“Do not disturb me, can’t you read…”,
the old Evon started angrily, before Icatus interrupted him.
“It’s me president, your old friend.”
“Ah”, the old mans face lit up, “I sent
for you eons ago, now of all times”. The president turned
his face from the holo-screen with the myriads of stars on
it and turned to Icatus.
“I’ve been quite busy in the senate, after all
you sent me there to learn more.”
After a pause, the president replied more subdued, “I
know, I’m very familiar with your activities there.”
There was a visible frown on his forehead.
“What, would they be if I might ask?”
“Don’t be coy with me dear friend. Old as I am,
I’m not over the hill just yet. You are speaking out
against me in the senate, albeit silently. And my enemies
know that. Don’t pretend me stupid, because we all know
the implications of that since you are my protégé
to replace me in another 10 cycles.”
“If you so wish, but…”
“Don’t. There is no defense. And I will not have
you lie to me.” Much anger was suppressed and Icatus
didn’t dare open his mouth again.
“Now, I still consider you my replacement and I have
plenty of friends in the upper house to make this happen.
But, that will all depend on you.” He left the last
“So”, Icatus tried, “what did you have on
“My mind?” the old Evon, “no my friend,
it’s what you have on your mind.”
The president, walked over to the fireplace,
sat down next to a small table where two cups of Frach’t
were brewing and invited Icatus to sit down with a gentle
sweep of his hand.
Icatus followed after some hesitation and took the cup the
old Evon offered him.
“Indulge me” the president said after two simple
sips. Icatus also sipped twice, since in this culture, twice
of host were always finished twice by guest, but with one
sip, the guest could sip up to four times or not.
“History teaches us, and I’ll go back to the beginning,
when our first president set forth the plan to rid the galaxy
from the false gods according to our own religion, we had
already staked out so much space to grow. We had no idea where
the enemy resided, nor where the dreaded Orion’s lived.
So, naturally we explored. I’m boring you for sure”
and Icatus met his eyes with a slight shake of his head, “but
you have to hear me on this to understand”, the president
“When the machines” he spat”,
entered our claimed territory and set up camp, we had no other
choice but to go to war. They did destroy some of our ships
in doing so, but the reason was more one of growth then actual
aggression. Remember, if they had been allowed to, our Empire
would have had a enemy mobilization point in our center mass
and we could only allow three entry points into our claims.
It simply would have cost more to keep a presence surrounding
the star system, than destroying the colony. For us back then,
the debates were shallow compared to now, but not until the
enemy ran our blockades and destroyed our ships, did the president
see an opportunity to go to war.” He finished the sentence
and sipped once more and Icatus, dying of thirst, immediately
took two, which made the ruler grin.
Frach’t, incidentally, didn’t quench
your thirst; it was more antagonizing it, since Frach’t
was initially a test of endurance in times where the different
Evon houses could not afford their best nobles and warriors
to die in constant duels. He, who first finished his drink,
would lose. It was designed so it subdued the initial thirst,
but not long after, it aggravated it even more. This was after
all, a test of willpower younger Evons lost. There were no
ways to build up a natural resistance to Frach’t so
torturing yourself with “training” didn’t
“It took a while to defeat that colony,
not so much because we lacked a fleet; it didn’t take
us long to produce more modern ship and blockade their colony,
but we didn’t have the weapons to just destroy it, so
we also had to send an invading force. After that, prolonged
as the conflict seemed, we just blocked of their entry into
our space and annihilated any attempts to overrun us again.
We learned however that keeping the Meklars happy took quite
a lot of resources and from that, we formed a strategy for
the future.” He sipped once more and raised his eye
slightly as Icatus refused to drink, which wasn’t bad,
just a very surprising show of willpower. That meant that
he next time had to start the ceremony. The president knew
inside that Icatus for sure was the right Evon for the job;
he wasn’t sure just if he could stomach it.
“Well, not long after that, we encountered the Klackons,
who at first appeared quite friendly. Then we encountered
the Nommo’s to the south, where we've been fortunate
enough to establish a well protected military presence.
“It wasn’t until I took my seat in the senate
we went to war with the Klackons.” He sighed and took
four sips after Icatus took one and saw this small smile on
his protégés lips.
In drinking Frach’t, there are only 12
sips in a cup. A sip is actually a real measurement that no
standard or metric system could understand. But as is, with
only 12 sips, Icatus probably felt that such a substantial
amount of sips that he had drunk, Icatus could now just drink
his ones and then “beat” the president through
perseverance. The president could refuse to drink every time
Icatus did and then have to take over the ceremony but the
younger Evon probably thought the old Evon was too proud not
to do that.
“Klackons are or rather, WERE terrible bugs. We fought
them for more then 300 cycles and it all started when they
killed our former president and threw any attempt to an apology
back in our faces. I mantled his role and it weren’t
until I read all of his books that I finally understood what
this was all about.” The president noticed that Icatus
hand had a visible shake as he took two sips and the president
followed with his two.
“I don’t want to seem rude, but I have read the
history behind the Klackon war quite thoroughly, so what else
did those books really contain above and beyond what was the
reason for the war and why we slaughtered all their planets
rather than conquering them?”
“My friend”, he abstained from drinking as Icatus
took another sip that seemed just a little too eager and the
eyes of his younger colleague rose to his amusement.
“It wasn’t so much what or why, but more in the
end what we HAVE to do.”
I know that our increasingly secular society
have little over for our old gods and some have even rejected
the idea that we are somehow their direct ascendance. But
the old president and the ones before him knew their and our
role in all of this. We are here to prepare the way for these
beings and I say beings in the sense there is no mistaking
for what they are.” Icatus gave him a curious look and
licked his lips in frustration over the fact that the old
Evon put his cup down in a clear demonstration of will.
“I was quite startled as I read through the pages, that
what we have thought to be the works of gods are just the
works of more advanced beings and that we are designed to
be here, expanding and finally conquering the Antarans so
that our masters can take us all over in the end.” Icatus
gave him a look of utter surprise and sat the cup down too.
“And no, I’m not sacrilegious in anyway saying
this, since this is confirmed from even the text of the first
one, but it has been kept from most of us, since as you now
display, it would have been devastating to our people and
their morale, not to mentioning the grounds for a religious
“Wait”, the president interrupted. “Let
me finish, please”.
After what seemed an eternity, the old Evon
picked up the cup, sipped once and saw Icatus gulp at least
half of what was left down. Realizing his mistake, the cup
dropped down on its saucer and there was a noticeable frown
of defeat. Icatus reached for the bottle of water nearby,
poured it into the bowl of remembrance and offered it first
to the old Evon, who smiled and let his protégé
go first, which quickly took a couple of big gulps from the
thirst quenching water, then let his master follow suite.
In the context of Frach’t the bowl of remembrance reminds
the engaged that in the end they are all of same race and
blood and then even in defeat, and bond still exist till death.
Drinking from the water and by drinking in big gulps, they
all acknowledge that victory is sometimes bittersweet, much
like a pyrrhic one.
“We don’t do this because we dislike
these races or for that matter, want to abide by our masters.
As genetic “ants” if you so like, we have to.
But any decision we made to just annihilate instead of conquer
comes from the knowledge that in the end, we will have to
fight our master to survive. The amount of resources we have
to divide in order to keep unruly races under check and all
the internal problems that follows, must be taken into consideration.
I decided to attack the Nommo’s when they showed disrespect
in their constant skirmishes along the borders and when the
Raas colonized the Guardian system of Ursa after we defeated
it, spurred me to go to such extremes. The shortest rout to
victory over the Antarans goes through the hearts of others.
And when we have defeated them, we will have enough power
to sustain ourselves against the tide of destruction that
will follow.” The President stood up, gave his protégé
a sad look and continued.
“I don’t want to do this, but if I don’t,
we will be bogged down with the petty struggles from conquered
races wanting rights within or special treatment. They will
be destroyed anyway when the darkness comes and we are just
merely doing them a service. Because trust me old friend,
we will suffer too for sure.”
With that he went over to the holographic console again.
“I will not see the end of the Antarans under my rule,
but I hope you will. We are close. Notice that I have stopped
any aggression towards the Raas and the Nommo’s when
I found the entrance to the Orion sector because after all,
I have no desire to burn down the universe. I trust that when
you take over this, you will to come to the same conclusion
that I have, or this will be the end of us, trapped in a crumbling
Empire, surrounded by enemies, much younger and more savage
than us, waiting for the end of times.”
He said no more and with thirst burning inside him, Icatus
walked out of his study, feeling dazed by this new and startling