The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part Two – The Emperor
(I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I actually spent some time writing my book. This part of the story that you’re about to read, though, was actually written during National Novel Writing Month, or NaNo. During this month, people who sign up for NaNo do so in order to spur themselves to write 50,000 words during that month. Some people are serious writers while others are new to writing and would like to finally have a chance to write the novel they’ve always wanted to write. I did it because although I do write, I don’t do it often enough. I signed up for NaNo for the challenge of it and to see if it would help me. It did. Even though I wrote the rest of part two of my science fiction really fast, it actually came out pretty good. Because it was written so fast, though, it needs some work. So please check it out and be sure to comment below with any helpful tips or errors you found.)
Instead of going back to work on the laser, Jori stormed out. He didn’t tell anyone where he was going or why. His emotions were all in a jumble. He wanted to scream. How dare Jako threaten me! His face felt hot. He wanted to cry, but in shame, not fear. The petty little bastard actually had the gall to blackmail him. He couldn’t believe it.
Jori knew men only did what he ordered them to because Terk would back him up. He had very little authority of his own. Still, it was rare that someone would outright disrespect him. And Jako had gone way over that line.
Jori wasn’t just angry and ashamed. He was afraid. Jako held something very dangerous over his head. He could ask Jori anything and Jori would have to comply. If he didn’t, it meant the worst beating and torture he had ever experienced. It could even mean his death. There was no way his father would let his betrayal slide with anything less.
Jori didn’t want to go to Terk except as a last resort. If he didn’t learn to handle things himself, who was to say if someone else wouldn’t try to manipulate him in the future.
He considered going to Master Jetser, but Jetser was in the laser room guarding the prisoners right now. Jori couldn’t risk calling him out for a private meeting. He was walking a thin line as it was and he didn’t want Jetser to be implicated.
But he needed to talk to someone right now. And he knew just who to talk to. She didn’t have any power to do anything, but she was someone he could vent to. And if he was lucky, she’d give him some savvy advice.
Jori walked purposefully to a highly guarded and restricted area of the ship. It wasn’t guarded by men, for his father didn’t trust them. He put his hand on the scanning device and stood in front of the retinal scanner.
The machine beeped and the heavy double-doors slid open to reveal another security room. Jori went inside and tapped his foot anxiously as the biometric body scanner verified who he was.
Jori had lived in this area when he was younger. He wasn’t supposed to be in here anymore unless his father ordered him to retrieve someone, but Jori still came to visit from time to time.
When the second set of doors opened, Jori was met with a scene that looked like nowhere else on the entire ship. The cold steel walls were covered with colorful tapestries. Elegant furniture stood in place of the austere desks, beds, and shelves that resided in the soldiers’ quarters.
It was the smell, though, that made the place stand apart the most. While the solders’ quarters smelled musty and dirty, the harem smelled clean and fresh. There was no hint of any odor of electronics or chemicals, which was prevalent in other parts of the ship.
Jori sighed out a breath of relief. His heart still pounded, but it was more like a light tapping than a hard punch. This was the only place on the ship where Jori felt like he could be himself. It was the only place he felt truly safe.
The room he had entered was just the welcoming chamber. Sevana, a girl only just a little older than Terk greeted him warmly. “Hi Jori,” she said. “You here to see your mother?”
“Yes,” Jori said. He was surprised his tone had sounded so calm. His thoughts were still a jumble, but the thought of being able to spill it all out to his mother made him less anxious.
She waved her hand down the hall and Jori went straight to his mother’s room. Sevana didn’t need to call his mother on the comm to let her know he was coming. He could sense that she already knew.
As soon as her door opened, she was standing there with her arms open. Jori rushed into them and let her embrace him. She felt so warm. Her perfume was soft but sweet and reminded him of the botanical garden on the ___________ space station.
His mother caressed his head as she held him. “What’s happened?” she asked. Her voice was soothing. “Are you okay?”
“Jako,” Jori said. His voice sounded muffled thought the crook of her arm. He pulled himself away so she could hear him.
His mother held up her finger, then waved her hand to one of the plush upholstered chairs. He didn’t like this chair much. It always felt like he was falling into a cloud. But it was comfortable and it helped him relax.
She sat in the chair across from him and leaned forward. Her chair was close enough that she could touch his hand. “Tell me everything,” she said.
Jori told her everything about Jako’s blackmail.
“Oh no, Jori. I’m so sorry. I wondered what had put you in such a state,” she said. Jori could see the pained look on her face, and feel it too.
“I don’t know what to do,” he said. His mother bit her lip. She understood the seriousness of the situation and it frightened her. It frightened him too. “I should kill him,” he added.
She frowned at him. “Killing isn’t the answer to everything. I think you know that.”
“He’s basically threatened to kill me, Mother. I can’t let him get away with that.”
She shook her head. “No. No you can’t. But what if there’s another solution?” He leaned forward and looked at her expectantly. She tilted her head and turned down her lips in thought. “Do you know of anything you can use against him?”
“You mean other than the fact that he’s trying to blackmail me?” Jori quirked his lips. “No,” he told her. He fell back against the chair in a huff. “He’s not just a snake. He’s a coward, too.”
“Hmm. I’ll think about it. You too, but don’t worry too much.” His mother clasped her hand around his and gave a slight smile. “You’re an intelligent young man. I’m sure you can think of some way to be rid of Jako without killing him.” Jori said nothing and looked up at the ceiling in despair. “You’re not like your father, Jori,” she said. “Rely on your strengths.”
Jori frowned. He had hoped to find the answers here. Perhaps even a small part of him hoped she would tell him it was okay to kill Jako.
But he did feel better. His heart was no longer pounding. Jori was still worried, but his head was clearer. He met her eyes. “I’ll think of something.”
She grasped his hand tighter and gave him an approving smile. They sat in silence for a few minutes when something J.T. had said made him think of something.
“Could you use your power on Jako? Make him forget what he found?”
His mother took her hand away. Her frown was real now. Jori sensed a spike of annoyance from her. “You know I don’t like doing that.”
Jori’s cheeks burned and he looked away in shame. “Sorry.”
Her frown melted away and she took his hand again. “Besides, I don’t even know which one is Jako. There is no way I can get to him. The only time I’m allowed to leave here is with your father.” Her tone was even when she spoke but Jori sensed a stab of sadness from her.
Jori knew she had tried to escape once, and suspected there were many other attempts besides the one that nearly got her killed. Terk had brought the subject up to her again a half year ago. They were older and were in a better position to get her to safety, but she had declined. She told them she wanted to stay with her handsome boys. Jori’s heart melted when she said it. But at the same time, he felt guilty for being her reason for remaining a slave.
The two sat for a while longer, holding hands, talking about mundane things. She smiled warmly at times and nodded her head in understanding. He could tell her anything without fear or judgement. He had already told her about J.T. and she fully understood why he was risking so much to help them.
Suddenly, Jori felt an emotional disturbance. There was a stab of fear, then a jolt of anger. The anger spread and there was a chaotic tremor felt from a multiple persons.
Jori abruptly sat up straight. “Something’s happening.”
“I feel it too. You’d better go.”
Jori gave his mother a quick kiss and rushed out.
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 November, 2015 by Dawn Ross
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