Stormbreath-IV

An artificial sun orbits the cradle world of Callisto. It is a burning satellite, a masterpiece of thaumaturgic and psionic engineering, a self-sustaining loop of power. It feeds upon itself, recursively channeling energy to create heat and light. It was built with a conflux of arcane magic and invocations to solar deities, igniting a potent spark. In a thousand years, it will burn out, but until then, there can be life on Callisto.

At the moment, the life of Callisto is limited, trapped within a dome. This is is the only settlement of the taronyu, refugees from a a place of destruction. The planet is warm enough to settle - thanks to the artificial sun - but the atmosphere needs work. After that, the landscape must be seeded, and work continues.


XXXX is short, for a taronyu. Their stature is comparable to an average human, but they stand small among their own species. And in a world only populated by taronyu, that is what matters. Their height is not the only thing that sets them apart, for their skin is blotchy, with spots of olive green along their dark tans. It is an unusual condition among the taronyu - not terribly so, all things considered, but enough to stand out from the crowd.

They’ve always been an outsider, on the edges of taronyu society. Before the Death of Mo’ara, they had worked for the Tihawnum as an anomaly hunter, tasked to find and deal with any anomalies which might harm society. XXXX had never failed, but their division had. Quite poorly, in fact. They had let things run out of control.

There is no Tihawnum Bureau of Anomaly Management, not anymore. The Tihawnum has larger projects to devote time, attention and money to, ones that cannot be given to other agencies. The terraforming of Callisto, the construction of New YYYYY, initiatives to promote offspring. Ensuring the future of the species.

Most of the former agents of the Bureau have transferred into other roles, finding new tasks. Not XXXX. They are one of the only Foundation agents on the new world, one of those taronyu that have transferred into a group with similar goals to the Tihawnum.

The Foundation is, of course, working on expanding their reach and control over the moon. There is a plot of land under their name, and negotiations with the Tihawnum are in place to build a new site there, and to formally establish a treaty of operations between them. They would have liked to have been present from the start, but the Tihawnum leveraged the secrecy of their arrival in Sol and were able to work their way out of falling entirely under the control of the Foundation.

Until then, the Foundation presence on Callisto is limited and secretive. A small cell of agents — mostly kept anonymous and off the record — reporting to handlers with contacts to the greater organization. Their existence is classified, and the Foundation denies they exist. But there are always matters that the Foundation wants to handle themselves, and these issues require their intervention.

XXXXX is discreetly meeting with their handler, a fellow taronyu. Apparently one of the handlers is a human — a handler of handlers, perhaps — but not this one. XXXXX has never meant another agent of the Foundation. The pair have met in a bar, just loud enough to not be overheard and quiet enough to hear each other. The handler has a folder to their right, a drink to their left and a gun in their lap.

"We have not begun any form of species reintroduction to Callisto. All of our food is currently being synthesized locally or supplied from off-world. There are only taronyu here."

"I know this. Why are you telling me?"

The handler removes a photograph from the folder. It is a picture of the night sky in New YYYYY, life under the dome. There are stars, thousands of them.

And in the middle of the sky, something is flying.

"Ah. I see. I’ll get my gun."

"You’ll have a partner."

"Just as well. Trainee?"

"Mhmm. Foundation is looking to expand their operations here."

"Aren't they always?"


The new partner is a recruit by the name of ZZZZ. They're a fresh face, evidently one of the younger individuals who was placed into stasis by the Tìhawnum. They know little of the Foundation, and even less of the Bureau of Anomaly Management. They are familiar with anomalies (because of course they are: everyone is) but not with containment.

ZZZZ has joined XXXX on the rooftop of one of the tallest buildings in New YYYYY. It looks out over the entire city, and the two can watch everything. Right now, they are scanning the artificial sky for any shapes that should not be there. The entity they are hunting was seen in the sky, and it stands to reason it will be found again here.

YYYY speaks first. "Do you have any idea what this could be?"

The shape moves through the crosshairs of XXXX’s gun. They have a moment to fire, and XXXX pauses. They lean up, and begin to fold the gun back up. ZZZZ drops their binoculars, and turns to XXXX.

"What are you doing? You had the shot, didn’t you?"

"I think I know what it is. I’m going to need to talk to the parents."

"The parents? Of that thing?"

"No. The parents of the prnen. All of them."


"Thank you for meeting with us, Mx. Tayrangi."

"Of course. I heard this matter concerned the future of our species, and I take a vested interest in that, as you can imagine."

The house is simple, but well-crafted. It is one of the nicer houses in New YYYY, but Tayrangi Sasilpey is not one to flaunt their wealth. However, not much is needed to flaunt - the few non-essential items that the home has are enough to display status. New YYYY is a colony, and anything from off-world can be subtly expensive. Sasilpey sits in the middle of it all and bounces their child - Karishma - on their lap.

"I really only have one question, very simple. But I need an answer."

"Of course, certainly."

"Have you warned your child against the ikranay? Have you told them that if they misbehave, the ikranay will come for then in the night?"

"Just in passing. You know how it is when you are young. Your parents must have done the same thing to you, no? I wanted to preserve the culture of home, I didn’t mean to scare Karishma, not truly."

"Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one who has."

"See? I didn't do anything wrong."

"No, that's not why I'm here. I'm here because an ikranay was spotted in the skies above New YYYY."

ZZZZ reacts with surprise - the mission is supposed to be secret, after all. XXXX holds up their hand, without turning to look at ZZZZ's reaction. They have already guessed what it is, and are not worried. Tayrangi might be an outsider, but they are one of the closest allies the Foundation has on Callisto, even if they do not work for the group. Tayrangi merely nods at the news.

"Ah. Your partner is surprised. Let me assure them I am no stranger to the anomalous. So my bedtime stories brought the ikranay back from legend, you think?"

XXXX shifts in their chair.

"Perhaps. It would not be the first time that belief and values have shaped the world in ways they were not supposed to. Not you alone, of course, but all the parents."

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