The Second War is about to begin, with Voldemort gaining power, and the Ministry denying his return. Ron&Hermione are looked as the ones to destroy HIM, but no one saw the return of the Savior they...
Chapter 3: The new life
Pain. All he could feel was tormenting, all encompassing pain. His entire body felt sore, stinging and aching, while his head felt like being banged into a wall... several thousand times. His throat felt dry and raw, and, still not fully aware of his surroundings, he felt himself lifted up slightly, and something cold was pressed on his lips. He tasted a warm liquid touching them. Acting on instinct, he parted them, allowing the unpleasant fluid to enter his mouth. He grimaced at the taste, but his body continued to drink greedily, ignoring his protests. The metallic tasting fluid seemed familiar as he raked his brain for a memory of it. Suddenly, realization hit him like a ton of bricks. He was drinking blood. He remembered foggily the talk he had with Lord Deathhand. He remembered hazily walking into an old turning chamber. Getting strapped into the sturdy looking table. Then the cold feeling of the injector. After that, all he could recall was pain. Burning, searing, endless pain. He really envied the born Lantrisi.
Slowly, he opened his eyes, and saw that it was his Lord himself that held a metallic cylinder to his lips. The blood flowing down his throat felt like warm honey, even though it tasted foul. Having finally sated himself, his Lord put down the feeding unit, and helped him up. Stepping on his feet hurt, and he pulled them back from the floor. The man next to him smiled.
"Rest child, your nerves are still recovering from the turning. Your senses will be a bit oversensitive for a while. Stay here and sleep, I will return in a few hours to lead you to your new home." The man gently pushed him back on the bed, and left him alone.
Deciding to take his advice, Daroth closed his eyes, and returned once again to blissful oblivion.
He woke up three hours later, surprised that he felt none of the pain from a few hours ago. In fact, as he leapt to his feet, he felt himself brimming with energy. He noticed a large mirror in the corner, and curious to see if he had changed somehow, stood before it, and nearly passed out from the shock. Instead of the twelve year old kid, he was looking at a sixteen year old teenager, with the same messy black hair, vivid green eyes, and scar? He knew enough about the Lantrisi physiology, and he knew they never scarred.
Just then, he was interrupted by what could be described as a mental cough. He heard his Lord's voice in his mind "Good, you're already awake. Please, follow me. We have a lot to discuss." Daroth nodded, and followed the older man closely. They arrived at the same meeting room they spoke in before the change, but this time, Daroth noted, there were massive curtains over the many windows.
"You are wondering why the windows are draped, no doubt. To protect you. For a short period after the turning, you are hypersensitive to sunlight. Even the slightest exposure can result in agonizing burns, as I had the misfortune of discovering when I woke up from my turning. Don't worry, you will adapt in a month or so. The reason I brought you here is to discuss your future. As you are now a member of my own clan you are required to be the best of the best, we are the strongest Lantrisi, even if we are the least numerous. Furthermore, your high rank in the hierarchy as a consequence of taking blood directly from me will further increase the demand for excellence. Based on some observations and minor tests in the past, I believe you would do well in the military. You will be granted permission to attend officer training as well as the advanced trainings, but only if you prove yourself. Do you understand?" He looked sharply at the boy.
"I do. I will do all I can to make you proud, my Lord." He thanked his parents for teaching him enough about Lantrisi etiquette.
"I'm sure you will. Now, the second thing I wish to discuss is your unique talent. We will conduct some tests to see how your gift has integrated with the new DNA added to you, and hopefully, find a way to give the talent to more of us. After that, you will work with research teams on finding a way to use this gift at will." The man smiled at the boy's slight nod.
"Well, now that I have told you your duties, let me tell you about privileges. The top levels of Lantrisi society could be compared to human nobility, but it would be a fairly inaccurate description. We have full authority over the lower levels, but you will NOT issue direct orders on anyone without a justifiable need. The Lantrisi brain is incapable of defying a direct order from a higher ranking Lantrisi, and as such, I have issued many orders to make sure this power is not abused. You may say that as the top the pyramid, I can do whatever I wish, but you can be certain, as are all Lantrisi, that all I do is for the good of our people. I learnt that lesson in a very painful way."
Daroth nodded absently, thinking about the several wars the man was responsible for. His musings were cut by his Lord's words.
"As for other things, you also have the right to apply for the Order of Death, but you'll have to really impress me to get in there."
Now that was not an offer made often. The Order was a collection of the finest Deathhands, trained to be the perfect spies and assassins. It was rumored they were capable of killing even their own kind, but it was never confirmed.
However, with a society as secretive and xenophobic as the Lantrisi, Daroth believed this was probably true.
"Now, as I told you before the turning, you cannot stay in this world. Once we have a way to send you back, we will not hesitate to do so. Until then, however, you are one of us, and you will be treated as such. There is a guard waiting outside to take you to your new home. In the morning, your parents will join you to teach you all about being one of us. Once you become immune to sunlight though, you'll be on your own. As all of your brethren, you shall make your own path, and leave your own mark upon this world." His Lord smiled at him, and waved his hand in what was a gesture of dismissal.
The next month passed in a blur for him, as his body aged from twelve to twenty in just a month. The Lantrisi it seemed had naturally eliminated all weaknesses the humans had. They were stronger, smarter, healed very fast and could regain lost limbs, their bodies were much tougher and sturdier, so even without rapid regeneration, it was a tough job to kill one. Their children grew to adulthood in just three short years, and their focus towards their common goals was almost fanatical. However, they had weaknesses. They were arrogant, true, most of it was justified, but most of them overdid it. Also, even with their obvious natural advantage and technological superiority, they only controlled a small part of the quadrant. For a race of immortals, their numbers grew very slowly, as the birthrates were very low.
Daroth knew that the other races hated them, their very existence was a bane upon the Alliance, and, as their spies reported, the idea for a new war against them was often debated in the Alliance council. Fortunately, even their most zealous enemies knew that attacking the Lantrisi without the full support of their neighbors would be paramount to handing the entire Terran population for turning.
His head hurt as he stared trough the window. Politics always made his head hurt. He had started military training a couple of days ago, and he still felt sore after today's training. It was hard, but it gave him a sense of purpose. Still, it was hard. Out of 32 hours in the day, he had to spend 16 in training, another eight in study, and he had the rest of the day to himself, most of it spent resting from the training. His first training had been in short, brutal. The instructor had them fight him hand to hand in order to gouge their skills. Out of eighty recruits, only two managed to hit the man, only to end up on the floor in pain a moment afterwards. Daroth winced as he thought of his own turn, when the old soldier blocked his punch and kicked him in the ribs. Considering what happened to a few others, he guessed that three cracked ribs weren't that bad.
Fortunately, there was no more beating from the old instructor, who he learnt was one of the original colonists. They had begun training in martial arts, as they were told they wouldn't see even a dagger until they knew how to fight with no weapons at all.
Unlike their neighbors, the Lantrisi training lasted decades, making their soldiers and officers the best in the galaxy. Daroth had just finished his martial arts training, after twenty three years of rigorous training. He was remembering with pride the times he actually managed to beat his instructor. His final test was a particularly fond memory, as his Lord himself was present, and he noticed the look of pride the man gave him. To Daroth that meant everything.
Right now, they were working with cold weapons. While they were required to know how to use anything they could, they were offered extra training with their chosen weapon. Daroth had chosen a pair of daggers, and quickly became one of the best; his instructor often said that only a member of the Order could beat him, which for a common soldier was a very high praise.
After a decade of handling blades, the moment all soldiers looked forward to arrived. Using firearms. These covered everything from hand guns to rifles, heavy weaponry, to artillery and explosives, to various vehicles ranging from tanks to manned fighters and explorers.
Just learning how all these things worked was incredible, and everyone was awed at the multitude of instruments whose sole purpose was to kill. The core of most of their weapons was the 'Decimator' technology, a rather fitting name in Daroth's opinion. The technology itself was a millennium old, but was still one of the most effective and destructive systems in the galaxy. There had been some advancement in this system during the years, but the general design hadn't changed much, which said a lot of just how advanced this technology was. However, this technology was also very dangerous, a fact they learnt themselves when a rifle misfired in the face of one of the cadets, killing her on site. Even though they could even regenerate the entire body if certain conditions were met, damage to over 60% of the brain would kill them. The Alliance troopers were well aware of this fact, and in the last war targeted exclusively for the head, killing many Lantrisi.
The rest of the training passed in a much more somber atmosphere, and everyone was glad when they were finished. Most of Daroth's group was moved for active duty at once, but himself and several others moved on to officer training.
This was only a five year course, as they learnt how to behave as officers, which encompassed everything from strategy to leading forces into combat.
After five years, only Daroth moved on to advanced training, which gave him the skills he required to become a high ranking officer or a specialist.
Driven by the high amount of trust given to him by his Lord, he pushed himself harder than even the fanatical members of the Order, a fact that hadn't escaped his superiors.
After his graduation ceremony, he was offered the position of fleet commander, and assigned to the border with the Baroth Syndicate. They were their most daring neighbors, who would often send raiding parties and blame it on rogue factions when confronted with it. Over time, the Lantrisi chose to simply destroy any intruders and see if the Baroth would react. The problem, however, was that the border with them was almost a third of the whole Lantrisi territory, and as such, very difficult to defend effectively.
The raiders weren't dumb enough to attack any planets or stations, they would need a large fleet for that, and to send a full fleet into enemy territory would be an act of war the Syndicate could not afford, so they limited their raids on cargo ships and convoys.
For fifteen years Daroth was hunting raiding parties who were hardly a challenge for his Koraash class cruiser, not to mention the thirty other ships under his command patrolling his section of the border. These years however, were favorable to him as he rose from the rank of datak to the rank of nihtar.
Right now, he was sitting in his ready room, looking over last week's patrol reports. Just then, the door opened, and his first officer walked in. She didn't have to be in the room to contact him, but Daroth liked seeing people when he spoke to them, and instructed his subordinates to be physically present when speaking to him if possible.
"Sir, we have received an urgent message from Lantus."
"I don't suppose it could wait, could it?" Daroth sighed.
"I'm afraid not sir. The message is from Lord Deathhand himself." The woman was slightly awed by this fact.
It was unfortunate they were too far from the rest of their kind to establish mental contact, so they had to resort to subspace communication. This had a much greater range, but was also much less secure, a fact augmented by heavy encryption, even on common messages.
"Alright then. Do you know what it says, or is it for my eyes only?" Daroth put down the report he was reading, and turned his attention to the woman he personally recommended for the post.
"His Lordship wishes for you to return to Lantus as soon as possible. You are to leave command of the fleet to whoever you deem capable enough." She replied quickly.
Daroth knew when his Lord said as soon as possible, he meant yesterday.
"Understood. Inform the quartermaster to pack my belongings at once and contact the Fist of Chaos, they are going to take me back. I will leave command to you until I return, or should our Lord feel I would be more useful somewhere else, I shall recommend you for promotion to datak and my position in this fleet." He smiled at the stunned woman.
"Eh, uh, err, thank you sir, I'll, I'll go and speak to the quartermaster, sir." Barely hiding his grin, he dismissed her with a wave of his hand, and started to ponder just why he had been recalled. As far as he knew, his performance was exemplary, so this was not for disciplinary purposes. With yet another sigh, Daroth got up, and slowly made it to his quarters to oversee the packing.
Two days later, he was on Lantus, heading for a formal diner with several of the most prominent Lantrisi.
He walked into a very elegant dining room that left him speechless for a moment. He was instantly noticed by Lord Deathhand who pulled him into the crowd and spoke merrily.
"Daroth, my boy, you made it. I didn't think you'd manage it on such a short notice. But please, let me introduce you. I believe you already know my wife Angela, she has informed me that your mutual project was a complete success, by the way, next is my son Drake, I don't think you've met?"
"Actually, we have, father. We did speak briefly during one of my visits to mother." The man spoke in a pleasant voice.
"Is that so? Well, let me move on then. You of course know grutaash dakor Ryan, next is kasaath Dupont, next we have..." In short, Daroth was standing in the same room with the people who ran their entire civilization.
"Ah, our last guest has arrived." Lord Deathhand turned to the door to greet the most beautiful woman Daroth had ever seen. She was very tall, but somehow, that made her even more beautiful. She had waist length hair that was darker than the void of space itself, and looked smoother than silk. Her face bore the same sharp, aristocratic lines of the Deathhand family, and had the same dark, calculating and piercing stare Lord Deathhand possessed. Even though he had never met her, Daroth knew who she was at once. He had finally met Sophia Deathhand, the dreaded commander of the Order of Death.
"Late again my dear. I am rather starting to think it's on purpose." Lord Deathhand smiled as he hugged her.
"Come now father, this delay was your fault. It was on your orders that I was away, as you would do well to remember." She replied in a melodious voice.
"Yes, yes, I've heard that one before. Now, come, I have someone I want you to meet. Perhaps you remember young Daroth?" The pair moved next to him.
"Yes, I do. He has certainly come a long way. May I inquire as to why is he here?" She gave him a warm smile, before turning to his father.
"Always going straight to the point. And you wonder why you get only assassination tasks. There are two reasons actually. First of, I wanted to offer him a position in the Order." Several people looked at them in surprise at that.
"Is that so? Well, his records are certainly impressive, I'm sure he'd do well. But why now?" She asked her father.
"I have my reasons. So, do you accept, Daroth?" Personally, Daroth really wanted to know those reasons, but when an offer like this comes, you don't say no to it.
"It would be an honor, my Lord." He replied respectfully.
"Excellent. Sophia, I hope you'll pay special attention to our young friend here?" She simply nodded and looked at her father with a raised brow.
"Ah, yes, the second reason. While I do want Daroth to have the training of the Order, I have something special in mind for him. As you know, our best geneticists, under the leadership of my wife managed to develop a method to grant the special abilities Daroth has to other Lantrisi. While we still know very little of this power, with more men capable of it, we will be able to develop it faster. So, once Daroth finishes training with the Order, he will be appointed as the commander of these new Lantrisi." Everyone clapped at this announcement and went to congratulate Daroth. He sighed at this. He was the best man for the job, it seemed. His Lord wouldn't have chosen him if he hadn't believed it.
He spent most of the evening speaking to Sophia, and while most of the talk covered the Order, they also covered a number of other topics.
The following morning, Daroth began what was rightfully considered the most difficult training in the galaxy.
The training itself took him two centuries, and to say it was hard and demanding would be a very insulting understatement. The Order was not only trained in advanced methods known only to them, they also received long and by most standards, cruel treatments to increase their tolerance for pain and torture, as well as fighting with critical injuries. It was an experience Daroth barely survived with his sanity intact. The only thing that kept him sane was Sophia Deathhand. They had developed a relationship a few years after he started, and she was there to guide and comfort him trough his hardest times. They had become very close, and Daroth was the first to get to know the real her, the woman behind the icy exterior of the merciless commander of the Order. She was a kind and gentle woman, who hated what she had to become, but knew that it had to be done.
Daroth could sympathize with her. She had been forced into a life she didn't want, much like he was. Trough their entire history, many Lantrisi had been forced to do things they didn't want to, or become something they despised, simply because they were forced to.
Lord Deathhand was the greatest example. His entire life was filled with death and pain. He had lost too many people close to him. His life made him the heartless man he was today.
Knowing this, Daroth vowed to himself never to allow others to make him something he didn't want to.
Parallel to his training, he and several other Lantrisi who chose to become magical had made some progress into using their talent, slowly at first, but as the years went by, they had more and more success, eventually developing several types of attacks, like a fireball, as well as several shields, none of which could be penetrated by conventional weaponry. Analysis of Daroth's earliest memories gave them several important pieces of information, from Daroth's true name, to a possible method to get him back.
His last memory in his world seemed to be some sort of an attack from a man in a dark robe and red eyes. The powerful spell that the man used on the woman they assumed was Daroth's mother and later Daroth himself appeared to be the cause of his presence in the Lantrisi world.
Lengthy experimentation to reproduce this spell and study its effects eventually bore fruit. The Lantrisi were shocked that the spell was designed to kill. They figured it out that the spell worked by pushing the soul out of the body, leaving the body no choice but to die. However, the night of the attack, some sort of shield formed around Daroth when the curse struck him, and most of the curse rebounded upon the caster. However, the curse was still strong enough to attempt to push Daroth's soul away, but the shield interfered, instead forcing the curse to push him completely. The interaction of the two clashing energies tore a rift in the fabric of reality, and Daroth was pushed in.
While they were still far from finding a useful method of returning Daroth to his world, they at least had something to work with.
Years went by without any luck, when something unexpected happened. Daroth was a little over five hundred when he discovered he could change his appearance. Seeing that this was a talent possessed only by those over a thousand years, this caused some concern and great amount of curiosity.
It was discovered that he possessed a very rare talent that enabled him to alter his look. While this was a rather crude gift, the advanced genetic information that gave the Lantrisi the ability to change shape used this as a base to complete ahead of time. This gave him a great advantage not only on the few missions he was dispatched on, but would also be useful once he returned.
One of the most useful information gleaned from Daroth's memories were the fact the wizards of his world used wands. Now, they had no idea how to make them, but they could guess the wand was used to focus and amplify a spell. Also, they considered wood to be impractical due to its low mechanical resistance.
Tests with raw magical energy showed an alloy they called metalite to be conductive to magic. However, the conductor alone was not enough. Under Lord Deathhand's guidance as the foremost metallurgist in existence, they were able to create a metal that acted as an amplifier to magic. The effects were immense, with a meter long rod of the metal you could cast a fireball strong enough to take out a cruiser. This being the case, only minor amount was used in wands. Even so, the heavy drain of doing wandless magic was eliminated. The wands were unpractical for humans however, due to the fact that both metalite and the new metal called arkanium were rather dense alloys. In fact, a wand weighed between two and four kilos.
Daroth was almost six hundred when the Lantrisi mages discovered a working method of returning him home. Lord Deathhand ordered immediate preparations, and while several men prepared to open the portal, Daroth set out to say his goodbyes to those that were close to him.
By far the most painful experience in his life was the last moments he spent with Sophia. They knew it was the last time they would see each other and it tore their hearts apart.
The next morning Daroth wasn't surprised he didn't see her coming to see him off. Seeing him leave would be simply too painful.
His luggage was in fact far more then he had hoped for. In a reinforced trunk that was enlarged in the inside he was given three generators, six all purpose recharging units, sixteen feeding units, as well as twelve Decimator hand guns and eight rifles, four rifles using solid ammunition and over twelve thousand rounds for them. He was greatly surprised to find fifty plasma grenades as well as fifteen antimatter charges. After inspecting the contents, he turned to Lord Deathhand.
"What? No singularity torpedoes?" He smiled at the man.
"I considered it, but I felt that was a bit of overkill. Well, my boy, now that the time has come for you to go, I am sad to let you go. I wish you could stay, if for nothing else, then for my daughter's sake. But we both know that's not an option. So I guess this is goodbye." The man stood before Daroth.
"It was an honor to be here, my Lord. I will never forget my life here." Daroth held his Lord in a firm embrace that the man returned.
"You will not be forgotten child. Now go, your home awaits you. One more thing before you go though. I order you, never to try to return here, stay in your own world, no matter what." Daroth could feel the pain that those words caused the man.
"I understand sir. Goodbye." With that, he nodded to his mages, and they opened the portal. Hesitating only for a moment, he threw the trunk in it, before steeling his resolve and walked trough himself.