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Not even his siderophobic grandfather could predict the happenings that would take place once Ajol and Rames took control of the Transcel. Nearly eighty years ago, the famous business began. Caeus passed down the precious project down to his daughter, Hesera. She did the same to Ajol and Rames. Then, it was theirs to do with it what they pleased. The twins sought only to bring their beloved establishment to new heights and give it the reputation like no other. They succeeded..
"Rames, Deimer is late again," Ajol stated loudly, startling Rames. He waited for a response as the quick cleansing booth was deactivated.
"The fool will be here, Ajol. Just suffer having the slightest bit of patience a bit longer," Rames retorted. Ajol sighed with a smile and exited the room back to the packing quarters where he met the newly added members of the Transcel.
Honos, the blind Major Abettor, directed personal packers to continue to add his belongings into his crate. Lavernis, the young and quiet lone female of the group, sat impatiently awaiting her teammates alongside her silver case lined with rare Pomona Emeralds. Zhao, Zisoy, and Zarm were the older triplets of the group and were busy plotting coordinates and directing proper equipment handling to more of the employees. Krona, the gentle giant and Nixus, the thin perfectionist, lay across the den on separate futons, resting from a recent return from a newly discovered planet. Each awaited Deimer's arrival to finalize any further necessities to their trip to the newborn discovery of planet Tityoun.
As Rames entered the gray cabin, so did Deimer. Bursting through the main door, Deimer tripped over the leg of Nixus' resting chair, waking the tall formalist. The clumsy Transcel member landed near Lavernis' feet. As he looked up, he saw the disgust in her face that accompanied that single raised eyebrow.
"You're late, Deimer," the rich one stated. "Why is it that whenever we need you to be somewhere, you make it a personal goal of yours to show up at a postponed time?" A small chuckle escaped Deimer's lips as he stood up. He looked around and noticed Rames leaning on a nearby wall, leading to a dark hallway.
"Never mind it. Prepare your luggage," he said grimly. Only after another hour passed were the rangers ready for their departure to Tityoun. An echoing applause awaited them outside of the Transcel building.
A long and narrow ramp led from the fourteenth floor of the Transcel headquarters toward the massive circular, white space pod that would take the troops across the galaxy. Lavernis walked quickly up the ramp, hiding behind her large, archaic sunglasses. The other members waved and responded to the shouts from the crowd as they boarded the spacecraft. As the others entered, they found Lavernis gazing out into the orange dusk through an adjacent window. Within seconds, the Transcel group was lifted higher and higher into the sky. Soon the peach dyed clouds faded and all became black as they left Earth. Ajol was the last to fall asleep during their trip. They would arrive to Tityoun in just under five Earth days' time.
When the sleeping leader did awake, he found that each of the other members had beaten him to waking up. They were gone. He traveled through the many rooms to find them around a table with Rames standing at the end of it.
"Is there some sort of meeting that even I was not aware of," Ajol asked quietly. Rames gently shook his head and verified their discussion of the various dialects on Tityoun. Before further questioning could be issued, Ajol's suspicion of Rames' lies were subsided by hunger. Unannounced meetings were discovered within the next two days and were to be disregarded as extended preparations as well.
The following days passed quickly without further incident. The alliance with the Trityounlings went smoothly as did the trip home. The meetings had ceased and Ajol really began to consider the previous gatherings as further precautions. However, there was still question as to why he wasn't informed of the mysterious meetings.
Another month passes. Ajol decided to take a look into a hyer-scope and search for a planet for himself. He had only successfully revealed one planet before and took advantage of the free time he was given.
Then, he found it. He discovered what appeared to be a gargantuan boulder, aimlessly drifting through the reaches of space. A closer look uncovered lifeforms. Ajol immediately began to record what he saw. In tradition, the planets were named after deities in their famous religion. However, since this was a most unusual planet, he decided to label it, Gorlok after a notorious storm on Carmenta.
The next morning, Ajol reported the new sighting. After much speculation and questioning, the Transcel agreed to venture off onto the mysterious planet. Rames remained doubtful.
"Ajol, I have seen this 'planet' as you call it, but it seems to me that it is merely a comet, aimlessly searching for an obstacle to collide with," Rames stated.
"No, brother, it is inhabited. You have seen the extraterrestrials yourself," Ajol replied. "We have been discovering planets for years and since we are at the mercy of coinciding with another planet's orbit at the required distance from a hyer-scopes reach, drifter planets are rare and are our only hope of guaranteed new planets throughout the universe." Rames, now quieted, bows his head and heeds his brother's assurance, thinking of what success the Transcel will gain from their discoveries.
A trip to Gorlok was planned quickly and efficiently. Deimer, as expected was last to have his things prepared. Since Gorlok was a drifter planet, the time in which it would take to reach it differed. The speed it traveled was determined by the gravitational pull of other planets.
Drifter planets were defined exactly as planets that aimlessly wandered through space. Their own gravitational pull was actually a push. The push it gives off, sends it away from anything with a force that would normally attract other objects. Most inhabitants of drifter planets were often uninterested in alliances with Earth due to the fact that ever seeing humans ever again, after their drift away from our planet, was extremely unlikely.
The crash landing on Gorlok was ironically stealthy. The Transcel rangers landed without any attention being drawn to them. The Gorlok inhabitants were highly intelligent, yet were still outclassed by the human brain. Thus, the space beings' technology was limited to what the twenty-first century on Earth brought. The rangers equipped their necessary equipment and thick yellow suits and easily maneuvered through the rough terrain to what was obviously recognized as the capital city. They stood out with their bright colors against the dark brown ground and scarlet, cloudless sky. The light gravity made it easy for them to leap to a hiding space.
A crowd of the grotesque aliens on Gorlok engulfed a large platform, oddly placed in the midst of the rocky surface. The outskirts of the city were surrounded by these landings and it seemed that each of them were performing some sort of praise to their king.
The greasy aliens loomed at least twelve feet in height and four feet across. Their heads were shaped like capsized pears with a black fur-like down. There were two large, lighter brown rings on their craniums that added to their intimidating appearance. These were the Gorloklings' ears. They stood on what we would consider their hands and elbows and used their "feet" for most of the tasks we would complete by hand. They had a minimum of six legs, each black and tipped with a curved silver talon. Their arms were thick and muscular and carried silver claws as well. These space beings carried their mouths above their the thin hole that acted as a nose and between their ears. It remains unkown as to where their eyes were located but it was clear that there were some sources of sight included on their bodies.
"They are quite difficult to look at," Nixus said to his teammates as they hid behind a rocky ridge. A second look at the rest of the group failed to show Rames. He had already begun his walk toward the strange beings. As he crept closer, he began to hear an odd noise emmitting from their bobbing heads.
"Rana, rana," the calls came out in different pitches and paces and their short fur seemed to rise and fall along the sides of their domes. "Rana."
The sly Transcel slowly made their way toward the creatures without causing trouble. As Rames took several steps closer, the crowd became still and quiet. They each stood upright now and paced their heads back and forth searching for the source of the unfamiliar sound of a group of approaching heartbeats.
Their immense bodies now hid the short white buildings in the few meters' distance ahead of them. The other Transcel members behind Rames, unaware of their being noticed, continued to crawl toward the tall beings. Thin black strips ejected from under the aliens' heads and the tips aimed in unison toward Rames and the others. Almost as if they had rehearsed, the eccentric extraterrestrials turned together so that their bodies faced the newcomers, turning their backs on the king.
The king was obviously chosen for strength as theirs had scars throughout his body and small spines peering from the sides of his head. Their king, standing atop a taller cream colored pillar stood completely still before letting out a small "Rana."
"Well it seems their vocabulary isn't quite so expansive but our technology should be able to handle such an ordeal," Rames whispered. "I think it would be safe to call them Rannah without offending them." The king clicked his talons on the platform several times and signals four of his personal guards to scurry behind him in an effort to protect something. In an attempt to reach for his translator, Rames was stopped by an ear piercing screech released from the king Rannah's mouth, signaling his subjects to attack.
The beasts lunged forward in an effort to kill the humans. Luckily, all Transcel rangers were trained for just such an occasion. Each member skillfully dodged their attack and fled to a nearby ridge for height. Rames made yet another effort to persuade the Rannah into believing they were no threat. The loyal followers continued to assault rather than listen to this newcomer on their sacred planet.
"Rames," Lavernis said in a shaking voice as the pack fled back to their ship. "Let this one go. They are clearly uninterested in joining us." Rames was determined to add this exotic space gem to their long list of alliances; far too determined to allow such a prize to slip away. He said nothing.
"Rames, she is right," Ajol added. "We shall let this drifter pass and hope to join with the next." Rather than agree with his team, the focused leader made a sharp turn right then right again and began to dash through the oncoming fiends back toward the city. His stunning speed and agility surprised even the quick Rannah. The rushing Rannah tried continually to crush Rames with their massive arms or slash him with their feet. Ajol, looking over his shoulder lost his brother in the crowd and turned back to follow him as did the remaining Transcel squad members.
All ten of the adept troopers slid gracefully through the Rannah. Deimer endured the greatest difficulty staying alive due to his massive size. Suffering minor scrapes from the talons, he made it to the end of the barreling army, following close behind Krona.
"Well at least we can say we've had the experience," Krona yelled providing an optimistic breeze through the group. Honos dashed far ahead of the fleet, keeping close to Ajol. His inability to see provided no trouble during his escape.
The infuriated Rannah were returning to their beloved city.
"Does anyone see Rames," Ajol yelled behind him. There was no answer. "The king seems to be gone as well!" The empty cream pillar stood alone on the edge of the city borders. In bold black print, there were Gorlan letters engraved in the beam, closely resembling English letters.
"O-T-Y-R-U-N," Deimer spelled out. Before any other thought was conceived, Rames burst from an alley between the white edifices, still running but from more Rannah. An explosion was heard behind them. Rannah were beginning to take to the rooftops and use firearms to subdue the trespassers. "Rames, why are we running through this city? They obviously don't want us here. Let us leave now."
Deimer's plea fell on deaf ears as Rames pressed on and advanced behind the pillar to where the king's four guards rushed to earlier. The Rannah's gurgling chatter intensified at his action and fired heavier shots.
Seconds later, each of the Transcel troopers managed to take refuge in a tunnel behind the pearl pole. The Rannah, ending their pursuit signaled elite forces with a group "Rana" to eliminate their enemies quickly. Four average-looking Rannah warriors ejected from an upper story window from a nearby building down to the tunnel. They moved quicker than the average Rannah soldier and were far more physically powerful.
At the base of the narrow conduit, the Transcel made their descent into a dark cavern leading to a glowing pool of a teal liquid. Ajol grabbed Rames' arm tightly.
"Rames listen to me," he said sternly. "We're leaving, right now. If this is what they were trying to hide earlier, then it's best to leave it here and not tamper with it in the least." Rames snatched his arm away from his twin and proceeded toward the pool.
"If it's so precious," he began, "then why isn't it heavily guarded? Surely they have more forces than those pitiful soldiers hiding behind the stones to protect this. Besides that, what is so special about it aside from the fact that it is so oddly luminous. I doubt creatures as educated as the Rannah would be so fascinated with a glowing broth. It must serve some purpose."
As Rames bent over to feel the mysterious extract, a bright yellow flash shot before his face, crashing into the wall on the other side of the small lake. One of the elite Rannah soldiers landed from his fall down the dark chute above and released a powerful energy blast. It proceeded to continue firing at the other members as the other three Rannah brutes launched themselves at Ajol and Rames, who avoided the damage of the platinum claws. The four cowardly guards from before remained behind the rocks on the other side of the green lake.
"I believe their eyesight is limited in darkness," Ajol claimed. "They can't tell us apart." This was true. The Gorlan warriors were unconcerned however, with specific identities and attempted to kill each member equally. "We're leaving now, Rames. Come!"
In a flash, the Transcel party leapt back through the dark conduit toward the surface. Rames followed momentarily. He moved slower than before as he eluded his powerful adversaries, giving them edge to capture him. Ajol, thinking quickly, reached for a weak firearm in his suit. He fired an orange ray of plasma from the small rifle, stinging the sensitive Rannah hides. He fired madly, distracting the apporaching Rannah mob until the gun remained useless, which he then threw at them to add further confusion.
"Further, Rames," Honos called from ahead. "We are almost to the ship." The team began to leap toward their ships. Though the Rannah were fast, they were heavy and unable to jump as effectively and thus covered less ground. Seconds passed and the rangers boarded the ship. An emergency takeoff was issued and the white circular pod took off without hesitation.
As each of the members looked out of the nearest windows, they noticed the Gorlok giants circling the traveling shadow their ship laid on the ground. There was a sudden thud that shook the entire ship violently. One of the elite Rannah warriors insterted his sharp feet into the ship's hull, latching on for the ride. Rames quickly pressed a violet, dodecagonal button that harshly sped the ascent of the space jet, throwing the Rannah soldier down.
With the fall of the final soldier, came the sighs of relief from the Transcel. Nixus' sharp inhale stilled the relaxed air whipping around them. His bony index finger was aimed at Rames' spacesuit which was glowing a greenish color from the stomach.
"Rames," Ajol scolded, "what did you do?" A silent Rames revealed several cylinders from the testing lab at the Transcel quarters filled with the liquid from the underground basin. "How did you manage to obtain such an amount?"
"The Rannah are intellectual, powerful," Rames answered, "but they are slow. I managed to take it without much harm done to me." A deep frown flooded Ajol's face.
"You stole it," he murmured. "You stole it from them. That is not the way of the Transcel." Rames, ignoring his brother's scolds, gazed into the tanks at the small particles dancing throughout the liquid.
"Trivia," Rames said calmly. A wave of confusion swept through the pack. "It will be called Trivia." Without further conversation, the lot began to slumber with the exception of Deimer who sat up treating his scars. Zarm awoke moments later to take pills regarding his hyperventilation problems associated with the nightmares he suffered relating to the day's events. The next three days on their trip home passed in similar sequence.
"Wake," Zhao's sharp voice called through the ship as their landing was nearing. The crew woke quickly and sat in an upright position. "Finally. I have long anticipated going home and relaxing for a while. I may sit out the next few planets."
"You may not have to sit out," Rames said quietly. "With the possession of such a precious chemical, I doubt we'll assign this squad to any planets for a length of time." Ajol gave a cynical look to an oblivious Rames who continued to hold the Trivia tightly.
Upon landing, the Transcel lab was reserved for the next few days that even he had to await an opening for. For protective purposes, he hid two of the cases in a hidden Transcel lair in the bordering Gaia Mountains.
The first day the Transcel testing lab was available, Rames went in to tamper with the beautiful nectar. Not even the stormy weather would stop him. Though Rames was racked with astraphobia from a traumatizing childhood experience, his determination pushed him through his fear and into the Transcel headquarters. Upon entering the lab, he discovered Ajol, Lavernis, and Zisoy awaiting his arrival. Zisoy walked over and uncovered numerous lab tools so the experimentation could begin.
After several hours of testing and uncountable experiments, ideas were quickly running out as to what the glimmering swill may serve. In a swift move of desperation, Rames lifted the last bit of Trivia from the desk and drenched his throat with it.
"RAMES," Ajol shouted. "Damn you, you simpleton! You've gone mad!" Rames coughed and gagged at the disgusting taste. "Come with me. Zisoy and I are taking you in."
"Why," Rames questioned. "From the research we've completed, there wasn't a single sign of poison to the human body."
"It's an alien solution," Ajol snapped back. "We haven't the slightest clue what it could do to you. Those hours of examination couldn't possibly have provided the information we need to.." He was hushed by Rames' raised arm.
Abruptly, Zisoy stepped aside to make way for his seemingly insane leader who made his way out of the room.
Rames walked briskly out to a nearby balcony and stood in the wind. He had predicted a mere session of vomitting, yet he only felt a bubbling sensation in the depths of his abdomen. The wind began to blow harder and harder until a titanic boom of thunder shook the entire city of Khiona. Rames trembled in his place as Ajol and Zisoy watched from a window several yards behind him. Zhao, Lavernis, and Honos approached the building from the first floor and took the outdoor elevator up to Rames' position. Their shameless boss coughed once and the inside of his mouth glowed the bright Trivia color.
He held his hand up again to halt his assisstants from coming any further. Once he lifted his fingers straight up with his thumb bent into two right angles, the strong winds blowing around them calmed to a noticeable degree.
A small snicker quickly turned into a burst of laughter that rang from Rames' mouth. He dropped his hand and the wind started back up. He lifted it again and flexed every muscle he could in his palm and the wind stopped completely.
"I knew it," cackled Rames. He continued to speak through his giggles. "There couldn't have been such protection and concern over a chemical for no purpose and now I've discovered it." Ajol and Zisoy, now outside, were shocked to see Rames in such a condition. "Bear witness, Ajol. This marks a turning point for mankind itself."
The Trivia's true power was revealed. Once infested in a host's body, it rapidly spreads throughout it. The host then has the digestion period, or four hours, to come into brutal contact with a natural element of a planet. Then, if the force is powerful enough, the host gains the ability to control the specific element in which they are battered with. Also, like a muscle, the power would grow stronger and more versatile when exercised often.
Before the week was out, each of the Transcel members gained an elemental control. Ajol and Krona gained the control of earth after retrieving the hidden supply of Trivia, which Rames placed in the neighboring mountain range, during a landslide. Honos, standing in the freezing cold and rain, was given the power to manipulate water and ice as did Deimer. Lavernis, unknowingly gained the capability to subjugate lightning after being struck atop the headquarters building. Zarm, Zisoy, and Zarm purposely stood together and obtained fire control after climbing into an active incineration chamber. Nixus exposed himself to a powerful maelstrom from a fire hydrant from outside the headquarters building, giving him water control.
The Transcel kept their newfound powers secret from the public so as to avoid interrogation and the unwanted publicity they would receive.
Lavernis, still unaware of her power, was allowed by Ajol to greet the public and answer questions that did not relate to the Transcel's hiding for the past several days. The difficult part to this was Lavernis' phobia of publicity and paprazzi. Words become stammers and incomprehensible statements and she even once suffered a seizure from her fear. When the day came to speak to the press, Lavernis was nowhere to be found. She hadn't shown up to work nor called in sick. There was some speculation that she was dead.
A call from Honos caused her to shed some light on her diappearance and information on the fact that they had lost total communication with Tityoun. She assured him that she was only studying into the Trivia further. Though this was partially true, there was more to her absence. She sent in paperwork, revealing more secrets to the Trivia that were overlooked.
That same day, Ajol studied the Rannah from afar. He unveiled a dyad of terrifying enigmas. The Rannah's hostile behavior toward outsiders was clarified. Another alien species lived among the Rannah on Gorlok. They only became active during night and were difficult to make out from such a far distance. However, it was clear that they were at least four times the size of a Rannah warrior and possessed a devastating power that swept away any being that crossed them. Ajol and Rames decided to label these beasts Phobia, after the religious being that haunts those who kill for pleasure. The Phobia fed on the Rannah which would explain their limited numbers on the Transcel's visit.
The second revelation that Lavernis and Ajol came across was the sacred ground the Rannah also protected. The ground was beloved in a greusome way since it was stacked with a massive heap of dead alien species from the far reaches of the universe. It seemed that Gorlok was unlike any other drifter planet they would ever come across. The Rannah were plagued into such a hopeless degree, they saw their extinction in the future.
"The Rannah," Lavernis told Honos "are killing every lifeform on every planet they come across. They know that they are all destined to die at the claws of those monsters. They feel that they should get their last run while they still can and kill every other lifeforce they come across so that they die with them. If that wasn't horrific enough, they're drifting toward Earth now."
After the talk with Lavernis, Honos explained what he could to Ajol, much to his own knowledge. Ajol seemed flabbergasted, however, at the disclosure of Gorlok's drift path.
"When I originally discovered Gorlok," Ajol started, "it was heading in a completely different direction past Earth, far enough away where they would have never known we existed. Now, not only has their original path changed, it's headed specifically toward Earth."
"Lavernis," Honos added "also told me that at the rate of their speed to our position, they would have changed course around the time we arrived here from our trip there."
"How does she know all of this," Rames asked from a dark corner. "She hasn't been here in days so God knows where she came up with this ridiculous theory." Ajol glared at Rames, as a hint of quieting himself.
"No, Rames," he responded. "They're not theories. They are facts. Each of these claims are true. You can look for yourself."
"I refuse," he said quietly. "I shan't take part in this foolish game you two wish to play."
"Rames, this isn't a game. Why do you constantly reject facts that are right in front you? Open your eyes."
Without answering, Rames exited the room and used a newly developed technique of his wind control to fly home.
Months from then went by without incident. Lavernis continued to call with more information that mostly focused on the Trivia. Constant surveillance showed that Gorlok crept closer by the hour. Another trip to Gorlok was proposed and organized simultaneously. Ajol naturally agreed to go to further investigate and make a final effort to form an alliance. On this day, Lavernis was back for the trip.
"Provide me with a reason," Rames said as he walked into the packing quarters where Lavernis, alone stored her things "why I should let you work here, let alone, journey to Gorlok with us again." With that question, he lifted his left brow.
Lavernis glared at him, placed her sunglasses on her face, and exited the room without uttering a word.
The return to Gorlok was a near duplicate to the first visit. The chase was set again. Rames directed the crew back to the ship. The Rannah were more prepared than before and were equipped for an all out war. Plasma and fire was shot all around them. Though Ajol ordered the others never to use their new power here, Rames formed a powerful tornado that blasted three of the oncoming Rannah away.
As if Rames was flaunting their stolen chemical in their faces, the assault became more brutal than it ever had been. The ship was perched on a much more difficult reaching point. Even with the help of the Trivia increasing their stamina and body strength, the ship was held high on a thin mountain for protection. The Rannah were used to the terrain and climbed a lot faster than they ran. It became a race to the ship.
Nine of the ten Transcel members made it back to the ship and off to Earth alive.