I am old now, and my life is almost spent. But you, you are young, and have many years remaining. Therefore hearken unto my words, understand my knowledge, that you might have the greater wisdom in your years, and the lesser sorrow.
-Myriad 4:3-4, Scriptures of Yeh.
It was a pity.
There were many things that the Warrior did not understand. He knew this. It had not been his duty to understand them. He had no need of such knowledge. Now he wished he knew more about this creature.
His ship had crashed here only yesterday, and the human creature's ship fell from orbit as well. A coincidental warp, a one in a trillion accident that destroyed both craft, both human colony ship and Imperial destroyer, merely because they had chosen the same destination at the same time. Bad luck, or some strange manifestation of Yeh's wrath? Who could tell.
Unfortunately, the Warrior had survived. This left him with the painful responsibility of caring for the bodies of the dead and protecting the living. Innocents. Civilians. So helpless, but of what worth was a code of honor to the strong if there were none weak? His code set him apart. He could abandon it, of course. Nobody would ever know. But then he would have no honor, and one day Yeh would judge him and his evil would come to light.
But that of all people aboard the two craft he and this pathetic creature should survive, was truly a pity.
Any other two might have worked together to survive, but the Warrior did not know what this human creature's needs were. That it was young, possibly larval, was obvious. He knew little of humans (foolishly), but he had seen them and even fought alongside them, and the adults did not look like this.
Last night he had tried to comfort the creature, but he had little knowledge of such things. His efforts were in vain. Eventually the human creature cried itself to sleep, contining to whimper softly through the night. Such weakness would have appalled the Warrior in any other circumstance, but somehow he understood it. Knowing that his captain, his comrades, everyone he knew and loved, were all dead and gone and that he had no hope for survival...
Had he been able, he would have wept as well. But he was a Warrior. Others wept; he took action.
He checked the power cell in his weapon, the only tie that remained to his beloved Imperium. It was fully charged.
The cell's base was of Melkorinthian make, with an Imperial reassimilator and subprocessor. Even the Emperor himself had no finer. He could fire his weapon ten minutes straight in a battle before the cell ran dry. He would need to do no such thing here, and he had ten more cells in his belt, a century's supply.
He surveyed the area. There were trees. There was grass. Most of it was destroyed, more life-forms fallen victim to the crash. But its presence indicated life.
Where there were animals, the Warrior could get food. His youth on a Kaenr reserve had taught him much. He raised his antennae, testing the air. The smell of some creature touched at his senses.
And what was better was that the animals here would likely have no fear of intelligent life, and would approach him curiously. Already the bird-like creatures had begun to gather around him. One even had the audacity to land on his shoulder. He looked at his wrist. His computer was dead. He could not ask it if the birds were good to eat. The bird, startled by the movement, flew away, towards clump of bushes...
Some large creature's jaws snapped shut around the bird. Reflexively the Warrior fired three shots into the brush. A yelp and a crash sounded from within. He drew his sabre and moved cautiously forward. The creature's body was unmoving. He ran it through with his blade.\
No movement. It was dead.
He cleaned it as best he could. The internal organs were arranger familiarly, and he had little trouble. Lifting the beast effortlessly, he carried it back to the shelter he had made from wreckage. He started a fire with the help of one of his power cells, and cooked the meat.
Then there was another problem. The human creature would not eat the meat. It was as he feared. It was a larva indeed, and required simpler food.
So he had to try in vain to calm the child for another day, until it wept away its wakefulness once more. Then he fed himself, for a weakened protector is none at all.
What to do?
This was truly a pity.
He would have to find something the human creature could eat. He would search the wreckage.
He spent the first day searching in vain. The human creature was growing thin.
By the fifth day, the human creature did not cry any more. It had consumed a little water, but was dying. Obviously dying. The Warrior had eaten nothing.
Finally, he found something. A biomass shifter. The humans used such things in their colony ships. It could create simulations of food using stored biomass.
But it required energy to function. There was no energy. Someone who knew something of engineering could have set it up to accept weapon power cells, but the Warrior did not have this knowledge. He cursed his ignorance.
Then he found it. A backup generator. Manual. He plugged it in to the shifter and began turning it, squeezing droplets of energy into the food-machine. He did so for an hour, then ppowered the device up. It asked him what he wanted. He asked for something that a huan larva would eat. It gave him some sort of paste. This food was nothing he would consume, but the human creature...
It ate the paste hungrily, and cried for more. He had no more, so it went to sleep.
He returned to the machine. He turned the generator's lever. He turned it for an hour, and then for the full morning, and into the afternoon. He remembered his life. He wished he had more knowledge, that he could save the human creature. When midnight came, and he was still turning the lever, he collapsed. When he was able to rise, he made the machine produce as much of the strange food-paste as it could. He staggered to the shelter with the food on his back, and sat.
He let the human creature eat as much as it could, then drifted away into sleep.
When the rescue ship arrive three days later, they found that there were no survivors of the crash. One, however, spotted a small object in the vicinity that looked like a shelter erected by survivors. He assumed the inhabitants must be dead, or they would have rushed out to greet their rescuers. Still, he had a code of honor. If there was a chance someone lived, he would never stop searching.
He dismounted from his flitter and entered the structure. Inside, there was a Yeh-Ket's body, clutching a starving human child in its death-grip.
And the searcher, brother of the Warrior, recorded this that you, my children, might learn the value of knowledge - and the honor of the pure.
Edited by KnarledOne on 2/4/2013 4:57 AM PST