“Why me?”, Fiero asked Diamanthus. “And where exactly are we going.”

Diamanthus seemed like he didn’t hear the Fiero behind him, continuing on with manually piloting the Arrowhead.

“I know I was good as dead, and joining two different foreigners, as a fugitive for murder and robbery, I still am. The only reason I’m still talking is I’m just as curious as I am thankful to be out of that box.”

“Look, I’m grateful, but I need to know what I’m heading into here,” Fiero pressed, and sat adjacent to the hulking silver behemoth at the helm.

Diamanthus, without taking his eye off the viewport, finally spoke. His voice filled the bridge with its rattle and hum. Quida sat behind the two and crossed her legs on the gunner seat, looking eager to hear.

“20 years ago, a cyborg was part of a clandestine mission for the Empire, on the lookout for new worlds to cyberform. Its commander had found one, unrealistically far from the known quadrants, which as you may well know is already filled to spilling with Accretia, Cora, and her former kin, the Bellato,” motioning to Quida. “The planet they discovered would come to be known as Novus, where nearly every able soldier, or citizen – as governments would like you all to think – is sent to these days. Rich with a seemingly unending bounty of resources, I don’t see why not.”

“The group had been ambushed on the way out by a Union shocktrooper squad, and they breached and boarded this very vessel, where the group would defend the information they had to the death. They crashed on a planet nearby, desert from equator to equator, where little life lived.”

“I was born on this ship. My body and parts came from the three Accretians that once drove this. My soul, sparked into life by what used to be the Arrowhead’s adjutant AI.” 

D lifted his hands from the controls, and Fiero felt the craft wobble.

“My braincore, the ship procured from one of the intruders.”

Fiero guffawed at this, “whoa. So you have a Bellato brain! Is that why you’re friendly, then?”

“I am not finished, but sure, maybe so. Do not get to comfortable, for we are allies, not friends.”

“Aww D, am I not your friend?” Quida asked playfully.

D, ignoring the question indirectly, continued. “After I awoke, I trekked to the first other thing I discovered other than the Arrowhead. I think, I was brought there by hmmm, an echo, lingering memories from the braincore I acquired.”

”I found a Bellato ship and surmised that it was the one that attacked this one. Inside were no survivors, save for that one that sits behind you.”

Fiero shoots Quida a questioning look. “So he found you. So that was two decades ago, how old are you then?”

“Old enough to kill ya,” Quida jests, fingerguns pointed at Fiero.

“I found a child, a mere mewling infant, still alive, amongst a few adult corpses. The troopers, judging from their relatively easy gestation process, birthed this one mid-mission. I trained her to what you see now. She is more than adequate for what we are about to undertake.”

“And what is that?,” Fiero asked impatiently.

“We heard about you from our travels living off what we could pirate and pillage for ourselves, living just enough to survive. Fiero, the bounty hunter known as ‘il Biondo’, who murdered an entire city of Faithful.”

“That ain’t true.”

“I know, and that is why you’re here. You, abandoned by the very citizenry you once sought to serve and protect. You, who just like us, just wanted to survive. You, who as of now, is no longer part of the collective. You now live above the law.”

“Except that they’re chasing us most likely. Why me, did you really have to fish for a Corite just to complete a set?”

“I needed a soul that beat just like mine. Accretians never had souls, or so they are taught. But mine searched for you, as it had searched for Quida before you.”

Fiero could scarcely believe what he was hearing, but he nodded in assent to those who’d set him free.

“As for our goal…” D pressed a series of buttons on his sidepanel, and a holo of a planet appeared next to them.

“Novus has been discovered to be part of an anomalous cluster of arrythmic wormholes, of which it is at the midst of. Not topographically, but in parallel in spacetime. Numerous adjunct worlds have been discovered, nearly all virtually the same as Novus in everything but a few certain unique characteristics.”

D points to the holo.

“This, we found, ourselves. And right now, it is quite empty as of yet of Empire, Alliance, or Union influence. It will be ours.”

“Just like that?” Fiero questioned. “We’re gonna steal a planet?”

“No, Fiero. We are going to shape it.”

“I have not forgiven my ilk for leaving me alone from a hive, but I thank them for letting me free. I have not forgiven the Bellato for letting Quida on a ship on a course for danger. I trust you will not forgive those who lead your people as well, those who had cursed you after drinking from your cup of justice.”

“This is the most I’ve heard him speak, wow. But yeah, he loves sounding dramatic.” Quida interjects.

D finished his tale, the tale of now three outlaws out to extract payment from the universe.

“They will arrive, but we will be there before them. They will colonize, but with our roots on the ground, the fruit that their settlements bear will be of our molding. They will proselytize, but the denizens of this one will have our souls.”

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