The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part One – Starfire Dragons (provisional title)
Chapter 26 – Revised
(If you’ve read the unrevised version, this is a rewrite of one of those chapters. It has changed slightly, but not by much. If you haven’t read the unrevised version, don’t. Just read the revised version of this science fiction story starting with chapter 1, posted in January 2016.)
J.D. jerked awake and a twinge burned in his neck from sleeping in the medic-room chair.
“What is that?” Jori demanded the medic standing on the other side of Terk’s bed with a hypospray.
“It’s hippoceretine to help him heal,” the medic replied.
Jori gave the man a penetrating look. Is he trying to read the medic’s thoughts?
“It’s the same injection we’ve been giving your brother every two hours,” the medic replied.
“What’s wrong?” he asked Jori. His brother had been getting injections every two hours. The boy knew this. But the intensity of Jori’s eyes put him on edge.
“Let me see,” Jori said as he stood up and made his way around the bed to where the medic stood.
The medic took a step back and held the hypospray out of Jori’s reach. “No.”
J.D.’s spine shivered at the darkness in the man’s eyes.
“Give it to me,” Jori demanded.
The medic shrunk back even further. His face twisted hatefully. “No!”
The look combined with the medic’s adamant tone made his stomach knot. “Let him see it,” he said as he held out his hand. What’s his name again? Lelan? Loren? Logan?
The medic made a dismissive sound. “It’s nothing, Sir,” he said. “It’s just hippoceretine.”
“He’s lying,” Jori said.
“Why would I lie?” the medic replied.
Why would either of you lie? Something had Jori worked up. And the boy had said he could tell whether others were being truthful or not.
He squinted his eyes and scrutinized the man. Laren. That’s his name. Laren’s eyes, normally hooded and narrow, were wide now. And there was perspiration on his upper lip.
“Let him see it,” he said more forcefully.
“You really want me to hand over this drug to a child?” Laren asked with mock incredulity.
“I gave you a direct order, Laren. Give it to him now.”
“Sir, it’s just hippoceretine,” Laren said again.
Laren’s reluctance and obvious nervousness convinced him something was wrong. But before he could react, Jori used his brother’s bedside to hoist himself up and snag the hypospray out of Laren’s hand.
Laren reacted by trying to grab it back, but Jori quickly backed up and J.D. rushed forward.
“I gave you a direct order, Laren,” he shouted in the man’s face.
Laren’s eyes widened and his face paled.
“Let me go!” Jori shouted.
He turned to see two security officers trying to take Jori into custody. One man, Lt. Addams, grabbed ahold of both Jori’s arms and tried to pin them back. The hold must not have been strong enough because the boy rammed his elbow down into Addams’ groin. When Addams doubled over, Jori twisted away. The other officer moved to go after him, but J.D. stepped in his way.
“Leave him be,” he ordered.
“Sir!” the red-faced officer said. “Look what he did to Siven.”
He glanced down in the direction the officer pointed. Lt. Addams was on all fours gagging. The thought of the pain he was suffering brought a phantom cramping sensation to his own groin, but the man would be fine soon enough.
“What the hell were you trying to grab him for anyway?”
“Sir?” the officer said. His face twisted in apparent confusion. “He attacked him.”
“He didn’t attack. He just took something from him. It’s not the boy you should be worried about. Take Laren into custody.”
The officer’s mouth fell open. “Wha—“
Laren made a dash to grab the hypospray that was now in the officer’s hand. Before he had a chance to react, Jori leapt from a chair and kicked the medic’s hand upward, making him miss it.
J.D. grabbed the back of Laren’s shirt and pulled him back. “Take him into custody, now,” he demanded the still-standing officer. “And give me the hypospray.”
The officer complied. Laren began to resist. Two other officers came and managed to get the man’s arms restrained.
“I know who he is,” the medic shouted. “He’s a monster. They both are!”
Laren jerked away from the officers’ grip and lunged at Jori. The boy faced him with a grim look. He stood in a defensive stance with his fists up.
Fortunately, one of the officers grabbed Laren again before he got too close.
“Your father killed my family!” the medic said to Jori. “Gereva. Do you remember Gereva? My wife and daughter were killed because of him!”
Laren continued shouting as the officers took him away.
J.D. turned to Jori. He was still in the same stance, but his fists were at his side and his face was white.
“You alright?” he said.
Jori nodded. Then his face suddenly darkened. “One of your men just tried to kill my brother,” he said venomously between clenched teeth. “You told me you were going to help him, not kill him!”
J.D. felt the blood rush from his face. There was no doubt in his mind what Laren had been up to. “Oh, Jori. I’m so sorry. This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
The boy’s face was red now. His lips curled and he bared his teeth. “You expect me to believe that? My brother almost died because of you! He could have been better by now if it wasn’t for you!”
He swallowed down the lump in his throat. “I’m really sorry, Jori. I really am.”
“Keep your damned sympathy!”
He sighed heavily. One step forward. Two gigantic leaps back. It didn’t help that the boy had a right to be angry.
What was Laren thinking?
Ah, yes. His family. What a mess this all is.
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 June, 2016 by Dawn Ross
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