exited the Recovery Bay with QA,
satisfied with her compliance. He didn’t mind the presence of a Regellian penetrator,
provided the obvious risks were neutralized.
made their way to the Bridge. He could see the obvious benefits of antar’s
recuperative fountain on QA.
Her flesh seemed fuller and more supple, and her skin tones appeared more natural than before. In terms of her
disposition, he did not expect much change in her affect. In some respects, penetrators
were tortured creatures. The best he could hope for was
her functional competency.
When they had finally arrived at the Bridge, QA
immediately positioned herself before the Communications Console.
assumed the Command Chair. For a brief moment he contemplated the news of Skyfloating’s
death- essentially a second suicide. One
was troubling enough. But loam
did not have time to consider the implications more deeply.
Officer Scurvy, when in range, please target the third
Betelgeuse moon, J’i Moden, with the modified HIPD and fire at will.
The High Commander had said, “Make a sound impression.”
intended to do precisely that.
Officer QA contact Prime Minister Gredask and tell him I have a proposal he can’t refuse.
The moment of truth was at hand.
could hear the aggregation of immense energy as the HIPD powered up. The lighting on the Bridge dimmed by several lumen as the intensity
continued to build.
Finally, white light flooded the Bridge.
stood from the Command Chair and waited patiently, looking at the center display screen.
When the image of the Betelgeusian leader appeared, loam
said, “Thank you for accepting my communication request, Prime Minister.”
Uncertainty, fear, and anger commanded Minister Gredask’s face. “Are you responsible for…for this attack…attack on…......J’i Moden is
gone,” he said in disbelief.
remained standing and replied, “The Regallians take responsibility.” He paused long enough for the words to sink in, but continued
before the Betelgeusian leader could respond. “They intend similar action against R’i Moden and the larger moon, Kinde’l, if you do not accept
“This is an outrage!” spat the Minister. “What demand? How, how dare you!”
remained impassioned, “Nevertheless, R’i Moden is next, unless you concede.”
Prime Minster Gredask appeared a man cornered, and then one merely resigned in the face of plain defeat. His face sagged and his gaze lowered. He
weakly asked, “What are your demands?”
sat down in the Command Chair. “Hear this Prime Minister Gredask. I am Interrex Captain loam of the Regallian Starship Yydryl, and as
such I come as an instrument of Their Majesties. You are hereby commanded to dissolve your Congress and replace its seats with as many as 1000 Bengai
representatives. You will also discontinue all hostilities against the Bengai rebel forces in your southern continent, Pegann.”
The Minister remained motionless as he continued to listen.
“But hear this too, Prime Minister Gredask,” loam
said, “as Interrex Captain of this Starship, I come with some additional manner of
discretion in the execution of my duties. I am also Mossian-Slea and son of a Star-Witch. Accordingly, you know I would not freely offer assistance
were it not genuine.”
waited for the Minister to raise his . before he continued, “I have arranged replacement of your moon with a Mossian-Slea
It is of comparable size to the one you no longer have. Upon its arrival, you may assume its management. It will offer your people
the opportunity to grow well beyond your current means.”
The Minister’s mouth fell open, but issued no words.
“In demonstration of your compliance and acceptance, you are to contact the Bengai and apprise them of their forthcoming political gains. You, of
course, may thereafter proceed to enjoy your commercial ones. The Agri-moon
will arrive in one Betelgeuse month.”
“The offer and acceptance is done,” said the Minister with some measure of regained composure. “We will begin the political transition
immediately.” With that, the display screen went dark.
Officer QA, please contact the Deern tug fleet and have them deliver the Agri-moon to Betelgeuse. Then, please contact the
Bengai rebels and apprise them of our success relative to their demands. They are to deliver Captain Cadbury to the Ambassador at the Mossian-Slea
Embassy in Pegann.”
nodded her . and began as instructed.
Moments later, QA
contemplation of the most recent events and announced, “Captain, we are being hailed by a
single passenger ship, 2000km off our starboard bow.”
nodded for QA
to channel the communication to the open speakers.
The sound of strange music began to fill the Bridge…
[edit on 26-3-2009 by loam]