Next Colony: The Swarm Chapter 10, Page 2



Deep within the remote caves of Planet P2, the Genesis Ground Troops were finally reunited with their freshly freed leaders, Jack Steel and Johnathan Maxwell. As the men walked through a gauntlet of high-fives and pats on the back, Jack sought to keep Jarunik Nikruja close to him for fear that he would be mistaken as an enemy.

The men were given what they needed to get cleaned up, and changed into some nice, warm, clean clothing. After a nice wash-up in the pure waters of the hot springs, the old, and new, friends sat around a comfortable fire to share some thoughts and strategies. Next to Jack Steel sat his Zyklopian liberator.

Gentlemen, this is Jarunik Nikruja of the Zyklopian Rebel Forces. Don't ask me what that means, because I haven't a clue. All I know is that our new friend here helped the Vice Admiral and myself escape from that prison, and perhaps even a certain death. I'll let Jarunik fill us in on what we are missing.


  • Thank you. I am honored to be among you all, especially you, Jack Steel.

Please, call me Jack.

  • It is the custom of my people to honor one's full name, as this is one of the qualities of your uniqueness.

Very well, as you wish, but don't expect me or my men to always call you Jarunik Nikruja. You'll be lucky if you manage to get a Jaru out of most.

The men laughed, lightening up the mood of the crowd.

  • That is fine, to you be your customs, and to me be mine, Jack Steel. The Zyklopian Rebel Forces formed after the declassifying of the Project NextColony files. Many of my people did not know that Dread Lord Mancer was an Earth humanoid. This offended many, and lead to a resistance forming to put into place a true Zyklopian leader who would consider the real needs of my people, and to stop us from being used for the Dread Lord's personal gains. It is true that many of my people are enthusiastic about being able to have access to the Yamato Blueprints, and the ability to build them. This is how the Dread Lord was able to establish himself as ruler of the Zyklopians. But we are a highly evolved species, and warring is not the only talent we possess. As you can see, we are a technologically advanced humanoid race.

Yeah, speaking of which, I wanted to apologize for having called you a robot.

  • I thank you for your apology, Jack Steel. Your misunderstanding is reasonable.

Hey, help me out with something though, Mr. Jarunik; why don't you have one of those robotic voices? You sound like a normal human to me, with an accent of course!

More laughter from the crowd!

  • You Earth humanoids have a primitive understanding of cybernetic organisms. We are simply humanoids, like yourself, but enhanced with robotic augmentations. We are neither ruled by machines, nor do we rule machines. We have a symbiotic relationship with what you refer to as artificial intelligence.

Okay, we can wrap our minds around that, but why did you help us?

  • You should be able to understand, Jack Steel, that you are quite the legend among the Zyklopian Rebel Forces. In fact, you are the cause of our existence. When I fled from my home-world Zyklop, a bounty was placed on me and my comrades. The Cryptoriddler has a knack for capturing those who can bring in a hearty ransom. I could have escaped long ago, but I have no way of getting off of the planet. When I heard that you had been taken prisoner, I could not allow for your execution at the hands of the Dread Lord; it would have greatly demoralized the Zyklopian Rebel Forces.

But what makes you think we can get you off of the planet now? We're all stuck here!

  • I did not help you for a favor, Jack Steel. I helped you for the honor it will bring me. For the Zyklopian Rebel Forces to know that I, Jarunik Nikruja, helped you escape, will cause our ranks to swell with more sympathizers. If you and your men decide to abandon me here, I will understand. I ask only that you let my people know what I have done for you.

Hey, hey, what the hell is this talk about leaving you here! We don't abandon our men!!!

  • But, Jack Steel, I am not one of your men.

Jack gracefully moved closer to Jarunik, staring him in the eyes, and spoke with conviction, You saved my life, Jarunik Nikruja, and the life of my closest friend! That makes you my friend! And just as it is our custom to never leave our men behind, far greater is our custom to never, and I mean NEVER, leave a friend behind! AIN'T THAT RIGHT BOYS!!!


Next Colony: The Steembook - Chapters 1 thru 9


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