Echoes in Darkness

What did you say your name was again? Hamilton Alexander? The Mad Hatter?

Khuil kneels before a great cloaked statue covered in vines on a mysterious planet. He recites ““In the beginning were the Ancients, and the Ancients moved across the face of the Heavens, and none did or could contest their will.” Only a portion of the ancient’s creedo as he focuses on the one word will. He recites it faster and faster with increasing volume until he is upright yelling at it with a furious rage. He rips off the hood of his cloak and exposes a golden light emanating from his eyes as he feels his skull starts to split radiating light into the heavens. He yells “Hamilton you promised me salvation!!!!” The light suddenly stops as it reveals a mutilated Aslan face and head as Khuil slumps to the feet of the statue and bathes the feet in a crimson pool of blood. The shape oddly resembles an Angel with outstretched wings.

Khuil wakes in a horrible sweat and reaches for his helmet, as he straps it on he feels more relaxed knowing they cannot enter his mind with it on. He thinks Xavier should take the same precautions as he flirts with the cultist girl and eats all her beans. Beans, who eats beans……. Meat! the breakfast of Aslanions. At breakfast however, there is no real meat to be seen anywhere. He spies a couple of Vargar crew and fancies if dog meat is in season yet. He sits down with Hat and debates how he may cause havoc in Hat’s day. All of a sudden Hat pushes his tray of food away and storms off with a deliberate, calculated stalk. Khuil shrugs and wonders if maybe something in the journal he read upset him. Hat did quote “This is the ramblings of a mad man.” He laughs and grabs Hat’s tray and dumps it on his own as he sees the Vargar crew wander off. He eats his meal and follows them around a bit sizing them up if he should need to strike them down defending the insane cultists.

Khuil comes back hours later to find he is on duty for the usual dinner shift as to avoid the meaningless talk of the ancients. Yet, his disturbing dream inclines him to listen in through the door as he waits for some stupid passenger to hassle him. Susie, Xavier’s new pet walks into the room carrying something that smells of beans in a round shape. Whatever it is, it makes Khuil gag. As the door hisses with a close as he over hears Hamilton Alexander’s disappointment at the lack of people he invited to dinner. Khuil grins wickedly at the comment and focuses in on what he thinks will be a boring conversation. Yet, it starts off with a bang!

Khuil chuckles as Susie goes right for Hat’s hat to get at his hair. I can’t see why she would want to see what is under that weather beaten and matted bombadeer hat. Khuil enjoys anything that will wreak havoc with Hat. The conversation steers toward a myriad of topics. Khuil hears snippets here and there as the debate continues. A real hat trick of not so sharp minds in there arguing like howler monkeys over bananas. On his home planet a duel or two would have happened by now. Topics ranging from, the archaic math in the journal, to Susie showing Hat gory pictures of what Xavier assumes is Hat with his head blown off. A personal favorite of Khuil’s. The conversation becomes very interesting hearing how Susie has foretold many events from these pictures, which started after she used a machine on a core planet. A purple zone planet, Korn, within a few subsectors of planet “Cassandra”. Susie’s rambling mind then mentions she drew the pictures six to eight weeks ago.

Just as Khuil tries to comprehend what he heard, Susie changes gears and talks about the floating motes of light and how the resemble Hat’s eyes with a mystical gaze. Hat tries to look away but Susie moves to keep her gaze into his eyes. Hat ignores her and alludes to the star alignment that has been observed. Most vapidly Susie chimes in “That she is trying to bring back the ancients with her math in the journal.” Like the rambling’s of a twisted mind, Susie insists that Hat is a great light and must use the machine on Korn. Xavier agrees and urges Hat to agree to go. In the utmost traditions of hattingly style, Hat becomes the paranoid conspiracy theorist we all know and love. With Hat wanting to know more about this mysterious machine on Korn, he inquires and Hamilton tells him that those secrets are for only the great lights of the sect and is stored in their secure terminal.

Khuil looking at his chronometer sees it is near time for Rav to take up the night shift. After hearing the droves of conversation, Khuil walks into to a heated argument and explains to Xavier that it is Rav’s turn for night shift and that he is hungry since he has smelled food for hours in the compartments adjacent to the galley. As he goes to engorge himself on whatever scraps are left, Hat asks him to find the Vargar from breakfast this morning that is the engineer. Gruffly, Khuil decides that since Hat had enough abuse from Susie to do him this favor. He moves to the Vargar quarters where he wandered to earlier and knocks on the door and waits for an answer.

Khuil to his surprise gets an answer and the precise Vargar he needed answers the knock. He announces that Hat needs his services for some unknown reason to him. Talking with the Vargar, he discovers that Kufo is a skilled engineer and loves to play pranks. Two things pop into Khuil’s mind: Can he mess with Hat’s hand comp and chips anyway? Can he build me a feeding robot? To his delight, it is a definite yes to pranks and a big maybe on the robot. This one decisive decision to mess with Hat has made Khuil overlook the bad blood between Aslan and Vargar as they unite against a common foe!

Khuil lets Kufo they will be in touch about the robot and seeing what can be done to Hat as they reach Xavier and Hat’s room. Xavier with his nose in a book as usual doesn’t even realize the Kufo is in the room until he bumps a stack of books and Xavier glares like an old crone librarian. To all their surprise Phineas comes back after he all day dealings with the population of the ship trying to negotiate new revenue streams that he may potential invest in and joins in the fray of the ancients conversation. Hat and Kufo talk for a long time in another room and come back to the decision that Kufo will try to hack the terminal station and get the information on the ancient’s machine. Khuil wondering how he got the Vargar to agree to this just nods and gives him a sly grin for all the fun that might ensue from a joint venture Hat havoc day.

The next morning, after getting very little sleep from having the nightmare again, Khuil finds out that Hamilton Alexander and his band of smelly bantha’s has enacted Paragraph 5 Section 2 of the groups agreement to track down the failed hacking attempt into their terminals. Khuil and Hat go to see Kufo and warn him to not try again as to not raise anymore suspicion.

The rest of the trip to the capital is uneventful, Xavier continues to have dinners with Hamilton Alexander as Susie and the others flock to their great light, Hat…. Hat has the resolve of a British royal guard going stone cold to the cultists while on duty after the last dinner he had. Upon landing on Athame, the capital planet of the Brotherhood of Knives, the Cult of the Ancients sect pays the contract and offers Hat a data chip with the journal on it and tries on last time to get him to go with them to Korn. Hat declines ungracefully and hails the closest cab to get us to the T.A.S. on this forsaken world.

As the group departs Hat notices a few members of the cult get into their own cab and start to follow us. Hat tells the driver to lose the cab following us for another 100 credits. The sudden jerking rattles Hat and he smashes his head against the window. After what Khuil thinks would have looked like a bad car chase scene in a movie as they arrive at T.A.S with no cultist arriving with them. The cab drives off and the group now faces the ultimate decision. Chicken or Fish? Parmesan crusted?


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