Tschamak-Aschzra-Kumchrapux came before the Sacred and Holy High Cogitators. He bowed to his knees (or his first set, for the Szchra possessed stroke legs), removed his helmet, and dipped covered two of his four eyes with his hands. He sat in this fashion for over ten minutes, as we would judge time, though for Szchra it was indeed a great length, and the pressure of being before the High Cogitators made Kumchrapux's perception quite too long.
But it was a sacred pause.
Finally, one of the Cogitators spoke.
"Be welcome before us, our child."
An attendant stepped forward, dressed all in black, with a visor of a black glass-like substance over his eyes, signifying him as one blessedly able to use his own voice before the Cogitators. He said:
"This one would beg of the Sacred and Holy High Ones- shall this one speak for the visitor, or another?"
There was another sacred pause.
A second Cogitator spoke.
"It shall please us that the visitor shall speak his own voice before us. We believe that this new destiny that is unfolding is worthy of his own speech."
The attendant dipped it's head in acceptance.
There was a sacred pause.
A Cogitator said:
"The visitor now will speak. Let him stand before us, and be blessed by the privelige of speaking his voice before us."
Tschamak stood, but averted his gaze. It is not healthy for normal mortals to look too long upon the shining light of those who have true understanding.
There was a sacred pause.
"This one is only a lowly swarm-leader. He is not worthy of speaking before the Sacred and Holy High Cogitators, those who possess the shining light of true understanding of the Universe. This one..." Tschamak paused, and glanced up. "This one shall relate this tale to the best of his knowledge.
"The swarm of this one is composed of three great commandships, four battleships and innumerable swarms of deathships and fighters. This one's many lesser ones have been trained for planetary conquest. We have struck many victories against the Hated Ones, the below-worthless, honorless, strengthless, void-minded sons of the Other Great Fleet.
"This one and this one's swarm had been in pursuit after a swarm of the Hated Ones, whom said ones had damaged greatly, and said ones had destroyed the heart of a hated enemy commandship. The Hated Ones had undertaken to use the Space Beyond Spaces and transferred where we could not follow. This one and this one's swarm had not been able to attach an observation-drone to the hated enemy fleet.
"At this time, this one recieved a message from a lesser one, the command-leader of one of the swarm's commandships, the Swift and Proud Justice, had detected the remnants of warp-wake in the Space Beyond Spaces. However, this lesser one did come to understand that it was unlike a warp-wake of the ships of the Hated Ones, and together, this one and this lesser one surmised that it would be prudent to attempt to capture the unknown vessel, for it may have been that the Hated Ones had discovered a new form of travel. This one had believed that the Sacred and Holy High Cogitators would wish this new form of travel to be brought to the hands of the Holy Great Fleet..."
There was an interruption.
A Cogitator spoke.
"The child shall not presume to know what it is that we wish in our Infinite Understanding."
Tschamak kneeled immediately and covered two eyes. This shame and regreat could not be born- he would destroy himself, so that none would need to understand his disgrace.
There was a sacred pause.
The first Cogitator said:
"Let the visitor be comforted. To him we offer our absolution of disgrace, that he might tell us of all that he has witnessed."
There was another sacred pause.
Tschamak rose slowly.
"This one's shame is absolved. There is no regret." He continued with his story.
"This one and this one's swarm did go after the unknown warp-wake, and said ones overtook it greatly, for this vessel was a slow one.
"We came upon it, and dispatched observation-drones to understand this thing. It was a strange ship, and at first said ones thought that perhaps it was only an asteroid that said ones had mistaken. But in due time, said ones discovered that it was a great irregular asteroid, of the kind sometimes found orbiting as moons, which had been converted into a crude spacecraft.
"The asteroid-ship was made with unadvanced, worthless, crude, and ancient technology. This ship's drive was slow and large, a great, massive, huge thing which had been constructed into a large crater. The attitude jets were similarly huge. There was little in the way of outer surface, but this one's penetrating-sights revealed that it was deeply tunneled.
"Deathships were sent to the surface, and this one's swarm undertook to discover a region of outer mechanisms.
"This one's lesser ones did undertake to open the crude airlock. Within, when closed, it was discovered by said ones that the atmosphere within the asteroid-vessel was similar to that of our Holy Great Fleet, though too heavy and warm.
"Within the vessel, there were many tunnels. Many fighting-groups became lost. We dispatched many fighting-groups therein, and eventually came across a wondrous sight, wherefore this one stands now before the Sacred and Holy High Cogitators.
"It was a great chamber, and said one's penetrating-sights revealed many more akin to it. This chamber was filled to the very walls with hemicylindrical cases embedded in much technology of crude and unrefined make. This one believes that it bore resemblance to ancient technologies of the Hated Past which the Sacred and Holy High Cogitators keep in the Museums of Former Disgrace.
"Within, lesser ones of the fighting groups did percieve a strange thing- these things are... difficult to describe, very indeed. They are not even like the Hated Ones, though they do seem to be like we Szchra in certain ways. They were frozen in a kind of stasis, like the archaic traveling methods. The fighting-groups did undertake to remove some from their sleep, though in the process, these specimens did die. After other undertakings, the fighting-groups and understanders therein discovered how to awaken the beings within without death, though the beings were stricken with a strange malady.
"They are bipedal and have two arms. However, they possess no stroke legs. Their ability to leap is most likely worthless. Their outer integument is soft and easy to remove and break. In some places, they are covered in coatings of tiny fibers which protrude from this integument. Their facial structures are very flat and they have no snouts. They have only two eyes, but they also possess a large, complicated structure between them, which we believe is the nasal organ. The organ which functions like a Szchra tympanic membrane is also complicated and protrusive. Their mouths are small and full of blunt, square teeth. The understanders believe that this suggests that they are herbivores, but these ones also noted certain characteristics that suggest omnivorous qualities. They have no tails. Each hand and foot has five digits. Their sexual organs are pronounced, especially on males.
"This one's lesser ones have overtaken to awaken some and dissect them to better understand their biology. These ones also have gathered a multitude and set them to work to determine their worth as slaves.
"That is all this one has too report. This one is very perplexed- did not the Sacred and Holy High Cogitators percieve that there were only Szchra in the Universe, of many Fleets?"
After this very long (especially for a Szchra) speech, there was observed an equally long sacred pause.
Finally, a Cogitator spoke.
"We did percieve this, and we have not percieved wrongly. These new beings are not from this Universe; they come from another Universe where our sight cannot penetrate. It is good, we think, that the child has undertaken to awaken these sleeping beings. This destiny seems great, and its unfolding will be a great boon to our Holy Great Fleet. No Hated One shall ever possess the secret of these beings. They shall be ours alone."
Another Cogitator spoke.
"Go, child. Continue the work, and be blessed by great understanding."
Tschamak rose, and donned his helm, and backed out of the chamber of Sacred and Holy High Cogitators.
There was work to be done on Ship Six.