New Xenarth (Iota Crucis IV), 2372
“Apogee is reporting fully operational and ready to begin synthesizing Xendaru. Secondary site on Zenith will be ready within twenty lirkiks
,” said Liphra, the reigning Worker Queen of the Xenarth Aggregate as she considered a read-out from one of the many computer displays in the central command room.
Supreme Klestra communicated her agreement by jerking her oblong head to the side. “Ensure all the required boronite will be available at both sites, I do not want any further delays. What is the status of the Star Portals?”
“The Portal on Apogee is complete. The secondary site is undergoing finally testing and fine tuning now,” Liphra responded.
“Well done,” said the Supreme and then turned to consider everyone in the control room. “Well done, all. To think that we achieved so much in such little time is a testament to the unbreakable will and dedication of the Colony.”
“It’s a sign of the God-Mother,” said Cleric Queen Nadelphi. “She has imbued us with a faith that shall overcome all obstacles, even our own short-sightedness of abandoning the pursuit of Xendaru for too long. She still awaits her children with baited breath and eager anticipation.”
Klestra considered the Cleric Queen for a moment, focusing her large compound eyes on the fellow insectoid. “And soon we shall be forever reunited,” she said.
Nadelphi appeared too preoccupied with her own visions of basking in the glory of the All-Mother that she did not seem to notice the hesitation on Klestra’s part.
“There may be a complication to our plan.”
The supreme turned to find the Warrior Queen enter the room at a brisk pace. The imposing leader of the Xenarth military was at least a full head taller than any other Xenarth assembled. And even here, at the center of their power and influence, she wore her dark body armor which only added to her already naturally toughened exoskeleton.
“You bring news of our new allies?”
“I fear the situation has become more complicated. Another vessel has now appeared in the system,” she said, waving a computer slate in one of her hands.
“Another vessel? More Federation ships?” asked Klestra.
“Much worse,” the Warrior Queen said and passed the slate to the supreme.
The leader of the Aggregate took the device and look over its content. Before long her own agitation over the news was blatantly obvious by the way her feelers stood fully extended, pointing at the ceiling above. “It cannot be,” she said and raised her head to look at the leader of her military. “How certain are you about this?”
“We have no definitive confirmation but the comm. chatter we have picked up suggested that they are the Borg.”
The utterance of that name was enough drive the Xenarth assembled in the room into a frenzy of nervous clicks and agitated mumblings. The Borg were synonymous with the greatest evil the Colony had ever faced. If Xendaru and the All-Mother were tantamount to Xenarth salvation than the Borg were the bringer of death, doom and destruction. The destroyers of Xenarth Prime had returned.
“Calm yourselves,” the Cleric Queen implored to her fellow sisters and brothers around herself. “Calm yourselves. The All-Mother will provide. We stand but at the brink of eternal salvation. This is merely another challenge to overcome on our path to deliverance. Another test of our faith and dedication to the God-Queen.”
“We must immediately accelerate our work on the Portals,” said Queen Liphra. “Ensure that they are ready to engage as soon as possible to transphase the Colony to Xendaru.”
There was immediate agreement with the Worker Queen, especially from Nadelphi.
But the supreme did not miss the fact that the Warrior Queen did not appear as convinced. “Samma, what are your thoughts?”
She glanced at the supreme perhaps surprised to be asked her opinion. The warrior caste had long since lost its influence it had once enjoyed over the Aggregate for generations. Ever since it had been her people which had steered the Colony away from modern technology and the heralded Xendaru particle and its power to reunite them with the God-Queen which in turn had led to a century long dark age.
“Perhaps it is time to consider a new strategy,” she said carefully.
The Cleric Queen was not pleased with this view and immediately communicated this with a series and clicks and whistles which were meant to show her disagreement. “Our strategy is sound and ordained by the All-Mother herself.”
But Klestra was curious now. “Continue, Samma,” she said, paying little attention to the clearly flustered Cleric Queen.
“Consider this,” she said with newfound confidence in her tone. “We have pursued this exact same strategy before. We tried to rush our journey into Xendaru because we were afraid of these invaders laying waste to the Colony and instead of joining the God-Queen, millions perished and we found ourselves at the other end of the galaxy.”
“But what is the alternative?” asked the Worker Queen. “We are now beset on all sides by enemies, including those who’d like to pretend that they are our friends.”
“Yes,” Samma said quickly. “And they all want one thing.”
“The Xendaru Particle,” said the supreme.
The Warrior Queen jerked her head in agreement. “They understand its awesome power and they fear it like nothing else in the galaxy. Let us give them reason to,” she said and balled her four hands into fists. “Let us use it against them and remake the Colony into the power it once was. Let us rise out of the darkness and take what is ours by birthright. The Xenarth are meant to rule the galaxy, not run away and hide at the first sign of danger,” she proclaimed with a passion which had the room spellbound to her every word.
Even the Cleric Queen seemed to warm to this new line of thinking. “Is this … possible?” she said and then looked from Samma to the supreme.
“Using Xendaru as a weapon? With a few modification, it may be done,” said the Scholar Queen who was perhaps the most knowledgeable individual on New Xenarth when it came to the Xendaru Particle after pursuing research into the powerful molecule for nearly a lifetime. First in secret, studying tirelessly the old texts of her predecessors and later successfully leading a revolution against the seemingly shortsighted Aggregate who had long since forbidden such technology. Upon claiming the title of Supreme, Klestra had wasted little time to throw every last resource the Colony had to offer into resurrecting the long dormant Xendaru project.
“The All-Mother would be greatly pleased if her children reclaimed domination over this plane before we rejoined her in the next,” said the Cleric Queen.
As was the nature of the Worker Queen, Liphra was more concerned with the practicalities of this bold new plan. “But do we have the time? The enemy is at our doorstep.”
“They will, no doubt, be preoccupied with each other for a while,” said Samma.
Kelstra jerked her head. “Then we must not waste this opportunity. I shall head to Apogee myself and ensure the modifications are completed as necessary.”
“Is that wise, Supreme,” said the Liphra. “The greater your proximity to the Xendaru generators, the greater the danger.”
Klestra dismissed the warning. “Nobody understands Xendaru better than I,” she said with determination. “I shall personally ensure the Portal is turned into a weapon of no equal which shall turn all who stand against us into dust.”
The Worker Queen lowered her head in agreement and submission.
“And so it will be done,” said the Warrior Queen.
Nadelphi raised her four arms into the air. “The All-Mother shall provide for us all.”