halialkers: Victor in semi-profile position, civilian mode. (Victor)
Hezhatin's eyes glowed as his deep voice continued to rumble: "You endanger all the Empire in this foolish gamble of yours. My cousin needs those who can guide her, her father and myself. You who speak of things that you do not understand shall see my point of view, of course. None disagree with Yerzhin Hezhatin and retain minds of their own. The Architects of Fear in their folly were not content to make beings that could shatter planetary systems and destroy still more than this as the wave of destruction unravels all matter in the vincinity. They sought an End-Game to their own ideas, removing limiters of flesh and blood.

These limitless powers are in the hands of a young woman who has seen all of her generation die in the battle that has just eneded. The only thing more dangerous than the metanormal with the power of a living God is the metanormal with the power of a God-Emperor, able to unmake all existence if they should be so angered. I suggest for the sake not only of yourself and of your men that you extend to me and to my uncle the power to fight as soldiers in your armies. We are Psi-Class, to be sure, but we are the Psi-Class that a lesser, more barbarian, more primitive-" and here Hezhatin deliberately uncrossed his arms and extended them forward, fingertips toward his captive audience, his impeccable teeth in his dark grey and orange face shining slightly-"people would have called Gods. Even Valor may not withstand such things for too long. The House of Hezhatin will stand by our own, and you will cover this in all possible means. My father, however, the Lord Shandrin, shall be informed that his services," and now the extended hands were pushed together, fingers intertwined with the two pointer fingers touching Hezhatin's lips before he continued with his final direction:-"are required away from, as opposed to within the Front. Now, Lord Fezankundu, I must depart from here. My cousin shall await me."

Smiling, Hezhatin watched as the Elven soldiers stood entranced, their minds held in thrall to his will. As he stood outside the headquarters of the High General, with a simple assertion of his will he was up in the air, both arms held downward, palms facing backward. Levitating into the air, covering his flesh with a telekinetic shield to protect himself from thin air and the radiation of Shuhar, Hezhatin then hurled himself forward at a lightning speed. As he did so, he also made himself invisible to friendly aircraft, doing so with great success until he approached toward Vizornii's station and found himself facing in the air his younger cousin, hovering to greet him. Her arms were in the informal at attention posture, her head gazing straight into his own.

Yerzhin never fully found himself able to accept the green skin of his cousin, nor the unsightly stripes of black that covered her face like an unholy rash to him. Yet in unabashed wonder, these same features were not only a source of vague and never really hidden disquiet but of amazement. All else was dead. The stink of the corpses would not have been great, except that the younger Hezhatin's body reeked with it, even here where the atmosphere was thin. He then smiled at her, and she rushed him, holding him in the sky. As the whimpers of terror and of darkness first echoed from her mouth, Yerzhin held his cousin and then descended from the sky slowly and deliberately, as though his form walked along an invisible set of steps.

He then gazed at the disorganized unit leadership, and spoke to Vizornii: "I am here to offer you aid, dear cousin. Your father will be here either tonight or tomorrow. For now, let us rest. I wish to understand how the Omega was triggered here, as I believe understanding it will help both you, and it will help us all against our enemies."

It was then that Vizornii's army group commander came up to them both. "Orders from the High Generals are that tomorrow afternoon, we conduct a new offensive. This time the decisive arm of penetration is intended to be artillery. If the Lord Yerzhin Hezhatin would accompany me, we shall seek to see how to use a particular talent that you are known to be skilled with. And congratulations, Sergeant  Hezhatin, on surviving the offensive and demonstrating exemplary courage under fire." 

The promotion and the words of the army commander, a tall and reedy-looking Xenten seemed hollow to Hezhatin. She instead stared into space, and into the beginning of a nightmare, the screaming of her fri-Yerzhin stepped to her, his eyes closed. The nightmare dissipated. Yerzhin then said: "Congratulations on your promotion. But the Army Group Commander is correct. I need to consult him. And I would like it if you came with me."

His teeth bared in friendliness, his eyes glowed again as he looked at the Army Group Commander, who stupidly moved his bifurcating limb to split in two, the brilliant sheen of the membrane between parts of his limb shining with an iridescent light and move it in a diagonal pattern to the right to give assent, as Hezhatin calmly walked on.

__________________________

The Monarchist High Command, that same evening:

The Cthol General, aware that reconnaissance was a dangerous prospect when the enemy included metanormal soldiers who deliberately targeted reconnaissance first, had to make the kind of decision that a general ordinarily would make on a much greater data set than she possessed. Her skin shifted between a great many kinds of colors as her thoughts ran a gamut of emotions, sometimes shining with as many as three. Fortunately she was alone, the confusing symbols of pheromones might have driven males of her species mad.

Finally, calmness ensued and she came to her decision. The first offensive had been intended to have infantry as the major arm of shattering her lines. The enemy would likely try again, in which case her soldiers should be able to contain the offensive. After the sorry spectacle that ensued the last time, High General Fezankandu would want a means to preserve his reputation. That would mean an artillery-predominant strike, perhaps one guided by a high-level Psionic to target not the guns, but to identify them by breaking into the minds of the crews manning all the batteries. Entirely accurate fire, guided by a mind that was limited only to the speed of thought.

She then called for the leaders of one of her special strike forces. The figure that strode before her was very tall and bipedal, reddish hair with pointed ears. His face was, however, hard and angular. The Jotunn, well-versed in reading the combination of Cthol color-changes and pheromones and the occasional mushy-voiced word, blinked twice, giving assent to the directions stated. So the enemy would try Psionic games, would he? Well, then the Jotnar would give them a very heated welcome indeed.

While the commanding officer of the Monarchists privately wrestled with doubt, her Jotunn subordinates simply acted in confidence. If she was wrong, they had a plan up their sleeves. After all, victors were never court-martialed......

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