The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part Two – The Emperor
Note from the author: I am not a professional writer. I am an amateur who needs your help. If you’ve been following my sci-fi story, The Kavakian Empire, you may have been able to tell that I am having trouble developing many of my complimentary characters. Captain Robert Arden has been particularly difficult. This is another reason why previous chapters from his perspective are just basic outlines. The most interesting part about his previous chapter was the war conflict. But what about conflict of character? What else is there about Arden besides him being a captain? Except for the fact that he may be the one to save J.T., why do we care about what happens to him?
Knowing I have a weak character did not make this subchapter any easier to write. So after reading it, tell me your thoughts. And give me some ideas on how I can improve Captain Arden’s character in my novellas and make his part of the story more interesting.
“Captain Robert Arden of the Odyssey reporting to Vice Admiral Belmont,” Robert said to the vidcomm.
The admiral appeared on the screen. “Report.”
“Sir, the two Tredon ships have escaped over the border. The Defender and the Odyssey have sustained heavy damage.”
“Explain,” the admiral said tersely.
“You should have waited until reinforcements arrived,” the admiral said with a hint of anger. Robert bristled inwardly. The admiral knew damned well from the report that they didn’t have any choice but to engage. No doubt Belmont would shift the blame of this part of the mission failure to Robert since his specific instructions were to only engage if he thought they had the upper hand.
“Our instructions were to intercept them,” Robert replied, trying to keep his tone from sounding as irritable as he felt. “Confrontation was inevitable.”
“And ineffective, it would seem,” the admiral said with a frown. “The Cronus and Poseidon should arrive at any moment. I’d like to tell you to chase the bastards down but the council is still sitting in debate.” He said the last word with a sour twist of his mouth.
“There must be another way we can get our crewmen back,” Robert said, hoping to force the admiral to think about other alternatives besides war.
“We have to get that laser back.”
Robert clenched his teeth. Only Vice Admiral Belmont would consider the mission more important than the human aspect.
“Repair your ships,” the admiral continued, “and prepare for battle. Councilman Greymore is pushing for war. Hopefully it won’t be long before he convinces the others.”
Robert groaned inwardly. He wanted is crew back and he wanted the laser out of Emperor Kavak’s hands, but he didn’t want war. “Perhaps I can find a way to contact the Kavakian Princes,” he suggested.
“What good would that do?” the admiral replied derisively.
“We saved their lives. Perhaps they would consider helping us get our people back.”
“Heh. They’re just children, and probably ungrateful ones at that. Besides, you don’t even have a way to contact them.”
True. Robert had no way to contact the boys without going through their father. And if I tried anyway, what would I say? ‘Hello Emperor. I don’t suppose I can talk to your children? I’d like to ask them to do something against your wishes, if that’s okay.’
Before the admiral could completely dismiss his suggestion, though, Robert thought of something. I have a contact on the Chevert Outpost. He may be able to help me, or at least know someone who can.”
“Is he reliable?”
All captains fostered connections throughout their territory. Some contacts more disreputable than others, and the ones specializing in information tended to be the most disreputable of all. “As reliably as any spy master,” Robert replied.
“Hmm,” the admiral replied with a thoughtful look. “You may contact this man, but not as a way to reach the princes. Get any intel you can on the Emperor’s military status and plans. I want to know everything that bastard is up to.”
“Yes, Vice Admiral. Such information may come at a price, though,” Robert said, referring to the monetary costs of paying for information and offering bribes.
“If the information you get is valuable, pay it. I’ll increase your commerce budget.”
Good, Robert thought. Perhaps I can find another way. Any price to avoid the high costs of war. “I’ll be on my way as soon as the Cronus and Poseidon arrive and as soon as my ship is repaired.”
Who was the man Jori had mentioned, the one who handles the Emperor’s foreign trade? Robert wondered. Jack? No Jax. That was it. Jax. I wonder if he might be of any help.
Note from the author: Sorry I missed a week. I was in the process of moving. I’m settled now, so it is time to get back on track with writing my story. If you like this novella so far, let me know. If you have any suggestions or notice any errors, please comment.
(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright September, 2015 by Dawn Ross
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