I have much to say on the act of creation. I am no mage, though. And that is the point: Magic is not the only form of creation one can practice. There is another form that all Empirians can practice: the creation of life.
And that is the root of my specialty. I create things that are alive. Life to end the lives that I so wish to end. Life made as tools of my will and need. Such creation of life is what I am an expert of.
I: I am the one and only Malechak, the greatest bio-weapon engineer and specialist that is and ever was. That statement is not made out of hubris. It is truth. I have revolutionized my field and I am an expert in it. Not only have I engineered many creations, I am familiar with all forms of viruses and other such base lifeforms. Some of which are spontaneous and of no importance, some of which are descendants of my own make, and some of which are the makes of others of my craft.
I am digressing.
And I have also neglected to mention one specific and relevant example of the creation of life that Empirians have not only practiced by mastered: cloning. Cloning of life of importance. The only example of this type of cloning that matters it that of the Sacon.
The Sacon have crafted themselves as they are now over a long period of time. Any imperfections and defects in their core traits have been engineered away. The core building blocks of their being have been streamlined, leaving only effectively aesthetic variation to ‘chance’ for the sake of them not being considered true clones of each other.
But they are still clones—just to the master copy of all the parts of importance of a Sacon: the Sacon genome master codex. This codex has copies that exist in specific facilities across Sacon. This codex is what all normal cloning operations draw from.
Despite its essential function in this process, a single copy of this codex is not irreplaceable to them. It is, however, a symbol of Sacon. After all, it is the foundation of their race as it is now. And so the codex and its copies are protected from the prying eyes of other races. Either a member of a race, such as myself, Malechak, an Eyexierkhar, or a whole race itself—such as the Baune.
The Baune and I have a unique relationship. It is not an exclusive one—I am not a fool to think such things, but it is a special one. Our unique relationship is based on our interests.
Right now, currently, our interest is in the Sacon genome master codex. So we are going to steal one copy of it for our studies and thus future applications. There is nothing more stimulating than having the source of the real thing to experiment on. From it, I expect to be able to create more effective viruses against the Sacon. The Baune desire it for more effective possession of Sacon hosts, and, I suppose, entertainment.
Yes. Entertainment. The Baune are Empirian, after all.
The Baune are a race too. So. You might ask: stealing a codex copy—could this be considered an act of aggression between races? The Baune attacking the Sacon in such a way? It is not simply a simple Empirian doing such a thing.
It is not a bad question. It is a simple one. With a simple answer.
The Baune are Empirian and the Baune are the Baune. The Baune are one and all. What is of the ‘one’ and what is of the ‘all’ is not something we non-Baune can say. Conjecture on, of course, but not definitely say.
I cannot say, either, for I do not know.
And I care neither to know nor say, anyway.
This theft is what I care about right now. What we care about.
The Baune, occupying both a well built and armored Fravier and a slimy adorned Gladiacon, are beside me, as we stare at the schematics for a cloning facility on Sacon.
“It is an efficient structure with no extraneous elements,” the Baune hosts say together for the Baune.
“It will be efficient to get both in and out then,” I say.
And then I turn away from the schematics to procure some of my creations that I have prepared just for this occasion. No, nothing capable of horrible, grotesque death. That is not apt for this situation, yet it is apt for me, Malechak. No, no, no. No death today. The Baune will handle any death or repurposement. No, I take into the holding cells that are built into my gauntlets options that are more utilitarian: paralytics, hallucinogenics, and other useful constructs.
Even so, I always keep my devastatingly lethal ones close, on my chest cell, regardless of my current intent. It would be irresponsible to leave them anywhere else but wherever I am. They could be scourges of their own right, and they have massacred for great purposes in the past. But not today.
Today I return to looking at the Baune and the Baune are gazing at me. Both of their puppets are staring at me unflinchingly, expectantly.
“Are you ready?” the Baune ask of me and that is expected.
“Yes,” I answer because it is truth. I have all the things I need. My viruses. My mind. My body with its sleeveless tunic armor, gauntlets, and boots. My exposed skin is flaking off and regrowing, as it should, but that is being managed by tiny organisms. Those were not built by me. No. Built by another Eyexierkhar, a long time ago, who hated suits and liked this look instead. Another Eyexierkhar can be thanked for the reason why I breathe without any clunky thing on my head. Of course it would be an Eyexierkhar. Why would some other race build something to help a uniquely Eyexierkhar issue? Maybe they would—if they were Eyexierkhar once.
Are our qualities truly issues? Perhaps that was the wrong term. It is our unique right to be this way and it is the weakness of others that they cannot survive what we can. Our biology is tied to our planet’s unique composition and that composition is death for others. So death from biology, life from biology, is our right. And chemicals too. We do that well as well.
But that is not my interest. It is too crude.
This I prefer. Little things, becoming a big thing, and that big thing being something no longer in your control.
But it is in my control. I know how to stop everything I make. To stop, not to undo—there is no undoing. Just dissolution and quick eradication. I mean as an end—not as a point to the thing originally.
But some of my creations do dissolve things and do thus eradicate them but-
I am ready and the Baune are ready so the Baune-Fravier opens a rift. Veins and clear indications of the Baune’s presence shimmer across the matte black flesh as the claw pulls back from the rift it had opened. This is possible due to actions taken prior to this moment. That was their show.
But now the Baune-Gladiacon bows, beckoning me forth. I will take the lead here. This is now my show so I go first through the rift.
And I enter into the place I had only seen vivid schematics of. It is hardly different from them. The space around us is cool, empty, filled with crisp edges, a notable lack of organic matter of any sort, save for the ones growing in the suspended tanks to the sides. These clones are at a stage where they are already displaying their unique physical traits. Inconsequential to viral resistance, but appearances matter. I understand that.
I understand that although this place is not essential to all of Sacon, the Sacon must put on a show of resistance to us. Us because the pair of Baune hosts came through a few moments before this moment.
In this moment, the Baune-Gladiacon says to me: “One is coming.”
And then that one comes, but I already have a plan on what to do with this fully grown, equipped, and visibly alerted and annoyed by us, Sacon.
“There will be three more coming,” the Baune-Gladiacon whispers to me, as the Baune-Fravier remains silent and impassive at this threat.
“Fateful,” I say, because it is.
But it is not fateful, it is instead planned, when I unleash my paralytic creations over to this single Sacon. A mere flick is all it takes, and it is mere because telekinesis is unleashed upon me to hold me down but I was able to get a small movement in it before it matters and then it is off into the air and at that Sacon.
The Baune are unaffected by this because I have it made so and so the Sacon slowly spasms to a halt, shuddering to the ground. The Sacon’s eyes remain open, staring at me, as I stroll towards him. I am free and he is not.
By way of telepathy he threatens me and screams at me of laws and things and things I have no concern for so I step right over him because he is exactly where I need to get past to get to what we want. So we keep going and he quiets.
Yes, there are three more coming. I have not forgotten this. The Baune know this. Not because they have infected me, but because they know me. So I have not forgotten this and I will take care of this.
And so I have. I have released my hallucinogenic virus. It has already started to spread out. Such a silent thing, but you can see it now since it has grown so. A miasma that is becoming moss across the floor, puffing up its lovely fog. Nontoxic fog.
But it will make them hallucinate. For a time. Just for a time.
Just for them—the next two. They pop into the space because they decided to do so before their systems could tell them it was not safe them. And that is something I had planned for so it is not luck nor incompetence, it is my intent.
This is my show.
So they are hallucinating now, muttering things and thinking things at me and it is all so feeble so I just push them off with my own mind shields and I carry on. Deeper into the facility. Not far, though. We pass through a doorway, seeing more growing clones to our sides and up on platforms spiraling around us. We see nothing of importance. Until.
We see what we came here for: this particular copy of the master codex.
Not the Sacon that appears before it.
This is my show, but the Baune decide to take this one for themselves, quite literally, and the Baune-Fravier lunges to them, and if the telekinesis tries to hold them back, well, the Baune push back as themselves—a mass of them rushes out across the distance and hits the Sacon. That is all it takes.
Then there is three now controlled by the Baune: the Sacon, the Gladiacon, and the Fravier.
The latter two go up to the master copy and I join them. Together we make quick work of disconnecting it from its housing platform. Stripped of its shielding and protection, it is just a slim cylinder. The Baune-Gladiacon takes it. The Sacon one is focused all the while. Focused on even more efficient escape, no doubt.
And that must be truth for the Baune-Fravier opens up a rift once more and the Baune-Gladiacon leaves with the codex copy. I follow with the other forms of the Baune through the rift.
And so the codex copy is ours and we are away from there. This was a success.
“That was efficient and effective. And so they will learn from this,” the Baune-Sacon says, which is a matter of fact. “None before have done such a thing as this.”
“No, others have done much simpler things. Destruction is easy,” I say, because it is. It would have been easy to kill all there, to destroy the facility entirely. To go in, deftly, and then to leave deftly too, that is trickier.
And that is what we have done.
But we have done this to learn how to be more adept at killing and destruction. That will come later with the knowledge gained from this master codex copy. I peer at it, still held by the Baune-Gladiacon. But then it is plucked up by the Baune-Sacon, eyes wide and analytical, and that is all from the Baune.
And so, with that, we will proceed to discover what it can tell us. Perhaps it could be nothing more than what we already know.
But, in whatever end, we can always keep it as a trophy. It is a living artifact of a race. It is effectively a a race, in a way. The potential for one, anyway. There are many things to do with it, many things that could be created. We will see what makes sense for it.
That will be determined later after study. For now, there is nothing more to say.