On the far-flung planet of Hayveon Blaze, a plucky army commander, is fighting a seemingly hopeless battle. In a universe where empires span solar systems, a great war has split the galaxy into three. UCEF, the Union of Creature Energy Force, is an alliance of aliens fighting for freedom and justice. But set against the Cosmaratic Empire and the Barrens, an empire with mind-controlled citizens, UCEF must achieve the impossible in order to win peace.
The horde bounded onwards heedless of Blaze’s ultimatum, hundreds of clawed feet pounding the ground as they stampeded towards the UCEF line.
“On my mark!” Blaze shouted, pointing his energy cannon at the largest of the creatures; two hundred assorted rifles and guns primed. The swarm of aliens was barely a hundred metres away and was neither slowing nor stopping, showing no sign they had even heard Blaze’s challenge. His heart pounded, there were hundreds of the things and all of them looked deadly. Most were roughly humanoid, but with blades and claws for hands, shell covered limbs and fanged maws. It would be brutal; there was no cover here, no defence, just an open killing field. He had to give the order before it was too late…
“Kleek!” A single sharp cry sounded from amidst the swarm. Instantly the horde stopped as if somebody had thrown a breaker switch and the power had been cut. All of them pulled up short, then stood still in a rough line facing the Dinos. The largest creature skidded to a stop, then paused for a second before it hunkered down, folding its legs beneath itself and lowering its head to the ground. It was only then that Blaze spotted the other creature, one that been riding upon the back of the large monster. His attention had been so affixed on the hideous beast he had completely missed the smaller one atop it.
Almost gracefully this second creature stepped off its mount and strode forth. Blaze stared in horrified fascination at the… thing. It resembled a Human girl, but was most certainly not a Human. The tattered remnants of a uniform clung to it, so discoloured and soiled with years of grime that he could not determine the original colour or allegiance. Through the uniform poked spikes of some kind of bony chitin; upon her head sat what looked like a fleshy parody of a crown, bound to her forehead. Like the rest of the aliens her fingers ended in claws as did her bare feet. Through the multiple tears in her clothes he could see segments of shell that plated her body, in-between the shell he could make out pale skin laced with a symmetrical pattern of pink veins. What it was Blaze had no idea. He had never seen nor heard of anything that even came close to the repulsive imitation of humanity that was currently walking towards him.
“Hold your fire!” Blaze ordered as the girl-alien approached; he noted with relief that the rest of the swarm were staying put behind her, although her mount looked twitchy. She did not walk normally, rather stalked with jerky movements, almost on tiptoe. Never once did her cold black eyes leave Blaze. The Dinos around him shifted uncomfortably, their guns pointed unwaveringly at the strange thing.
“I repeat, we mean you no harm!” Blaze’s voice announced, breaking the tense silence. The thing kept walking until it was about five metres away. “We will not hurt you unless you make a move against us,” Blaze continued lowering his gun, trying to communicate that they were not a threat. He had no idea if the thing even understood him, but he darn well hoped so.
“I am Veel-ra-sah of The Family, Queen of this colony,” the thing stated, speaking in a surprisingly Human voice. That it spoke at all took Blaze aback, that it sounded like a teenage Human only added to his amazement.
“You can understand me?” Was all he could utter.
“I can,” she stated.
“Wha… wha…what are you?” Blazed stammered, baffled and mentally off balance.
“I am a Queen of The Family, you are in our colony,” she replied.
“What do you want?” The idea that they had inadvertently intruded on a colony did not sound good.
“You are no use to us, you are alien, you are rabbit, you are no use to The Family,” she answered cryptically.
“Then… you will leave us be?” He did not like the phrase ‘no use to us,’ that sounded like she thought they were disposable. She tilted her head to one side as if the question did not make any sense. “We have wounded, our base has been overrun and our enemies are about to enter these tunnels,” Blaze added “we don’t want to fight you, we didn’t and don’t mean to intrude.”
“Your enemies?” She queried.
“The Human armies of the Barrens,” Blaze replied, still utterly at a loss of what was going on, at least the Queen had not openly said that she did not want them there… yet.
“…So he was right,” she whispered. Blaze just stared blankly at her from behind his visor. “The time has come for The Family to grow!” She announced as if some great truth had just been revealed to her. A ripple passed across the rest of ‘The Family’, as she called them.
Now they were no longer being charged by them, Blaze had the chance to take a closer look at the other creatures. Most of them bore similar characteristics to the Queen. They looked like men and women dressed in an assortment of rags, but all with an array of claws, shells and bony protrusions; no two were the same. As well as the roughly humanoid ones there were grotesque things, a cross between the large alien and the humanoid creatures. These were bigger than a Human, but vaguely resembled one, twisted out of proportion and horribly…mutated? Blaze did not know what to make of them, they were completely foreign to him, but he had a dark theory growing about why they looked so much like people, or may have once looked like people…
“We have much to talk about UCEF rabbit, you will help us, we will help you and The Family shall grow,” the Queen stated, clearly having decided upon something. It did not sound like an offer and nor did it sound negotiable.
“Very well,” Blaze agreed, what choice did he have? This Veel-ra-sah, or whatever her name was, seemed to be in charge of the creatures. She could just as easily order them to attack as she had told them to stop. What with Barrens behind them and wounded to care for, Blaze did not really see another option. It would appear he would have to listen to whatever this strange alien queen had to say…
Look out for Part 28 of Matthew Gill’s story!