The war between Selvians and Xeni was long and relentless. After nearly thirty years of bloodshed, the Compact became adopted. This co-written peace treaty included terms and laws to live and abide by to ensure the peace between the two species, and did just that. For a while, at least.
Natural resources on Sylva are became a global concern, after so much was lost during the war. Astronomers searched numerous star systems in hopes of
“Humanity. A product of Selvian influence.”
Jevlin paused as his words hit the Assembly Hall. Turning towards the podium, he became fixated upon the large, spherical hologram that gently hovered above it. The elegant garden world that inhabited his project. He spoke softly.
Ragurd slammed his fists down.
“It was a mistake, Brother, and you know that as truth. Charges of treason against the Compact puts the entirety of the Selvian race at the mercy of Xeni forces! We must consider the fate of our own world first and foremost! Sylva takes precedence over Earth!”
Jevlin let his eyelids close as he soaked in Ragurd’s words. Upon taking a breath, he turned to face one of his colleagues.
“Brother Jaeto? Play it once more.”
Jaeto carried out the order and brought up a different hologram. It took the form of a large and brutish figure. A pigment of dark mahogany covered his skin, complimented by a heavy set of intricate, onyx shaded armor.
“Dr. Jevlin Tao.”
The deep bass of his menacing two-tone voice echoed throughout the silence of the room.
“You and your faculty are to put current operations on hiatus and meet with Emperor Loraezin. He’s heard some very disturbing things about your little outpost. We’re enroute to the Sol system. Be ready to speak.”
The hologram froze once the message commenced. The Xeni’s bright yellow eyes, although frozen and virtual, sent chills throughout Jevlin’s body. Ragurd approached him and laid a hand on his shoulder.
“They know, Brother. We must comply.”
Jevlin’s face grew warm with temper.
“Lenaeia, inform the crew and pinpoint Loraezin’s location. Brother Ragurd, there’s a traitor amongst us and I want his head.”
Looking again at the hologram, he pointed at Jaeto.
“Get that thing out of sight and begin preparations,” he said with bitterness.
And with that, he stepped out of the room — the Assembly silent.
Jevlin laid in his bed, deep in thought. Lenaeia materialized herself upon the desk. The hologram was a two feet tall, glowing and translucent resemblance of a Caucasian human female aged eighteen years. She bore a black short-sleeved jumpsuit with a V-neck collar. The leggings were pulled up a foot below the knee, revealing milky-white legs that led down to her red slip-on shoes. She kept her black hair neck-length with a bob-cut style; her swept bangs hovering slightly above her large, coffee-colored eyes.
“So the crew’s been updated, and I’ve pinpointed the location of Emperor Loraezin’s ship. The Tennigon is approximately 4.51 light years from the Sol system.”
“They approach Alpha Centauri?”
“That’d be a pretty safe bet.”
“Dammit. Forgive my curses. Over a millennia I have lived, Lenaeia. A thousand years I’ve had a role in shaping the evolutionary path of man. All for naught.”
He sat up on the edge of the bed, his head in his palms. He dug his fingers deep into his dark charcoal skin as he let out groans of anger.
“Damn that accursed Compact and damn those loathsome Xeni!”
His hands fell to his sides as he drew a heavy breath.
“Lenaeia, is there anything in the document that can truly charge us with treason?”
“Hmm, one sec.”
She manifested a miniature bookshelf which she often used for humorous purposes. As an artificial intelligence, she was capable of bringing up data in nanoseconds, but Lenaeia enjoyed pretending that all of her data was stored in her “library”. She rested her chin on her balled up fist, and squinted while pointing fingers at random books. As she emulated searching for the Compact, she muttered to herself.
“No...not that one. Nope, not you either. Hmm…where in the world did I put that thing?”
Chuckling at her own foolishness, she turned her head and caught Jevlin glaring at her with impatience. She giggled awkwardly with a nervous grin. Without turning from his gaze or withdrawing the wide smile, she poked a random book, which converted the bookshelf into a few floating sheets of paper.
She snatched up the sheets and began looking them over. Jevlin’s impatience persisted.
Lenaeia peeked up from behind the papers.
“You know, rushing somebody is very rude.”
She continued examining the Compact.
“Here’s something. Article Seventeen mentions that it’s prohibited to engage in direct interaction with any and all unknown species of intellectual civilization or prospect.”
She folded up the papers and put them in her pocket.
“Guess they don’t want to repeat history.”
“The war taught our people caution - that much is certain. But the rule prohibits only direct interaction. Our work here has been strictly indirect. Humanity has no knowledge of us.”
“True enough. I guess technically, we’re not doing anything wrong, but...they may still see our work as a potential threat.”
Jevlin laid back down.
“We’ll know soon enough, I suppose.”
He sighed deeply.
“What if this whole project was a foolish mistake? Who are we to take on the role of the High Entity?”
Lenaeia reacted with sharpness at this.
“Listen to me. You’ve done great things for the humans. You could have wiped them out and scavenged all of Earth’s resources for Sylva, but you saw the potential they had to offer. You chose guidance over genocide. Loraezin may not approve, but he has no authority over Selvian interests.”
Jevlin sat back up.
“He has great disdain for our people. If convicted, we’re subject to his terms. He could have us all executed...or perhaps even attempt to terminate the Compact itself! That’s another war waiting to happen…dammit!”
He stood up at this realization and began pacing back and forth, now nervous.
“I...I desire no harm to come by the humans, but I cannot allow further bloodshed between us and the Xeni. Especially for a matter none on Sylva know of, spare our leaders.”
He stopped pacing and faced Lenaeia.
“What would you have me do?”
She wore a sly smile at these words.