~ Ilovačić Mining Array ~
In Orbit of Dralloth - Rogue Planet - Outer Rim
The slim jeweled finger of Claire clicked upon her glass; a strange chartreuse liquid that faintly smoked. She sat amongst a crew of smartly dressed cyborgs in high collared black robes. Together they looked forward out of the command module of the destroyer Whispered Breath, all dabbling in similar elixirs. In their vista was a planet with dense blue forests enlarged to show the globe’s details and intermittent flashes of plasma scarring its surface.
“I do hate invasions.” The delicate voice of Claire quipped. “Why do they even bother? A rogue state adrift in the galaxy. Why would one elect to become an orphan, especially in times such as these?”
“They are lost, High Soul.” Came the sickly cool voice of Admiral Vok. “Wayward creatures who have lost taste for the struggle. At one time Dralloth was a backwater world filled with fringers fighting against their very world to survive. When civilization found them, they fell to its vices, its… comforts.”
“Yes but who gave them the pestilence!?” Claire retorted as she drained the contents of her chalice, smoke licking gingerly out of her nares.
“Perhaps the Augustans…” A young ensign from among the crew conjectured hesitantly.
Claire dropped her glass. “Do not utter such vile ideas. The Augustans know better than to deal in the ilk of artificial intelligence on our borders.” The word intelligence dripped from her tongue as if the creation of it were putrid. “Besides, we need them. The FORMAN needs them. Enough so to adjure their company in this little foray. The FORMAN–in its infinite clarity–has found their participation to add to our legitimacy. To smite a single pathetic system alone screams of colonialism. A civilized coalition ridding the galaxy of anarchy’s metastasis, now that is the work of saints.”
“Will the Imperials come, High Soul? Have you word of them?” Admiral Vok asked. His piercing pale eyes lanced the previous ensign. A quick nod of his head saw the gangly cyborg be ushered away. Admiral Vok returned to pacing inches in front of the projected planet, as if to study its every canopied inch hungrily.
“I do not know. The Auggies are a fickle quiddity. Tied up with their dealings in the Outer Rim, the Concordat, their own self loathing of oligarchs vis-a-vis dictators. The normal ilk of people who cater to the opinions of others, not a divine truth. Just today's truth. Someone’s truth. I trust them as much as I enjoy wearing their footwear; sometimes not at all, yet with the perfect dress they are an accessory that can amaze.”
“If they do join the opening beachhead, I shall see to their arrival personally.” Admiral Vok said with a low bow. “The invasion of Dralloth will not be easy on our own. As you know the resources of our people are highly consumed on the barbarian front. I do hope that this venture will provide a wellspring of support from the Augustans. Proof that our two peoples are united in our needs and capable of sharing our burdens.”
Claire arose from her throne and sauntered over to the tall pale figure, her rapturous red dress clashing with his black robes fiercely. She gave a small kiss on the top of the bald, bowed head and made her way to the exit. “I am trusting you, Vok. The FOREMAN is trusting you. Do not let the toil of these souls go to waste. I am off to charm the diplomats and aristocrats of the galaxy.” she gestured to the air as if to mockingly waltz. “I do hope they are less boring than you all. If nothing else, better dressed. Should you meet the Auggies, do try to add a bit of *zest.*
A handwritten letter on fine black parchment arrived each of the heads of state and prominent oligarchs of the galaxy. To add to the financial burden of this galactic postage came a present, a small bottle of vibrant green liquid with a slight smoking hue. Fine gold calligraphy wrote:
Great Citizens of the Galaxy. You are cordially requested to attend the Gala of Souls this coming fortnight at Repository 12, well placed in Penal District 3 of your Ilovacic Mining Array. Together we will bask in the civilization and culture that these many millennia have curated throughout our galaxy. A time to greet old friends and acquire new respect for the children of Orion. Though we cannot and may not wish to rebuild the Federation, we can weave the fibers that once connected its great friends and families. Let us enjoy the company of each other, exchange gifts, and come to understandings that once permeated this galaxy. To shine light on our commonality that–no matter how barbarous or civilized–we are all souls on the same journey through the cosmos. A journey best spent with good company and an aperitif.
I trust you will dress your best and have a present.
Adoring love, XX