Chapter 1: The Outer Shores

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"Glilch." Thakritos said with some satisfaction. 

"Bullshit" Phorn exclaimed, nervously looking over the game pieces as he did.  There had to be something that Thakritos had missed, something.

"Look all you want," Thakritos said smugly, "You won't find anything.

Damn it, Phorn thought to himself, the bastard was right.  This was the fifth game in a row he had lost, and it was beginning to wear on his nerves.  Of course it didn't help that they were stuck on extended guard duty for no reason whatsoever.  "What the hell is the point of us even being here, this is ridiculous."

"Come on now, don't get all bent out of shape just because you lost, again.  You know why we're here."

"No seriously, I don't." Thakritos shook his head, but Phorn persisted, "Grecillian officials decide that a post is needed on the outer shores of Lanans for what?  A supposed rogue alien that someone made up in a drunken bar story once?"

"First off, no one calls this the outer shores anymore, that stupid phrase did come from a drunk in a bar somewhere, we're in space.  Secondly, you know as well as I do that the Grecillian military officials don't get all up tight over drunken bar stories or myth.  Apor exists."

Phorn forcefully pushed his chair out from the metal table they had set the game up on and started to pace around the room.  "We've been out here for six months.  Six months, and if Apor does exist...all the stories...what kind of chance do the two of us stand?"

Thakritos slid his chair back from the table and walked over to Phorn, grabbed him by the shoulders and held him in place.  "Hey, think about it.  Nobody has seen an Apeunit in twenty years, and they age a great deal faster then we do.  He's probably old and run down by now, weak and feeble, just wanting to make a bunch of noise before he goes out.  Could some of that stuff be true?  Sure, but come on, you know how those stories get inflated over time."  

Phorn shook his head in acknowledgment and seemed to loosen up a bit.  Thakritos smacked him on the shoulder a few times and smiled.

A gruff voice chimed in from behind, "You boys need a minute?"  They quickly turned around to see ten soldiers in combat gear with an older stocky one in front of the pack with a wide smirk on his face.

"Who the hell are you?" Thakritos demanded.

"Would you like to try that again Sergeant?" the man asked coldly as his smiling faded away.

Thakritos and Phorn both glanced at the mans uniform to see two bright blue lieutenant stripes  adorning the left portion of his chest.  They immediately snapped their feet together and snapped upright closing their fists and creating X across their chests in salute.  

"My apologizes sir!  We've been out here from quite some time alone, and did not receive a transmission regarding your arrival."

"Yes well, our outfit isn't one you get messages about." the Lieutenant looked them both up and down before saying, "At ease."

They both held still for a moment more before releasing their tense muscles from the statuesque posture.  Moving into a more relaxed stance with their legs separated they lowered their arms before relocating them behind their backs.  "Sir if I may?" Thakritos asked.  The Lieutenant nodded in approval.  "Why are you here?"

"What do you know about the one they call Apor?" the Lieutenant asked. 

Phorn glanced at Thakritos then back at the Lieutenant.  Thakritos, continued looking at the Lieutenant, but cocked is head slightly in disbelieve before answering the superiors question  "Only what the stories tell.  Sir."

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