The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part Two – The Emperor
(Welcome to the New Year! While you’re reading the rest of part two of this sci-fi novella, I’m beginning part three. I sure could use some beta readers and some feedback for two as well as some tips on how to make part three of the story more interesting. If you’re interested, please email me. My contact information is on my About Dawn page. You can also just keep reading this science fiction story every Saturday and provide your input in the comments at the end.)
J.T. raked his fingers through his hair. It had been another long day of working on the laser and now he was stuck. He had finished the task Jori set for him some time ago and was at a loss as to what to do next. Normally, Jori would sense this and come to him. But Jori had just left, and rather quickly, too.
J.T. had seen him with Jako earlier. Jako was wearing a sickly grin and Jori did not look at all happy about it. The two disappeared together and the next thing J.T. knew, Jori was storming out.
Jako was still beaming. J.T.’s stomach began to flutter. He knew Jako had something to do with the emperor being extra vigilant of Jori’s behavior. What’s that snake of a man up to now?
Jako walked slowly around the room. J.T.’s skin felt prickly. He turned the dial and pretended to study the results. It was his tenth time going through this process. If anyone noticed this, it would be Jako.
The hairs on the back of his neck began to rise. J.T. glanced over and noticed Jako looking directly hat him. The man stood there with his legs slightly apart and his hands clasped casually behind his back. And he still wore that stupid smile. It was definitely a smirk. J.T.’s brow furrowed in both worry and dislike.
J.T.’s heart began to pound. He was sure he had been caught. But to his dismay, Jako gave him a wink and walked away. The man was actually whistling a cheerful tune.
J.T. took some calming breaths. Even though Jako was leaving, he didn’t feel any more at ease. Where’s Jori? I hope he’s all right.
J.T. went through his task again. Is this number fourteen? His hands were sweating now. He glanced around the room to see if anyone was watching him directly. No one was, but someone caught J.T.s own eye.
Lank was swaggering his way over to where Hanna was working. She didn’t notice him. When he grabbed her from behind, one of his hands was on her chest. Hanna jumped and tried to elbow him off. “Leave me alone!” she said.
J.T. make a quick look around the room. Jori wasn’t there. And neither was any of their usual allies like Jetser or Wexam.
Lank held onto Hanna tightly and her struggle increased. A lump caught in J.T.’s throat as he noticed he was bringing her down to the floor.
“Stop!” he said. He immediately put down his scanner and made his way over to help. This was happening on the other side of the room, though. He watched the scene before him as though it were in slow motion.
Hanna elbowed Lank in the neck. Lank grabbed his throat and coughed. Someone grabbed J.T.’s elbow. J.T. didn’t see who it was. He twisted his arm to get out of the grip and it worked.
Lank recovered quickly. His face was red and his teeth were bared when he glowered at her. J.T. was still too far away. Lank’s hand came up in a fist and he punched her hard. She flew back with a squeal and landed hard on the floor. The man bent down over her with his fist held high and ready to strike again.
But the strike didn’t come. Harley rushed up and threw himself onto Lank. Both men crashed to the floor. Harley began to pound on him. Someone grabbed J.T. again, but this time they had him by both arms. He struggled but the grip was strong. Another soldier blocked his view and stood in front of him. J.T. wasn’t sure, but he thought the man’s name was Kelar.
Before J.T. realized what was happening, Kelar’s big round fist punched him in the nose. Pain exploded over his entire face. Blood splattered. J.T. slid to the floor. The arms holding him loosened their grip.
J.T. rolled over onto his hands to stand himself back up when a big black boot caught him in the gut. A different pain took over. While his nose burned, his gut clenched tightly into a terrible cramp. He doubled over and tried to catch his breath only to find he couldn’t breathe. His body began to convulse, either in pain or panic, he wasn’t sure. His vision was blurring.
J.T. was just catching his breath when another fist came at him. Then another. J.T. felt his head spinning and a dark tunnel rising up to meet him. Just when he thought he was going to black out, everything stopped.
J.T. breathed in and out heavily. His vision began to return. The first thing he noticed was that all his men were down on the ground. Hanna too. Everyone was holding either their head or gut. LT. Tommins was trying to staunch the blood flowing from his nose. LT. Mendosa was spitting blood from his mouth. Apparently, J.T. and Harley weren’t the only ones who had gone to try and help Hanna.
“What the hell is going on here!” J.T. looked over and saw the reason why everything in the room was still. The emperor stood in front of the open door. His hands hung in fists from his broad shoulders. His brow drew down over his wide inflamed eyes into a murderous look. Terk stood beside him with the same outraged look.
Lank pointed down at Harley, who was hunched over and holding his head in his hand. “He tried to escape,” he said.
J.T. wanted to say that was wrong, but he still hadn’t gotten his voice back from having his breath knocked out of him.
Before anyone could say anything, Jori rushed into the room. He stopped just at his father’s side, the opposite side of Terk. The boy had a hurried look on his face. His eyes widened in shock at the scene before him. He locked eyes with J.T. for a brief moment.
“And what were you doing while all this was going on?” the emperor asked Jori.
Jori looked up in surprise. “I was—“
“You are supposed to be in here, keeping tabs on the prisoners and making sure they don’t do something like this!” He jabbed his finger into the room.
“There was no escape attempt,” J.T. said, but his voice only came out in a croak.
Jori opened his mouth to explain but the emperor cut him off. “Terk, get them back to their cells and take that man to the gallery,” he said. His nod indicated Harley, the man Lank had falsely accused. “Boy,” he said to Jori. His voice was like a growl. “Come with me.” He grabbed Jori by the arm and yanked him along as he turned to leave.
Terk gave Jori a worried look as they left. Then his dark scowl returned and it twisted into something more menacing when he looked down at Harley. The look sent a shiver down J.T.’s spine. He had never seen the boy so angry.
J.T.’s stomach felt like it was holding lead. His heart was still beating rapidly, but he felt suddenly drained. And it wasn’t the beating that had caused it. It was his worry for Harley. And his realization that the boys were not going to be of any help. The prospect of escape had been an illusion.
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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