“She’s so young.” Jadefire trilled.
The sound of sticks on drums reverberated up and down the expansive hallway. “Alright ladies, let’s keep this short and just deliver the good news. When Galaxie gets home she will discover soon enough what has happened and come to her own conclusions. She has a great deal to face and to do. However, Creator believes she is up to the task, and we are to let her handle this situation herself.” Mistress Jasperfire, leader of the Sesheta Council blinked out of the hallway.
The crystal room Galaxie occupied spanned an infinite amount of space and held a massive holographic library containing all the knowledge of the universe.
Each time Galaxie came before the Sesheta Council to present her observations, she hoped they would choose her to bear the new guardian. The chosen guardian would separate a piece of herself from the whole, and take on corporeal form to find a mate. All those chosen had returned to their energy form after bearing a new guardian, except for Galaxie's mother, Nova. Galaxie considered herself different from her Sesheta sisters, as she looked forward to becoming corporeal and did not intend to re-incorporate into her energy state. To actually touch, feel, taste and smell, instead of just observe had her energy burning bright.
The massive crystal chamber filled with the sound of crashing thunder as the twelve Council members appeared on the ruby platforms forming a half circle before Galaxie. She fought to restrain her energy flares and show respect. Lightning arced off each member of the Council, exploding against the floor of the chamber.
Mistress Jasperfire, communicating with the sound of drums, announced, "Galaxie, you have waited a long time for this day, so I will not draw this out. You may now become corporeal and take a mate.”
Galaxies’ energy flared bright and lightning crashed off her at the news. She barely registered her and the Council were the only ones in the council chambers, as her thoughts raced. Finally! What will I do first? What form will I take? Which race will I choose? Will I find a mate? Maybe I will take a mate from among the Dolphins of earth, or perhaps a Grail from the planet Diniti?
Silverfire's haunting flute interrupted her thoughts, “A guardian is required for a new galaxy.”
“As you well know, young one,” Opalfire chimed in, bells ringing, “this is a great honor.”
Galaxie forced her energy to dim in respect, though only managing to maintain the dimness for a moment before flaring bright again.
“As a rule, everyone would have joined us and we would have a ceremony for you, to celebrate this special time,” Mistress Jasperfire added, seriousness coloring her drum beat, “however, you are needed at home, so we have ended the Gathering early. You must leave now.” With that decree, the Council disappeared with a great crash of thunder.
Galaxie, puzzled by the Council’s cryptic words, vanished from the chambers and reappeared home.
Upon her return to the center of the Milky Way, she noticed her co-guardian Solana’s absence and wanting to share her good news with her partner, she called for her. Hearing a pained roar from near the Deneb system, Galaxie sliced through time and space and found her partner in great distress. Solana's color, usually a deep iridescent purple, now appeared pale lavender. Galaxie knew Solana had seen many disasters occur, stars burn out, entire species die off, and war wreak havoc, yet never had she shown such distress.
Solana saw Galaxie and roared again. Her multi-colored eyes swirled with pain and fear. Galaxie reached out with soothing energy, wrapping herself around Solana's great muzzle.
“What? What has happened?" Galaxie’s voice chimed in a series of soft musical notes.
Solana shuddered down the length of her long lean body as her tail lashed in agitation. Galaxie enveloped her in energy, until the great beast grew calm and some of her strength returned.
Solana's voice boomed from within the giant, glowing orb resting between her spiral horns, "The Trident race is destroyed!"
Galaxie shrank away in shock. Releasing her friend, her energy dimmed. “No! I have not been gone long and I left everything in order."
Solana hung her head, her voice so soft Galaxie had to strain to catch the words. "Just after you left for the Universal Gathering, I noticed a strange ripple in space in the Deneb star system. Once I figured out the ripple originated near the moon Toad, I went to investigate. Using a wormhole to reach Deneb space, I encountered a strange energy field within the wormhole near Toad.” Solana's voice became stronger and she looked Galaxie in the eye. “Despite my concern, I entered the field."
Solana trembled, hanging her head once more. Her voice softened, “The energy surrounded and trapped me, pulling from every direction. I struggled with all my strength, and after what seemed forever, I managed to throw myself from the wormhole. I landed in the Andromeda galaxy. But, a tiny piece of my body stayed in the wormhole due to the force I exerted to get free."
Galaxie gasped. "What? A Lathevain has never been injured. You cannot get injured!"
Solana twisted her long neck around and licked her tail. Galaxie saw a ragged tear oozing black blood. "The cut won't stop bleeding," Solana whimpered.
Galaxie understood Solana’s pain wasn’t physical. She leaned against her friend once more; sending ripples of energy across her muzzle and down her neck to sooth her.
"Thank you, Galaxie. You should know, when I flew from the wormhole, I left a long trail of blood from the Andromeda galaxy all the way back here. I didn't want to return via a wormhole, just in case the danger was widespread.”
"I will take care of the blood trail; do not worry.” Galaxie’s energy gently stroked Solana's long, slender neck. “Please, continue with your story."
Solana took a deep, shuddering breath. “I returned to the Deneb system, where I found the majority of the Trident people dead." Opening her jaws wide, she threw back her head and roared with grief. “Almost an entire race, gone in an instant!"
Galaxie shook her fiery head, causing a shower of sparks to fall over Solana. This just cannot happen. Could I have done something? Anything I should have done? She thought.
Solana continued, “When I went to the capital planet, I discovered a strange, alien species. Everything else in the system had been laid to waste.”
Galaxie found herself disturbed for the first time in her existence. She only just took in what Solana had said. "How could an alien race infiltrate my galaxy without our knowledge?”
A giant tear rolled down Solana’s face and into her shimmering white beard as she hung her head in grief.
Realizing her friend needed time to recover; Galaxie wrapped her arms of energy around Solana’s neck and hugged her, pretending a bravery she didn't feel. "You rest while I clean up the blood trail. When I finish, I will take a look at the Deneb system of today and then travel into the past and see what has happened." Galaxie completed her task in half the blink of an eye, incinerating all blood drops with her lightening. Returning to Solana, she stopped in front of her friend and cupped her cheek. “It is done. Do you want to come with me to the Deneb system?”
“Absolutely! I just wish you didn’t have to see the devastation. It is truly horrifying.”
“Thank you for your concern my friend, but as you know, my responsibility is to share this information with the Council. Therefore, I need to see for myself everything that has happened.”
Solana, her whole body drooping, followed Galaxie to the Deneb system and stood forlornly beside her as she systematically searched for life among the many planets and moons.
Galaxie looked up at her friend, her eyes wide. “It is empty. An entire system, empty of life.”
She discovered all the space stations and satellites gone and the once beautiful cultivated planets reduced to dirt and rubble. Every planet is barren, completely void of plants, animals and people.
“Where are the starships and gleaming crystal cities reaching to the sky? Where is the bustle of activity making everything so exciting to watch?” Everywhere she looked, Galaxie saw charred ruins and destruction.
Solana’s head hung down in shame. “I am so sorry I could not stop this.”
Galaxie embraced Solana with her energy. “Please, do not blame yourself. This is not your fault.” Galaxie released her friend and turned to the capital planet, Acropolis, where the Trident government had resided. “Solana, you told me an alien life form lived here? I do not see anything alien…She looked again and gasped. “They have no spark! No wonder I could not see them. How can something exist that Creator did not touch?”
The life form she looked upon had an offensive and strange appearance, not resembling any particular species known within the Trident system. Over half a billion of the alien beings now inhabited the capital city, Atlas. However, the number increased daily through cloning, a process, which continued around the clock. “From their appearance they did not come from outside our galaxy.”
“No. they came from right in this system.”
Galaxie noted, some Tridents still lived on Atlas, in large prison complexes. The once beautiful city was completely devastated. She counted a little over five hundred million men, women, and children sitting listless and silent in their cells. She became disquieted and puzzled as she realized all the people had limbs missing.
Galaxie looked across the planet. “Why have they shuttled the animals to Acropolis from all over the star system?”
The world of once luxuriant, cultivated gardens now lay choked beneath dust and weeds. As though its beauty hid in grief.
Spaceships of all sizes lay strewn across one hundred square miles of the desolate landscape. Galaxie gazed at the activity. “Why are they modifying the Tridents ships. They have won the war so what could be the point in making more ships?
“They are not even using their prisoners to help them,” Solana noted.
Galaxie watched for a long time as the clones worked to transform the Trident ships. Her eyes widened, “They are near interstellar flight! They could break away from this planetary system, and travel to another one soon.”
Solana, turning to Galaxie, shuddered in revulsion. “We cannot allow that to happen.”
Galaxie nodded in agreement, as she observed a giant, black crystal, space station in orbit above the planet. How strange, she thought.
Realizing she would not find the necessary answers in the present, Galaxie turned to the past with a heavy heart.
Solana nudged Galaxie with her head. "May I watch?"
"Of course, my friend." Using the Deneb system of the present as their anchor, Galaxie opened a portal to the river of time. “We must use caution, so as not to cause a ripple.” She enveloped Solana in a blanket of energy, holding her close. Moving into the river, they became shadowy observers of the past, hoping to find the truth about what happened.