Hadrian: The Ixvapyans
((150 Years Ago - Skrizvypai))
A lush, humid jungle of towering trees and vines, the tallest anywhere from the seven systems over, claimed its dominance while a shrill hooting dropped a bald, black skinned child on his knees. The predominate traits of his sharp, coal-black eyes indicated an intelligence at work. It would be sacrilege to wear the cabollai robes during the Trial. He was allowed only his two scythemii, the grooved, swirling daggars, one for each hand.
Every Ixvapyan, whether Male, Female or Caed, had the right to engage in the Trials. Monitoring his breath, the Caed Ixvapyan called Hadrian shut his eyes to the lush plant life as he offered his thoughts to the Great Hunt of the universe, listening until he heard no more, at once one with the universe and yet an individual. The Yan of existence, according to the Teachers.
A wrayling cry spun the young Caed around, flashing jagged pointed teeth as fangs lashed in the form of the cat-like boar. Liquid splashed the air, metallic rust that painted him. Screaming his challenge, Hadrian rolled out of his curl and whipped around, slashing fast until he was insubstancial, only a blur of black fury mixing with the tri-colored fur of the Grindalcat. One with the blade, one with life, one with the forest, the planet, the stars and universe.
He was Ixvapyan.
((Above Skrizvypaii, Warship Jixwageau))
Harsh gray walls clashed with the bald, black-skinned Ixvapyans serving aboard the Jixwageau, almost militaristic with a unique cadence. A roving pack of four Ixvapyan Security guards swept through, their cythemii holstered, armed with small, miniscular guns that fit their over-large, six fingered hands. Adorning the gray walls were tribal markings of their particular heritages, the Great Language of Knowledge as referred by the Teachers.
The unique corridors and decks of the warship seemed integrated, as if somehow the richness of their planetary worlds and their technology fused. A Female Ixvapyan stopped a Male long enough to remove a silver needle and poke him in the neck, drawing blood before inserting the needle into a portable unit. Symbol language flickered as scan results provided the answer. Adonnia nodded.
Adonnia: Your red cell regeneration progresses well. Soon your skin heals, Bardon.
Bardon: My blessings, Healer.
A warship doesn't work with the traditional sense of several of the Core Worlds ships as the Architects understood there cannot be one place for the Warlord. The Warlord could not function without his crew, and the crew could not function without the Warlord, since while there were no difference between the training, intelligence and capacity, what distinguished the Warlord was instinct. Some were drawn to wage war, hence, the were the captains.
The Ixvapyan Warlord Isobar hovered around the Science station, having no station of his own. He was most interested watching Hadrian on the surface of Training Planet Skrizvypai undergo the Trials. As with all Caed Ixvapyans, Isobar felt Hadrian would be one of the rare Warlords. The child had potential, although did not have the tribal marks tattooed yet.
Their dye was iconically one of the wonderful elements of their planets. Some kind of metallic compound their Architects and Engineers diagnosed as an inhibitor to sensor equipment. The same dye the Ixvapyan society had used for over hundreds of generations, which the Healers diagnosed as fundamentally changing their physiology that allowed them not to be read by the Confederacy of Core Worlds or other straggler societies beyond the Core Worlds. Isobar knew if he asked, the Healers, Engineers and Architects would tell him the exact compound broken into its periodic elements and how many atoms did what to their blood.
Isobar knew without his crew, without the collaborative effort of all, he would not be Warlord and would not command such a fine, proud and battle-proven warship. The Insect-race whose name was not known to them, sometimes their friend, sometimes their enemy, learned not to prey on Ixvapyans.
As much as he loved battle, Isobar looked forward to the day where he would return to Ixvapyia and oversee the populations of the Seven Systems. It was the Caed Ixvapyan's responsibility to monitor and control the growth of the race.
His Second, the Battle Leader Ursuli, stepped up to watch with Isobar as Hadrian carved the Grindalcat into bloodspray. She twitched her mouth.
Ursuli: A fine specimen, yes.
Isobar: He is Ixvapyan. We expect no less.
Ursuli: Of what age is Hadrian?
Isobar: 50 Suns and Moons. He is leaving his child seasons.
On screen, Hadrian paused while lording over the carcass of the Grindalcat and raised his knives, howling straight at the screen. Flashing his teeth, he bellowed.
Ursuli: He will be warlord, yes. He is learned?
Isobar: If he is not killed in the Trial, he will be sent away to Learn. As it must be with all Ixvapyan Warlords, the Ixvapyan who does not spend time among other races is shallow and lacks reason.
Ursuli: But you think he will succeed. How long will he spend in the Core Worlds?
Isobar: No less than 20 Suns and Moons. But he will be placed farther. Hadrian will be sent as far as possible. His journey will be scribed among our Greaters. We will place him out of Ithassa. ::
Ursuli's eyes shot wide.
Ursuli: Has that been done?
Isobar: No. He will be first Ixvapyan to journey back with many stories and much honor to share, if he survives.
((150 Years Later, USS Phoenix-C))
Seated with his legs crossed and hands resting one on each knee, Hadrian opened his eyes to stare at the room Starfleet called the Captain's Ready Room. The desk and furniture had been shoved to the wall. His ceremonial mat lay beneath him. He brushed the memories of his ancestors and paused, at one with the universe and thriving in the unity of his Yan.
The Snakes of the Cartel paid for War. War was started. Hadrian had spent more than enough time among the races that associated themselves with the Free Trade Union of the Ithassa Region. He spent a considerable amount of time among many more races within the Confederacy, having stood in the Council Chambers of the Confederacy of Core Worlds and labeled as condemned because he was Ixvapyan. They hated Ixvapyans. They feared them. Confederacy races ran from their warships, or banded together to engage battle skirmishes among the member regions. Still, some hired them to start wars with their other enemies. Ixvapyans were welcomed when someone wanted to wage war.
As Hadrian learned fifty years ago when he reached 100, the Caed Ixvapyans who would become Warlords were hunted down and killed while on their journeys home. Those who returned, having faced the fear, the hatred, divided loyalties, and yes, even loves. He had witnessed dying stars and out of mercy, killed those who had been fallen in conflict that would die within a forthnight. He had no Healer with him on his Journey.
Even this Starfleet, Hadrian had no personal feeling for or against. They were many, and their cultures, while different, reflected the same. Their captains could not be without their crew. Their crew could not be without their captain. Just like Ixvapyan.
Standing, Hadrian removed his scythemii and scraped the sweat from his black skin. Robeless, the tribal markings of the Warlord adorned his back and traveled to the back of his legs and arms. The metallic dye, which resided in him at the moment of birth and painted on to mark him Warlord, glowed in the darkness of the Ready Room.
Hadrian finally stepped off his mat and rolled it up. It was time to re-engage, now he was at peace and one with the universe. His Ixvapyan crew, bonded with for near 30 Suns and Moons now, he was sure had developed plans. Soon, he was sure Starfleet would reveal themselves.
Soon, the Ixvapyan warship Phoenix could go where for a Great Hunt and Great Journey. Hadrian longed for new horizons. Fluid-like, he snapped around as he danced the forms, slashing with his knives in the rigorous forms taught since youth. Ancient and old, very much like Starfleet's Earth and the cultures of the region of Asia.
Faster... and faster, listening to the echoing cries of the Grindalcat back on the jungle training planet of Skrizvypai a hundred years back while his thoughts turned to the training manuals and exercises of Starfleet he had just read. A good Warlord continued the Learn to his dying day. Already Starfleet had opened his mind to new possibilities.
One day, Hadrian knew he would no longer be Warlord. But he did not want to go back to Ixvapya like his mentor Isobar had. The Vision had come. He wanted to go to the place called Odyssey and become a new class of Ixvapyan: Ixvapyan Explorer. Ixvapyans did not have one of those. They also did not have Ixvapyan Diplomat.
Hadrian thought Starfleet had a few things Ixvapyans should have.