1258 The Infamous Ravagers
"captain, i have detected an odd signal coming from the orbit close to the sun," 0541 reported, his tone sounding rather serious.
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"aye, i have yet to investigate the matter, but i am sure that such a signal could not be given off from any natural source," 0541 added.
like how 0541 had secured the earth for jiang fei's sake, he had also gone the extra mile. once he had earth protected from its own occupants, the next sensible step would be to secure the planet's orbit and the entire planetary system. as such, once he had consolidated its resources on earth, 0541 had launched countless drones to scout the entire system. one of its missions was to gather data about the other planets and most importantly, to have the entire solar system under surveillance.
"so, you're saying it's man-made?" jiang fei prompted.
"could it be something nasa sent out? something like the hubble space telescope? they had been sending many deep-space observation telescopes for the past few years," he added.
"i cannot say for sure now but i will continue to observe said signal. i will immediately inform you about its origin when i have gathered enough data," said 0541.
"yeah, you do that," jiang fei hummed. although he was almost certain that the unidentified signal was of earth's origin, he could not help but feel something bad, an omen even.
for three days, nothing out of the ordinary happened. 0541 was quiet, and so was the entire globe. it was peaceful yet jiang fei could not help but feel anxious. there was something going on with him but he could not put a finger on it. it was like his sixth sense was blaring constantly, like a prick in his brain, as if the source of that feeling was coming from the core of will!
"what on earth is going on?" jiang fei muttered to himself when the constant pounding in his head started affecting him physically. it started with a gut feeling and slowly, jiang fei had pinned the source to be the core of will inside his mind. even 0541 was unable to properly diagnose what was wrong with jiang fei since there was no data about any core.
two days after the pounding headache started, it vanished as abruptly as it had appeared. the mysterious signal that appeared vanished into thin air too. even with the best technology braveheart had to offer, 0541 was unable to retrace the signal.
in a place far, far away, a bald man was kneeling on the edge of a cliff. the soil he was kneeling on was purple—made with grains of sand as large as marbles. it was noon and two bright celestial objects shone as brightly as the sun shone on earth, casting two shadows on the bald man as he profusely hammered his head against the purple ground.
standing opposite the bald man was a figure cloaked in dark fabric. everything about the man was behind the veil of darkness. the only characteristic the man could show was his abnormally tall stature, measuring at two meters. his body was huge, ripped, and well-toned.
"master, as you can see, i was telling nothing but the truth! how else can i further prove my loyalty which is stronger and larger than a hypernova of two colliding neutron star?!" cried the bald man.
"interesting…" said the man shrouded in mystery. based on his voice, the man behind the veil of shadow was only a young teen.
"young master, should we depart?" a man clad in full metallic armor strut proudly toward the young teen and spoke with a deep, husky voice. the winds in the foreign land were strong but it failed to make the long cape of the armored man flutter.
"leave the transaction to balsris," said the cloaked teen nonchalantly.
"i hear and obey, young master," said the armored man before strutting away.
"young master! you have made the wisest decision! although the planet is crawling with savages, the core of time shall be yours with the transaction! there's even a good ship there that you could collect and sell away!" the same bald man squealed with delight.
"i'll decide whether or not it shall be sold," said the cloaked teen before turning away.
three days later, when jiang fei was chilling with his parents, 0541's frantic call blared in his mind.
"captain! please come to the bridge at your earliest convenience! there's a critical condition!"
"beam me up then," said jiang fei. before he was teleported, he turned to his parents and told them he was needed on the ship. after that, he was immediately teleported to the bridge, along with two other girls that were with him in the living room.
"where's the fire?" jiang fei prompted when he was on the bridge. if it was not an emergency, 0541 would not have summoned him with such fervor.
"i have found the source of the odd signal…" said 0541. his tone suggested something ominous.
jiang fei walked toward the captain console panel and pulled up details of the signal to the main screen.
"what am i looking at?" jiang fei as he stared at a large crystal-like object.
"that's a wayfinder…" 0541 explained but paused halfway through, as if he was taking a deep breath, preparing to reveal the ultimate truth.
"a valsalrian wayfinder…"
"a val-what now?" jiang fei stammered. he had never heard or pronounced such a word before.
"the valsalrians are a group of ravagers. the kind you would call pirates and bandits. they are of few members but each one of them are overwhelmingly strong. they live to steal, be it materialistic objects or planets… we, namekians, know of their existence and loathe their way of living," said 0541.
"you mean, their way of looting?" jiang fei added.
"yes. unlike pirates and bandits of earth, the ravagers will eliminate all sentient beings on a planet and sell everything, including the planet itself to the highest bidder," 0541 elaborated further.
"are they even capable of doing so?!" jiang fei's voice rose.
"captain, there are things in the universe that even i cannot understand. at the very least, we know that the ravagers are capable of doing so. they are, after all, the strongest band of bandits in the known universe!" said 0541. 0541 was very informed about them as planet namek had been visited by such a group a long time ago.
"well, shit… how did the… uhm… wayfinder appear around the sun?" jiang fei pointed to the screen and asked.
it did not matter how they appeared in the solar system because the biggest problem was how he was going to protect earth from such bandits. if they were as terrible as 0541 said they were, earth would be completely defenseless! even with braveheart at his command, he wouldn't be able to do much when it had taken an entire planet of advanced species to stop them!
"i do not know… however, based on what i already know, valsalrians would never set their eyes on the solar system. there is nothing on earth, or even the entire solar system that is worth looting," 0541 explained.
"really? nothing at all?" jiang fei snorted.
"captain, do you want them to loot earth of its people and resources?"
"well… no… but…"
"we should be considered as savages in the eyes of other advanced alien species out there… i cannot figure out why they would appear here…"
"do you have any contingency plans for this?" jiang fei asked.
0541 paused for a while before delivering the bad news.
"i have one but it requires you to gather your family and close friends. bring them into braveheart and we could evacuate to any other star system to live. earth is… done for."
"are you… for real?"
the last thing he had expected to hear from 0541 was the notion of running away.
"i am. nevertheless, i understand this is against your nature. it's really the last resort against the valsalrians. the first wave should be bearable. against this primitive planet, they would only dispatch a small unit," said 0541. out of everyone in the world, 0541 was one who understood jiang fei best. he knew that jiang fei would never abandon earth without first giving his all.
"what's the probability of me protecting earth?"
"not including the core of will, the success rate of defending against the first wave of attack is above 80%. the second wave of attack, however, will be no higher than 0.0001%."
"urgh… how is that even… might as well fight the first wave! running without a fight wouldn't make sense!" jiang fei barked.