The Survivors

The Survivors

A Chapter by Operation: UGAWTS
"

Princess Paeosfu, Roskavna, and Timoti are among the survivors of a soldier onslaught at a nearly completed construction site.

"

I

 

 

 

An excited gasp escaped her cracked, full lips. Strained coughs followed before the young-looking Tayan gained the strength to open her purple eyes. The milky moon blinded her through the cracks between the bent structures made from tayeet, the planet's most abundant metal. She winced. Blinking quickly, Paeosfu looked away and peered beyond her thick white curls to soak in her surroundings. Leaking pipes formed a sculpture with she and her people decorating it as immobile and weak ornaments. A few of them crushed beneath the metal lay unmoving. Others cough and squirm to free themselves whilst squeezing pink ooze from their twisted bodies. Exhausted from the earlier battle, they gave up with frustrated cries. 

 

Growing acutely aware of the crowing and squeaking sounds of help, she exhaled and allowed her already thin frame to grow thinner. Paeosfu cleared her mind and isolated the pain returning along with her senses. She flattened until the pain no longer wrapped around her arms, her torso, or her toes. Her once brown body now a rich purple and planar permitted her to move. Her soul screamed of the pain that cannot escape. She had no mouth, no nerves, no nose--only eyes and a sharp perception of vibrations to aid her.

 

She slithered around the pipes to her destination: the milky moon. Her body fell around the forms, sinking before rising. It climbed and then descended as she navigated through the contorted mess. Before the battle, this was almost a completed transportation facility. The ideas were novel. Traveling from district to district was to be that flicker of fun in the otherwise mundane task of construction, mining, or depositing. They had so much fun.

 

The moaning of the inbound foreign ships alerted them that the fun would end. The Second Ruler was the first to go. So suddenly she was taken from them that it seemed that her crying echoing throughout the land was her last attempt to remain in their minds. Then many had claimed to witness the Third Ruler force his scepter through the Fourth. The god’s core was ejected. The distinguishing features fizzled in flames. Rumors floated about the Third. He was to be feared since he incinerated the corpse with his powers. Before the Tayans had an opportunity to recover from the realization that the gods were as mortal as they were, the First Ruler disappeared without a trace.

 

Peaking out of the entanglement, Paeosfu immediately threw her head back to shine the golden gem embedded in her forehead directly toward the milky moon. The moon was crescent-shaped with a light-green hue and large dark brown orbs resembling eyes. Tayans turned to the milky moon once the image of the gods was shattered. Paeosfu looked to it too and wondered if she’d be next.

 

The princess wavered slightly as her body expanded into three-dimensional space.  In haste, she hoisted herself from the entrapment before her flat limbs rounded and revealed the wounded mess. 

 

Sitting upon a pipe, she heaved in recovery from the transformation and the mere task of escape. She debated whether to transform again. Her arms were relatively fine. Silvery pink blood dripped from a few cuts, yet she was not concerned about an infection. 

 

I can drag myself back to headquarters, she mused, studying the destruction. Alternatively with her bike, she could cross districts briskly and send a recovery team back to the site. Her legs leaked. The viaete soiled her battered rebel uniform shorts. She knew she had to move or risk fading away into an empty shell like many others.

 

Having phased into her abstract form, she awkwardly navigated around the pipes with her soul screeching the same cries of help as the others.

 

Her name was Princess Paeosfu, daughter of the Fourth Ruler of Tayavon and one of the current charges of the Third Ruler. Practically immortal, she had witnessed the same battle one too many times and wished to change it. She had joined the rebel forces as the informant of the government's operations. Trust was hard to receive in the heart of the rebels, but she managed to gain a few allies and convinced them she was all for their cause.

 

Explaining the current predicament would prove harder than she liked. The princess, now lying on the ground outside the facility torn inside out, heaved heavy breaths. Her bike was nowhere in sight, and she assumed it had been buried along with the other rebels. She cursed quietly in her head. Dragging herself to base was a long journey. 

 

Paeosfu rolled onto her back and stared up at the milky moon. At least they saved the civilians. If she were to be recovered by the Tayan guard, she could walk back to the rebel camp and could declare their main objective had been completed with no civilian casualties. 

 

She smiled easily with the thought on her mind. Anguished screams jerked her from the bliss. Many rebels remained helplessly trapped on the uprooted construction project.

 

The rebel princess dug through the rubble, crawled around, and dug again for the yoño, a staff whose powers grew in strength based on the wielder’s mental capacity. This version of the weapon was used to warp and collapse the pipes upon the soldiers. Paeosfu’s small fingers met scraped against a pale purple surface that was cool to the touch. With a smile growing on her bleeding mouth, she flattened her lower half to null the physical pain as she focused her energy in unearthing the yeeoñogou--a yeeoño with four dial orbs.  As if the device could suddenly fall apart if she lifted it too aggressively, Paeosfu wrapped her fingers around the device and allowed it to slowly roll into the palm of her dirtied hands. An exhausted smile crossed her features. Grasping it with renewed determination, she dragged herself toward the pipes.

 


 

 

 

"Here. Let me do it," a familiar voice offered, causing the princess to flinch from surprise. She shifted to lay on her side and looked up to see Roskavna holding out her green hand. The Tayan too had rich purple eyes, but her skin varied from a light green to a rich brown. Her blonde hair, ending just above her knees, was tied back in a ponytail. Used to seeing it shimmering in the milky moon’s light, Paeosfu noticed it was dirtied from battle. Her towering height wasn’t the only thing that set her apart from many Tayans. Her right ear had undergone a cybernetic enhancement. Whether her ear was originally damaged or Roskavna simply opted for an upgrade was left a mystery.

 

Roskavna grabbed the yeeoñogou from Paeosfu's hands and limped ahead. The Tayan uttered, "By the time you get there, they'd be dead."

 

Roskavna was the first rebel officer to accept Princess Paeosfu within their ranks. She used to work in the gardens inspecting the imports and exports and helping to ensure their planet brought in no incompatible species. The work was brutal and often rewarded unjustly. When the opportunity to join the rebels arose, she didn't hesitate.

 

 

 

The officer followed the growing cries of trapped Tayans. Squeezing through the pipes, she sucked in her rather large body as much as she could and breathed out a heavy breath once she made it to the other side. She was built like a block, so snaking around the fallen pipes was difficult. Before finding the princess, her small team of four was left to scour the debris for more survivors. If she knew the destruction would be this bad, she would have kept around more of the smaller rebels to help with the recovery.

 

Closing her eyes, Roskavna focused on the Tayan’s voices. Her altered ear focused on the sounds that were the loudest. We will save you, she thought, feeling the yeeoñogou squirm in her hand.  The staff once about the length of half her forearm had activated with her thoughts and lengthened to stand just past her mid-section. The four orbs rotated about the center and the yeeoñogou hummed.

 

“Final stage, activate,” she commanded, planting the staff into the ground. She recalled seeing this type of yeeoño among her weapon collections. Luckily Paeofu found a yeeoñogou that had been modified. It would serve no purpose now, but she imagined it would come in handy if they were to face Imperial forces again. The yeeoñogou unfurled for the last time to lengthen to her height.

 

“Final stage, activated,” the staff projected into her head. Twisting a couple of the orbs sent out a large, holographic blue trapezoid that she could adjust at will. Roskavna tightened the range before sending several pipes into the air and shifting those just out of the perimeter.

 

Three rebels who agreed to stay behind to help Roskavna recover the living and the deceased’s cores moved in to catch the falling rebels.

Wide-eyed, surprised, and grateful she wasn't the sole survivor of the fiasco, Paeosfu flinched and looked behind her.

 

"Ayvne jumpy," Timoti crooned. "Transform your legs for me. Let me look at you."

 

Princess Paeosfu cooperated and yelped softly as he propped her legs up. Timoti Charleton was like her--an outsider who needed to convince everybody he was on their side. His case was a bit harder being an alien and all. The recent invaders were believed to be responsible for the whole mess initially. Every Tayan grew up learning that. At least she was born here. He's the only one with a kill switch in case anyone suspected he'd find a new ally among the invaders. If Paeosfu lived in the royal court as anyone but the high rulers or the princess, she was sure they would have equipped one to her too. 

 

"Thanks," she uttered softly.

 

"You're welcome," he answered as the pipes collapsed on each with a thud. Roskavna moved to another set of pipes, activated the device, and sent in more rebels to recover the fallen.

 

"I thought the milky moon left me as the sole survivor," she said emptily.

 

"Wouldn't that be lonely?" Timoti responded. Trained as a medic, Timoti learned the biology and anatomy of the Tayan people to better serve them. Justifiably, not many allowed him to treat them. Those willing to be taken under his care received no hostility or any worse treatment compared to a Tayan doctor. Unfortunately, that was not shared among the allies.

 

"And problematic," the princess finished with clenched teeth as Timoti proceeded to wrap her legs after he had cleaned the wounds. She lay there for a moment before carefully pushing herself up with grunts and silent curses. Paeosfu examined her bandaged legs. By the time they reached headquarters, she should be healed. Who else had to walk around with bandages and hope that viaete didn’t push out of semi-sealed wounds?

 

"How many are there?" she asked quietly.

 

"Fourteen before we found you and you found that device. Only five of us-me, Roskavna, Ahglen, Ahblen, and Hi--had gone to look for more survivors. Roskavna sent the rest back to headquarters," Timoti responded, packing up his medical supplies in the cube. He saw the sadness and disappointment dragging down her features and darkening her aura. "Thanks to you, we may be able to break twenty." He turned and pointed toward Ahblen who hauled the Brick on his back. "We're placing the rest in there. I told him we’d be lucky if we can fit all the cores we found in there.” Timoti stood once he was all packed. “Anyway, once we recover as many Tayans as we can, we return to headquarters and deposit these cores with the others in the incubator."

 

“I’m going to help the others and treat any Tayans who need a quick patching up. You should stay here to keep the pressure off your legs.” He smiled weakly and ruffled her hair. “Cheer up Princess. No one could have predicted this.”

 


 

 

The rebels who helped to recover the fallen and gathered the empty cores returned to the carrier. The princess scooted over to avoid being stepped on. She dodged eye contact with any of them fearing they would see and feel how much she failed them as their princess and ally. Noticing Roskavna's form from the corner of her eye, Paeosfu lifted her head.

 

"This belongs to you. Thanks," the officer said, handing Paeosfu the yeeoñogou. It had returned to a small size and the balls were firmly attached to the center piece. "We couldn't find your original staff, and your bike was beyond repair. Cheer up, princess. You have a new toy you can tinker with."

 

She gave Paeosfu a heavy pat on the shoulder before stepping onto the carrier. The vehicle rocked under her weight, but the hovering pads fired on high and quickly stabilized it. She signaled for them to move out. 

 

Once they gained enough speed, Roskavna clapped her hands and pulled them apart to read the holographic report. She informed the rebels over the soft whirring of the motors, "Out of a hundred and nine rebels, forty-three have made it out alive. We've recovered fifty-one cores. I'll have a team return for a second recovery sweep. If you see your name, we leave base at my signal." A wave of moans and curses swept the vehicle as rebels saw their names appearing on the hologram.

 

Roskavna closed her hands into fists at the end of the report. She cleared her throat. "Heads up, T. We saved all the civilians. It was the dirty soldiers and their cheap tricks that took out our own."

 

The officer straightened up and slapped her shoulder with the palm of her hand. The rebels who could do the same repeat the motion. "The resistance is building. Soon we'll have more among our ranks. Even those we saved tonight would want to repay us with arms." She beamed. "Be happy, T. We've moved forward in the resistance!"



© 2018 Operation: UGAWTS


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Added on July 29, 2017
Last Updated on September 26, 2018
Tags: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, princess, adventure, drama, war


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Operation: UGAWTS
Operation: UGAWTS

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Operation UGAWTS is a project to use games, art, and writing to tell stories. This is the writing part of the project. Please see website for the other branches of the project. more..

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