"Soren, a child found in the old ruins of a kingdom, is taken as the apprentice of the Court Magician, Song Yu Ra. As the kingdom face a great danger that can end their planet's existence, his origin is revealed. He has the power to save the planet-but at the price of revealing his existence to those who after his power, what will he do?"
“THIS IS LE VENTAS, addressing the whole crew.
“We have just arrived at Metasatriya System. All facility will remain in 50% activation until we reach the seventh planet, Album.
“We will enter the first phase of 102nd Velga Annihilation Operation in 100 minutes. All crew prepare in your positions.
“This is the end of the announcement.”
“May our life, as brilliant as the stars,"
"and our souls, as vast as the space,"
"radiate eternally in the abyss of time.”
Reuben waited nervously in front of the door that led to the bridge. His uniform—shirt and pants with a dirty green color—looked so out of place with the futuristic look of the fortress. His golden brown hair was cut to military style, making him look three years older than his actual age, fourteen.
He was put here by his father to learn how the 'Velga Hunters' did their job. He had been here for a month, yet he still couldn't get used to the place. The place made him painfully conscious of his appearance, especially when he met the few who were not in cold sleep.
There were several rumors revolving around the people of Le Ventas. Reuben had had one of them proven to him the moment he saw the crew. All of them were so sinfully perfect. Beautiful faces, gorgeous bodies, hypnotizing voices, strong muscles, high intelligence, talent - anything anyone hoped for, they had it. It made Reuben check his appearance every time he saw a mirror, and yet he still felt like a cockroach among butterflies when he met them.
And they said those people were nothing compared to their commander and his vice commander.
They must be exaggerating, Reuben thought. Nobody can be so perfect. It is wrong.
As if fate wanted to prove it to him, Reuben noticed a group of people walking briskly in the dimly lit hallway as the announcement repeated. They walked in a perfect rhythm, like well trained warriors. Their footsteps' sound was dampened by the sounds of machines activating themselves.
Reuben immediately spotted the commander. He was the tall man with broad shoulders in front, who listened to the others reporting but kept his eyes staring straight ahead. When they were near enough for Reuben to take a good look at them, he found the rumors were true once again.
Oh man, Reuben thought in a mix of disdain, awe, and envy. He really is different.
The commander was the definition of ultimate physical perfection. His hair was as white as paper, but rather than making the thirty-something looking man look old, it perfected his regal looks. His strong and charismatic face was completed with the golden eyes of a predator, eyes that seemed to command fear and respect from those around him. As if this was not enough, he was also very handsome, handsome enough for directors and photographers to kneel and beg for him to work for them.
His uniform consisted of a black coat lined with light blue, black pants, and dark blue boots. Medals decorated the left side of his chest and beneath it was a name tag that read: “KASTARIS.” Reuben was jealous of how regal the uniform was and how Kastaris looked too good in it.
Others donned similar uniforms, but had black shirts - also lined with blue and with three buttons on the right and left, instead of the coat. All of them wore dark blue gloves with two white circles, one big and one small, in the back of their palm - the same as the one at the upper right arm of their shirt and coat, but that one had “LE VENTAS” written over it.
When the group was at two meters distance from him, Reuben straightened himself and saluted. Kastaris and his group stopped and returned his salute.
"Cadet Reuben Aster reporting," Reuben said as steadily as possible. It is hard to keep yourself together when you have the full, undivided attention of a group of gorgeous people.
"You're the one from P.C.B Naphtali," Kastaris stated with a deep, strong voice. It was neither a question nor confirmation, but Reuben replied with "Yes Sir!" anyway.
Kastaris' mouth curved into a very slight grin. "Relax, cadet. You don't have to be so uptight in here."
"I'm sorry, Sir. I am raised like this," Reuben said, still in his military tone.
"I see. Then from now on, your post is Vice Commander until Nazaris comes back."
Reuben blinked. Did the commander just say what he thought he said? "Excuse me, Sir. You want me to be your Vice? I don't think I'm suited for that position."
"Do not worry, cadet. You have only one job and that is to be my conversation partner. It is quite lonely without a Vice by my side."
The group then entered the bridge from a door which automatically disappeared and reappeared as and when it was needed. The bridge was a long, field sized room with a curved ceiling and walls that made you feel like you were inside a tube. Comfortable looking silver chairs that looked like dentist chairs were lined up at each side of the room, each facing the wall at forty five degrees.
At the center back, was a small platform with two chairs similar to the others, but bigger in size and more sophisticated looking. Reuben followed Kastaris there while the rest sat on their own chairs. The chairs automatically laid the seaters down and pushed them up. At the same time, layers upon layers of data faded into existence, surrounding the seaters in a cage of light-blue letters and images.
"Activating viewing layer," a computerized voice spoke.
The curved steel roof and walls disappeared, revealing the sea of stars called space. Reuben was awed at how realistic the viewer was. But it was the next thing that stopped his breath.
The dark space changed. Colorful clouds appeared, surrounding the white stars and connecting them with multicolored wisps of light. Some area of the black space turned red, blue, green, etc while some remained black. That was all that changed, but the impact was huge. What seemed to be a boring, cold space, now looked like nature's greatest work of art.
"It's called material and energy sensor," Kastaris explained to Reuben, who was gaping like an idiot. "It assigns colors to everything according to its nature. It may be artificial, but it makes the whole thing easier and less boring."
That was the biggest understatement Reuben had ever heard. He knew his father would sell his soul to have this particular technology. Spotting enemies and danger would be much simpler and they wouldn't be bored to death by the dull white-dots-on-black view.
This must be the reason why they could detect Velga so easily, Reuben thought, before the entire room suddenly became very busy.
“Le Ventas in 50% activation. Speed 0.0024A/hour. All systems green.”
“Switching Core Reactor* to Radiant Reactor** has completed. Full capacity will be ready in 150 seconds. Redirecting Core Reactor to UHSD*** Drive battery.”
“UHSD Drive Battery is 0.0092 percent until full charge. Charge will be completed in 80.65 hours.”
“Black Night Dragon spotted at MX4.33-Y3.012-Z4.77, currently orbiting around Album in 0.0024A distance.”
“Any news from Nazaris?” Kastaris asked.
“Last message was received 48 hours ago. It had a report attached to it.”
There were only two words in the message: “Legacy confirmed" and yet Kastaris seemed to understand it.
The attached file was a folder containing many pictures. Ancient cities, forests, white sanded desserts–Kastaris continued browsing until he spotted a picture containing a formation of cream colored buildings of various shapes seen from far away.
Kastaris' eyes gleamed in hunger when he saw it, sending a jolt of fear in Reuben's chest. The white haired man touched the hologram and the reply appeared as if it came out from his fingertip. The commander sent the reply and then addressed the whole bridge.
"Maximum speed towards Album. I want us to arrive 24 hours before we start the operation."
The crews obeyed his words and started to increase the speed. Reuben could feel a strange excitement in the air as they did so. It was as if the mere command told everything the crew needed to know.
"So near...nearer than any other time before. We won’t—can’t fail this time. It has been too long already," Kastaris spoke so longingly, behaving as if Reuben was not there. His next words sent a chill through the cadet's spine.
“I’m coming to get you, Velga.”
Watching Kastaris' and his crew’s strange behavior made Reuben remember his father's words:
"If there is one imperfection the people of Le Ventas have: it is their unnatural obsession with Velga."
At first Reuben thought that the Le Ventas people were obsessed with destroying Velga just like anybody else. Now, Reuben was not sure anymore. Kastaris' tone was strange, there was no rage in it—only pain, longing, and desperation. It was as if he desired Velga.
But why would someone desire the Destroyer of the Universe?
*Core Reactor: a reactor with concept similar to a nuclear reactor.
**Radiant Reactor: a reactor that uses Radiant Wave as the source of energy.
***UHSD: Ultra High Speed Dimension. Usually used in land, sea, air travel. Use in space travel is very rare.