. Salya appeared to be absorbing the information that Aylaix had given her. After giving her a few minutes to do so, Aylaix proceded to answer her original question.
. "If I may, I'd like to tell you a little about our civilization. As you can see, things are not all well on our planet." She waved her hand at the dismal surroundings.
. Suddenly Salya saw in front of her the fields and trees that had existed in this area before. Aylaix's hand was raised and she manipulated Salya's optical nerves, giving her a vivid show of how she herself remembered things. The bulky metal buildings that were behind them didn't exist, replaced by graceful arching wooden structures. The aura of security and a homeliness dominated. Winged females played with young children. No where was there an adult man or any child over the age of four. Despite that odd absence, everything seemed in place.
. The scene changed; fire leaped from the trees and smoke obscured the sky. A small shoddy spacecraft high above the atmosphere suddenly threw itself forcefully against the sky, shattering into sharp metal shards that became fireballs entering the atmosphere. Instead of falling as one would expect it seemed to explode like a firecracker and spread for hundreds of miles around.
. Aylaix watched anxiously. She was revealing a defensive weakness to a potential enemy. The dimensional fragmenting twisted space so nothing could go straight through it but it splintered things and sent them through tiny dimensional rifts in whatever direction the rifts pointed them. The Syl had discovered this and designed unmanned ships to become burning shrapnel, using their own defense against them.
. Another scene change; the field in front of them scorched and smoking. The ugly metal buildings appearing, wavering, holding. The atmosphere was red with light from the nearby star filtering through the smoke, barely breathable. A planet war-torn and destroyed, a last fortress and holding point behind them.
. The images disappeared, replaced by clear skies and cold burned earth. Aylaix was intently watching Salya.
. "They Syl have been attacking us since they discovered our existence. Hostile for no reason, they don't exist in great numbers because they launch pointless assaults on anything that their madness incites them to. It kills them off rapidly, but they reproduce just as rapidly. We've seen them go hundreds of light years out of their way to attack a small asteroid. A piece of space junk, a rock.
. "What they are comes from us. Mutations, deformed mentally. They're seperated from the nonphysical realm, in a way that no beings anywhere else in the universe are. You have more links to the nonphysical than they do. They have bodies and intellect, albiet low, but they miss that essential part of their existence that relates them to anything nonphysical. We don't remember how they came about, just that long ago they broke off from our own and became frenzied, mad, attacking and killing anything. They only found us again recently and they try to destroy not only our lives but our line as well."
. "We can't destroy them because we've never been able to find their home base. They reproduce and mature at incredible rates and are all always ready to attack. Coming face to face with one is horrifying. They'll fight tooth and claw if it comes to that, like wild beasts. But they usually don't, they would rather launch suicide attempts on us, which, you can tell, has made this place a thin thread away from being completely uninhabitable."
. Alyaix could tell from Salya's face that she understood creatures of war, had herself faced beasts like the Syl. She wasn't afraid, and that impressed Aylaix. Instead Salya had tensed, instinctively prepared herself to fight. She had not needed to be shown the animals, she comprehended them enough.
. "The Speaker was supposed to make contact with your civilization and the others you know of and appeal for our sakes for a livable planet. We could disappear through a dimensional rift entirely and the Syl would never find us but it must needs be in a place where there is no hostility towards us. That is what we hoped to find, but it seems we've failed, and the responsibility is ours." Aylaix's anger flared again at her betters who had been stupid enough not to send her, not to trust her.
. "We can't last much longer here, obviously." There was a booming noise and Aylaix wilted. "That's our only advance warning. The Syl will be here in a few turns."