syra die.
Within three days after the cataclysm began, the surface temperature of Syra had risen by almost 75 degrees
above the boiling point of water.
It became clear that Syra, our paradise, our Eden, was gone.
The survivors spent years in orbit. They made a few missions to the surface
and actually found a handful of survivors, but mainly they prepared for departure.
The Space Patrol fitted makeshift drive units to anything that could hold air
orbital factories, research pods, even hotels. When the fleet was ready, they left orbit and never looked back.
The final population of our species was less than ten thousand, with only five hundred males
but they were the best and brightest of our people.
For the next seventy five years, our people wandered at sub-light speed through the stars
looking for a new home.
Don't you ever get... lonely? Hmmm?Ha! ha! ha! Don't worry about us, Captain!
We make out all right with just us females.
Goodbye, Commander Talana. I will be back.Until then, Earthling.
Captain. The secret of the Mycon's monstrous murder of our planet has changed the attitudes of many of my people.
We will not sit here and do nothing while the Mcyon fiends are free to roam the galaxy, perpetrating their evil.
You wanted our cooperation in fighting the Ur-Quan. You've got it... provided
you first help us seek our revenge against the Mycon race... help us to destroy them!
Okay. So what do you want us to do?Our first step is to get some mobility.
We have some fine starship officers on board, and they are all eager to go after the Mycon
but without our Penetrator starships, we're totally ineffective.
So our first step HAS to be recovering our Space Patrol combat fleet.
We know that the Ur-Quan didn't destroy them... they never waste anything
but we believe they have sealed them in some kind of deep vault in the surface of an alien planet.
Do you know where your ships are?No, that's your job.
But maybe we have some clues to help you find them.
The starship officers who flew the Penetrators to the vault did so with total sensor black-out.
The only thing they could use for navigation was the presence of the Dreadnought fleet surrounding them.
When they arrived at their destination and lowered their ships into the immense vault
they were transported to the Dreadnoughts and only caught a split-second glimpse of the outside world.
As far as they could tell, the sun was either red or orange. Based on their trip-time calculations
the farthest they could have travelled is about 200 standard Hyperspace distance units.
I've already been there. The vault is on the moon of Epsilon Camelopardalis I, but I couldn't open it.Wonderful! Then the job is already almost complete!
Captain! We have assembled a small team of our most skilled officers.
We will send them to your ship on board their own small shuttle.
We feel that in the interests of efficiency, we keep our officers away from your crew
at least until the mission is over.
As soon as you arrive at the vault, our people will take over, figure out a way to open the vault
and bring our Penetrators back here.
Very well then, Commander Talana. I'm on my way.
Good luck, brave Earthling. When your mission is successful