The Elziir swarmed around Razor as he laid projection after projection of all the intel he had on Chaos onto a semi oval shaped table in the middle of the room. Iglor stood to the left of him on the outside of the oval, and frantically shifted through the data. His hands sporadically organized the details into categories, as Ashley, the 3rd ranked Elziir read out the most prevalent details from her position in the center of the table. Mel paced frantically back and forth on her side, processing every word she spoke.
“Entry number 13. Galactic date 22nd K-M, third day, hour fifty-four. Victim, John Kelziemer. Head of Karra System Affairs. Race, Dakni. Mid-30s. Above average height and weight. Cause of death, multiple lacerations to the abdomen and carotid artery. Patterns of the cuts match several other recent victims, with multiple incisions to various body parts, before a final cut to a major organ/artery.” Ashley flipped through more of the repetitive data, as if trying to solve a puzzle despite missing all the pieces.
“Entry number 48-” she let out an exhausted sigh, twirling her single braided, scarlet ponytail as she read through the mind-numbing details of another identical report before leaning back and letting out another exhalation.
“Come on, “ Mel chimed in as she finished. “Razor, you've been on this case for three months, and you were monitoring it for another eight before that. You've got to have something more substantial than a system and a bunch of victims.” Razor's eyes swam through all of the familiar cases as he laid them out.
“For this guy, what you're looking at is substantial. The team before me thought he operated somewhere in the Borrean Territories. The only reason I managed to narrow it to the Karra System, is because he lured me there.”
Mel threw his hands up in frustration. “You've got to have some kind of detail. Even a ghost leaves tracks. Someone somewhere knows something.”
“And someone else is waiting to kill them the moment they think about releasing any information.”
“He must have a pretty big group then, spreading terror as he is,” Ashley inferred.
“I thought the same thing until my first visit.”
“There's no way he could have stayed hidden this long if he didn't.”
“The Karra System isn't exactly a peaceful little system,” Sarah commented from her posted up position behind Ashley.
“I'm not sure what you're getting at,” she replied
“You can't just land in with your arms on your hips shouting I've come to rescue the citizens, and expect them to just hand you info,” Razor clarified.
“You may see him as terror, but over there he's worshiped.”
“He's a symbol for every being living in an impoverished hellhole in that system. The first time I went there, I brought up his name and drew more attention than the Elzna did when they were first discovered by the other species. And it wasn't woos and cat-calls either.”
“So what? He's like their God?”
“Think about it Ashley,” a voice spoke out. All heads turned to its source on the far side of the room, standing with his arms behind his back as his black, jagged red-striped eyes gazing out into the infinite space from the large glass window. He wore a long-sleeve, white combat top, with black tourmaline protruding on the sides, extending from armpit to waist, as well as a strip along his spine and shoulders. A black combat belt held his black cargos along with a variety of tools and secondary weapons. His hair was slick on the sides, yet a short, spiky mess on top. A single scar ran from the base of his neck to his cheekbone, as it did on all Kaldi. He was Ku'Thro, rank one and leader of the Elziir.
Razor casted a glance to both Sarah and Mel, who held the same confusion he did. When the hell had this guy even gotten into the room?
Ku'Thro held his gaze steady on the void, speaking as if the dark topic was one he was forced to endure.
“You're born into a society where you have to fight for the air you breathe. Growing up, the only thing you ever hoped for was that your family wasn't brutally murdered for the few crumbs of bread you had on your plate. Generation after generation, and the only thing ever experienced is more death. Even the most basic pleasures are foreign. Food, Love, Companionship. And it's because of the fat, greedy prick cowering behind the walls of his paradise that these conditions exist. That this is your reality. But it's not enough that he shuns you out. No, he has to take everything you have too. Everything you starve and bleed for. And what do you do? Fight? Die for freedom, rather than live in the oppression. Hm. That's heroic, but the only thing that will come of it is a dead generation. A repeating cycle of bloodshed. A repeating cycle of hatred. But then, one day, a man comes along and gives you something you'd never thought you'd achieve in life. Some sort of satisfaction for the measly existence that you've been forced to endure. And he doesn't do it by giving you money. He doesn't give you power. He gives you vengeance. He gives you blood. The blood of every coward who thrived off of your detriments. And now that you finally get some contentment, suddenly, someone from across the galaxy tries to come and tell you that they give a damn about what's happening. That they understand your pain, and that they want to serve justice for all. Who the hell would I be to speak to you of justice? After all your suffering. After enduring in the hell you've lived. The only justice that exists there is hatred and revenge. You're not going to hand over your satisfaction. You're going to enjoy imagining the agonizing faces of every body that drops.”
The room fell silent for a moment, most stuck in there own vividly painted imaginations. The temporary fillers, on the other hand, eyed Ku'Thro curiously, still surprised that he managed to get by all of them undetected. None of them had felt another presence until the moment he spoke. The silence was suddenly interrupted as Tilda poked her head through the door to the right of Razor.
“Relya's on the line. Says it's urgent.”
Ku'Thro turned and followed the others as they made their way toward the communications room, where Gilber, Ak'uum, and Jess were already waiting. As they filed in around the large circular platform in the center, a life-sized projection of Relya appeared around them. Ku'Thro made his way up to the front, as Relya greeted them.
“I see you're up for once,” Relya acknowledged as Ku'Thro made himself present.
“The tides seemed unsettled,” he replied. Relya nodded her head, recalling the phrase they used to use during the days of their partnership.
“Anything interesting on Zor?”
“Wasn't related to the attack on Haalm,” Gilber spoke up.
“How do you know?”
“It appears a few of our rookies have had encounters with the person responsible for this attack. They confirmed it.”
“Since when did I get demoted?” Mel grumbled out.
“Rookie by Elziir standards.” Gilber clarified.
Relya turned her glance to the fillers, awaiting further details of the confirmations.
“Is this correct?”
“Yes it is,” Razor began. “This was done by a highly skilled assassin known as Chaos. We're not entirely sure whether its a group or not, but we can confirm that the attack between Haalm and Zor are unrelated.”
“Well, there's a ninety-percent chance that the attack on Kalpa II does have a connection to Haalm.”
Relya's projection split as footage of another destroyed city came into view.
“We got this a few hours ago. The streets are in anarchy, and officials have completely lost control of the city. Majority of the damage was done by civilians. Reports of a mysterious being similar to the one on Haalm was reported rampaging through.”
“Holy shit,” Ak'uum gasped.
“That's not all,” Relya continued, splitting her projection yet again. This one showed a man in a burgundy trench coat with chains wrapped around his torso, holding a large rifle.
“Rossulio Kopink was on the planet at the time of the attack. He established communications with The Guild before going to confront the attacker. We haven't heard from him since.”
“We'll send a few in and investigate,” Ku'Thro added.
“Forewarning,” Relya interjected. “Be extremely cautious. Whoever or whatever is doing this let off something into the atmosphere, and its infected the populace, leaving a detrimental effect. The Galactic Evacuation Corps had to retreat from the city because it was too hostile. Watch your backs out there. Relya out.” Her projection vanished, leaving only the destroyed city and image of Ross in the mix.
“What the fuck are we dealing here,” Mel began.
“I'm not sure, but we 'd better figure it out soon,” Ku'thro acknowledged.
“Razor and Ashley, you're coming with me. The rest of you are going to stay aboard this ship and go to Kalpa II. Mel, Jess, Sarah, and Gilber will investigate. Iglor, I want you to extract and examine one of the infected. Tilda and Ak'uum, I want you to find me some tracks. Whoever or whatever is causing this havoc obviously isn't bothered with concealing his identity. I doubt he's covering his ass either.”
“You sure its a good idea to put me with her,” Mel broke in.
“No, but The Guildmaster is forcing my hand.”
“Wait,” Tilda interrupted. “Why are we splitting up?”
“Because this Chaos fellow has an interesting bite to his bark. Throughout all of his reports, its been single targets, namely crooked politicians. Seems odd that he's suddenly interested in massacring an entire faction days after the events on Haalm.”
“So where's our rendezvous?” Gilber asked.
“We'll regroup on the edge of the Elza System in two days. We'll discuss from there.”
On his last statement, the group dispersed. Sarah brushed by Razor, pecking him on the cheek.
“Be safe,” she whispered.
As she made her way out, Ku'Thro filed in next to him.
“Strange seeing a Kaldi in a relationship.”
“Even stranger seeing a human with enough patience to deal with one,” Razor replied
“So where are we headed,” Ashley broke in.
“The Karra System,” Ku'Thro replied as he began walking to the docking bay.
“That's pretty vague,” Razor noted falling behind him.
“The place where you got attacked.”
“Any reason in particular?”
“Hunches, I suppose.”
Razor nodded as they approached the aluminum-like silver ship they were to board. It was triangular in its exterior shape. The inside was much smaller than the ship they were currently on, only containing a lounge area and a small kitchen. There were no solid walls, only a single large window showing the outside. Two sets of white couches lined the walls in square formations, with a few circular glass table placed at positions in the center. The kitchen contained an aluminum refrigerator, stove and counter tops. Ashley boarded and lied on the couch across from Razor. Ku'Thro set the course, before disappearing into the cockpit of the ship. With everything in order, the docking doors opened, and they made there way toward the Karra System.