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Solar Storm: Chapter 3

Storm walked through the streets of Deriva as just another face in the crowd. After he had left Pitch, the intergalactic thief had made plans to get to Aryol. He couldn’t just land an unmarked ship on the capital planet of the Core Worlds. Only a cosmic brained fool would even attempt something that idiotic.

Storm had flown his ship to the edge of the Outer Rim before calling in a few favours owed to him to get a new ship to take him through the Mid Rim. From there his various contacts scattered throughout the Mid Rim were able to secure him passage on a cruise ship returning to Aryol after touring the Sellar Nebula. Most of the people on the cruise ship were Aryolan or some other Core species so he didn’t draw that much attention.

When the cruise ship docked on the outer edges of Deriva, the only city on Aryol, Storm saw several armed knights fly over head on winged mounts and a dozen more chase after them by foot or hover bike. Whatever had drawn the attention of so many knights Storm didn’t know, it just meant there would be fewer patrols for him to avoid as he made his way to the palace.

Finding a way inside the palace had been easy. He had memorized all the hidden passageways and entrances in his youth in an attempt to escape... Storm shook his head. He had to stay focused on the mission. He still had to make it passed all the guards sweeping the halls and break into the military vault to steal the data crystal before anyone noticed he was there.

After recomposing himself, Storm scanned the area for any sign of patrolling guards before running down the hall. He nearly reached the military wing when a single knight turned the corner. Storm froze, his gaze locked on the unexpected knight. How could he have been caught? The patrol schedule he had hacked from the palace defense systems specifically stated that this corridor would be free for another thirty movements. The unexpected knight being there completely ruined his plans.

The knight, seeing the intruder, set off the palace alarm system before persuing the intruder. Storm knew he would have to think fast if he wanted to evade the persuing knight. Reaching into the pouch at his belt, Storm pulled out several small capsules and threw them over his shoulder. The instant the capsules hit the ground they exploded, releasing a rancid smell. The knight instantly fell to her knees, the putrid smell of rotting flesh to much for her to bear.

Aryolans possessed heightened senses when compared to many other species. It stemmed from their ancestors being top predators, but it also left all Aryolans with several weakness no other race had. The easiest way to overpower an Aryolan was either with a flash bomb to temporarily blind them, a ultrasound blast to deafen them, or use a stink capsule as Storm had done.

Storm didn’t want to risk blinding of deafening himself if he used the first two techniques, but the third would not effect him, not anymore. One of the first things his masters had done after purchasing him ten cycles ago was have his scenes of smell reduced to disorient him. It had taken Storm nearly a dozen lunar cycles adjust to his weakened perception of the world, but the development came in handy once his masters gave to him a crime lord to pay off his debts and he ended up becoming the crime lord’s favourite until Storm killed him and began his current life as a smuggler and thief.

More knights were coming from up the hall. Storm was just about to run up a nearby stairwell when he saw the two figures running down the hall. It wasn’t knights, but two young Aryolans with ceremonial sun like scars on their forehead and each cheek. Storm recognized those ceremonial scars because they were identical to the ones marking his own face. These two were Prince Solaris and Princess Nova of Aryol, the respective destine heir apparent and future seer, and his siblings.

Solaris and Nova could not believe their eyes. The person who they ran into bore the same facial scars as them. Only the royal family of Aryol could bear the sacred sun marking as their ceremonial facial scars. And the scars were impossible to forge because all Aryolans had their facial scars none exactly one cycle after they were born. Therefore, the stranger who wore the royal siblings’ markings could only be one person.

“Luner,” Solaris said, tears in his eyes, “is that you? Please Mother Goddess let this not be a dream and have my brother finally returned to us.”

Solaris nearly ran towards the stranger he was convinced to be his long lost brother and give him a hug when the stranger pulled a crystal dagger from it sheath. Nova pulled her brother back, drawing her own crystal dagger as she prepared to defend her brother.

“Solaris, however that stranger got those markings he is still an intruder. None but the royal family, the knights and a few select servants are allowed this far into the palace without proper clearance. You know this brother. Think rationally,” Nova stated.

Without another word, Nova rushed forward. Storm, surprised by the sudden attack, was off balance when the young seer apprentice quickly disarmed him and three a few precise jabs at his arms and thighs. Nova knelt beside the fallen intruder when she felt he no longer posed a threat to her or her brother.

“In time we will learn the truth about you. Until then sleep.”

Raising her hand, Nova cast a basic sleep command. In a few beats the stranger was outcold, leaving Solaris and Nova to watch over him until the knights arrived for backup.

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