The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part One – Starfire Dragons (provisional title)
Chapter 11b – Revised
(I wrote to chapter 18 and realized I almost forgot about Calloway. Oh, he’s in this story alright, but there is a huge gap between his first appearance and his second. So I thought it would be a good idea for me to insert another chapter with him in it. Luckily, even though I’ve currently written to chapter 18, I’ve only posted up to chapter 11. So I can slip Calloway in here just in the nick of time for all you. If you’re visiting here for the first time, go back and read chapters 1-11a of this science fiction novella. You can find them either by continuing to scroll down or by checking the categories in the column on the right.)
The volume in the lounge seemed louder when everyone at Mik’s table went silent as Shra approached with their drinks. She set each drink down with a friendly smile. His friends smiled and thanked her in return. He said nothing. After all, she was just doing her job. And he knew the wench didn’t like him anyway, so why waste the effort.
“Awe, come on, Mik,” Sindy said when Shra left. “You’re just saying that cause you got caught.” Her voice sliced through his eardrums. She was pretty enough, though her ass was a little bigger than he preferred. But the image of her rocking on top of him and shrilling like a limpkin turned him completely off.
He took a swig of his Wyndhill ale. He grimaced at the initial bitterness, then enjoyed the velvet sweetness that followed. “Y’all can’t tell me you didn’t want to say the same thing to that little slant-eyed monster.”
Frebt huffed from nostrils so big and wide that Mik could probably stick his big toes up in them. “Yeah, but we weren’t stupid enough to say it out loud.” The man slopped his non-alcoholic drink around as he spoke. Something about his body chemistry or some such sent him running to sick bay if he had more than a half glass. Poor bastard.
“And with the commander there, no less,” Bret added. He was the only one drinking wine.
The primmed up know-it-all thought he was better than everyone else here. But Mik needed a drink and didn’t care who he drank with.
“Come on,” he said, “I didn’t know he was there. Neither did any of you. Kinda messed up how he came to the little shit’s rescue and all, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” Frebt huffed out of his nostrils again.
Finally, someone’s on my side. “I mean, what’s up with this guy anyway?”
“It does seem odd that the captain would commission someone who was nearly discharged and jailed,” Bret said.
“I think he’s kinda cute,” Sindy said.
He rolled his eyes at her. “You only like his rank, which he’s damn lucky to have.”
“I hear he got really high marks at the institute. Top of his class.”
“Seriously?” Maybe Frebt wasn’t on his side after all. “His major is security. Can you imagine a Pholan Peacekeeper having any skills in combat? Those guys are the galactic pussies of law enforcement.”
Bret choked on his wine. Sandy cackled, not even noticing all the heads that had turned at her outburst. Frebt sucked in a loud breath through his wide toe-slotted nose.
“Don’t let the commander hear you say that one,” Sandy said, voice surprisingly low.
He harrumphed. “All I’m saying is he doesn’t belong here. And neither does that little Tredon monster.”
“Yeah, well even the Rabni seems to be going along with it,” Frebt said.
“Another oddity. I thought Rabnoshk warriors despised Tredons.” Usually Bret’s formal haughty tone annoyed him. This time, not so much.
“Hey chaps,” a boyish voice said. It was big-eared Vigan. Short and creepy-looking Vigan. “Did you hear?”
“Hear what?” he and Frebt said at the same time, only his own tone was more annoyed. Either the nosy little munchkin overheard them talking, not good, or he had used his diminutive height to sneak close-by.
Vigan leaned in and lowered his voice. “Those Tredons we took on board … They’re wanted for murder.”
He scoffed. “Of course they are. Aren’t they all?”
“No. I mean there’s a warrant and everything.”
Mik’s annoyance slipped away, replaced by interest. Frebt and Sindy goaded the little man for more details. Vigan smiled as he spoke, as though enjoying all the sudden attention. He told them all about the ship they’d encountered and about how the warrant was for the Tredon boys.
“No friggin way,” Sindy said loudly.
“I can’t believe the little shit is still allowed to walk around freely,” he added.
“If this is true,” Bret said, ever the pragmatic uppity bastard, “then why didn’t the captain turn them over?”
Vigan shrugged. “I didn’t hear that part.”
Mik slammed down his glass. A slop of ale splashed his hand. “This is going too far. We have to do something.”
“What can we do?” Frebt asked.
He let out an exasperated breath. “I don’t know yet. But we’ve got to do something.”
“Perhaps there is more to this than we know,” Bret said.
He twisted his mouth and scowled at the man. Uppity prig. “I know all I need to know about those fucking brutes. They killed two of my comrades during our first assignment out of the institute, and nearly killed me as well. And if you think that little runt wouldn’t kill any of us if he had half the chance, you’re a bunch of idiots.”
Bret said nothing. Neither did anyone else. The awkward silence lingered and his drink suddenly tasted sour. Just another fucking day ruined by that murderous slant-eyed space-thug. He had to do something. He didn’t know what yet. But he’d figure it out soon enough.
I’d love to hear some constructive criticism. Please leave a comment below. Praise would be most welcome as well.
(This sci-fi saga is protected by copyright) Copyright April, 2016 by Dawn Ross
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