Cyphon found himself standing in front of a view port on the IV lost in thought once more. His mother had fought the Order and its Matriarchs for a “better life”. It cost hers but ironically the resulting exile of him and his father did bring him a better life. Back on Thess the best life he could hope to ever achieve was the simple life of a farmer. A life he was born into and destined to live and die in. Now standing on a void ship light-years away from his family’s farm he can only see a better future.
“Don’t let Lily catch you day dreaming again.”
“Sir, I didn’t hear you walk up.”
“That’s because you’re not paying attention to your surroundings private.”
Cyphon turned to Corporal Ed, a human, though not originally a soldier on their expedition. The story goes he turned fighter after the void ship Agamemnon fell to Tess when the dark warrior Raynor killed his daughter. Now he heads up the security department for the IV and has helped train Cyphon and the others who have decided to make a better life in the void. Who he was before the fall he has not been able to find out, like much of the crew they avoid talks of their homes and past lives. A raging war seems to have engulfed their homes, a war and home they are driven to return to. A war that him and his people are also heading to now. A war he will gladly fight as this ship and its people are a better life.
“Sorry sir. You have lived this your entire life. Sometimes I have to stop and think of where I was to see where I’m going now.”
“You can be introspective when your off shift, while here keep your mind on the job or you can quickly find yourself dead. Your shift report.”
The glorious part of his new life. Paper work they call it, the meaning lost on Cyphon. On Tess reading and writing were required of all citizens regardless of stature. Whole buildings were dedicated to the written word and the orders passed down from The Order. All of them hand written or printed on sheets of paper. Here entire buildings of written word are condensed down to plastic and metal pads. Not only words but pictures and moving images, in hundreds of languages from thousands of cultures. With all of that information at their disposal they seem to most often use it for reports, and telling each other what they spent their day doing.
“We had an incident down at the bar between Chrysabol and Crewman Chloe. Nothing came to blows but we should keep an eye out. I have a feeling that won’t be the last between them and quite frankly the matriarch who sits with her terrifies me. The Anderson’s needed help with getting their shanty wall expanded and Rick was found drunk again in the passageways.”
“Another perfect day in paradise. Dismissed. Go grab a drink and get lost in your thoughts or some company.”
As Cyphon walked the corridors towards the bar his sense of the ether started to flare. The Agamemnon’s and her crew have shown they have mastery over the void but when it comes to the ether only a few have the gift and their control limited to only the most basic of manipulations. Lily calls it dark energy and shows the greatest skill but her grasp is limited and she uses mostly to destroy. During the early days of the journey several of the adapts tried to train the crew but they were looked down upon and treated like children. Now his sense of the ether was flaring again, a crude and harsh cry. He picked up his pace and dropped his hand to the holster of his sidearm.
Never draw unless you have to shoot, but be damn well ready to draw.
A loud high pitched scream comes down the hall, the kind that makes you cringe your face and feel sorrow the for people on the other end. The type of scream of someone in rage. Cyphon feels a slight vibration through the soles of his books and the ether pulses again. He takes off at a run down the hall drawing his sidearm. At the corner he stops, assess the, corner and view down at the 45 degree. Blood and smolder can be seen. He rounds the corner sidearm at the ready.
In the hall is the remains of crewman Chloe, her left arm having been blown clean from her chest, most of her chest missing, charred away in an ether explosion. Across from her lying on the floor is Li’sae unconscious. Cyphon takes a step back and turns his head fighting back the bile. Training only goes so far and reality teaches the rest. Ed clears the corner, firearm at the ready and comes upon the scene.
“Private, if you’re going to retch, do so away from here. This is a crime scene now.”
He quickly dials the com frequency for Captain Gurlon.
“Sir, you need to come down to aft corridor D41. There has been a murder.”