A naïve young man receives a worrying transmission from his brother, just before he disappears. A hidden war, born of a blood feud, threatens to spill out across the entire galaxy. The connection between the disappearance and the blood feud war breaking out will rock all involved and bring the whole galaxy to its knees.
The sound of the engines changed as the ship came in for the landing. Checking his timepiece, Saxon saw it was 10pm local time. Feeling groggy and somewhat tired, he stood up and carefully navigated himself across the bar area, heading to the nearest window to get a better view. He wasn’t the only one as it seemed everyone on board was doing the same.
The window he chose to look out of was huge. However, there were 30-40 people of all descriptions in front of him. Saxon’s height meant he was a head above some of them but could only make out the tops of buildings and the sky. Even so, the sky was fascinating to see. Until Saxon left home 3 weeks ago, the only colours he’d seen in the sky were from Blue to yellow to red depending on the time of day.
Now though, even at dusk, he could see this was very different. The last thing he ever imagined was the colour of the sky. He thought about the people he might meet, the places he’d go and the sites he’d see. But he never ever expected the sky.
It was a clear evening outside overall. The few clouds dotted about just added to the awe of the sky. The clouds themselves, were green. The sky though, was a magnificent deep purple mixed with shades of green & yellow. It glistened and almost seem to change colour with the wind. How a sky could do that was beyond Saxon. He just wanted to touch it.
Transfixed, Saxon stayed frozen for a second. He snapped out of it as he felt a little nudge below him. Just as he looked down he saw what he thought was a little kid taking something from his coat pocket, then trying to run. Saxon reached out. He managed to grab the kid before he could get away. The kid dropped Saxon’s wallet and continued to try and run. Saxon let go and picked it up. He checked and found it intact.
Making his way towards the shuttle exit, he couldn’t now wait to be off this ship. 3 weeks was a long time to be cooped up. Even in a transport ship this size. Stepping passed the guards and onto soil again was a wonderful sensation. Just to be back on land was amazing.
This new place was rammed with people moving to and fro. It was a rough place that looked to be full of hunters plying their trade and heading out in groups to kill the dangerous wild animals that lived outside the compound. Saxon wasn’t interested in hunting though. He was looking for his brother, Karcise.
This place was the site of the last place he had been in contact and Saxon wondered how he had ever been here. He saw a doctor with a line of people waiting. He appeared to be giving them some kind of steroid for an extortionate amount of cash.
This place was definitely not Haler anymore that was for sure. Haler was a quiet planet that was slowly getting hotter each year and drying up to desert because the sun was dying. No way, this planet, Drast, was thriving. The temperature was cold, but bearable and it seemed to contain people from all over the system looking to add to their skills by hunting the various creatures that live here.
Looking around the starport, Saxon thought this wasn’t exactly your ideal holiday destination. The area itself was largely fenced off allowing only 3 entrances. Various buildings were enclosed within this fenced area. The shuttle itself was on a platform directly above where he was standing. He could see a banking point and various shopping areas dotted about as well as people and companies offering money for hunting the various creatures on the planet. Looking for a good place to start his search, he heard music from the far left corner of the starport. He headed to it with haste and opened the door. It was a pub. The perfect place to begin.
Saxon knew little of this world yet, when he walked in the pub, he recognised the familiar bar culture that seemed to populate every pub on every planet. Even so, there was always subtle differences that made each place its own. Looking to the left corner, he spied a small 3-piece band using instruments he’d never seen before. The music produced was strange to say the least, yet it had a definite rhythm and beat that Saxon liked. Changing direction he headed to the bar along the right wall. Not sure what to order, or even if the bartender spoke his language, or more importantly, in fact whether he had the guys’ language in his translator, he positioned himself near the bar. Close enough to look part of the furniture but far enough away the bartender doesn’t notice he’s ‘at the bar’.
Scanning around the room, Saxon noticed a wide variety of people. Not people in the context he was used to though. These were people from all different planets. He didn’t recognise any of them for their home planet though his translator was picking up the conversations. The translator itself was basically a miniature circuit board implanted within his ear drum. Saxon didn’t understand how it worked but it allowed him to hear completely differently. Somehow, instead of hearing all sound, the translator filtered and recognised speech of known languages. It then removed those sounds and replaced them with Saxon’s language. It allowed him to hear the conversations of everyone around him. The distance could be adjusted so it picked up voices from far away or whispered voices. If it didn’t recognise a language, it took it to be normal world sound and left it alone. Normal sound was the sound of the world around him. The sound of the wind whistling through the trees. Vehicles travelling past, animals and anything else that isn’t recognisable speech.
Saxon had this implant installed just before he left. He asked for as many languages as possible to be loaded. There was only one issue though in that he would still speak his own language. So, although he could understand what was being asked, anyone he talks to may not be able to reply unless they have a similar implant. Thankfully, these implants are galaxy wide so there is little chance of someone not having one installed. Some even install them in infants as soon as they learn to talk. It is still possible though. Saxon thought it might be quite fun to come across someone without the implant but, now he was here, he dreaded it in case he offended the other person.
Listening around, he only noticed 2-3 people in the pub that he couldn’t understand. 1 of those was the singer which he didn’t mind so much. He could tell from what he heard that these people we all either hunters or doctors, nothing more. Most were talking about their latest kills, or how they single-handedly took on a pack of some creature or another. Others were simply saying how much fun they were having hunting in groups.
Saxon wasn’t sure exactly how he hoped to get the information he required. He knew Karcise had been here less than a month before. He knew KC, as that’s what he called him, had left but had no idea where to. KC had a house here before though and he hoped to find something nearby that might be a clue to where he is now.
“Barkeep!” Saxon said and wavered the bartender over. “Hey Barkeep”, I was wondering if you know someone who may know about the settlement of Acederin? I’m trying to find out where…”
“I think you should try that man over their watching the dancer. The one in the multi-coloured armour.”
“Ok, thanks very much sir” Saxon slipped him some coins.
“No problem at all” the bartender said.
Saxon walked straight over to the man in the multi-coloured armour clapping along to the music and dancing. Standing next to him he glanced briefly enough to see he was almost human but not quite. He had what looked like horns protruding from his neck and an interesting tail with a forked end. He was also covered in tattoos. Pretending not to notice, Saxon politely asked “Excuse me sir but I’ve been informed you may be able to help me. I’m looking for Acederin.”
“Acederin is no more my friend.” The man turned to Saxon. I was once a citizen. Most left planet to set up home elsewhere but a few of us stuck around here and joined another hunting settlement.”
“aah, ok. Well. I was looking for 1 person in particular. My brother, Karcise. Did you know him?”
“Karcise ya say? The animal tamer! Oh yes, I knew him well. Your brother? Are you sure?
“Yes” Saxon replied
“Well, I doubt that very much.”
“Honestly sir, we are definitely brothers, my parents adopted him after a starship crashed near my home settlement many years ago.” Saxon drew a picture from his backpack of himself & KC together.”
“You speak with innocence and honesty young man. 2 very rare traits around here. If it is KC you seek, you’ll need to take the shuttle to Trotska. It’s a desert world run by a rather dodgy government. Don’t let that worry you though. The place is well looked after. KC travelled there with the others from the settlement.”
“Oh, ok. Thanks. I’ll leave tonight.”
“No problem. By the way, when you see him. Tell him Kravesh says hello.”
“Don’t worry, I will.”
“Also, the settlement they set up. It’s called Sheltered Haven. Remember that!”
“Thanks again, I will.” Saxon said as he darted out of the pub and ran over to the ticket booth. Immediately, he bought his ticket to Trotska & waited for the next shuttle. He was suddenly even more excited than when he first arrived. The first sights and sounds of a new planet was one thing, but the thought of seeing his brother again was overwhelming. When the shuttle arrived, Saxon boarded and went straight to his cabin. The journey would take around 24hrs according to information. Saxon intended on being well rested for his search when he arrived.