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The Valatori Famelo

Discussion in 'Ad Astra' started by Grumpy, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. Haggard III
    Solomon Sector (4217)
    May 12, 2258


    The Dorei had failed to mention many things to the Valatori as they pulled out from the Gold Rush in order to enter their self-imposed exile. Perhaps haste drove their actions, or maybe they simply forgot to forward some file marked “Armed Incursions and Resistance Movements” to the proper parties during the changeover. Whatever the case, Admiral Grax Gorin of the Valatori Famelo, commander of the 13th Fleet and legendary intergalactic hard-ass, found himself up to his neck in conflict from the moment his fleet had departed from Eureka Sector to expand his nation's control over the other two sectors administered by the now-defunct Valatori-Iase-Dorei Commission.

    The worst problem being confronted was the one here on Haggard III, the site of four claims, each initially started by the Sanq and taken over when that race's home systems were overrun and the race forced into seclusion by the expansionist Novan Imperium. Under the eyes of the VID, the sites passed into the control of a quartet of multi-racial intergalactic mining consortia, each looking for specific products and more than willing to deal with one another to get what they desired. The mutually-beneficial agreements also included the subjugation and virtual enslavement of the local sentient lifeforms, which had been completed by the Sanq and easily continued under the new administrations. The VID, for all of their claims of oversight, never bothered to notice what was occurring on Haggard and it was only the distress calls from the planet and subsequent response by a passing United Nations of Humanity vessel loaded with Peregrine and Human marines that eventually brought the situation on Haggard to the attention of the recently-arrived Valatori military.

    The Peregrine and Humans marines were a sturdy bunch, armed to the teeth with all of the latest in powered armor and all the supporting elements that could be packed into their frigate. The frigate, which currently rested in a crater of its own making in thousands of tiny pieces after it attempted to dust-off from this hateful rock during one of the planet's violent and all too frequent electrical storms. The survivors managed to drag themselves to Port Solomon, a grand name for a sleazy mining encampment run by Silverstein & Aiy-Zyarg Resources Geologic Enterprises, LLC. It was there that they were met a month later by the first Valatori forces to reach the planet and to whom they could tell their tale of woe.

    When Grax himself arrived nearly a month later, he quickly found that not only was enduring just a few words from the SARGE suits and UN marines more than he could take without bursting into a rant against stupidity, but that the actions of his own officers was even more aggravating. For whatever reason, the SARGE security units, UN marines, and Valatori Famelo ground forces each, in turn, had attempted to fight the Haggarans as if they were some sort of traditional army of the pre-industrial age. Each time, the Haggarans had vanished into the vast array of natural caves which riddled the planet and drew in their foes to be torn to pieces and foiled by their own reliance on their gear. Powered armor, aircraft, armored vehicles, and all the bells and whistles of the ultra-tech wielded by these entities was next to worthless in confined tunnel systems teeming with deposits of lead and magnetic iron deposits, not to mention being absolutely riddled with nooks and crannies for hiding Haggarans singly or in groups. Over and over again, the wily little Haggarans tore their foes apart, appearing alongside their foes or behind them, and sometimes around, above, and below all at once, using the weapons left behind by the Sanq and those taken from their new enemies to devastating effect.

    Admiral Gorin's first decision upon seeing the state of affairs was to ban anyone and everyone from leaving the confines of the outer security perimeters of the three mining installations still under the control of the offworlders. His next move was to kick the UN marines off of the planet entirely to nip that potential diplomatic landmine in the bud. The next step was to cull his own forces down for the mission by shipping out every Famelo serviceman who wasn't a marine of the Valatori race and who wasn't a Robots/Powered Armor specialist. Finally, he called down his own personal motley band who had worked with him since before there was a Famelo and put them to work.

    The haggarrans quickly found that the Valatori were highly skilled at operating in subterranean environments and highly skilled at evading ambush and the sort of guerrilla operations that had been so successful against their other foes. They also found that they were unable to use what little weaponry they could take from the bodies of their fallen foes due to some variety of countermeasure that prevented their function outside of hands knowing how to disengage the weapons' safety features. Soon, the haggarrans also realized that the Valatori weren't exactly attempting to crush their foes, but rather they were seemingly focusing on capture and containment, which was a new and frightening development in their long battle for freedom and revenge upon their aggressors.

    After a few weeks of skirmishing within the mines and natural caverns, Gorin's personal operatives executed a spectacular strike directly into the mining center held by the haggarrans, the vast Chamberlain Minerals' complex. Aided by controlled bombardment from a warship in near orbit, the eighty-six members of Gorin's group, often called Clan Gorin, landed at the site despite the potential disaster posed by an oncoming high-powered electrical storm of magnitudes typically only seen on gas giants, and quickly smashed their way into the sprawling complex. Resistance by the haggarrans was futile despite intensive site preparation for the prospect of attack, and hundreds of the foes were taken captive during the thirty hour offensive which was bolstered by several crack battalions of Valatori marines. In the midst of the fighting, a haggarran who was seemingly in charge and defended by what amounted to a bodyguard unit was taken into custody...
     
  2. He couldn't tell how many hours had passed within the brightly-lit room, nor could he easily make out the features of his containment cell due to the restraints holding his entire body down on some sort of cushioned slab. When he opened his eyes, the brilliant glare brought pain into his senses which were attuned to the muted shades of underground life. His sensitive ears had been accosted by the constant din around him, some sort of alien music played over and over, greeting him when consciousness returned and echoing in his mind when sleep would take him. Sometimes, he would scream in vain to counteract the torturous music, but succeeded only in becoming hoarse and desperately desiring water to soothe his throat. If only death would come, the Haggarran chieftain wished, though he couldn't hear even his thoughts at this point.

    He awakened to silence. There was an odor in the room as if some sort of fungus had been set to smolder around him. He wondered, briefly, if his loyal fighters had penetrated this holding facility and had come to set him free. His eyes opened to blackness but his head was still firmly held in place. The sound of breathing was in the room, coming from three or four other beings, though his could tell from that they weren't of his kind. There was an odd sensation around his head, like some sort of contraptions had been set around his ears.

    There was a voice in the room, muted by the ear coverings. It wasn't intelligible, but suddenly there was a voice, synthesized like the computers in the enemies' mines. He wondered if this was one of those odd translation devices similar to those used by the various forms of slavers he'd endured over the years. The voice was speaking with something of a beat, like it was speaking... in the words of that infernal song!

    “Midnight creeps so softly into hearts of Men.” then the electric voice stopped and continued just as abruptly, “Who needs more than they get.” And again, a break and a continuance. It was that damned song! “Daylight deals a bad hand to a woman... who had laid too many bets.”

    “Arrgh! Stop! You are a great evil!” the Haggarran cried out in his own tongue, which he heard repeated as gibberish in his ears.

    “The mirror stares you in the face and says... Uh Uh Baby it don't work!” The original voice, speaking that alien gibberish sounded like gravel rolling down a cavern slope, “You say your prayers though you don't care...You dance and shake the hurt.”

    The Haggarran started to feel a combination of terror and rage, he felt his skin bristle under the restraints and then the voice exploded in volume, “Dance! Boogie Wonderland! Hey, Hey, Dance! Boogie Wonderlaaaaand! Hahaha!”

    “Stop! Stop! I pray you to stop!” The Haggarran's eyes clouded with tears that had nowhere to run.

    The voice stopped... singing? It started speaking slowly, softly, and though the grumbled rhythm was gone, the Haggarran still feared its return. “What, you don't like Earth, Wind, and Fire? What kind of sentient race are you anyway? Don't answer that, I don't want to know. I'll tell you what, we'll try some Jerry Reed for a couple days straight and try again.”

    There was some sort of beeping sound in the room now, matching the beating of the Haggarran's heart. It increased rapidly at the prospect of whatever a Jerry Reed was, matching the Haggarran's terror at the prospect of finding out.

    “Oh? No Glen Campbell? You drive a hard bargain, my dear little foe. Fine, then. We'll play you some live feed from the caverns. Shooting and screaming and dying female and toddler whatever-you-ares. I'm sure you'll like that better, and there won't be any repetition because your kind aren't very good at killing things that meet you on your own terms.”

    “No! What do you want from me?”

    “Your name.”

    “I am called Turkumlak of the Cebollans.”

    “Then this world, you call it Cebolla?”

    “No, my homeworld is Cebolla. We were brought here by our masters as slaves, then they left us the next slavers came, and the next, and the next, and now you have arrived to enslave us anew!”

    There was a pause and some sound that the translator didn't render into words. Was it... laughter? “Buddy, your line of shit sounds really goddamned familiar to me. Really goddamned familiar. I'm going away for a bit, but I'll be back and we'll see what we can do about stopping this whole 'fire and death' bullshit.”

    The sounds of the... three... enemy walking out of the room was clear in his ears despite the devices over his ears. There was also more gibberish, but none of it was translated for him. Perhaps the device had been rendered inoperable? Then, as the chamber's door slid shut, he heard some new sounds... old sounds... the song was back, but this time he found himself forcibly drawn to the gibberish that his mind had begun to translate... “Midnight creeps so softly...”
     
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