Succession by David Scholes

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Urrle looked down at the fallen warrior. As one great warrior paying homage to another.

"He is almost perfectly preserved" he said to his venerable companion.
"The same cannot be said of his enemies" came the reply.

From their mountainous vantage point both men looked out over the ancient battlefield. Strewn across a huge area were the largely disintegrated remnants of a vast amount of military hardware. Among it all the scant few metallic remains of what had once been an army of battle droids and cyborgs.

Urrle recognized some of the technology.

"Looks like it was a fair fight then" quipped Urrle.
"Only if you also count the downed star fighters we saw coming in" said his friend, pulling up several over the horizon three dimensional images simultaneously. "I'd say he took them down as well."

Urrle hadn't meant to be flippant. In all his travels among the stars and in other dimensions he had never seen such an apparently one sided battle. At this moment he was grateful that the Tolden ancient was with him.

The environment was hostile desert, searing hot in the day, ice-cold at night. Fiercely hot, raging winds, whipped up around them driving the hot sands worse than any crude sand blaster. Hellish conditions even for an enhanced human such as himself.

"His armor seems as new" said Urrle
"Brell light armor" said the Tolden "it will outlast most civilizations." "Even here, in this environment." "We have found dead Brell soldiers before" the old man continued, "but never a body this well preserved." "Just possibly this is the last of them." "The last soldier of the Brell."

Both men took a few reverential steps backwards. For a moment neither of them spoke. Each deep in their own thoughts.

Standing together they made quite a contrast. Urrle's huge 6 feet 5 inch frame, the one time star trooper, policeman, mercenary, and even gladiator. On occasion star fighter pilot and when the need arose even starship pilot. Now, more recently, a military adviser to the Tolden. Next to him, the diminutive frame of the gentle old man, elder of a race of beings considered by history to have been second only to the Brell.

Urrle was the first to break the silence. "We should bury him" he said "he deserves at least that."

"We have buried all those we have found in this Galaxy" came the reply "together with their armor." "We could never have removed it, even if we had wanted to."

Just then the light armor that clad the huge soldier began to flow gently, like liquid mercury, reaching out to Urrle.

"Take your own armor off Urrle" urged the Tolden elder.
Urrle obeyed instinctively and gasped as the Brell armor flowed on to his forearm. His first reaction was to get it off, any way he could. It flowed over him very quickly and soon he realized the futility of his efforts. The flowing armor adjusted to his smaller size and began to solidify.

"So light" said Urrle "so light, as if it's not even here." "I can feel the power of it's exo-skeleton assists" he continued "way beyond the levels of my Tolden suit." "It's linked in with my brain now, the enhanced sensory perception is unbelievable."

Then Urrle quieted down, becoming almost somber.
"What is it" enquired the Tolden elder, "Are you all right Urrle."

"I'm okay" said Urrle "I've just been shown a quick replay of the battle that took place here."

Urrle fell silent then and the old man, the Tolden elder knew not to prod him. There would be time enough later.

The elder knew, what Urrle did not, that in their later years the Brell had sent out soldiers, such as this one, on one way tickets from the home worlds. A single one of such soldiers could defend an outlying world from an army.

Before they left the ancient battlefield and rejoined the Tolden expedition, the two men buried the Brell soldier in silence. Symbolically leaving with him Urrle's Tolden armor.

"You were right" said Urrle.

"About what?" enquired the elder.

"He was the last one, the very last soldier of the Brell" came the almost inaudible reply.

The two men flew back the short distance to the rest of their expedition in silence.