A Wolf In The Fold- Monosian Order Saga
“By 4016 internal conflicts threaten to shatter the very foundations of the Reptilian R’Conian Empire. Determined to maintain control over his vast and ailing territories, their leader, the Axtursa, Daoi IV, waged a war of terror by using an intricate network of spies, informants and assassins to seek out and destroy unsuspecting enemies.”
- Aleena Bonaventure, Historian
If the experiment failed it could mean Armageddon for the universe!
The thought sent shivers down the Ra-shi’s spine. Complete and utter destruction of life, as we know it. The concept seemed unimaginable, yet real and the responsibility rested on the shoulders of a select few. Scientists and technicians, the finest in their professions, labored for weeks perfecting the project! Lives had been sacrificed, many precautions taken in order for its secrets not to be revealed! Finally, the impossible achieved. Victory is near at hand!
He belonged to the secret order of the Ra-shi, the elite of Imperial Assassins. The R’Conian’s most trusted loyalists who pledged exclusive devotion in serving the divine leader, the Axtursa. His belief in the cause was what motivated him to forsake his name, disown his family, and join the ranks of a privileged few!
The personal life no longer existed. Everything centered on advancing the R’Conian Empire and its greatness! When it was requested that his appearance be surgically altered that he should resemble a human, he dutifully obeyed. Such a sacrifice in order to further the Axtursa’s sovereignty was a small thing to ask indeed! The Ra-shi assumed his human identity for ten years. An assignment that may have reached its end!
For the occasion, he modified his appearance to resemble an Aurine male. Special lenses made his eyes appear blue within blue, artificial color provided his skin with that grayish tone unique to Aurine peoples. His head covered by a wig composing of thick silver hair, cut short with side burns. Padding under his silk robe and tunic gave the impression that he was slightly over weight. Wrinkles added and dark patches under the eyes lent to a middle age male, soft, innocent looking. Someone an Aurine would assume trustworthy!
The Ra-shi’s unmarked shuttle lay hidden on a small moon orbiting the Martian colony. Phobos, as it was called, was a dreary rock, with a surface pocked and sculptured by craters. His ship rested near an abandoned lunar base situated inside a double crater intersection.
The Martian colony loomed across the blackened horizon, resembling an odd bluish and salmon colored mosaic. Various pollutants along with manufactured atmosphere spewed from the planet surface in spider like streams, creating a perpetual haze veiling the globe.
The Ra-shi sat motionless inside the tiny cockpit and waited patiently; making certain the probes had reentered the atmosphere before flipping a switch on his console. The approach vector on his communication panel lit.
A triangular single passenger shuttle cruised over the blackened horizon and landed near the Ra-shi’s ship. He heard the boarding ramp extend and attached itself to the other ship. Footsteps sounded. Moments later the Envoy entered the cockpit. This was their first meeting in person. Both knew little of the other.
The Envoy was an Aurine. An elite race having staggering power and enormous wealth. R'Cconians granted them control over this system. Aurines were the landowners, the Regional Governors and bankers. Humans and other species were expected to kiss the ground they walked on. No race was as pompous and self consumed.
The Envoy's oval face bared no distinction from others of his race. Same chiseled features against ugly gray skin, and hair as white as snow. His upper lip curled into a sneer. Lanky and broad shouldered, he was dressed in a gray silk tunic, matching trousers and an off white cape that was without wrinkle or flaw. Both beings politely bowed to each other.
The Envoy cleared his throat before speaking; "The test site is secured and the probe is ready for launch!”
“Good! We are on schedule. What of the other matter?”
“We have the cooperation of the Bounty Hunters Guild. Aron Bonaventure has been assigned the case!”
The Ra-shi aimed a tiny device on the tip of his index finger at the cockpit shield window.
A hologram materialized above him depicting a human male about 5 11" tall, slim but muscular, wearing matte black harem pants, a waist length tunic, leather vest and combat boots. Thick dark eyebrows crowned almond shaped eyes, which were a piercing shade of green echoing anger and defiance. It only intensified his brooding good looks. His jaw perhaps a little too square, but the scar on the left side of his forehead gave him character. A golden bronze complexion complemented his sandy colored hair, which he wore tied back in a ponytail.
The human knelled over an object unseen by the hologram; a torpedo gun strapped to one shoulder an antique grenade launcher on the other. Given his fierce expression and body language that indicated combat alertness, Aron Bonaventure could be mistaken for the criminal element he so brazenly hunted.
The Ra-shi glanced at the indicator screen below the hologram, “I see there is a three-hour delay in this transmission, where is Bonaventure now?”
“Our surveillance team lost him two hours ago! And his own Guild is frantically trying to contact him as we speak! Typical behavior!” The Envoy glared at the holographic image.
“I know you dislike him, but he is an intricate part in the over all plan. We need him!”
“What if he doesn't cooperate?”
“Negative speculation is not conducive to our situation!” Replied the Ra-shi.
“The reality is he might further complicate matters!”
“He will be dealt with accordingly!”
"With all due respect, Ra-shi, surely you are well aware the reason behind his suspension from the Bounty hunters Guild-“
"Personal grievances do not concern us."
“Personal grievances?” The Envoy's face darkened in anger, “That animal brutally murdered two of my security guards! Slaughtered them in cold blood! And had the audacity to actually threaten me!”
“If I am correct, the murder charges were later dropped by your Corporation?”
“For reasons I care not to comment on! I will say this much, Aron Bonaventure is an ill tempered, raving psychotic! His recklessness has made enemies even among his own peers. Why risk-“
“Aron Bonaventure is the best at the Guild!”
“Yes!” the Envoy spat out; “It accounts for the Guild’s failure to administer proper discipline! He’s good, very good! Unfortunately, he is an intolerable nuisance! Things will not be any different-your sorrows will be till no end-“
"We will proceed as planned!"
"As you wish." There was venom in the voice of the Envoy. “Let it be known that you were warned!”
Ignoring the comment, the Ra-shi went on, "Remember, the primary phase of the experiment commences at noon. Be prepared at your end!"
The hologram vanished. Each departed separately at twenty-minute intervals.