Time's Arrow

At a standoff at the Kustetiera System, the young Kixi Rajki is unwittingly caught in a vicious confrontation between herself & the military leader of that system. With the weight of having to make a hard decision resting on her shoulders, she finds herself with little choice but to fire a lethal biological weapon upon an enemy that is now all but defeated. That, or watch her soulmate who is taken hostage by that very same leader be murdered. Little is she aware, that matters are by far more complex than she can possibly imagine, & that treachery runs deeper than she could even possibly begin to foresee. Unknowingly, her choice ultimately making no difference to the destiny of her beloved girlfriend, her life as she knows it is about to dramatically change forever. Soon after, an unprecedented chain of events is triggered, as she departs on a perilous mission in an attempt to change the events at that one pivotal moment of deception at Kustetiera, to save her one & only true love.

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7. Chapter 1

 

 

 

Several weeks later.......

 

ONLINE

That was the first word Mako saw flash across what seemed like a black screen at first, that being until she realised that in actual fact the words she saw were built into her eye sight. Then it disappeared and it was black again. Mako had just awoken from weeks of unconsciousness. Her body had been ripped to bloody pieces and fragments at the hands of Terron Hesh's foiled assassination attempt on her life. However with sheer luck, and pure determination, a team of surgeons of various specialisations, including robotic experts whom as a team, were nothing short of amazing in reconstructing Mako's shattered body. Mako had survived to now return back to consciousness, marking the beginning of her post traumatic phase of her long and rocky recovery . She felt an almost empty, quiet void with only the feeling of her own electrical currents pulsing away slowly inside of her. Then static covered the black screen of her eyes, and she heard something else.

“Mako Jhasmin Zaneca." The familiar voice of Kixi Rajki said. "Can you hear me?”

Then Mako could hear Kixi's voice through the audio receivers implanted in her brain, but there was still no vision through neither her one original human eye on the right side of her body , nor her robotic eye on the left, where the word online had appeared in her vision only moments earlier.

Mako heard Kixi's voice speak again…it sounded rough and frustrated. "I said can you hear me!"

Mako could hear Kixi's familiar voice and even recognised who she was. Her head felt heavy though. She wanted to lift it up, to open her eyes, but none of her body parts were responding. She knew she had arms and legs, but they lay dead at her sides, all feeling gone out of her.

She heard mumbling, voices from different people. Kixi wasn't alone and the others were close, but they were too quiet to be distinguish between man or woman. She couldn't move, but her head nodded from left to right in a rhythm manner. She was in a moving transport.

Her eyes finally open. Her systems went online, but her sight still hadn't cleared, despite her eventually lifting up her head.

Mako could then feel something else, the sound of somebody —probably the voice —fiddling with the back of her head, and it most certainly wasn't Kixi.

"Lets see how this is." The voice said.

The static that had been present since Mako had awoken now started to clear. She could now make out the outline of the compartment they were in, though it was not that clear. Static was still present and the compartment itself was blurry and in black and white. The other voice which had been speaking the whole time was grumbling something.

“Okay lets try this.”

Then something clicked, or more like made the sound of a small electrical device powering up, causing the static to clear, followed by her vision to clear up almost instantaneously, giving the illusion that over the room were flashing some words that said;

PRIMARY BRAIN FUNCTIONS ACTIVATED.

In actual fact it was her single artificial eye that was projecting those words into her head.

“Excellent!" That other voice said from behind. "Well seems like she should be up and running after all.”

The words vanished again and Mako slowly studied her surroundings, taking a mental note upon realising that she indeed was inside some sort of compartment of moving transport. She continued to move her head around making further observations. A tool box was lying not too far away, and the floor was covered in wires, screws, and random junk. Her head movements then came to an abrupt stop. Briefly pausing, she stared in utter silence at the image that stood before her, the reflection of her own cyborg face and body, giving a hint of fear on her facial expression, as she looked upon herself for the very first time in the small mirror.

She slowly raised both her arms and hands to touch both sides of her face. Her arms and hands were of human flesh. Instantly she recognised them as her own. The right side of her face too felt like flesh and bone as it was also of her original self. However it was not the case with the left side of her face. It felt hard and cold, metal covered with prosthetic skin to mirror her other non robotic side. Then, by slowly passing her hands down to her breast area, and by having a feel of her own breasts, she came to realise the same thing. Her right side was full flesh and bone, yet her left artificial. Continuing to feel herself, upon the completion of touching her entire body, she quickly realised, that with the exception of her left shoulder, arm and hand, that her entire left side of her body which had once been flesh and bone had now been replaced with artificial mechanical parts covered in prosthetics, giving her the full human appearance. Yet her right side remained her original self, in which upon realising it, allowed her to somewhat produce a partial smile. Still glancing at herself she realised what had become of her. She momentarily shut her eyes and then reopened them. Her memories were still intact as far as she could determine, and although she still looked like herself, she came to her own self harsh conclusion, that she had been turned into a cyborg.

“Right then." Kixi's said walking in front of Mako who was now on her feet. "Now that you can think, hear, and see it's time for me to introduce myself. I am Kixi —”

Mako already knew, her brain was half its original self with its memories mostly having survived intact. Additional data had been put into her brain's artificial side containing all the other info or memories that she had known, but had been temporarily lost after her horrific injuries from the attack. Words flash before her eyes again.

IDENTIFIED: KIXI RAJKI…ZÜNCÅLAZIN TO HIS EXCELLENCY LORD XIZ'JHAN AND HIS FIRST PRIME…GIRLFRIEND, MY GIRLFRIEND.

Mako had abruptly cut Kixi of mid sentence in seeing the words appear before her and began speaking. "You are Kixi Rajki, my girlfriend. You are a Züncålazin and the first prime of Sunrider. I remember everything. Seeing your face brings me comfort and warmth." Surprisingly her vocal cords were emulating her original voice to near perfection, save for the electrical high pitch stutter as she ended her sentences, something that ironically was very reminiscent to Vistesh speech.

Immediately in seeing that her most cherished friend could remember who she was and even distinguish her that she was her girlfriend, the reaction immediately let off a smile of its own for Kixi.

"Kixi what have they done to me! "Mako suddenly said alarmed, as her eyes grew wide, her mouth twisted in horror and her fingers began to twitch violently. Her voice seemed caught in her throat as she struggled to form the words, and a tear rolled from her one non artificial eye.

"It's okay Mako my little pumpkin, it's okay. Please try and calm down." Kixi extended her warm loving arm around her distraught girlfriend, bringing her in closer. "Everything is going to by okay. I'm with you now and won't leave you." Kixi slowly brought Mako's head into her chest area, whispering kind and compassionate words into her ear while gently stroking her hair.

“Let me explain Mako as to why you are what you are — a cyborg. You were seriously injured by Terron's attack on you and are lucky to even be alive. The doctors, a team of experts specialising in various fields of medicine, surgery and robotics were able to save you, however more than half your body is now machine replaced by artificial parts and circuitry." Kixi paused taking a long breath and then continued. "You already made some observations yourself, however I'll run through all of it with you now. Half your head is artificial, as is a third of your brain. You're hair is all artificial as well. This means one of your ears are robotic too, while the right side is your own flesh. However your hearing was totally impaired in the explosion, thus your ability to hear is all wires and circuits now. Very much it's the same deal with your eyes, which I'm sure you have come to realise already when you woke up earlier. Your non artificial eye is now connected to your brain via artificial means, thus why you were blinded in both eyes earlier on due to incorrectly being setup which has now obviously been rectified. Your lips and nose are your own flesh and bone. Half of your torso is machine, including a leg. As you have come to realise already, it's your left side that is machine and right side human, expert both your arms, hands and your lungs. As for your other vital organs, they're all human. The ones that were severely damaged the doctors were able to replicate with your own cells. Now your spine running from your brain and down to your torso is robotic. Speaking of your brain, it's full of implants, with inserts and incisions even on your mostly human part which are essential to keep you alive and functional.”

Struggling to hold in her tears, being able to feel Mako's distraught emotions while explaining how her body had been re-constructed, she did manage to break the grieving a little by adding something positive.

"Well at least your body will now be more enhanced, thus it meaning you can now kick my sorry butt miss sweetie pie. Well at least when I'm not using the Force, but I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm trying to imply." Kixi giggled a little causing Mako to do the same and ultimately lighting up the mood a little. Then, with Kixi letting go of her hug, Mako continued to stare ahead, while Kixi walked behind her.

“There we go. Now have a closer look at yourself, you'll see that it isn't just me saying it, and that in actual fact you're still pretty.”

This time, what Mako saw staring back at her was a medium height girl, her face still gave the impression of being a mix of Asian and Caucasian, just like she'd always been, and although her now artificial parts of her face, just like more than a third of her body also being artificial, the prosthetics that covered these up, did a good job in making her look as human as possible. In fact given the mess she was in after the unfortunate explosion, they had done a near enough perfect job. She stood at around 165 cm tall, with black long hair that had a slight tinge of blue in it, which seemed greasy and stringy due to it now being artificial, but nonetheless looked nothing short of impressive. Her skin had many lines going down it, indicating where machine and prosthetics were fused with flesh and bone, circuitry and wires with veins and blood. However save for the odd lines around her face, with all things considering, the prosthetics were melded quite well to her real skin, while the rest of her body's connection points, were cleverly concealed by her clothing from the eye of the beholder.

Still looking into the mirror, she observed that her one real eye that was brown in colour, was overshadowed by the red bright hue of her artificial eye. A short coming in wanting to have her been made to look fully human, but then again despite the minor shortfall, her reconstruction was still an impressive work of art all the same. Mako however also felt something else, like she was missing something upon observing the red hue of her artificial eyesight that reflected its light from the mirror. The human instinct that she still possessed told her this oddly enough, and not the programming that was buried deep inside the artificial parts of her brain. She felt like she had to draw her arms across her chest, all of a sudden she felt strange and awkward…especially with Kixi the one she had known as her girlfriend standing there.

"Kixi do you still love me - Now that I'm half a machine." Kixi could see it in her eyes, she wanted to cry but could not. Her one robotic eye not cable of tears and the sole remaining real eye no longer capable of such emotion. Yet the total sadness in her face gave her eyes the appearance that the lacking tears would have done.

Kixi took hold of one of her hands, her hands were still her real hands as well as her arms. They however felt cold. The warmth in her body had vanished, and replaced by the cold emotionless feel of a machine. Kixi fought hard to not break down into tears. She couldn't. Not in front of her beloved Mako who needed all the support she could possibly give her at the present moment.

"Yes Mako, I've never stopped loving you any less than before." Kixi fondled with the tip of her thumb on Mako's thumb as she slowly took her whole hand. The iciness in her hand slowly fading away with the warmth of her own hand compensating for the lack of it in Mako's veins — or what was left of her veins as she now had more circuits than she did veins. However the way she looked Kixi in the eye, it made the urge for her not to cry futile. Total sadness and despair engulfed her, as Kixi threw her arms around her once more. "Oh Mako," Kixi sobbed, "I'm so sorry. I'm so very sorry." Kixi tightened her grip as she completely broke down into tears. "My love. I failed you. I failed to stop Terron in hurting you. If I could trade places with you right now, I wouldn't hesitate at the chance." Mako's heart had survived the antrocious ordeal, and it seemed to Kixi that at the same time, she could feel Mako's own heart breaking as she clung on to her.

"You did all that you could Kixi, there was nothing else you could have done," Mako wispered softly into Kixi's ear as Kixi's sobbering slowly began to disappear. "I am no longer the same flesh and bones I was before Kixi, I would totally understand if you no longer found me attractive or intimate." Mako let out her words softly with her head down low, as the two let go of each other's hug.

Keeping a hold of Mako's hand and forming it into a fist, Kixi brought it close to her nose, then lips and kissed it slowly. "No Mako, you may not understand what I am about to say, or think it is total nonesense, but you are better than me. As a person, you run rings around me. You did not deserve what happened to you. If it had happened to me, then yes, but hell not to you. No! You Mako, I don't just love you, you are my drive, my sunshine, my will to want to get up in the mornings. I couldn't give a flaming fuck about what other arseholes such as Lord Xiz'Jhan for example believe in, that people like you should bow down to me because of my rank or my skills as a warrior, or because I am a Züncålazin. He from this day, like his lap dog wankers such as Terron Hesh can all go to hell. I will keep serving you like you a royalty because to me, it is meaningless and despite what has become of you, I love you no less than before, but in actual fact even more." Kixi finished her spill, not caring about her choice of words regarding the latter mentioned names, glarring at her semi unemotionless soulmate, a sniffle or two still noticable, meaning every single word that she had said, kissing Mako's fist once more before letting go, and putting her hands on the cheeks of her half metal face that was covered in prosphetic skin, passionately kissing her on the lips.

The words ran deep, Mako indeed responding well. Kixi could feel her heart and spirt lift as she ran one of her hands behind Mako's head, down her hair and then further down her back.

"Kixi, I am lost for words, I can't explain in words how much you mean to me, how much I trully appreciate your passion for me, how you feel for me and how you treat me. Thank you." She said after they finished kissing and for the first time since she had awoken, they were both really happily smiling at one another.

"I noticed that you just spoke poorly of Lord Xiz'Jhan. You are his first prime, I do not understand Kixi". Mako then questioned expressing a look of confusion in her eyes.

“Yes, what I'm about to disclose, you are going to find incredible to believe, but it's true — all of it. And what I will say moving forwards after that — what I intend to do due to the aftermath of your unjust and unprovoked attack, will not only further intrigue you, but you will find it unheard of and totally unimaginable. It will demonstrate beyond anything inconceivable, that I will stop at nothing for you, and thus express my true unparalleled devotion for you.”

“Mako, whilst you were sound asleep for the last several weeks, despite me being by your bedside for the bigger part of that, I along with several others from our trusted crew decided to do a little investigation. The unprovoked attack on you at Kustetiera made little or no sense, and Terron himself had, due to his over confidence given away a hint while he had held you as hostage, that there were bigger powers at play with a totally different agenda up their sleeves. We discovered that Terron was ordered by Lord Xiz'Jhan himself to kill you Mako. He sees you as a sign of my weakness, and furthermore to make matters a little personal and opinionated, as unworthy to court me. It infuriates him especially seeing that I constantly serve your needs instead of the other way around. In fact the whole idea that I constantly put your needs Mako above that of Lord Xiz'Jhan and the House of Sunrider, in Lord Xiz'Jhan's eyes is totally unacceptable." Kixi paused for just a moment before angrily slamming her fist down on a nearby table. "Who the fuck is he to tell me how I should treat you and who I can and cannot love, and further to that, who the fuck gives him the right to decide whether you are allowed to live or not!”

Closing her eyes and breathing heavily to try and ease her emotions, Kixi then continued with still having more to say on the topic of her now former lord, as she began pacing slowly up and down the transport's compartment that they were in.

“Given I didn't denounce him immediately, being his first prime I still had access to all his files and records. Well for the ones that I didn't have access to, like the one I'm about to mention, being in the position and rank that I was in, it wasn't hard to pull a few strings to get and find what I wanted.”

Kixi stopped pacing and then raised her hand a tad with her index finger pointing upwards indicating she was about to conclude with the proof that would sum up Lord Xiz'Jhan's treachery. "I found a data disk, encrypted but I had gained access to the key as I explained earlier. It was of a holo recording. I played it and although I was shocked at what I saw, at the same time I was not surprised. Lord Xiz'Jhan's treachery confirmed. He was speaking to Terron and ordered him to kill you Mako, after the battle against the Vistesh was over and the war won. He said all those things to him that I already mentioned about you, you know the bullshit that I serve you a lower and unworthy being and all, and then there was more. Although I'm his first prime, he was using me because of my being naive." Kixi lowered her hand and finger and shrugged. "That's true because he supported my cruel and inhumane ambitions as a biological weapons scientist, helped me turn against my father, and got me over to his cause and even made me his right hand to make the whole betrayal shit against my own family appealing. Nonetheless, he still referred to me as House of Rajki scum to Terron, and confirmed the declaration that he eventually planned to get rid of me, that is rid of me as in kill me, if I did not fully change in my ways or conform to all his twisted and unethical standards. In the end Mako, I'm House of Rajki, and it's in my blood. I wanted only to create such weapons of mass murder to defend humans, not to go on the offensive and furthermore do other unspeakable things. Mako I was naive, you my sweetheart are the main reason why I have woken up and began to discover the light of who I really am, and thus why Lord Xiz'Jhan wants you permanently silenced.

Mako appeared to take the news that Kixi had given her quite well, and in fact it probably didn't come as a surprise either. After all she did get her body ripped to bits, and had come close enough to the face of death to no longer fear it.

“So now that you have denounced him and have declared that you are no longer his first prime, where will we go, you know he will come after you, as now he will deem you a traitor and a deserter.”

“As you already have realised, we are on a moving transport. We are heading for the Ueshiba. We're departing not from just the Sajnen Confederate, but leaving the galaxy.”

“Is that necessary Kixi?' Mako did what seemed like a simulation of trying to raise an eyebrow but her fake eyebrows on her metal forehead failing miserably. "You could go anywhere else in the Androj'Meden Galaxy, or even better, stay in the Sajnen Confederate and go back home to your father and ask him for forgiveness.”

“Not a good idea. None of that. Lord Xiz"Jhan tried to have you killed Mako. Plain and simple. And now I've just declared that I am now his number 1 public enemy. He'll stop at no end to find us anywhere in this Galaxy, and for that matter anywhere else in the Trident Cluster. And before you say it, I know he will not be able to touch us if we went to Terra-Sol back at the Lat-Saena Galaxy, but once the humans from there and all their allies find out that it was me in the end that developed the Genghis Virus, I will be viewed as being no better than the likes of the Goa'uld or the Wraith. They will want little to do with me, and of course I am not gonna join any of their human enemies like the Lucian Alliance.”

"So why not your father then?" Kixi had tried to avoid answering that one but could see that Mako's questions were not going to be easy to brush aside.

“Because it will put him and my family in danger if I go back there, and that is assuming he would even ever forgive me. You are forgetting Mako, I am now a war criminal!”

“Oh the weapon you fired on the Vistesh world ships —”

“Wiped out, all of them. Totally annihilated by the Genghis Virus and by my own hand.”

"Annihilated?" Mako finally cried out in amidst horror. "How? Why?

"They wanted to take Kustetiera for themselves as you already know, deplete their resources, and even eat the humans there as food. That was the intent of their leaders. Once we defeated them, they were ready to surrender. Many were women and children, what I had wanted, and probably many others as well, was to find them a planet, reallocate them, help them build and thus form a peace treaty." Kixi lowered her head in sorrow.

"You don't remember this part because it was prior to the explosion." Kixi gulped trying to hold off her emotions.

"The explosion — the bomb that ripped your body apart after Terron released you as his hostage. I agreed with the doctors to have those memories removed so you would never have to relive the horror of it all." Kixi's face displayed nothing more than an expression of grieve. The ordeal had been horrid enough. Having to relive the entire experience while explaining it to her poor girlfriend who had been the victim of it all, was mentally equally torturous.

“Instead Terron cleverly backed me into a corner and made sure that the entire Vistesh race was exterminated, not by his hand, but by my very own." Kixi built up the strength to continue. "I feel so terrible on the inside. What I did is hurting me so much — mentally.”

“After the horror of the events that had unfolded........ I......." Kixi shook her head trying hard to push away the need to cry again. Having to explain exactly what happened, and consequently re-live the experience again herself, it was causing a traumatic toll on her too. Fighting hard and mostly resisting the urge to cry, save for the occasional sniffles, Kixi continued. "I thought you were going to die, your body was mangled, I held you in my arms tightly, at first screaming for help, and later as your vitals weakened, thinking that that would be it, I told you that I loved you forever, and that I'd always remember you for until the day for me to rejoin you again in the next emanation arrived.”

With her head down low as she spoke, Mako could, and still had the ability to sense Kixi's grievance. Approaching her she proceeded to place both her arms and hands around Kixi's waist, bringing her in close to her. Lifting her head as a result of finding herself close to her now cyborg girlfriend, Kixi once again raised a smile.

“From there the medics came and took you away. They said that it was possible to save you. At first I couldn't see how, your injuries were beyond horrific, but now I can see what they had had in mind. To cut the rest of a long story into a shorter one, once you were in a stabile condition, although still very critical, you were taken to a hidden facility. The facility was at a remote planet which housed both an advanced and scientific base used jointly by the Tauri and the Tok'ra. Just in case your not too familiar with who they are, although I'm sure you do know but I'll refresh you're memory anyway. The Tauri are the humans of Terra-Sol and the planet of my birth. Well my human body anyway. The Tok'ra are a symbiont species where a snake like creature shares a body with a human host, but unlike with the Goa'uld, theirs is mutual and by choice—”

"Yes, yes I already know all that, but what did they do then?" Mako interrupted now sounding more inquisitive in learning of how she had come about to her current fate.

“Both the Tauri and Tok'ra already had learnt about what had happened at Kustetiera. Hesitant to have anything to do with me at first, for the obvious reasons regarding my connection to Lord Xiz'Jhan and my major role as a biological weapon scientist, they were eventually convinced by others from our ship's crew to help you. In fact the Tok'ra were more accommodating than the humans, although we struck a deal with them in the end by giving them vital security information in relation to the House of Sunrider and the Sajnen Confederate in general.”

Mako suddenly became alarmed at the mention of Kixi's security breach naturally raising a question of concern. 
"Wouldn't that breach put your own House, that of Rajki in danger too, and other neutral nations of the Confederate, I mean I know that you're not on speaking terms with your father, but—"

Kixi immediately seeing Mako's concerns naturally butted in justifing her actions to her.

“Only a small price to pay I guess.”

“You guess, Kixi?”

“Well don't thank me all in hurry Mako.”

“Yes I know Kixi, but I'm just one soul, am I worth breaching the security of the entire Confederate?”

“The Confederate is meaningless." Kixi said immediately brushing off Mako's primary concerns. "You are above everything, as far as I care, I would sacrifice everything for you Mako.”

“Kixi you don't have to go over the top for me or anything all the time, your devotion to me is unquestionable without a doubt.”

“You're welcomed!" Kixi said sarcastically at Mako's not understanding of Kixi's desperate actions. "If I didn't resort to such desperate measures, you my little sweetheart would not be amongst us now!" Kixi finished off raising her voice with a hint of annoyance evident. "And besides if it came down to the crunch, my family's house and those loyal to my father would jump at the chance to break away from the volatile and as I said a few seconds ago, now meaningless Confederate and join the Tauri from Terra-Sol and its allies. In fact the day that Lord Xiz'Jhan turns against the entire 12 nations of the Confederate and dissolves it is inevitable. The House of Sunrider effectively collapsed when Qi-Xian Sunrider left our galaxy for another far, far away almost 2 decades ago. Xiz'Jhan pounced for control and seized it by force. He is not of their true blood or a heir. Instead he is nothing but a fraud who seeks to conquer and rule for himself.”

Mako remained silent the whole time, never daring to interrupt Kixi, waiting until she had finished her spill. "I'm sorry Kixi, I can see now what you meant when you said before that you'll prove your devotion to me. You clearly have!"

Kixi simply gazed at her girlfriend to give her a wicked smile. "I haven't even begun to prove that point. There is still much more." Kixi said walking up to Mako, placing a hand behind the back of her neck and then moving her in close to passionately kiss her on the lips. It was a nice long kiss which seemed to last an eternity, with Kixi whispering the words, "I love you," just as she pulled herself back.

“Now where was I. Um, yes, once you were stabilised, with the help of the Tauri and Tok'ra medical teams, the rest of your work was carried out on a secret location at the Seklit IV star system here in the Androj'Meden Galaxy. We are currently in that system now, and have just left a hidden base on a large asteroid in a large asteroid field. You were left dormant and stable during the 2 week trek between the Lat-Saena and Androj'Meden galaxies because as you know, those 2 galaxies are not connected via hypergates. From here our own team of scientists and doctors made you into what you are now.”

“Um but we are no longer on that facility are we Kixi?”

“We're en-route back to our ship, the Ueshiba, which on that topic, as well as the mention of Qi-Xian Sunrider leads me on to telling you about the where to from here now part.”

Mako decided to then sit down on a chair, having had enough of standing up. She gazed up at her girlfriend who gently placed the palm of her hand on her forehead, slowly moving it on her sleek hair on her head, and then gently running it down her hairline, and down along her shoulder-length hair. By the shine in her gazing brown eyes, Kixi could feel the warmth and sense of love she was giving her younger partner and warmly smiled back at her.

“Despite being in a secure location, not all were people close enough to me that I could trust with my life. As a result of all the tensions, I stayed by your bedside for the most part of your stay there. For when I couldn't be there due to discussing the strategy of our plans moving forward from there, which in a moment you'll learn what they entail, Braj'tec stayed by your side. You do understand that I trust him with my life and thus have faith in him to having done the same for you right?”

Not a sound came out of Mako mouth, who was now listening attentively. She simply nodded her head to acknowledge the fact and then allowing for Kixi to continue who continued to smile warmly at her girlfriend.

"Before I get to where we are going, I mentioned Qi-Xian Sunrider before. Have you ever read of the stories, of the expoits and adventures of Qi-Xian Sunrider Mako?" Kixi asked grinning and at the same time curious in knowing just how much Mako knew about the Sajnen legend. However to her surprise, she would indeed be well versed in her knowledge regarding the legendary Züncålazin explorer.

Mako smirked as she answered. "Indeed, Kixi, how could I have not. He was one of the last of the true bloodlines of The House of Sunrider. Before Xiz'Jhan conquered it by Force. He is notably known for his venture to an unnamed galaxy located far, far away from here almost 2 decades ago. For that unprecedented feet, is what earned him the status of legendary amongst a great many people."

Then as quickly as Mako had produced a smirk on her face, it quickly disappeared and changed to one of dubiousness.

“What has Qi-Xian's journeys got to do with where we are going Kixi?”

“Well," Kixi began exhaling deeply, "Although Qi-Xian never returned, with no one ever knowing his final fate, he did leave us a trail, of where he went and some of the things he saw. This was made perfectly possible by him using the Ancient Stones which virtually have no limitation across the endless vastness of space, and allowing two people on either ends of the stone to mentally swap bodies and thus communicate. How else do we all know of his travels and discoveries that have made the legend.”

“Yes I know all that Kixi but you still haven't answered my question in what relevance this has with where we're heading.”

“Patience sweetheart, patience, you'll know shortly," Kixi said producing a broad smile. "So while you were sleeping, with the detailed chronicles of Qi-Xian Sunrider, I along with the trusted members of my ship's senior crew were able to use it as the means to fulfil our own objectives and derive plans to travel to that galaxy far, far away.”

Kixi could already anticipate Mako's objections well in advance, pressing both her hands forward, palms facing Mako, and indicating that she wasn't quite done yet. In doing that, her hand gestures had indicated that her girlfriend's objections, which she had already come to expect for reasons that would be obvious, would have wait until she was done speaking. Mako in turn understanding Kixi's personal attributes well enough thought the better to keep quiet and allow for her to finish.

“He brought back the knowledge of warriors which are equivalent like or similar to our Züncålazin. They are called Jedi, and there are two kinds, those of the light side and dark side of the Force. They tap into the Force just like Züncålazin do, and their prime weapon, or preferred weapon of choice is a similar weapon. What Züncålazin call an X-Plasma Blade, they call lightsabres. However here is some food for thought. Mako, did you know that the origin of the Sunrider family, that is Qi-Xian's ancestry which dates back thousands of years ago, was from that very same galaxy and from an actual Jedi Knight?”

"Mako simply shook her head in rapid movement, to acknowledge that she didn't know anything else beyond what she had already known about the man in question. Kixi could sense she was already getting overwhelmed with the information overload, yet it would all be necessary in justifying her intents and would be actions. Thinking the better to help relax her girlfriend, Kixi then decided to bend down a fraction and proceeded to gently kiss Mako's forehead, followed by placing the palm of her hand on one of her cheeks, and then kissing her slowly again on her lips. It worked wonders, Mako as per usual enjoying every moment of it.

"The Jedi from that far, far away galaxy in which Qi-Xian can trace his bloodline too, was a well known female Jedi who was known by the name of Nomi Sunrider. A relation of hers apparently trekked out of that galaxy and eventually into our own. I'm afraid though, that little more is known about that, however the original order of the first Züncålazin came to fruition circa that time period, supporting the fact that our Züncålazin were originally also Jedi, and that over the centuries and being in a new galaxy their name changed from Jedi to Züncålazin. The resemblance between the two is strikingly similar you know."

Kixi then proceeded to sit next to Mako, putting her arm around her. "Now to get down to the business end of things. Both Jedi, light and dark kept the knowledge of their understandings of the Force, how to manipulate it and so forth in what were known as holocrons. There are many of these, some kept securely in Jedi library archives and vaults in the various temples that exist throughout the galaxy in question, others hidden away in remote planets, moons, asteroids and I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm getting at. Now to cut an already long story short, there is one single thing that is of interest and concern to me."

Pausing and then cranking her head to take a breather, Kixi then continued. "The knowledge of the Orb of Passage. An artefact or device used by an unknown dark Jedi who used it to successfully time travel. My sole objective in wanting to travel to that faraway galaxy is to either find the orb, or if not the actual orb, find the knowledge of how to replicate one through the holocron that contains the secret, and attempt to travel back in time to alter the tragedy at Kustetiera, and more importantly save you Mako."

Just as Kixi had finally finished, and readied herself to allow for Mako to begin protesting her objection at the obvious ludicrosity of her plans, the transport suddenly shuddered as it slowed down and its pilot initiated a series of turns and manoeuvres. Still in the Seklit IV system, they had arrived at their destination. The MXS Morihei Ueshiba orbited a large gas giant, the small and powerful battleship appearing like nothing more then a tiny spec in contrast to the huge planet that dwarfed it. The transport slowly set course for the larger battleship's hangar bay.

“You may hold good intentions Kixi, but this whole plan of yours is reckless and dangerous. You're in over your head on this one, " Mako began protesting. "You do not have the means to traverse such vast distances in space, even with the initial help of the use of hypergates.”

Mako just shook her head, completely skeptical at Kixi's plans.

"You don't have faith in my abilities Mako? Well I find your lack of belief somewhat disturbing given all of done for you already." Kixi replied now showing clear signs of irritation in her voice.

“No, no, no, I didn't mean it that way Kixi." Mako objected. "Really I didn't.”

"Well it sure like feels it." Kixi countered.

“What I meant is clear cut if you for once will let me put in my 2 cents worth." Mako said her voice growing louder. "I know how much you look after me Kixi, and all the things you have done and do for me, no one will ever do, really I appreciate it. However it works 2 ways. I'm simply trying to advise you of the perils involved with your overly ambitious plans, as I too care for you and if given the opportunity want to take care of you as well.”

"Oh really now, well go on then, spill it out then." Kixi said getting back on her feet and folding her arms not hiding the fact that she had become irritated at her girlfriend.

"Well for starters, Qi-Xian had access to other Ancient technologies such as the Calder mit Arkhan Z. The ship with the same namesake as your own personal starfighter bar the Z part, but of course his ship was light years ahead of anything known to anyone within the Sajnen Confederate and beyond. According to his chronicles he accomplished his extraordinary trip from here to that far away galaxy which I find so strange in that it has not been given a name, in a mere 2.5 weeks. To travel such enormous and vast distances in such short amount of time, is impossible for us to replicate even with our own advanced technologies." Mako then let out a sigh of relief finally being able to express her concerns out.

Kixi who had locked eye contact with her partner as she was letting out her spill finally unfolded her arms, placing a hand on one of Mako's shoulders who had remained seated the whole time. She couldn't help but produce a cocky smile, something Mako had grown used to seeing from her girlfriend over the years, and something that usually meant she really knew what she was doing and had planned things out thoroughly beforehand.

“I appreciate your concerns my dear, and I won't deny that none of this is dangerous. Getting to that galaxy which I concur with you does presents itself with its fair share of obstacles, and then it's just one step into the unknown. We then have to search for the orb, if it even still exists, and if we find it does not, then a holocron or something that will reveal the secret of replicating one. However all that said Mako, we are not flying there in total blindness, well at least as far as the trek to the galaxy in question is concerned. Oh and that brings up the question, this far away galaxy which has no name, what shall we call it or refer to it as?”

Mako not really in the mind frame to think of any names given she still wanted to hear just how they were planning to get there simple shrugged. "I don't know, called it 'The Galaxy' I guess."

“Um okay, I guess that'll have to do for now. So as for getting to The Galaxy, while you were sleeping for the last several weeks, I along with our trusted and talented crew, studied the path taken by Qi-Xian and derived that with our own technologies, that we could make the extraordinary journey to traverse the vast emptiness of space after reaching the Kalium Galaxy by Stargate in approximately 6 to 7 months. Yes it means we will be totally alone in the middle of nowhere, with no planets or anything to stop over at if the need were to become necessary. During the trip, most of the crew will enter the stasis pods onboard the Ueshiba. They will remain in stasis consuming few resources such as air. Understandably the trip would virtually be a one way ticket to The Galaxy.”

“So why risk it, why there? There are many other closer galaxies we could go to, ones that are not even in the Trident Cluster, why not simply go—”

"Uh Mako, are we forgetting something?" Kixi cut Mako off mid sentence and gave her the inquisitive look just as Mako had realised that she had forgotten about the Orb of Passage, which was the primary purpose of their mission to The Galaxy in the first place.

"Ah yes, the Orb of Passage." Mako answered intuitively for a change.

“Right, now what was I saying?”

“You were explaining how we were going to get to The Galaxy.”

"Well yes, in a nutshell, I very much already told you everything. So once there it may take some time to locate it. However being a Züncålazin, the Force will guide me, that I have full faith in. So now you understand what I am trying to do my love." Kixi said pushing Mako into her closer but stopped short of kissing her.

"I intend to use the Orb of Passage. This is my true intent Mako. I know it's overwhelming and at the same time intriguing, but you knew it already, that I will do anything possible, and go to whatever lengths and push to the absolute utter limits if I must for you. This Mako is because it's beyond any doubt that words cannot even begin to describe in how much I love you. This dangerous and perilous mission in search for something that may not even have existed or no longer exists, and then to even use it to go back in time to change the past in order to save you, is insignificant compared to the power of my love for you. Remember it always Mako." Kixi finally finished as the transport came to a thudding halt having just landed in the Ueshiba's hangar bay. Instinctively Mako placed both her hands on Kixi's cheeks and moved in to kiss her passionately across her lips, this time it was the cyborg girl having initiated the kiss. Her heart fluttered, lost for words in wanting to describe just how much what her girlfriend would be attempting to do for her, and all for her love for her, could simply not be described in words. And it didn't need to. Kixi could feel Mako, sense her, and through emotion come to understand her true appreciation and mutual love for her, by her one and only true love.

Although despite Kixi's hard long research over proceedings, she did fail to recognise one crucial element which was key to the orb in question, and something that she would remain totally oblivious to until she were to finally encounter one. The Sith. Despite the simalarities with dark Jedi which she had associated all dark Force wielders with, in recognising that the orb worked with the power of the dark side, she mistakenly understood it as a tool of the dark Jedi. This grave error in her own judgement and understanding, ultimately will prove the far greater dangers that she will face well beyond her long treacherous journey to The Galaxy. In essence, the perilousness in her getting to The Galaxy, will be insignificant next to the tests of courage and bravery, that she inevitably will meet with coming face to face with unforgiving Sith for the first time.

Kixi took Mako's hand as they walked down the entry ramp which the pilot had already lowered. Exiting the transport, the medic and the scientist that had been present with them the whole time, as well as the transport's pilot and co-pilot walked out onto the shiny metal floor of the Ueshiba's hangar bay. Several metres across from them awaited the ship's Chief Medical Officer, Nina Bela and members of her team. Walking towards the awaiting team to greet them, their boots made clickity clackity sounds, particularly the heels or booties of the female captain, the first officer and the female medic. The hard surface of the hangar bay, along with the stale air and the almost near silence surrounding them doing nothing to muffle the sound.

"Greetings to all," Kixi said addressing all those present. "Obviously we're all acquainted so no need for any formal introductions." Kixi continued as the young Doctor Nina Bela, along with her staff, nodded their heads in unison.

Slowly they then began walking away from the hangar bay. The pilot and co-pilot of the transport had already left to either attend to other matters or simply retire for the rest of the evening. As they casually walked at a strolling pace, Nina took position to the right of Mako, the red tinges in Nina's brown bob cut hair radiating in the dim light of the hangar bay. Kixi stayed to her girlfriend's left, with the entourage of medics and scientists either flanking them or following them. Slowly and without any pressure, they made their way towards the medical bay.

“Mako, during our very long mission, you will begin your rehabilitation. Doctor Bela here will head the program or be in charge of you during this time. However, I will be overseeing the entire operation and thus be by your side for the majority of the program to assist you, support you and most importantly of all, keep your spirit up high.”

Then letting go of Mako's hand and coming to a complete halt which consequently prompted everyone else to stop and face her directly, Kixi politely excused herself.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please excuse me for just a moment, I need to officially transfer command to the third officer so we can get underway." Kixi said retrieving her small comms unit from a side pocket which instantly squelched to life, while Nina nodded in acknowledgement.

“This is Captain Rajki to the bridge, please acknowledge.”

"Yes Captain, glad to have you and our First Officer Mako back onboard." The familar trustful voice of her intelligience officer and third in command, Jhes Je'Kesik, squeelched through Kixi's handheld comms unit.

“Yes Mako is aboard and is to begin immediate rehabiltation. As we already discussed, I will spend most of my time with her and the medical stuff for until we reach the Kalium Galaxy. Officially I am putting you in command as of now. Unless it is absolute necessary, there should be no need to contact me.”

“Affirmtive Captain, understood.”

“Good and thankyou Jhes, your understanding as well as those of the others is appreciated. You may depart the system when ready.”

“Yes ma'am, Captain, all checks and diagnostics have already been done prior to your pending anticipation of arrival. We will be departing in less than 20 minutes. Lietantent Commander Je'Kesik out.”

Kixi reached out for Mako's hand once more, warmly smiling at her, while Doctor Nina Bela lead the way to the advanced medical facilties onbaord the ship. The other medical staff present flanked them on each side and took up position to the rear of them.

“Come Mako, its time to start working to get you fully functional and up to scatch again. As you have heard, I'm committing to spend all the most part of my available time with you. Afterall this mission is all about you Mako, and to be frank, after all the suffering you have gone through, are still going through, I can't think of a better place to be than spending it with you.”

Mako returned a smile as she turned her head to look at Kixi as they walked. Kixi wasn't just her love, she was also her hero. They then for a brief moment locked eye contact, Kixi could recognise it in her eyes, that she had full faith and confidence in her. Mako knew it beyond any doubt, that Kixi was not afraid to fail or die, not for her, and that she would fight to the bitter end if she had to, to get what she wanted and change the course of time, the past, and erase what happened at Kustetiera, so that she could get a second chance and give back the life that Mako so rightfully deserved.

"One thing Kixi, although I don't mean to intrude on your family." Mako said cautiously.

“My family — Mako you are my family, and the most important member. You know I will marry you someday." The last words brought an instant smile to the now cyborg's facial features. Kixi however knew that Mako had wanted to ask something about her father. "I understand that perhaps you wanted to ask about my —”

"Your father," Mako interrupted.

“Yes. This is where I need to leave you all for about 10 minutes. No one knows we're going. However in a few minutes that will be no one except one. I am going to send an encoded transmission to my father. Despite our falling out, he must know of my fate because as you know already, the probability of failure is high, and we may never come back or be heard from again.”

Before Kixi had even finished speaking, she had already began walking in the opposite direction. "And I've got the good part of 15 minutes to record and send it before we depart. I'll see you again shortly." Kixi said almost yelling out over her own head, blowing Mako a kiss in the process, before disappearing in one of the service lifts at the end of the hallway.

Knowing how to get into contact with her father's private holoband frequency in his palace, Kixi began dialling the connection sequence once she had reached her own private ship quarters which she deliberately had in a secluded part of the ship. She had no intention to speak to him directly, in fact she knew she would not be able to. Instead she would record her transmission and then send it through the sophisticated Sajnen long range communications device. The recorded message would get to him and undisrupted. The technology she was using made certain sure of this. Her device on her end would dial an identical device on the other end. Opening a wormhole phenomena on both ends, a connection would be securely established. By the time her device dialled the mini stargate like device's coordinates, she had anticipated that she would be finished with her recording, send it through knowing it would reach its intended target with absolute certainty, and then cut the connection.

“Father I understand I'm the last person you want to be hearing from. Undoubtedly the shocking news from what occurred in the Kustetiera System regarding the doomed fate of the Vistesh by my own hand has reached you. I acknowledge that I have failed you as a daughter and by my actions of genocide at Kustetiera that I've placed further dishonour, shame and disgrace upon my bloodline and of the many of my family. However I was lied to. By Lord Xiz'Jhan, by others in his chain of command, and by the powers that be. You may not be aware, but in the time I've been absent from your side, that I've encountered the love of my dreams. It's a her by the way, and we love each other with great immensity. Her name is Mako father. Mako has come to help me understand my erroneous actions of my jagged past, she is helping me in seeing the light, and understanding how the power of love can triumph over the forces of hate and suffering. Mako father, is like the daughter you'd wish you had had instead of me. One day I will make that so when I wed her in matrimony. However Xix'Jhan saw her as a threat. A threat that would change me away from his twisted and evil ways. All this time he has tricked me, used me, and I was too naive and stupid to see it coming. As a means to eliminate my precious Mako, Xiz'Jhan forced me into a situation. I committed genocide against the Vistesh to save Mako who was taken hostage as ransom. I was lied to. My sweet Mako is alive by some miracle of the Force and lives on as a cyborg. In learning of Xiz'Jhan's treachery, I've now denounced him, no longer am I his first prime. Mako means the universe to me father, and for the wake up call she has given me, I owe it to her to do everything possible in my power to save her. In order to do this, I have a bald plan. The chances of failure are extremely high, therefore I am sending you this message so that if I were to never return, that you know of my fate. I along with my beloved Mako and my trusted crew, are attempting to venture out to a galaxy trillions of light years away, one that the now legendary Qi Xian ventured to, the last of the true bloodlines of House Sunrider. My quest there is in search for a legend, a device or its blueprints. A device used by a now long deceased Force user of that galaxy millennia ago, in an attempt to undo my actions at Kustetiera and ultimately change history. Father I'm attempting time travel. If you never hear from me again, please know that deep down I am sincerely sorry for all the terrible things that I have committed. Father you must tread carefully, these are dangerous times, Lord Xiz'Jhan is not to be trusted. Father know that I love you, and I love you a lot. Good bye and may the Force be with all of us, always.”

By the time Kixi had finished recording her message, the small Sajnen communications portal had come to life. Where nothing but air only moments earlier filled the area above the tiny stargate like device, now a wormhole that resembled an iris took the place of the previous void. The connection to an identical device had been established, and although the image of a face of someone on the other end could not be seen, much to Kixi's relief as that meant no one had physically answered her call, unmistakably she would now be able to deposit her message in which she promptly did. Immediately after making certain that the entire message packet was transmitted successfully, she instantly cut off the connection. Taking a deep breath she took a seat on a small cozy leather coach situated in her very same quarters, wondering to herself, the thoughts of a thousand things passing through her mind— About her father, her family, Mako, all her friends, her life in general. Despite her overall good intentions, just how much she had managed to fuck everything up. Then suddenly the shift in the ship's momentum, the noticeable shudder that came with the shift in speed as it entered hyperspace, and consequently snapping Kixi out of her pensive state. Kixi's quest for the Orb of Passage had only just began, smiling to herself as she got up and slowly made her way back to the medical and rehabilitation sections of the ship, to where Mako would be awaiting her return.

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