Fifteen

The Grox's complete takeover of Hatrae was totally successfull. All of the Eyenroh unlucky enough to be inhabitants of the jungle world were immedietly tasked to slave labor, making all of the food for the Groxian Army that had implemented Hatrae as their base. The Grox had begun a plan of moving all of the animal wildlife of the planet into dropships, that would be sent to Dr. Enasnii himself for his insane experiments.

All of this wouldn't have been a problem if Veara wasn't a picky eater. She enjoyed eating meat, and yet absolutly EVERY SINGLE DELICIOUS CREATURE was being taken away!

She sighed, and turned towards the newest battlecruiser of the Grox. Named the Grox Astunder, it was pretty much a Groxian version of the Blizzanka's Grand Astunder model.

It was a perfect match of the Blizzanka's advanced technology, but it appeared that the Blizzanka's had about 15 of these in their central cluster of stars. But if this machine was finished soon, it might be used on a date that would leave the Blizzanka's totally powerless...

XXX

Dr. Enasnii's labroratory was located on the Grox homeworld of Groxia, and was one of the most prominent biuldings of the capital (apart from the Arena, of course). The amount of workers that he had hired for his experiments was about 500, but the fact that he didn't have anything to test anything on slowed his research to a stop.

So he was taking a nap when he was awoken by a Grox in a white lab coat.

"Sir? We seem to have been given a brand new shipment of test subjects. Given to us by the General Veara herself. There is also Lord Krik to see you as well."

Enasnii sprinted down the hall, screeching gleefully "Test subjects? Really? Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Something to do at long last..."

When he reached the shipment of the new animals, he ordered a different scientist to allow one of the animals to be let out of its cage (on a leash, of course).

The creature was just about the wierdest thing ever. The scientists called it the 'Wasserpflanzchen,' and it pretty much looked like a plant with eyes.

Dr. Enasnii sniffed. "It-it's beutiful!"

"Indeed it is, my good doctor." Lord Krik stepped out of the darkness from behind Enasnii. "And with your support, we can help turn all of the twisted animals of Spode into true servants of the Grox."

Dr. Enasnii didn't take his eyes away from the animal. "I am not interested in your politics..."

"Ah, but I can help you. If you swear fealty to me, all species outside the Grox, sentient or no, can be taken here for your studying."

"The Offensive General is wanting everything she sends back, you know."

"I am not allied with General Veara. It appears as if she is taking her servitude to the Emperor more to her service to the Grox. This is unacceptable..."

"So what? You are not actually thinking of civil war, are you?" The Doctor turned to the Lord and bellowed angrily "You are going to leave this lab NOW, before I have you arrested for heresy!"

Krik grimaced, but made a quick bow, saying "As you wish."

XXX

The Blizzanka Council of 100 consisted of the many Blizzanka Governers that each controlled one of the Blizzanka's clusters of planets that were spread all over the galaxy. They were only outranked by the Blizzanka King himself, and the fact that the brutally murdered bodies of the King and Queen had secceeded in creating... tension.

There were four heirs, princes Kharl and Vulani, and princesses Alazanda and Culaini.

It was thus the responsibility of the Council of 100 to vote for the next King or Queen. The votes seemed to be leaning in favor towards Kharl and Vulani, because Blizzanka's usually preffered having a King than a Queen, wanting more strong leaders than compassionate ones.

Unfortunatly, neither Kharl nor Vulani held any interest to the Grox at all, but Princess Alazanda. But Commander Zrog was quite astounded when he heard what Alazanda's own plan was during their meeting.

"I know that you Grox likely played a part in my parents assassination," said the princess carefully. As Zrog began to straighten in alarm, she grinned wryly. "Don't worry, they were never really adequate monarchs anyway. And I have also geussed why you have come to speak to me."

Zrog cleared his throat politly. "Ah, well, as a neihboring Empire, we Grox just wanted to make sure that the Blizzanka's were doing alright. And to achieve that we thought it might be beneficial to lend support to you, of course."

"That is sweet. But I think that support should be given to Kharl. He is just a figurehead after all."

The Grox's eyes widened in surprise. "Ohh... I see. Then it shall be done as you suggest. But let me warn you princess... the date of your Blood Moon will be when we strike."

Now it was Alazanda's turn to be surprised. "Blood Moon? You wouldn't dare. But it is a good plan. I will see you then, of course."

"Of course."

XXX

Tigracc was also speaking to one of the heirs, this one being Vulani. "So, I was going to try to offer admittance into the Galactic Alliance to your father, but the unfortunate accident happened to occur, and there is currently no leader... but I thought that you might take the Alliance's interests to heart."

Vulani nodded. "Indeed. There might be a problem securing the throne, but I am confident Kharl is too dimwitted to do anything successfull. Thank you for stopping by, and I will certainly take your offer into consideration."

Tigracc nodded and left the room, absorbed in his thoughts. Zarkhator was up to something, and crushing an empire through assassination and trickery was not his way. But if he wasn't in charge of these events, what was he doing?

XXX

Zarkhator woke up sitting chained to chair, facing the one of the oddest creatures he had ever seen. He was orange, winged, slightly bird like but humanoid, but most importantly had brightly glowing red eyes.

The Grox Emperor stared blankly at the alien, who was sitting at a desk very calmly, before sputtering "Wh-What are you?"

"I am a member of the New Tharian breed of alien," said the orange person emotionlessly.

Zarkhator paled. The Grox absolutly hated New Tharian Empire. It was the only Empire that actually neared the Grox in strength, and many crusades into the Groxian Empire had been led by Tharians.

So if the New Tharians had captured him, he was as good as dead.

But the New Tharian noticed Zarkhator's reaction and sighed. "Do not worry. You are not in the clutches of another Empire, but in something far worse. You have been captured by none other than the Cult of Edo!"

Zarkhator just stared blankly.

The Tharian seemed to take this as an insult, an snarled "The Cult has been around for millenia!We serve the God of Death, and shall corrupt the galaxy in his holy name, and we will be the first of his servents to be rewarded!" He grinned viciously. "But enough talk. Why do you have on your hand a magic tattoo that simply pulses with the dark power?

Zarkhator winced as the pain in his hand was reminded to him. "I don't know, I had it after a dream telling me to come here. Now who's this God of Death you keep talking about?"

The Tharian now seemed truly surprised. "You had a vision... who was in it?"

"I don't know, but he said he was death."

"Edo spoke to you! What did he say?"

"He said find Atakar."

"Ooooh... Of course. Guards! Unchain the prisoner!"

Two well armored Tharian guards with energy blades stepped into the room. They did as they were told, and waited obediantly, each holding Zarkhator by a shoulder.

The Tharian at the desk said crisply "Take him to the tombs. And bring in his friend, I want to interrogate him next."

Zarkhator was herded out of the room, where he passed Enkyarg, who was being manhanded just like the Emperor.

As he was pushed through the long hallway, Zarkhator began to take notice of his surroundings. They seemed to be underground, and the dirt tunnel was illuminated by old lights. There were more of those creatures that had attacked him hanging around, but also a random assortment of aliens as well. Most wore black cloaks, but all looked dangerous.

Finally he was taken to a big stone gate, that swung open as if waiting for him. The guards exchanged looks, as if that was unexpected, but then shoved Zarkhator inside.

He tumbled through, and the gates clanged shut behind him. He continued walking, and noticed that the only lighting in this area were some torches.

This hallway was a lot mre spacious, and filled with statues of various warriors. There was writing on some of them, but most were in languages he couldn't understand, so he ignored them.

When he finally reached the end, he was facing a statue of a massive reptilian humaniod similar to an Iskaha but bigger in stature. He turned to the left, believing he had found nothing, when he saw the statue to the left.

This one seemed to be of the same species as the ne next t it, but that was not what held his attention. What held his attention was that the words on the figures pedestal were glowing.

Zarkhator examined them, but once again could not read the language. And then the words changed to Grox script.

Now feeling really nervous, he read the words.

This is the grave of the Hiss Lord Atakar.

Conqueror of the Scorpnak Empire and later the galaxy, he shall be remembered always.

Zarkhator sighed. All that for nothing. But then the words changed again...

TAKE THE STONE FROM THE STATUE.

Zarkhator frowned. And he took the stone (that was also glowing from the center of the statues chest.

And then the impossible happened.