"They shall mount up as on wings of an eagle..." The Bible
The arrived at the home world of the Zoarians in about three days' time, since they were towing the wounded vessel, and Captain Scleea radioed in well in advance to avoid and incident. The remainder of the crew was gathered in the cargo area-those who could-while the rest in the sick bay heard her address them on the ship's public announcement system. She stepped up and spoke in their tongue. The rest of the crew used the translator to listen in, and it was a somber speech, but there was a tinge of hope within it. She then spoke somberly, "Crew of the Threeah: this is a somber day, but also a hopeful one. Our beloved vessel is wounded, and many of our crew and comrades are not here because of the worst case of murder and treachery that any of our people have ever witnessed. It is sad to say that we are now at war, for our beloved King Laudra has made it clear that this Gnarl has need to be wiped clean of the evil that possesses them, even if it means that they must be annihilated because the evil runs deep within their kind even permeates their common folk. From this day forward, when we shall encounter any of these Gnarl, there shall be no negotiations. They shall be struck with no quarter. They must be made to pay for this treachery!"
Serenity could not believe what she was hearing. Even if they had to go to war themselves with this foe, she was not sure she could be this vicious. However, Mars' heart was rushing, as was Ceres' who had always seen that his Marines, as did Mars' SEALs, that their fighters were ministers of death thirsting for war. They too felt the martial spirit that Captain Scleea was whipping up in her battered crew. Venus listened with a somber face, not liking the level to which Scleea was ramping up things, but she also understood that this Gnarl was ruthless, and there was no way to defeat them unless they were as ruthless. Scleea continued and said, "However, because of this brave race of beings, what should have been our deaths have turned into our redemption. We owe them much. Their willingness to show kindness to strangers shows greatness in them. So brave are they, that their own Queen Serenity was willing to step out into the beyond to face dangers with her own subjects. By what we have learned, they also have been attacked by the Gnarl themselves, but they struck them a mighty blow with little loss to themselves. Even now, these Terrans have spies deep within the enemy's territory, trying to find out what they face. They are a people of action, and we must also step up, for now their foe is our foe, and we must stand together with them! Many have died, and needlessly. Others died by your sides, fighting valiantly and bravely against an overwhelming foe. We must assure that their deaths were not in vain. Know that the Threeah will rise again, and she shall fight again! Now, let us ready our new comrades and prepare for war! Let this day spell the beginning of the end for the Gnarl!"
A loud din of screeches permeated the hall. The communications officer had to turn it down a touch for the sake of the humans on board, but the translators were saying that they were all calling out war cries, to remember this one or that, or remember Delta Pavonis, and various cries of what they would do to the Gnarl if they were face-to-face with them. Jupiter was watching this with interest, hoping that everyone else could stand with that kind of courage.
While all this was going on, and with the days that had passed, Olympia was feeding the /Catfish /and the outer scouts with asteady stream of data. They learned that they called their home star Fleey, and their home world Skretch. The king was named Grenj, and the queen was named Squilla. She also learned that the society was a matriarchal society, not too dissimilar to the mole rats of earth, even down to their experience. Indeed, they were a warrior race, and they were also just as adept at fighting with their powerful jaws and sharp teeth as they were hand-to-hand. They were staunch fighters who would rather die than surrender, yet, what was odd was that, despite the warrior in them, the people themselves were also benevolent when they wanted to be. Pluto learned this, and wondered if that would be something that could be used. Another thing she found interesting when she had opportunities to meet them, was that the king, though a warrior, was quite benevolent. He didn't know why his wife insisted on conquest, or why her mother before her also demanded this. He seemed to feel that they should learn to get along, and that they could find new worlds to colonize that way, rather than the way they had been doing it for at least two generations. Squilla, on the other hand, was a ruthless dictator with a goddess complex. In their world, the queen is doted over from birth to death, and treated as if she were a goddess, so it was not hard to see the difference. Grenj wanted to see this different, and hoped that his own heirs would remember all that he had taught them, hoping that it was not brainwashed out of them. The outer scouts took this all in, and they now knew they could well use that. However, it was one night before the /Artemis /arrived at 61 Cygni Alpha that things got interesting.
Four hours after lights out, Olympia got up and put on her top dress again and went to the library. She had worked hard to learn the codes of the restricted areas, and now was the time to go in and find out what she could. While this was happening, the Catfish had landed, still cloaked, in their ocean, and the outer scouts carefully and stealthily made their way to where Olympia was. If they could, they would aid her in the taking of information, and then extracting her. Olympia slipped out and past the guards of the bay, but she was not unnoticed. Mirini had been awoken by her movements and watched with curiosity as to why she was up, and risking her neck being up. She had to collect her and bring her back before she got into trouble. She slipped by herself and followed her. What now made it odd was that she was heading to the library. Mirini had found it interesting that she went wide-eyed when she saw the library, thinking that she must like to read, but for her to show THIS much interest was odd indeed. She had been very caring of her, making sure they stayed together, and keeping her out of trouble. She had begun to love her like her own daughter, and she would be accursed if she would let anything happen to her, what had happened to her own kittens.
Olympia was in the restricted area now, breathing a heavy sigh of relief that she was able to get past the guards in front of the library, and that the codes had worked. There were surveillance cameras around, but people came in at all hours for whatever reasons, and because it was dark, and because she had the codes, it made her infiltration that much easier. No suspicion was raised. She got to a point where she could give acoded and scrambled message to the outer scouts approaching, saying, "I'm in their secure files. Track this signal."
She also relayed a lay of the land so that they could slip in. They relayed back that they were not far, and they would be there soon. She then began to look at the files, and then realized all too late that there was no way to know what was what, considering that the translator only dealt with spoken words, and not written. Just as she was about to go for anything, she heard in her ear bud, "Prr'ann! What are you doing?"
Olympia wheeled around in a fighting posture, and then realized it was Mirini. She hushed her quickly, and then went and closed the door, kicking herself that she forgot to close it. Mirini said, "Girl, you are going to get yourself beaten and sent to the salt mines! Now you march right back to bed this instant and tomorrow, you are going to tell me how you got in here!"
Mirini grabbed her paw and started to pull her when Olympia turned down the translator to a hush and said, "I'm not who you think I am."
Mirini went stiff, hearing a strange language from her, but then hearing her own tongue right behind it. "What is going on?"
"We were taken before your colony got the news," responded Olympia, "Nekonia is now allied with another star system. I am of that system, and I am in disguise. I am Chief Petty Officer Olympia of the UES Catfish. Ihave friends coming, and I am here to gather information about this people. It seems we may soon be at war with them, and we need all the info we can get."
"So...so you used me?"
"No, but I thank my Creator that you were here. Your kindness well aided me in this, and you shall be well rewarded by both my kingdom and your own world. I swear to that creator, because of your kindness, I'm taking your with me. Now, can you read this?"
Mirini's attitude now changed, knowing that this could mean freedom for her people, and that she had no other choice but to trust this person. She said, "Yes, what are we looking for?"
"Fleet sizes, ground troop strength, even some history of this place if possible."
Mirini quickly started to help her grab several files, and the prepared to flee.
The system within which Zoar rested was interesting. The binary partner of 61 Cygni Alpha was easily seen, but was about as bright as Venus on a clear summer night. Indeed, they had adapted well to the odd cycles of neap and spring seasons, for the lack of a better description, and they were well prepared by what they were to face those changes. The /Artemis/released the /Threeah /to their tugs, and they were then allowed clearance to land. It was a world with about five large continents, and was well developed. However, there was little in the way of vehicle travel, because their ability to fly, and fly swiftly. They could get places with little need for help. Some even flew from continent to continent when either they had the leisure time, or they had the money to use any transport if needed. The inner scouts were taking the time to adapt to the atmosphere, but they learned that it was better to use supplementary oxygen, and they were wearing these aids as they went. As the inner scouts and Ceres were being toured around, they also received a history of the world in brief, and they learned that they had an interesting development. They seemed to parallel Earth, in that, there was fighting between the various avian kinds on their home world, and for a while, the raptors dominated. They even had racial slurs one for another because of the differences. However, the so-called weaker Zoarians learned to adapt their science and combat them on an even level. Their world was in constant warfare, but there finally came a time when many of the fledglings of their different kinds were sick of the fighting and death, and began to lead a movement where they could live in harmony, knowing that they were all now far more advanced as a culture than the mentality of their elders. It was not that they hated their elders, or that they wanted to rule them, but that they just wanted to reeducated them. Instead of being fighters, they became purveyors of civil disobedience, and were willing to take the shame in order to expose the folly of the continued hatred between the different Zoarian races. It was a long road, but a spiritual leader of the water Zoarians now known as the Great Keeah stepped up to organize them and lead them. He was an incredible speaker, and even went as far as to unify a common tongue amongst those of that cause. He had charisma and could lead. Soon, he was turning many of the former generation to his side as his people began to become a space faring people. The reason for the turn was the realization that, if they were always going to fight, if there was another world that could travel through space that saw the turmoil, and they saw the fighting, they could be ripe for the picking. Keeah began to be revered like a Buddha, but one that believed in staying a strong warrior, and yet believed that that might was there to bring peace, not only to Zoar, but to all that needed their help. After some more struggle, things were coming together. However a detractor, who didn't want this change, assassinated him, but all it did was turn him into a martyr for the cause. They did not see him as a god, but they did see him as the reason why they were able to prosper as they had been. Because of him, they now were what they were. Thus, often in their speech, they would say things like, "By the name of the Great Keeah," or,"Is that in the wisdom of the Great Keeah?" or other things.
They were eventually taken to the main body of government of their people, and it was discovered that they were indeed a federated republic. They were going to meet first with their chancellor, and then meet with their legislature in order to start laying the ground work for a treaty, and the reason why such was needed. Serenity was at her diplomatic best, showing the beauty of her mature royal manners, and still having a bit of that teenage Usagi that endeared her to all that ever met her. Once they had spoken, they were taken to what would translate into The Great Klatch. What was interesting about the room was that they all had desks upon which their officials worked, but instead of chairs, they had what could best be described as perches. It was odd for a moment, but they then had to remember with what they dealt. Because of the haste of how things needed to be done, Earth's legislature gave the queen the authority to speak for both her and her husband, and sign anything that was approved. They also did not have time to get into formal wear, but went in their fuku uniforms. Once she was introduced, Serenity went up, stood in front of the perch, and said, "Thank you for your kindness and hospitality. We were grateful that we had the ability to help that brave crew to safety. I wish I could say more, but there is a clear and present danger, and we must be ready to face it."
She then went on to speak about their mutual foe, and then yielded the floor to Captain Scleea, who told of all they had seen. As she relayed the story, there was dead silence, and what the Terrans could only determine to be stern looks on their faces. Serenity resumed the lectern and said, "The Silver Millennium Kingdom is well more than willing to lend her aid to you in whatever way possible."
With that, Chancellor Arika stepped up and perched, saying,"Well, you know the danger, the evil that faces you, and the new friends that we have. I leave it to you to hash out details for a treaty."
With that, they went into session, and the inner scouts waited.
They moved with haste, but Olympia warned not to move too quickly, lest they draw attention to themselves and attract a party that they did not want to attend. Because they were on the inside, they didn't need to re-input the codes, and stepped out. Olympia gently closed the door, and she transmitted, "Documents secure...where are you?"
"We're close," reported Uranus.
They then came to the front of the library, but unfortunately, those on the camera side were growing suspicious to the extra body going in, and the lack of the door closing right away, and called the two guards to go in and check things out. They then both pointed spears at them, leaving the blasters holstered, knowing that the queen would want something of them. They then said, "You two can just set those down and come with us if you know what's good for you!"
Mirini was stiff with fear, and Olympia was quickly trying to calculate what to do next.
The outer scouts were moving swiftly, taking out as many as they could, and quietly, so as not to attract attention. They also knew that these were those with which they would not have to contend on the way out, provided they reached Olympia in time before the security was missed. Two other guards had been called to take the place of the guards at the library, and met a double clothesline from Neptune and Uranus. A third came up and yelled something that they could not understand, not having the translators. It was actually something along the lines of, "Hey, what are you doing?" but they were not there to get a lesson in the Gnarl tongue. Saturn rushed up as he went for his blaster, but Saturn had it out of his hand before he could blink with her pole arm, and then the two went pole arm to pole arm as they clashed.
The two in the library heard the action and were momentarily distracted. That was all Olympia needed, as she set the files in Mirini's arms and charged one of them. She grabbed his spear, flipped him over with it into his buddy, and plunged it into both of them as they lay there. She then took the two blasters and said, "Take these: use them if you have to. There will be enough to carry the files. We're getting out of here."
Mirini stood there shocked that her little Prr'ann could have struck with such swiftness and in such a businesslike manner. Add to that that this was the first kind of fighting that she had ever seen this close. Olympia snapped her fingers before her fingers and said, "Let's go!"
Mirini came to and followed her. Meanwhile, Saturn was clashing hard, and though her opponent was much stronger and bigger, her diminutive size made her hard to hit, especially with as swiftly as she fought. He made one critical error, and suddenly found her pole arm in his chest, followed by, "/Silent Wall/,"after which he was flung into the other wall and finished off by the impact. Pluto said, "You made it! Who's that?"
"A casualty of the situation," responded Olympia.
Pluto took the files and opened a time rift and put them in. Mirini stared even more now, and Olympia said, "Hey, I have powerful friends!"
"They will be safe there for now," said Pluto, "They will hinder us. Let's go."
However, sirens sounded everywhere, and Neptune then said, "Now, we have a problem!"