The Cybernetics of the Hydra — Chapter 1
How does a multi-headed reptile think?
Would they jump on you when in a brink?
With the first one, the second, and then the third
Treason is their game, and they will have you served
A single head can fall but they’ll endure
Beyond the shadows they’ll plot, be assured
From the Alpha to the Omega, hear them say
The Alpha Legion is here to stay
Remembrancer of the “Acquirement” Battleship, 373rd Expedition Fleet
The orbital scenery of Voodan Beta was a beautiful balance between humankind and stellar nature. At least that is what Alana Von Ravensburg was thinking, lost in the magnificence of the planetscape. She was wearing her fitness training suit, Alana also liked to train close combat at this time. From the captain’s day cabin, Alana had a privileged view for a couple of hours a day. Nothing better than to unwind with practical exercises and a beautiful view. The beauty wasn’t only given by the colors inherent to the Voodan system. The gases or the prismatic atmospheres present in its planets and moons where only part. It was the proportions that captured her mind. These recently discovered planets didn’t have an artificial ring yet, and although commerce was abundant and diverse, the space around didn’t feel crowded. The system star’s light shining through the edge of Voodan Beta and its moon’s atmospheres. In front of them, taking center piece in her panoramic, the 373rd fleet stood at peace. Out there, and even in her own battleship, the legions celebrated their recent “victory”. The losses required substantial repair and provisions. This is what completed Captain Alana’s majestic panoramic view. Among the large ships you could see a swarm of little other ones. Merchants and Administratum ships moving like insects from and toward the planet.
Behind her stood a line of officers with training suits. A collection of all the battleship’s staff sections. It included all leaderships and some other confidants. She made them train with her. Whenever asked about this, she would say it is how she made sure they kept the battle flame alive.
The door opened and Jaccobio entered with one shoe in his hand. He apologized and stopped to remove the other shoe, put it aside, and run to formation in the line with the other officers. The mood wasn’t tense, the officers were Captain Alana inner circle. Now that everyone knew who their captain’s sparring partner would be, the room was even joyful.
“Shall I, Captain?” asked Jaccobio Orsso, always understanding his duty.
“Proactive and swift. Let’s see if your body can catch up with your quick-witted brain, Jacobi.”
They both walked to the center of the room. As they reached the center, Jaccobio stood immediately in battle stance. Jaccobio was surprised that the captain was in front of him, but again staring through the large windows.
“It feels me with rage, Jacobi. And this goes to everyone.” she said in a serious tone. The same that she uses when grim commands or punishments are delivered. Jaccobio felt a cold tickling in the bottom of his spine.
“What happened in our last mission was not a success. Abide to that narrative only to keep operations going, but don’t believe it. And prevent your own confidants from believing it. The massacre imposed to our fleet was preventable. We now have the evidence. The Alpha Legion’s sloppiness has hurt us more than duty can hold.” she said firmly.
The security officer was shocked to hear that from the captain. Would she abandon duty?
“Sometimes, the lack of discipline and honor corrupts duty. So never put one over the other; and remember to leave aside the one that fails.” she spoke.
The room was silent. Alana decided to go the point and stop justifying her actions.
“War is based on losses. As the Stygian say, it is known. But any loss is measured in perspective from something else. From where I stand, my friends, this is treason. Disproportionate loss without a justification. And now we have what we need to prove it.” continued the captain.
“And how wil…” Jaccobio’s question interrupted.
With only a single and precise push Jaccobio lost balance and fell on his ass. The captain instinctively smiled with her sorrowful face. He was immediately standing up.
“I’m sorry, Captain.” He raised his guard. This attempt at correcting his martial mistake was enough to make her get serious.
“It is me who is sorry, Jacobi. I’m starting to behave like them now! Alpharius rats!” she was getting mad again. She stood in battle stance and nodded to a tall white-haired official. The tall woman counted down to begin the sparring.
“Three, two, one, go!”
She was leaping towards Jaccobio. She didn’t cheat, she jumped as soon as the veteran officer had said ‘go’. The predictable path of Jaccobio’s blocking arm facilitated her move. After a second, she was pinning the officer down with all her weight.
“Them snakes!” she shouted. Jaccobio struggled in vain, and she released the lock.
Another count down. Another beating. Jaccobio tapped the floor too many times the last time he was pinned by her.
“Ok, Jacobi. That’s enough for today”.
He went back to the circle of officers. He was hurting but relieved. The losses their community had suffered were too painful to forget. Hearing that Captain Alana was boiling with the right weapon, made him feel rallied. As a security officer all this felt reassuring, both personally and professionally. She may be rough around the edges and the core. But there wasn’t a doubt for Jaccobio. He felt safer with Alana than with any other leader he had served.
After the training there were intense briefs for the leaderships. In charge of the internal security and control of the “Acquirement”, Jaccobio had to make a lot of errands and arrangements for the XXth Legion. This time, orders were received to assist the case of Aural Impash. A longtime hero of the 373rd fleet, not a soldier but a leader of men, and surprisingly fit for battle. Rumors said that Aural had died. But, as everything else with the Hydra fellows, the mist of secrecy and lies were too thick. Captain Alana and Jaccobio had considered him dead a long time ago.
“Jacobi, make sure you tie down those Alpha legionnaire’s loose ends.” Ordered Alana.
“Yes, Captain!” said Jaccobio with the proper salute.
As he left the captain’s day cabin, he didn’t know exactly what to do. He walked confident because in the end it didn’t matter. A lot of his work was now easier, based on faith on the Alpha Legion’s own organization and logistics. He still hated it but had surrendered. The XXth legion had been clear about the basic way of operations. Intriguing and untrustworthy as they may be, their approach is usually very simple. His own work had been reduced to automatically abiding by some few rules. He was now diligently walking to the corner where one pearled blue armor was making guard.
“Sir, we want to comply with your needs on Aural Impash.”
“Follow me.” interrupted the armored giant.
The huge soldier began sprinting through the corridor. Jaccobio followed him hurting from the training with the captain. For such a bulk he moved fast. And, for some reason, making considerably less noise than he would have predicted.
Fatigated after a couple of minutes he stopped in a corridor crossing. He had lost the marine and didn’t know where to go. He slouched looking down, hands on his knees, sweating. A tap on his arm startled him.
“This is the complete order.” said the marine. The Alpha legionnaire provided an encrypted data by a neuro-link. “It will automatically delete itself in six hours.”
“Thank you.” Said Jaccobio. Ignoring his lousy and sweaty appearance, he walked gracefully as the Security and Control Officer. He would need a shower before fulfilling this errand with dignity. He walked down the corridors filled with hope. Some marines walked by him.
“You will see, snakes.” he mumbled to himself. “Captain Alana has got you now!”
Continue reading Chapter 2 here.