In Pan Post 72 King Arthur leads The Knights of the Round Table and their army to war against a G-Krypton City, allied with the X-Kryptons led by Gamma Pans. He talks with Gamma Pans about warfare and the mysterious Lightning Amulet that Pans possesses. Sir Caelia introduces herself to Pans and believes that the amulet is alien in origin and not divine, as Arthur believes. Aboard Camelot Admiral Ltexi is curious why Camelot would have turbo-laser batteries for war while her own sister ship to Camelot, The Hopeful, doesn't. She tells Merlin the Younger of the other human worlds and how they were once powerful but regressed after a communications blackout. Back on Saturn, Arthur's army is victorious over the G-Kryptons and Arthur starts his grand plans for conquered city.
Space Camelot: Battlefield of Saturn
Characters: King Arthur | Queen Guinevere | Sir Lancelot | Sir Bedivere | Sir Kay | Prince Mordred | Sir Galahad | (Sir) The Black Knight | (Sir) The Faerie Knight | Tom a'Lincoln | Morganna le Fay | Merlin the Younger | Andy | Admiral Ltexi | Gamma Pans | Omega Wier
The Knights of the Round Table group into formations, surrounded by several hundred soldiers. While the common soldiers are on foot, the knights are sat atop of their respective steeds. The horses had to be calmed down after becoming quite agitated at being transported through space and dumped on an alien world. Now, however, the horses are ready for the battle to come, holding their riders aloft.
At the fore of the battle is King Arthur himself. Through the visor of his space-helmet he can see the enemy city. Beside him sits Gamma Pans, Custodian for the X-Kryptons, who glances at the exalted king meekly.
King Arthur: "You're not afraid are you?"
Gamma: "No! No, that's not it. I'm... overwhelmed, is all."
King Arthur glances down the lines of soldiers and knights until he sees the X-Krypton force. A bunch of men and women on foot totalling around thirty. Arthur purses his lips.
King Arthur: "Yeah... I can see why. Sorry, I was expecting a more..."
He makes a 'large' gesture with his hands.
King Arthur: "Epic battle of... epicness."
Gamma: "Honestly, I sort of thought it was going to be... 'epic' with just thirty! I thought I'd be the impressive one. I've never imagined an army of... so... so many."
Arthur feels his ego swell and is very pleased with this awe of this alien man. Unfortunately Arthur is a terrible liar at the best of times and the rest of the time he blurts out truths before he can stifle them;
King Arthur: "This is nothing really. There's way, way bigger armies out there. Byzantines - that's what's left of Rome these days - they have thousands. There's a country in the far East, China I think, they've got... unimaginable numbers. Like, crazy numbers!"
Gamma's eyes bulge in horror.
King Arthur: "Relax though. It's not numbers that win wars. It strategy."
Gamma nods in appreciation.
Gamma: "Wise words."
King Arthur: "Aye. That's why I have clever people around me to do all the strategising."
King Arthur: "I did notice there's no walls around this city... is there a magical barrier of some sort?"
Gamma raises an eyebrow.
Gamma: "No? I hadn't thought of putting a wall around the city. That's pretty clever."
King Arthur: "Oh... do you think their numbers will be about..."
He again glances down the line. Several of the X-Kryptons have started sitting on the floor and were merrily chomping on biscuits, Custodian Omega Wier amongst them. Arthur winces with annoyance.
King Arthur: "...the same numbers?"
Gamma: "Probably a few more. It depends on whether the people intend to stand by their Custodians."
King Arthur: "Riiiiiiight. So... this will probably be a... fairly easy fight?"
He looks a little disappointed - but not as disappointed as Sir Lancelot further down the line. Before Gamma Pans can reply Arthur has pointed to the amulet hanging around the alien's neck. It appears to be made from gold with a red gemstone at its centre. Arthur is an excellent judge of gemstones, being something of a hoarder of them, and reckons its imperial topaz. Rare. Expensively rare.
King Arthur: "This is the amulet Faerie Knight was impressed by. Do you think the enemy has a few of these?"
Gamma: "I hope not! For the sake of our soldiers!"
Arthur casts a fleeting eye at his soldiers.
King Arthur: "Right! Me too! But it would make a more... epic battle if they do have these amulets, wouldn't it!?"
Gamma: "Does epic mean deadly?"
King Arthur: "...sort of."
Gamma: "I doubt they have anything like this."
King Arthur: "Ohhh..."
He tries not to sound disappointed. He's as bad at feigning lies as he is at wording them.
Gamma: "This is an amulet from the heavens."
Arthur perks up.
King Arthur: "God bestowed it on you!?"
Gamma: "You humans talk about this God person often. Does he go around bestowing gifts often?"
King Arthur nods.
King Arthur: "More than He probably should, yes."
Gamma: "Oh... then perhaps he did give it to us--"
King Arthur: "It's a capital 'H'."
King Arthur: "Uh... nothing. So where did you get it? It just dropped out of the sky?"
Gamma: "Exactly. I wasn't there, mind, so this is just a legend as far as I know. My ancestors were fortunate enough to be sailing on a lake when there was a great calamity in the skies above the planet. Then it blasted down to the planet and dropped to the bottom of the lake. My ancestor went down after it and now it's passed down through our generations to me. My child will take it after me one day."
Arthur's estimations of the amulet's value sky-rockets in his head and he stares at it greedily.
King Arthur: "And nobody has tried to take it from you? Or your ancestors?"
Gamma: "Sure. But it's a powerful weapon in the right hands."
Voice: "So my son tells me."
The two of them turn to the new voice. The woman is short, perhaps four foot, and has long, wild hair. Curly at the ends and matted, her unkempt hair is stark white and frizzy. Morganna had decided the look as 'dragged through a hedge backwards' once. Arthur liked to think of it as 'untamed'. Aside from her stark white hair is her very pale skin, which is only offset by the constantly pink cheeks and the very tip of her nose. She has a cute face, rounded and with a button nose. Her eyes are large, just a little too large to be human, and the irises are pink.
As though to match her eyes and cheeks, the woman has dyed the tips of her white her equally pink. Yet to offset the pink she wears a thick cloak of light blue with white-fur trim. The hood, which is now up, has two long 'ears' that hang down her back. Beneath the cloak is the hint of silver-armour, though its clearly much lighter than most knights wear.
Even Gamma Pans could tell that this woman wasn't like most humans. The humans know she isn't human at all.
King Arthur: "Gamma Pans, this is Sir Caelia."
Caelia: "Don't call me Sir. Just call me Caelia."
King Arthur: "It's your title. Please use it."
Caelia: "If you have to call me by a title, use Lady. I'm not a man!"
King Arthur: "Sir isn't just for men! It's a title! Stop being sexist!"
Caelia: "Against myself?"
King Arthur: "Uh... yes?"
Gamma: "It's nice to meet you Lady Caelia."
She gives Arthur a smug smirk and Arthur scowls at Gamma.
King Arthur: "Don't you start to indulge her too."
Caelia: "Your amulet, Gamma Pans, it is magical. Powerful too. In fact, I doubt you've even unlocked its full potential..."
She, unlike everyone else, is riding her own unique steed. A gigantic, white-furred dire wolf. The beast has hulking shoulders and powerful legs, giving it plenty of strength to carry the small woman. The wolf stands at half the height of Arthur's horse but if it came down to a fight, Arthur would be burying his precious mount within seconds. The wolf pads around Arthur, directed by Caelia through, as Arthur knew, a telepathic communication the woman shares with the beast.
Even atop the wolf, Caelia is barely much taller than Gamma Pans.
Gamma: "I had heard my ancestors had done much greater deeds with it than I've managed to do. If I'm honest, I don't use it very much."
Caelia: "I had noticed your people are much more peaceful than the humans of Earth."
When Gamma raises a curious eyebrow, Caelia adds;
Caelia: "No, I am not human. I am a faerie, born in the realm of Albion. I just live on Earth. You met my son already. He was the one wearing pink."
King Arthur: "Ha, gaaaaaaay!"
Gamma and Caelia frown at Arthur, evidently not getting the joke. Arthur pouts at the lack of appreciation for his 'hilarity'.
Caelia: "I do wonder where it came from though..."
King Arthur: "God sent it, he said."
Gamma: "I didn't really say that, but I suppose it could have been? Not sure why he'd sent amulets to alien worlds though."
King Arthur: "All worlds are God's worlds."
Gamma: "They are?"
King Arthur: "He created the universe."
He smiles with pride.
Gamma: "Oh right! But why haven't we heard of him?"
King Arthur: "Uh... because... uh..."
Caelia rolls her eyes.
Caelia: "It's not from your God, oh king. This was definitely forged. But where? To see alien magic at work. Fascinating."
She beams up at Arthur with the most adorable face that he feels like he'd just awarded her with strawberry ice cream.
Sir Lancelot: "Sire, it appears that the enemy force has gathered at the perimeter."
King Arthur: "Finally!"
Gamma: "I'm not sure why we waited for them. We could have gone in there before they were ready and won the battle that much faster..."
Sir Lancelot gives Gamma an aghast face through the visor.
Sir Lancelot: "That would not be honourable!"
Gamma: "Oh... I see. Seems you have made war a game on your planet..."
Sir Lancelot: "It is no game, Custodian Pans... it is art."
King Arthur: "Return to formation Sir Caelia--"
King Arthur: "You will want to marshal your own..."
King Arthur: "Troupe."
Gamma Pans nods, though a little hesitantly. Even Arthur can see that the man is questioning his decision to involve humans in Saturn's politics. Arthur, however, grins. It's far too late for second-guessing and he gets his new lands. Even if the sky is the colour of spew.
King Arthur sweeps Excalibur from its sheath and there's a blinding glow of bright, divine light. Mordred had tried to convince his father to stop drawing Excalibur before the battle because it's like a beacon for enemy arrow fire, but Arthur knew it was important to inspire courage in his soldiers and to strike fear in the hearts of the enemy. Plus there are always plenty of soldiers willing to dive into the line of fire to save Arthur's skin.
The brilliance of the unsheathing casts its glow outwards, like a miniature lighthouse, and he can only imagine the awe and confusion of the alien defenders. He slowly lowers Excalibur to point towards the enemy lines. He needs not speak. The light of Excalibur says all he needs to say.
The Knights of the Round Table, all fifty of them, start their march and the soldiers follow suit. Though the enemy seems an easy-victory, Arthur isn't completely dumb when it comes to battle. To the far left Sir Bedivere leads a unit out so that they could flank the enemy while Gamma Pan's small force would come up on the other flank. Trying to explain even the basic concept of tactics to Gamma Pans had been a struggle. The best he'd come up with was to murder them all in their sleep. These aliens have much to learn about honour and combat. Gamma Pans seems to be under the believe that winning is the only important aspect to battle. Silly, silly alien.
Arthur nudges his steed, a chestnut roan mare, Llamrei into a slow walk. While some knights have given their horses armour, making them cataphracts for battle, Arthur has only lightly weighed down his horse with necessities for a warhorse. She has a hood upon her head to focus her eyes forward and block out the chaos to her sides and she has a thick quilt upon her back to protect her skin from chaffing with the saddle. She is a very steady mare, happy, quiet and tame. Some of his knights liked to try to show off with their massive, powerful mounts that were, more often than not, far wilder and more aggressive than Arthur's Llamrei. Arthur would have rather have a pleasant trot across a field than thunder over it and wind up dead on a pike because the horse is too keen and too powerful to be reigned in.
Soldiers march by their king and he spots many of them breaking their focus to glance up at him. He isn't about to chastise them for that though. Sir Kay, in his red and black tabard, goes by Arthur and gives his half-brother a jolly wave. Arthur returns the gesture.
Merlin: "So this is a turbo-lasem?"
Ltexi: "Laser, yes."
The Jupiterian admiral is climbing ontop of the inner section of the canon like it's a horse. Merlin isn't used to seeing women straddling things like that unless they're The Black Knight or some other warring female knight. Most ladies would side-saddle. Merlin, of course, didn't ride at all.
Merlin: "Why is it strange for the lasers to be here? You told us about them."
Ltexi yanks a panel off of the canon. Merlin can't help but blush at the sight of this half-naked woman with a massive cylinder-shaped object between her legs. Merlin gulps. Thankfully Lancelot isn't here.
Ltexi: "Laser weapons aren't strange. Actually they're common as muck--"
She sticks her head into the open compartment for a moment. This woman seems to be very at home with machinery in a way Merlin could never be. Merlin has caught herself treating the technology on this space-ship with such careful reverence many times. Ltexi treats it like its an old rake.
She pulls her head back out again and looks at Merlin, blowing a strand of hair from her forehead.
Ltexi: "It is strange that your ship has them though. Mine doesn't."
Merlin: "But didn't you say they're the same? Like sister ships or something?"
Ltexi: "Exactly why it's strange."
She slides off of the space-weapon, satisfied with her inspection.
Ltexi: "Something must have changed between the construction of The Hopeful and the construction of The Camelot."
Merlin: "It's just Camelot. No 'The'."
Ltexi: "Huh. Weird that most ship's are always 'The' something isn't it?"
After a second's musing.
Ltexi: "Aaaaanyway. Whoever built The Hopeful didn't intend it for warfare. It was used for something entirely different. But when they built Camelot, or maybe as a last-minute alteration to the design, they decided to put weapons on it. Hell, considering the age of these things, they might be the galaxy's first turbo-lasers."
Merlin: "I do understand everything you're saying but, at the same time, a lot of this is going over my head. Sorry, my field of vision is pretty limited compared to yours, admiral."
Ltexi: "Don't worry about it, Baldy. I'm just thinking out loud."
Merlin: "It is really necessary to call me that?"
Ltexi: "No, but it's fun."
Before Merlin could further argue, Ltexi's train of thought has already moved on several paces.
Ltexi: "By the way, I noticed you haven't installed an A.I.. And, thinking about it, you probably don't have A.I. technology. Huh. Honestly your ship would be much, much easier to operate with one. I've just installed one aboard The Hopeful, trying to get it more operational."
Merlin scratches the side of her head while Ltexi rambles on.
Ltexi: "From the systems on both ships, they were using O.I. technology originally. Again, they may actually be the first ships to even use that technology. Either way, we're not about to go attaching people to the ship, and I doubt you'd want to sacrifice anyone either--"
Her mind whirls to visions of cultists and sickles and virgins.
Ltexi: "So A.I. tech is better. It might not work as well as an O.I., certainly not as smart, but it's far more... ethical, I guess you'd say."
Merlin: "Uh... right. Ethical options are better... So long as there's no sacrificing."
Ltexi, wandering down the corridor, inspects a console bank. She scans through the systems somewhat absently as she continues talking.
Ltexi: "You'd need to build an A.I. Hub to house the A.I. itself, but that should be easy enough to do if we help you out. All of this would be pending permission from Chancellor Ctatherine, mind you--"
Ltexi waggles a finger at Merlin before returning it to the screen.
Ltexi: "But really, thinking about it, I doubt she would. Nobody is especially fond of your kind. Most of you are kind of arseholes."
Merlin couldn't fault her on that.
Ltexi: "So I guess we'll see. Either way, this trip has been great. Very useful for trying to figure out the systems on my own. The Hopeful was really battered when we found her, hanging in orbit around Mars like a dying whale--"
Merlin: "What's a whale?"
Ltexi: "Pretty sure you have whales on Earth, you know? Like a gigantic animal in the ocean."
Merlin: "A really big fish?"
Ltexi: "Sure. Only it's a mammal."
Merlin: "In the ocean!?"
Ltexi: "You really need to get out more."
Merlin: "Sorry. Bedivere probably knows what a whale is."
Ltexi: "I met him earlier. He also knows what a Snarkumfeist is."
Merlin: "A what?"
Merlin: "You mentioned that there's other human planets out there. Can you tell me about them?"
Ltexi stops working on the console. She then shrugs.
Ltexi: "Can't say I know much about them, to be honest. I'm not much of a tourist, you know?"
She continues trekking down the passage. She strides as though she owns the ship while Merlin has to trot after her to keep up.
Ltexi: "There's a few of them. Lots of fighting, both on worlds and between worlds. The worlds were once prosperous but something happened to the original human homeworld, wherever that is, and that broke up their network of communications somehow. Anyway, people started fighting, like humans do, and they regressed. Some more than others. Earth probably the most I guess. I mean, wow, you guys are really backwards. Seriously, who would put men in charge of anything?"
Merlin, again, couldn't fault that logic.
Ltexi: "So yeah. The worlds, or nations, or whatever, that had retained the most technology or culture or whatever, I don't know, managed to overpower the rest and then there you have the current situation. Some planets want to rule the others, while other worlds want to be independent and other worlds want to be friends with everyone. Stupid politics stuff. I'm sure the Chancellor would love to chew your ear off about that stuff sometime."
Another console bank and it displays a complete picture of Camelot's exterior. Ltexi sighs as she stares at it.
Ltexi: "All I really want to know is what happened to The Hopeful to put her in such bad shape?"
Arthur's sword cuts through the liquid metal armour like a hot knife through butter. The laser swords of the enemy were proving to be a troublesome foe for most of the soldiers and knights, but sheer numbers and battle smarts are proving the equal of this advanced technology. A powerful weapon in the hands of a fool is next to useless against the experience and training of his knights.
With his own enemy down, Arthur looks up to see his son plant his own blade into an enemy's face. Arthur's pride is mixed with anger when he realises the little ******* has stolen his ceremonial sword, Clarent, and is dirtying it in battle. That's like using the finest china tea set to have lunch with a farmer. You're just sullying it!
Half tempted to run across the battlefield and smack Mordred across the back of the head, Arthur is distracted when a streak of lightning arcs before him and strikes one of the G-Kryptons squarely in the chest. The alien is propelled through the air and out of sight. Arthur gives Gamma Pans a nod of appreciation but in his head he's cooking up a plan as not to be outdone. Aside from his knights, Arthur isn't about to be overshadowed by a gangly-legged, honourless barbarian.
Arthur sheathes Excalibur for a moment and rides towards the thickest grouping of enemies. He spies their swords glowing menacingly but Arthur is undeterred. As he nears he redraws the sword and its shining brilliance once again bursts to life. This time its brilliance is stunning and the laser-wielding foes are instantly blinded. Their guards lowered, several knights ride out and hack down the easy prey. Sir Galahad, having stolen one of the laser swords for himself, shows himself to have as much courage as his father.
As Arthur watches, his eyes rove towards the alien city and he wonders where he could build his first alien castle...