Ten years ago I resolved to destroy any chance that the Enemy might spread its influence further than the Candor District. In destroying the star system of Gateway, I created a firebreak that would prevent any humans from entering or leaving the area. In denying the humans the ability to travel, no dust or controlling minds could make the journey either.
It was not enough for me however, so I raided far and wide against the collaborators who had helped activate the gate at Hycaron II. I discovered that my former lover Karl Wolmark was instrumental in the Enemy's early success, so I destroyed his Sansica Corporation wherever I could find it. Ships and ports were attacked as my instincts directed until I was certain the higher intelligences were gone. My actions brought me into conflict with the Songbirds and my grandmother, the Clan Mother Kyraenia, so I was banished along with many of my Raven sisters. I endured my punishment, because I was happy I had completed the task I was given.
Now, in the presence of my new benefactor the Clan Mother Zylyra, I see that my work is unfinished. On the world of Illaria where the Enemy took root and enjoyed its greatest success, there is clear evidence the controlling minds still operate here. Lying hidden here all these years, the lure of a Clan Mother proved too much for them. Their attempt on her life was burned down and destroyed however, and no doubt they will go into hiding again.
I asked the Clan Mother to allow time to seek out the minds, but she told me my daughter was the most precious thing in our struggle to survive. In the end she agreed to let me stay behind with her yacht, while the powerful Storm Crow of the Dark Sister would take her and the humans back to our home worlds. Our parting was brief with promises that I would return soon, but my daughter was troubled and confused. We had hardly made time to bridge the gap of years when we were to be parted again. For me I felt strangely detached from her, as though she had no connection with me at all. For a while I considered abandoning my quest, but I realised that the gap between us was too wide for now. I can only pray that she will understand.
While the Storm Crow broke orbit and left the Illaria system, we took the 'Spirit' into a dry and inhospitable region where the plant and animal life was thin and sporadic. We noted on our sensors that some human survivors live here too, evidence that the area is safer than the cities and towns we had first visited.
The task ahead will be difficult; I have a small but powerful ship at my disposal with a committed complement of crew, but while we are by far the most powerful force on the planet, the enemy is buried deep and the hiding places many. Time is not our side. The star gate at Hycaron II is clear for use once more, and it will not be long before the Enemy realises this. The controlling minds here might choose to carry on their mission, or use the opportunity to return home through the star gate and call for reinforcements. Either way, our people are paralysed by their own internal battles, and that will prove to be our undoing.
I have promised Zylyra I will complete my mission within a month and will rejoin her and my daughter at the home worlds shortly after. At my age, some 140 years as the humans measure it, a month seems such a trivial amount of time. I suspect it will be longest month of my life.
-- Alisandra hept Zilaerion aboard Clan Mother Zylyra's yacht, "Spirit of the Deep River".
Original space craft model created in Cinema 4D. V4 figures in Xurge Cybersuit with customised texture.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 8 Complete. Post processed in Photoshop CS2