illustrative media

The Wikian

Deep in the slums of Ahn La Krane, an Anuchian Sentry carefully navigated through the winding tunnels of the underground transport system. He was doing nothing out of the ordinary, only his duty. He had been assigned to the maintenance detail for a twin moon now, and this night it was his job to oversee the verification of all licenses. The Order of Zar had enacted an emergency security check as a precaution against unauthorized entrance into the city. A redundancy, as far as most of the security staff was concerned. The Empower Zarwik had eliminated the Wikian problem long ago. If any had survived the brutal onslought of the Prime Sentenel, they would have surely been rooted out and annihilated by the Ha’Zar of Og.

The transport tunnels had become the only means of legal conveyance for non-governmental subjects. It was a labyrinth of zero-gravity vacuum tubes powered by a central ionization chamber located in the center of the city. Regulation required all security personnel to convene at the central hub for self-authentication, then move to their assigned checkpoints as they cleared every access point mapped to their grid.  It was boring and repetitive work, but the Emperor took it very seriously.

As he approached the entrance to the central hub, he was startled by the voice of a stranger.

“Goin in there?” the stranger said.  The sentry quickly drew his phaser and pointed it at the stranger.  Nobody was supposed to be in here, especially a civilian.  The stranger wore a dark  hooded cloak, and from the looks of him, he was very old.

“I think you are lost, old man!” the sentry replied, as he reached for the controls to his VR Unit.  But when he triggered his mic, the VR gave a crack, then all he could hear was static.  “Come in, this is R10-6.. I need assistance in the corridor.”  As he struggled with his VR, the stranger just stood before him quietly.  “That’s very odd,” he said.  “These things haven’t malfunctioned once since the wik.. ”  His speech fell silent as a thought occurred to him.  That was how the wikians used to sneak into the city – they were able to distort signals, and many other things.  “It couldn’t be…”

Before the sentry could say another word, his jaw muscles froze.  Then, as he struggled to move, his limbs went completely numb.  The cloaked stranger walked slowly towards him and dismissed the phaser from his grasp.  Then there was darkness.

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