A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Of Sieges and Sallies. Abu Silverbeam has assembled the leaders of the races on Juthjath in his compound to see the Admiral’s message. When he delivers it, the world is shocked.
I had a hard time writing this chapter. I have put my characters in peril before, but they survived. But in a war, people do not. At some point, my characters will pay the price of being in conflict. I admire authors seem put their characters in unending conflict a drama (although I can find it tiring as a reader – history and exposition aren’t evil in small doses people). My characters will be risking more as the story progresses and I have to be willing to honor that risk.
Thanks for your support. Look for more on Monday (if I can type fast enough).
The Guild Sends a Message
An image of a Chiss man appeared. He had the normal light blue skin,deep red eyes and short grey hair. He was a dressed in a dark tunic. There were stripes on his shoulders that probably indicated his rank. He was a flanked by a Elohim and a Luxian. Simone could see the Luxians frown and mutter. Silverbeam folded his hands on the table and smiled at the image, “Admiral Bolat, what is the occasion? I’ve assembled the leaders. Have you decided to take your target practice somewhere else?”
The admiral furrowed his brow. His voice was deep, “Far from it, Silverbeam.” He appeared to look around. “I see you have Uycarran and the humans in the room. That makes this discussion awkward. We have no dispute with others in the room.”
Silverbeam leaned forward, “And yet you bomb our ports and factories and harass our citizens.” He waved around the room, “You asked for the leaders and I have all of them. Our position on Uycarrans and humans is clear.”
The admiral smiled thinly, “I assume you can monitor outside your cave. Watch the vehicles. It is important that you do and that you respond quickly.”
Silverbeam nodded to the Hoon and a second image appeared showing where the vehicles should have been. They were gone and all that was left was a crater. Simone and others gasped. Silverbeam put up a finger indicating people should be silent, “Really Bolat. That is your message? You have been bombing this place for days. All you have done is inconvenience these people’s return trip.” Simone’s stomach felt queasy despite Silverbeam’s nonchalance.
The admiral drummed his fingers on the table, “The attacks of the last week have been trying to wake you up to the realities of the galaxy. Apparently you need something louder to get the message.” He leaned back. “I was given a time table and a deadline, Silverbeam. Get the Uycarrans and the humans in a month or leave nothing.” The room was silent. Silverbeam frowned but said nothing. “Apparently my relative restraint…” there was protest in the room. The admiral said louder, “My restraint has gotten in the way of my objectives and orders. I am changing tactics. What will happen is not poorly trained pilots or misfires. Everything that happens we intend and you caused by not meeting our simple requests.”
Silverbeam said harshly, “We will not betray friends.”
“Even as your family dies, Silverbeam?” The admiral raised a finger and nodded. He waited a beat and said, “The two battleships have fired salvos into the Sports Stadium.” He leaned in, “I believe there were refugees there. I understand Ami is there almost daily.”
Simone’s stomach dropped. She heard John say, “No… No…No… you …you bastard…”. Two Uycarrans were holding him in his seat. Others in the room were shouting out as well, “My wife… My mate…my children…”
Silverbeam stood and hissed, “You arrogant shit. You think that will make me cave to your demands? Those lives are on your hands and whatever devil from hell gave the orders. We will not surrender.“
The admiral smiled and leaned in, “I have been restrained…even patient. Even you knew that. And you did nothing.” He frowned, “No more. We will be striking towns as they line up. There will be no place for anyone to hide. Or you can hand over the humans and the Uycarrans and I will stop. It is that simple.”
“You will pay, Bolat. And I will collect that debt.”
“How Silverbeam? How? Your agile little toys might challenge a cruiser or two. But they are no match for two Master Class battleships and I might get more annoyed if you try.” He leaned forward, “And Silverbeam…if a few salvos won’t convince you, I have orders to make sure nothing leave the planet ever again.” He nodded to the room, “Ask the Uycarrans about our methods.” The image disappeared.
The communications Hoon rushed in, “Sir…the stadium…it is… it is gone and most of the neighborhood.” The shouts became wails across the room. John collapsed to the table with his face in his hands.
Silverbeam snarled, “Send images to Tuireann and station B. Then send fast drones to the coalition races. I want that man breathing vacuum.”