Qualloch frowned. He was caught, and he knew it. He couldn't refuse the holy glory that Tokin was promising him, not in front of his lesser. Normal Yuuzhan Vong culture dictated that the way to elevation was removing your superior, often by murdering them. If the prefect didn't take the Seer up on his offer one of the consults or other menials would. Either way Tokin would get what he wanted.
"I exist to serve the Gods," Qualloch said simply. "We are no strangers to your failures in the past, Seer. Should you managed to grow a Yorik-stronha and take it to the void without killing yourselves, and you manage to acquire infidels to be sent on their way to the Yun'O, then I will happily organise the sacrifice. It will be broadcast over the entire world, cementing your name in the heart of the Remnant."
"If you fail, then you will die and I will have lost nothing."
Tokin grinned. It was an ugly gesture. "I will not fail. I have the Gods on my side."
With nothing else to say, and the next stage of his plan complete, Tokin led Orik from the grashal. Their crab-like creature still awaited them, though it seemed to have crushed two more Chazrak slaves that had wandered too close. The Seer and the Warrior mounted the transport and instructed it to return to the crevasse.
Tokin knew, however, now that his plans were 'public', there was a real danger that those in the Remnant, powerful Yuuzhan Vong with great influence, may see the Redeemer and Tokin's efforts as a danger to the fragile power they had accumulated by appeasing the infidels of this galaxy. The Seer could well be murdered on his way back to the crevasse, though he had every trust in Orik and the Yun'O to protect him.
As it happened, the duo were not disturbed on their journey. Numi met them at the entrance of the crevasse. Her headdress's serpentine appendages flowing free in what Tokin imagined was excitement. He dismounted regally, beginning to act like the leader he would become. Authority wasn't given by others, but rather assumed. Once Tokin began acting like a leader, then that is what others would see him as and that perception would inadvertently grant him that status.
Tokin almost swore he saw her incline her head slightly; the Shaper must have realised what she was doing as she quickly straightened her posture and her headdress contracted and became still. He fought a smile. "How did your journey go, Seer?" she asked.
"I have accomplished what I had set out to do, Numi. Our plan is proceeding well. Now, how did our pilot do? Did he commune with the Redeemer?"
She nodded her head and couldn't contain her pride. "The tall-yor facilitated the communication perfectly. He even managed to command the dovin basals to generate a containment field around one of the chambers, just as a test. I am now confident I can mature the bigger dovin basal plants required to control the propulsion of the vessel itself."
Tokin shared her excitement. Once the Redeemer was void-worthy, they would bring glory to the Yuuzhan Vong once more. If he could bring back the sacrifices, he would become the Most Holy - he would lead the Yuuzhan Vong to greatness; not some Supreme Overlord who had only a superficial connection to the Gods.
The path was clear, and they were walking it. One step at a time.
"Others know of our plan now, Shaper. I trust you will not compromise on the quality of your creations but know that we no longer have the benefit of secrecy and infinite time. The sooner we can leave Zonama Sekot, the better."
Numi nodded, her lips pursed and her expression suddenly serious. She turned and retreated into the Redeemer an iris-like sphincter.
The Yorik-stronha was certainly taking shape. As each Yuuzhan Vong vessel was organic, each one was unique though the vessels of different types tended to share some qualities. The Redeemer was purposefully grown to be comet-like in shape, with a bulbous head and a tail that tapered off at the end. The tail ended in a fleshy red tube-like oesophagus that housed several tendrils ending in four-fingered maws that would grab material from the void to sustain itself.
What a beautiful creature.
Last Edit: Mar 30, 2019 14:58:48 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
The Redeemer is almost 'alive'. The Seer taps his long fingers on the soft, fibrous hau polyp that currently occupies the function of his 'throne'. The creature ripples at his repeating touch, and Tokin enjoys the rough and stinging texture it has on his fingertips. He is in the command centre of the Redeemer, where the main connection between the Yuuzhan Vong and the vessel rests. Before him stand Shaper Numi, headdress twitching in irritation at being kept waiting, and pilot Dromin Rag who makes a habit of displaying the chitinous and segmented legs of the insect-like creature he has grafted to the roof of his mouth. It is indeed disturbing, but in a mesmerising sort of way. Tokin finds himself respecting the being more than he thought he would.
Tokin stands. Before him stands a rather reluctant lizardly Chazrak, being held in place by the iron-clad grip of Orik. The Warrior smiles in an almost fanatic way, knowing what is to come. The Seer expects the slave also knows, too, though the fear of death has long been bred out of the client race - used as they are on the front lines by the warrior caste.
This Chazrak has been chosen by Numi to bless the Redeemer. The Shaper had explained that the vessel was almost ready to begin its life. Its major organs were in place, and it just required its heart to start beating and provide life-sustaining blood around the creature. The best - and only - way that Tokin could ensure the favour of the Yun'O was to provide a sacrifice.
Tokin had also chosen the method of sacrifice carefully. He would make it a personal affair, and to that end he stands and runs his hand over the tsaisi weapon that Orik had provided him. Being a member of the favoured priest caste, Tokin did not require an amphistaff or other weapon. The tsaisi is a smaller, more venomous cousin to the serpentine creature used by the warrior caste. As with the amphistaff, control over the creature came by claiming it as it left its birthing polyp. Tokin would never have that chance, so had to borrow one from Orik.
After consulting with the Gods, Tokin made it clear it was he that had to carry out the sacrifice. Orik had therefore commanded the tsaisi to become rigid before handing it to Tokin. He twirls it between his hands, its scales reflecting light dimly in the chamber. "Witness the will of the Gods," he hisses. "Your blood will spill over this creature and the life force that runs from your veins and deserts your husk will cascade into the Redeemer, whose blood will be free to feed its many and mighty organs. With these wounds" - a thrust into the lizard's abdomen - "your life is given" - a slash across the face - "to the glory of the Yun'O" - and, finally, a decapitating sweep - "and so this vessel is blessed."
The slave race of the Chazrak are now so subservient that they are more or less considered mindless. Its body reacts as if it were in pain, but no outward signs of struggle or resistance manifest themselves. Blood runs from the wounds into the yorik coral that makes up the surfaces of the chamber. Numi strokes a large tubular object ribbed and semi-transparent, and a gushing sound precedes the free flow of blood around the ship.
The Redeemer is alive.
Last Edit: Apr 4, 2019 10:44:35 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
Numi still has many things to do before the Redeemer can take her maiden voyage into the void. Like a newborn mammal, she first needs to learn how to 'walk' and will fail many times before succeeding. The Shaper stands before Tokin now, explaining this to him. Though before their alliance had been one of mutual advancement - Numi excels at shaping creatures destined for the void, and could not do so under the restrictions of the current Remnant - there is now a deference there. The Seer senses it and drinks in all its glory. This is his mission; he is seeing it through to fruition and to him will be the highest reward. He will become the Most Holy; a new Supreme Overlord from the Priest Caste. It is high time for new leadership of the Chosen Race, and Tokin would be that leader.
He sees the change in attitude visibly, too. The serpentine headdress resting on Numi's slanted skull is tense but, again, deferential. He smiles.
"I am not entirely convinced the salvaged plates of yorik coral are yet knitted together fully, Seer," Numi is saying. Tokin sits on a large and elegant hau polyp. It is amazing how quickly the group has fallen in to him being their leader. "The blood supply will help speed the process, but the Redeemer is not yet void worthy. And I require more mature dovin basal plants to actually lift it off the ground. The ones we have at present are not big enough to force the yorik-stronha into motion, only to act as our defence if we come under attack."
Tokin nods his understanding. In truth, the Redeemer project is already ahead of schedule. The meeting with the Prefect went better than expected, so that had saved them some time. He decides not to let this information spread, however. The more motivated his subordinates are to please him, the quicker the Redeemer will launch into the void and the quicker Tokin will herald a new age for the Yuuzhan Vong.
It is now only a matter of time. How much, though, he is unsure. He asks Numi.
"I require another month."
Tokin nods again. This is acceptable. "By that time the Chazrak sacrifice will have just been digested by the succession pool. This is no coincidence; definitely a blessing from the Gods. Do your good work, Shaper Numi. I will lead us to glory."
She knows she is dismissed, and not a word of protestation around that final sentence. Tokin is becoming drunk on power, and he seems to like the inebriation.
The Seer contemplates. His success so far can only be attributed to the fact that he is following the will of the Yun'O, however his journey will not be easy. He knows there will be many challenges ahead, ones where he may have to give his very life for his cause to succeed. As a member of the priest caste he has given a lot of thought to the topic of death, and is certainly not afraid to die. He is afraid, however, of dying early. He wants to reap the rewards of his hard work and devotion before he joins Yun-Yuuzhan.
One of the challenges he imagines facing is the reformist movement in the Remnant. Though abstractly separate from the intendant caste running the show, Tokin knows there is a sect that has grown very powerful on the fertile soil of collective shame the Chosen Ones felt at being confined to one world. This 'movement' is widespread and dangerous, eliciting that Yun-Yammka was falsely worshipped and that the Yuuzhan Vong had strayed by causing so much death and destruction. The teachings twisted the perfect ideologies of the True Way and the Remnant has allowed it to flourish, as its teachings match the current, non-aggressive stance that the leadership is taking.
He decides, rather quickly, that the leaders of this movement need dealt with sooner rather than later. The less obstacles he has to his throne as the Most Holy, the stronger the Yuuzhan Vong will be when it comes to retaking the stars.
Tokin begins hatching a plan. He is nothing if not efficient, and the Gods would like nothing better than the sacrifice of heretics; not just infidels. When the Redeemer returns with its captives, Tokin decides that he will invite the current priest caste leaders who are a danger to his ambitions and to the True Way - those who espouse this new reformist movement - in the ruse of allowing them to take part in the ceremony.
The Seer plans to allow no such thing. He will murder them, just as he will murder the infidel captives. A ceremonious birth of the new Yuuzhan Vong rising from the death throes of both heretics and infidels. A perfect plan.
Last Edit: Apr 6, 2019 13:36:22 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
Tokin remains cautious in his dealings with other Yuuzhan Vong. Word of his effort is travelling, it seems, and he receives daily new visitors wanting to lend their talents to the cause. Initially he sends them away, telling them: "the Gods will call upon you when you are needed, and I expect you to answer their call."
He has changed his mind, specifically with the prefect in mind. It has been a while since he discussed his plans with Qualloch, and having a 'following' - for that is what these beings are; his 'flock' - will remind the official of the Remnant that Tokin now has power and purpose, and it would not be in his interests to defy the Seer.
Numi is still mightily busy with the Redeemer, so he instructs some of the Shapers who have gathered wanting to lend their special talents to Tokin's vision to grow a grashal. It will only be temporary, but it is required to house the growing following. He had been praying to the Yun'O to provide him with a crew for the Redeemer. Perhaps this is the answer to those prayers.
Tokin now has his own chambers within the Redeemer which offer a quiet place for contemplation, prayer and scheming. He has already completed his contemplation and prayer for today, and so diverts his attention to the third, perhaps most important, task.
He rests upon a juvenile hau polyp, not as fibrous as the one he is used to in the command centre. He reaches out and strokes a leathery mass resting on his other hand before him, which inverts with a squelch. The villip bulges and pulsates, until eventually settling on the vizier of Orik. The warrior inclines his head and the leathery mass relays this action. "What is your location?" the Seer asks.
Orik answers immediately. "I am with your following, Seer," he replies.
Tokin had hoped that would be the answer. Just as he had put the various shapers to work creating infrastructure for his 'following', Orik had seen fit to gather the warriors who heard of his cause and arrange a sort of hierarchy. Orik, with his 'promised' vonduum armour that presented a very unique birthmark, named himself their leader. Again, intuitive and rather ingenious for one of the Warrior Caste. "Shaper Numi tells me that the Redeemer is almost ready for flight. What is your own progress?"
Orik smiles, and the expression is relayed by the villip but the visage is slightly distorted, giving the warrior a lopsided grimace rather than a grin. "Our warriors are worthy of their name. We shall have no problem gathering infidels for sacrifice. All glory be to the Yun'O, and to you; Most Holy."
Tokin had talked about his new position during their time together, but he had no expected it to be used so early in his quest for ultimate power. He licks his scarred and cut lips, as if tasting the title. It tastes good; like it is his destiny.
"All glory to the Yun'O," the Seer repeats. With a respectful incline of his slanted head he terminates the conversation and the villip reverts back to its leathery mass.
Numi is nervous, and her headdress reflects this feeling by hissing quietly but incessantly. She expects it annoys others, which is the reason she as attributed to Dromin making himself scarce. That is fine; she likes working alone.
Her nerves come from a very real concern. She looks upon that concern now; a black spherical plant nestled in the neuroengine of the Redeemer. It is one of a group, grown together. She even ensured they had shared an integrated root system, and she hopes that her ingenuity produces results. She strokes the nearest, the creature that she had grafted to replace her hand upon achieving initiate rank in her caste informing her brain of the texture. It is smooth and ripples at her touch; a plant that is quite aware of its surroundings. The hand replacement is not yet a Shaper Hand, and still only has five digits.
She has grafted the dovin basals meticulously. They are integrated into the Redeemer's blood supply and are fed by the succession pool at the centre of the vessel. She just needs to test them, now. It is time.
She stands and leaves the neuroengine, looking to summon both Tokin and Dromin. This is about to be her greatest achievement; one that, as far as she is aware, has not been accomplished by any other Shaper while in this Promised Land of a galaxy. Either that, or she is about to earn the ire of a Seer who is not known to forgive.
Numi knows this could be her final day in this world. If she fails, she will accept death willingly. She would deserve nothing else.
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2019 12:57:05 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
The Shaper walks through the halls of the Redeemer. Every inch of it is her own creation; she knows it like a mother would know a child. She still sees the healed scars where she coaxed dead bits of yorik coral she had salvaged to knit together. She knows before she even passes the bioreactor room that the Redeemer's maw luur was healthily providing air for the interior of the creature, and that the succession pool housing the vital organs had finished digesting the Chazrak slave sacrifice.
Numi finds Tokin, the Seer who had brought her dreams to reality through his willingness to defy the Remnant, in his personal chambers. He is sitting on a younger hau polyp, eyes closed in contemplation. Her headdress reveals her presence as it continues its hissing, depicting her nervousness. The Seer opens his eyes and narrows his pupils. She feels his stare boring into her, ripping out the reason for her visit and analysing it viciously. "Most Holy," she says in greeting without thinking.Gods! Why did I call him that?
"Shaper Numi. Why have you disturbed me?"
Numi summons courage from deep within. She stands in a creature that she has created from scratch without the aid of a shipwomb. She is not just skilled at her work; she is fantastic. She is inspired, and Tokin couldn't have done any of this without her. She uses that reasoning as a crutch for her soul. Now is the time. "The dovin basals are ready, Seer."
The Seer's pupils dilate and the ridges that rest above his eyes arch. "Summon Dromin," he orders swiftly but not unkindly. "You have done well, Numi. It is time to see if the Yun'O approve of your creation."
She nods her understanding. Should she fail, should the Redeemer remain grounded, then it was a clear sign that Yun-Ne'Shel did not approve of her creation and all her efforts would be for naught. If she had not crafted the vessel to the Goddess' liking, then the Yuuzhan Vong would remain on Zonama Sekot to rot away in ambiguity. She would kill herself rather than live with that shame.
And yet Numi has a quiet but solid core of confidence. She is brilliant at shaping. The Shaper turns, heading for the command centre of the Redeemer.
Tokin absent-mindedly rubs the exposed slab of skull on his slanted forehead; one of his disfigurations in imitation of Yun-Yuuzhan. He stands in the command centre of the Redeemer with his three co-conspirators. Numi is understandably nervous, but he did wish that her headdress would stop hissing - it is enough to drive someone insane. Dromin is also present, and Tokin is pleased to see that he has cut down some of his robeskin. He had been working too long in the menial job of 'mucking out' for creatures who digested Yuuzhan Vong society waste, and the robeskin grew overly long by feeding on the pilot's sweat and oils, obviously feeding more the more onerous the work.
It is no place for a pilot of Dromin's skill.
Orik stands just behind the Seer, his vonduun armour proudly sporting its birthmark that proves, to the warrior at least, that he is destined to help Tokin carry out the will of the Yun'O.He may not even be wrong...
Though he has confidence in Numi and her abilities, he did not want to have his endeavour fail before an audience. They would test the Redeemer, see if it could fly, before announcing it to the world. Yet it is still a great occasion and one deserving of some ceremony. Tokin holds his hands out before him, beseeching his Gods. "Our redemption is ready, glorious Yun-Ne'Shel. Look upon what your student has wrought, it is perfection. See its purpose, see our destiny, and grant us your blessing."
He pauses. It is not just for dramatic effect; he needs to consider his next words carefully.
"Yun-Yammka, see that we are ready to take your divine justice to the heathens of this galaxy. With your avatar, Orik of domain Kanor, gift us your martial might so that we may secure sacrifices and further our dominion of this galaxy."
Tokin pauses again, though for not as long as the first period of silence. He needs to allow what he has just said to sink in - the warrior behind him was not expecting to be named, that much was clear by the feint but still perceptible shifting of weight on his feet. The Seer is taking a chance, but knows the Yuuzhan Vong have to be remade to thrive. He takes a deep breath and continues; "Yun-Shuno, you may have looked upon me after my failure on the infidel world of Dantooine. Know that I have no need of your forgiveness, for we do nothing shameful this day. We embody Yun-Harla; we trick the decaying, treacherous and heretical Remnant government to bring glory once again to our chosen race. Our Shaper, Numi of domain Dim, channels the greatness of Yun-Ne'Shel in the creature she has created. We need only your blessing to ignite the fire of Truth that will bring this Promised Land to its knees."
Tokin is sweating and his eye twitches. He needs this to work. If it does not, then he does not think Numi will be the only one who will be looking for forgiveness beyond the grave. He turns to the pilot, Dromin, who is smiling abhorrently - the creature grafted to the roof of his mouth pulsates with glee, and its black glossy legs vibrate eerily. Dromin had told Tokin that he needs to eat more than a normal adult male would ever consume, as the beast takes a portion for itself. A price the pilot is happy paying for the extra bite - and nods. Dromin tenderly wraps his hands around the tall-yor. It is a leathery sack that is attached to the ceiling by an umbilical cord of sorts. He places it over his head and it conforms to his face - it is how he communicates with the Redeemer.
All is silent. Though no-one can hear him, Tokin is fervently praying for this to work. Orik stands motionless, and Numi has closed her eyes. Can he see tears?
Then, the Redeemer shakes. It is small at first, but then a violent jolt almost uproots the Seer. Numi cannot contain her joy, for she screams: "she flies! The Redeemer flies!"
Last Edit: Apr 21, 2019 14:07:17 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
Tokin keeps Numi's joyous outburst to a minimum, though he wishes he could celebrate with her. Proper decorum must be upheld. "You are a servant of the Gods. Show humility; Yun-Ne'Shel approves of your creation. Do not sully her trust in you by acting like a child."
The Shaper's headdress retracts and becomes still, reflecting Numi's desire to shrink in on herself and disappear. His message conveyed, Tokin the turns to the pilot. "Set the Redeemer back down, Dromin. We must move quickly."
To Orik, he says; "Avatar of Yun-Yammka, gather the best warriors from the following below. Bring them to the Redeemer. They will be needed if we are to acquire sacrifices."
"As you will, Most Holy." Orik turns and heads towards the oqa membrane in the centre of the vessel. Tokin himself moves towards a villip and beckons Numi to approach with him.
"Shaper, this villip has a special partner, yes?"
Numi nods. "It is a villip shaped to allow for life-size conveying."
"Good. Take its partner outside, to the following. I have a message for the faithful."
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2019 2:18:09 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
Numi carries the villip carefully to the grashal outside. The Redeemer had set back down to the ground without difficulty, even within the thin crevasse - Dromin really is a fantastic pilot. The fleshy sack in her palms has a multitude of tendrils and the ridge where the berry inverts - a stoma - is abnormally large on this specimen. She can also see the deeper wrinkles in its skin, belying its ability to present a larger figure than its brethren. The following had gathered and were looking upon the Redeemer in awe as Numi arrives - the promises of Tokin were kept, and the Yuuzhan Vong could retake the stars once more. Numi feels almost giddy with religious zealotry; the Chosen Race were once again blessed by the Yun'O, ready to spread the Truth to the inhabitants of this galaxy once again.
The following isn't large. Some twenty Yuuzhan Vong of various castes are gathered by the grashal. Orik stands a full head above other warriors, so he is easy to spot. She recognises some of her colleagues from her own caste. Where once Numi was looked upon in distain for wanting to continue her shaping in the void, she is now part of a triumvirate that heralds a new age for her society.Tokin isn't the only one to have ambition,the thought meteors through her mind and she smiles at its unannounced presence. It is her own truth; she will be Master Shaper one day, and she will caste aside the prohibitions on invention and innovation. Yun-Yuuzhan provided them with intelligence, and it is heresy not to make use of it.
"Fellow believers in the True Way, gather closer!" she bellows. Orik moves first, and the rest follow. She recognises some of the priest caste and intendant caste. Word of Tokin's success would travel far and wide, it seems. Another smile.
Once the gathering are close enough to hear the message she places the villip on the ground. With a flourish of drama - she knows that showmanship sometimes plays its part - she gently strokes the ridge on the fleshy berry before her and then steps back. A few seconds of silence follow before the villip begins to invert from that stoma, however this villip continues to invert and grow where another would normally stop. It grows to the height of an adult male, and then begins to mould to a shape - a very recognisable shape. Tokin stands before them; the villip is accurate in every detail and shows every miniscule facial expression.
Tokin holds his hands out in greeting.It is odd, she thinks.how easily he has slipped into religious commander of us all.
But she would call herself a fool if this isn't what she had expected would happen. It was Tokin's brainchild, after all.
Orik steps forward and kneels. Five warriors follow his lead and kneel behind him. Numi notes some of the following copy, but some don't. The priest caste specifically remain standing. She inclines her own head in reverence, but does not bow.He isn't Most Holy yet.
"You are all here because you believe that the Remnant is wrong; wrong about so many things. We are imprisoned here to rot, our dear Gods can no longer be served out in the stars and our glorious Yun-Yammka is threatened by a new cult thriving in this despicable peace enforced upon us." Tokin places his right hand in his left and drops them down, taking a pose that one would consider wise or knowing.An expert at deceiving, Numi apprises.
"The Yun'O do not want this for us. Our dedicated and blessed Shaper, Numi of domain Dim, has shaped the creature before you from nothing. Without the aid of a shipwomb, without the normal resources that would be required. Against all odds, she has succeeded. The Yorik-stronha is ready to take to the stars and carry us once again to the worlds of the infidels of this galaxy. Had the Gods not wanted this, it would not be so. The very fact we have been successful proves that we are right."
Another pause. Tokin closes his eyes, mutters something inaudible, and then continues to address the crowd. "We leave immediately. I will command the maiden flight, and to thank the Gods for their favour we will return with sacrifices from this galaxy. With them we will cement our rightful place as spearheads of the True Way and rid the Yuuzhan Vong of the Remnant malady that has plagued us for so long. I am in need of assistance, and I thank those who have given their service to Orik, Avatar of Yun-Yammka. Follow him to your redemption. The Redeemer awaits."
The Seer holds out his hands once more. "Come to me, my children. We set flight for glory!"
She villip sucks the image back into itself and that is that. Orik steps forward and trusts a fist into the air. "Glory to the Most Holy, Tokin of domain Herr! Those who will share in this bounty follow me."
The warrior strides towards the crevasse. The five warriors who knelt with him, one consul from the intendant caste and one priest from the priest caste all head for the oqa membrane and salvation. Numi follows in silence, leaving the rest behind.
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2019 4:04:32 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
Tokin sees no further need for fanfare. Once the oqa membrane is sealed and his following are on board, he commands Dromin to take the Redeemer into the void of space. The pilot does, expertly so. It is one thing to be able to lift the creature up from its prison on Zonama Sekot, but now they would find out if the Yorik-stronha was actually void-worthy. He would not have expected the Gods to allow them to lift off at all if they were just going to fail as soon as they hit vacuum.
Propulsion works better for the Chosen Race than it does for the local inhabitants of this galaxy. Instead of 'thrusting' their way out of a planet's influence, the Yuuzhan Vong's perfectly-shaped dovin basals 'pull' or 'push' the vessel to a specific point in space, as they can identify gravitc influences and can position themselves in reference to those influences appropriately. In effect, the Redeemer was using its dovin basals to 'push' against Zonama Sekot.
A slight shaking of the vessel occurred when breaching atmosphere, and some creaking really got Tokin concerned about the integrity of the yorik coral shell, however there was no incident, no explosions and no death.
The Redeemer truly was void-borne, now.
Last Edit: Apr 22, 2019 11:05:57 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
The following eagerly awaits the return of the Most Holy, Seer Tokin. Now that the Redeemer has been seen taking flight and leaving the prison that has been Zonama Sekot, the local prefect has shown great interest in facilitating the praise of the Seer and openly announces that they conspired together. Qualloch simply awaits the return of the Redeemer and its precious cargo to organise a mass sacrifice, cementing his own power in the new order that would undoubtedly unfold.
Last Edit: Apr 27, 2019 9:04:47 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
News of the Redeemer's launch has had unforeseen affects on the psyche of some of the Yuuzhan Vong who remain on Zonama Sekot. It is most keenly felt amongst the shaper caste. Some amongst them now form, for the want of a better description, project groups. They begin shaping different biots, beginning to sow newly-prepared fields for special polyps that would eventually mature and produce amphistaffs of sufficient length to partner with Yuuzhan Vong warriors.
The winds of change are blowing. It is currently just a breeze; a whisper from the Yun'O promising that glory is coming. Some decide to accept this coming change with vigour, as it is what they have been waiting for since they were marooned on Zonama Sekot. Others find themselves worrying about the Seer and his seemingly-rogue mission.
Qualloch waits with severe nervousness. He is a Prefect, part of the Intendant Caste; he is used to power plays, but not used to putting himself into danger without sufficient reward. He wonders whether he regrets agreeing to help Seer Tokin, who took off with the cobbled-together Yorik-stronha and hasn't been seen since. Others will know he pledged his allegiance. The chamber wasn't exactly deserted when the Seer proposed his plan; though that had been Qualloch's own doing. He silently wishes he had allowed Tokin to talk to him in private, as the Seer originally intended.
That cannot be helped now. He sends a silent prayer to the Yun'O to allow Tokin's safe return. Though he is loathe to admit it as the current restrictions have allowed him a position of power, he finds himself looking forward to a resurgent Yuuzhan Vong force in the galaxy. He considers whether he should have something sacrificed to ensure Tokin's victory...
It is as if Zonama Sekot knows that the destiny of the Chosen Race is about to change direction. It is a sentient planet, after all. The biots that are now being shaped in preparation for Seer Tokin's triumphant return seem to grow and mature easier than others. Amphistaff polyps are ripe within a few weeks, and villip berries are equally as ferocious in their growth.
The return is as Qualloch expected. As soon as the Redeemer is seen gliding through a halo of clouds, there is a ever-growing crowd awaiting its arrival. The Prefect has been busy preparing a clearing for a sacrifice, as instructed. Most Holy had been gone so long that Qualloch had been beginning to doubt whether he would return, but he casts his eyes upwards and upon his salvation. He tucks away a mental note to decide a suitable punishment for believing the Yun'O would have them fail.
Qualloch gently strokes the berry on his shoulder. It bubbles briefly before inverting, its morphing skin forming the face of one of the Remnant officials closer to the heads of government currently controlling - no, suffocating - the Chosen Race on Zekot. He hisses audibly, no longer afraid of expressing his displeasure at dealing with cowards. He almost shudders knowing that he was almost one of them. Almost. He owes everything to Tokin Herr.
"The upstart returns," he grunts. "Your masters will want to see this."
He has to pretend that he still believes in the Remnant. The leadership needs to congregate at the sacrificial pit he has organised. A joint sacrifice of infidels that Tokin will deliver, plus the heathen Yuuzhan Vong at the helm of the Remnant, will bring a rapturous new age to the Chosen Race. Qualloch will be rewarded for playing one of the most important parts.
Last Edit: Jul 15, 2020 13:21:06 GMT -8 by Ayeniner
A crowd of what Qualloch would call supplicants are gathered around a large, barren field. The Redeemer sets itself down gingerly and though Qualloch was no expert in void biots, he has the distinct feeling that it is in pain. There are scorch marks on its paling coral skin - it had certainly seen battle. The Prefect didn't know whether that is a good omen or bad, but he has a funny feeling in his stomach. The feeling of history being made.
Many Yuuzhan Vong surround the comet-shaped creature. Some bow in religious fervor, awaiting their savior Tokin Herr. Others watch stiffly and with clear grimaces betraying their true thoughts. They would come around. That, or they would be left behind.
Qualloch notices a lower member of the intendant caste leading a convoy of taller, more mutilated Yuuzhan Vong. A formidable warrior, a cloaked and ever-smiling priest, the head Prefect of Zekot and a Master Shaper. Considered leaders, and rule as a joint council. Qualloch spits as he eyes them taking their place at the front of the crowd. Despite not agreeing with Tokin's vision, they could not afford to be absent at such an occasion. That would be their downfall.
An sphincter-like portal opens and out marches the immediately recognisable Orik Kanor, proclaimed Avatar of Yun-Yammka. Qualloch hadn't put much trust in that at first, but seeing him with his marked vonduun armour, ferocious amphistaff coiled around his waste, makes him think again. The talented Shaper Numi Dim is close on his heels. Her headdress is alert and upright with pride in their victory, for Qualloch now knows that the Redeemer returns with the required sacrifices. That much is clear from the very body language of Orik and Numi.
A shaper of innate skill, Qualloch imagines that she will occupy a high position in the new order that is to come.
Next comes the pilot. Dromin Rag was found tending to creatures shaped to deal with Yuuzhan Vong waste. A talented pilot by any measure, he is also fiercely loyal to the Yun'O and, by extension, Tokin Herr for the chance to fly again. Qualloch admires the beetle-like creature he has grafted to the roof of his mouth, his upper teeth now a set of articulated, chitinous legs that chitter.
The trio - Qualloch considers them saviours, one and all - are followed by what must be thirty or so infidels. They are more or less the same species, it seems. Short, with more hair than the ubiquitous human and with prehensile tails. They look frightened; in their eyes is the terror of anticipation.
They know who we are,he thinks.Their species must have suffered from our original invasion. The Gods will enjoy this sacrifice.
An immature warrior named Dwymek heads up the rear of the procession, amphistaff rigid and in his hands. The creatures are lined up before a baying Yuuzhan Vong crowd. Their fear is palpable, and draws a smile to Qualloch's face.
Finally, choreographed to perfection, Tokin Herr exits the biot.