Rated M, based on characters created by Peter Laird.
Location: Triceraton Aster-World Gaius, in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way some 6400 light years away.
Earth Time Equivalent: 1924
The massive shuttle landed gently on the roof; its gangplank descending without the usual pomp and ceremony befitting a royal. Othniel, the ruler of the Triceraton Republic, exited and marched into the halls of the summer palace with his Ceratopian Guard flanking him. Servants bowed as they made their way to his sister’s bedchamber. The two guards at the door quickly stood aside as their leader approached. Othniel paused before the door; his massive hand hesitated before the wood panelling. Slowly the door opened and a wizened old Triceraton nurse greeted the absolute leader.
“Yes?” she asked softly but firmly.
“Is she hatched?” asked Othniel quietly.
“Come see for yourself, my lord,” said the nurse as she opened the door “But just you, as there is precious little room.”
Othniel followed the woman through the gently lit room of Doric columns and busts of famous Triceratonian politicians. A circle of Triceratons stood around four beige eggs resting on a raised dais as the heat lamp above them filled the room with a pleasant heat. His sister Darga stepped from the circle to greet him, rubbing horns together.
“I thought you were busy conquering the galaxy?” Darga said as she took his hand and led him into the circle.
Othniel squeezed her hand back “And miss the births of my nieces and nephews? The Anatarians will get a brief respite.”
Othniel looked towards Prorsus and nodded. He’d never liked his brother-in-law; the feeling was more than mutual. But his sister loved him and their late father had blessed the union so he begrudgingly accepted him. Othniel went to speak when the room was filled with the sounds to tapping and cracking from the clutch of eggs. Prorsus pulled his wife close causing her to release Othniel’s hand. The Tricertonian ruler and the astro-tech engineer stared daggers out the corners of their eyes before watching the hatching. Darga clapped her hands in anticipation.
“Have you decided names?” Othniel whispered into her ear hole.
“Would you be quiet and just watch,” she chided as her elbow gently dug into his ribs.
Slowly but surely the eggs began to crack open. The birthing light above hummed in response increasing the heat to coax them out. Othniel gritted his teeth and prayed quietly to the Old Ones for a girl. A girl would mean Darga chose the names for them keeping the line of Horridus. A boy and…
“Zanramon!” announced Prorsus as the little male Triceraton burst from his egg in dramatic fashion. The birthing circle burst into applause as Darga scooped up her new son.
“Congratulations.” Othniel didn’t bother hiding his contempt this time as he placed a hand on Prorsus’ shoulder. Thoughts of violence washed over him but he held it in.
Prorsus smiled in return to the vice like grip and slightly bowed but kept his eyes firmly on Othniel. “Thank you, your majesty.”
Darga stepped between the pair of them, unaware and uncaring of their feud, holding her son up to them. “Prorsus, meet your son. Othniel, meet your nephew.”
The pair paused their non verbal disagreement to greet the newest member of the clan with the traditional horn rubbing. But they never took their eyes off each other.
Location: Triceraton Aster-World Imperator, in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way some 6400 light years away.
Earth Equivalent time: 1954
Eleven year old Zanramon stood quietly beside his mother as the ruling council ascended the stairs to their seats. In the centre was his uncle, Othniel, who ruled the Triceraton Republic and flanked by the five other council members; Zunkka, Zovok, Xoite, Azokk and Torol. His father, Prorsus, stood in ceremonial garb at the base of the stairs waiting to join the council up on high. Councillor Mixx had passed last month and after much deliberation Prorsus was chosen to fill his place. The only true objection had come from Othniel himself but it was a council and the majority ruled.
“We give thanks to the Old Ones!” declared Othniel as he raised his right hand in a salute to the sky in which the gathered did the same. He looked down at Prorsus; hoping that his dislike and contempt for him wasn’t too apparent at such a public event.
“The ruling council of the Triceraton Republic council calls forth Prorsus of the line of Toros to take up the position vacated by Mixx,” Othniel beckoned him up the stairs “Be there any objections?”
Prorsus walked up the stairs, a smug look on his face. Othniel was the only one who objected and it was merely an old ritual from days gone by that it was still asked. He extended his hands when he noticed Othniel was looking…behind him.
“Die!” screamed a Ceratopian guard who broke ranks and charged up the stairs pumping shot after shot of plasma bolt into Prorsus’ back. Othniel pushed Prorsus away and engaged the assassin as quickly other Ceratopian guards rushed in to take down the rogue. The room exploded into chaos. But in the centre of the chaos stood a silent, stunned Zanramon. He watched his father gasp his last breaths on the steps, globs of charred blood seeping from the wounds. He looked to his uncle and saw something that burnt into his retinas. Othniel winked and nodded slightly at the assassin as he got dragged away. Slowly he turned and caught the accusing gaze of the eleven year old. Zanramon’s eyes welled with tears and as he screamed.
Location: Triceraton Aster-World Caligula, in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way some 6400 light years away.
Earth Equivalent time: 1984
Zanramon stared up at the heavens “I’ve been reviewing my father’s work.”
“That’s nice,” replied Talorz, his younger cousin and first born of Othniel, as he polished his osmium battle axe.
“I think he was killed b…”
“Enough with the conspiracy theories Zan!” moaned Talorz “It’s in the past.”
“How about I kill your father in front of you?” stated Zanramon coldly “Your tune would change then.”
“I don’t mean any disrespect but we are in the semi finals of the Games in a few moments. We are the youngest duo ever, EVER, to get this far in a games. We stand on the precipice of greatness and you’re not focused on that.” Talorz threw an arm around his cousin’s shoulder. “Let’s battle first and then I’ll give you a whole afternoon of listening to your theories.”
Zanramon shrugged his cousin’s arm away and took up his axe “Fine.”
“Good,” Talorz looked his kin right in the eye “Strength and honour.”
“Strength and honour.” He echoed as they touched horns.
Zanramon stuck his blade out and parried the shot meant to decapitate Talorz. The move opened him up for Mozar to clip him in the ribs with his battleaxe whilst Drelkor tried again to kill Talorz. Zanramon kicked his cousin in the back, sending him out of the fight.
“MOVE IDIOT!” Zanramon screamed as he tackled Mozar and Drelkor in a move that was as brave as it was stupid. The pair easily flipped the young muscled Triceraton up and over in a well rehearsed move and made a beeline for the weaponless Talorz. The siren sounded for the final minute. Zanramon grabbed Talorz’ abandoned axe and hurled it with a mighty grunt at Mozar. Hearing the sound Mozar turned, his eyes widened as he wasn’t expecting such a ferocious attack. His arm came up but it didn’t stop the axe from biting deep into his arm nearly severing it as the corner also caught his eye.
“BY THE OLD ONES!” roared Mozar as blood gushed from his arm and eye. Zanramon charged forward to gore when Drelkor met him half way. The pair traded axe blows, showering sparks everywhere. They were evenly matched.
“What does an army march on?” grunted Zanramon as he locked up Drelkor’s arms.
“A child knows this,” huffed Drelkor as he grappled with Zanramon, their weapons aloft vying for supremacy. “It’s stomach.”
“Wrong,” sneered Zanramon as he released his grip on his weapon and snatched Drelkor’s off him. Using gravity and momentum he brought the battleaxe down severing half of Drelkor’s right foot off “You march on your feet!”
Drelkor howled in pain and Zanramon pressed his attack, knocking his opponent to the floor and leaping upon him. Zanramon raised his axe for the final blow when Talorz grabbed the shaft.
“They are beaten cousin.”
“Beaten but not conquered.” Zanramon shoved Talorz away roughly, grabbed the axe in two hands and slammed it into Drelkor’s forehead with a sickening crack. The auditorium that had been watching the event collectively gasped in horror. Zanramon stood up proudly and raised his hands in victory. The crowd did not agree as the silence spread across them like an oil slick, even large sections of them standing and turning their backs on him.
“Zanramon, you and Talorz, are hereby disqualified from the games for conduct unbecoming.” Zedlarkin said solemnly as was his role of Games Master.
“I did nothing wrong!” snapped Zanramon. “This is what the games are about.”
Zedlarkin shook his head “Strength and honour. Of these you have merely shown strength. Attacking a prone opponent, attacking your team mat…”
“I was PROTECTING HIM!” roared Zanramon as he moved towards the Games Master with sound and fury.
“You shame yourself, your father and your line!” barked Zedlarkin.
Zanramon paused, breathing in and out hard “Don’t you ever speak about my father you wrinkly old tadpole!”
Zedlarkin rolled his eyes “The bravado of yo…” His words, much like himself were choked in his throat as Zanramon latched onto the old lizard’s neck and squeezed for dear life. Zedlarkin fell to his knees as the assault continued with Zanramon throttling him like a child’s toy.
“ZANRAMON! LET HIM GO!”
Zanramon looked over his shoulder to see his uncle Othniel and several of his Ceratopian Guard. The young Triceraton gave a final squeeze before throwing Zedlarkin onto the floor. “What?”
Othniel crossed the room and locked horns with his nephew, staring deep into his eyes “You dare speak to me in such a fashion boy?”
Zanramon held the gaze and then winked and nodded slightly, like the way Othniel had the day his father died. The Triceraton ruler’s cheeks lost colour at the reminder of the past. “Yes uncle, I dare.” He whispered softly “I am not a boy anymore either.”
Zanramon pushed him back, the guard lunging forward to take him down when Othniel held up his hands for them to desist. “You shall pay for this dishonourable display in the arena.”
“The only thing dishonourable was how badly Talorz fought!” spat Zanramon. “If he was fatherless, like myself, he’d have an excuse…”
Othniel boiled with rage at the impudent young warrior before him. “Take him to Aster-World Tartarus where he can break rocks until his manners return.”
The Ceratopian Guards seized Zanramon roughly and dragged him away.
Location: Triceraton Aster-World Tartarus, in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way some 6400 light years away.
Earth Equivalent time: 2010
Zanramon sat with his gang off fellow convicts on the pile of aster-rock they’d been breaking. It was a pointless repetitive task designed to break the will of those who were tasked with it. But all it had done was steel Zanramon’s resolve. As the years had passed he’d gone from angry young inmate to hardened veteran, acquiring an ever expanding group on both the inside and outside of the aster-world prison.
“How many of the Ceratopian Guard do we have now?” asked Zanramon as he rubbed his nose horn.
“About seventy,” replied Zhath, another political prisoner of the Othniel regime.
“A third,” mused Zanramon “It will have to do. I cannot, will not linger here in this cage any longer whilst my father’s killer and a threat to the Triceraton nation lives!”
The gang grunted heartedly in response.
“In two cycles our Aster-World Tartarus will pass within seven kilometres of Aster-World Imperator.” Zanramon scratched his plans onto the rock with his shovel blade for the group to see. “We take the tower at the same time we take the communications centre giving us a clear run at the Imperial palace. Those on the Ceratonian Guard loyal to us and our cause will usher Othniel to a landing strip where we shall pick him up in the shuttle. And then the republic is ours!”
The group roared in approval, banging their tools on the rocks.
“Keep it down!” bellowed a guard from the wall as he trained his hand cannon at them. Several Triceraton’s glared at him in an intimidating fashion. Zanramon clicked his fingers regaining their attention.
“We do this to avenge my father! We do this to bring down a tyrant!” growled Zanramon “We will bring strength and honour back to the Triceraton Republic! Othniel, my uncle, will pay for his crimes along with those that stand with him. Sleep well my brothers for soon we will be giving the orders!”
Othniel spat a globule of blood and teeth onto Zanramon’s foot; the young Triceraton shook his head “You sicken me.”
“I don’t care what you think Zanramon,” growled Othniel.
Zanramon grabbed the Triceraton ruler by the horns and wrenched his head backwards. “Oh you will uncle! You will! But what I want to know is why? Why did you kill my father?”
Othniel looked his nephew in the eye defiantly as his neck creaked unnaturally.
“I’M WAITING!” roared Zanramon. Othniel let out a wry smile before there was a sickening snap causing his body to lose all rigidity. Zanramon threw the body to the floor in anger and stomped on it several times. He paused his rage to look at the Ceratopian Guard and members of his gang. They all had their right hands up in a salute.
“All hail Zanramon!” barked Zhath.
“ALL HAIL ZANRAMON!”
Location: Triceraton Aster-World Imperator, in the Carina-Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way some 6400 light years away.
Earth Equivalent time: 2012
Zanramon sat on the throne. He’d abolished the other six council seats and changed the republic into an Empire and the Triceratons had expanded in leaps and bounds. The Empire was flourishing under his rule still his thoughts returned to Othniel and his father's murder.
“Your majesty” The gruff tone of Gruell the Chief Scientist brought him out of his day dreaming.
“We have found…something odd.” Gruell scratched his greying scales under his eye.
Zanramon exhaled “Then tell me!”
Gruell grunted “Yes your majesty. Upon our recent conquest of the planet D’hoonib we discovered a device in the university grounds. It appears to be a matter transporter.”
Zanramon looked at him blankly. Gruell licked his thin lips and continued. “A device your majesty that can transport items from one point to another without travelling the distance in between. A teleporter.”
Zanramon smiled “This is excellent! We can bypass our enemies’ defences. We can…by the Old Ones, we can reroute our space fleets into better weaponry since we don’t need to…”
Gruell coughed and raised his hand to stop the Triceraton ruler “Which are all valid and worthy suggestions your majesty, but the creator of the device has taken a vital piece of the machine and fled to the planet of Plebak.”
“GENERAL ZHATH!” roared Zanramon across the throne room “PREPARE THE ARMY FOR THE INVASION OF PLEBAK!”
To be continued…
Othniel is named after the man who first found a Triceratops skull in 1887 Othniel C Marsh
Ceratopian Guard is based on the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire and named for the Ceratopsidae species which Triceratops is part of.
Prorsus is named after one of the species of Triceratops; Triceratops Prorsus.
Horridus is also a species of Triceratops; Triceratops Horridus
90% of the names in this story are actually Triceraton names taken from the TMNT wiki http://turtlepedia.wikia.com/wiki/Triceratons
Triceratons age slower. 30yrs of Earth time equals about 10yrs of Triceraton time. Their Aster-Worlds orbit in a similar to Saturn which takes about 29yrs to orbit the sun.
D’hoonib and Plebak are actual TMNT alien worlds.