Prologue: What Principles justify Rebellion?
The Terror of Dunesphere, Major General Terror, K’ain son of K’ain, three names for the same K’iorn, who was heir of three different K’iorn tribes that claimed rulership over the WarCouncil of S’vana. Instead of leading his people, Terror had served alongside the EEF, and the Earthers. He had gained the respect of the dead Colony General Malthus, by saving him during a grand coup by the Tyrant Enric Von Glomhammer.
Terror currently stood on the balcony of his EEF quarters in Chooru. In the bed behind him lay Celyse, his wife, and an Uthvelor. She was deeply asleep, and Terror couldn’t help but envy her. Since she had recovered the hand of her son Zar’cos, she had seemed calmer. The news of the time traveling adventures of their children had given Celyse a sense of peace.
For Terror it had awoken a great fear, a deep fear he couldn’t place. They had heard of the adventures of their children Ar’tur and Ara’nia in freeing the Uth of Beroterask in the past from the Greyfalcon slavery on the prison dimension of Les’tas’tral. It had brought him pride, but fear as well. His son and daughter were many centuries older than he, and not having met them as adults, he felt a deep worry for them.
The worry had shown true when their rogue son Zar’cos fell to Warmonger worship and Celyse had to put him down herself. But she had not granted the boy final death. She had kept his hand, held his life to it, and bound it so it would not decay. The gristly trophy lay on their bedside table. A gnawing reminder to Terror of his failure to protect their children when Volphis had come for them.
How could he have planned for his own son from the future to steal his children and his own younger self? What book on parenting prepared a parent for that? And it had stolen Terror’s pride. He had hidden away, and it had cost him during the space expansions. He had allowed less than reputable EEFers to defame the EEFs honor in his eyes. Making treaty with the Quall had made him sick to his stomach.
But as he enjoyed the cool night air, and the light of the moons of Refuge, Terror could not help but wonder where his son Volphis was right now.
And Terror heard an unfamiliar hearbeat behind him, and an erratic breathing, as he spun around Terror could hear the intruder say, “Ahh but Father you were just wondering where I was right?”
Terror stopped his massive shapeshifted claws inches from the face of a handsome K’iorn hero in the prime of their life. The face was so like his own…
“Father, I am Volphis,” said the young man, dressed in the living Khaz’gha wood armor of an honored Dra’koon, “Volphis Starfalcon, honored by the tribe of the highest K’iorn, with a crown showing the high king’s favor.”
Terror relaxed his hand, restoring it to normal, saying, “My son, you are younger than I last saw you. I hope that means I have a chance to fix our relationship.”
“Of course father, you do,” said Volphis with a smile, he pulled a crystalline magi cannon from a shadow cast by his own leaf cloak, and fired a beam that struck the sleeping Celyse.
Terror looked enraged, but Volphis lifted up a finger and said, “Calm down father, it was just set to stun. She will sleep and you and I can have a good talk uninterrupted.”
Terror said, “Whatever you were told by the Krato General Tharr was lies. Your mother and I are no threat to you or your siblings!”
“Are you really sure?” asked Volphis, “I would go so far as to say that by breaking the rules of the Uthvelor and the K’iorn and breeding my siblings and I, you forced a civil war and its been brewing since then.”
“A Civil War? I don’t understand?” asked Terror, “Do you mean the Colony General Election?”
Volphis smiled, “I mean way more than the Election my beloved father. I will show you soon enough. I wonder if you will be as proud of my accomplishments as my adopted father Tharr would be?”
“So why did you come here?” asked Terror creating claws and armor over his form, feeling the shift in the room.
“Father, you know where the Flying Fortress of Mar’un’ga resides. I know this, you know this. You also possess a form that is beloved by the Fortress’ Guardian Yohai Horosha,” said Volphis as he waved his cape and four barrels bounced out.
Terror cut the first barrel in half, then shattered the second, the third and forth ended up on his claws and he stood there trying to decide if he had to cut down his own son. Volphis smiled and pointed at the ends of the claws, where something soaked down from the barrels.
The nanites suspended in the fluid disabled Terror’s nervious systems, keeping his heart pumping and his lungs moving. But his muscles were trapped unable to move.
“Bravo father, the Terror of Dunesphere indeed. You must have terrified those Church of Oners, and they deserved it. But you have a more important role to play today,” said Volphis Starfalcon as he placed a hand on the brow of his father.
Shapeshifting Leyas swirled around Volphis and he reformed into and exact replica of his father.
Volphis smiled and said, "Father there are so many fun secrets in here. I see what you mean about me not liking you. Hah, well don’t worry I won’t hold a grudge.
It seems after all these years without gifts, I have a present right here in your own mind. A shadow cocoon artificed tarp filled with…the bodies of Anton Davies, and Enric Von Glomhammer. Why thank you father, I could not ask for a greater gift at this time of uncertaintly in the Colonies."
Volphis walked into the room, and came back with the bag, and some additional weapons and gear from Terror’s personal supply to complete the ensemble. Then he paused, and walked back to his sleeping mother, kissed her on the head, and then took the embalmed hand of his brother Zar’cos off the table.
Volphis looked back at Terror and said, “Father it seems Mother has a gift for me as well. A tool to twist the Uthvelor and Pelebor to my will as well. I guess I win. I will return, Father, once my army is complete. Then I will ask for your praise. I am sure right now you probably aren’t feeling generous.”