Aviary

Nathan Wagner Prologue

No one thought it would happen. Especially to a group as large and powerful as ours. But, after all, we have been wrong before. We all have. And this was the worst mistake mankind has ever made. We practically gave up our chance of survival in the vastness of space. The Voyager Sky Loft 1 was the first attempt at colonizing in another solar system. When that ship touched the surface of the world mankind wanted to colonize, Planet Earth exploded with excitement.

Our new home planet, we called Cryercya (meaning "Cry of Freedom"), was beautiful. Great cascades flowing over the sides of mountains. Giant, rolling hills, with tall grass blowing in the prairie like winds. It was like stepping back in time to before technology claimed Earth for its self. To a time when Earth was just getting started and it was amazing. Creatures of every size, shape, and color roamed the plains laid out before us. A small bird like creature with six wings and a large, leathery sail on its back, darted to and fro about our ship that landed on the planet, a small Battle Convoy called Aviary.

Then we heard something. A rustling of some bushes nearby. The man next to me dropped dead with a shout as a blast rang out in the once peaceful grassland of Cryercya. A towering, black creature, at least eight feet tall, with four column-like arms, and great, boney spike protruding out of each long, slimy, claw-like hand, leaped from the tall grass in front of where we were standing. My comrades and I fought valiantly, but that one creature was almost too much for us. Including me, only four survived. A war had started. That one event started the biggest war mankind had ever seen, but it is not over yet. The only concern is….we are losing.

The Report

My name is Tye Render. My comrades, Buck, Farrona, and Darren, were the only survivors of the attack on Cryercya. We later find the creature we saw was called a Reptyle. A scout, to be specific, so the one we saw was a smaller one.

"I would hate to fight a bigger one. One of the smallest of their race wiped out six men by its self! Imagine what a bigger one could do. The readings say the biggest of them is called a Tyrant. It averages in height about 500 feet tall! Thank God there is only one of them, but the damage that could cause!" cried Darren.

"No kidding!" I replied. "That kind of power could take out one of our Siege Carriers!"

"Or a squad of Convoy ships like ours," Buck added.

"We need to get back to the fleet as fast as possible guys. I'm sure Drake would find some use in this encounter," Farrona added. Being the only woman among us, Farrona felt she had some sort of authority our crew, even while our real leader, Rocky, was alive. He died heroically in our encounter with the Reptyle, and I will see to it that he is not forgotten. Farrona often braids her long, golden blonde hair around her head like a crown of tiara. We readily make fun at her, calling her "your highness", and," royal pain", laughing until she storms off in a fit of rage.

"We are coming up on the fleet," Darren informs us. Darren is the head of the tech and radar committee on our ship. For this reason, we nicknamed him Data. He is tall and slender, with short, spiked, sandy blonde hair and the bluest eyes known to the fleet. A staring contest with him is like staring of into the deepest part of a vast blue sea. "Get ready Buck."

Buck is our pilot. With his legendary flying skill in battle and his amazing record in military service to Earth, we were the lucky ones to have him as our pilot. His short, jet black hair is always messing up due to his head set, but tries his best to keep it slicked back.

"Okay. Before we land, according to the regulations of Sky Loft 1, if a leader of a crew goes missing or dies in combat, a new one must be elected among the remaining crew before returning to the fleet," Farrona reminds us. "Now, logic dictates women are better leaders then men, which is why I don't know why I was not already leader of the crew. So now that that issue is settled, we can land. Go ahead Buck."

"Now hold on, royal pain. The new leader must be elected, mind you. No elections were held," I interjected.

"Fine then Tye, let's vote. All those in favor of my leadership of this vessel, stand!" To no one's surprise, no one voted for Farrona. "What! You men irritate me! None of you are fit for leadership! Typical of a man, why should I be surprised?"

"Calm down, your highness, it is not the last thing you will do," Data said with a slight laugh in his voice. "Do we have anymore nominations?"

"How about Buck? He has more experience than any of us in this gig," I suggested.

"No, no. I'm only a pilot. I have no interest in a role as a leader of anything other than a fleet going into battle. What about you Tye?"

"Hahaha! Him?! He would never make it. Look at him! That is not the build of a leader! I am obviously more suited to the job than this-"

"Shut up!" Data finally interrupted. "I can see it. He has that leader spirit, mindset, and strategy. It is more than you will ever have Farrona! Back off."

"Fine! Any votes for Tye?" Farrona shouts angrily at the rest of the crew. Both Buck and Data rose to their feet. Her face went from rage, to bewilderment, back to rage, and it came back hot. "What?! Why him and not me?! Give me one good reason why he would be chosen over me as a leader!"

"He is not an utter control freak that would lead us to our deaths! We all know you failed the session on battle strategy in training, Farrona, then, being from a powerful family, threatened to sue the instructor if he failed you in that session," Data retorted

"How did you know that? I never told anyone but….. Oh, I could kill her. I knew better than to trust Kellie Stardust! How could I be so stupid?"

"It comes naturally," Buck whispered into my ear. We roared in laughter. He wasn't wrong, really.

"What are you two laughing about?!" Farrona yelled at us.

"Nothing," I said, wiping the tears from my eyes, still laughing. "Go ahead and land when ready, Buck."

"Yes, sir!" he replied. "Sky Loft 1, this is Aviary. We are requesting permission to land, code 0274," Buck transmitted to the massive vessel. The hatch to the hangar opened and we landed in the ship. Drake, our commander and leader of Sky Loft 1, was waiting for us as we exited our ship.

"Hello commander," I said as we saluted.

"Hello," he said, returning the salute. "Where is the rest of the crew?"

"That is what we wanted to talk to you about, sir. We encountered a hostile life form on Cryercya. Our database shows this creature to be a Reptyle, one of the smaller ones identified as a Scout. It ambushed us, and it came armed. My guess is it was on a patrol, or hunting for food. We are the only survivors. Our leader, Rocky, was killed as well."

"That is unfortunate. I'm sorry for your loss. Did you elect a new leader for your vessel?"

"We have, sir. I was voted into the position."

"A wise decision. I would have voted likewise. May you and your crew fare well in your travels."

"Thank you, sir. What of the mission? With the Reptyle roaming the planet, we won't be able to colonize, not peacefully. Our data shows that they are very territorial creatures, and never travel alone. If we only saw one, then they must already have word of what happened."

"Yes. Let me rest. This is so much for one day. Let's call it a day. If we go back down today, they will expect us, and they will bring back up with them. You said this was one of the smaller ones? How big was it that it took out six men single-handedly?"

"Eight feet tall, sir."

"My lord! Was any further research attempted?"

"Yes, sir. We found that the largest of them is called a Tyrant. It is about 500 feet in height, but only one exists. No further data exists."

"Thank you Tye. You and your crew are dismissed. When I call for you tomorrow, I want you and your crew to go back down there and gather more information on the Reptyle. Learn their weaknesses and strengths. I believe at this point that war is inevitable. I will send a strike team with you for defense, but try not to be seen."

"You can count on us, sir."

"Good man. You are dismissed." We returned his salute and went to our quarters, anxious of the coming day and what it will hold.