Chapter 948 948 Harvesters
That didn't tell them what had happened to the planet. It could be assumed that the Darklings had arrived, but if they knew that they were being hunted, there had to be some sort of plan in place to get some of them out of the area and to safety.
They had hidden a whole planet's population as well as they could, so it would be prudent to have some sort of backup plan that would let at least those whom the government deemed most important escape.
But it appeared that this alien, referred to as a Lord, had not been on the list to get off the planet, and the Darklings hadn't bothered to get rid of his corpse, assuming that they were the Harvesters in question.
The name fit them and their practices, so it wouldn't surprise Max if that were the truth.
The next morning, the Lord woke up and exited the room but was replaced by a group of scientists doing a study on the benefits of crowd control through newly developed architectural trends.
Their thought was that they could prevent the mass movement of people, like they had seen in the recent riots, with some aesthetically pleasing additions to the traffic routes.
Their plan was to beautify it and sell the benefits of a more pleasant downtown core while eliminating the chance that the people could rise up too fast for them to control.
Something had clearly gone horribly wrong with their system of governance, and instead of fixing it, they were desperately clinging to power, as expected of the sort of government that would get themselves in that situation to begin with.
Then the room sat empty for four more days until finally, the Lord came back in and sat down in the chair with a drink in his hand.
He didn't say anything at all but silently finished the drink, then put the gun to his head and ended his life.
Everyone in the room shared a confused look, unable to decipher what exactly was going on, but they continued to watch as the black blood dried on the table until a warrior in angular armour that looked like a corrupted version of an elegant and organically flowing base design walked in, examined a jar on one shelf, then incinerated it and walked back out.
"That was clearly not of their species. Do you think it's the Harvesters that they were afraid of?" Khan asked.
Max and Nico both nodded. That was clearly a Darkling raiding armour, which meant that their suspicion was confirmed. This planet had been harvested in a very short period of time, leaving everything intact.
"We should send the team on to the next point. This one doesn't have anything else to tell us about the future of the world. It's all the same footage of the room with no audio recorded after this point." Nico reminded them.
Khan nodded. "I will send them to the next location while we analyze the data that we found here. I'm not sure how relevant it will be, but they were a spacefaring species, so there should be at least some sort of useful data in the computers."
It was a secure lab in a government office that was mostly used for discussions. Though perhaps that made it a meeting room, and the scientific instruments were secondary to the room's purpose. They didn't have enough footage from before things went wrong for the species to be certain.
"Do we have any other camera data from the building, or was it all lost to time?" Max asked as they started to analyze what they had found.
"The team is doing a cursory search for likely surviving data as they pass, but they're minimizing their impact on the area until we are sure that we won't cause more issues by interfering." Lilith agreed, glaring at the screen in front of her in a way that made her annoyance clear, even with the blank mask of a huntress over her face. 𝚋ｅ𝚍ｎ𝚘ｖｅ𝚕．𝚘𝚛𝚐
Unlike Khan, who often removed her mask in private, Lilith kept it on at all times. She didn't actually have any sort of impairment; she just felt more comfortable with all of the additional sensory data that the mask provided, so she only took it off or opened the lower portion to eat.
After a few minutes of work to decode the language and the encryption of the files, they were in, and it became clear right away that the files might actually be useful. There were prepared notes for the meetings that had been held in the past, mostly from the internal affairs department, which were going to allow the Hunters to gather a very clear idea of how things were going on the planet before the final days.
But there were also the personal notes of the Lord, and those ones directly mentioned the Harvesters a number of times. It looked like the species had lost multiple planets to them already before this frontier colony had been flooded with refugees and rebuilt before going completely signal silent, hoping that the Harvesters would either forget about them or not know they were there at all.
It clearly hadn't worked, but the reason why probably wasn't the quarantine zone, as they had expected. The Darklings marked the targets that they allowed to escape, the same as the Arisen did. They would have just been waiting until they needed them to get them.
Going by the timeline in the notes, there had been almost a hundred years between recolonization and harvesting. The riots were about the rights of the indigenous population, which had been overwhelmed and outvoted by the new arrivals and then treated like second-class citizens in a much more violent society than their own had been.
If the Darklings hadn't noticed that the array of satellites had been sending them signals for a hundred straight years, one microburst of activity wouldn't have drawn their attention mere weeks before they arrived.
"It looks like we really did get what we were hoping for. I wonder what sort of other data has survived the ages." Lilith asked happily as she finished reviewing the Lord's notes.
"I'm hoping for tech notes. If I have to skim through one more pointless traffic control plan, I'm going to stab someone." Nico replied while Max patted her on the head to calm her down.
Sometimes, increased reading speed was not your friend.