Ogatu by J Barrett - HTML preview

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Millennia ago, when dinosaurs walked Earth and man was just beginning to climb out of the sludge, the Scather civilization flourished. Seekers of knowledge in all its forms, the Elders, rulers of Skathia, expanded their minds as far as possible within the limited confines of their galaxy. Ever searching, they went out to other galaxies to continue their quest for knowledge. So insatiable was their thirst, so driven and focused were their minds that they began to ignore what they considered the boring and unimportant duties in life.

Duties such as building cities, growing crops and processing food were suddenly unimportant. In time the Elders ceased doing all physical labor of any kind. To the Elders, the search for and attainment of knowledge was more important than anything.

So, to free themselves of these insipid responsibilities they applied some of the vast knowledge they had gathered; DNA from the far parts of the galaxy were combined and used to create a race of mindless creatures. Creatures that would do the physical labor the Scathers felt beneath them. Unconcerned by the morality of this; the Scathers rationalized that these were merely ‘flesh and blood’ robots. In order to be cost efficient the Scathers designed their ‘robots’ with the ability to procreate; thus guaranteeing that there would always be a fresh supply of workers. They called them Ogatu; and for centuries the Scathers used these workers in maintaining their society.

But, for all their super-intelligence, the Scathers failed to remember one basic truth; all living organisms grow and evolve with each generation. After sixteen hundred years under the Scather’s mentoring, a portion of the Ogatu became aware and began to learn; and what they learned they did not like. Their so-called Masters were not the great beneficial Gods they had thought them to be. They were cruel emotionless slave drivers who used these poor creatures, as though they were animals. Those who understood hid themselves from the eyes of their Scather masters. They began to study them - and their spaceships.

In time their eyes were opened to the world around them; and soon followed the desire to be free. Free themselves they did, to the total surprise of their masters. Insanely raging at the insolence of these ‘animals’, the Scathers vowed to hunt them down.

On the run for a century, the Ogatu finally found and settled on a planet two galaxies away.

They lived in peace and prospered; but knowing their former masters as they did, they prepared for what they knew would come. When the Scathers finally found them they attacked with a ferocity unheard of only to find themselves on the receiving end of same.

The Scathers took a terrible beating at the hands of what they considered inferior beings.

Astonished and frustrated at not being able to destroy these ‘animals’, the Scathers took out their fury on all who had helped them - destroying planets and murdering millions in the process. These heinous and unspeakable acts were seared into the mind of every Ogatu.

They fully realized the price of friendship with other worlds. To prevent a repetition of this ever occurring again they cut themselves off and refused contact with all Outsiders.

Even so, the Scather Elders’ hatred went beyond all reason. They say there is a fine line between genius and insanity; the Elders sailed over this line without even the slightest thought as to weather it was right or wrong. They simply could not accept the Ogatu as sentient beings; nor would they allow them to exist.

So they began a project that would insure the total annihilation of their enemy. Taking DNA from several worlds, they combined these to make a smaller, more lethal version of Ogatu. An army of this prototype would be programmed and used to infiltrate and attack the hated Ogatu on their home world.

Fortunately their plan was never completed; for at the height of their experiment, when the fruition of all their work was about to bear fruit, a mysterious ship dropped out of hyperdrive. Larger than anything in the known universe it de-cloaked above the asteroid belt where the Scathers had hidden their secret lab. Without warning the ship obliterated the entire asteroid belt, the facility included. When the dust cleared all that was left were small boulders drifting in space.

The Scathers never again attempted to play God.

Twenty-four years later an Earth ship on a mission of discovery came upon the colorful green planet and attempted contact. After many hails the ‘Earthers’ received a rather curt answer from the planet telling them to leave the area; the inhabitants wanted no contact with ‘Outsiders’.

The Ogatu did not know that the tenacity of the earthmen equaled their own.

A standing order was set in place by the Space Guild that any passing ships were to attempt hailing the planet. And that’s the way it continued until forces came into play, which caught the attention of Commander Duncan Wayside’s ship, the Phoenix.

After that everything changed.