The population of Omicron Draconis were distributed in four castes: the labour caste, granted no rights or freedom; the Reptillian caste, consisted entirely of soldiers, the deadliest and most feared army in all the universe (which is a big place); the Draconian caste, consisting of Scientists, the minds behind all of Omicron Draconis' technologies, and Occults, considered as the second worthiest caste, as their magical and occult prowess proved many times greater than an entire army; and finally, the royal and highest caste, the Siakars, composed of only the King and Queen, and their closest families, usually directly blood-related. Even half-siblings or half-parents were excluded from the Siakar caste and put in a lower caste, to minimize corruption of the chosen royal bloodline.
The Siakars and the occult castes claimed, through their sacred books, to be the only descendants of the original reptillian ancestors, Sanath and Lilith. The lower castes have been artificially created by the Siakars and the Occults to fit the growing needs of colonization. Starting on Omicron Draconis, the Siakar empire grew to all the nearby solar systems, a group of stars coincidentally seen from Earth as the Dragon constellation, and set out to conquer the Local Spur section of the galaxy. The ruthlessness of the Siakar fleet, the advanced technological weaponry, and the feared power of the Occults caste gave them the reputation of being the most lethal and unescapable conquering army of the Universe. All conquered worlds would fall without much fight under the occupying fleets, and any sighting of Siakar ships would set the deepest dread in the hearts of an yet unconquered world. None escaped or survived from such an encounter, as the Siakars had no concept of mercy and considered the reptillians as the only specie worthy of surviving, and the Siakar Empire grew further into the galaxy. The Siakars held the belief that anyone not capable of taking a life wasn't worth living, as that person wouldn't survive in a crisis. Might makes right was somewhat the Golden Rule of the Empire, and anyone not following this rule would be eliminated, which included even Siakar, Draconnian or Reptillian members that held a contrary belief. Any "rebel" quickly learned that to survive, he or she had to be officially ruthless and remorseless when faced with the "enemy" and had to keep their true belief deeply hidden. And so, most of the worlds holding a peaceful belief were eliminated from the Empire without regret from the latter, and any world following the Empire's belief was recruited and added to the fleet. As of today, in the beginning of the Sixth Age (5 billion years after the creation of Omicron Draconis), the Siakar Empire already controlled 10% of the Local Spur... and were still advancing.
Such was the history behind Omicron Draconis, and it was one that ashamed Laki everytime he had to wake from his dreams, when the peace and beauty was replaced by hate and lust for destruction.
After this morning ritual, the soldiers lined up in formations to receive orders from their superiors. As other factions of soldiers were on duty today on the Siakar fleet, Laki's faction was thus off-duty and ordered to keep order in the streets. After the soldiers saluted the superior, they left and roamed the wilderness around the palace to feed themselves. Laki followed, but quickly separated from the group to walk along a trail in the nearby forest, and arrived at a small marsh, a place he knew for long that no one visited or walked nearby. Few animals lived in marshes, so the soldiers weren't bothering to hunt there. Laki shook this thought away from his mind.
An unusual reptillian he was. Ever since his "young" age (reptillian do not have exactly a childhood, then an adolescent period, then adult age; they are rather born almost fully developed), he had been different from his peers.
"You are you?" Laki asked, perplexed.
She didn't answered, and gazed calmly around her, as someone who takes in the view for the first time. For the next dozen of minutes, she never talked, just continued to look around her, and look at him, her kind smile never fading nor artificial.
"Who are you?" he asked once more, a little while later, as she didn't looked close to an humanoid lizard.
She still didn't answered, but this time, she put a finger to her lips, gracefully suggesting to remain silent. It was then that Laki noticed that she had a small device on the palm of her hands, very small and looking like a precious stone. She motioned him to look before her, and she bent forward to dip her right hand in the pool of water. At first gliding on the surface, creating perfectly beautiful ripples, she then swung her hand upward. To Laki's amazed eyes, drops of water followed the movement, and somehow staying in the air before him, they formed a semi-arch.
"What the..." Laki wondered, as the water drops remained in their position, below the strange woman's right hand.
She smiled happily at his amazement, and winked; with her left hand, as she seemed to be holding the arch of water with the other hand, and touched each drops, and they all lit from the inside with a coloured glow. One drop was a vibrant blue, the other was an emerald green, the next a fiery orange. Then, with both hands, she crossed over, and the drops splattered together, creating an impossible painting of coloured splashes of water, immobile in the air. Finally, somehow knowing he was about to wake up, she let the coloured water drop very slowly back into the pool, creating a delicate waterfall. She turned back to him, and smiled ever so warmly and kindly as he woke up.
To his pleasant surprise, the dream happened every night, for each and every following year. He would be seated by the pool of water, and the strange blond woman would appear to his side, and smile happily even though she remained silent. Every night, never missing one, she would then use water and create the most beautiful paintings he ever saw, each night growing in complexity and beauty.
One peculiar night, the night that truly stuck in his mind, about two years after their first encounter and a year after he began his soldier training, she plunged both hands in the water, and threw a great amount of it in the air. She then motioned him to close his eyes, which he did, and he heard her gesture rapidly, even rising to her feets and back down. She then touched his arm, signaling he could look. His breathing stopped, his eyes widened, his jaw dropped, and he became as immobilized as the water drops beneath the woman's hands. A model of the Galaxy was before him, each and every star glowing in different intensity and colour, with the glowing core so seemingly real, it seemed to pulse ever so slightly. The painting was in three dimensions, and she was making spin ever so slowly, rotating the arms, making the stars pulse. She then smiled mischievously, and to Laki's unbelieving mind, she expanded her arms wide, and the galaxy became smaller, only to show it amongst a dozen others galaxies, different in their own way, some glowing like dull gold. Her face then saddened, and she zoomed back unto the main galaxy. Looking carefully at Laki, she touched several parts of the Local Spur arms, and all the stars she touched became black and pulsed no more. Laki felt a pan of guilt as he realized the dead stars all belonged to the Siakar Empire.
"What happened?" he asked her, feeling somehow guilty.
It was that night that her paintings became moving. She dissolve the galaxy and painted another water picture with her hands. This time, the water drops moved as she first painted and moved a young child running in a meadow. As she painted and moved the water according to her story, she explained the mysterious forces behind life, and how it was affected ever so slightly by an individual's mind. She showed him how all worlds mastered music, stories, art, emotions, and how all these factors contributed to a microscopic level to the health and continuity to life. A delicate balance was uphold between the population and the fauna and flora. As she finished explaining it, she brought down upon her pictures a black cloud. The cloud passed, and nothing of the past civilization remained; no song, no stories, no emotions, no life.
"I'm sorry..." Laki whispered, understanding what it meant to the balance of life.
The woman smiled with compassion and held his hand, indicating that she didn't blame him for his people's crime.
"Is it reversible?" he asked her.
She shook her head, and motioned how the lands were all under Siakar's command, thus untouchable. However, she also added, preventing the growth of the Empire was possible.
"How?" he asked, rising on his feet. "Do you know how formidable the Siakar fleet is?"
The woman nodded, smiling, and rose too on her feet, letting part of the water fall back into the pool. She asked him to close his eyes again, and when she touched his shoulder, he opened them and looked straight at a magnificent city. Bigger than the tallest Siakar tower, graceful, seemingly delicate in structure yet exuberating a sense of extreme strength, and radiating a soft white light, glowing from the inside of the city. The picture moved to show a fleet of sleek ships, shimmering. She then zoomed out, and showed a giant orange star; in the Siakar cuneiform language, she named it "Arktouros".
"Arcturus?!" Laki realized in shock; as it was the only enemy the Siakar Empire ever feared to encounter. The level of the Arcturians' technology and power was greater than anything in the Galaxy, bordering on pure magic, and rivaling in strength the Siakar Empire. The only thing different was that it took 10% of the Local Spur's population for the Siakar fleet to be that strong; it took only the population on the Arcturian planetary system to equal that strength. "You're... you're an Arcturian?"
She smiled, and wrote her name: Menrva. She then continued her moving picture, and explained to him that if he wished so, she and her people would help him escape the Siakar Empire and join hers.
"But how would I stop their conquests? I want to come with you, but I can't leave without finding a way to stop them," Laki asked her.
"In time," she answered in writing, explaining he needed to be absolutely trusted by the Siakar fleet, so he could learn all their battle tactics, their technologies, their flaws, etc. Once he knew all that, the Arcturians will have more facts to base themselves upon when defending against the Siakars.
She looked at him with concern, a silent question on her face.
"Of course I'll do it!" Laki reassured her. "I don't belong here, and I don't want to neither. Why do you even trust me, after what you know of the Siakar?"
Menrva smiled and showed him once more the shining galaxies.
After that dream, he trained harder, becoming the strongest, most agile, and fastest soldier. Against his wish, but comforted by Menrva during his dreams, he took part in many invasions, always officially doing most of the jobs, though he secretly cheated, developing ways to hide the population, or making them appear dead. With time, he gained a somewhat respect by his superiors (though even the best soldiers were never as "worthier" as the captain of the fleet), and ranked high in their levels. With the years passing by, he noted every strategies, convinced his peers to follow some of his (during which he could predict the attacks better when he would join the Arcturians' ranks), and learned of every technology and weapons he could.
90 years passed, and then is where our story comes back from the beginning, when Laki sat in front of the marsh. He looked up to the smoked sky, wishing he could see the stars. But he could only see Arcturus from space, when he was en-route to invade.
"It's time, my friend," a woman's voice suddenly spoke by his side, startling him.
"Menrva!" Laki recognized her, seated as casually as in his dreams... Speaking of which...: "What the... I fell asleep??"
"No. The time has come when I can see you in my physical form. Which is also why I can speak to you."
"You were not..."
"Just a dream? No. But then, aren't dreams the perfect medium to show the way?"
But she grew serious, and she hurried to place a device on each of his palms.
"They now know what you've been doing during your "invasions"; they are on their way to arrest you, and they'll bring you to the royal prince," she explained hurriedly, after rendering invisible in some way the devices.
"Are you getting me out?" he asked, hopefully.
"As soon as you get the prince's weapon," Menrva explained. "You have the Reptillian-level weapons, but to be safe, I think it will also be better to have the Siakar weapons. Do you think you'll be able to get it?"
"Well, yes, but..." Laki hesitated.
"What?" she asked, worried.
"Treason is met only with death. That means he'll immobilize me and give me the Treatment."
"Then he'll be close to you?"" she asked.
"Yes, but dying!"
"Trust me, you will be safe. Just do exactly as I say..."
The hall was lit was an orange glow, coming from lit candles, and the stoned floor extended to a series of small stairs, which led to a platform. At the bottom of the stairs was a very high altar, standing perhaps at ten feet from the ground, and on the top of the stairs reigned a royal throne, with the Siakar emblem behind it. Despite his combat training, Laki gulped with difficulty as a chill ran down his spine upon seeing the Siakar standing in front of the throne. Fourteen feet tall, clad in a marine blue uniform, a long cape covering his shoulders, the Prince exuded a presence of lingering menace. No one returned alive from a visit to the royal prince, and Laki saw with dread as the scaled smiling face licked its lips. Laki, both astonished and recomforted by this sudden thought of his, started to pray silently Menrva for protection.
"Don't worry, I've got your back," her voice reassured him in his mind.
The Reptillian guards threw Laki on the floor without much care, and then forcefully positioned him in a kneeled position, as the Prince looked down on him with disdain.
"So, your newfound hobby in life is to betray the Siakar Empire?" the Prince spat. "An Occult scanned your mind during a suspicious invasion, and found that you faked to kill the inhabitants. Do you deny it?"
"No," Laki answered honestly.
"DON'T SAY ANY LIES!!!" the Prince started to shout, until he realized, a little bit late, that the soldier didn't lied. "You admit it?"
"Yes. Your Empire suck," Laki answered.
"Insolent!!" the Prince yelled. "We are the mightiest of the Universe!"
"You mean the most feared of the Universe, not the mightiest" Laki corrected.
"Might makes right, the weak gives way to the strong!" the Prince retorted.
"Who told you Might was equal to hate and war?" Laki challenged. "What do you know of art? Of music, or moving pictures, or even a simple concept such as friendship and love?"
"Irrelevant! They impede on our logical thoughts, and makes us to irrational actions... like you just did. It is not the way to be mighty."
"Exactly. And then, you are not alive. Do you know what you destroy? You destroy entire miracles, all under the petty excuse and desire to be feared. That's all you are. A society which has so much nothing so look forward to, that it rely in fear, hate, and conquest to brighten their day. Your mind and your intelligence is so much restricted to destruction and weapons of war, that it can't conceive anything else, or feels anything else. Thus, you rely on the fear of others to activate the little left emotions. You are not worthy of being the mightiest civilization of this Universe, of this shining Galaxy. So yes, I betrayed you, Prince, and I'll do it again."
By this time, the Prince's face was red of hate, and he hissed to the guards:
"Bring this traitor to the altar! Now!!"
The guards obeyed, and led a willing Laki to the golden table, engraved once more with the Siakar emblem. Streaks of dried blood was visible on its surface, and Laki shuddered at the thought of being submitted to the royal Treatment: the Prince stabbed the victim, not enough to kill it right away, and devoured it alive. It was believed that this action of devouring a live meal brought life-force, unlike eating something dead. Laki hoped really hard that he would escape before he got the rather bloody and painful royal ceremony of being devoured alive. The guards tied him tightly to the table with ropes, and the Prince climbed down the stairs, unsheathing a sharp dagger.
"Leave, guards, and seal shut the doors. No one is to enter, under any circumstances," he ordered sharply, as was the usual custom in these rare events.
The guards obeyed, and not wishing to be the next royal meal, they left hurriedly. The Prince approached the tied soldier, standing next to him, and hissed with glee while raising his dagger, as Laki smiled inwardly upon seeing the Prince's gun at his hip. As the Prince lowered with strength the dagger against Laki's abdomen, the blade hit an invisible barrier, and it sprung back against its owner's hands. While the Prince grimaced in pain, a look of surprise on his face, Laki opened his tied right palm, and directed it to the Prince's face. A sonic pulse hit the target, and the Prince retreated in pain; using this diversion, Laki chewed the ropes tying his hands. The Prince, hateful, tried to stab Laki, but the latter twisted his hips, and raised his tail to meet the blade. A pang of pain hit him as the tip of the tail got cut, but now hands free, he sat and clawed the face of the Prince. As the Prince brought his hands to his face while screaming in agony, Laki lunged forward and grabbed the Siakar weapon. Lying back flat on the altar, as his still tied feet didn't permitted him to be lunged forward long enough, he screamed to the empty room:
"I got it, I got it!!"
"Who is your stupid friend??!!" the Prince yelled, determined to chase the responsible.
Laki smiled mischievously, and answered proudly:
"The mightiest civilization in the Universe: the Arcturians."
The Siakar Prince's face turned white with dread as Laki's body was enveloped in white light and disappeared from the altar.
"No... It cannot be..." he couldn't stop whispering, his deep anger replaced by fear. "I must warn the King... But then He'll kill me for letting a traitor escape..."
Now in Menrva's Arcturian ship, which took off quickly away from Omicron Draconis's atmosphere, Laki gave her all the Siakar weapons and strategies.
"Thank you, Laki," she hugged him.
"In fact, thank you for lending me your sonic emitters. Siakars don't miss their targets when they stab," Laki thanked her warmly.
"A service for another," Menrva smiled. "Now, you are free to go where you wish."
"What do you mean? I thought I was joining you on your planet's fleet?" Laki asked, concerned.
"If that is still what you wish, you can of course join us. We could use many Reptillian rebels in the army; but we are a people who let its peers take its own path. I will not choose yours at your place. You are free from now on. Where do you wish to go?"
Laki smiled, and looked at the sonic emitters Menrva gave him.
"90 years ago, you showed me your shining city of light, and it kept me sane in the dark path I had to follow. May I see it with my own eyes? After, I will wish to join your fleet to fight the Siakar Empire from going further into the Galaxy."
Menrva smiled with joy, and ordered the pilot of the Arcturian ship to fly back home.
With the help of Menrva and his new Arcturian friends, Laki formed a special unit of fleet, composed of Reptillian and even Draconnian rebels that he and Menrva introduced to the path of light, just as he's been. It took centuries, but at the end, the Siakar Empire had now the greatest enemy it could think of: itself.
- TARDIS - also known as RV
- Optimist Writer
I'm a writer that believes in optimistic, hopeful stories that tell a good future. A friend said: if you cannot find the light, become the light.
So if you like feel-good, kind fantasy and sci-fi stories, sometimes dark but always striving for the light, you've come to the right place.