The Chronicles of Soone - Warrior RisingJames Somers / Fantasy
THE CHRONICLES OF SOONE
2011© James Somers
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Year 9015: Planet Castai
Within the massive flagship of the Baruk space fleet, a nightmare sat upon a throne. Kale stood completely erect before his master, Lucin. “You summoned me, my lord?”
Completely black eyes measured Kale. When Lucin spoke, his voice echoed throughout the chamber. Kale seemed ready to start shaking. He tried to remain cool and collected—difficult considering the person he stood before.
“Kale Soone, son of the king of the Barudii, I want you to accompany our survey team down to the planet,” Lucin commanded. “Since you were the one who provided us with the means to defeat your father and his Barudii warriors, I assumed you would want to survey your handiwork.”
Lucin smiled the entire time. “The Barudii have been defeated, the battle is over?” Kale asked.
Regret was written all over the boy’s face. Kale wished he had not allowed his pride push him to such traitorous action. If only there were some way out. Too late for that now—the deed was done.
Lucin came down from his throne walking toward Kale. He towered over the teenage boy by a good six inches. “We’ve had a marvelous victory, Kale,” he said. “And that victory is all thanks to your willingness to turn against your father.”
The words cut Kale to the heart. “Was that what I did?” he said.
“Oh yes. We are in your debt, young man. Why, without your complete betrayal of your people, we never would have been able to destroy your father and his forces. The victory we have gained today will allow us to take the entire planet of Castai.”
Kale looked pale now.
“Go on, son of Kale the first. Go down to your home world and see what your pride has accomplished for the enemies of your people.”
Lucin grinned as Kale walked toward the door of his throne room. One of the Baruk officers met him at the door. Lucin called after him, “Lieutenant, please see that our young warrior gets a thorough look at the battlefield. I don’t want him to miss out on any of our conquest.”
Such devastation, it was like nothing Kale had ever laid his eyes on before. Bodies were piled upon one another and strewn throughout the entire valley before Mt. Vaseer. The ground was soaked with the blood of his people. Birds of prey launched skyward as he walked through the aftermath. Most of the dead were from Kale’s own clan, the Barudii. He had known many of these people personally. They had looked to him as the next in line for the throne. Their pale faces and lifeless eyes condemned him now.
He wandered between bodies for nearly six hours. His boots were stained red as he splashed through puddles of Barudii blood. Around him, the murderers of his clan retreated from the battlefield; the dark skinned Vorn and their vicious brute clones, the Horva. Yet they did not lay a finger to harm him—why would they? After all, he was the one who had led them here—had given them the information necessary to make all of this possible. He was a villainous traitor. He belonged among their enemies now.
“Master Kale?” one of the Vorn commanders called. “You had better find a transport to take you back to our Lord’s flagship. We’ll be departing soon to join the fleet. You don’t want to keep him waiting.”
Kale paused in his search. “I will be along shortly,” he said.
The soldier went on about his business, rounding up the Horva for departure. Their work here was finished.
Kale searched more frantically now. He had to find him, had to know if all of this was really happening, or merely some nightmare. Near the front lines, Kale saw it on the ground. The diadem was pure adomen—a costly, durable alloy bearing a luster all its own. The single azure jewel normally mounted on the front was missing.
Very near, Kale found his body—the owner of the crown and King of the Barudii. This was his father, his namesake—the man whom he had betrayed into the hands of the Vorn and Baruk. His bloodstained expression was strangely peaceful. Kale could not take his eyes off of him. He felt frozen in place, frozen in time. Could this really have been what I wanted, he wondered? Is this my prize, my victory for the humiliation that was brought upon me?
He shut his eyes and turned away from the face, but it was still there, piercing his soul. He considered his mother and his younger brother, Tiet. How horribly had they died? His brother had only been in his eighth year—ten years the younger.
He heard the troop transports power up and ready for take-off as the last of the enemy combatants made their way aboard. Many ships to choose from, but none of them contained any friendly faces for him. He began to walk away and thought of looking back to take in one last glimpse of his father, but he could not do it. He didn’t have to—Kale had a feeling his father’s face, its expression cast in death, would haunt him for the rest of his days.
Kale boarded one of the transport ships, carrying thousands of Vorn and Horva, and stood next to a view port. The massacre was less personal from the air. He was the only survivor of the Barudii clan—the only survivor and a traitor. He felt like pulling his blade and stabbing it into his heart, to kill the soul wrenching agony before it could begin its feast, but he didn’t have the courage.
He sat on the floor against the wall of the ship’s troop compartment among a hundred smelly Horva brutes. His Barudii clan had been the guardians of Castai’s people. Now those people would be ripe for conquest by the Vorn and their masters, the Baruk.
Year 9027: Planet Castai
The sky burned red like fire and so did his emotions. A lone figure watched from his perch as people scurried to their homes on the streets below—curfew was approaching. Military personnel were stationed in threes on every major path to ensure obedience.
He watched them below, hating them. A security camera’s gears whined as it swiveled on its mount next to him, looking for miscreants. He was almost in view, but not quite.
They weren’t going to see him tonight. He would be a shadow, a nightmare that strikes and is gone before the senses can capture it. Orin would be angry, of course. He had been before, but now Tiet was older, now he was ready.
The Vorn cloning facility stood in view above the far rooftop—that place where monsters are bred. That’s what they used to kill my people.
The next rooftop stood all the way across the wide path below. When no one appeared to be looking, he leaped away from the ledge, somersaulted and landed on the rooftop ledge on the other side of the path. Utilizing the Way had its benefits. He could move objects with his mind or enhance his own movements. He could fight like a whirlwind, or creep upon his enemies like a shadow. He wanted to finally put his training to use. Years ago, his people had been protectors on Castai. If only they hadn’t been massacred. The Vorn would not be their taskmasters now.
Tiet sensed the motion of the cameras and spotted them easily. He waited for them to leave a dead space in their visual field for him then he ran through to the other side of the rooftop. The cloning facility towered above him—the jump to reach it would be too much, even using the Way. The paths had cleared with the onset of curfew. He could run across now. Tiet dropped off of the building, a full two hundred feet to the ground.
While in the air, Tiet noticed a Vorn soldier emerging from a door below. He adjusted his fall slightly and came down right behind the man using his mind to soften his landing. His hand cupped the soldier’s mouth. With a quick jerk of his arm, the man’s neck snapped. He dropped the enemy to the ground as the body went limp. Tiet left him, hoping he would be long gone before anyone discovered the body.
He ran across the empty walkways to the fence on the other side. He jumped over its top with little effort, but another layer of fencing stood on the other side. The sign warned intruders of electrocution. No bother—Using his mind, Tiet helped his muscles propel him over. This is almost too easy, he thought.
On a security panel inside the cloning complex, a warning flashed. Data began to pour onto the screen. The security officer examined the information. Sometimes, small animals triggered the pressure relays located all over the grounds of the complex, but not this time. The weight given at the trigger point registered one hundred and fifty five pounds.
He punched in his security code to activate the silent alarm and brought up scanning and video devices on his display. It took a moment, but then he saw him. A man was entering the building through one of the air vents. The security officer brought up a