The Suns of War – Chapter 2 (Serial Story)

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Chapter 2: War of Words

“Wow. That is quite the statement,” Nessa scratched behind her furry ears to show disinterest and continued mockingly, “You can join us in our holy mission to rid the universe of the heretic stars, or you can die in a vain display of obduracy.

Aria the Sun Speaker looked surprised. “Are you mocking me?”

“A little,” Nessa admitted before saying, “I’m guessing you’re young. If you were a martian, I’d say early twenties. You don’t have much experience interrogating prisoners. You are relying on the size of your fleet and whatever your title is supposed to mean to intimidate me. Unfortunately for you, I don’t know what a Sun Speaker is, or a heretic star, and I’m an officer of the Martian space fleet. We don’t scare easily.”

The woman visibly deflated and seemed completely taken aback. “You don’t have Sun Speakers in this galaxy? Why can’t I read you?”

The prisoner answered truthfully, “No, and maybe because we’re different species.” A lot of graduates from the Martian academy think that lying to the enemy is the best choice. That wasn’t Nessa’s philosophy; instead she chose to not lie. It was a strategic choice, not a moral one. An enemy can lie to themselves better than anyone else. Give them just enough information and let their bias do the rest.

“A Sun Speaker is the voice of a sun. Each sun is a god and bestows upon its Sun Speakers the ability to see the future, harness its power, and lead its armies. It’s our holy mission to cleanse the universe of heretic suns.”

“So your people still worship sun gods? And you’re going around collapsing other suns?” This all sounded like rantings of a religious fanatic. Martians had a few that called themselves Earthers and worshipped the ancestors that came from Earth, but that was about it. Martians loved war above all else.

“You sound like you don’t believe in gods? Are your people so naive to think stars give life for no reason? We are their children.”

Boy, this woman is chatty, thought Nessa. Maybe I can get her to give me more information on Arthur. “If your all powerful god knows everything then why don’t you know more about the Myrddin or Arthur?”

“The Myrddin are a scourge. They are unclaimed by any sun and they can not be predicted. We have been at war with them for over a hundred years. They are searching for the reincarnation of their king, Arthur, who was a powerful Sun Speaker for a heretic sun.” 

That was easy. “Who decides what suns are heretics? And does every sun have a god in it?”

Looking delighted to talk, Aria said, “Yes, all suns have gods, but most are sleeping. The more people, the more awake the god becomes. The council of gods is headed by the Black-Sun. He is the oldest and most important god.”

“So they talk to each other?” Nessa asked.

“Enough questions. Will you join us?”

Taking a deep breath, Nessa said, “I am loyal to the United Martian Empire and would never join your sun cult.”

“I should kill you for that, but I can’t see your future or your past. You need to be tested.” She walked away as she spoke, almost as if she was talking to herself.

Nessa shouted, “I hope it’s math or history, I’m rubbish at literature analysis.”

She was expecting this testing to happen quickly, but it seemed they didn’t think she was a threat because they left her alone and she paced. There was nothing in her cell that could help her escape. The walls were plain, metal, smooth, and the forcefield keeping her in might as well have been a wall. She could see the opposite wall and that’s it. No sound penetrated the wall and she found herself missing the porthole in her old cell.

She fell asleep on the floor despite fighting it and woke up to two men standing over her. “I didn’t ask for a wakeup call.” They didn’t respond and gestured with nasty looking blades. She took the hint and followed one of the guards while the other stayed behind her. 

Their posture was relaxed and she knew that unless they had some extra strength or special powers, she could take their weapons and escape. The only problem being in a massive ship in the middle of a massive fleet, with no home to go to.

The tests turned out to not be academic, but medical. She was strapped to an upright bed and they took blood and waved things in her general direction. She was certain Doctor Peri would be able to tell her all about the tests. She missed her crewmate. 

“Are you done poking and prodding me?” asked a scruffy voice in Aresian.

She waited a few moments and replied, “I think it’s either shift change or they didn’t want to move us.”

“Bah. I don’t like being leashed,” the voice replied.

“I guess they captured some of you too. Is your homeworld still intact?” she asked. It was strange talking casually to anyone while being tied up and even stranger having such a casual conversion with her lifelong enemy.

“Ares Prime and the entire solar system has been reduced to rubble. And they had the arrogance to ask me to join them. Bah!” 

“They asked me too. It seems that we only have the choice to join them or die. They say they’re following the order of a god.” She was laying it on thick in case someone was listening.

“Hades to their ultimatum. I’m going to break out and make them understand what real war means. Are you with me, Martian?”

She smiled showing her sharp teeth and said, “First we need to escape and steal a ship, and I know exactly which one.”

Read Chapter 3

While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

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