|20.20|21|22|22.2|22.22|22.222|23|24|25|Those Extra Four…|1|2|3|4|Back Cover|
Are You Fuckin’ Serious With These Numbers?!
Chairseat Jolon barges into the Council of Life’s meeting chamber, the glossy chrome and silver floor reflecting the neuroticism that he finds himself so suddenly afflicted with.
“Council, as a Chairseat, you know that it is with heavy hands I send the report you hopefully received as I was teleporting up here. I–”
“Are you fuckin’ serious with these numbers, Jolon?!” Chairseat Kuland shouts, not caring if ChairElder Ealdra is going to chew him out or not. “What kind of half-baked operation are you running down there? The anomaly is that anomalous, and you waited until now to bring it to our attention?!”
“Now Kuland,” ChairElder Ealdra chews, “he brought it to our attention much earlier in the day.” Turning to Chairseat Jolon, who’s not even seated in his chair, “Still though, this is most inconvenient. Quite the impediment to our achieving of the original goal of this invasion, wouldn’t you agree, Chairseat Jolon?”
“Oh sure, Jolon gets referred to as Chairseat, all proper-like,” Chairseat Kuland would say if Chairseat Astro didn’t sling a colony of nanobots in the shape of a muzzle over his mouth. In the
Zeroc Council of Life, you don’t even get the chance.
“I’m in full agreement with you Elder. But, these are extenuating circumstances – the readings, as you can see, have been spiking over the past few solar cycles. However, a few Earth hours ago they came to an abrupt halt. There’s no real way for us to know why this has been happening, to know with certainty what the anomaly even is in the first place, except for me to locate and examine the anomaly for myself. Hopefully the troupe of humans I mentioned earlier have heeded my instructions and refrained from going to search for it. May I h–”
“Council of Life!” Admiral Bolt yelps as he bursts into the chamber, his shoes slick with Earth water. He tries to slide to a stop but just keeps on sliding, the entire Council watching him with apathetic eyes as he makes a beeline for the conjoined podiums the Chairseats sit behind. Fortunately Chairseat Mahrana, the resident teleportation expert, opens a short-distance wormhole that allows Admiral Bolt to continue sliding until the friction beneath his shoes eventually builds up and stops him. Of course he stops halfway through the wormhole, so he has to take one more step before they can close so he doesn’t get split in half at a subatomic level, but then he can proceed to address the Council.
Can being the operative term; Chairseat Jolon, not even giving him the chance, continues his previous train of thought. “May I have the Council’s decision on whether or not I may join the band of humans in search for the anomaly?”
Admiral Bolt’s heart breaks just a little bit, then shatters the rest of the way. “Wuh… what? Wasn’t it the job of my teams to find the anomaly?” he asks whilst thinking to himself how nice a drink would be right about now.
“Yes, Admiral Bolt,” Chairseat Gray utters, the rest of the
Zeroc in the room holding their breath until he’s done speaking. “But you are just one, and even with your nineteen subordinates to delegate to, you are just twenty. There is strength in numbers up to a certain point, and that point is yet to be reached. Do not take offense to our improving the rate of success of this mission that reaches towards the goal of benefiting all Zerokind.”
“Well said, High Sage,” ChairElder Ealdra compliments. Then, to Chairseat Jolon, “Chairseat Jolon, your request to interfere with the matters of the humans was vetoed, as per the suggestion of our resident strategist, Chairseat Kuland.”
Muffled grunts of approval from Chairseat Kuland.
“But, after reading the reports you have sent in and considering what Admiral Bolt has told us… wait, have you spoken yet, Admiral Bolt?”
“No Elder, but thank you for noticing me. My base camp seems to have been invaded by a human, I’ve instructed my Grunts to scan his dee-en-aye. The results should be here soon, if they have not arrived already. Given this new information, I believe the human may potentially be one of the humans that Chairseat Jolon has allied with.”
“Wrong. Your belief is far off course, Admiral Bolt,” Chairseat Jolon corrects. “The human you found is likely one of the pair that was airdropped onto my invasion ship, and considering how he made his way to you, I’m assuming he was the one who managed to avoid being scalped by the obsidian blade of my tomahawk. If he has elected to join you, we truly are being guided by the Universe through these darkest of times, and light will bathe us in its warmth once we reach the other side of this ever deepening, harrowing tunnel we’ve blindly stumbled into.”
“The pair?” inquires Chairseat Griffin, his sabers itching to see combat once more.
“Yes. The other one was slain, but his corpse vanished into thin air before I had the chance to clean it, eat his skin and weave his bones into a hat. I do regret this, but there’s not much I could do; teleportation isn’t my expertise,” with a wink to Chairseat Mahrana.
ChairElder Ealdra weighs this in her head. Then, “Very well. I have come to a decision: Chairseat Jolon, at the dawn of tomorrow you are to join up with the uncaped Cape brigade of humans that requested your assistance in the matters of locating the anomaly.”
A muffled, “Oh, what the fuck ?” from Chairseat Kuland.
“Admiral Bolt!” ChairElder Ealdra shouts.
Admiral Bolt, who had almost slipped into a seizure due to lack of alcohol in his bluish-indigo bloodstream, snaps to attention.
“You and your team, which now includes your new human, are to stand guard at your base camp at the far end of the larger of the two reservoirs. If you hear nothing by way of communication from either Chairseat Jolon or I by the completion of three solar cycles after the dawn of tomorrow, you are to march your team across the vast expanse of wilderness between your camp and the approximate locale of the anomaly and locate it, providing any and all assistance you possibly can to Chairseat Jolon and his humans, before beaming back up to the invasion ship and immediately engaging a jump back to Fuego. Are your instructions, as I’ve given them to you, clear?”
“Yes, Ma’am. Thank you, ChairElder.”
Bolt bows, almost falls over, caches himself, and tactfully walks out of the meeting chamber of the
Zeroc Council Of Life, hands in his pockets.
A muffled, “What a wreck,” from Chairseat Kuland moments before Chairseat Astro snaps his fingers and the nanobots swarm away from Chairseat Kuland’s mouth.
Before Chairseat Kuland even has the chance to speak, Chairseat Agartha cuts in, fresh out of a wave of temporal visions. “You have been vindicated Jolon, but do not let this go to waste. I have peered into the future and the timelines are peeling back; there are only a few ways this can all end, and they have very little to do with you.”
“I… don’t understand.”
“You are not meant to. That’s why I’m sure we are on the correct path – for if you do not understand, we can be certain the humans don’t either.”