“That’s the being who challenged us to come here, but what are they?”
Steve Copakon, the leader of the Mech Slayers, a team of elite, mechanically and psionically enhanced humans dedicated to destroying both religious cults and the false gods they worship, was being overly cautious. The being that had asked them to come to this desolate location was clearly some sort of false god, but it seemed far more powerful than anything they had ever faced before. Normally the false gods would only influence one race at most, yet here this one was, beckoning beings from across the universe.
“I’m scanning them now.” Louise Goodheart, the group’s biological expert and medic, replied, as she removed a small probe from her green and silver suit. The probe powered up, but quickly fell to the ground. Her brother Dean, in his bronze and orange armour, gave her a funny look.
“It just powered down. No reason at all. I’ll run the troubleshooter.”
“No need,” the last member of the group, Katherine Lansky, interrupted. She pointed towards the two groups of beings. The false god had vanished and one of the creatures was heading straight towards them.
Compared to all the others, this creature seemed pretty small. In fact it was shorter than the team of humans. Whatever it was, it was well armoured, yellow and clearly armed.
“Hello, being. We are the Mech Slayers. We represent the human race. We come in peace!” Steve quickly announced, standing strong. “Can you understand us?”
“Wow, that’s freaky, you speak Panglish too!” the creature seemed to smile. “I’m sorry about your little probe thing. It’s just something I’m programmed to do.”
Steve scanned the creature up and down. “What are you?”
“Me? I’m Arkay. Are you all Thr- uh, humans? You look like humans.”
The other creatures all caught up. A large red being, which looked like a bigger, scarier, red-er version of Arkay, pulled him away from the humans.
“He’s not bothering you, is he?” the creature asked. “Arkay’s got a thing about Thropes like you.”
“No, he just broke my scanner…” Louise tutted. “What are your races? And how do you all speak our language? How do you all know English? And how do you know what we are, for that matter.”
The second set of creatures, four large, horned beings with arms that scraped along the ground, all laughed. “Silly! The Gods tried to teach us all the same language, as a way to spread their influence and better control us. It is not your language! But you human beings to tend to spread far and wide and meddle in our affairs.”
“False gods… They’re false gods…” Dean telepathically muttered to his sister.
“We call them Deitics! Oh. Uh. Sorry…” Arkay apologised. “I… I picked up on your telepathy. Sorry.”
“It isn’t a problem, little child!” Steve did his best to smile. “So what are your kinds? You are clearly two separate races.”
“I am Mauvan, we are Tavrans. My friends here are Nikos, Kitrin and Galazin.”
“I am Retvik, we are Rethans. I see you’ve already met Arkay. This is Tenuk and that’s Elksia. Pleasure to meet you.”
Both beings raised a hand, a hideous, clawed hand, for Steve to shake. He promptly shook both of them, not wanting to appear hostile. The Rethans and the Tavrans were both friendly enough.
“Where did the other being go, the one that challenged us?” Katherine asked.
None of them knew.
“He claimed he had plans,” Tenuk explained. “He had barely spoken to us when you all appeared and quickly decided he had better places to be.”
“Well, that is worrying,” Louise sighed.