When destiny is revealed,
Running is not an option,
For you cannot escape the inevitable…
Hijik was quite proud of himself. He was moving through the corridors of the High Council Flag ship in what almost seemed to be a waltz. Various thoughts raced through his mind…He felt a sense of victory come over him. His mind began racing, unable to think of how he would begin his studies. He stepped into the elevator, unable to contain his joy. His every thought was consumed with his inevitable studies of the Sample 77, otherwise known as Dylex. He stepped out of the elevator and began a brisk walk toward the containment room that Sample 77 had been held in when his spirits began to sink. The automatic door had been kicked open and was lying on the floor, glass spread all over the floor. Slowly but surely he entered the room where his subject should’ve been held, only to curse himself under his breath. There was Kirfa Jeryz, the Medical examiner he had assigned to the room, dead on the floor, his throat clearly crushed. To make matters worse, there was no sign of Subject 77 or his incredibly advanced Combat Armor. “Damn you, Human! Why must you always make my work impossible?” Hijik clenched his fist and asked rhetorically. Little did he know that his work was about to become much more complicated that he, or Dylex, ever could have imagined.
Dylex was virtually invisible. He created no noise while moving through the vents, avoiding any resistance he may have had to face originally. A tight fit it was indeed, but it was much preferred over moving through the alien infested halls of this foreign flag ship. Even thought he had no idea where he was going, he continued toward his unknown destination, hoping that it would lead him farther away from his captors. While he made no sound, he could easily hear those under him speaking about this “Overlord” who was looking for his “Subject 77”. He continued listening as he made his way through the vents, but he finally came to a halt when he heard something most interesting:
“The last human you had on board here escaped as well! You can’t just pretend this didn’t happen, Hijik. You must find it and kill it!” A voice yelled.
Hijik threw his arms in the air, huffing and puffing. “No, you fail to understand! I cannot kill him. He is the key to solving this 4000 year long puzzle! We are so close, I can feel it! I must find him and give him the data...the council are under the impression that I am attempting to study him, but that is not my underlined motive. I must save him and send him on his way back to Vera!”
The voice retorted back at Hijik, expressing its disapproval. “No, you must find them and kill them! They are a danger to all of the Tridian! At least, you must quarantine the area he was last seen in! If anything happens to ship, you will be fully responsible!”
Hijik stomped his foot, expressing his anger to the maximum.
“I cannot simply search the ship! It doesn’t work that way…even as a member of the Council, there are areas that even I cannot access. I cannot issue an Outbreak Alert, or I will never find him. If anything, I must get him the data!”
The voice yelled back at him, angering Hijik furthermore.
“I am not discussing this anymore. I have made my choice! It’s my job to make the decision and it’s your job to carry them out, no matter the collateral!”
Dylex pondered what he had just heard. Another human on this ship? Perhaps he was not as alone as he had believed himself to be. He continued crawling through the incredibly small vent, keeping his focus on staying hidden more than looking for another human. The vent was incredibly dirty, as if it hadn’t been cleaned in years. He was sweating excessively and was getting chlosterphobic, but he continued pressing through the tiny pitch black vent. The only thing that gave him any comfort was his shoulder lights, constantly keeping his path illuminated. He had already come across many exits, but they were all far to obvious and would’ve been spotted had he made the attempt. He was starting to get frustrated, unable to find a decent spot to exit his tiny cramped vent shaft. Finally after what seemed like forever, he was able to hear another voice. He crawled over toward the exit and looked down to see 12 fully armed Tridian soldiers rushing down the hall. He stayed quiet and listened to the following conversation:
“The human is loose on the ship!” Overlord Hijik said to the soldiers. “We cannot let him run amok unchecked. I want this sector locked down, all except for the waste systems. He couldn’t have gone far!”
The soldiers bowed, immediately beginning their work. “What would you have us do first, Councilor? Tell us where to begin.”
Hijik pointed at the elevator, saying to them “head straight to Energy Command. I want this sector locked down and shut down!”
They bowed and headed off to begin their work. Hijik retreated into the room that was behind him. Dylex, not wanting to waste any chances, began his slow but steady decent from the vent. He took his Combat Knife and picked the lock on the vent shaft opening, quickly slipping out of the vent and on to the floor. He remained silent in his landing even with his Combat Armor. He began creeping toward the entryway to Hijik’s current location, remaining ever so quiet the whole time. Each step he took seemed like a lifetime, and he broke into a sweat cause by his undying concentration on his prey. Suddenly, the power went out.
Damn reapers must’ve gotten to the power already…
Dylex continued inching toward his prey, sensing his way through the now complete darkness, his only light being the sun of this galaxy, which was almost too far away to even provide any warmth. The door remained open, as Hijik had neglected to close it. It all seemed so very…uncanny.
Hm…did he just… did he leave this door open for me?
Dylex’s senses were telling him to turn around and find the other human running amok the ship, but his gut and unyielding will told him to continue forward. By now he was already in the extremely large room, his prey was at least 40 meters away, judging the targeting systems in his HUD. His visor was closed, so night vision was now enabled. He could clearly see that Hijik was just standing there, working on what seemed to be a small computer. Dylex was beginning to wonder who was REALLY the one walking into a trap.
As Dylex continued slowly moving closer to Hijik, he felt as if he was walking on egg shells. One false move and his life would be over, it seemed. He was now within 10 meters of Hijik’s location. He stood there perfectly still, almost as if he were waiting for Dylex. Now within 5 meters, he stopped, utterly amazed, when he heard Hijik speak.
“I am not your enemy, Dylex.”
Dylex kept his distance from Hijik, now more interested in speaking then in hunting.
“How do you know my name? What else do you know about me?”
Hijik laughed, keeping his attention on his laptop rather than on Dylex.
“I know quite a bit about you, young man. I know your secrets and your sins. I know about all of our goals, and all of your aspirations…but that is not what interests me. I must know how you got that scar on your left arm...I must know why we carry the same birthmark.”
Hijik removed the shoulder pad that hid his “heretic” marking. It was indeed the same marking. The same Z shaped marking that Dylex carried on his left arm. He was stunned, unable to think or speak clearly. He suddenly became overly enraged and loaded his side arm, pointing it at Hijik’s head.
“What the fuck do you know about me, huh? I kill bastards like you!”
Hijik laughed as he turned to his laptop and began downloading something.
“Child, you will be your own demise. How can you be so arrogant but call yourself a warrior at the same time? You must humble yourself, or you will me a swift doom. I must inform you that your species and my own have had massive interaction within the past 100 years. You think you are wise, but you keep your eyes closed to what is truly obvious. Who invented your fuel source, I must ask? Who antagonized the beginning of your so called “Diatine Wars”? And this one is my favorite…who repelled the pursing AC fleets when your people were forced in to exile? We, the Tridian. No one knew it, but kept you farthest from harm in more ways than you can comprehend.”
Dylex lowered his weapon. Hijik had a valid point…No one knew exactly how the small UDF fleet managed to pass through an entire blockade of AC Battle Cruisers. Most had left it to luck, saying that UDF technology was simply more advanced than the prototypes of it’s predecessors, the AC. But the statistics seemed impossible. The odds were literally 100 to 1…Could it be that maybe Hijik was indeed telling the truth?
“How did you know about all of those things? That happened years before you were even born, I bet. And even then, how could your ships ever stop an entire BLOCKADE of AC Cruisers? It’s impossible.”
Hijik laughed once more.
“You seem to neglect the fact that we were once, just like you, a young race, bent on galactic conquest. Our own history is strikingly similar to your own. Just as you are now experiencing, we too once encountered a race far more advanced than we ever were. They helped us, nurtured us. They SAVED us from total destruction. They gave us the ability to create life…but that is when-“
Suddenly, the power came back on. Camera’s were now booting up and preparing to record everything that was taking place. For the first time in life, Dylex actually began to panic.
“No! How could they have known? Argh…nevertheless, you must not let them stop you! You will take the vent shaft and then follow the map that I have installed onto this hard drive, do you understand? That should take you to the waste facilities, which I left unlocked for you. She is unaware that I know of her location, so you can expect some form of resistance.”
Dylex shook his head, spouting off at Hijik. “You can’t just expect me to follow your every waking order, now can you? I still don’t buy into any of this bull shit…and for all I know this could be some sick and twisted trap!”
Hijik grabbed Dylex by his collar and pulled him far too close for Dylex’s comfort.
“All civilization in the entire universe rests upon your listening skills, so I suggest you perfect them! The other human…she will be able to help you. As for the rest of my story…the rest of the information is on that Hard Drive. You must not lose it, understood?”
Dylex wasn’t accustomed to taking orders from someone not in his command, let alone an alien, but he did as he was told. He kicked in the shaft door and prepared for the journey when Hijik put his hand on his shoulder.
“Please…if not anything else…promise me you will find my friend. All of his information is in File #38 Section 22. If anything that I have said has meant anything to you, then you will do this for me.”
Dylex, for some strange reason, felt as if he had to do as the Triad asked. He didn’t know him, but felt as if their connection had grown significantly within the past few minutes that he had spoken with him. He was reluctant at first, but he agreed.
“I’ll look into it. Just make sure I get out of here alive, alright?”
Hijik sealed the door that Dylex had entered from, saying:
“I will continue to hold them off of you from here. You must use that map and get to the waste facility! I will keep in contact with you through your comm. channel…6 months to the day we will meet again. In don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but this I promise you. There is still very much to discuss.”
Dylex jumped down the vent shaft, without any further hesitation. He landed in another dark muggy vent shaft, but this one was big enough for him to run in thankfully. He turned on his Shoulder lights once more and made a dash forward, following the map now broadcasting through his HUD. He was in a full sprint when he became confused because the map was telling to literally go straight down. He looked at what he was standing on…Not very strong. One wrong step and he could fall right through. It was then that he began to feel as if he had been tricked, but for some reason, he once again began to trust Hijik. Without any further hesitation, he took his pistol and fired straight through the thin surface upon which he stood. After it had been weakened, he slammed his foot through it, kicking it in. Without a second thought, he jumped straight through only to see three fully armed guards charging at him. They were firing blindly, almost as if they were trying to miss. Thankfully, he had landed in a very valuable combat position:
He was at the top of a set of stairs, and he was just as armed as they were. There were various cover spots for his enemies, but none of them really concerned him that much except for two giant pillars, similar to the ones in the Capital building of New Diamat. Shrugging off the irony, he quickly rolled to his right, leaving him behind the cover of the walls on the left side of the staircase. This was a huge advantage for him, as shooting with his dominant hand always made things easier. He loaded his T-36 AR which he had strangely forgotten that he had, and leaned out to the right and aimed down his sights. He fired two bursts, more as precautionary shots, hoping to cause them to hide. The first two hid behind the pillars just as Dylex had feared, but the other continued running up the stairs. Dylex knew that he had to take action or he could very well die. Without hesitating, he leaned out once more and fired 3 bursts straight into his enemies chest. The power of the blasts actually caused his enemy to get thrown backwards, doing even more damage than what he had expected. He reloaded his weapon, and prepared himself to continue what seemed to be a suicide mission.
The two triads were pinned down behind the pillars, but they did have a fix on Dylex’s position. At that moment, he was leaning out to take a shot, so the triad on the left fired blindly while hoping that it would force Dylex back into cover. He leaned back behind his wall, just barely dodging the projectiles that came ever so close to his head.
“When he tries to take aim again, put some fire up the stairs. That should hopefully bring him to a standstill, and from their I will be able to take a shot!”
The left triad was still new to the force, and was not very educated when it came to fire fights. Still, he did as instructed. Dylex leaned out once more to aim, but the Triad was faster this time. He leaned out himself and fired straight at Dylex just barely missing and hitting the window behind him. He continued firing, and told the Triad right to take his shot. The Triad opened his targeting system, and locked on to Dylex…
“I am so fucked!” Dylex yelled into his comm. At Hijik, “This is not even gonna work! You said you’d keep them off of me, so keep them off of me alrea-“
The bullet entered Dylex’s right shoulder, as he fell down in excruciating pain.
“Dude, I just got shot! Seal off the fuckin’ room so they cant get up the stairs!”
Hijik whisked his way through numerous rooms on the Tridian High Carrier. He finally managed to fid Dylex, and began sealing off the room in a desperate effort to keep Dylex alive.
“I have a fix on your location, and I am sealing the room now. They shouldn’t be able to get any closer to you. Follow the map, you’re almost there!”
Dylex managed to pick himself up, clenching his bleeding shoulder. Knowing that he would be unable to carry his rifle anymore, he dropped it in an effort to increase his speed. Now that he was only minimally armed, he couldn’t go and get himself involved in a firefight. He didn’t have a second try like he did in all of the simulations…he had to do this right or die.
He continued following his map which led him to a strange hallway. He was now confused once more. The map was telling him to go down once more, but clearly there was no way get down. He stopped to think for a moment, but was quickly brought back to reality by the sound of gunfire. Not knowing where the shots were coming from, he ducked his head and ran down the hallway, which was now a dimly lit red. He could hardly see anything, but that didn’t stop him. He continued running…nothing could stop him. He wouldn’t allow it. It was apparent that someone was watching over him, whether it be Hijik or Jesus himself, because as he continued running down that hallway, he saw an elevator labeled “Waste Disposal”.
He continued running, hoping to evade the gunfire, but was once again struck by Tridian weaponry. The bullet hit him in his left rib, but he continued running. He had to run…he had to survive. Hijik was depending on him.
“God Damn, I REALLY don’t need this right now! Hijik, I’ve been hit again…seal them off of me again! I’m almost at the elevator!”
Once more, Hijik searched through the numerous rooms until he found Dylex. He sealed off the hallway so that none could enter. Now that Dylex was safe once more, he climbed onto the elevator and took a moment to examine his injuries. His shoulder was bleeding badly. His armor had managed to block a lot of the impact, but it simply wasn’t enough. His armor was designed to deflect AC weaponry, not these kinds of weapons. Having no medical supplies on him at the moment, all he could do was suffer for the moment. The second wound was far less worse, as it was a mere graze. It left a simple cut on the left side of his stomach, leaving it bleeding, but not to the point where it needed immediate medical attention. For now, he had to just focus on surviving. He had to survive…he had to. Hijik was depending on him, and so was the other human that was hiding down in the waste dumps.
The elevator continued it’s decent. Since it was made of Ballistic glass, Dylex could see straight through it, and what he saw blew his mind. As the elevator descended, he could see what appeared to be a series of tunnels and canals…this was indeed the waste facility. There was no way he could ever be found in here, because it was simply to large! As the elevator came to a slow and steady halt, Dylex’s brightened spirits became dim once more. He saw that the elevator doors had locked, and what he saw through the floor ruined his already dark and dreary day. Below him was a large, angled tunnel that was illuminated by several small lights on the walls and floors…and the only thing separating himself from it was a thin sheet of ballistic glass. He gulped, expecting the inevitable. Suddenly, the elevator floor slid out from under him, and he began his long and painful decent. The tunnel took it’s own fair share of twists and turns, finally leading him to the bottom, where he landed into what appeared to be sewage.
Dylex was numb from all the pain. His vision was blurry, and the lights were slowly fading out of view. Slowly but surely, Dylex began to black out…and the last thing he saw was a figure emerge from the darkness, slowly approaching him…