Archive for August, 2015

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch8b

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Kavakian Empire

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 8b

(This is chapter 8 of the second part. If you haven’t read part one of The Kavakian Empire novella yet, find it on the bar to the right. The first seven chapters of part two can also be found there.)

J.T.’s brow furrowed as he studied the digiview. He couldn’t make sense of these specifications. Despite all the studying he had been doing in his cell, he couldn’t figure out how the resulting energy transfer came out as it did. Based on his current understanding, it shouldn’t have been so high.

The pressure of massaging his temples and brow alleviated his developing headache for only a moment. As soon as he stopped, a shock wave of pain washed over his forehead before settling back down to a dull throb. His eyes felt dry and tired from staring at the digiview for so long, but he couldn’t afford to give his attention to anything else.

The more J.T. looked at the numbers and formulas, the more they all seemed to melt together into a jumbled mess. This plan of Jori’s wasn’t going to work. This was too much information to figure out and too convoluted for him to make sense of it all. Jori had tried to explain this particular part earlier, but J.T. just wasn’t getting it. The urge to toss the digiview across the room was only barely hindered by his desperation. He had to figure this out, at least for the sake of pretense.

There was an unnerving silence in the cargo area that made it difficult to concentrate. J.T. could practically taste the tension around him. The Alliance prisoners were being watched over by a dozen hawk-faced warriors. They stood motionless, yet were as alert as a pack of predators on the hunt. If not for their towering bulk, their dark uniforms might have made them less conspicuous as they stood in the shadowy gloom of the surrounding walls.

The laser had been put back together so now it was a matter of figuring out how to make it work. (Describe how other crew members were doing with their duties. Who was doing what? Who looked worried? Who looked calm? Of the three other people that J.T. shared his cell with, only Simmonds seemed to have a grasp of what they were to do, or at least pretend to do. Hanna was completely lost, but she tried to look busier than anyone. No doubt, she didn’t want any unwanted attention. Jori was helping too. If anything, J.T. got the sense that he knew what he was doing more than anyone, including Jako… describe if I haven’t already.)

J.T.’s thoughts were interrupted by Jako’s condescending tone. “What are you doing, you idiot?”

He was talking to Harley, who stood a little further down from where J.T. was working. Harley’s face was red and he scowled darkly. Jako certainly liked to exert his authority. It was obvious this wiry Tredon soldier was considered inferior by the other warriors. They harassed and picked on him so he, in turn, bullied the Alliance prisoners.

“What kind of senseless moron tries to connect the _______ before the ________?” Jako continued. “Whatever you lack in muscle, you certainly don’t make up for in brains.”

“Funny, that’s exactly what I heard one of your men say about you,” Harley responded testily. J.T. groaned inwardly. Young men could be so rash.

“Don’t you dare talk to me that way.” Jako’s nose flared angrily and his fists clenched at his sides. He was obviously on the brink of violence, yet somehow this Tredon warrior looked almost comical with the way he was trying so hard to be intimidating.

J.T. could see that Harley was barely suppressing a smirk, which only infuriated Jako further. “You might be a giant cockroach among cockroaches,” Jako said through clenched teeth, “but here you’re still just an insect. And if you don’t watch it, I’ll have you exterminated like one.”

Harley huffed in derision.

“You don’t believe me?” Without turning away, Jako said to one of the guards, “Kelar, take this man to the scourging room and have him whipped.”

J.T. wanted to step in, but he knew it would do no good. Luckily, Jori intervened. “Jako, we don’t have time for this. Let him get back to work.”

“I will not be spoken down to by Alliance scum. This man must be punished.”

“Excuse me?” Jori replied darkly. “Are you telling me what to do?”

Jako’s scowl quickly reversed as he realized his blunder. “No, Sir.”

“Then you will address me properly and do as you’re told without argument.”

“But, Sir…”

Without argument. Do your job and report any problems to me. Understood?”

Jako looked angry but he answered subserviently. “Yes, Sir.”

“Now get back to work. Both of you,” Jori said.

Jako turned away in a snit. Harley gave the man a triumphant look as he walked by. Jako stopped short and opened his mouth to say something, but he saw Jori glaring at him with a raised eyebrow as though daring him disobey. Jako thought better of it and went on to inspect Simmond’s work. Harley looked smug, but the look quickly faded when Jori gave him the same daring look. Rather than appear chastised like Jako, though, Harley glowered but said nothing.

J.T. sighed silently and went back to trying to figure out how the data all fit together. It was quiet again but not quite as tense. It was clear that despite Jori’s age, he carried enough authority here. Most of J.T.’s crewmen didn’t know how deeply Jori was involved with helping them, but they probably sensed he was at least partially on their side.

“What are you doing?” Jako asked.

J.T. flinched. He hadn’t seen Jako approach. He had a quick reply ready, though. He simply repeated what Jori had told him about analyzing the data.

“Yes, but how?”

“By running the process through my head so that I can make sure each step is correct.”

“It’s not that hard. Surely you know _________.”

“Yes, of course.” J.T. lied. He said it with too much hesitance, though, because Jako squinted his eyes with suspicion.

Then Jako asked him a question about the figures he was looking at. The answer was the very problem that J.T. had been trying to wrap his head around this entire time. He wasn’t sure how to answer. But he couldn’t not answer, could he? In his nervousness, he spit out the first thing that came to his mind.

Jako frowned. J.T. felt a wave of dread. He had answered incorrectly.

“Either you Alliance scum are not as smart as you think you are or you’re just playing dumb. Don’t think that playing dumb will save you, because it won’t.”

“Sorry,” J.T. replied quickly. “You just put me on the spot. I got nervous.”

Jako looked dubious. “Very well then. Try again,” he challenged.

J.T. cleared his throat. His nervousness was real. He could feel the sweat forming on his brow as his mind raced to remember exactly what Jori had told him previously. The words wouldn’t come though.

“Well?” Jako said.

J.T. licked his lips. He could see Jako’s suspicion growing. He was about to respond by saying he didn’t know, but then he noticed Jori a short distance behind Jako holding up his digiview. The answer was right there on the screen with the words enlarged so that J.T. could see. And with that, he answered Jako’s question.

Jako’s look changed to one of disappointment. “Well then. Maybe you’re not as stupid as you look.”

J.T. should have felt insulted by the remark, but he was too relieved.

“I suggest you not let your cowardice interfere with your work,” Jako continued. More quietly he said, “If you mess this up, I’ll have you whipped no matter what the little know-it-all princeling says.” He said ‘princeling’ with a sneer. If J.T. didn’t know any better, he’d bet Jako was jealous of the boy.

“What was that, Jako?” Jori said from behind.

Jako jumped and his eyes went wide. “N-n-n-nothing, my Lord,” Jako said as he faced the young prince.

Jori replied with a raised eyebrow. Jako stuttered an apology then quickly went to find something else to do.

Jori looked at J.T. with a slight quirk at the corner of his mouth. In his relief, J.T. suddenly realized just how comical Jako’s reaction was. He coughed loudly in order to hide his laughter and Jori’s generally stoic face broadened into a smile.

The look was brief, though, and Jori quickly reverted back to a more serious demeanor. “You best study more on this,” he said gravely. “I can’t protect you if he realizes you don’t know what you’re doing.”

“I’m trying,” J.T. responded just as seriously. “I really am.”

“Try harder.”

Note from author: You’ll notice a lot of blank spaces and that portions of the story are in parenthesis unfinished. Remember this is a work in progress and what I’m posting is unedited. The blank spaces are because I don’t know much about lasers. At some point I will have to study them at least far enough to make it sound like I know what I’m talking about. For the part in parenthesis, I just didn’t feel like writing it out. If and when this story gets published, all the blanks will be filled and the story will be complete. Please help me make a good story by offering your input.

(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright August, 2015 by Dawn Ross

You may share this sci-fi novella so long as you link back to this website and mention, The Kavakian Empire by Dawn Ross.

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch8a

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Kavakian Empire

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 8a

(This is chapter 8 of the second part. If you haven’t read part one of The Kavakian Empire novella yet, find it on the bar to the right. The first seven chapters of part two can also be found there.)

“How is the work going?” his father asked.

Jori sensed his father’s mood was temperate, which was good. Perhaps this was the right time to bring up something he found in the laser spec files. But first, he had to get past the forecasted information he knew his father would find unfavorable.

“We’ve successfully put the laser back together, Sir,” Jori replied. He stood in front of his father in a stiff at-ease stance. He had a slight urge to fidget. His father had a way of making him feel uneasy, even when there was nothing to be concerned about.

“How long before it’s operational?”

And this is the part Jori dreaded, but he didn’t let it show. “At least two periods.” A period was thirty day cycles.

“Two periods!” his father yelled. Even though Jori expected the outburst, his heart still jumped. But at least he didn’t visibly react. “I thought the Thendi were nearly done.”

“They were,” Jori replied. “They’ve been working on this project for almost two years, so from their perspective a couple of months means almost done.”

His father’s piercing brown eyes hardened and Jori could see his jaw clench. Jori felt the urge to bite his lip. He had worried that his tone would come out sounding flippant and tried to control it. But it was difficult with his father because the man seemed to take everything as a personal insult.

“Can you make it go faster?” he demanded.

“No, Sir.” Jori’s heart beat rapidly, but he managed to keep his outward features looking calm. “They had a team of twenty. And the people we have people need to catch up on what they were doing before any progress can be made.”

“Damn it!” He slammed his fist down on his desk, making a loud clamor.

Again, Jori expected the reaction. His heart didn’t jump this time, though. His father was angry but at least his anger didn’t feel too intense.

His father sat back in his chair and examined his digiview. He stroked his short beard in thought. Jori didn’t move a muscle. He waited patiently while his father considered his next step. His nervousness spiked again as he considered bringing up the other topic.

Before he could gather his courage though, his father looked up and locked eyes. “All your studies will be put off for now. I want you fully focused on this project. And if you sense that any of these men are slacking, you will tell your brother and let him handle it. Is that clear?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Dismissed.”

“Sir, there’s something else,” Jori said quickly. His heart hammered in his chest.

“What?”

Jori could sense his father’s impatience surge, but he didn’t let it discourage him. “In looking over these specifications, I think it would be easier to convert the laser into something that can help us mine the ores from Tymnar.”

“I’m not interested in a mining laser,” his father said in a sour tone.

“If we do these modifications…”

“If we do these modifications I won’t be able to use the laser as a weapon.” His tone was condescending now.

Jori steeled himself. “Yes, but we will make a lot more money, which we can use to expand our military.”

“Don’t be an idiot, boy. It’s not that simple.”

“Yes, actually. I think it can be. If the laser…”

“Boy!” His father stood abruptly and leaned over his desk to glare at Jori eye-to-eye. Jori resisted the urge to quail and held his father’s stare. It really was that simple. If only his father would listen. With this laser being used as a mining tool, they wouldn’t need as much slave labor. The ores could be extracted a lot more quickly. Jori did the numbers and their profits from Tymnar alone would practically double. Modifying the technology for their other mining operations would help make them profit almost as much. Jori was sure the idea of making more money would appeal to his father. He had it all worked out on the digiview he was holding. If only his father would look at it.

But Jori didn’t bring out the digiview. Nor did he speak up to make his case. Looking into his father’s eyes, he knew it would do no good. Even if his father did look at the plan, it was unlikely that he’d acknowledge it. He would never admit Jori’s ideas were better than his own, especially since Jori was just a child.

“Get your ass back to work,” his father finally said. He sat back down, but his glare made it clear what would happen if Jori persisted.

Jori left abruptly without saying a word. A part of him was glad to get away from his father’s ill temper, but as his trepidation subsided the annoyance at his father for not listening grew. Father can be stubborn. Well, so can I.

Jori was now even more determined to make sure the laser never became operational. He was not going to be responsible for killing so many innocent people ever again. If he could only find a way to help save J.T. as well.

—–

So what do you think of this chapter? Constructive criticism is welcome.

(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright August, 2015 by Dawn Ross

You may share this sci-fi novella so long as you link back to this website and mention, The Kavakian Empire by Dawn Ross.

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch7c

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Kavakian Empire

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 7c

This is the end of chapter 7 for part two of the Kavakian Empire saga. If you haven’t read any of part two yet, you can find the first chapter under The Kavakian Empire category heading and Sci-Fi Part 2 subheading. And if you haven’t read any of this sci-fi story yet, start with the Sci-Fi Part 1 subheading.

After Hanna had been taken back to her cell, Terk went to the cargo area where the laser was being reassembled. The Alliance officers worked beside a few of his father’s men while other warriors stood guard. The Alliance men were cooperating, albeit a little more slowly than the others. They hadn’t been healed like Hanna had.

J.T. was one of the few who did not act like he was in any pain, but Terk could sense his discomfort. Due to his rank, J.T. had been tortured more than the others. And although this Alliance commander was not a warrior, he hadn’t begged while being tortured either. Terk almost admired him for his strength. Almost. Too bad Father is eventually going to kill him.

Terk had considered refusing to participate in the torture of the Alliance officers. J.T. was probably one of the most genuinely kind persons Terk had ever met. But refusing would have made his father suspicious. At the same time, though, Terk worried about making Jori look bad in front of their father. Jori wouldn’t torture anyone. He refused no matter how much their father demanded it and no matter how harsh his punishment was. A part of Terk was angry that Jori refused. In a way, he felt Jori deserved the punishments. More than that, though, Terk admired his little brother’s resolve.

Jori stood on the other side of the cargo bay observing the men at work. Terk made his way over and stood beside him. “How’s it going?” he asked his little brother.

“Too well.” Jori spoke in a low voice. There was too much noise in the cargo area for anyone but Terk to hear.

“Too well? This is a good thing.”

Jori frowned. “No it’s not. We can’t allow this laser to be finished. Do you know how many people Father will enslave and kill if we get this thing working?”

“You’ve changed, Jori. Ever since you found out Master Jetser is a rebel sympathizer, you go around acting like you’re some sort of humanitarian.” Terk spoke acerbically, but the truth was he wasn’t sure if he was altogether against Master Jetser’s dual loyalties. Oh, he had been furious when Jori told him what he discovered. But he couldn’t bring himself to punish the man, or even to tell his father, which would have been as good as killing him. Master Jetser was a good man. And while his actions might be considered traitorous to their father, Terk agreed with the things he had done.

“I haven’t changed. I’ve always known the things that Father does are wrong. So have you,” Jori said, echoing what Terk was thinking. “Only now, we have a better understanding of why. And we know a better way is possible.”

“Don’t be foolish, Jori. Father is going to kill you,” Terk said with a harsh but low tone. He knew Jori was right, but there could be terrible consequences

“This is right. And you know it as well, or you would have turned Master Jetser and the others in already.”

“We can’t change things.” Terk resisted the urge to throw up his hands in frustration of having the same debate yet again. “At least not yet.”

“We can try.”

“We can die, too. Is it really worth it?”

“Do you want to be the one who pushes the button to attack the innocent people of Pentam?” Jori’s exasperation did not show on his face, but Terk could sense it. “Do you want to go down to their planet and take prisoners to turn into slaves? Do you want to be there when Father allows the women to be raped and orders the murder of the old and infirm?”

Terk felt a wave of shame and tried to suppress it. This had happened before when he was eleven and Jori was just seven. The dead, the dying, the mutilated bodies of both the very young and the very old. Terk still had nightmares about it. It wasn’t my fault, though, dammit. “I won’t have a choice. I do what I’m told,” he said bitterly.

“I have a choice right now and I’m making it. If they manage to put this laser together properly, I will make sure it remains inoperable.”

Terk wanted to be angry with his little brother. Jori was braver than him in some ways. One wouldn’t think with all Terk’s bravado that he was the weaker of the two. He should have been jealous, but he loved his little brother. “You’re getting too soft,” Terk replied, although half-heartedly. “Just be careful,” he added. “You don’t want to end up like our half-brother Fenner.”

Jori looked like he was about to reply, but an old seasoned warrior approached them.

“Boys,” Master Jetser said with a deferential nod. He was one of the most powerful warriors, but that was not the only thing Terk admired about him.

Jori and Terk nodded respectfully back.

It was generally considered highly inappropriate for anyone to address Terk and Jori as ‘boys’, but Master Jetser was one of the few officers who could talk to them like this. The man had practically raised them, after all. Their father didn’t have the patience to teach them anything so Master Jetser had been the one to do most of their training. He was a stern but fair instructor, and he cared about them too. Terk couldn’t count the number of times Master Jetser had lied to their father in order to protect them from punishment. Or the number of times he said ‘good job’ or ‘I’m proud of you’, words their father would never say. Terk wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ to describe how he felt about Master Jetser. That was a girlish sentiment. But Terk’s admiration was definitely strong enough to keep the man’s secrets.

“Is there any hope of getting help from your friends,” Jori asked him. He was referring to the rebels.

“I’m afraid not, young Lord,” the older man replied. “There is no way we can get these people off the ship safely, let alone back to the Alliance.”

“Are you sure?” Jori said.

“As much as I admire your concern for these people, my Lord,” Master Jetser said, “sometimes there is nothing you can do.”

“We could stage a ship malfunction similar to what we did last time,” Jori said hopefully.

“Too many coincidences like that will make your father suspicious.”

“He’s right,” Terk said in an I-told-you-so tone.

“Besides,” Master Jetser explained. “Your father is going to blame someone and someone will die as a result. Which of our men do you think that should be?”

“Lank,” Jori replied immediately.

“Boy, I know you’re joking,” Master Jetser said in his gruff voice. “No one will believe Lank is capable of such a thing.”

He’s right again, Terk thought. By the look of Jori’s face, he knew it as well. Lank was too stupid and too selfish to ever risk his neck for anyone else. “I’m sorry, Jori,” Terk said. “We might be able to keep this laser from being finished, but you’re going to have to accept the fact that you can’t save these people.”

Jori scowled but said nothing.

Note from the author: The purpose of this portion of the chapter is to establish that there is nothing they can do to save the Alliance crew. The situation is pretty hopeless. It is also to give a little more insight to how Terk feels about Jori. And since Master Jetser is helping Terk and Jori protect the Alliance crew, it is important for the reader to know more about him as well. Also, Master Jetser is important much later in the series.

(This sci-fi story is protected by copyright) Copyright June, 2015 by Dawn Ross

You may share the posts of this novella so long as you link back to this website and mention, The Kavakian Empire by Dawn Ross.

Constructive criticism welcome. Please comment below.

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch7b

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2015 by Dawn Ross

The Kavakian Empire

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 7b

Chapter 7 of Part two of the Kavakian Empire saga continues. If you haven’t read any of part two yet, you can find the first chapter under The Kavakian Empire category heading and Sci-Fi Part 2 subheading. And if you haven’t read any of this sci-fi story yet, start with the Sci-Fi Part 1 subheading.

Terk led Hanna down the corridor. Two Tredon warriors followed silently. Although they didn’t say anything, they made her nervous. Hanna had heard enough lewd comments from other Tredon warriors to suspect they were leering at her ass as she walked.

She didn’t know where she was going. But despite Terk’s starkness with her before, she felt slightly less apprehensive with him present.

“Wait outside,” Terk told the two guards when they reached what looked like the infirmary. The sterile smells that permeated the room were much like any other sick bay, but it was not as well organized. Several beds sat haphazardly around the room against the walls. A number of cabinets and medical devices were cluttered around. Most of the beds were occupied. Hanna saw only one man tending to him, though this man looked more like a warrior than a medic.

“Come with me,” Terk said. He led her past the open room and into a smaller room with a single medical examination bed. “Sit down.”

Before Hanna could ask what was going on, an older man came into the room. He was mostly bald with a greasy head, clean-shaven, and he was probably the fattest Tredon that Hanna had ever seen. When the man saw her, his eyes lit up and his lips curved in a way that made Hanna’s skin crawl.

“Get Terena,” Terk ordered him.

The man blinked as though surprised Terk was there. His manner suddenly shifted into one that was more subservient. “My Lord, your father ordered me to examine her.”

“He ordered that she be examined. He did not specify that you be the one to do it.”

“But surely I’m the most qualif – “

“Damn it, Fink! Do not argue with me. Get Terena now.” Terk glared angrily at the man as he bobbed his head up and down and backed out of the room.

When he was gone, Terk turned to Hanna. “Terena is the one who provided the injection that kept you from being raped. Other than my brother and I and one other person, she is the only one who knows it is a pseudo-strain.”

Hanna nodded gratefully but didn’t say anything. She felt more at ease now that she knew she wasn’t being taken to be hurt again. But still, Terk intimidated her. He stood there with his arms crossed, and although he didn’t look at her he made her feel very uncomfortable.

Time seemed to lag for the few moments that he stood there, but respite came when an older woman entered the room. Her grey hair streaked with black hung loose, just as did her robe, or dress, or whatever it was that she was wearing. It was brown and plain with a simple belt at the waste. Her hands were slightly blotched with age and her knuckles bulgy. Her face was only somewhat wrinkled, but it crinkled more when she smiled.

“My Lord.” She nodded at Terk.

“Terena.” Terk nodded back and stepped aside. “This is Hanna.”

Terena’s smile widened. It was a genuinely kind smile and Hanna couldn’t help but to smile back.

“It is good to meet you,” Terena said as she grasped Hanna’s hand with her gnarled one. Her touch was gentle and as reassuring as her smile. “Go ahead and lay down now, dear.”

Hanna let Terena guide her down, but she glanced nervously at Terk. For some reason, laying down made her feel vulnerable.

“My Lord?” Terena said when she noticed Hanna’s unease.

“You have two choices,” Terk said to Hanna. “I can stay in here or I can leave.” Hanna almost answered but Terk held up his hand and stopped her short. “My choice depends on you. If I am to leave, you must give your word that you will not make any trouble here. Terena is one of the very few on this ship who truly wants to help you and I will not have her hurt in some feeble escape attempt.”

“You have my word,” Hanna replied truthfully. “I won’t try anything.”

Terk stared at her a moment as if analyzing her. “Call me if she causes any trouble,” he said to Terena on his way out.

When he was gone and the door closed, Terena began a basic medical examination. “How are you doing, my dear?” she asked as she checked Hanna’s eyes with a light pen.

“I itch like crazy.”

“I bet you do,” Terena said. “I’m sorry about that. It’s an allergic reaction to the pseudo-virus I gave you. I will give you something to help before you leave.”

“So pseudo means fake, right? I don’t really have Ghondorian venascabia, do I?” Hanna spoke quietly even though the door was closed. For all she knew, the room could have been bugged.

“No, you don’t,” Terena said with a reassuring smile. “What you have can be easily cured by your doctors. All they need to do is give you a katharos of some kind.”

“I’ll tell them, assuming I ever get to leave here. Will I? Get to leave here, that is?”

Terena sighed sadly. “It doesn’t seem likely, but don’t give up hope just yet.”

Hanna hoped. She hoped the Alliance would be able to come to her rescue. “What about the other doctor, the creepy man. Won’t he be able to check the records and see I really don’t have Ghondorian venascabia?”

“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of the records. Besides, Fink isn’t smart enough to figure out it’s a pseudo-strain. If by some miracle he does, Terk will handle him.”

“Hm. Terk does seem rather intimidating. Too bad he can’t use that to influence the emperor.”

“No, he has very little influence there.” Terena said while prodding Hanna’s abdomen as part of her examination. “But he does have enough pull to help you a little. Unfortunately, doing more would only put him and his brother in danger. If that happens, they wouldn’t be able to help anybody in any way.”

“So they help other people?” Hanna asked curiously, wondering if she was reading too much into what Terena had said.

Terena didn’t answer, though. She only smiled in reply, so Hanna changed the subject. “You’re a woman.”

“Yes,” Terena replied.

“I thought Tredons suppressed their women. I didn’t know they were allowed to become doctors.”

“I’m not a doctor. I’m a nurse,” Terena replied kindly as she read the results on the hand-held body scanner.

“Still.”

“Medical personnel are in short supply and I have enough skill in treating the emperor’s concubines that he tolerates me.”

Concubines? She should have known. “How did you come to be here in the first place, if you don’t mind me asking? Surely he didn’t just hire you.”

“No, dear. He didn’t hire me. I was one of his father’s concubines.”

Hanna’s eyes widened and she sat up abruptly. “Are you the emperor’s mo – ?”

“No, dear,” Hanna said as she put a comforting hand on Hanna’s shoulder to lay her back down. “I wouldn’t even call myself his stepmother since I had no part in raising him.”

“What a life.” Hanna replied. “I couldn’t even imagine living most of my life on this terrible ship.”

“Oh, I don’t have it so bad as some,” Terena said. “Besides, there are a few good things about this place. And even a few good people.”

“Really? Like who?” Hanna asked bitterly.

Terena smiled and patted her shoulder. “Your exam is over, dear. Let me get you that antihistamine and you can be on your way.”

Note from the author: The purpose of this portion of the chapter is to give a little more information on what Terk had done to protect Hanna. It is also to introduce Terena, who is important much later in the series. Perhaps the reader also gets a little more insight into Terk’s character. As I write from Hanna’s perspective, I find myself asking if she is important to the story later. I haven’t written her in any part of the story except part two, but I bet there are some important roles she can play as the series develops.

(This sci-fi story is protected by copyright) Copyright June, 2015 by Dawn Ross

You may share the posts of this novella so long as you link back to this website and mention, The Kavakian Empire by Dawn Ross.

Constructive criticism welcome. Please comment below.

The Kavakian Empire – Part Two Emperor Ch7a

Posted in Sci-Fi Part 2, The Kavakian Empire with tags , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by Dawn Ross
Captain's Ready Room

Captain’s Ready Room

A Space Opera by Dawn Ross

Part Two – The Emperor

Chapter 7a

Part two of the Kavakian Empire saga continues. If you haven’t read any of part two yet, you can find the first chapter under The Kavakian Empire category heading and Sci-Fi Part 2 subheading. And if you haven’t read any of this sci-fi story yet, start with the Sci-Fi Part 1 subheading.

Note from the author: This is not the most exciting chapter ever, but it does have a purpose. After you read this, please comment below to give me some ideas on how to spice it up.

Captain Robert Arden’s head wound had been healed, but he had a headache for a different reason. His ship had been repaired in good time, but not fast enough. Every moment took the Tredon’s further and further away. If Robert didn’t hurry, the enemy would soon be out of reach.

Most of his officers who had been fighting on the planet were back on board. Lieutenant Commander Bracht was among them and was now standing before Robert in the ready room. The Rabnoshk warrior’s at-ease posture made even the most formal military stances look lazy. He stood stiff and alert as he gave his report about what had happened on the planet.

“I retreated as ordered. The others were just behind me, Sir.” Despite the harshness of Bracth’s voice, his tone was respectful. And if Robert wasn’t mistaken, Bracht also sounded regretful. “But when we got up the shaft, an enemy blast broke the cab loose and sent it crashing. I shouldn’t have left them, Sir. I should have stayed behind.”

“You did the right thing,” Robert said. “You couldn’t have known this was going to happen. And if you had stayed behind, you would have been captured or killed as well.”

Bracht opened his mouth to protest, but Robert forestalled him. “I’m glad you’re back, Bracht. I’m going to need your help to get them back.”

“I’ll do whatever it takes, Captain.” Bracht almost sounded relieved. His race despised the idea of retreat. Telling Bracht that he was still needed let him know the fight wasn’t over yet.

“I know you will. Now go get some rest. I’ll need you refreshed for when we catch up to the Tredon ships.”

“Yes, Sir.” Bracht snapped a salute and left.

The laser room where Bracht had last seen J.T. and his team had been re-secured by the Thendi. The dead and wounded were gathered, but J.T. and the others weren’t among them. Robert could only surmise that the Tredons had taken them captive. If the young princes were with their father during this battle, then perhaps they had been able to convince the emperor to spare their lives. It was a dim hope, but Robert clung to it.

Robert hated losing his crew members. He couldn’t help but to feel personally responsible for them. This battle had already taken forty seven men and women from his ship. That was over six percent of his crew and far too many, and more than he had expected. But this was nothing compared to the total death count. Between him and the two other Alliance ships, one hundred and eighty three were dead and thirty four were in critical condition. The Thendi didn’t have a full count yet, but they were estimating over five hundred of their people had been killed in this battle.

Robert rubbed his temples. Too many dead. Too many dying. A small handful still missing. And very little that could be done about it.

The comm beep interrupted him. His view screen indicated it was Vice Admiral Belmont.

“Admiral,” Robert answered.

“Captain Arden, I’m calling to confirm the Cronus is now repaired and on its way.”

Robert’s ship had been the first to complete enough repairs to begin pursuit of the enemy warships. He had been given orders to head full speed to the Tredon borders in hopes that the superior speed of the Alliance ships would be able to intercept them.

“That’s good news, Sir,” Robert replied.

“Also, I’ve received confirmation that the Defender and the Poseidon are on the way to the Tredon border as well. I expect the Defender to arrive first and the Poseidon and Cronus a few hours after you. You are in charge of the search until I arrive.”

“Yes, Admiral. Do we have permission to engage?”

“I’ve put in a full recommendation to the Council that we declare war, but as you know they will spend a lot of time in debate.”

Robert nodded. He wanted to say that declaring war shouldn’t be an easy thing, but he knew the admiral’s position. Although Robert hated the idea of war, he accepted the fact that it might be the only way to get his crew members back.

“You may engage if you feel you have the upper hand but do not pursue them into their territory until war is declared,” the admiral replied.

“Yes, Sir. I will keep you informed.”

“Thank you, Captain. Belmont out.”

The view screen switched off. Robert sat back in his chair and sighed. His headache seemed to have ebbed a bit. He had been worried that if he intercepted the Dragon and Basilisk alone he wouldn’t be able to confront them. But the arrival of the other ships gave him a little hope.

There was still going to be a problem of finding the Tredon warships. If they were cloaked, it would require a very close scrutiny of their short range sensors to detect them. Lieutenant Brenson was the best when it came to this sort of thing, but not even ten ships would be enough to patrol the entire length of the Tredon border.

Still, Robert had a better chance than he had previously. If he succeeded in getting his crew members back, perhaps he could avert a war.

(This sci-fi story is protected by copyright) Copyright June, 2015 by Dawn Ross

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