Author - Demogorgon
Rated - M
"Dammit; I hate this shift." Corporal Jenkins muttered and grumbled unceasingly on his third pass through through Section 9. He meant what he'd said; he hated this shift, a six hour shit-stroll through a cold-as-ice shit-hole. Section 9: IPDF, "Indefinite Prolonged Deep Freeze". The worst of the worst were locked aboard the Purgatory here, in this gloriously mundane sequence of corridors and bulkheads, and nothing ever happened here. The prisoners never saw space again, and new additions were frozen solid long before their berth was chosen. It was one of the most secure sections of the ship, and Corporal Jenkins hated every last drawn out second of it. And somehow, it seemed like he pulled this shift every single week. He'd compared his shift roster to some of the other mercs and had not been surprised to find that he was handed this oh-so-mind-numbingly dull assignment almost 83% of the time. This was it, he thought to himself, growling out another string of curses. This time he really was going to bring it up with the duty commander. Seventy-eight weeks of this was enough. In fact... [clink] [click... click... click...] [whirrrrrrrrrr...] Jenkins stopped, his swearing caught in mid word. This was new. He never heard anything in these corridors except for the steady, regulated thrum of the engines. Something was happening. He rotated, listening for the sounds of machinery, and was faced abruptly with a section of bulkhead sliding apart and depositing a tall, silver cryo-cylinder fifteen degrees to his left. His training kicked in and he tapped the side of his helmet. "This is Jenkins, in Section 9, Corridor 16. Did somebody authorize a prisoner transfer down here?" "Jenkins, what the hell are you talking about?" The duty commander sounded harrassed. "Nobody authorizes transfers from 9, you know that." "I know, sir, but..." "Look, I don't have time for this; we've got a situation up here and we're locking the ship down." There was some static over the comm, the sounds of scrambled movement on the other end. "Get back to your patrol and don't grab my elbow again." "Nice," Jenkins mumbled as the line went dead. Of course they were locking the ship down; something exciting was happening, and he was missing out yet again. He REALLY needed to find out who's breakfast he'd pissed in to keep getting this assignment, it was getting to be... [hissssssssssssssssss] [scritch... scratch... scritch...] The cylinder was making strange sounds again. Corporal Jenkins had no idea what it was doing; it was just sitting there, so why should it be making any sort of noise? He clicked on his helmet lamp and peered at the cylinder. It was opaque, the gasses inside obscuring it's occupant from view. The sound was repeated, once, twice. He tapped a finger against the cylinder. "Hello, in there; may as well get back to hibernation, you're not missing anyth..." [crick... CRACK] Glass shattered, claws reached, and for Corporal Jenkins, the world ended. It took some time to finished smashing its way out of the cryo-cylinder, but the monster within took great pleasure in the experience. Sensation flowed through his arms and legs, into his torso, the blood pumping, pure and strong and hungry. Such worthless creatures, these beings. Had they done any sort of digging they would have known how resistant his species was to extreme temperatures. He had played their game, lying comatose in tiny space while they thought him helpless, but his enjoyment of their ignorance had come to an end. Playtime was over. Sourek, killer of thousands, merged his arms and legs back into their bipedal form and began prowling for victims.
"All hands, this is a ship-wide alert..." "Where the hell is it?!" [static, gunfire] "That way, that way!" "...we have an escaped prisoner on Deck Seventeen, lethal force has been authorized..." [static, screams] "I got him, I... arrrrrrghhhhh!" "He's in the shuttle bay; vent the hold! Vent it now!" "ATTENTION ALL HANDS, EXPLOSIVE DECOMPRESSION IN SHUTTLE BAY THREE; REPEAT, EXPLOSIVE DECOMPRESSION IN SHUTTLE BAY THREE."
The prison vessel's profile slid out if his view as Sourek clung to the outer hull of the small, two-person diplomat's shuttle. He used all of his arms and legs for support and leverage, dragging himself to the entry hatch. His lungs were starting to ache, but he could hold his breath far longer if necessary. Using the pack of engineer's tools he had swiped along the way through the ship he sliced his way through the shuttle's hatch and into the ship. It had been entertaining, ambushing the merc teams as they searched the ship for him, but he'd had that sort of entertainment before, and it quickly grew stale. There were more planets out there to explore, more warlords to bring down, and more blood to dedicate on the altars of the Destroyer. He keyed in the last coordinates stored in the shuttle's database. It was going to be a long ride.
Part 1: Floating DownstreamEdit
Sourek is a dreamer. He has always been a dreamer, and he fully enjoys his dreams. He has known others in his past who have shunned their dreams, or ignored them entirely. Sourek knows better. His dreams are the gates to his gods, and his gods smile upon him. The bathe in the blood he sends to their altars, exalting him above all others. He is an avatar of flesh and bone, a holy weapon at the beck and call of the Lords of the Void. He does not mind; he is happy to be their slave, a willing tool.
This dream is chaotic, scattered, confused. He revels in it. He sees a hole in space, a rip, a tear. Monsters and alien beings spill through, twisting planets into shapes that hurt the mind. The universe warps and spasms at their coming. He fights them, savage, glorious. He cannot best them. He dies, over, and over, and over again. He blinks, and there is someone new standing before him. An entity of cold, dark energy. The Destroyer. Sourek kneels, pressing his forehead to the ground. They are on a moon, planets burning above them. The Destroyer speaks, words slicing like razors.
"Would you be my hand, murderer?"
"Yes, Lord," Sourek rages.
"Would you be the symbol of a galaxy's rage against those who build the horrors of order?"
"Yes, Lord!" Sourek shouts into darkness.
"Rise, Sourek; your task is coming soon..."
Sourek's eyes flashed open, his sleep interrupted by the sound of alarm bells ringing. He sat up more fully in the pilot's chair, checking his unstruments. The small diplomatic shuttle was one standard hour away from a collision with a larger vessel. Possibly a frieghter of some kind, although it seemed to be a little on the small side. Small served him better; small size usually meant less weight and faster reactors. The only thing left for him to decide was how aggressive he wanted to be. He was an escaped convict, though it was entirely possible the news had not yet reached this corner of the galaxy.
Sourek resolved to deal with that if and when it came up. For the moment, his rage was satiated, and a small vessel closing with him was hardly with notice by his gods. He set the shuttle on an automatic, emergency docking procedure. Time to be the social butterfly his mother had always wanted him to be.
The hour passed. The vessels drifted closer together, the emergency docking precedure doing the job it was intended to do. Sourek was gratified to discover that the other ship had not intended to deny the procedure. Things would have had to get messy, otherwise.
The click-clack-clink-clank of the docking ports aligning with each other was followed shortly by the hissing of pressure as both sides of the airlock pressurized each other. Sourek kept his arms and legs intwined in biped position. His triangular, sharply defined head with it's smooth, hairless cranium was sure to give him away as a non-human, but he could not be sure that the crew of this ship would be familiar with his species. It would be of enormous benefit if they were not, in case he needed an advantage against them later.
The airlocks completed their cycle; the doors slid open, and Sourek recieved the shock of his life.
Part 2: DestinyEdit
There were three of them. One near-human, two pureblooded homo sapiens. Two male, one female. One of the humans, a dark-haired, serious-looking male, held a modest slugthrower like he knew what to do with it. The other two were unarmed as far as Sourek could tell. The near-human, however, dominated Sourek's attention, and waves of what the humans would call deja vu hit him like an asteroid hauler at terminal velocity.
Him. That one... it cannot be possible!
But it was. The Lords of the Void worked quickly it seemed. Sourek took a single step forward and knelt, cementing his view to the deck.
"It is the will of my Lords that I serve as your weapon, Destroyer. I am your sword, your dagger, your blood-soaked claws. I await your favor."
"How interesting..." said the Engurrian. He sounded soft; too soft. Sourek would not doubt his Lords' decision, however. The humans, typical of their cowardly race, backed away hastily.
"You know each other?" asked the female.
"No," said the Engurrian, sounding curious. "I've never actually met a Vierversteckt before, not on any sort of speaking terms. They are a violent, murderous race. The very fact that we are here, undamaged, in the presence of this one... very peculiar." Well, at least the pale one knew enough not to need an education in Sourek's species. "Not that you need my permission, but you can stand up if you like. You may want to help me put my associates at ease, as well, and explain what this is all about."
"Of course, Destroyer," Sourek said, standing to his full height once more. He looked the human female in the eyes, keeping his toothy smile to himself for the moment. "I am called Sourek. What the Engurrian tells you about my species is vague, but true. I give you this promise: while I am in service to the Destroyer, not a one of you will suffer pain or death at my hands." He looked back at the pale one, eyes narrowing into long slits. "I have been placed in your service, until such time as I have fullfilled my destiny, as appointed to me by the Lords of the Void. This I swear upon the blood of all those who have come before."
"I see." The pale one made a strange, face-grabbing gesture. "What's this... Destroyer business? I've had many titles in my time, some of them not complimentary. This one does not seem familiar to me, and i'm not sure I care for it's connotations."
Sourek's eyes narrowed further. An old riddle bubbled it's way to the front of his mind. When is the Destroyer NOT the Destroyer? He could not remember the answer.
"The Lords of the Void have chosen you, as they have chosen me," he said. He did show the toothy smile this time, the savage smile. "They are not always known for their sense of humor, but this seems to be one of those times when they are making a joke at our expense. What matters is that you, my reluctant master, are destined for great things, and I am duty-bound to see those great things in person." He turned the toothy smile towards the humans. "Perhaps your friends would care to introduce themselves? I enjoy meeting new people; oh, yes."
The serious looking, dark-haired human male glanced at the female before slipping his weapon back into its holster and stepping forward to extend a hand. "Xavier Frost, formerly of 49th sharpshooter division for the 6th Colonial Insurrection. Pleasure to make your acquaintance."
Sourek grinned more broadly, showing more teeth. "Bold. I like that in a human." He grasped Xavier's hand with just the right amount of strength to emphasize his extra hand. "You defer to the female," he continued, releasing the hand. "You did not do so with the Destroyer. I am left to assume then..." He turned to face the female. "...that you are the Captain of this vessel?"
The female drew a quiet breath before replying. "I own and pilot the ship, Helena, yes. But I was, am, an Instructor at the Alliance Education Center on Ehrial." She smiled at him, a soft, human smile with far too few teeth showing. "May I ask why you performed an emergency dock on my ship?"
"I was drifting," Sourek explained. "There was an emergency aboard my host vessel. I am not sure if anyone else survived the emergency, or if the ship itself is even still spaceworthy. I'm sure they can fend for themselves." He lessened his grin. "I do not believe we are gathered here by chance. I have dreamed, and I have seen this galaxy broken, bathed in fire and in blood. The Destroyer is central to this conflict, and so shall I be. I can only guess at the parts that you and your other companion will play."
"This has been... enlightening, but it's all a bit melodramatic for me. I'm going down to the galley to replenish some nutrients." The Destroyer, Morgon, left in a controlled rush. Spooked, maybe. Sourek had a sour tatse developing in his mouth, but he would not doubt his Lords.
The human male named Xavier blinked, then shrugged.
"Yes... well, you may stay in one of the crew cabins if you wish," said Valerie, the human female. "There are four near the center of the ship, ask the onboard VI if you get lost. They've never been used so you may have to peel the plastic off of some things." She seemed hospitable enough, but Sourek saw that it was a mask, worn by someone used to wearing masks of calm. He grinned more broadly again, showing his teeth.
"Your generosity humbles me, Captain," he said. he bowed, letting his arms unfurl from each other. "I am at your command. I will be in one of the cabins if you have need of my services." He straightened, re-entwined his arms, and headed to the crew section. He could feel his mood improving already.