Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Forces of Prime (Part 1)

Just a note, this is not video games nor theory, but part of a backstory I am writing up for a bit of fun. Enjoy, and I will enjoy any comments you have.

Remnants of the Journal of Abal Masana; Keeper of Archives, Prime outpost One Gamma

I wish I could tell you the full history of our race, but it is lost to time. What we know spans back one or two thousand years; to the beginning of the Shattering and the Enslavement. We were a younger race then, though our years of captivity have aged us much. It is believed we had not colonized any planets except our homeworld…a homeworld many of us believe to be the planet called Prime. Overpopulated and strained for resources, we looked to the stars for escape and new wealth. We sent probes into deep space looking for alien intelligence and strange sentient beings. What we found would change us forever.

The Zybee, an alien race of tall and fair humanoids with beautiful faces and a calming demeanor, came to the Prime. They entered into peaceful negotiations with our leaders and what we thought was a time of prosperity began. They traded with us, gave us technology and exotic foods in exchange for knowledge about us, and trade in our planets flora and fauna. They built colonies on three other planets designed specifically for our people, and ferried those that wanted an escape from the overpopulated Prime to them on their fast starships.

Then people who left Prime stopped landing at the other colonies. Families were separated, their sons, wives, daughters, husbands…lost forever. The Zybee never gave any explanation for it. Some thought that there had been a few accidents, and the Zybee didn’t want to seem inferior. We all new our own attempts at space flight had been disastrous and in our naivety we had thought the Zybee immune to such mistakes. We realized a greater naivety a few months later. When our leaders announced they planned to build and launch our own space fleet, the Zybee were outraged. The massive fleet that had been building up outside the Prime…a transport and trading fleet, or so we thought…disgorged thousands of fighters. The shipping containers that goods had been ferried in from those ships opened, and giant mechs and tanks poured out. We were conquered by an army we imported ourselves.

What people remained on Prime were divided into camps. Many more groups were herded onto ships and sent out into the void. Our people were Shattered, sent out to every corner of the Zybee empire. We were imprisoned and used as forced labor to build the very mechs, tanks, fighters, and ships that conquered our planet. I wish I could tell you that we revolted, that a prisoner uprising had to be violently purged…but we didn’t. Years of prosperity brought by the Zybee had made us soft, or perhaps we remembered too harshly the feelings of hunger that came from a starving, overpopulated world that the Zybee had saved us from. Either way we toiled away, always treated fairly and few well. No prisoner was tortured or mishandled, though the few that made trouble were separated from the group, and few less for a period of time. The Zybee seemed fair and judicious in their punishments, and maybe that is the main reason why we obeyed. They ruled us better than we had ruled ourselves.

Ten or twenty generations passed this way. The Zybee presence dwindled. Some legends say there was a war in another part of the galaxy and with our people so well behaved, we needed less guard. Others say that the Zybee slowly wasted away one by one from some unknown disease. I think both are true, their empire was beset by war against a species they couldn’t steamroll like they had us, and the last remnants were destroyed by disease and famine. What I do know is that in the last days of our captivity, we weren’t fed anymore. The guards stopped bringing us food, and we stopped seeing the aliens at all. We went hungry until the water stopped running. Thirsty and hungry, we broke out of our cells in search of sustenance. We found the storehouses, and gorged ourselves. Then we went looking for our masters, and found them all dead, bodies greatly reduced as if they hadn’t eaten in months. We were free, not by our own hands but by fate it seemed. We sent our strongest to the other camps, and found them all the same. Either the guards were all dead, or nearly there. None answered our questions. We were unsure of what to do, having been freed of our master’s yoke. We were a vast people, but probably numbered under a million. So many of our own had been taken to other worlds. We elected one person from each of the thirteen camps to be a member of a council of leadership. They would decide together what we would do, and what would happen to us.

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