The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part Two – The Emperor
(This is chapter 9a of part two. If you haven’t read part one of The Kavakian Empire novella yet, find it on the bar to the right. The first eight chapters of part two can also be found there.)
“I’m sure it goes here, my Lord,” Jako said, trying to sound polite. But Jori could sense his irritation.
“For the last time, Jako, it makes no sense. If you put it there, the laser will barely have enough power to destroy an escape pod, let alone an entire planet.”
They argue about it more until Jori finally sensed that Jako understood what he was saying. The man didn’t admit it, though. “Well, if that’s the way you want it then, Sir,” he said with a fake smile.
“It is,” Jori replied through gritted teeth. He felt like knocking that look right off his face. Jako was really trying not to sound condescending, but Jori could feel it. He hated it when people patronized him. He was a child. He couldn’t deny it. But he was highly intelligent and he knew it, a hell of a lot smarter than Jako for sure.
Jori hated Jako, but who didn’t. The man was a devious craven. No doubt if the laser didn’t work, he’d try to shift all the blame onto Jori. And of course, if the laser did work he’d take all the credit.
Fortunately, it didn’t seem likely the laser would ever get into working condition. Although Jako knew a great deal about how the device worked, he didn’t know as much as Jori. And there was still much that Jori didn’t understand.
The more he looked at the laser specifications, the more sense it made. If he really applied himself, he could probably get it to work. A part of him wanted to just for the sake of the challenge. But trying to think of a way to sabotage it without Jako figuring it out was a challenge in itself, a challenge he could be satisfied with.
“How are things going?” Terk asked as he stepped up beside Jori. Jako flinched. He probably didn’t hear or see Terk approach. Jori didn’t either, but he and his brother could sense one another no matter where they were on the ship. On planets, too, so long as the distance wasn’t too great.
Jako straightened into a military stance and took it upon himself to reply. “Well, my Lord. Except I don’t think these men, or whatever you call them, know what they’re doing.”
“They know,” Jori replied, trying not to sound defensive. “I think it is you who doesn’t know.”
Jako scowled and looked like he wanted to reply, but both brothers glowered at him. Terk didn’t like Jako either.
“Why don’t you go find something to do,” Terk told him.
Jako nodded politely but Jori could sense his indignation as he left.
“I told you this wouldn’t work,” Terk said quietly. He was referring to their ability to pass off the Alliance crew as having scientific knowledge of lasers.
“I’ll think of something to save them.”
Terk sighed in annoyance. “I’m not having this argument with you again.”
Jori replied with a pleading look.
Terk frowned in return. Both he and Terk had perfected an intimidating angry glare that worked on almost everyone. But Jori could sense Terk wasn’t at all upset. “Fine. If you come up with a good idea, I’ll think about it,” he relented.
Terk was tough. He could be harsh and unrelenting at times. But Jori knew he didn’t want these men to die any more than he did. The difference between them, though, was that Terk was willing to capitulate and Jori wasn’t.
Jori smiled slightly and felt hopeful.
“It had better be good, though,” Terk warned.
Jori nodded and his smile widened. “So what do you think we should do about Jako in the meantime?”
“I’ll try to make sure his suspicions don’t go beyond me,” Terk replied.
“That won’t be easy. Father comes here and asks him questions almost every single day.”
“I’ll try to think of something.”
“Thank you,” Jori said with sincerity.
“You’re a real pain in the ass, you know.” He spoke with mock anger. Jori smiled. Terk rolled his eyes and muttered, “Brat.”
Anyone who heard Terk would’ve thought he meant it. But Jori sensed the love his big brother had for him. And he felt the same in return.
So what do you think of this chapter? Constructive criticism is welcome.
(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright July, 2015 by Dawn Ross
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