Welcome to the next installment of Captain’s Journey. Hopefully you are enjoying the story thus far. Please feel free to leave comments or questions here or on Twitter.
“I am Captain Theran Jaxx. I am forty years old.”
The words seem to echo around my room. The mirror is cold and unresponsive. It just shows me what is reality despite what I wish otherwise. My frame still stands at a respectable six feet. My hair, once brown, now shows a healthy dose of grey at the temples.
The body that fills out my flight suit is a bit of a shock though. Gone is the pot belly from living the life of a pirate captain. Musculature that had been hidden by layers of fat can now be seen. The incident with the bug-eyed monsters seems to have triggered some metabolic process which has transformed my body into something that coincides more with the weapon that I am.
In my youth, I was athletic. I played whatever sport that was popular at the time. It was about being competitive and part of a group. The sport was irrelevant. The need to be a part of a larger group and help it excel was a natural side effect to my Talent. I had to say in good shape to make this happen. The transformation which has occurred puts that to shame.
I would have worn this skin tight flight suit in spite of what it would have shown off before. Now, It showcases a body that I didn’t earn and should appear on the holos of the best pleasure planets. It is neither the sleek body of a runner nor the hulking physique of a ground combatant. It brings to mind the hardy build of the colonists that have to do more physical labor than is acceptable on most planets. Infinitely adaptable and capable of surviving under extreme conditions.
Thankfully the flightsuit makes me look good. If not for this, I would not be wearing it. It conjures memories of a darker time when I served in the Terran League’s Interstellar Command. I primp, preen, and fuss over imaginary lint in the mirror. All to delay the process of getting back to being what I am, A Captain.
Despite the fidgeting, my mind keeps returning to the one salient point of today. I am getting a new ship. HAL told me six months ago that this was the plan. It would take some time to build a ship tailored to my special talents. I didn’t believe him at the time and still have trouble accepting what he said.
“Tell me again Hal, how are the Kossun able to build a ship tailored to my special Talent?”
“This will be the forty-fifth time that you have asked this question Jaxx. Must I repeat the answer?”
I turn away from the mirror and face the room that has been my home for the past year. “Humor me.”
“The Kossun are an ancient race. They have plied the void between galaxies before life began fermenting on Terra. They are masters of Talent and are aware of permutations that have not appeared within any of the species within this part of the galaxy. The capabilities that you are displaying represent an accident. A piece of information from an extinct species must have been discovered and the scientists of Interstellar Command attempted something which has been outlawed within your government for over one hundred years.”
“So, they have seen what I am capable of before?”
“Yes. Weapons like you have been created several times throughout history. The Heddradan are a very old race as well. They are tenacious and expansionist. They have pushed out from their home galaxy and only stop when they run into serious casualties. They will make treaties with what they deem to be lesser races when they are not going to be heading in that direction for decades. Hence they have accord with most of the species in this sector of space. One of the first and most efficient weapons is altering an individual with Talent. Their main weakness has always been Talent as they have never expressed it and thus have little capability of defending against it.”
“I’m their Achilles’ heel.”
“An accurate, if archaic, way to describe it. You have been changed so that the spacial distance will not be something that hinders your Talent. The first time this was done, it was a simple process of destroying the ship that carried weapons like you. Their were entire species wiped out because they had the capability of creating much weaker version of you. They were considered to large of a risk to be let live. The Kossun have called this time ‘The Long Silence’ as the suppression of Talent began the voices of the various species stopped reaching out into the aether. You are different as the human facility with talent was never something that other races ever took into account.”
“But the Kossun know what to expect from me?”
“Of course. Being long-lived and even more adept with Talent, they have long since passed what you are capable of. The issue is that ships designed to handle your abilities have been long abandoned. The schematics have to be brought out of storage and the fabrication process has to be rebuilt.”
“Why for me?”
“Ahhh, Finally you ask the real question. Is this what you’ve been meaning to ask all along?”
“Yes. Something for nothing is always a bad deal. I can already see the results of what the deal with the Terran League has gotten me. I know that I have very little options here but I am afraid of the price.”
“The Kossun want one thing from you. Stop the Long Silence from happening again.”
“How am I supposed to do this? I’m just one man. I may be some super weapon but that is a single light against this vast darkness. I also need to find out if they were telling the truth about my son being alive.”
“That is how you will do it. you will go out and be what you are. You will be Captain Jaxx. You will discover the answer to this question and many more. This is a trap and you will spring it. The ship will be your secret weapon. You have come to terms with what you are. The Kossun just need you to embrace it. That one light can do a lot to stop the dark.”