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26 I Am You

 Ivan saw the damage to the floor of the cargo hold as the Galactic Fleet cut their way in and frowned.

"Surely they would have the means to override the ships computer and force it open?" Ivan muttered whilst looking at the damage.

Mazur chuckled behind him and said, "I've already overwritten any bypasses that existed in the ship's database. Nobody other than those approved by the system can open it up."

Ivan just ignored Mazur and led the Celestials out of the ship. Everyone was eager to see their families, and held a fearless curiosity toward this Galactic Fleet who had surrounded the plant.

Outside the Poseidon, Ivan and the others shifted through the base of the ship like shadows as they floated down to the ground. Major Harold, Captain Argentear and all the stationed soldiers were caught by surprise at this and rapidly entered a combat state.

It was late afternoon in autumn, a breeze blowing through the trees and causing the sunset lights to dance through the foliage.

"Halt!" Captain Argentear commanded as he aimed his gun at Ivan, the weapon emitting a high pitch buzzing noise as the plasma round inside was primed and ready to fire. This would be deadly if aimed at the head or central part of the torso if the person wasn't wearing a PES device.

Ivan smiled innocently as he stepped forward out of the shadow cast by the Poseidon, pretending to be surrendering with his open arms raised above his head.

"What's with the hostility?" Ivan remarks, his smile taking on a sinister twist.

Valeria couldn't stand someone pointing a gun at Ivan, even if she knew it couldn't truly hurt him, especially as he was slightly below the third dimension and shooting him wouldn't touch him. She still moved to block in front of Ivan. Iris also frowned in consternation, standing slightly behind Ivan as she stared unfavourably at the Galactic Fleet soldiers.

Major Harold felt out of place looking at the thousand people who just appeared. The long fox ears of the Celestials were odd in his eyes, but everyone's strange '+' shaped pupils caused him to feel a strong sense of danger. What puzzled him the most, was how a thousand people could suddenly show up from nowhere.

"Hunters, other than...!" Ivan was about to mercilessly call out the order to kill everyone other than the two military officers in front of him, but the person standing beside the two officers suddenly took off his helmet and looked at Ivan with a grin.

Mazur, Valeria and Iris looked at Ivan curiously, wondering why he trailed off and seemed so shocked. Mazur looked at the man who took off his helmet in shock too once he saw his face.

"Prime Minister! This planet has unknown bacteria and viruses! Please put your helmet back on immediately, we will take you straight back to the medical bay aboard my destroyer to eliminate any foreign cultures you have breathed in," Major Harold called out in alarm.

The Prime Minister merely raised his hand to stop the Major from forcing his helmet back on and stated, "It's perfectly fine, Major. You do not need to be concerned about me."

Every soldier was incredibly nervous and didn't know what to do. They couldn't allow the Prime Minister to die, and they also couldn't disobey his orders.

Mazur was shocked because he had never expected someone as important as the Prime Minister to personally come searching for them. Ivan on the other hand, was so stunned he didn't know what to say. This was because the Prime Minister's face was identical to Ivan's when he was younger.

There were some differences in appearance due to age, and as such neither Mazur nor anybody else who had seen the Prime Minister found anything odd about Ivan's face. In a population measured in quadrillions, there were countless people who shared similar appearances.

"Who are you?" Ivan asked gravely, staring at Prime Minister Mortimus without shifting his gaze.

Ivan's words caused silence to fall upon the Galactic Fleet momentarily, during which Mortimus looked at him and replied with a smile, "Others may not realize, but you should be able to tell. Isn't it obvious? I am you."

"Hunters!" Ivan called out immediately. "Kill every Galactic Fleet member here, except for the two military officers and the Prime Ministers.

Nearly three hundred hunters didn't understand the complicated matters, they merely adhered to Ivan's commands as they charged out from the group of Celestials and toward the soldiers.

"Defensive positions!" Major Harold was in deep confusion at the moment and shouted out instinctively, "We are severely outnumbered and do not know the enemy's capabilities! All hostile threats are to be eliminated! Non-lethal actions are permitted against the main targets!"

Major Harold's voice was transmitted both audibly and through the internal communication line in their spacesuits. He then sent an emergency transmission back to the fleet in orbit detailing the current situation and requesting immediate reinforcements, but for some reason he didn't hear any confirmation back from them. He suspected Ivan or Mazur may have activated a jamming device, something common among pirates, but hadn't seen them use one.

Prime Minister Mortimus just stood there nonchalantly as the hunters charged past. He maintained eye contact with Ivan for a while before looking over Mazur, Iris and Valeria, mixed emotions flashing through his eyes.

The hunters were undeterred by any action the Galactic Fleet made and recklessly attacked them head on. The special forces soldiers were men with wills of steel, so they reacted with discipline and began firing into the charging hunters.

The soldiers' eyes in their spacesuits widened in disbelief. Compressed plasma blasts were fired and pierced through the hunters like beams of light, but they were completely unharmed through the barrage. The hunters appeared unarmed, but as soon as they appeared within five meters of a solder, a spear shadow would flash through the air and tear that soldier apart.

Major Harold saw this and his heart clenched in pain and fear. He watched the one-sided massacre as his soldiers were torn to pieces, blood and pieces of organ stained the grass red as if it was absorbing it.

The thirty foot tall mechanoids also fought back, but the hunters were equally immune to the more powerful weapons they held. The giant metal monstrosities quickly crumbled after they were targets, the hunters flying through the air as spear shadows tore them apart like paper.

The Celestials had utmost confidence in annihilating the Galactic Fleet. Ivan had initially planned to hold the Major and Captain captive, as it would prevent the fleet from openly firing an orbital strike to destroy the Poseidon, stranding them on this planet. After that, they merely needed to fly up and infiltrate some Galactic Fleet battleships and take over their control, forcing them down to the planet before removing their stasis pods.

Ivan had to reconsider this as he first had to interrogate the Prime Minister, who was claiming to be him. If it was anyone else, Ivan could laugh it off. But not only did he have his exact face and voice from when he was younger, Ivan had the instinctive feeling that... he was looking at himself.

"Ivan, what's going on?" Iris asked tenderly from beside him, not understanding the situation between Ivan and the Prime Minister.

Ivan just shook his head before saying, "Valeria, restrain the two military officers. Don't kill, maim, or break their spacesuits."

Valeria nodded her head and charged toward Major Harold first. The Major rapidly backpedalled and aimed his gun at the young girl, but she arrived before him in the blink of an eye and disarmed him. She then knocked him to the ground before turning to Captain Argentear.

A bloody slaughter was going on and Captain Argentear was overwhelmed with fear, his legs shaking uncontrollably as he fell to his knees. He had never faced such a situation and it was only his military training that prevented him from throwing up in his spacesuit.

The two military officers were quickly dragged back and two craftsman took advantage of the strength of their superior dimension to easily hold their hands behind their back.

The last few soldiers were cut into pieces by the spear shadows as looked at the slaughter. Littered across the battlefield were corpses and the scattered metal wreckage of what used to be mechanoids, faint streams of blood running from the cracks of the crushed cockpits. Ivan showed no remorse or sympathy over the situation. His hatred for governmental forces was that strong he secretly felt this was what they deserved.

Prime Minister Mortimus also didn't spare a glance toward the fallen soldiers and scattered mechanoids. He just smiled to Ivan and said, "We need to have a talk."

"He's not you Ivan. I don't know what's going on, but it is impossible he is you," Mazur quietly warned Ivan in his ear.

"When you look into a mirror, how do you know it is yourself that you are looking at?" Ivan shook his head at Mazur and asked. "Looking at him is exactly the same as looking in that mirror. I just know, he is me."