Galactic Saga

INTERLUDE; Dario

September 14, 2167 (Earth time)

Planet Nevul of the system of Asteros 400 million light years away from earth

A foggy planet like Nevul had nothing to offer to the everyday galaxy tourist, thick clouds in the sky and dust covering the ground. A planet abandoned for years, and yet a shuttle was rapidly leaving behind the needle mother-craft and was heading into Nevuls atmosphere. Tera almost fell forward getting bumped from two different directions, two hundred men were smashed together in the uncomfortable confounded space of the shuttle. Tera was looking through the thick glass of the crafts window, he tightened his spacesuit belt, the rigid protective helmet already stood upon his shoulders, and he looked around, and was surprised that most already finished their preparations, standing in their green-brown metal suits, with the wide shoulder pads offering easier rotation of limps.

Loud voices came from a few meters away, another idiotic disagreement ensued.

whats so great about Mars Tera turned his head to his fellow comrades and sighed to the familiar sight, Ferrow and Telon seemed heated while they were having one of their usual debates.

The bars on the Barker city of course

You already forgot about Pluto? Reremos got so drunk that he almost started a duel right then and there with a Plutonian.

The guys around started laughing recalling that surreal moment, they continued their debate undisturbed by the movements of the vessel which was rocking from side to side, while Teras face turned green, hitting against what he thought was a brick wall .

Hey now, we might lose you before we even land Eros said grinning; Tera frowned to that, spreading Eross grin even further.

Eros was the tallest and the beefiest on this aircraft standing more than two metes tall and the serious characteristics of an agitated rhino, with his well-maintained, newly trimmed beard and honey colored eyes he looked quite intimidating but in reality he was more like a big teddy bear.

Eros never sought out promotion and was never given a chance for the reason that his mellow temperament most of the times outshined his other military characteristics.

Ill be fine Tera whispered and stumbled to the other end of the vessel where his friends bad mood could be felt from miles away. His grim expression covered his face behind that big helmet, his brother in arms Reremos was pouting in one corner of the shuttle completely absorbed in his own thoughts. He had his head turned presenting his characteristic cheek scar, the result of one of their military operations.

you seem pale, whats troubling you? Is it Hata again? Tera said.

well I do miss her said smiling sadly, reminiscing about his fiancé. but its not that, i have a bad feeling about this mission, I heard the captain talking to the transmitter earlier it seems that what we are here on another goose chase of the council, you know how often these expeditions turn to madness.

Tera looked at him with astonishment really? It was barely a yellow alert mission, I don see us getting in trouble in this almost desolated planet, light up Rem this is going to be one of those boring completely blow-your-brains out mission he said smiling patting his friend on the shoulder hearing the a chink sound of metal hitting on metal.

Eses, who was listening to the conversation, looked up you humans love your secrets don you?

Few heads turned to look at their unfitting guest. Eses was the only none-earthling above the craft, his bluish skin and triangular characteristics who were some of the distinctive features of a Marener made him noticeable among the members of the squad, his planet allocated on the milky way like Earth, Eses was also the only planetary geologist above the craft making him really important for the mission at hand for his knowledge and also for diplomatic reasons. Eros looked at him frowning, sometimes his directedness made everyone uncomfortable.

Eses, I do not know how the Mareners do it, but in earth soldiers do as told, we just want to get home whole, right boys? Relon said his words followed by shouts of agreement. That seemed to put Eses in his place; he lost interest and turned his attention toward the window.

Finally the craft was ready to land; there was much movement above the craft everyone prepared for the landing the captain then stood in front of the only exit imposing his presence upon everyone aboard.

1 minute to landing the pilot shouted from the pit. Gentlemen his voice echoing throughout the narrow chamber we went through some dangerous missions together this is just another one of those cases, we are about to enter one of the most dangerous planets of the system of Asteros the captain said loudly but firmly.

No mistake shall be allowed, as always your lives are on the line but this time earth is more than in need of your services he paused for a second Our mission is simple: find the buried side, retrieve the package and get the hell out of here, the only thing that stand between us and the goal is some tribal squads of Nevulers who are at their wits end, there is zero room for failure, is that understood?.

YES SIR the soldiers shouted in unison.

Lets get moving then, go, go. The shuttle pump signaled their arrival. The front doors descended creating a small ladder. Two by two the soldiers disembarked the small craft.

Tera was temporarily blinded by the suns light but quickly recovered and turned his sight towards the abandoned base as he took his first steps upon the dry soil of this planet. this base is abandoned for decades, can be in any worse state said Eros their heavy footing was buried in the sandy environment.

The abraded flags set around the perimeter were waving frantically, and the vehicles parked outside had already turned into nothing more than scrap metal, the squad gathered around the front gate which was essentially a hangar not big enough to fit their own vessel.

The squad was quick on its feet, with captains directions to lead the way the base was about to find its former glory again, moving of supplies, establishing positions around the base and a scouting team was assembled. Safety was the earths army first priority wherever they were. Eros i want you here in the base; me and thirty more units we are going to start the search, Eses you are to lead our search, I want everyone around Eses whatever happens during our search Eses should be kept safe no matter what, Ferow, Turio and Lakar you are coming with me and now how about some volunteers 20 hands were raised almost immediately it was obvious that some tedious tasks awaited the rest of the team.

Tera why don you go as well? Your sniper skills might be in need.

I doubt it, they are just searching for some old remnants.

Oh then you would prefer to follow me on the chores? Eros countered.

Tera sighed point made.

Captain, how about Tera as well? An open desert without our most capable sniper would be a waste.

Captain seemed to take notice of Tera at that point. The captains expression was worth the humiliation of being pushed forward like a child. He thought it for a moment and with a nod Tera was aboard the scouting group, a quick eye contact seemed to take place for a second between the captain and Eros. Teras hawk eyes did not miss that, could it have been the captains unreceptive demeanor towards him? Tera and the captain always had their differences Tera was skeptical of captains decisions and leadership in many cases on the countless missions they were together, he was letting his irritation to be show despite his usually cold, military expression.

But Tera was past those shenanigans that drew the attention of the higher ups; he decided he will serve the rest few of his time as timidly as possible; Ferow took a side glance at him.

Reremos and Ferow- the brothers he never had. Even they were unaware of his decision to give up and instead he was putting on a happy face. But Tera was tired, he no longer wished to serve, he spited the army, and slowly but surely it was chipping away at him, he wanted to get away, would he had been happier following a different career?

He was scared to find out, he accomplished nothing more than being dishonest, disregarding of commands and undisciplined, he should have always knew that military life is not for him, but it was too late, fighting was all he knew.

Seven years ago they vetted him; a vain little brat, thinking he could earn glory. His father and mother always pushed him away from that path, the path of military servitude; they themselves were part of it for decades, so when they betrayed him with their death he had only one choice. He had decided that this would be his last mission outside earth.

He had already put in a transfer request, would it become accepted he would stand behind a desk pushing the paperwork, and yet nothing was feeling fulfilling to him. It was like he was giving up. He quickly shoved those thoughts away by shaking his head, after all it was pointless to think about this now, and he would have the ride back home to reconsider. He gathered his items and went ahead to join the search party.

The squad was moving towards their goal through the vast deserts of Nevul, Teras worries were melting away, the draught sight of endless sand valleys relaxed Tera to a point of drowsiness. Though the rest of the squad was getting tired as well, two hours was a long time to be a walking on sand and this heat, but they were soldiers. Their training was much more painful than that, reminiscing about old times in training can actually be helpful in a way.

How much sweat and blood can you spill, that was the real question of their training program , bearing the thirst and hunger followed. Joining the elite force offers nothing but pain for the applicant, no weakness can be tolerated.

Tera sighed returning to the present where he observed a worm-like creature crawl in and out of the sand; it was unexpected though quite possible for many small resilient organisms to survive on this inhospitable environment.

Nevul was a dangerous planet for living organisms. The levels of radiation as well as the air permeated by the constant gasses emitted by the volcanic and seismic activity of the planet made it impossible to survive without the right equipment. None of the earthen soldiers wanted to be here. The fact was Nevul represented a sin of humanity. It was their actions that lead to the planet turning that deadly. As well as nearly extinguish the planets inhabitants. Maybe returning here would prove deadly considering the nevulers were not all that glad to welcome them in their rumbled planet; even though the higher ups seem to underestimate their threat.

they are following us Relon noticed as he took a glance behind his shoulder Tera noticed the small black suited group around their own Umbrer mechanism to protect them from the strong suns shinning both from the east and west, they would have hardly needed it since their bodies were used to this kind of heat but after the destruction of their atmosphere the sun could be deadly even to them – the human suits offered enough protection from the radiation, it was unsettling. That was not the beat up grouping of people their officers spoken about. Nevulers were doing fine for themselves on such a place. look at that and we don even have our own for the main squad, no, they want us to melt to death on this heat Ferrow said whining.

The yellowish sky started turning into orange as one of the suns was setting, the day was long in this planet at least 40 hours if their reports were as accurate as it should be considering the time that was put into scouting this planet before the mission started. They were moving for 5 hours, the troop was exhausted and the space suits made their feet even heavier. The team settled down around and set a perimeter. It was night at last on this planet of eternal day. Tera sat in the hard ground, around with the rest of the squad.

He was one of the last ones to join them after finishing his tasks for the night, they were telling stories about their older days of service. He settled next to them putting his pack near his head and lied down. He let their voices sooth him, he was falling into a slumber, slowly.

He woke up to the voice of Lakar, he was narrating a story about the ancient civilization of Uktaran, he sat up from his long nap and listened with intend, he always enjoyed stories of them when he was a boy. it is said that they were behind Atlantis, all those years we didn know which civilization was responsible for building Atlantis, it turns out it was the most ancient of them all ,

what are you talking about Lakar this is just a rumor,

damn it don ruin it for the guys Turio Turio was the one of the few soldiers who continued his studies after high school that made him enough to rely upon when people needed to evaluate a piece of new information that reached the squad, most of the times he was right as well.

anyway lakar continued we are really close to their planet right now, could the Uktarians have been here as well?

Turio sighed you love conspiracies don you Lakar?,

yea as much as you like dating kids, Turios face turned red on that remark.

Hey she was 18 the squad laughed for that; everyone took Turio too seriously most of the times. The teasing went on for a while until Tera decided to cut in what do you think they were like? Their understanding of the universe was beyond are comprehension, and yet they destroyed themselves. Many heads turned towards him.

Hey now Tera don start Reremos said with a sardonic smile. The others turned back to mocking Turio.

what? I was just curious, what could lead them to annihilate each other, they must have been leading a peaceful life for ages, and do you think that would happen to us again?

Thats why you always look depressed when we go on missions, thoughts like that are pointless Tera, do you forget what we do for a living? Each day at a time

Each day at a time Tera answered back, reciting the message. A buzzing noise signaling the end of their break cut the conversation short and everyone started packing to move forward once again.

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