Chapter I of ‘The Phoenixes’ Choice’


Trysuil had spent the last twenty-four hours standing on the ledge of his aerie, watching the lights that signaled the approach of the Tantalarian Mother Ship. He could see it was getting closer with each moment, even as he sensed the power of his brethren within the safety of its hull. Each breath he took spoke of change, and it made him question the intelligence of his decisions. He realized there was no choice; he could already see the signs everywhere that forecasted new lives for everyone on Tantalus. They were going to have to make the alterations to their world to suit the circumstances. This was the beginning of a new era and, as he swore, he could hear the fates’ daughters amused laughter ringing everywhere around him. The joke, he realized, was that he was the one who would be the architect for the future on the planet.

Trysuil had been doing a lot of thinking, not only about the past, but of the future. Above all, he remembered Kyllan. He recalled that man’s actions the last time he had seen him. The Elder had opposed him one time too many, and Kyllan couldn’t stand the injustice of that man’s views any longer. Kyllan had been very visual in his declaration of contempt. He had decided it was time for action. It was the only way he could get his point across. The way he had shown his feelings had been blunt, as had been the unspoken statement he made when he turned his back on The Elder, and walked away from the Tantalarian Warrior doctrine that had once formed the cornerstone of their civilization.

Trysuil doubted if Kyllan even fully understood the full implications of his actions that day, or how it would affect everyone. Kyllan had declared the beginning of a new world order. The question that remained unanswered was, would Kyllan embrace the results of the seeds of development that he had sown, or would he leave them lying on the ground unrecognized for what they had been? Were their people ready to ride the undercurrents of change that was being brought home to them on the winds that were about to sweep across the planet? Trysuil had a feeling he knew the answers to all these questions. They had no choice, as the wheels had already been set into motion.

Kyllan had always been the harbinger of change that was the thorn in The Elder’s side. He was the type of man to continue to fight for what he believed in, no matter what. He believed in progress, and the freedom of his people. If Kyllan hadn’t regressed over time, he would continue to fight for these things, even as he embraced the difference this would require. Kyllan was a man of honor, one Trysuil was sure he could work with. He was also looking forward to reconnecting with him. They would make things happen in this world, as well as embrace the challenges that the fates were throwing at them.

In the fortnight since his revitalization, Trysuil had spent his time studying the people who had come to settle on Tantalus. He had concluded that although they appeared to be different than his people on the surface, they were fundamentally the same deep inside, where it counted. He was sure they could create a harmonious culture, where everyone would be happy. He had noted a few who could be trouble, but he figured that wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle. These people could be reasoned with. They were capable of forming rational decisions and this, in the back of his mind, was a big step in their favor.

At first, no one seemed to pay much attention to Trysuil on the Earth Ships. To them, he was just another Tantalarian Warrior. Granted, he was one of the largest Tantalarians they had encountered, but they were certain the Tribunal Elder was much bigger. As he didn’t speak to anyone, didn’t intrude in their space, or do anything to call attention to himself, they thought he was no one important. It didn’t take long for them to adjust that impression. For when he took command, he quickly moved to establish an order that they soon learned to follow. If they didn’t, they found out what it meant to reap the ire he was capable of. If there was one thing Trysuil insisted on, it was peace and the combined efforts of everyone to work towards the greater good of the entire population. For some of the settlers, this was totally foreign to everything they knew, and decided not to listen to him without a fight.

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