Upon the Sunborn’s death, her armored power suit had shriveled into silence. Any attempt to touch it was meant with a hostile hiss. One bird ignored the hiss and touched it telepathically. The suit came to life then, wrapped itself around the bird and consumed him. It then sent a warning shriek to all around. It was at that moment the Chozo perceived the suit to be self aware.
It did not respond to any further attempts at communication. Some supposed they had yet to perceive the right method, others assumed it was simply ignoring them.
A young male bird walked towards it when no one else would. He had been one of those males overcome by the Demon’s telepathic infection. It was this infection that had caused him to murder his wife, his mother, and his three little daughters. When the Demon Mother was destroyed by the Sunborn warrior, his madness wore off. There was no grief greater in all of Zebes as great as his. Many had lost their loved ones, some had even killed a few of their own, but this tormented soul had killed every female dear to him.
So deep was his grief that his mourning flight took him around the whole planet before touching the ground again. This was the first time any bird had done this. He was given the name Wingsinger for this feat. His birth name was Brroch.
~The Chozo Historian
Brroch the Wingsinger flew to the peek of the Shrine of Prophesy resting his talons upon the flexible amber stone. Above, the swarthy planet, Tallon IV, beckoned like a beacon at the end of a long journey. When he was under the Demon Mother’s spell she showed him stars full of habitable planets and worlds, each teaming with strange new lifeforms to hunt. Tallon IV was one of those planets. The price to pay for such an adventure seemed so simple and easy at the time. Murder all her rivals and all those worlds could be his. Mother had promised him so many things. If it hadn’t been for the Sunborn Child he would have fallen deeper into the Demon’s Mother’s spell, a spell that had turned into a haunting curse of nightmares upon his waking. Some of the Chozo still wrestled with her influence upon them. They didn’t have the sobering images of killing their own family to set them free.
Brroch’s talons tapped restlessly upon the sacred ground, passing prophetic scribes who chipped away visions of a future foreseen in dreams: a Chozo empire spanning many stars, thousands of prosperous years, and at the end, darkness eternal and lasting. He walked deeper inside until entering the holy Varia Chambers. There he found the instrument of his veneration held up by talons of stone. A sacred Chozo statue kept its eternal vigil over the Sunborn’s power suit that had morphed into a gleaming purple sphere.
Brroch didn’t attempt to touch or talk to it. He just sat nearby and sang to himself. He sang of his wife, her beautiful azure feathers and crimson plum. He sang a staggering melody of how she died in his loving embrace turned to a hunter’s shredding stab of talons. He sang of his mother, how wise and great she was… only to be murdered by his own hell-bent claws. He sang of his daughters, each one a jewel to his heart: Perran the mischievous little waif he had to scold constantly, Ronnosa as gorgeous as her mother with suitors lining all the way around their house, and Pukita the smiling prankster always able to bring about a laugh, all of them murdered by their loving father.
He had tried to kill himself be flying forever, flying all around the planet. He would have kept going but something held back his wings. Dying would be too easy of a punishment for the likes of him. So he worked long and hard as a servant of the Chozo, rebuilding the homes of others. He learned from the technology of the Demons, stole it and made it his own. Then he gave it to the Chozo to insure that an alien invasion would never happened again, that no other husbands, fathers, and sons would kill their kin. If he could but wear the Sunborn’s power suit, such versatile armor would insure the Chozo’s continued protection.
As if reading his mind, the power suit awoke from its revere. It turned towards Brroch, an amorphous liquid-gold body with beads of glimmering power orbs and snaking wires moving about. It spoke to him in Chozo, ‘your song is most pleasing. I too miss my mother.’
‘I am Brroch, the murderer.’
‘I am Varia the instrument of death.’
‘Who is your mother?’ Brroch asked.
‘You called her the Sunborn Child but her name was Samshus, killed by the very thing she defeated. I tried to protect her, to save her, but I wasn’t designed to save lives. I was designed with the essence of many others to kill the Turian Queen. My weapons couldn’t save my mother.’
‘Why did you kill the Chozo that touched you?’
‘I merged with him, yet he was found wanting. Only the pure in heart can have me. Only the pure in heart can be my mother.’
‘Would I be pure enough to merge with you, to be your mother, to protect my people?’
‘You have been purified by your tragedy, yet you are far from pure enough for the likes of me. I have had the Sunborn Child and I shall have no other.’
And so the proclamation was sent out to find a pure Chozo worthy of the Varia Suit. It was thought Brroch’s vile deeds in murdering his family had made him impure for the Varia Suit, but when the Empress’ own sons were rejected and consumed, the search for purity became a baffling enigma.
Even after seven thousand years, not one single bird was found pure of heart. All who tried were merged with it never to be seen again. All had been found wanting.
Argrramus stood upon the balcony watching the diamond crested sky. The fertile orange planet of Tallon IV floated above the red moon like a small amber gem. It had been the first planet they had journeyed to with the revers-engineered Tourian technology. Only the strangest birds lived in that sacred world.
Those from Tallon IV were extreme pacifists, going so far as to forsake their lust for hunting. They lived quite contemplative lives among the dumb beasts, building their stone temples around an ancient grove of trees, taking great pains to insure no branches were broken.
Argrramus could only guess why Tallon IV had chosen this night to send their delegates over. He hoped it had nothing to do with the Sheegoth poachings.
He heard the gentle brushing of wings, the hard clap of talons landing, and the burning of contemptuous eyes. He didn’t have to turn around to know the Empress joined him.
He gave her his profile accompanied with a sly grin, ‘You have quite the nerve to show your face Dearest, after that speech of yours.’
‘Who’s idea was it for Bard to sing the Sunborn song?’ She asked.
‘You know how musicians are; can’t really be controlled. they have a mind of their own. Newborn was going to hear about it eventually.’
‘I had hoped she would hear it from me first.’
‘Do you think her daft? She already knows about the prophesies.’
‘But not about the Varia Suit. Now everyone with half a brain is going to want her to be tested, to prove herself pure enough to protect us all. It’s all hogwash! She’s just a little girl.’
‘A little girl that has nearly reached the human age of puberty. She will be tested one way or another.’
Before the Empress could make a retort, a silent triangular object eclipsed the moon. It glided down to them growing into the pyramid shape of a Tallon IV space vessel. Upon landing, its door unfolding like a wrinkled cloth solidifying into a ramp of amber. Three tall Chozo walked gracefully from the ramp to the ground. Both Argrramus and Empress bowed to them three times, with a fourth bow to Eldest One at the lead.
Eldest One held himself with a tall regal grace, gray and white feathers covered by simple garb. Yet his piercing yellow eyes burned into the soul of all who stared at them. These were the clairvoyant eyes of a seer, the glimmering eyes of a prophet.
Argrramus was first to speak, ‘Welcome to our homeworld Eldest One. I assure you that those who poached for Sheegoth on your sacred lands are being dealt with as we speak.
Eldest One ignored Argrramus and bowed five times to the Empress, ‘Good night my dearest. Having a good time ruling the empire?’
The Empress smirked back at him unafraid of his watchful gaze, ‘You know good and well I’d be having a better time, if those space pirates could be taught a lesson.’
‘War doesn’t bode well for our peaceful tendencies Dearest.’
‘And if these peaceful tendencies cause us to fade away what then?’
Eldest One patted her feathery mane, ‘My dearest, if we fade then we fade into the here-after, spiritual glories beyond our own that only the Eminent One can guide us through. Doing what is right is more important then preserving one’s life.’
Argrramus looked between the two of them, not liking his placement in the mix. He spoke of the only thing he could, ‘As head of the Counsels I would like to assure you that we will be adding stricter laws against those who invade your sacred snow drifts of Phendrana.’
Eldest One turned his gaze upon Argrramus, ‘We have not come here to speak about poaching our Sheegoths, though such dumb beasts are very dear to us. It is concerning sentient kind that we have come, a sentient known as Sarah Drillsmith.’
Argrramus frowned at this thinking, Is this another one of those infamous Tallon IV riddles?
‘Why do you frown at me?’ Wondered Eldest One, ‘Don’t you know the given name of your human Hatchling, the prophesied Newborn Child you are all so very fond of?’
‘What is your desire for the child?’ Empress asked.
‘Only to see that she is not tested with the Varia Suit before her time.’
Argrramus said, ‘there is no way any of us would allow harm to befall her. She is a most sacred treasure to us.’
Eldest One looked towards Argrramus, ‘Yes I’m sure that this sentient of yours is as treasured as a lump of gold would be, yet even among sentient kind there are beasts dumb enough to attempt feats of stupidity. We have come to prevent it.’ Argrramus did not like the look Eldest One gave when he said that.
The Empress said, ‘In either case it doesn’t matter. I have taken the liberty to remove such a temptation from our midst. As we speak Sarah is being flown away from Zebes, to a secure location of my choosing.’
Argrramus turned towards the Empress, feathers bristling with anger, ‘You took her off the planet? Who gave you the right to do such a thing?’
Eldest One held up his claw, ‘This is not a time for bickering and complaining, now is the season to act. Dearest I fear that you are mistaken. She has not left the planet. If you would please direct us to the Shrine of Prophesy.’
The Empress didn’t ask how the strange ones from Tallon IV knew of such a thing. They were known for their prophetic gifting. Not all they said came to pass… but only a fool would ignore them. She lunged into the air and flew as fast as she could towards the Shrine.
If only she had listened to Grrunco.
The Empress had gaven Grrunco strict instructions to wait for the human child at the ship, to escort her away from the planet once and for all. Grrunco protested that Plogos could not be trusted. But the Empress had ignored him. Kerrfu trusted Plogos and so would she. He bowed five times, promising to wait for Newborn at the ship. He made out as if he were going to the ship, but made a hard right following behind the tormented form of Plogos.
Grrunco followed him when Plogos landed near Newborn. It was during the Empress distracting speech that Plogos flew away. Grrunco shadowed him all the way to Crateria. He saw them enter through the secret entrance.
Grrunco knew that entering it himself would be his death. His instincts told him to stay away from the cursed lands. All he had to do was wait for them to come back out, which wasn’t really that hard for an experienced hunter. He perched among the shadows and watched for a hint of his prey.
At the strike of dawn, a flock of Chozo birds flew out the cave. Grrunco perceived their distant minds telepathically. No one perceived him in return, minds dulled by an encounter of something very powerful. They were heading for the Shrine of Prophesy. He trailed behind from a reasonable distance. In the drifting wind he could hear spurts of their conversation. ‘…not really likely live… she isn’t pure enough… the time of Newborn is over…’
In the midst of their scattered chirping, Grrunco perceived the muffled scream of a human girl. His blood ran cold with anger.
He was actually starting to like Newborn and they were hurting her. He swooped above them and dove using the red light of the setting moon to shield his attack.
With all four talons, Grrunco tore through one of the large birds. The bird fell with a shriek silenced when his beak broke upon the ground. Grrunco flipped around with practiced speed and agility, kicked off the Cliffside, and attacked another bird from beneath, throwing it to the ground.
Two were dead, four more to go.
An older bird chirped instructions to Plogos and Kraagon. Plogos held the screaming Earthling Child as he followed Kraagon towards the Shrine of Prophesy. Grrunco attempted to chase them and was blindsided by another bird larger and younger than he. With beak and claw did they fight plummeting towards the Earth while his true prey flew away from him.
He must get her back. He must save her.