Monday, 5 December 2011

Short Story Part 3 The Graduation Ceremony

Judicator Hephaest glared at his compatriot.

"You had best use more subtle means with your Executor."

Judicator Salarus replied only with stoic silence.

"Aiur's hopes rest upon your shoulders, you have to rein him in before his willful defiance jeopardizes the expedition. Blunt manipulation of the Khala will not be enough."

Again Salarus was silent, deep behind his psychological fortress he was aware of Hephaest's true motivations. Both Hephaest and Salarus were aligned with the progressive Auriga faction, the difference between them was that Salarus would not be returning to Aiur if unsuccessful whereas Hephaest would endure a lifetime of shame and dishonor.

Salarus broke the silence, "I am well aware of what is at stake. My Executor will learn his place soon enough."

 "I also notice that you have delayed the warp jump..."

Salarus replied, "Yes it is set for 8 hours and we will make the last 30 minutes in real time."

Hephaest smiled, "I know what you are doing, Judicator... Do you think it will work?"

"Nothing is so pleasant as awakening slowly to the Khala. I will catch Executor Aeolus with honey*."

Executor Aeolus awoke to a honeyed whisper. His thoughts were slow at first as he tried to discern the speaker. He couldn't. He fell back asleep to the lullaby.

And awoke minutes later, this time the whisper was a chorus. It was gospel music, not sung by one but by millions of billions. The distance had muffled the voice but it was clear enough that his sleepy head knew the source.

Aiur... The Homeworld. His home. Where he grew up. A planet where everyone was empathically linked via the Khala, much like in the ship but on an incomprehensible scale. The emotions flowed in symphonic resonance, the Judicator Caste were the conductors, but all he could hear were the musicians. He surrendered to it and found himself swimming in it.

He completely forgot about yesterday's anger at the Judicator Caste for their manipulative ways. He was Home.

20 minutes later he stopped laughing and composed himself. Judicator Salarus was nearby, he felt him. No doubt Salarus was here to tell him the Ship had landed. He already knew. He felt it. The choir had been growing louder with their approach and now he knew that he was no longer a listener but just another choirboy.

"Executor, your Graduation Ceremony starts in... well it is starting now. I did not want to disturb your meditation but our Patriarch has almost finished his speech. All of Aiur is waiting for you."

The Executor nodded and approached his wardrobe.

"Oh yes, I had our armourer synthesise something more appropriate for the occasion," Salarus advised as he politely left the room.

The armour with it's gilded golden lustre was nowhere near as boastingly decorative as the ceremony. Salarus had even landed the ship behind the stage, so that the crowd could watch as they disembarked.

Executor Aeolus walked nervously on stage. Behind him to his left were the Patriarchs of the tribes of the Templar Caste, grizzled ancient paternal warriors and masters of war. Behind and to his right were Judicators of the Conclave, their faces expressionless and their age disguised as wisdom. All of them, he knew, could break his very mind in a millisecond with sheer psionic power.

Aeolus was beginning to feel impotent in the midst of these powerful figures until he saw the Patriarch who was at the podium. The Master of Ceremonies for this event was none other than his tribal Patriarch. The Patriarch of the Auriga Tribe, encrusted in emerald green armour with decorative golden spikes. He served as an anchor point in the Khala. As the Master of Ceremonies finished up his speech he glanced at Aeolus. Aeolus's nervousness disappeared as he could almost feel the Patriarch psionically shove confidence into his head.

".... Executor Aeolus"

Suddenly he realised that the Master of Ceremonies HAD finished his speech.

"Don't worry you don't have to say anything, just smile and wave to the crowd," Salarus consoled him telepathically.

And so he did. He was enthralled in the moment. But then a troubled thought raised it's head and whisked him away from the giddying Khala the crowd emanated. Every time he had seen the Aurigan Patriarch in the past he always wore the same piece of jewelry. Always. But not today it seemed. Despite all of his attempts to look handsome in his emerald-green armour, the MC was missing his Khaydarin Amulet...

*Protoss don't have honey, but the transdermal extract of Hastati Beetles could only be described "as sweet as honey", which is the literal translation of the Judicator's words


  1. Great short story, love your prose.

  2. These stories are really starting to get me interested in the Starcraft Universe

  3. I think I need to know about Starcraft to appreciate this.

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