I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Clan Mother Kyraenia talking to the dark envoy.

This thing had come to our worlds some nine years ago, whispering its lies and deceits, uttering words that promised much and yet had no meaning. Only a few deigned to listen to those words, while the rest led by the Gathering of Ravens, refused to have anything to do with it.

It was expected that once its overtures had been rejected, it would have returned to its masters, but no ships came to collect it. Instead, it opted to stand as it always had by the shores of a cold and barren lake, implacable against the rain and wind, silent and still. We thought it would grow weary and leave, or simply starve and die, but we were mistaken.

It has stood there unmoving for nine long years, ignoring all attempts at communication. Even the most ardent of the Ravens have not yet dared to attack it directly, and every sensor and remote imaging system we have cannot discern its true nature. We have surrounded it with our force fields using the most complex shielding we know, and yet its influence continued to radiate from its dismal spot.

Its presence sowed discord amongst the Lazloi, giving weight to those arguing for dialogue and compromise with forces seeking to destroy us. They say that its power is something we cannot defeat, that values and precepts are relative, that instead of resisting this evil we should accept its right to exist.

Word came last week that Kyraenia was taking her throne ship to the borders of our worlds, to one of the garden planets seldom visited by our kind. It was not usual for the Clan Mother to make such journeys, nor was the secrecy that surrounded it. It was the location of the world and the absence of any other Lazloi ships that raised concerns amongst us. Loyalty to the clan made it impossible to openly question the mission, but that loyalty did not extend to the simulacrum that runs our ship.

Knowing the truth perhaps and ignoring the orders to restrict us to our quarters, it opened the doors and cargo bays causing the crew to leave the ship in confusion. We stepped out into the warm and fading light of the nearby star. We assumed that the restrictions had been lifted, and began to explore the woodland around the ship.

There in the distance, we saw Clan Mother Kyraenia and the Envoy. They appeared to be conversing and were unaware of our presence. Only as our armoured warriors sprang into action fearing that Kyraenia was in danger, did the Envoy leap into the air and flee.

In an instant the Envoy had gone, and soldiers seeking to protect her surrounded Kyraenia. She however became angry, saying we had endangered our only chance of peace. She berated the stunned Lazloi around her, ignoring demands to know how the Envoy had got to this world. Sisters loyal to the Songbirds formed a ring around Kyraenia, confronted by those loyal to the Ravens.

In that instant, we were at war with ourselves.

-- Crew member of The Night Witch, throne ship of Clan Mother Kyraenia.


V3 figure with Mirilian outfit and Noemie Hair. International Beauties textures. The Night Witch is an original model created in Hexagon.

Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 6 Pro Studio. Contrast masked and post processed in Photoshop CS2

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Updated: 13 December 2008

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