The Plot of the Story

30 years ago, Tararian resistance hero Xalcus finally managed to defeat and put away one of the galaxy's most dangerous and powerful arms dealers, the notorious Vaal. Sentenced to three consecutive life-terms for his plot to change the balance of power in that sector of the galaxy, Xalcus looked forward to moving on with his life and continuing his struggle to free Tararia from the oppressive grip of its authoritarian rulers, the Republican Guard.

Fast forward 22 years (8 years ago from present day time), and Xalcus and his noble Xybears continue to make inroads in their advance, freeing numerous cities from Republican Guard control. It was then, that a plan was hatched. Some in the Republican Guard government became aware that on more than one occasion, Vaal had nearly defeated their powerful adversary, Xalcus. Certain high officials made the point that Vaal had extensive knowledge of Xalcus' powers and abilities, as well as weaknesses where they could strike at their enemy.

A Republican Guard governmental delegation was sent to the distant prison asteroid to discuss the plan with Vaal. After three decades of captivity, Vaal was most receptive to the idea of combining his knowledge of their common foe, with the vast connections and resources of his enemy's native world. An agreement was made, and an informal alliance was forged. Unknown to Xalcus, who was preoccupied with other matters, Vaal was freed by a full pardon from the Tararian government.

Vaal shared with the Republican Guard that direct attacks against Xalcus were guaranteed to fail. The resourceful hero was far too powerful to take on by direct confrontation. But an indirect attack, not against Xalcus directly, but against those he loves, would be much more innovative, and certain to bring about his defeat.

It was discovered that Xalcus had a son, named Balcor, who had secretly enrolled in a Xybear training academy and recently graduated, had begun a promising career as a young, yet inexperienced Xybear. Balcor married a fellow young female Xybear named Shira, and the happy couple had a young daughter, together. Through secretive, wily means, the Republican Guard became aware of this. Here was where they would strike – at Xalcus' loved ones.

The details of the alliance between Vaal and the Republican Guard was formalized. Vaal would become their new armaments supplier and be permitted to resume his operations unchecked, in exchange for carrying out his part in their plan to ensnare Balcor and his young family, thereby finally trapping their old enemy once and for all. In exchange for gaining the powerful and mysterious Primar gauntlet, one of three powerful keys needed to achieve the secret of the Xybears power, and Xalcus would be handed over, crippled and powerless, over to the vengeful and waiting Vaal.

The Republican Guard succeeded at recruiting corrupt judges, as well as Balcor's commanding officer, Commandant Callix and chief aide, Lieutenant Syr. A false raiding mission was planned to purportedly attack Vaal's base of operations for his latest weapon smuggling scheme. However, Vaal was given advance notice of the plan by Balcor's commanders, with Balcor and Shira given assignments for positions guaranteed to permit Vaal to execute his part of the plan.

However, as is often said of the best laid plans of mice and men, this part of the plan did not go entirely as the planners envisioned. Although Vaal's henchmen were able to ambush and bring down Shira, Balcor proved to be a much more difficult, moving target. Unexpectedly, Balcor was able to avoid Vaal's traps and confront the villain himself. But Vaal had an unexpected trump card – the sight of the apparently fallen body of Balcor's beloved Shira. Balcor's momentary astonishment enabled Vaal to momentarily gain the advantage over Balcor. Vaal attacked and was able to render Balcor momentarily helpless.

Then the other shoe dropped.

Vaal stood in triumph in front of the vast arch for a teleportational gateway designed to allow him to smuggle his weapons throughout the galaxy. But before Vaal was able to complete his victory, Balcor was able to grasp a nearby fallen hand weapon and fire a powerful energy blast at a nearby power panel. The blast simultaneously activated the warp gate, while feedback from the blast struck Balcor's head, damaging his short term memory and knocking him unconscious. Vaal was sucked through the accidentally energized gateway, and vanished without a trace.

Commandant Callix arrived shortly afterward, and having already been corrupted and bribed by the Republican Guard, made certain that only operatives who were in on the plan were permitted on the scene, rerouting any others who might have been sympathetic witnesses elsewhere. He and his chief aide, Lieutenant Syr, worked quickly to ensure that the crime scene was documented in such a way to frame and incriminate Balcor.

Balcor's unconscious body was loaded onto a stretcher, arrested, and transported to the secure wing of a cybernetic hospital, to be delivered into the hands of his corrupted accusers.

The remaining events lead into Chapter One.