The Emerald Blades of Blood Blossom (multipart)

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The Emerald Blades of Blood Blossom (multipart)

Post by Ace » Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:10 am

This will be a slowly but surely added upon multipart story... now where to begin...

Moonlight beamed through the crystals in the chamber. Thousands of eggs were dimly lit by the amber light, all kept within side chambers and under the watchful gaze of the nurses. It was cold, and many of the newly hatched huddled together.

Moon Sorrow watched her newest sisters and approached the edge of the mass. She caressed the outmost with her soft hands and kept them warm. The still air had a scent of ozone, and the chamber violently shook. Her young sisters were clearly afraid, and the flashes of ultraviolet light reflected in the crystals that adorned the halls did nothing to ease their anguish.

Her soft plating meant that she could not play soothing sounds as well as a Warrior or Worker, and her wings were too small to create the exotic and romantic music often played by a Prince. She knew that this was not the first time that their Princess faced adversity, and this new enemy was no more dangerous than what they had faced before.

Moon Sorrow looked at her sisters, and began a tale.

* * *

The white chitin of Autumn Rain was painted with brilliant hues of blue and indigo from the rarest of plants. Geometric forms were cut into her delicate wings. Her six favored daughters, all Warriors, were crimson but decorated with the same paints as her. These were the Autumn Spears, reknowned for their ferocity and loyalty.

The consort of the Princess, Emerald Gleaming, though young was strong and utterly infatuated with his mate. Her beauty and wisdom earned his love and loyalty, and he also felt a great future ahead of them. Autumn Rain was one of the favored of the Queen, though her youngest Princess, and rumor held that she would be part of the vanguard of her race as they journeyed to new lands.

Before them was Blood Blossom the Thrice-Hatched, who was known for commanding military forces at the behest of the Queen. Forces that included those without mothers, and forces that conducted acts against many of the weaker Princesses. He was a vagabond who wandered from mate to mate, and rumor had it that he more than once forced himself upon a Princess that he weakened militarily. Yet apparently all this occured with the blessing of the Queen...

Blood Blossom kneeled before Autumn Rain, "Your beauty is as they say, your chitin glistens like Drifting Snow's. Your wisdom I hear is as the Queen's, though I must admit that I had to witness that as well as your beauty for myself."

Autumn Rain's wings fluttered, she was clearly amused.

Her mate turned to her, "Unless I am needed here my love... I will retire."

The Princess looked at her Prince, hearing the obvious jealousy in his voice and gave him her leave. This outsider was far too interesting to her.

The Prince before her began to tap his blades on the polished stone of the throne room slowly at first but then with a fierce rhythm. The sound was haunting and soothed even the hardened spirits of the Autumn Spears. He began to approach Autumn Rain, who raised her arm to signal that he was too close for her comfort.

He backed away, "My apologies Princess I did not mean to offend..."

Autumn Rain looked at the Prince suspiciously, she did not know why Blood Blossom would be here. She knew that she was desired by many Princes, but she chose Emerald Gleaming due to his inexperience allowing him to be properly groomed into a loyal and stable mate. Such stability was highly comforting, and likely the reason that her Mother would give her such an honor as commanding the forces for the next great leap.

Blood Blossom, though interesting, was known to not be loyal to anything but himself and the Queen. He was dangerous, even moreso if Mother was behind his reason for being here. The Prince continued his apology, flattering the Princess with claims of her beauty but she did not listen. She delved into the real reasons for his being here.

Assassin flashed through her mind.

The Prince turned his head curiously at the silent Princess, and nodded to the six. They brought out a large sum of sweet and fermented goods, from the earthenware vase-aged fruits of the bladestinger plant to jellies. Each was carefully sniffed and tasted by the six for poisons, and it appeared that they were clear of any fast acting agents.

Autumn Rain waved her hand and the goods were brought to her, "Do not expect any favors Blood Blossom. However I do accept your gift."

The Prince appeared to be exhilirated and almost drunk in the presence of the Princess. She began to wonder if perhaps he truly was attracted to her and there were no ulterior motives. She shrugged the idea off, there is always a reason for Blood Blossom to be somewhere... I must simply find it.

She began to eat, but not to excess as the chosen foods were clearly ones to weaken the mind's edge. Blood Blossom told tales of his exploits to impress his potential mate, and she listened. The six Autumn Spears silently watched.

That night Emerald Gleaming slept in the Princess' chamber alone, his mind was filled with rage and jealousy at the interloper.

- - -

I'll continue if there's interest ;)

The Hivers are an interesting exercise in Paternal Investment Theory, which is overall what this story is: "Paternal Investment in a haplodiploidic species with Machiavellian politics" :p

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Post by Mecron » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:08 pm

very nice hiver piece!

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Post by Erinys » Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:57 am

Definitely interesting! Very nice visual imagery. :)

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Post by Ace » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:16 pm

Part two...

Moon Sorrow paused, the light tremors subsided for the moment. She could hear her Warrior sisters in the distance, it seemed that the sole entrance to the creche had collapsed. There would be only a few hours worth of air, but Warriors on both sides were attempting to tunnel through the rubble. The air became stale and the room gained an azure glow as emitters were primed. Their low hum was soothing, and several of the youngest hatchlings began to sleep.

Her young sisters, most of which still awake, were watching her every move. Moon Sorrow knew that they must sleep to conserve oxygen but they would not be able to sleep if they were afraid. She held her sisters closest to her with caring arms, letting them touch her wings, and continued to tell her tale.

* * *

Emerald Gleaming awoke to find himself alone for the first time since he left his mother to become Autumn Rain's consort. Anger seethed through every fiber of his being. He did not allow his daughters to paint him or decorate him with jewels, he stormed his way to the throne room where he saw what he expected.

The presents offered by Blood Blossom were eaten and strewn about the floor. Both his love and the interloper were asleep, Autumn Rain on her throne and Blood Blossom almost comically on the floor with bladestinger colored spittle. As the Prince approached Autumn Rain began to stir.

"I did not accept his gifts," Autumn Rain said, though not yet fully awake she could smell the confusion and betrayal that her mate felt.

"It does not appear that way to me," Emerald Gleaming bitterly stated as he pointed to Blood Blossom.

His Princess looked deeply into his eyes," I did not accept his gifts. I ensured that he had them all for himself... I had hoped that he would have revealed why he was here..."

"To court you... of course..." Emerald Gleaming spat.

The Princess' gaze was unflinching, "You are a fool to think that would be his only reason, but you are young. No, he is here for something... perhaps looking for a weakness that one of my sisters may exploit for Mother's favor."

...and you are young as well my Princess... Blood Blossom mused, they truly thought that he lost control of his faculties that night and was now asleep and unaware of their conversation.

"Then... my love... we should kill him because he is dangerous to us," Emerald Rain stated, the bitterness in his voice replaced with calculation.

"No, if we kill him it is a sign that we have something to hide. No... we will find a way to make his presence here our advantage," the Princess replied.

The Princess nodded at the ever-vigilant six, who picked up Blood Blossom's body. They would take him to a room adjacent to the Princess' private chamber, close enough to show that she held him in some favor but far enough from her side to show that he did not earn the right to be with her.

* * *

Emerald Gleaming massaged the soft tissue between the two chitinous plates that formed Autumn Rain's chest. Her antennae wiggled and her wings became flush as she was aroused, but then she put her hand softly on his head to signal him to stop. She stared at the ceiling of their chamber and began to count her enemies.

Her Prince looked at her inquisitively, "You know that even my mother may be behind this. She never forgave us for letting Crimson Siphon use our gates to assault the world of Twisted Spires."

The gates! the fact was so obvious that Autumn Rain was embarassed that she did not see this plot immediately. It was clear by now that Blood Blossom was not an assassin, if he was he surely would have completed his task by now as he had ample opportunities. He must be after information... something far more dangerous to her goals than a simple attempt on her life...

"The Queen wishes for us to be the first in the promised new lands because of our creation of an extensive gate network and navy in such short time," Autumn Rain mused," To undermine that and our favor you would first send a spy to learn about the networks we have formed..."

"No... everything related to our forces is common knowledge, whoever Blood Blossom serves knows that..." Emerald Gleaming responded, "Is there something else?"

Blood left Autumn Rain's wings, "No. There is nothing else."

Emerald Gleaming knew his love was lying, only because she was caught off guard for a moment which was a mistake she would never repeat. She now smelled normal, her wings were flush, and her motions on him were genuine. Despite her passion he could not shrug off the fact that she was hiding something from him. Her thoughts so quickly went to the gates as opposed to any other activity that they were involved in that created enemies.

What is she doing with the gate network that Blood Blossom would be interested in? Why is she hiding it from me?

That thought in all possible forms flowed through his mind that afternoon. Soon the cool night would fall on this arid world and it would be time for their audiences. Blood Blossom would be there and he had questions for his rival Prince.

- - -

What's the Princess hiding? Stay tuned...

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Post by Ace » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:27 am

Part three

The hours wore on as the petty issues of Emerald Gleaming and Autumn Rain's daughters were brought to their attention. From fuel consumption lists to erecting new statuary no slight issue escaped the audience hall of the Princess. After six hours of such discussions, Emerald Gleaming's attention was finally piqued by a worker bearing cryptic news.

"Forlorn Duty, director of the Path," the Herald loudly announced as a diminutive worker slowly walked towards her rulers.

The worker kneeled before the Princess, "We have made great progress recently in the name of the Queen."

Autumn Rain emitted a pleasant smell, showing her favor, "Good, the Truth will light its way for our new conquests will it not?"

Turning her head towards her ruler, her mother, the small worker replied, "As long as the goddess continues to show her favor, I see no reason that it will not be completed."

Emerald Gleaming coldly looked over the worker. She represented the Path, the gatebuilders. The Truth... what is this?

"Excellent," the Princess responded," I am certain that you want to be rested before you walk the Path again. I will have the six prepare food and quaters for you."

Forlorn Duty silently nodded but there was a clear, sweet, smell that indicated her appreciation of the Princess.

Autumn Rain nodded at her personal guard, two of which escorted the worker to the guest chambers.

The Herald then spoke, "That is all of the audiences for this night, Princess."

"Except for Blood Blossom," Emerald Gleaming replied.

"He opted to stay in his chamber, under watch," the Princess stated.

The clear sound of chitin impacting the stone floor could be heard, a warrior was running towards the throne room.

"My Princess, one of the Autumn Spears has been slain!" one of the warriors escorting Forlorn Duty reported.

The Princess tapped a button on a piece of jewelry on her right wing, "Two attachments of warriors report to the guest quarters immediately!"

Her reponse was met instead with the sudden shaking of the room, one of the corridors collapsed.

"Where is Blood Blossom!" the Princess screamed.

"I am here with your warriors," the vagabond Prince responded, coming with several of the called warriors who moved to clear the rubble.

Emerald Gleaming glared at the rival Prince who continued to speak, "Enemies of the Queen are attacking this palace. I would not be surprised if they have already killed their target and were preparing to leave."

"We must make our way to the landing pad," Emerald Gleaming responded as he began to move at full pace with two warriors in tow.

Blood Blossom turned to follow the other Prince, the palace was swarming with guards reparing the damage from the blast and searching for signs of the intruders.

Emerald Gleaming made his way to the end of the main palacial corridor where a great stone doorway opened to a carved landing pad at the side of the mountain the palace was carved into. Great reliefs of warriors and the goddess could be seen chiseled into the mountainside by ancient techniques. On the pad there was a single craft, the transport that brought Forlorn Duty.

The Prince could smell the ionization of the main thrusters being primed. The warriors behind him took firing positions, ready to fire at any sign of movement within the ship. Knowing that it would launch at any moment, Emerald Gleaming ran towards the transport with all due haste. The transport's entry plank slowly closed, but coilgun fire from the guards damaged its closing mechanism.

Blood Blossom reached the entrance to the landing facility, and he saw Emerald Gleaming in the distance jumping onto the entry plank at the exact moment that the main thrusters ignited. There was a blinding flash, a terrible burning smell, and thick smoke in the air. Then the debris began to fall. Most of the transport was obliterated. A Prince would have been more than a match for any infiltrator, usually a worker, but not for such betrayal.

Blood Blossom turned from the carnage, warriors would soon be called to examine the wreckage and recover the body of Emerald Gleaming as well as the infiltrator. He had the solemn duty of informing the Princess of the death of her mate.

Forlorn Duty's death in the orchestrated bombing in the palace was of even more concern to the Queen. Someone knew she had plans, and was willing to risk everything to stop them.

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Post by Ace » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:47 am

Part four

Emerald Gleaming's corpse was brought before his mate by Blood Blossom. She looked at his ruined body for a time, and then tore into the chitin of his skull and began to consume his brain in a grotesque display. Delicate crystals embedded in his skull were swallowed. Blood Blossom tore the blades off of Emerald Gleaming's body, and placed them before the Princess.

Autumn Rain nodded at Blood Blossom's act, he honored the fallen while pointing the all too obvious fact that he was an available Prince to a Princess that lost her mate. Autumn Rain could have called upon her connections to find others, but Blood Blossom was obviously a chosen of the Queen. He would become her new Prince.

Their first child would be Emerald Gleaming the Twice Hatched, reborn as an honored warrior for protecting her life. She knew to a certain degree it would be a personal disgrace to fall from being a Prince, and she had every desire for him to be at her side. However now was not the time to have Princely rivalries in her court, not with her being so close to her desired goals, and not with one of the Queen's favored Princes potentially around her finger.

* * *

Much time had passed, Emerald Gleaming the Twice Hatched had risen from a hatchling to take her first duties. The memories of death were fresh on her mind, as well as the myterious plans of her mother which would be revealed to her. She was one of the Autumn Spears, defending Blood Blossom and Autumn Rain.

The mid-day was blistering, but also the time when almost none were active. Autumn Rain sat upon her throne as Emerald Gleaming approached, she was called before the Princess for a special task. The nature of the task however was unknown to him.

"My Princess, you asked for my presence," Emerald Gleaming stated.

"Yes," Autumn Rain began," There are... sensitive... matters that must be attended to. Before, as my mate, I could not always know where your loyalties lay. However now you may know."

Emerald Gleaming's attention was piqued, perhaps she would be informed of the Truth?

Autumn Rain continued, "Our stars are aging, dying. It is only a matter of time before our entire race will end. The Queen has searched for vibrant new homes. We have the greatest gate network, and we are to be the vanguard force into a new galaxy to call our own. All of this, of course, you already know to an extent as our position has earned us our enemies."

Where is she going with this? Emerald Gleaming thought.

"Many Princesses will stake holds in this new galaxy. We have the honor of being first but it will not be much of an advantage. If we encounter other species that... resist we will be in the worst position of all. The Queen knows this, she wishes to weaken us. However, we have developed a method of... teleportation," the Princess claimed.

"Science fiction..." Emerald Gleaming replied.

"Until recently, yes. The Truth we have called it, a vast improvement to our current gate technologies. The first of these gates will be ready for deployment soon and I have no doubt that the sabotauge that claimed your previous life was somehow tied to our enemies attempting to learn what we are creating. I want you to personally command the guard at Quartzfire on the southern continent where final preparations for the Truth prototype are commencing."

Emerald Gleaming was at a loss for words, she had finally learned what the secret the Princess was hiding was. She learned the most likely reason why Blood Blossom was here, and how they would maintain control even in a new galaxy. The warrior saluted her mother, and silently left the throne chamber.

Blood Blossom listened to the entire conversation, he had a scheduled meeting with envoys from the Path of Crimson Siphon. Of course he had no intention of meeting with his Princess' closest ally. The Queen would be informed that her suspicions and years of careful survelliance were true. ...and all because Autumn Rain was soft on her security at a crucial meeting due to residual feelings of intimacy towards her former mate, his plan worked perfectly.

Autumn Rain mused to herself as well, she had hoped that this would work. The Truth was already operational, Emerald Gleaming would receive his new orders. Her slowly reduced security after the unfortunate death of Forlorn Duty would hopefully have made this appear as a moment to strike a weak Princess. Blood Blossom was surely a tool in these plots against her plans, but now she would hopefully strike at those controlling even him.

* * *

Three of the hatchlings still listened intently. The amber light in the chamber and soothing voice of Moon Sorrow betrayed the underlying despiration of their situation. The tunneling Warriors met little progress, and vital air would be gone within an hour. The awake hatchlings began to look concerned, and Moon Sorrow knew that her duty was to continue to tell her tale until the end to soothe them as much as possible. Death was inevitable, but such was the nature of the cycle of life as decreed by the goddess.

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Post by Erinys » Sun Jan 14, 2007 3:46 pm

Ah, suspense! Excellent work... :D

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Post by Ace » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:05 am

A void in the sea of stars filled with the occassional flashes of lightening was all that could be seen of the world that Blood Blossom waited above. The violent maelstroms of the dark world, a star that never ignited, were all that lit the rogue prince's craft and the gate he waited by. With the last flash Blood Blossom saw for a moment swirling hues of violet in the vast storm systems of the 'brown' dwarf below.

An orange glow filled his craft as the gate became active. A single destroyer emerged, its fission plume lighting the area. Blood Blossom sent an IFF challenge signal which was received and confirmed, Crimson Siphon's envoys had arrived. He slowly manuvered his small craft to meet the lone docking port on the vessel.

Blood Blossom moved through the hatch and was welcomed by a warrior. The crew of the vessel numbered only a dozen but consisted of some of the most loyal of Crimson Siphon's daughters. Blood Blossom gracefully floated through the corridors making his way to command and control. There the navigator began the protocols for gate transit and the small craft that Blood Blossom had used was jettisoned into the world below.

A routine patrol to an unclaimed system found the remains of a prince who fled from Autumn Rain. That said patrol then returned to the homeworld of Princess Crimson Siphon for resupply. But an eerie white glow meant that the plan which was set in motion so long ago was threatened.

"Contact detected, bearing 320 mark 190. Mass signature appears to be cruiser class." a voice chimed.

"There was no registered gate activity," another voice responded.

"Sensor silhouette matches with known configurations," the first voice continued.

Blood Blossom paniced, "Impossible! I was not followed..."

"Seize him! Detain our 'Prince' in the cargo hold!" a booming voice interrupted, clearly the commander.

Two warriors grabbed Blood Blossom and pulled him away from the command center.

"Obviously a cloaked vessel... this Prince was not as loyal to the Queen as we were led to believe. Prepare all missile batteries! Additional power to sensors." the commander ordered.

The vessel shaked from the shockwave of an explosion, mass driver rounds had crippeled the power core of the gate. More violent impacts followed, allowing for Blood Blossom to wrestle free as the lighting failed on the destroyer.

"Our warheads should have overwhelmed their point defenses and damaged their cloak, overloading several systems especially on a vessel that size..." the commander mused," This is... impossible..."

After several seconds that seemed as if an eternity the emergency lighting engaged. One thing was certain, they were now dead in space. Blood Blossom's captors knew this and hesitated for a moment. This was long enough for them to be impaled by Blood Blossom, who then frantically thought of a place to hide. Unfortunately the cargo hold which held supplies for the long journies these vessels often took, his intended prison, was the safest place.

* * *

Emerald Gleaming was in a hardened suit, making her way with a small detachment of warriors into the command center of the now derelict destroyer with a cable in tow. She hit the outer hull of the destroyer with some force, but then attached the cable to the surface of the enemy ship. Additional warriors began to make their way to the disabled ship using the cable.

There was a single hull breach in the command section, but not large enough for a warrior to fit through. Emerald Gleaming saw the corpses of Crimson Siphon's daughters, who attempted to man their stations until their final moments. The glow of emitter torches reflected on her chitin as those under her command began to widen the breach so that they could enter.

In a matter of minutes Emerald Gleaming's forces had entered and secured the command center. Blood Blossom's body was not among the remains, but readouts showed several compartments that were still pressurized in the mission module. A breaching charge was placed on the hatch to the central corridor, and a gust of wind followed the explosion as atmosphere leaked into space.

The warriors made their way down the corridors, breaching each compartment. In each and every compartment encountered the warriors were already dead, a few from asphixiation caused by microfractures in the compartments but more from poisioning.

Blood Blossom heard a series of explosions becoming slowly louder. They were rhythmic and methodical, someone was searching for something. Someone was searching for... him. The Prince floated to the top of the cargo hold and prepared for the inevitable.

The pressure door buckeled under the power of the breaching charge. One warrior floated into the chamber while the two behind her took point. The two on point were momentarily startled as the entering warrior was thrown back into the corridor, crushed by the force of a cargo container that was thrust at her as she entered.

A single Prince could be seen, floating, losing air, and desperate. Blood Blossom opened his mandibles to scream with rage, but with no atmosphere there was only silence. But he was answered by Emerald Gleaming who saw one of her loyal warriors crushed.

Emerald Gleaming pulled herself down the corridor, carrying an emitter torch. She turned to face the Prince through the hatch, and fired the emitter at him. He moved, but slowly, and his eyes were enveloped by the arcing current of the emitters. Blind and desperate, he lunged at Emerald Gleaming, tearing the emitter from her hands and tearing through her suit with his blades.

Blood Blossom bit through the faceplate of Emerald Gleaming's suit, in the process swallowing the tip of one of her antennae. Disoriented and losing air, the warrior kicked the offending prince off of her which sent him hurling through the cargo hold. She pulled her sidearm but failed to hit him due to the lack of balance from her injury. Similarly she began to feel a burning sensation throughout her body, the lack of air was paying its toll. Instead the light mass driver round of her projectiles punctured several of the cargo containers and globules of water began to pour out.

The prince began to twitch, his core body temperature rapidly falling. He also began to be pelted by the spheres of water that were floating through the chamber. He pushed himself off of the wall for one final lunge at his rival. Blood Blossom grabbed Emerald Gleaming by her neck and the force pushed both of them back into the main corridor. The warrior grabbed the prince's head and began to squeeze with all of her might, it quickly began to crack and putrid globules of internal fluids began to seep out.

Emerald Gleaming then let go. Her fellow warriors patched and presurized her suit. Scuttling charges were placed and soon the long journey home would begin.

The rogue prince was dead, and the future of Emerald Gleaming's first love and then mother was secured.

* * *

Moon Sorrow let the cold overcome her. The last of the hatchlings was dead, her time was coming. The warriors could live a few more minutes then her. But her tale was over.

* * *

Light seeped in. The hatching looked at her surroundings. She felt memories and thoughts and saw before her a nurse. The chamber was bright, and warmly lit by amber lights. It was warm and thousands of eggs were tended to by ever-vigilant nurses.

"Moon Sorrow the twice-hatched, our youngest warrior to protect the young as she did in her past life," the nurse chimed in a melodic voice," You live by the will of the Princess and the goddess."

Moon Sorrow nodded her head and she began to experience her new body. It would be months before it was fully developed and she could serve as warrior and protector.

"There is one who wishes to speak to you," the nurse warmly said.

The small eyes of the hatchling turned and saw a regal sight draped in brilliant colors and exquisitely painted.

"I heard of your bravery from the warriors that survived. Without the Truth we would have lost the world entirely. Though many have died, the efforts of those such as you have helped us create a foothold in this paradise... this promised land of the goddess."

"Continue to serve the Princess with honor and duty Moon Sorrow, I know that this is the role that the goddess intended you for. May the enemy of the goddess... the humans... fear your noble purpose."

Moon Sorrow bowed as respectfully as she could, though she nearly fell being as unused to her body as she was," We live to serve Princess, Queen, and goddess Prince Emerald Gleaming the Thrice-Hatched."

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Post by Ace » Mon May 28, 2007 3:17 am

Image
Did a book cover sort of like the retro ones done for the official fiction-things.

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