The Chosen: Book One of the Portals of Destiny
Feeror glanced up from his work snarled in frustration as he saw the patrols returning to the colony empty-handed. Only one Gorkon prisoner remained. Feeror was sure he was close to perfecting the device but he needed more Gorkons on which to experiment.
He glanced at Seelyr, working on a schematic for a shield to help protect the Volgons from the sound weapon in the event that Feeror or the others could not make the weapon work only on Gorkons. She looked up from her drawings to stare at the wall. A single tear fell from her eye and slid down her cheek. She wiped at the tear absently and noticed Feeror’s gaze, hurriedly gathered her drawings and walked out of the weapons room.
Feeror felt a stab of guilt as he watched her exit the room. She had lost a great deal of weight and her shoulders slumped. I had no choice!
Seelyr and her mate, Niilor, had had a pup a few weeks prior. It had been born sickly and weak. General Kroylir ordered the pup to be killed immediately. Feeror had talked with the General and received permission to use the pup to test the newest modifications to the sound weapon. The weapons team needed creatures other than Gorkons on which to test the machine. Scouts had been unable to find any melgor in the vicinity near Colony 3 and the General forbade foraging missions for the armored lizards to extend too far from the colony.
The timely birth of Seelyr’s sickly pup offered an opportunity to test the device on a Volgon. Seelyr and Niilor had protested vehemently. Sacrificing the pup for the good of the colony was one thing; handing it over for cruel experimentation was another. Myrloir, in charge of disposal of Volgons too sickly and weak to be of any use to the colony, took those to be killed down to the restricted third level. Everyone assumed the bodies were disposed of in the incinerators. In actuality, Myrloir used them in generating food rations for the colony. Myrloir suspected that some knew, deep down, what he did with the bodies, but they never said anything and neither would he.
Seelyr and Niilor knew that their pup had to be put down. The limited resources of the colony could not be wasted on a Volgon who would never be able to fight. Knowing this fact did not make the task any easier. Both parents were heartbroken. They had only one young one, Nyilor, who was almost of mating age. Seelyr knew what was in store for her pup if the General allowed Feeror to use it to test the sound machine.
Seelyr was torn. She knew the importance of the sound device. She also knew how close Feeror was to making it work. What an advantage in battle to have a weapon that would decimate large numbers of enemy forces within earshot of the device when it was activated, yet leave others unharmed.
Yet, this was her pup being offered up for the experimentation, not some melgor. Though her little one was sick, she loved it all the same.
She wiped her eyes and glared at Feeror. “I refuse to be there when you test the machine.”
Feeror nodded in agreement, hating himself for what he was doing, yet needing to test the weapon on another life form, in addition to the Gorkon.
The experiment had been somewhat successful. The Gorkon had died immediately. The pup lived for several minutes. Feeror gently wrapped the small body in cloth before taking it to Myrloir for disposal.
Feeror felt guilty that Seelyr’s pup had suffered needlessly. He had been so sure that the new modifications would spare the pup. He sighed and looked at the dead Gorkon lying on the floor. He felt a surge of rage and hatred so strong that he found himself moving toward the body, almost against his will. He began to kick the corpse, each blow more savage than the last. He screamed out his frustration of being forced to live below ground like some animal, the exhaustion of fighting, the guilt at having to use a comrade’s pup to test the machine, the rage at that pup’s death being for nothing. A life’s worth of hatred came pouring out of Feeror and unleashed itself on the Gorkon lying on the floor. He growled and kicked the dead Gorkon until he was too exhausted to kick anymore.
He sat heavily in a chair, breath coming in gasps, his body covered with sweat beneath his armor. He called several younger Volgons into the weapons room to dispose of the body. They stared open-eyed at the bloody mess that used to be a Gorkon warrior. They glanced uneasily at Feeror as they did their best to bundle the mangled corpse in some sturdy cloth. The young Volgons took the body to Myrloir, who disposed of the carcass in the incinerators.
The Volgons returned to clean the blood and tissue off the floor. Feeror thanked them and they stammered a hasty response. The two were disturbed. While the two had seen death, it had been clean death, from plasma rifles not the bloody, smelly, violent mess that Feeror had left behind.
Feeror sat awhile longer, staring at the infernal weapon. He had been so sure! He picked up several long pieces of paper containing the read-outs of the pup’s brain wave pattern, the dead Gorkon’s pattern, and a read-out from the sound machine.
While a Volgon’s and Gorkon’s brain wave patterns were similar, there were major differences that Feeror had utilized when modifying the sound weapon. The pattern from the machine seemed to match that of the Gorkon perfectly.
There must be something I missed.