Episode Two: Welcomes & Misfortunes

in Silver Star: Shadows of the Fallen

Location: Bantra Vaal Collective Farm-Bravo Site, Valon, planet Bantra Vaal
In-Story Timestamp: 03/19/2516

They had been working for hours on end to fill their quota of grains. Unfortunately, the planet had recently had a strange famine, in terms of grain products. What caused the famine was a mystery; all the crops had been watered, fertilized, tilled, plowed, and removed of any weeds that may destroy the purity of the produce. Yet, withered sections had still popped around the farm.

"Well, Section A-114-Y, is all gone. So much for that," Inana said, disappointment lingering in her voice.

"That's forty sections of crops, dead. We'll be way behind on our quota," Kuzon added.

"Thatza mighty loss to us..." spoke out one of the other workers.

"How are we going to make up for it?" said another.

"Best we can do is grab a sample of the dead ones and fork it to the Minister," Kuzon replied. "I'd suggest you all try your best to harvest as many wheat as possible; and make sure the sections near any of the affected plants are not in use. Whatever is causing this is spreading like any other disease in the Known Galaxy. That will be all,"

Soon, the crowd dissipated into their own collective jobs, leaving Kuzon pondering about the best way to end the strange affliction in their source of income.

Inana was also deep in thought, but for a very different thing. 

"I'm glad you're hard at work; makes a difference, even with some obstacles," she spoke to him.

"...way better than those weeks ago," Kuzon replied grimly, not making eye contact, for his job had some slight importance. "Want to check Scrappy's Depot after work? They may have some decent decorations for our place..."

"Yeah, sure..."

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"Well, this table looks nice," Inana guessed.

"Yep, 100% handcrafted by the architects," said the Taurii behind the counter.

"How much is it?" Kuzon asked.

"...3000 Shekels. An extra 250 if you want a matching chair set," he answered, grinning, almost as though he got them.

Prior to browsing, the duo had each earned a measly 3500 Shekels; an average for every worker on the collective farms across the continent. Only enough for the essentials. Even together with savings, it only made a little over 9000 Shekels.

"It's definitely not worth it...anything else?" Kuzon asked, filled with slight disappointment.

"Well, I have a small table made out of a door, with a matching set; all at 230 Shekels,"

Inana, and Kuzon looked at each other in agreement. 230 was a better deal than 3250.

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"Hey, Nanny, does this work? I think it may a problem for the wall," Kuzon asked, moving the shoddy table in place.

"Everything is a problem with the wall anyway," She was right; it felt like a ghetto with how poorly made and bland the apartment was. "And I don't like to be called 'Nanny',"

"Sorry, but it's easier to make a nickname out of your original name. 'Inana','nan', 'Nanny',"

"It makes me feel older than I already am,"

"Who says nannies have to be old?"

"The connotation does,"

"Isn't it a stereotype then?"

"You're never going to stop the 'Nanny' thing, are you?" Kuzon just smirked a bit, making a sigh of annoyance come out of Inana. "...I think the table should be moved toward the futon,"

"My pleasure..."

For the first time, Kuzon felt at peace, nothing tampering with his psyche. He hadn't received a nightmare in days. And he felt a strange...affection toward Inana; almost like childhood friends. Or more?

Nothing seemed to destroy the serenity that filled the air. Yet, it will eventually be broken. Eventually...

Location: Station 1414, Bantra Vaal
In-Story Timestamp: 03/21/2516
By Grand Minister Vidus Zajik (Special Order)
I'd like to make a formal announcement to the Buhaat Congress members, for something has grabbed my attention.

Captain Jora Parr has recently flogged information pertaining to the two mystery Buhaat. Its an interesting report to me, and its believed that they work on a collective farm. 

I wish to confront them on the spot, with the aid of the Advanced Guard soldiers, with permission of course. I want to know if that particular crimson individual is there. If we are going to make a New Buhaat Monarchy, we need a royal to fill that role. 

I hate to seem assertive, but assertiveness is needed when our forces are, indeed, not living up to standards. Gohorn are warriors, and our best isn't on par.

I've researched the footage of what occurred on Ratel, and they know Handu Nok Bayo; an ancient, and effective martial art that was used in the old Buhaat military. We need that skill to survive. The only reason we lost is because the Gohorn used...well, dirty tactics to say the least.

Muster up the Advanced Guard, and await further notice. We'll need to get this right.

Location: Communal Apartment Complex, Valon, Bantra Vaal
In-Story Timestamp: 03/24/2516

"Hey, Kuzon, wake up," Inana was slightly poking Kuzon while he was in his slumber. She seemed worried, something that made Kuzon immediately stand up, aware that something was awry. 

"What happened?" He asked.

"Land lord buzzed in; he says some men are trying to meet with us,"

"Was it the farmers?" Kuzon did remember the famine a few days ago.

"No, he said they look like soldiers,"

The veteran was in astonishment; could the Ratel Ruushi be those men, although they wouldn't be considered 'soldiers'. Gohorn? Maybe not.

"Let's just see what they want," Kuzon replied grabbing a jacket from a nearby rack. "Just pray they aren't foes,"

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"Well you certainly kept us waiting," The blue one quipped. He was a middle-aged Buhaat, plumage styled in the old 'tricorn' style, just swept over to the back of his head.

Imagine the shock that the duo encountered, seeing yet another of their own kind, alive and well. Even more so with a group of soldiers, taller than even Kuzon, and encased in pitch black armor.

"Sorry that we surprised you two, but I needed you to be comfortable before we formally met," He explained. "I'm Vidus Zajik, Grand Minister of the Buhaat Conglomerate."

"Buhaat Conglomerate?" Kuzon asked.

"I understand the confusion, we never really owned anything or had any prestige to be widely known, and this planet is far from registered,"

Kuzon could only manage a stunned silence. All of this, everything that this blue Buhaat had said was way past believable. Just the thought of others in that group, others of his kind, just unthinkable. He'd be asking himself if he was dreaming through the whole process.

"Um...who are these men?" Inana asked, breaking silence.

"Oh, just some of the best soldiers ever conceived by any sentient creature. Buhaat men and women rising above mediocrity," Vidus replied happily. "At least by our standards. Hey why don't you boys relax a minute, we're not arresting anyone,"

The jet black warriors immediately obeyed the order, almost too easily. They went on with their own business, talking to each other like they've been relieved of a huge weight.

"Anyway, I heard about Krutor Tahn, back on Ratel; impressive footwork, although the crimson one was slightly off a beat," Vidus revealed. "Our soldiers were trained by that syndicate, Ratel Ruushi, yet some veterans were dispatched by two unknowns; Bayo, right?"

"You're familiar?" Kuzon questioned.

"Of course, well I don't practice it, mostly because records have been muddy, but I am familiar," 

"Is that a reason why you wanted to find us? To let us teach a martial art to a unknown faction, with a questionable amount of skill to even be considered a faction," Kuzon guessed.

"Precisely; if we want to be known, we ought to show we are worthy of being known," Vidus walked over to a window, overlooking the vast compounds. "Especially since that war...familiar with that, sir?"

"I never like mentioning it,"

"Well if we just forget, it's bound to happen again. Kind of like that historical human, Churchill I believe, used to say," He turned toward Kuzon. "We're really trying, and it'd be great if you'd join our cause,"

"Is this some propaganda?"

"If you believe it is; and just so you know, we're on a tight schedule, so decide quickly,"

"I know of another phrase from humans; go f*ck yourself, " Kuzon left, bitter than ever."

Vidus was left bemused. "Well I suppose it will work with just the red one; what do you say, miss?"

"No. I'm still with him," Inana admmitted. "I never leave without him..."

"I see...you agree with what I'm saying, right? The war obviously devastated and humiliated our kind, and forgotten completely. They possibly killed your family, being that nearly all royal blood was extinguished...I just want to return our status as a legitimate faction, a New Monarchy. And maybe you have some scores to settle with the Directorate, deep wounds you'd like to repay," 

"..." Inana never really her past determine her future; yet the seducing nature of his words brought out a deep hatred she hadn't felt in decades. Almost hypnotizing.

"Yes...try and convince him, would you kindly?"

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"So, you're hooked on that bakune's word?" Kuzon asked, with slight disappointment.

"Wouldn't you? You can't act like the past hasn't changed the present," Inana replied.

"I act like it has no meaning, and I never look back," Kuzon sighed. "Even if he is my own kind, I'll never be a soldier again...not this time..."

"You fear it?"

"Obviously if i wasn't, I'd be in a camp on a Gohorn controlled planet, waiting to die; I don't want to be involved in another failed attempt,"

"What about the ones who try to fight? They are not exactly capable; they need a leader,"

"Good, the Grand Minister could fail himself!"

"I meant a leader of common men. Someone who has been through your...struggle. They've seen it before, and they wish to forget, but they know it won't help...Vidus has seen it before,"

"...Fine, but tell me one thing first,"

"What?"

He stood almost nearly face to face with Inana.

"If we fail, we fail with each other," Kuzon was now a small distance form Inana.

"...To the ends of the universe..."

CLO - YBQQBO - LO - CLO - ZLOPB




To be continued...

"I am a man with the power of sight, someone to die in March, someone whose name means  July, that you see on the Ides. Guess wisely and find their promise in light"
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