The Beast War

Chapter 1: Prelude to a Cataclysm

He was laid back comfortably in his chair with his fingers strumming the edge of an armrest, before his chair was a large holographic display which could be made to show whatever he wanted to look at. Mayaan Somtaaw, captain of the Kuun-Lan, was looking at a list of ship statistical reports when a beep and a flashing icon from the holographic display attracted his attention; a communiqué from one of the ships. Another regular report from one of the Workers, he thought. Lazily, Mayaan reached over and pressed the flashing icon to open communications with the Worker. A window opened up in the display and he could see the male pilot of the Worker looking right at him.

"Cargo secured." was the message of the day.

With a hint of agitation, Mayaan replied: "All right, clear away." and cut the channel off.

His agitation faded quickly, for he remembered that he specifically ordered the Workers to report in every time they dropped off a supply of Resource Units (RUs). There was another beep and the same flashing icon from his display, but this time he opened the channel audio-only. It was a report from the leader of the Recon squadron patrolling the area.

"Sector 12 empty, moving on."

He didn't bother to reply to this and simply cut the channel off; the Recon pilot expected him to do this as there was nothing really important to say.

Mayaan's agitation came back again but it had nothing to do with the Recon pilot. He assumed it had more to do with what had been on his mind all day, the fact that his Kiith was one of the lesser of the Daiamid. He remembered the way the members of his Kiith are not usually taken seriously and never credited even when credit is due. For Kiith Somtaaw in actual reality is a small mining Kiith that once reigned as one of the greatest Kiithid but waned and became almost non-existent after the Burning of Kharak. With a total population of close to only 30,000, Kiith Somtaaw is one of the smaller Kiith with little political power amongst the Kiith council and so often have to fend for themselves and acquire things through their own means. He remembered the fight Kiith Somtaaw had to go through just to be able to have its own self-sufficient fleet.

The Kuun-Lan was the second of the two Somtaaw-designed Explorer-class Command Ships, the first being its sister ship Fal-Corum. After a heated debate in the Daiamid with Kiith Nabaal almost 8 years ago, Somtaaw managed to obtain 6 months with the Mothership's construction facilities in order to build the two colossal ships. For a lonely and un-influential Kiith like Somtaaw this was quite a feat and after the construction of both the Kuun-Lan and Fal-Corum, Somtaaw engineers were able to construct one final ship: a small frigate-class science vessel called the Clee-San. These 3 vessels became the pride of all Somtaaw ships.

For the past 8 years since its construction, Mayaan has been captain of the Kuun-Lan. He is a healthy middle-aged male Hiigaran with short brown hair and equally brown eyes with a height of around 6 feet. His 8 years of command has been spent mining asteroids and fending off pirate attacks from time to time. Not much to those from outside, but Mayaan was proud of his Somtaaw heritage; independent from the other Kiith even though he disagreed with how his Kiith was generally treated. Right now the Kuun-Lan was orbiting the southern hemisphere of a dead planet without atmosphere, mining the asteroids found in its orbit.

Incorporating Hiigaran, Taiidan, and even Bentusi technology, the Kuun-Lan is a completely modular ship. It is comprised of 2 decks: the main and lower decks. The main deck is mostly a rectangular tube that runs from one end of the ship to the other, almost like the ship's "spine". At the aft section of this tube are the ship's bulky main fusion engines. On the "spine" itself rests the ship's ore canister held in place by 6 support couplings, 3 on either side that go halfway up the canister.

On the end of the ship opposite of the engines is the main and most important part of the ship, its command section. The command section bulks around the spine-like tube of the main deck, and then protudes downward for a kilometer or two. It houses all of the major ship systems including the bridge (visible on the very front of the ship), tactical room, life support systems, ship sensors, hyperdrive module, the complex ship computer systems, two Worker docking ports, and even a single small fighter bay on the left side.

The lower decks of the Kuun-Lan are completely detachable from the main deck and comprises of (front to aft) the main hangar bay, the ship's research module (located close to the hangar bay but not visible from the outside), the main storage bays for RUs with 2 Worker docking ports on either side, and finally the auxiliary fusion engines which rest right underneath the main engines. Although mainly a mining ship, Somtaaw Kiith-sa wanted the Kuun-Lan and Fal-Corum to be ready for any kind of situation.

Mayaan's thoughts were interrupted as there was a beep and another flashing icon on the holographic display. However, this icon flashed an incoming message on a Hiigaran emergency channel, audio-only. Mayaan pressed the flashing icon to receive the message, and what he heard made him and all of the bridge crew stop moving.

"This is Kiith Nabaal carrier Veer-Rak to any Hiigaran ships in range. Imperialist Taiidani forces are attacking. They are attempting to break through and raid Hiigara. We cannot hold them. Requiring immediate assistance. Repeat, this is Kiith Nabaal carrier--"

The message cut off but Mayaan didn't need to hear it again to fully understand what he had just heard. He saw everyone on the bridge looking at him, waiting for him to issue out orders they knew he would inevitably give. The captain pressed an icon on his display to open communication with all ships.

"This is Somtaaw Fleet Command to all ships. Prepare for emergency hyperspace. Set course for the Homeworld."

Mayaan looked at his bridge crew and turned off the holographic display.

"All right, make sure all ship stations are prepared for immediate hyperspace entry. Somebody get Kiiral and her tactical team notified of the situation, I want her and her team ready before we reach Hiigara."

Once all Workers and Recon flights docked safely inside the hangar bay of the Kuun-Lan, the order was sent to engage hyperspace. The ship's hyperdrive module engaged the quantum wavefront and a bluish-purple box of infinite space-time filled the viewscreeen of the bridge; a gate of sorts that approached and soon engulfed the Kuun-Lan, sending it hurtling into the mystical depths of hyperspace.

With the course set for Hiigara, the crew members of the Kuun-Lan readied themselves for battle. They were ready and willing to fight hard to keep the Homeworld that took millions of lives and an exodus from Kharak to reclaim.