Thanks for reading. The story begins to pick up more as more clues to Aran’s past and destiny are revealed. To read previous chapters, click HERE.
“Not many know the origins of the sword known as Aushen, and those that do know aren’t sure that the story they know is the exact truth. What is known is that the sword was created on Krenox by the ones now known as the Dark Elders and that it was created for Aranus, a warrior from the planet Tranax. The sword’s beginnings though, go way beyond that.Planet Krenox was in a time of peace. Although they weren’t exactly a warrior or aggressive type of people, they weren’t afraid to fight. Certain individuals could manipulate fire and were the elite defenders of their home world. It was during one of their training exercises that the light crystal was found. It was concluded by the Consulate, who were the governing council of the planet, that the light crystal had fallen from the sky during a meteor shower, but they were unsure where it had come from. It became a sacred object to them and was kept in a place of honor. When it became known that this rare and valuable crystal was on Krenox, many flocked to see it. It became highly sought after and some were even ready to kill for it. They were the Pelidians, a bloodthirsty and ruthless race that would stop at nothing to achieve what they wanted. They firmly and greedily believed the light crystal should be theirs. They attacked Krenox with a fury that was unheard of. For nearly three months their powerful armada hammered away at the very heart of the planet, but the Krenoxians would not yield. From out of the chaos came an unlikely hero, a off-worlder named Aranus. He was a godsend to the people of Krenox, for without him, the planet would have surely fell. With the first wave a failure, the Pelidians retreated for a short time, but were soon back with reinforcements and reattacked with a vengeance. They would not be denied the treasure they so desperately wanted. This time Krenox was on the verge of defeat.
The Consulate decided on a radical plan to not only protect the light crystal, but Krenox as well. The light crystal was noticed to have certain mystical properties and energy. It was believed these properties and energy could be forged into a sword that, in the right hands, would be powerful enough to help stop the swarm of Pelidians. The only concern was the dark anti-matter that existed in the crystal. Anti-matter in itself was dangerous and was usually not dealt with. But these were drastic times and the scientists of Krenox worked night and day on a solution. One was finally discovered by two young scientists. With the council’s approval they removed the dark anti-matter and with the rest of the light crystal they forged a sword they called Aushen. The Consulate gave the sword to Aranus, who accepted it proudly and vowed to use it for Krenox till his dying breath. Battle after battle was fought with Aranus and the sword at the forefront. Each time, the Pelidians were beaten soundly and were driven back. When he heroically led the defense of Katarga, the home of the Elder Consulate, they were driven off the planet for good. To honor Aranus for his bravery, the Consulate gave him the title of Supreme Commander of its military. Almost all of Krenox hailed him a hero and their protector. But there were some who did not like an off-worlder being given such special duties and honors. They were led by one known as Morak. Morak was one of the scientists who extracted the dark anti-matter from the light crystal. He felt that since the war was over, Aranus must give up the sword and return it to the Krenoxians. Unknown to any of the Consulate, Morak had designs on taking the sword for himself. It was why he was so eager to help extract the dark anti-matter. The Consulate was split on the issue. Finally it was decided that because of his new duties and rank, the sword should be returned until it was needed again. Aranus sadly agreed to the terms and was about to hand the sword over when another stood up for him. His name was Boraka and he was the other scientist who had extracted the dark anti-matter from the light crystal. Boraka had never trusted Morak. They had been bitter enemies for as long as they could remember. He argued that because of the mystical properties of the sword, Aranus was now intertwined with it. If another tried to use it while he was alive, it would kill them. Because of his mistrust of Morak, Boraka had made sure this mystical bonding existed. Morak became furious and denounced the Consulate as weak fools. He stormed out of the council chamber and was not seen again for a very long time. It was during this time the dark anti-matter disappeared. Though there were many rumors that were floated around, it was genuinely accepted that Morak had stolen the dark anti-matter. For fifteen star years it was relatively quiet, until the ones known as the Demon Masters came. No one knew where they were from. They began attacking and destroying everything in their path. Outposts, starbases, starvessels, nothing was safe from their wrath. They also took no prisoners. Every man, woman, and child was massacred. Soon it became apparent where they were heading. On Krenox, a massive fleet was mobilized to deal with this new threat. Star vessels from neighboring planets convened on Sanassa, one of Krenox’s moons. Upon hearing of the destruction this new enemy had caused, hope was not optimistic on their chances of stopping them. Much hope rested on Aranus and Aushen.
On the eve of battle, a small drop ship appeared, requesting an audience with the Consulate. When a lone figure emerged from the shuttle, many were caught by the surprise that it was Morak. When he met with the council, he explained that his reason for leaving was he felt that the Consulate had grown weak and that he felt his only solution was to seek out others who shared his philosophy. He admitted that he wanted Aushen for his own and when he was denied, he took the dark anti-matter and forged his own sword, a sword he believed was more powerful than the one he had made with Boraka.
For several years he scoured the galaxy and recruited others to his cause. He came across an aggressive race of people known as the Ecoute HuDar from the planet Calana that could manipulate fire like the Krenoxians. They came into an agreement. Morak would show them the way to ultimate victory while the Calanians would help him acquire Aushen. He stated he did not want to destroy his home world and that if they handed over Aushen, Krenox would be spared. Again, Morak was denied. The Elders, furious at his betrayal, denounced him a traitor. Morak just smiled for he knew this would be their answer.
“So be it.” Was all he said as he left in his drop ship and returned to his fleet.
With the dawning of a new sunrise came the expected attack from the Demon Masters. For many days the battle raged on with neither side gaining the upper hand. Frustrated that his armada hadn’t leveled Krenox, Morak decided to lead an attack on the Khartoum, inside the city of Katarga. The Khartoum was the building where the Consulate lived and held court. No invading force had ever penetrated its walls during an attack.
As Morak advanced into the city, he was met by Aranus, sword in hand, ready to fight. As they faced each other, Morak just laughed and pulled out his own sword, which was made from the dark anti-matter. Morak called the sword Kanu Ahato, which meant “Dark Blade” in ancient Krenoxian. As powerful as Aushen was, it was no match for the sword that Morak wielded. Morak soon overpowered Aranus and was about to deliver a killing blow when Aranus instinctively held up his sword to deflect the strike. As the two swords met, an incredible explosion ripped through the battleground injuring and killing many from both sides. The back draft of the explosion also killed Morak instantly and mortally wounded Aranus. The surviving Demon Knights that were with Morak scattered off and retreated. And with the news of their leader’s death, the rest of the fleet retreated with them.
As he lay dying, Aranus called for Boraka, who had been his closest friend. Boraka was nearly in tears at the sight that greeted him when he arrived. Aranus grabbed at his hand and asked Boraka to watch over the sword until the one the sword is destined to be with comes. He explained that for a few years, he had a vision of the sword’s true master.
“He will come from the Sol
The heir of Dan-Ri
To merge the swords
Dark and light”
Aranus was laid to rest with full Krenoxian military honors. A grand memorial was then built and named in his honor. Not one Krenoxian wanted to forget the sacrifice this off-worlder had made.
Boraka, on the other hand, was worried. The sword that Morak had forged was not found. He didn’t believe it destroyed like many of the others did. He began a long eventful quest to discover its whereabouts. No one knows if he ever found anything. He disappeared with two of his fellow consulates who braved the trek with him. No one knows what became of them. But before he left, he took the sword known as Aushen and hid it. No one has seen it since.”
When it was over, Ramon took the disk from the computer and placed it back onto the shelf. No one spoke. Danyelle and Lieutenant Gomas both kept looking at Aran, who slumped into a chair and ran his hands through his dark hair.
“That photo that Admiral Mattingly gave you a few years back was from when Rian had found the pendant,” Ramon said. “We were never able to find the sword. Your father was killed a short time after that.”
“ Why did you give up looking for the sword after he died?” Aran asked.
“Because the sword can only be wielded by its true master,” Ramon replied. “The only true masters of the sword is the bloodline of Aranus. Your father, Aran, was a direct descendent of Aranus Lirian, as are you.”
Nothing that Aran had ever heard had ever shocked him as much as this. Almost everything began to make sense now. It was the reason why the upper echelon of Starfleet treated him so different, why Ramon had always been so fanatical about Aran’s path, and also the reason why Zapato had been so upset when he had seen him. The whole room became quiet as he struggled to find the right words to reply with.
“Aran, are you okay?” Danyelle asked him.
“I will be,” Aran replied as he stood up and looked at Ramon. “So that’s why I have to go, because of this sword.”
Ramon nodded. “You have to understand,“ he began. “If Ganelon gets possession of this sword, it would not be good. If he were to somehow harness the energy from the light crystal, there would be no stopping him.”
“But I thought he couldn’t wield it?” Danyelle asked.
“Wielding it and possessing it are two different things,” Ramon replied.
“Does Ganelon know about the pendant?” Aran asked.
“We don’t know, unfortunately,” Ramon replied, shaking his head. “More than likely, he doesn’t, which leads to other, um, complications.”
“Then why did he have her kidnapped?”
This question came from Mikkel, who was still fuming about being left out on Princess Ashlynn’s abductors. The stress was evident in his voice.
Ramon took a deep breath and waited a few seconds before answering. “If Ganelon had her kidnapped, then he plans on using her for a concubine,” he said. “He has done it numerous times in the past.”
Danyelle gasped loudly as Mikkel balled up his fists in anger. Aran saw the despair written all over Danyelle’s face. He knew she and Princess Ashlynn were good friends. He knew it then. Even if the sword wasn’t involved, he would’ve had to have gone. He glanced over at Mikkel, who was now looking out Ramon’s balcony. He understood the Tranaxian’s anger all too well.
“Alright, I’m in,” he said as a small smile flitted cross Ramon’s face. “Are we the only four going?”
“No, I’m sending a medical officer, Ensign Dessie Drabek and Lieutenant Josie Summers, whom you will pick up on Starbase Charon,” Ramon said.
Aran nodded in agreement. “I’m familiar with Ensign Drabek,” he said. “And I’ve heard of Lieutenant Summers. She’s some sort of stealth expert, isn’t she?”
“Yes, her codename is Shadow,” Ramon told him. “ And you’ll find out why soon enough.”
In the next half hour, he went on to explain what obstacles they would face and what to expect when they got there. He also pointed out the reason Lieutenant Gomas was going was his valuable knowledge of his home-world. Ramon then handed a disk containing a map of Krenox and coordinates to where they believed Princess Ashlynn was being held. He then said anyone could back out if they did not want to go. Nobody moved a muscle.
“So everyone understands the assignment?” He asked.
Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.
“Good,” Ramon said, half relieved. He paused for a few seconds and then looked at Mikkel and Hot Rod. “You’ll leave tomorrow at oh-seven on the star chart. Now if Lieutenant’s Gomas and Holdman would kindly give us a few moments.”
Hot Rod patted Aran on his right shoulder and then walked out of the chamber, through the double sliding doors, and into the corridor. Mikkel nodded his head in respect to first Ramon then to Aran and followed Hot Rod out. As he did, his eyes locked onto Danyelle’s, making her blush yet again. Aran noticed the exchange but didn’t let on. He tried to act indifferent about it, but wasn’t for sure if it worked. He didn’t understand why it bothered him.
Ramon watched as the doors slid closed on their exit. He turned to Aran and Danyelle and looked hard at the both of them.
“I want to start off by saying this was not easy,” he told them apologetically. “I’m promoting the both of you and I’m sure one of you will not be happy.”
Both Aran and Danyelle looked at each other and then looked back at Ramon. A rather smug smile escaped from Danyelle’s face, which greatly annoyed Aran.
“Aran, I’m promoting you to Captain and giving you the lead in this assignment,” he continued. “Lieutenant Commander Hawkins, you’re being promoted to Commander and you are second-in-command.”
“What!” Both Danyelle and Aran said at the same time.
“There is a reason why and you both will find out soon enough,” Ramon continued as Danyelle folded her arms and scowled hideously. “This is an important mission. Not that you couldn’t handle it, Commander Hawkins, but there will come a time when Aran has to do something and won’t need you trying to stop him.”
He paused for a second, hoping that Danyelle would calm down. When she didn’t, he went on.
“I want you two to get along. Considering the, umm, history between you two, I wasn’t for sure at first if I wanted to send the both of you together. But Aran has to go and Commander Hawkins is familiar with both Lieutenant Gomas and the Princess herself. You’re both able and qualified officers that I am proud of. I have seen the both of you come along way.”
Aran felt relieved. A huge burden had just been taken off his shoulders. He stood up from his seat, walked over to Ramon and shook his hand.
“Thanks,” he said. “I won’t let you down.
“I hope not,” Ramon replied as he turned to Danyelle who was still seething. “Commander Hawkins?”
“I understand,” she said, a bit of annoyance in her tone.
Ramon looked at his wrist-comm and took a relaxing breath.
“Commander, would you mind giving me and Aran a few minutes alone?”