“I see you’re not drinking some of that new revolutionary stuff,” Ghyr-lihk told Maek-ven as he slid into the booth the Captain occupied. The lights were low in this spaceport bar. Usually, it was the haven of captains and upper ranked officers. Ghyr-lihk had fully expected to find Maek-ven here.
Maek-ven glanced up and gave Ghyr-lihk a small smile. He reached out and pushed the amber liquor bottle toward him. He pointed. “You might want to take a bit of that. Considering how the operation went, we need to toast a fallen comrade. It’s the least we can do.”
Ghyr-lihk raised an eyebrow. “Don’t mind if I do. Although, if the rumors about him are true, Ster-hel was an asshole. I’m not sure If I will drinking to his demise or toasting the fact I don’t have to deal with him again.”
Capt. Maek-ven nodded in agreement. “Yep, he ignored orders one too many times, confident he had the ability to call upon the ship’s armament to save his ass. This time, it didn’t happen.”
Ghyr-lihk uncapped the bottle and held it beneath his nose, nodding his appreciation at the fine aroma. He raised the bottle and gave a salute to the Captain before he went and poured his glass a quarter full. Putting the stopper back in the bottle, he put the bottle in the middle of the table with a thump. “Did you pay for the good stuff to honor the missing?”
Maek-ven chuckled dryly in response to the question.
“That’s what I thought. So, just why are you paying for the good stuff, Maek-ven?”
Capt. Maek-ven looked around the bar. It was mostly empty. There were the two of them, a waitress that was drawing glasses behind the bar, and the barkeep, who was off to the side half asleep. He turned back to his friend, “Every once in awhile, you get sent on an operation, where you see enough bad shit, that it allows you to appreciate living.”
“From a human? I’ve seen a few of them, they don’t look like much. What happened to get you all messed up like this?”
Maek-ven reached forward and grabbed his glass, swirling the liquid around, before raising it and taking a sip. He lowered his glass, “Let’s just say, that there are apparently some humans you don’t want to piss off.”
“Come on, there’s got to be more to it than that. Ber’knick has already said that Ster-hel was ripped apart, if you believe him.”
Capt. Maek-ven chuckled once more, setting his drink down on the table. “You see the bottle right there, Ghyr-lihk, the one that’s half empty?” Ghyr-lihk nodded. “I cracked that bottle just a few hours ago when I was finally able to release the built up tension from the operation.”
“Did the human try to cheat you?” Ghry-lihk wanted to know.
“Nope, in fact, I would say he was the most up and up druggie I’ve ever had to deal with.”
Ghry-lihk frowned, trying to understand the situation “Is that why you trusted him, he’s a druggie?”
“Yes, I know the power of drugs. He wants a drink that’s created from these ingredients, one that his leader has banned. If he can get us to make these drinks, God bless the revolution, then he gets to come down here and have the drinks that he wants. I can understand that motivation, and I can even agree with it.” Maek-ven looked up and met Ghyr-lihk’s eyes. “But let me tell you something. Don’t ever, and I mean never , try to buy his animal, if he says no.”
Ghyr-lihk noticed Capt. Maek-ven’s hand start to tremble as he finished his thought. “Just leave him well enough alone.”
“My point,” Bethany Anne spoke to the Yollin representatives , “is that the planet is poorly utilized. You have been told that you needed to expand into space, but it’s without any justification.”
“That is just not true,” Chr-taleen replied. “We have the calculations necessary to support why we needed to go into space.”
If Bethany Anne had known that she was going to have to help rebuild the planet, she might have been more tempted to just let the king live.
It had not taken too long, so long as you have artificial intelligences such as Adam and an understanding of a Kurtherian mindset compliments of Tom, to understand what Koll had accomplished here.
Using machinations over generations, he encouraged the Yollins to believe they had outgrown their world. Then, he used religious texts, that he had written, to further support efforts to take over other planets and enslaving their people.
If you wanted to be strictly analytical about it, she could appreciate his plan. Unfortunately for Koll, she wasn’t analytical enough.
“Chr-taleen, I am about to drop over 1,000 pages of scientific documentation that is going to prove, if you are willing to pay attention to the facts, that this planet is only approximately thirty percent utilized. That includes twenty-seven percent for foodstuffs, thirty-six percent for arable land, and only seventeen percent for cities and communal areas. In fact, we could bring back every single one of the Yollins that are presently off world and still only be at forty-seven percent utilization of this planet. If I have to get one of those religious bibles that you have and beat you around the head with it until you understand, I am willing to do this.” Bethany Anne’s eyes flashed red, reminding the Yollin just who he was speaking to.
Chr-taleen sat back in his chair, his mandibles grating against each other. “How much time do I have to review this document?”
“You have seventy-two hours, call it three days of your time, in order to make a decision as to what you will or won’t believe. If you choose not to believe, I will allow you one opportunity to make your case. If you cannot scientifically argue, and win, your position, you will have the option of stepping down, stepping aside, believing the new information to be true, or ejected off of a spaceship going toward the sun. The choice will be yours.”
Chr-taleen’s mandibles stopped moving. “I do hope that is multiple-choice, even if I choose not to believe the information provided me?”
Bethany Anne chuckled. “The being ejected from a spaceship is only if you really, really tick me off. I don’t mind a logical argument, but I abhor someone being obstinate just for the sake of being obstinate. Should you choose not to believe this information, and you have no good reason why? I would suggest you retire early.”
>>We are receiving information that there is an uprising in one of the smaller outlying towns. Started by those previously of the second level caste, there are now injuries and potentially deaths on the scene. Kael-ven is heading in that direction, however, my interpretation is this is going to require force.<<
Bethany Anne put a finger up to stop the communication directed at her. “I apologize, there is an issue on the planet that I urgently need to review.” Bethany Anne picked up her tablet from the side. Adam had already queued up the necessary news report for her to watch. He piped the information straight into her ears so she could watch the video, but no one else would hear the video playback.
As she continued watching, those at the table noticed her eyes starting to grow red, it was obvious that something was causing her anger.
A moment later, one of her security men walked into the room. Chr-taleen recognized him as the one called John Grimes, due to his size. He bent down and spoke to the human leader. Chr-taleen saw her eyes went from being a bright red to dimming, and then soon to her normal colors again.
She nodded sharply and her security guard turned and left the meeting room.
A moment later, she was ready to continue their conversation. Chr-taleen jumped in front of her. “What has happened?” He pointed around the table. “We saw that something upset you–” he pointed to his eyes “–your eyes started to grow red again.”
Bethany Anne gave him a smile that Chr-taleen recognized was not meant to be pleasant when she spoke, “There was an uprising that has hurt Yollins. Those in the upper castes are not pleased with me abolishing the old system, and are upset that they must now pull their own weight. They have decided to try their hand at violent responses. Should I have gone down there, I would have had to restrain my reaction.”
Chr-taleen was confused. “If you had gone down there, you would’ve had to restrain your reaction? How would you react?”
“I have no patience for those who are upset and resort to violence. We can have conversations without it. As the Leader of the humans who have now annexed Yoll, I would have had to be nicer in this situation, or risk creating a larger issue with my reputation that would have been manipulated in the press.” She nodded toward the door where her guard had left. “Now that John has gone down there?” She looked at those around the table.
“Their life isn’t worth shit.”
FROM MICHAEL >>> Thank you for checking this new website out! (Well, assuming you do. That’s kind of what sales people call an assumptive close, maybe soft close? Leading close? Geez, I forget the right term, now. Anyway, the idea that I will assume you will accomplish something and thank you in advance, ’cause your great that way!)
We are a only a few days away from the release of NEVER SURRENDER and I couldn’t be happier!
You see, when you I have a bunch of fans nipping at my feet as you run fast, it makes it very satisfying to be able to toss a few steaks and veggies behind me. (Hey! We could have veggie loving dogs running after me, veggies could work.)
The website isn’t finished, but we now have the bones of what I want to create, which is a place to share what is going on with all of the different series, the different authors, artists, and media that are in the works.
The other night, one of the fans wrote a review that talked about the Kurtherian Gambit Universe coming to fruition right in from of his eyes, and he (and you) were along for the ride.
That means together, we are working to show ‘one more’ way that we as authors can react in almost real time to produce works that fans love.
I feel this website is now kind of like where I was back again with books three, Love Lost and then four, Bite This. The basics are there, but we have a ways to go. Hopefully, just hopefully, it will come together a bit faster than books five through fifteen.