Dras Edoc’sil, capital of the Zoiji Confederacy, ten years after the Life Day Trinity...
While his granddaughter Viquina was away on an archaeological dig with her three mischievous children, Orono had a rare amount of time to himself. Instead of facing economic crises or looming terrorists plots, everything within the Confederacy was at peace. While his family was out enjoying this rare moment, he immersed himself in ancient lore and stargazed from his personal observatory within the estate. However, it was during an azure starlight night that the unthinkable happened. While observing the new phase of Vyzeria, Dras Edoc’sil’s moon, Orono noticed a strange shape moving forward in the distance. After enhancing the focus, he saw that it was a small, organic-looking starship. It was an exotic sort of vessel, a combination of clear white crystal, and a strange pitch black material with collections of brilliant green lights bound together by strands of taught grey webbing. The ship, as if it had been expected, landed mere meters away from his position. Unsure of the vessel’s intent, Orono leapt forward, landing near what appeared to be its bow. At that moment, a voice came from within,
“Peace, bipedal one. We have no reason or intent to harm you.”
The voice was sweet and reassuring, and the boarding ramp descended, showing Orono who he was speaking to. Four eight-legged figures walked, or rather scuttled down the boarding ramp to meet him. Like the vessel that had brought them here, they were like nothing Orono had ever seen before. Their spidery legs were long and smoothly curved, each hair upon them arranged to form mesmerizing patterns. From above the waist, if indeed they truly had one, they appeared as ancient beauties. Each possessed svelte features; accentuated by their pale grey skin, dark woven robes and alabaster hair, and a set of four eyes gazed back at him curiously. The first of them, who possessed unnaturally violet eyes and azure patterns on her legs, came forward,
“Zovera Regantulla, of the Arachnion Collective, at your service,” she said with a short bow.
“Orono Zoiji, of the Zoiji Confederacy, at yours.” he answered calmly. Going straight to the point, he asked,
“What brings you here?”
“Curiosity. We are the Regantullans, leaders of the Arachnion Combine. We have been watching you and your family for some time, and your magnificent work on Albios warranted introductions,” Zovera answered evenly.
“You come from that same galaxy?” Orono asked intently.
Zovera put on a warm smile, letting him glimpse a pair of razor-sharp incisors hidden among her teeth.
“You have merely taken your first step into a larger frontier, Orono,” she answered knowingly. Gesturing at the main doorway ahead of them she asked,
“May we come in?”
“Of course,” Orono answered amiably, “I just need to call off my bodyguard droid. He doesn’t take well to unexpected visits.”
A quizzical look came over Zovera’s face.
“Droid? What is that?”
“A machine designed to keep my family safe, at any cost,” Orono answered. Speaking into his wrist commlink, he said,
“HK-51, the individuals at the door are guests, and have no hostile intentions. Do not engage, repeat do not engage.”
After a short pause, the heavy iron doors of Orono’s home swung open, with HK-51 ushering them in. They were led to a large ash wood banquet table and took their seats. After much feasting and drinking, Zovera made a complete introduction of the group.
“These are my daugthers, Morwen and Bella,” she said after gesturing to a pair of young Anachrions with emerald and gold patterns on their legs and indigo eyes.
“I am honored to receive you,” Orono said to them.
“A pleasure,” Morwen and Bella said together with a short bow.
“And this,” Zovera concluded, “is my husband Hyrol.”
Huge and imposing, Hyrol had red and black patterns on his legs with pronounced muscles on his arms with bright orange eyes.
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Hyrol,” Orono said evenly. Although he still sensed no ill will from any of his new guests, he could not help but think Hyrol was simply waiting to attack. However, he managed to dispel that thought after Hyrol’s calm response of,
“Likewise, bipedal one.”
Now that he knew them properly, Orono spoke his mind,
“I am sure that you must be tired from the journey here, but I have something to ask you before the night is through.”
“Ask away,” Zolera said casually, “Our race always welcomes a curious mind.”
“Your species certainly has an eye for beauty, but something tells me that it serves a deeper purpose. With your permission, what is it exactly?”
Morwen and Bella stood to answer Orono’s question.
“Our colors serve to tempt both mates and prey,” Bella began.
“Lets their passions do the talking,” Morwen continued.
“Then, when they come running after us,” the sisters said together, “these get planted in their chests,” showing both their razor teeth and large, syringe-like stingers by their legs for effect.
“I see,” Orono answered, “but are your teeth and stingers always meant to kill?”
“Depends,” Bella said.
“On whether we think you’re a friend or foe,” Morwen finished.
“Fair enough,” Orono answered, “but the living and the dead are privileged to see such beauty.”
The sister’s skin darkened as they blushed, them smiled bashfully.
“You have very good manners, bipedal. A rare trait in this universe,” Zovera said approvingly.
“What do the number of limbs matter as long as there’s a civilized mind behind them?"Orono answered.
Zovera smiled at this.
And please,” Orono said with a light chuckle, “call me Orono.”
Glancing out at the night sky, Orono suddenly realized he was very tired. With a yawn, he said,
“Forgive me, but I must turn in for the night. Please, make yourselves comfortable. My home is your home.”
In a flash, the Anachrions wove individual webs on the ceiling, climbing up to each in turn.
“Rest well, Orono,” Hyrol said to him. “We may talk further in the morning”.
Orono thanked him and went to bed himself. Before sleep claimed him, he thought,
The family’s going to be in for a big surprise...