The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part One – First Encounter
(Check under Categories for “The Kavakian Empire” link in the right hand column in order to read previous chapters.)
Lieutenant Junior Grade Mik Calloway tried not to fidget as he and the other officers stood before Lieutenant Commander Bracht. The Rabnoshk warrior scowled darkly and his nostrils flared, but he didn’t direct his look at any of the officers. For that, Mik was thankful. But the silence still unsettled him.
Finally, the officer they had been waiting for arrived. Bracht gave each of the officers a penetrating look before he spoke.
“I’m about to tell you all something highly confidential,” the Lt. Commander said. “You’re not going to like what you hear and you will be tempted to tell others. But I expect you to do your duty to the fullest.”
Bracht paused a moment to emphasize how important he felt duty was. Mik’s apprehension subsided now that he knew Bracht wasn’t angry with them for something. He tried not to appear eager as he proudly awaited the secret that his newly promoted rank gave him the privilege to hear.
“As you know, we have two Tredon children on board our ship,” Lt. Commander Bracht continued. “And you know they have the potential to be dangerous. But the danger is even greater than you realize.”
Bracht paused again as he gave each of the officers another serious look. Mik shifted his feet and gritted his teeth impatiently for the news.
Bracht took a deep breath before he spoke. “The two boys are none other than the Kavakian princes,” he announced.
Gasps and whispers erupted. Mik himself boldly whispered, “Oh, shit.”
“Silence!” Bracht bellowed.
Mik and the others stiffened in attention, but Mik’s thoughts were not at all focused. He was all too familiar with the bestiality of the Tredons, and to have their devilish little spawn walking freely right here on this very ship made Mik’s blood run hot.
“It is obvious from the younger one that they are intelligent and highly trained,” Bracht said. “So I want you to keep a very close eye on them. And do not underestimate them.”
“Why aren’t they in a cell?” Mik demanded.
“That is not your concern, Lt. Calloway,” Bracht replied as he glared angrily at Mik’s interruption. “Your concern is to the safety of this crew. At the same time, I expect you to be on your best behavior. Despite who these children are, you will not provoke them. You will guard them, and you will guard their safety as well.”
“Their safety?” another officer asked incredulously.
At the same time, Mik said, “They’re barbarians. Why should be care about their safety?”
Other officers began to protest too. Mik heard words like butchers, brutes, animals, and monsters.
“We have our orders,” Bracht interrupted. “The children are not wanted for any crimes and so they are not going to be locked up unless they give us reason.”
“Are we going to wait until they kill someone first?” Mik dared to challenge.
“Lieutenant, you will watch your tone,” Bracht replied with an angry frown as he glared into Mik’s eyes.
Mik gritted his teeth in seething fury, but turned away from the Rabnoshk warrior’s look.
“You are to tell no one their identity,” Bracht said with his attention back on all the officers. “You will keep them away from secure areas while at the same time allowing them to visit the public areas of the ship. And however you feel about them, you will behave in a professional manner at all times. I do not want to hear of any name calling and I will not tolerate anyone using force, unless it is clearly necessary. Is that understood?”
Most of the officers mumbled a yes, sir, but Mik said nothing. When he chose security as his profession, he hoped he’d be fighting Tredons, not helping them. The gored bodies of Brenderon seared Mik’s mind. That these boys were just infants at the time of that slaughter didn’t matter. They were Kavakian and that made them even more blameworthy.
“Is that understood?” Bracht asked again more forcefully.
“Yes, sir!” they replied. Mik mouthed the words, but defiantly made no sound.
When Bracht dismissed them, Mik stormed out.
(You may have noticed that this is chapter 8b. I wrote 8a a couple weeks ago. If I put this sci-fi story in book form, 8a and 8b will be one chapter separated into two parts.)
This story is protected by copyright. Copyright November, 2014 by Dawn Ross.