The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part Two – The Emperor
(Wow, we’re at chapter 11 of part two already. If you missed the previous chapters of this novella and missed part one of the story, you can catch up by browsing the links on the right sidebar of the home page. Or you can email me at naturebydawn at aol dot com and ask me to send you what I have completed in this science fiction story so far.)
Terk hadn’t had time to confront Jako before he went to his father. After J.T.’s interrogation, Terk called Jako for a private meeting. His father had gone to bed so Terk sat in his father’s chair behind the desk of the ready room.
When Jako entered, he didn’t look at all nervous. It’s just me, after all, Terk thought with annoyance. He glowered at Jako angrily and the weasel of a man finally had the sense to begin feeling uneasy. Good.
“Do you know why you’re here?” Terk said.
“No, my Lord. I’m doing the best I can considering the inferiority I have to work with.”
“My father just proved the Alliance crewmen know what they’re doing, and that they’re cooperating.”
“Do you doubt him?” Terk leaned forward to emphasize his angry scowl.
“N-no. Of course not, my Lord. It’s just that, well, I don’t see how it is possible.”
Terk pretended to consider Jako’s words. “So you think they’re completely worthless.”
“Completely, my Lord.” Jako puffed out his lean chest and lifted his chin with confidence.
“So you can complete this laser on your own?”
Jako’s nervousness returned, but not enough for Terk’s liking. “Um, y—“
“Don’t lie to me, Jako. You know I will know.”
Jako paled. “Well… no,” he said slowly. More quickly he added, “I can do it with more help. With real help.”
“This help you speak of is not available.”
“But these men are useless,” Jako said.
“Wrong.” Terk slapped the desk hard and stood up quickly. Jako flinched and took a wary step back. “They can help you.”
Terk put his hands behind his back and strode from behind the desk. He didn’t look at Jako, rather he pretended to be in thought. “Let’s pretend we kill the Alliance men now. And when the laser can’t be fixed…” Terk met Jako’s eyes as he stood directly in front of the man. “Who is my father going to blame?”
Jako’s eyes went wide and Terk could sense his increased apprehension. “B-but it won’t be my fault. I don’t have enough help.”
“Who else is he going to blame? My father might put some of the fault onto Jori, but of the two of you, who is more expendable?”
Terk noticed Jako’s adam’s apple bob up and down. Finally, he is afraid, Terk thought. But still of my father and not of me.
“This is what I propose,” Terk continued. “Even if these Alliance men might not know all of what they’re doing, let’s try to squeeze as much usefulness out of them as we can. Who knows, perhaps we’ll get lucky. And if not, much of the blame can be laid at their feet instead of yours.”
Jako let out a breath. “Yes, Sir,” he said.
Terk felt the man’s anxiety fall away again. I can’t have that, now can I, Terk thought. “One more thing, though,” he said.
Terk leaned in nose-to-nose with Jako and gave the man his most menacing glare. “Jori is your immediate superior in this.” Jako took a step back and Terk took a step forward.
“You report any problems you have to him. If he thinks it is important enough, he will come to me and I will go to our father.” Another step back and another forward. “If you ever go over my head again, I will open the air-lock and let you out. Do you understand me?”
Jako hit his head on the back wall as he tried to take another step back. Terk held his glare and tried not to let his triumph show on his face.
Terk pulled back. “Good. I’m glad we’ve cleared this up. Dismissed.”
Jako stood straight and tried to regain his composure. Terk went to sit back behind his father’s desk.
“Sir, one thing, though,” Jako said.
Terk could tell the man was trying to muster up some bravery. Damn, I should’ve stayed standing there, Terk thought.
“I’m worried because it seems the young lord is helping the prisoners.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Terk said. His brow furrowed angrily again.
“I swear, Sir. He’s always—“
“I’ll take care of it,” Terk said.
Terk slapped his hand down on the desk again. “I said I’ll take care of it.” He stood swiftly and held Jako’s eyes as he made is way forward again. “And if you breathe even a whisper of this ridiculous accusation to my father, I won’t kill you.”
“You won’t?” Jako shifted from one foot to the other as if trying to decide whether to be afraid or relieved.
“No. I’ll send you to Ankgar and tell him to keep you alive indefinitely.”
Jako turned even whiter than he had before. Everyone knew what Ankgar did. And everyone had seen the results of Ankgar’s undying victims.
Finally, the fear I deserve, Terk thought with satisfaction, ignoring the fact that Jako was actually afraid of Ankgar and not him directly. Jako, fool though he may be, won’t be foolish enough to go behind my back again.
Please comment below to tell me what you thought of this chapter. I’m an amateur writer and am in desperate need of constructive criticism.
(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright October, 2015 by Dawn Ross
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