Brute, leaned over the fine varnished wood of Ascenion Reborn and peered into the depth of space. All of it was rushing by around him. Lights streamed over head by the millions. Endless quantities of stars were smeared by the thumb of speed as the ship rushed into galaxies unknown. He had moved this fast before, the ship was capable of such but he had never been at warp for so long. It had been minutes. They had to be leaping entire star systems, quadrants, galaxies all by these worm looking spirit things that oscillated around the ship, literally carrying them away from their destination. The whole thing just pissed him off.The Pirate Queen wrote: ↑Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:52 pm“…Wake up Kham, Wake up. WAKE UP!”
There was something about him lying there unconscious, toes, fingers, and hair frozen that took T’ajsa back to a place most vulnerable. The lump in her throat, the gloss of liquid that covered her eyes, filling up at the cusp, where one blink could make them run over was all from those times they spent together, hundreds of years of bliss together, conquering the stars. She wasn’t queen then. But he was her king. And how he was unconscious? How. T’ajsa shook him. Smacked him. The latter made her hand sting. But nothing. Surrounding her were all her loyal subjects, all members of the crew, the strongest sources of freedom across the galaxy. All helpless.
“Swipe steal his cold! We have to stabilize him.”
Came a voice of helplessness to her left, a shorter boy, the smallest of the group with a head of feathers and pale white skin wore an all black hoodie and khakis. Swipe and the others surrounding him all wore the same gaze, they knew there was nothing they could do. Kham was one who did the saving. They didn’t have the slightest idea on how to bring him back from this. But maybe warming him up would help. He kneeled down next to T’ajsa, his queen. A woman he would fight and die for, unless she ordered them to stay on the ship while she threw herself in harms way for a man who abandoned her! But… later. He held his hands over The Destroyers body, and he took a deep breath. Kham’s toes and fingers, crystal white and blue from the cold vacuum of space leapt from his skin like tiny grains of sand and onto Swipe’s own. Kleptokenesis, the power to steal the qualities from anything and take it as your own. Swipe, and Boost, the slender, pale skin, notched earned crewmen behind him, in the circle were of the same tribe of intergalactic thieves. Slaves really. Bred on their home planet and used as mercenaries throughout the galaxy. They were very affective at near any avenue of application. And warming Kham up was the shallowest use of Swipe’s abilities. Swipe and Kham used to spar all the time, just so he could steal his strength away.
“Look, its not helping. See? He’s dead. Breathing but dead.”
A gruffy, throaty, nay-sayer spoke up from the outer circle. Invested in the fate of the Pirate King, but pessimistic all the same. The Pirate Queen paid it no attention, she was watching the color go back to Kham’s toes. Swipe was far too focused on making his body a vessel for the extremities of cold. Being a thief of this sort was a give and a take. The conditions he had to endure to make sure he could steal extreme weights, temperatures and other qualities made his body a malleable shell. He had to be focused and had no time for Brute’s typical negativity.
“So what he can feel his toes now, he’s not gonna come back.”
Brute was a shirtless chisled man of muscle. He was skin of cream with a long black ponytail that dropped to his lower back. Shirtless with a pair of denim jeans on, he was the Pirate Crew’s strong man, until Kham arrived. He’d been bitter since, and felt very much replaced. But to see his rival unconscious made him feel fragile. Knowing that if he set foot in the ring with Queenie, he would surely die.
The authoritative dad-voice of Zultan. Always a pleasure to hear even when he was cursing you out. Zultan had been with The Pirate Queen the longest. He was the only one who called her T’ajsa, and even said they were from the same planet. Wherever that was. Not only was he the maker of the ship, but fought in nearly every engagement. He had no love for The Destroyer. But was invested in his queen’s happiness, he shed a tear.
“Don’t entertain him Zultan. Reggie? How are his vitals.”
“Um. Pardon me Swipe.”
A figure awash with green scales, reflecting the rainbow spectrum of light and the stars kneeled down beside Swipe. Reggie was a Bio-Path. Capable of manipulating organic material, very similar to Kham’s own Michio abilities. They served as the crew’s medic. And failed to deliver a prognosis on this situation simply because it was just… incalculable. Reggie peered deep into Kham’s body, through all that craggy exterior on the outside and saw, again years of perfected evolution, after thousands of years of his absence he was awestruck. The life of the universe paled in comparison to Michio genealogy. Every atom, sinew, muscle tissue looked hand stitched, battle worn and adjusted to be the ideal weapon. Gaia was a craftswoman. And yet Reggie could do nothin but sigh, the news was the same. He swallowed a lump in his throat and continued…
“I… My Queen-“
“What? Is he getting better? We warmed him up.”
“His temperature is, stable. Yes. And his heart is still beating steadily, But-“
“Just spit it out man. We’re all fucking adults.”
Chimed in Brute from the rear. Reggie looked behind him toward his overbearing, tall and savage comrade then to Boost, Swipe’s mentor who was simply silent, fixed with a permanent grin.
“There’s no neural activity.”
“Wake him up.”
“I’m trying to connect his neural pathways. But they won’t stay connected long enough to transmit thought. It’s like his body wants to remain fractured.”
“But his body doesn’t want to stay cold.”
Swipe spoke as he stood up from Kham, hands a deep blue, frosted over. He fanned them out and sprayed the ice all over the deck.
“His body betrays him. He needs time.”
Zultan resigned to say, and he dismissed himself from the circle toward the helm of the ship. It was only moments before they entered Vescrutias atmosphere someone needed to ensure she touch down safely. Collectively the group sighed until Boost stepped forward and lay his hand on Kham’s chest. The Queen, Swipe and Brute were all stunned. Usually Boost didn’t do anything without orders, he was always staring off Into space. After a few moments he just nodded and finally spoke.
“His heart wants to come back. His body is afraid, having never known pain like that before. His mind is caught between the two. And his soul knows he should stay down.”
Zultan stopped in his tracks. And nodded to himself too. Kham just needed time to find his resolve again. Brute was of course the only skeptic.
“How the fuck do you know?! You can grope a man and figure al that out?”
Even Reggie couldn’t believe it, or justify it with science.
“I do detect inconsistencies in his nervous system but, I’m at a loss as well.”
“There’s no time to take time. We came here to get TJ and get out.”
The Pirate Queen silenced the speculation with their objective. Her daughter. Her princess. She stood up and let Kham lie there looking down upon him with soft eyes of fear and pity. She had bigger problems. Like where her daughter was, she didn’t want to get involved in this family reunion. But one way or another, she was apart of it.
Zultan was observing Vescrutia through a spyglass, and was looking deep into Vescrutia in their sights, growing larger and larger by the second. His precision eyes, spotted something very peculiar.
“Did Vescrutia always have atmospheric defenses?”
“We have incoming.”
“All hands on deck!”
Snapped the pirate queen, and the rest of the crew sprung into action. Brute, Swipe, and Reggie ran toward the bow o the ship. Boost stood still over Kham with his hand pressed to his chest. He was always a few steps behind the others.
“They look like, shooting stars?”
“I can’t say, its closing in terribly fast.”
She yelled, climbing her way up to the crows nest, she peered into the distance. A cluster of twirling white energy headed straight for them. Some anti air cannon? Brute could just tank it and bitch about it later. With a grumble he ran onto the pointed end of the ship, and failed his arms wide open while the rest of the crew braced for impact. The collection of energy instead bent around the savage and 3 ghastly figures, with masks of strange glyphs, composed of stars, comets, and other celestial bodies positioned themselves around Ascension reborn, totally interrupting it’s momentum.
“We’ve been halted my queen.”
She wanted to say under her breath, but she knew Zultan was just keeping her updated. These figures did not seem threatening. They also lacked any sort of eyes but you could tell they ere looking at Kham.
“The King of Beasts has fallen?”
They spoke In unison, sounding breathy and disembodied.
The queen replied unsure of what they were talking about.
“The King of Beasts has fallen?”
In the same tone they replied. They neared his body collapsing upon ascension reborn like a three fingered grip. The Pirate Queen grew righteous fury from its sheath and pointed it toward the figures. They halted I unison. T’ajsa was glad they didn’t want a fight.
“You wont take him!”
“It is not your choice. When the King Falls, the scholars choose a new successor.”
“He’s not dead!”
“But unable to fulfill his duties.”
“Come… We will take you. To his throne."
The entire grew was thrown to the ground, save for Boost who looked up and marveled at rapid passing of pretty light streaks all around the ship. T'ajsa clutched Ascension Reborn's mast. And Zultan cradled his drums for dear life. They had been hijacked and were being taken somewhere rapidly, toward the surface.
"What the fuck is a King of Beasts?"
He spat at anyone who was listening. Everyone behind him looked just as focused as ever, with their thumbs up their ass peering over the lifeless brick of a man. Kham, the would be Pirate King. He grumbled audibly, expressing blatant frustration at this whole clusterfuck. No one budged, everyone ignored him. Everyone ignored the fact they were millions of miles away from Vescrutia. Swipe and Reggie were both still peering over Kham's body, it was getting less and less blue by the minute. Everyone here seemed fine that they were being held captive, and it just pissed him off.
"Of course an animal like you wouldn't know much of the Primordial Scholars."
Replied the scaly, emerald green nurse. That's what Reggie was, a nurse. So subservient to The Queen it was pretty disgusting. If anyone kissed ass the most it was him. And the whole thing just pissed him off.
"The Primordial Whats its?”
He didn’t have time for this.
“Look we're getting farther and farther away from ve-"
"Scholars. You never once considered how some of the constellations look like animals? Their likeness is reflected in the stars."
He was taken a back, for a second. Maybe even less than that, to the points when he and Reggie used to get along. He would always rile him up, Brute would explode and Reggie would laugh. Or Brute would get Reggie to do crazy shit, like jump off the ship mid flight and ride the orbit of the planet for a while. Once they would both sit on the bow of the ship, and Reggie would point out to him constellations. Azimuth, Osiris, Golbez, Yarweh.
Brute resigned to say. He was surprised he remembered all that. It was so long ago, back when T’ajsa was in a much better mood. But they were still far as fuck from Vescrutia. They needed to turn around. Still, everyone appeared entirely to calm about the matter. Especially The Queen, which pissed him off even more.
“And the King of Beasts is-“
“Hmm… Their representative? Their champion? It’s complicated.”
“Can never count on you for a straight answer.”
“I am somewhat busy at the moment. Would you want me having idle conversation during YOUR next operation?”
“Honestly? If my injuries are ever THIS distracting? Just let me fucking die.”
With a grunt Brute turned toward the mast of the ship, but there she was in his face, tall, beautiful, long legs the beautiful brown color of the ship, glossy with sweat and effort, her crimson head of hair was all a wreck, and down on her waist lay that enchanted sword- Righteous Fury. T’Ajsa could set anyone off axis with a breath. But Brute wasn’t particularly one to back down from a challenge. Especially not from his queen.
“Speak your mind Brutus.”
She looked dead ass serious, arms crossed, eye brows furrowed and shoulder so square and imposing. The whole ship appeared that much more quiet. He couldn’t even hear anyone breathe especially himself. All he could hear was Zultan, tinkering away at his drums, and scribbling on a pad of paper. What was he sacred of? He decided to deflect.
“Yeah sure its not like this is a monarchy or anything.”
She wouldn’t kill him. Would she?
“If you noticed I’m not in the joking mood.”
Well yeah she wasn’t. She hadn’t been in a joking mood since the deadweight on the deck left in the first place. And they all tried cheering her up in their own unique way but absolutely none of it was working. Fights like this happened more often than not and maybe, you know what? Yeah maybe today Brute wasn’t going to just take it lying down. But the moment he drew breath, someones hand was covering his mouth, he looked out of his peripheral vision and all he could see was a head full of feathers. The last thought he had was about asking the white fuckers what the King of Beasts is. Swipe stole his thoughts.
“Sorry, I- what was I saying?”
Swipe landed gracefully on the deck, and walked back toward Kham’s body which appeared to be stable nowadays. A lot less blue. T’ajsa walked past Brute and made her way back to Kham’s body too, her boots clacking on the hard deck in her wake. Swipe’s let his head fall for a moment. It was heavy, pulsing with fury and emotion. He tried breathing deeply just to process all of what Brute was feeling, shit what all of them was feeling but he knew in is his heart this wasn’t going to work much longer. Either he or Brutus was going to explode one day.
“You were asking Reggie about the King of Beasts.”
He finally blurted through a sigh. He caught the gaze of Zultan, a gaze of pity? Among his drums but he topped it off with a firm nod afterward. The kid was just doing what he thought was best.
“OH! Yeah. What the fuck is a King of Beasts?”
“Just ask them.”
Reggie replied, repeating the same tone earlier. He was looking over Kham’s body with his head tilted in a questioning angle and his lips pursed. He was just unsure of what to do. The man was breathing, not so much sleeping but, imprisoned. That was one thing, but having to tip-toe around The Queen’s conflict of interest’s was another. He rubbed his eyes in frustration and gestured to The specters in white, the ones that swooped out of nowhere and kidnapped them on this grand excursion AWAY from their primary objective. The Princess. Maybe the only one who could bring some joy back into T’ajsa’s life. But it’s like the queen could smell mutiny, not that any of them were actually considering it but she was towering over his shoulder next, bathing him in her shadow snuffing out his iridescent light. He just decided to keep his eyes locked on Kham for now.
Brute was already making his way to the top of the crows next, there were strong ropes leading up to each tier, and it was nothing for a man of his athleticism to make short work of. By the time he reached the top this tunnel of stars was carrying on right over his tuft of hair. He looked down at the others, then at the white guys, then down at the others again and slowly raised his hand toward the celestial ceiling.
“That would be unwise.”
They all spoke in unison, rebuking him looking every bit like streaks of light themselves with symbols for heads.
“Fuck that. And fuck you.”
Brute shoved his hand out of the swirling light tunnel and brought it back down to his chest. He was missing a whole hand.
“We told you. Your hand is left floating in space, in the Gamma Quadrant.”
“In the GAMMA QUAD-“
“More of you would be lost. But we’re decreasing our travel speed. For your sake. We’re surprised this ship can handle this.”
“Are you talking shit about my ship?!”
Screamed Zultan from below. To remark upon the ship was a jab at his craftsmanship. Something he didn’t take lightly.
“We apologize. It’s just, this seems like every bit an ordinary vessel.”
That got a laugh out of everyone, even the swipe chuckled a bit to himself. Finally.
“This is a losing fight guys. Can you speed it up a bit?”
“Instantaneous travel would kill all of you. Including the King of Beasts”
He twisted his wrist, and already his hand was growing back. He never liked the feeling. It made him feel itchy. First the bones shot out of his nub of a wrist. One, two, three, four, five fingers. Then the skin veins, bloody and dripping with excess wrapped themselves in and around that. The muscle whiplashed itself to the bone and everything else fell in afterward.
“WHAT IS A KING OF BE-“
“The King of Beast is-“
“STOP INTERRUPTING ME!”
“Brutus… settle down my son.”
Came an older voice from the deck. Brute didn’t have to look to know it was Zultan inspecting the damage of the ship, taking mental notes on how expensive it would be to fix everything. They were all broke anyways. It had been years without a score.
Yet Brute had a respect for the old man. He was the glue. So he decided to calm his ass down. For some reason it didn’t make sense flaring up right now anyway. Though he couldn’t put his finger on why.
“Would you mind telling me what the King of Beasts is. Please.”
“You will figure it out for yourself in a moment. We’re here.”
The ship stopped and Brute was almost thrown from the crows nest. His had to steady himself with his good hand while his other finished regenerating. He and all the members of the crew looked around. Swipe rushed off toward the bow of the ship and gazed as far as the eye could see. The ship was floating, or so he thought, and below it was a sandbar, kinda like a beach that bisected a near countless amount of suns, stars, and planets all arranged in preordained shapes. Kinda like the ones Reggie had pointed out to him in the old days.
“The Throne - The Great Divide. Seat of The Primordial Scholars.”
“Azimuth. Uruclea. Golbez. Siris. Scion…”
Reggie was rattling off the constellations like a scholar himself, Brutus recognized some of them too. The ones he could remember, and one by one they glowed in the likeness of the animals they represented. Coming alive in all their grandeur. The sky, once a pallet of different starts and celestial phenomena was now cluttered with an infinite variety of giant animal spirits with clusters of stars as their skeletons.