DR: Hello everyone who noticed this! I've had some VERY good news last friday: I passed my three-month probation at my new job! I now have proper employment till Christmas!
My beta for RT and BoB (which will be updated next week), reminded me about this little one-shot (and it's twin). So to celebrate my gaining long term employment, I've decided to post this now!
Quick note: As the title suggests, this takes place during "Reuniting the Tribes" Zaion wrote the bluk of this, I just tweaked one or two points. This explains Kane's past in a big way, so settle down and let him tell his tale of woe and (shudder) time travel...
Interlude in the Air
Missing scene from Chapter 14, Reuniting the Tribes
Mnementh hummed to himself as he flew away from the Blitz base. Wings spread wide he glided along, enjoying the feel of the air moving across his wings and skin.
Within the cockpit though, Christian was not as content. Leaving his zoid to fly, he turned his seat around to look back at Richter.
Richter was sat there, still mulling over everything he had heard from Sheba. He knew that she had been giving them the abridged version of events, but even that much filled in so much more…
Feeling eyes on him, he looked up to see Christian glaring at him, arms folded across his chest. The corners of his mouth were turned down, and his brow was furrowed.
"You didn't tell me everything Richter."
Richter sighed. "I had hoped I wouldn't have too."
"How do you expect me to trust you when you continue to withhold information that may be vital to the safety of this world and its people?" Christian had never liked being lied to or deceived, but not being told the full story was worse. "Just how much of what you told me was true, and what was false to make it 'easier to believe'?" Richter could hear the quotation marks in Christian's voice.
"Christian, I didn't lie. Technically, I told you the truth."
"Just not the whole truth." Christian's voice was still firm.
Auri had once told Richter about Christian's temper and drive. If he wanted something it was almost impossible to put him off. And he had lived long enough to hone that 'leader' tone of voice to a razor fine edge.
"Okay, I'll tell you the whole truth…" Richter looked into Christian's crystal blue eyes. "But once you learn the truth, you can't unlearn it. You may never sleep well ever again. I don't."
"I'll take that risk." Christian's face and voice had not altered one inch.
Taking a deep breath, Kane set about telling him everything.
"I was born on June tenth, twenty-nine seventy-six AD." Richter paused momentarily, watching the look of shock and confusion that pushed past Christian's sternness for an instant.
"And in my time, the forces of Earth encountered the Colonial fleet around the planet Zi in the year twenty-five eighteen. The arrival of the Colonial fleet now indicates that what I suspected during our journey through space to reach this world was the truth. That we fell through a rip in space-time and landed about five hundred years in the past."
Richter paused again, his breathing seeming faintly choked.
"It's… not like it was the first time I had travelled into the past. But it was the first time it had happened to me that I was not intentionally taking the risk."
Richter paused again, visibly shivering this time, a loss of composure that Christian could never remember seeing from him, even during the first rise of the Deathsaurer immediately after the colonists arrived.
"So you aren't from our time. That means that you must have had a pretty damn good reason for travelling back in time." A slight shudder passed through his frame at the thought. Time travel, in Christian's opinion, was nothing but trouble.
"Yes," Richter replied after visibly drawing himself back together, "Yes I did. Or rather, I should say that we did. Auri, Tensa, and myself; the last survivors of Kubere's Ultima Generator Project. The development of the ultimate weapon for fighting the Cylon armada. We were…not normal, even for Generators. And Kubere is not my race, as I lead you to believe before. Kubere is the ruling body of humanity, and had been for nearly a millennium.
"It all started during the Cylon War. Despite the leaps and bounds that humanity had made technologically, we still could not compete with the Cylon fleets on anywhere near an even footing. Most of the Generators that had been developed by Kubere scientists, both Generator Soldiers and non-human Generators, were incapable of space travel, and thus were useful only for surface combat and for destroying ships from the inside. So Kubere began work on a new human Generator, one that could surpass the power of even the Generator Battleships, and was capable of independent space-flight without paired generation." Christian's eyebrow rose, but decided not to inquire about those just yet. He could see just how much this was hurting Kane. In the back of his mind, he could feel Mnementh was also listening in. The old zoid had insatiable curiosity. He realized from Richter's pained glance and smile at the console that he was aware of this as well, and seemed, if not pleased, at least content that he was listening as well. Christian had noticed in the time since he had become reacquainted with Richter that the presence of the more sentient zoids appeared to calm him.
"The end result of this project was the five Kane embryos. Myself, Auri, Tensa, Amaress, and Sardan. Each of us was born from a unique, genetically distinct modified embryo, with the advanced Ultima Protocols embedded within our genes. While all five of us survived early training, and began developing very advanced Generator capabilities at immensely young ages, only three of us survived to adulthood. Amaress was killed when a Kubere research station was destroyed by a Cylon assault force." Kane paused, audibly taking a deep breath.
"That…was not an easy time for me and my 'siblings.' I especially found it hard to control my abilities, and was forced to spend a number of months in isolation on a remote planet, until I was able to finally, with the aid of my remaining 'siblings', gather my thoughts and emotions and control myself. Needless to say, I applied myself even more into my training from that point on, determined to avenge my 'sister's' death.
"I unfortunately was not able to truly determine what was important in life, even after that incident, until AFTER I nearly died defending an entire planet from a Cylon invasion force. However, while I nearly died, I was merely the decoy in the end so that Sardan could annihilate a cluster of Base Stars that were critical to the Cylon formation, allowing the rest of our forces to punch through their line and flank them. Sardan however, did not survive the effort. He… overtaxed his Generator core, and died shredding the final Base Star to pieces."
At this point Richter stopped speaking and curled up into a ball, shuddering, his teeth and hands clenched. When he finally regained an upright posture, his face was set in a determined scowl, his teeth clenched tightly, and his eyes almost glowing faintly inside Mnementh's cockpit.
"It was then while floating in space that I picked up an ancient radio transmission from Earth; from OLD Earth, back before Kubere united the human race after World War III." THAT reference drove the stern look from Christian's face.
"It was from three teenage early type Generators named Koji, Ryo, and Gawl. The three of them detailed their plan to travel back in time and prevent the Inclut cells that are the basis of Generators from being discovered, and thus prevent Kubere from orchestrating World War III and taking over the world in its aftermath. They also detailed how they had tried their plan…and failed." Kane had to pause once more, fighting down the bile that rose in his throat. He hated having to do this, relating his timeline's tale of woe. He didn't want to inflict this knowledge on anyone, especially Christian. The man was a warrior, a leader, and he was good at both since he was pragmatic, realistic, and suspicious. But he was also an idealist. He had a vision of a peaceful world, one were men could live side by side if not in harmony, at least in acceptance. A world where his talent for warfare was not needed.
"I… had been indoctrinated by Kubere during my upbringing. Receiving a message from the past, one revealing to me a truth I was ashamed I had never realized, was a shock to my system. When I was finally recovered from the wreckage of the Cylon battle fleet by Tensa and Auri, I was determined to find a way to alter the past, to prevent the disastrous slaughter of the third world war, and of the rise of Kubere to power, an organization which I had finally realized was corrupted to its core.
"It took us three years and uncounted number of conflicts with other Generators before Auri, Tensa, myself, and four members of the underground Gawlian Resistance managed to locate Kubere's temporal distortion device and gain access to it. Setting it to destroy itself after we leapt, the seven of us took the leap of faith and jumped back nearly one thousand years. And in the end, we were able to work with Koji, Ryo, and Gawl and defeat Auge, the foetal form of Kubere." Kane now sighed in resignation.
"However, we were not able to do so before the Kubere of the future managed to send a number of modified carriers back, carrying Generators that I suspected were more advanced than even us. And while thankfully for us those ships were sent off into the depths of space, perhaps to prepare for combat against the Cylons, or as a safeguard in case Auge failed, it was a bittersweet victory. Our traitorous ally Wave Stinger slew Tensa and betrayed us to Auge, and I…I killed him with my bare hands when we finally caught him. I couldn't even claim that my Generator nature was in the way. I was entirely human when I did that."
Christian nodded. He could understand Kane's anger. If someone had murdered Susan… he didn't know what he'd do, only that the only thing that could have stopped him would have been death.
"Its…not easy being immortal, not for one who has witnessed and performed the horrors that Auri and myself have. I have strived to remain as human as possible since the day we defeated Auge, and have managed to keep the power of my Generator Core under control for most of this time. I…have a respect and thankfulness towards Van and Raven that goes beyond that of any other being on this planet. Auri and I were…prepared…to do whatever was necessary to destroy the Deathsaurer should they have fallen, and that anything would have required us to Generate. And believe me, Generating is not pleasant, and neither is recovering from transforming into a form that could scare a Gojulas.
"The, ship that crashed, most likely carries Generators of a power level beyond that of even my considerable power, almost certainly surpassing my current power level, because I have…bonded fully with an organoid."
Richter paused in his retelling, noting the sudden look of shock on Christian's face. Then, slowly drawing his knife, he slit the center of his shirt, pulling it apart and revealing the gold-rimmed diamond set in the middle of his chest, the center a mixture of baleful blue and red, shifting slowly under the lights within Mnementh's cockpit.
"When I told you that Auri and I aren't human, and that we came to Earth from another world, one far away, I was not lying. I was born a Generator, not transformed into one, and now I have drifted even farther from human. My first organoid partner was badly damaged defending me and Auri from a massive bandit troupe. The only way to save his life was to bond him to a zoid, but all of the zoids around us had been destroyed by his rage, including the Guysack I had been piloting. So…I took a gamble, and had him bond with my Generator Core." Richter laughed, smiling ruefully.
"Needless to say I was unconscious for six months as my body adapted to the changed state. But when I recovered, I set out to make preparations to defend this world. But now, time has run out, and I must begin awakening those projects which I have left sleeping for centuries, those zoids that have lain asleep within my hidden fortress, waiting for the day when they would be called upon to defend this planet. You have witnessed three of them already, my aerial zoids. Soon the rest shall be awakened."
"So, in other words, Richter, you are about to awaken another army?" Christian knew about the vast amount of hardware Ultima Industies held, in the form of their security forces.
"No, not an army. I am merely awakening the catalysts around which the army shall ultimately form. It is hard to explain, but I can sometimes see clearly the paths of fate, and all I can see now is that the Blitz Team, or rather their children, are going to be important to the survival of this planet many times to come."
"All of this does not explain why you were so shocked and stiff when Sheba mentioned the Cylons."
Richter sighed, debating how to break the bad news.
"While most of our history as to how the war with the Cylons began was edited or downright falsified, what we do know for certain is the dates which the Colonials and Cylons reached Zi. We have six months at maximum before the massed Cylon armada, which was chasing down the Colonials, arrives. Maybe less, if the ripples that I have caused in this timeline have spread far enough to reach the Cylons."
"In short, we have less than a year until what could be the end of the world. So I would appreciate your support in finding pilots capable of harnessing the power of one of my aerial BLOX zoids, since they are the only zoids capable of leaving the atmosphere to aid the Colonial Fleet." Richter grinned momentarily.
"Of course, Mnementh won't have to bother to leave the atmosphere. He can fire his weapons from the upper atmosphere and still hit the massive Base Stars. It is not like they actually move very fast when in close orbit."
Despite the tenseness that he felt at these revelations Christian Masters could not help but grin grimly back at Richter Kane, realizing finally just why the man had concealed his past. As he well knew it was hard enough living around people when one was immortal. It must have been doubly so for one who was trying his hardest to be as human as possible, but knew that he could never truly be so. For the first time, Christian Masters began to truly understand Richter Kane.
DR: And there we are. Quite a bit to take in huh? When this landed in my inbox, my first reaction was 'Bloody hell...' with a fair dose of 'WTF?' Hope this explains many things to you all (though it will likely raise even more questions...)