The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part Two – The Emperor
(Check out the previous posts to read chapter 1. This is part two of the sci-fi series so you will probably want to read all the chapters of the part one novella first. You can read it by going through the archives beginning August 2014, by clicking through to the oldest post under The Kavakian Empire category, or by emailing me at email@example.com.)
“Terk, get the identity of these men,” the emperor ordered his son. “I want to know if they have any value.”
“Yes, Sir,” Terk replied. When the young man looked at his father, his face was unreadable. But when he looked at J.T., he showed a hint of concern.
The look on Jori’s face was more obvious though. At first, Jori had looked surprised when he recognized J.T. Then his face grew troubled.
Both recognized J.T. but neither said anything to their father.
“Terk. Jori,” J.T. said. “It’s good to see. . .”
J.T. was cut short when Terk unexpectedly sent a fast side-kick hard across J.T.’s head.
“Do not pretend to know me,” Terk growled menacingly. His dark eyes were hard and his nostrils flared angrily.
J.T. was stunned into silence. There was no trace of the concern J.T. had thought he had seen in the young prince just a moment ago. He glanced at the younger prince. Jori still had a look of disquiet but he didn’t offer any sort of explanation. Instead, he gave an almost indiscernible shake of his head. For whatever reason, the boys didn’t want anyone to know that they knew one another.
There was a coolness to their actions as the young princes methodically used a hand-held scanner to get a reading on all the Alliance crew prisoners. When J.T.’s surprise wore off, he felt a little hurt. It wasn’t a physical kind of hurt, although his head still stung from where Terk had kicked him. It was an emotional hurt. J.T. knew these boys. He had met them just a few months before and thought they had become friends.
Terk, Erst Prince Kavak, had been in command of a small vessel that had crash landed on a desolate planet in Alliance territory. Except for his little brother Jori, the entire crew had been killed. Terk himself nearly died as well. Their father, the emperor, was not on board so the two boys were put under J.T.’s care. Their stay had been tense at times. The Tredons and the Alliance were fierce enemies after all. But the more J.T. had come to know the young princes the more he liked them, especially Jori.
It hadn’t been easy getting the young princes a safe return home. Jori and Terk had convinced Captain Arden that contacting their father the emperor would be unwise. It would be best, they said, if their father never knew they had been in Alliance custody. He would never believe the captain’s goodwill towards them.
Rear Admiral Zimmer had presented another roadblock to getting Jori and Terk home. He had wanted to take the young princes into custody. If he had done so and if Emperor Kavak found out, there would surely be a great war between the Tredons and the Alliance. Fortunately, Captain Arden found a way to skirt Zimmer’s orders. In the end, Jori and Terk were able to leave peacefully without an intergalactic incident.
Just before they left, Jori told the captain about his father’s knowledge of the dendium laser. Even though Jori didn’t say outright that his father would try to steal the laser, he hinted at it plainly enough. Thendi was not officially part of the Alliance, but they were close allies. When Captain Arden passed on the information Jori had given him, the Alliance council agreed protection of Thendi was warranted.
It wasn’t enough. And so now here J.T. was, helpless with his hands bound painfully behind his back while the Tredon warriors dismantled a laser that could be converted into a deadly weapon. There was nothing J.T. could do. Not even the friendship he had thought he forged with the Kavakian princes seemed to be of help. As soon as the emperor found out he and his crew didn’t have the skill to work on the unfinished laser, he and the others would be killed.
J.T. held on to a small spark of hope. Both Jori and Terk knew he had little scientific skill, yet they said nothing to their father. Why haven’t they told him? J.T. wondered. Then again, why haven’t they told him how I helped save their lives a few months back?
“Father, I’ll need to plug this scanner into our database in order to find out more about these prisoners,” Terk said after he finished getting readings from all the Alliance survivors.
“Go,” the emperor replied, barely taking his eyes off the Tredon Dragon warriors who were dismantling the laser. “Take the prisoners with you and kill the ones who are of no use.”
“Yes, Sir,” Terk replied without flinching. Terk was only a teenager so he wasn’t even half as big as the adult warriors. But he was tall for his age. He wore the same reptilian armor and although the suit didn’t show as much muscle as the others, it showed a young man in peak fit condition. There was no doubt that Terk was just as much a warrior as the others.
When J.T. looked at Terk, he was afraid. Even though he felt he had once made friends with this boy, he still had been wary of him. There was a hardness to him that J.T. dared not provoke. Seeing Terk now and hearing the indifference in his voice when he acknowledged his father’s orders, J.T. had little doubt the young prince would kill him without hesitation.
“The woman’s mine,” Lank, the ugly Tredon brute said.
“Fine,” the emperor replied.
“What!” J.T. shouted, forgetting about his own impending death. “You can’t!”
A swift punch to the gut from one of his guards kept him from saying more. J.T. buckled from the blow and struggled to catch his breath. He was still coughing and gagging when the Tredon warrior literally dragged him from the laser room.
(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright May, 2015 by Dawn Ross
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