Stargazer

The galaxy is not how I pictured it to be. It is much more than anyone of our people could possibly imagine. I have seen things beyond the face of time and space. Things that would make the average person scream in terror and huddle in the fetal position like a small child. Few people in the world know my line of work. I am an assassin of great lineage, from a place past the reaches of what you call "time", past the reaches of your galaxy. I have crashed landed here from a battle I fought four thousand years ago. This planet does not have the resources I need to get back home. So I have made a new home here on Earth. I assassinate any of my enemies that come to your planet. They call themselves "higher beings"; I know them as the Volith, hideous creatures. Their sheer size would dwarf any man in comparison. Teeth sharper than steel cut to .0008ths of an inch, strong enough to rip apart mountains with ease, and the face of your "mythological" creature, the Minotaur. I am Earth's silent guardian, my name is Rune, and this is my story.

The year is 1868, I am in a state called "Texas". Houses are made of wood, and people have guns and fire them without care of the lives around them. The landscape is barren and full of dirt and dead plants. There is barely any water here; one would have to travel 40 miles to the nearest pond. Crime is constantly happening, the bank is near empty; people cower in the streets wondering if they are going to make it another night. I hardly interfere with crime just to remain inconspicuous to suspicion of my true identity.

In order to keep my appearance concealed I wear a large brown garb that I wear around the lower part of my face. I have dressed in the traditional wardrobe the humans wear to fit in better, long brown trench coat, big brown boots, a black belt, light brown pants, and a large brown hat to cover my skin from the harsh sun. In order to fit in I took the form of a human and have lived among them for many centuries.

I have seen history take its course; humans are an interesting species. They have a great capacity of war, but also, compassion. Though rarely found today, I find it in the strangest of places. A homeless man sharing scraps he found behind the saloon with his friends, a woman handing me an apple, even though she didn't have much to eat herself.

I've had many battles here on Earth with the Volith. Their goal is to strip Earth for it's resources and then dispose of it as they have with other planets for millions of Earth years. I have fought off hundreds over the course of the four thousand years I have been here. I haven't been able to salvage parts from their ships due to them burning up in the atmosphere. Though I have been able to craft weapons I designed at my home world.

I wait for the day my fellow Stargazer's come and find me on this rock so we can destroy the Volith, and live the rest of our immortal lives in peace once again.

1868 June 25th

I have found myself a canine companion. I have decided to name him Jor, after my best friend on my home world. He is a large dog, black with a few white patches on his face and legs. He has been fairly quite, but playful for the majority of the time. This world has so much evil, yet it produces the most amazing and beautiful things I have ever seen.

Jor and I were walking alongside a river looking for supple fruit and meat for our next meal. Something I have still not gotten used to, is the diet these humans eat everyday. Though the fruit is fairly acceptable as well as the vegetables, so strange how these foods grow out of the ground.

As we were walking back to our home Jor saw something in the woods and began barking loudly. Upon further inspection I realized it was a very large bear, I grabbed Jor and hid behind a tree. The bear walked around, not noticing my presence. I looked around to see if he left or not. It looked clear, so I released Jor and picked up our food. As I turned around I saw a massive hairy beast in front of us. Jor whimpered and backed up. I reached for my gun but the bear struck me in the chest and it was tossed into a bush. The bear rushed towards me gnashing its jaws and roaring. I had to think fast so I picked up a nearby stick and swung it hard in front of me, hitting the bear in the face. It was staggered for a few seconds, and then began to rush me once again. I leap towards the bush with my gun but I am rammed into a tree by the bear. Pinned against the tree I yell for Jor. He quickly jumps and clenches the bear's neck in his jaws, giving me enough time to run back to the bush.

Jor holds onto to the beast's neck for as long as he can before he is thrown into a nearby boulder, letting out a painful sound as he collides with it. The bear then turned to me, still trying to find my gun. He charges at me, but I avoid him just in time. I look over at Jor to see if he is ok. He is limping towards me slowly and in considerable pain. The bear sees him and charges to finish off what he started. I sprint towards him and smash into the bear's side, making him tumble into the large trunk of a nearby tree. I pick up Jor and run back to the bush one last time, desperately searching for my weapon. The bear roars at me as he stands up to strike me. I turn around and fall on my back in fear and sweep my arm under the bush one last time to feel the handle of my gun. Quickly as the bear lunges his claws downward, I raise my gun and fire. The gunshot sound echoes through the forest and the bear lie dead right next to Jor and me.

I stand up slowly and check Jor's wounds. His leg has been injured, so I grab a bit of bandaging I keep on my person at all times and wrap it to stop the bleeding. I take out my knife and I skin the bear as well as pack up any usable meat I can carry back to our house on the outskirts of town. Who knows when I could use an extra jacket or blanket made out of this pelt, and this meat should keep us going for a good while.

I get back to the homestead and begin cooking the meat for dinner; I also turn some of it into jerky for storage and snacks for Jor. I store most of the meat in an old engine cooler I salvaged from one of the Volith ships that crashed down to Earth. Most of the things I salvage offer a great deal of help to my living habits I have established here over the years. Ranging from weapons to heating and cooling parts. It has even allowed me to create a defense system for my home to keep all of its dangerous and destructive items safe from criminals.

The sun sets another day, tomorrow Jor and me will look for more parts to scavenge. I must tend to his wounds, his leg is cut pretty good. I will apply a special medicine I picked up from one of the Volith I encountered about a week ago. It's all finally starting to look up.

1869 August 14th

Today Jor and me went into town for supplies for our defense system upkeep, when there was a crime going on. Turns out it was a Volithian trying to eviscerate the town. I had to act fast, I handed Jor the bag of supplies and told him to go home. He took off with great speed, but not before the Volithian could spot him. He raised his weapon and took aim for Jor. I leaped from cover to distract the great behemoth to give Jor enough time to escape. I drew my gun and fired a shot into his left arm, he shrugged it off like nothing happened and turn his attention to me. He lifted his massive ion cannon and pointed it towards me and fired a shot. I was lucky enough to jump out of the way just in time while the blast obliterated the construct behind me. I sprinted for higher ground with great ferocity while the Volithian readying another shot. I climbed upon a saloon and leaped off the roof to get at his face. He raised his cannon but was too slow. I attempted to gouge his eyes but he grabbed me and threw me across the street into some barrels on the sidewalk. I was injured from a large splinter of wood in my right side. The behemoth, towering over me, walked over, raised his cannon, and said "Any last words?" I chuckled and said "Yeah, but you wont be around to hear them." He laughed at me and charged his weapon. I took out my gun and unloaded it into his body. Not even flinching, he puts his finger on the trigger and intensifies his gaze. I knew I was done, so I opened my arms and accepted death. To my surprise, a large shot was fired into his large ugly skull, exploding in a flurry of blood and teeth.

I turned to see who fired the shot, and there she was. Draped in worn attire, large goggles, bandana, hair tied in braids behind her head, and a large smoking anti material rifle in her hands. She walks slowly towards me with the rifle on her shoulder. She asks, "Are you alright friend?" I'm flabbergasted of what just happened in front of me but through my stuttering I manage to say "Y- Yeah I'll live, but who the hell are you?" She chuckles softly and says, "You didn't think you were the only one here did you?" She holds out her hand to help me up and says, "There's a small group of us three counties over. I came here on the instruction of our leader to follow a lead on the Volith destroying towns. Lucky for you I got here when I did." Still shocked to see one of my kind, I quickly ask, "Do you have a ship or something so we can connect with home?" She looks at me slightly offended and says, "Um, you're welcome, and no we got shot down about two thousand years ago by a Volith mother-ship, we drifted through space and crashed here. All of our communications were severely damaged by the attack, and this planet does not have the necessary resources for repair." "Damn!" I say, "I've been stranded here for four thousand years alone and just figure out my kind have been here with me in the same situation the whole time. Just great! How many of you are there?" She seems to be getting rather irritated and says, "Seven, not including me, we've hid from the world like you and only reveal ourselves only in extreme situations like the one you were just in. You still haven't even said "thank you", you ungrateful klink!" Realizing my mistake I reply, "You're right, I'm sorry, thanks for saving my skin back there. I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Here, come with me to my hideout and I can offer you a place to stay the night." She looks at me and says, "Ok, I've been traveling outside for weeks. We should get out of here before this Volith's friends come around. I'm Hera by the way." Inclined to introduce myself I tell her, "Yeah we should, I'm Rune. My place is on the outskirts of town, in the forest."

When we get to my hideout, Jor runs out to welcome me home carrying the bag I gave him. I pet him and introduce him to Hera. Hesitantly she reaches out to run her fingers through his course hair and become comfortable with him. "This is Jor." I say to her. "He has helped me in many battles and adventures, he's been my best friend for over a year now." She smiles and says, "Oh he looks like a very good companion and friend to have." We enter the base and she takes a look around, exclaiming every time she finds something she likes. "Wow!" she exclaims, "you have so many parts for ships and weapons." Looking over I say, "Yeah, I've been here a while, but none of it helps me get off this planet."

She picks up a few parts and spends a few minutes with them. "Don't bother, I can't get any of it to work." I say. A few minutes later I hear something power up. I look over to her and see that she got a small engine to power up. "How did you do that?" I asked. "I'm a mechanics engineer, or at least I was before we crashed here." She replied. I quickly say, "Can you possibly put some of these things together and maybe get us out of here? Or at least give us some transport?" She looks at me and pulls up her goggles and says, "I could give it a try! You have the parts for it, I'll have to have a look around and see what I can do."

After that conversation Hera went to her work around the place, grabbing anything that was usable. I went to go do maintenance on the defense system with the supplies Jor brought back. The splinter was giving me trouble, so I bit down on a piece of wood I have, and pulled it out. Blood dripping from my side, I grab some bandages from my med kit, wrap it and tie it tight to stop the bleeding. I take some morphine to stop the pain from interfering with my work. It's going to be awhile before Hera is done building us a form of transport.

1869 December 13th

Hera's work has paid off; she has managed to build us a hovercraft capable of traveling long distances very fast. It is not very large, but it can carry a group of four along with the weight of a sizable cargo. After months of work and dedication we can travel without hassle. I take a look at our craft; propulsion jets underneath allow it to hover over rocks and rough terrain with ease, with two large jets on the back to propel us forward at speeds of over two hundred miles an hour, and it is powered by a stable fusion reactor capable of giving off limitless energy. Thanks to this machine we can finally go to Hera's camp very quickly.

After packing the hovercraft we set a course for her hidden campout. As we fire up the engines, they roar loudly and powerfully. We had to strap everything down tightly due to the high winds of the desert. We all slide on our goggles and strap in, Jor as well. We rise of the ground about 4 feet and shoot across the barren landscape like a cannonball. Hurtling towards our destination, we pass by town after town in a matter of minutes. We approach a large cave and I turn to Hera and ask, "Is this it?" She turns and says with a smile, "Yes that's it, it doesn't look like much from the outside but inside it is a great cavern holding our old ship where we live." As we enter the cave, all light is dissipated and suddenly everything is black. Hera flips on the floodlights on the front of our craft to reveal a vast cavernous opening deep in the cave.

We cross over a stone bridge that goes across an extremely deep valley, easily a mile down. After about twenty minutes I see a distant blue light. As we near it, it becomes brighter until we enter another large opening. As we pass through this opening the blue light shines extremely bright, revealing the entire cave and the broken ship in the middle of it. Nearing closer to the ship, two heads pop out of the ship to see who we are. One goes back in and four more heads look out, it was the group Hera told me about. Finally entering the camp, we land our craft and Hera runs out to introduce me to the group. I step from the craft to converse with them, an interesting looking group.

They welcomed me in warmly and without judgment, Hera introduced me to everyone. There were the young twins, Nile and Jekyll, the demolitions expert, Gerent, the weapons specialist, Leah, and the flying ace, Turf. Everyone was so surprised to see me and gave me a good meal. They asked me a bunch of questions of how I got here and for how long. I told them great stories of my battles with the Volith and the adventures I've had across America, and how I watched history take its course. The twins enjoyed playing with Jor as I told them my story. Finally the last person came out of the ship, a giant of a Stargazer, was their leader. Dressed in captain's attire was Gorath, a large physique, with a scar over his left eye from the crash. He walked over to me and said, "Who are you?" in a big deep voice. I stood up and said, "I am Rune friend, I have come with supplies and food for your group in hopes we can repair your ship so we can get off this planet." He looks at me sternly and says, "Very well, welcome to the group, I am the leader and captain of this ship of the 321st quadrant, front line." I could tell from his face and personality that he was a serious one, not to be crossed, but I believe I have found Jor and me a new home.

1870 May 11th

Months have gone by and reconstruction has been going well. We have managed to get a communications beacon working, but we are out of range to reach our home world and need to boost the signal in order to contact them. I feel like I am one of the group now, we all work together very well and have managed to get one of the engines working. However, the other one needs more parts for fixing, so we will have to make a trip back to my old place to pick some up. Hera and I have come to be close and I see that relationship blooming in the near future. She has been working on a system that will boost the signal to our world to request a rescue mission. Gorath and me have become good friends, throwing ideas back and forth about building the ship and what to add to it to make the trip easier. The twins have taught Jor how to do many things like fetch tools and parts for them. Gerent and Leah have been working together on a weapons system for the ship.

After a bit of work, Gorath and I decide to take the hovercraft back to pick up the much-needed parts from my old place. When we get there I find my hideout to be thrashed and destroyed. Looks like the Volith were looking for me, and when they did not find me they destroyed it. Gorath and I look for parts we can scavenge for the ship. When suddenly he yells, "Rune, were not alone!" I rush towards him to see what he meant, only to find him in the middle of three Volith. I take cover behind a tree to keep them from seeing me. Gorath has his weapon drawn and yells at the Volith group, "Come on you overgrown rats, let's see what you got!" The Volith drew their weapons and began firing. Gorath jumped out of the way and fired two shots into the chest of one, killing him. I raised my large rifle and fired from cover but Gorath was in the way, fighting them off. Soon a large group of Volith was running towards Gorath who was busy with the other two. I shot my rifle and killed a few, but after about ten shots my gun jammed and all I could do was watch. Gorath turned to see the horde coming at him. Leaping from cover he blows a hole in the head of the Volith to the left of him, runs and jumps onto the other, gouging its eyes out with his nails. He takes their weapon and fires it into the horde multiple times, killing as many as he can, but they just keep coming. I sprint to the hovercraft, dodging bullets and explosions caused by missed shots from the Ion cannons. An explosion goes off near me and pellets of rock enter my leg. In pain, I limp to the craft as fast as I can. I jump in, start it up and head to Gorath who has been shot in the shoulder and is still fighting on. I speed towards him as a Volith jumps on him; I ram the Volith off of him as he jumps on.

We take off as fast as we can; unfortunately the Volith found the blue prints of the craft in my hideout and built a few of their own. We speed across the desert as the Volith try to chase us down. As I drive, Gorath tries to take out a few of them with his Pulse rifle and a few grenades we had. The Volith fire their large guns at us continuously, I swerve and dodge them desperately. Gorath yells, "Quit moving damn it, I'm trying to hit them too!" I say, "Well aim better, I'm trying to keep us alive!" As we near the cave, more Volith join the chase. We race into the cave; I get on the communications with the group telling them what's coming. Immediately the group gets ready and Hera tries to get the last engine on the ship to work by taking parts from the add-ons. Flying through the cave, Gorath shoots the top of the cave in hopes to crush the incoming hovercrafts. He manages to kill a few, but is shot in the stomach and says, "Damn it! They got me again!" He pulls out his Ion cannon and says angrily, "I'm tired of their crap! I'm pulling out the big guns!" He fires into the crowd hitting multiple Volith, but it seems they just wont stop advancing. Back at camp the group readies for battle, Gerent has set up charges and Leah has the turrets ready. We get to camp and all hell breaks loose, Gerent fires the charges and Leah fires all guns. The Volith start shooting at them frantically, blowing up the turrets. Leah gets caught in the blast and dies fighting. Gerent screams over the loss and jumps on a Volithian craft, he kills the driver and begins shooting the guns to take out anyone nearby. He is blown up by the Volithian leader's craft, but manages to take out multiple enemies in the explosion of his craft. Seeing the loss of two friends was infuriating, tears stream down my face as I scream at Gorath "Kill all those bastards!" The twins have set multiple traps throughout the cave, which are continuously going off and taking out anything that touches them. Hurdling towards our ship, Hera managed to get the engine working. The twins fire their cannons to take out a bunch of Voliths to cover our entrance.

Hera fires up the ship and gets everything ready for take off. Gorath and I reach the ship in order to make our final stand, we jump out and take up arms. Jor runs out to help protect the ship for take off. We are all firing at the Volith killing hundreds, blowing up everything to protect each other. I get hit in my left arm and Gorath yells, "Get out of here Rune, get to our home and make sure Hera and the twins make it out of here!" I look at him through the explosions going off and say, "Not without you Gorath, we need you to guide us!" He turns and says, "You don't need me Rune, I've been watching you, and if anyone can get them out of here safely it's you. Now go!" I nod my head and yell at the twins to get on the ship. They run to the ship as I cover them. A Volith jumps on top of me, I try to push him back but I cant due to my wounds. Hera begins firing her anti-material rifle, killing the one on me and many other Volith. Jor jumps from the ship and morphs into a giant beast and begins ripping them apart. I never expected Jor to be an alien himself as I look at him in amazement.

The twins drag me to the ship as Hera begins to lift it off the ground. I yell, "Gorath lets go!" He turns with a half smile and says, "No Rune, I'm not coming. I am fighting till the end, no more running. I am ending this." Hera begins to take off and I yell, "No wait! We need to save him! Hera stop!" But she didn't listen; Jor was down with Gorath fighting till the death. Gerent had this place rigged to blow sky high, all hooked up to a remote. Gorath grabbed the remote and yelled at us to get out. He was hit once more and fell and lay by a rock and waited for us to escape. Jor stayed fighting to protect Gorath, but he also was struck down. The leader of the Volith walked up to Gorath and said, "Any last words?" Gorath laughed and said, "Yes, but you won't be around to hear them." He raised the remote and showed the Volith leader. Once he saw it his face went serious and he yelled, "Lets get out of here! Quick!"

As we took off and shot into the sky, I saw in the distance a massive explosion, swallowing every Volith inside of the mountain. Tears ran down my face as I screamed for Gorath and Jor. The twins and Hera also broke down crying. We've suffered the loss of our family, Gorath, Leah, Gerent, and Jor. They went down as heroes, those who fought for each other, to protect us and saved Earth from the scourge of the Volith. From when I first saw this group of survivors, I didn't think much of them. They proved to be much more, and fought for something bigger than themselves. They have proven to me that everything is not as it seems. That I should look deeper into those I care about. We will honor them by completing the mission, and getting home to tell the great tale of what happened. We will survive and destroy the Volith no matter the cost.