The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part One – First Encounter
Rough Draft – Chapter 9
(Click August 2014 to current under the Archives to read the previous chapters on this sci-fi space opera story.)
From the author – I’m going to switch gears here a bit. I know you’re supposed to show and not tell, but one of my steps before showing the story is to tell it in a rough draft form. And so this is how I am going to be posting this sci-fi story for a while. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first one is personal. My mom passed away recently and it has been difficult for me to write.
The second reason for posting this story in rough draft form is for copyright reasons. As it stands right now, anyone can copy and paste this story and publish it. I don’t think it is good enough for that purpose, but someone is sure to try it anyway. By posting parts of the story in rough draft, this will make it less likely that someone will copy and paste the entire story and put it in book form. If they do, it will look very odd.
And so here is Chapter 9 of the space opera, The Kavakian Empire, in rough draft form:
“I will see my brother now,” the young boy Jori said. Rather than wait for J.T. to respond he headed out of the recreation room.
J.T. raised his eyebrow and turned to Chesa. “I guess I gotta go,” he shrugged apologetically.
Neither J.T. nor the boy spoke but the sound of footsteps echoed down the hall as the two plus four security officers made their way to sick bay. However loudly the guards seemed to walk at the back of their heels, the boy did not seem to notice them.
Even when they reached sick bay and met four other security officers guarding the unconscious prince, Jori completely ignored them. J.T. silently wondered if Jori was ignoring the guards because they were beneath his notice, or because he didn’t want to think about the fact that he was surrounded by enemies.
Jori walked straight to the medical diagnostics monitor by his brother’s bed. Dr. Jerom came in and briefly explained the medical situation. The young prince was in critical condition and he was unsure whether Jori’s brother would survive.
Despite the grim news, Jori did not display any emotion. He looked over the medical monitor and began asking the doctor a number of very specific medical questions. At first, Dr. Jerom answered in layman’s terms. But Jori’s questions were so technical that the doctor found he had to answer the same in return. J.T. did not understand half the medical jargon, but Jori seemed to understand very well.
“Thank you, Doctor. That will be all,” Jori said.
Dr. Jerom looked like he wanted to say more, but Jori turned away. The doctor scowled at Jori’s dismissal. J.T. gave a slight apologetic shrug and so Dr. Jerom left with a shake of his head.
Jori approached his brother’s side. J.T. tensed a little as he recalled what Jenna had said about Kavakian princes killing off one another. The eight surrounding guards seemed to tense too.
What happened next was something none of them expected. Jori took his brother’s hand and gently held it. J.T. noticed Jori’s demeanor change. Instead of a face of blank emotion, the boy looked genuinely concerned.
Jori put his other hand on his brother’s forehead and stroked it tenderly. As he did so, J.T. noticed that Jori’s eyes were watering. J.T., moved by what he saw, put a comforting hand on Jori’s shoulder. The boy flinched ever-so-slightly, but otherwise did not acknowledge J.T.’s gesture.
Jori was silent has he and J.T., along with four security guards, went from sick bay to J.T.’s quarters for sleep. But while he maintained an outward calm, Jori’s thoughts churned chaotically. His brother Terk was in very bad shape. All sorts of scenarios about what would happen if Terk died manifested in his head.
His father would be greatly angered by Terk’s death. No doubt he’d use it as an excuse to rally for a full-scale war against the Alliance. Jori wasn’t sure how he felt about war. He was sure, however, that he wouldn’t want to face it without his brother by his side. Without Terk, Jori would be the sole heir to the Kavakian Empire. Although some might consider this an opportune circumstance, Jori did not like the prospect of being without his brother. They did everything together. If Terk died, Jori would be alone.
Hearing one of the four guards behind him cough made Jori realize that he might not get back home. Jori may be free to walk about their ship, but he was a prisoner none-the-less. He knew full well that there were places on the ship he would not be allowed to go. And he had no doubt that these guards would stalk him at every turn. Captain Arden promised to let Jori and Terk go home, and Jori believed he was telling the truth, but there was nothing to keep the captain from changing his mind.
Jori imagined what would happen if he tried to escape this very moment. He evaluated the situation in his mind. The commander wasn’t armed. That made him easier to overcome. The guard closest to Jori wasn’t paying as much attention as he should have so Jori could easily take his weapon and use it on the others. He’d shoot the tallest of the guards first. This man was the most vigilant. He’d shoot J.T. next since he was the commander and would likely be the quickest to react to the situation.
Although Jori considered, he didn’t make a move. He probably had the element of surprise on his side. He maybe even had more martial skill than these men. But one against five were not good odds. Not only that, he still had his brother to think about.
Jori and the others met two guards at the door of J.T.’s quarters. One of those guards had a very dark look. Jori tried to ignore him, but he could still feel the penetrating and hateful glare of the man. J.T. acknowledged both officers and so Jori learned this man was named Calloway.
Mik Calloway and another Lt. Jr. Grade, Siven Addams, stood guard outside of Commander Hapker’s quarters. Two other officers guarded from inside. It was only supposed to be one guard inside, but Mik convinced them it should be two so that they could keep one another alert. That was what Mik told them, anyway. He actually just wanted a chance to speak to Siven privately.
“It’s a good thing we’re keeping the prince’s identity secret,” Mik said. “Your friend Laren would be pissed if he knew.”
Siven didn’t reply. He didn’t much care for Mik, but that was okay since Mik didn’t care much for him either. Still, Mik wanted to come across as friendly in order to plant a seed, so-to-speak. Mik hated the fact that they were protecting the Kavakian Princes. But he wasn’t about to risk his own career in order to do something about it. That’s where Siven came in.
“Just think,” Mik continued, “Laren lost both his wife and child when the emperor attacked his village. Can you imagine what it must be like for him? And to think that one of the emperor’s sons is right here, just on the other side of this door, without a care in the world for all the people his father has murdered.”
“He’s just a child,” Siven replied, although without much enthusiasm.
“Yeah, but that child is going to grow up someday. Hell, he’s already dangerous. Jack said when they landed on Pensla he watched that child kill four Grapnes. The little shit is already a killer and he’s barely ten cycles old. I can’t imagine what we will have on our hands when his older brother wakes up.”
Siven still didn’t reply, but Mik could tell he was thinking about it. The seed was planted, and so he left it alone for now. Perhaps later, he’d make other comments to help the seed grow.
Jori lay in a small cot set up for him in J.T.’s quarters. J.T. was already asleep in his bedroom, but the two guards inside were awake and alert. Jori didn’t mind them too much. It was the one outside the door that concerned him.
After seeing the hateful glare from the man named Calloway, Jori questioned whether he should have told the captain his identity. There was a good chance the captain would find out anyway from the evidence of the crashed ship.
What’s done was done, though. At least Jori didn’t tell the captain about the other part of their mission. Since it was merely to gather information and since that information was only in Jori and Terk’s head, there was no way the captain could find out about it.
This information was all Jori would have to appease his father when he returned home. Jori and Terk lost their entire crew, their cargo, and their ship. To say his father would be greatly displeased would be a vast understatement.
Jori and Terk needed to make up for their failure somehow. Jori once again considered a plan of escape. There were only two guards nearby and the commander was sound asleep. All Jori would have to do is disarm one guard and then kill them both before they had a chance to cry out. Since J.T. was asleep, he would be easy to dispatch.
Even though Jori contemplated this, the thought of actually killing these men made him uneasy. Jori knew he should hate these Alliance crew members but those negative feelings didn’t arise.
Besides, what would killing these men achieve? He couldn’t take on the entire ship’s crew. His father would not consider the death of a few Alliance personnel enough to make up for all that Jori and Terk had lost. No, Jori had to think of something bigger and better to appease his father. Perhaps he could find a way to steal information or technology, or sabotage the ship.
Whatever Jori decided to do, it would have to wait until Terk recovered… if he recovered.
This space opera is protected by copyright. Copyright December, 2014 by Dawn Ross.
Firstly, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your loss. I know from the date that it was several months ago, but I can’t imagine how difficult things have been for you. *hugs*
Secondly, I like that Jori displayed some of his offensive potential, even though it was only in passing contemplation. It demonstrated his mindset, his estimation of his own capabilities, as well as his love for his brother.
Lastly, I’m wondering if it was a good idea for Calloway to be so openly hostile toward Jori. He’s obviously got some cunning to him because he’s subtly spreading ideas… wouldn’t it have been better for him to pretend to be just another good little solider and retain some element of surprise?
Thank you for that. I know you’ve been through something even more difficult. Loss is hard all around. Secondly, thanks for the feedback on Jori’s perspective. I’m trying hard not to reveal too much at once. I want him to be a bit of a mystery. Lastly, excellent point on Calloway. I should have him be less hostile, especially when he’s around his other crew members.