Thiol stepped off the ramp to their ship. At the push of a button, the ramp closed behind them. Their ship was a customary Klax-on vessel, rugged and simple. The green and blue blobbed pattern looked awful, but it allegedly blended in better in orbit. They needed to try one last thing before they left this system, but if they were honest, they were already planning where they would go after they had failed. So many failed attempts could only lead one to become jaded, nonetheless, they must try. If they didn’t at least try then they had truly lost any sense of purpose.
They approached a gray fabricated building, a cylinder, two stories high, relatively large. They had been in many identical buildings before, as any food or drink dispensary was produced with an identical template. They could build or demolish one of these in an afternoon. Etched above a plain titanium door, was the name of the bar, the only unique thing about the structure. ‘Xor’, it read. This was the place. Thiol pushed through the door.
The structure of nearly every Klax-on bar was identical, which lead the individual bars to seek miscellaneous items from every corner of the empire, sometimes even beyond, to set their place apart. This one was clearly based on the desert world of Klax-on 78. There were carapace tables and chairs, but Thiol doubted their authenticity. The counter itself was coated with definitely fake scale. The carapace was possible, but everyone knows that scale coated surfaces are always fake, it would be far too costly to just help set the aesthetic of a bar.
As they entered, not a single head turned, because Thiol was just another local seeking numb the pain of oppression. Thiol had been to many different systems, and found the quest to numb one’s pain is near universal.
They strode across the bar, and approached a feathered stout humanoid. He looked up and produced a startled cooing noise. “You are alive?” He slid a plate of shellfish across the table.
“I need to know who you sold me out to, Kurok.” Thiol spoke in a monotone voice. They glanced down at the shelled meat. It produced a natural high in the locals, and wasn’t restricted under Klaxx-on code. Unfortunately it only produced a high in the locals.
“I can’t tell you that I ever knew.” Kurok shook his lower beak and cooed in remorse.
“That is bad for you.” Thiol placed a pistol on the table.
“I don’t fear you, Kukoum.” Kurok laughed. “It will take more than one gun to lean on me.”
Thiol pulled a tablet from his belt, and slid it across the table. On it was a simple list of names and exact addresses.
Kurok growled softly. “I don’t take this lightly, but I will give you what I have.” He pulled the plate of shellfish back towards him, and threw one, unshelled, into his mouth. “They didn’t want to tell me who they were, but I don’t like doing business without some kind of leverage. So I had some people look into him. He is some kind of creature from the terran system, and that is all I have.”
Thiol stood up without a word, and holstered their pistol.
“One more thing, Kukoum.” The feathers around his beak stood up, and the shell in his mouth rattled as he spoke. “I consider us even. So never return, lest I reconsider our balance.”
“Not to worry, your culture is simplistic, and my brief stay here has already been miserable.” Thiol strode out without another word. A brief moment, and they returned to their ship, and left the system.
Gas giants aren’t exactly conducive to life, in and of themselves. In some systems, gas giants were used as hubs for shipping and space stations, but the Terran’s lacked the technology required to take advantage of this. In search of life in the terran system, why would one come to the portion inhabited by gas giants, then? The moons.
Saturn, in particular, had a moon worth checking on. This moon was selected by a group of primitivists as their home. They sought to get away from the Klaxx-on empire, away from modern culture and technology, and they selected a system far enough out of reach of the empire to not be of particular worry. This system had two options, and one was already inhabited. Now, one might assume they just immediately came to the uninhabited world, since they were primitivists after all, but one would be wrong.
Terra was more or less the level of technology they had romanticized, and wanted so badly to return to. They landed there, expecting welcome and cooperation, and they received nothing but pain. The humans welcomed them at first, but their tune soon changed. They made a move in the dead of night, and half of the primitivists were slaughtered. The remaining half settled here, on Yvan. They retrofitted their ship into a cloaking device, to try to hide themselves from the empire, and thus far it worked.
Thiol landed in a clearing in the forest surrounding their settlement. They strained themself, and the beak retreated back into their face, a snout reformed. They stepped off the ramp of their ship, and saw a group of mounted Yvnivians approaching. Thiol took a glance behind himself at their ship. It was still the same style, but it was now a uniform gray, no longer bearing the gaudy colors of the Klaxx-ons.
The mounted party was now nearly upon Thiol. The thunder of claws on earth subsided, and one individual stepped forwards. They wore a scale helm, with tusks jutting out from the sides. Their mount was a low to the ground chitinous hexapod. A hoofed biped stepped off of the creature. Its skin was covered in fur, but it was armored with scale. Thiol recognized the helm, as something worn by the leader.
“Return to your vessel, at once.” The biped spoke in a low rumble.
“No.” Thiol replied. “I need access to the records of Yelor.”
“Return to your vessel!” The biped repeated, raising a spear.
“I’m invoking the rite of power, I wish to challenge you for your title.” Thiol stared down the biped.
The biped stuck the butt of the spear into the ground in front of him. “That law has not been in effect for generations, as it lead to nothing but strife. If you wish to prove your intentions, then you must help us. Then, I will grant you access to the hall of histories.”
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