Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The King's Challenge #272 and #273

TKC 272 and 273

I realise the commander is about to issue the kind of orders that will see him and his unit take to the skies also, in pursuit of the flyer. I wonder where Enris appropriated the vessel from, for it is a Glonu ship and I had not seen one in our surrounds, not even well camouflaged. I wonder also why Gennerin had one in his possession and chose to keep it secret.

Touching him on his arm to draw his attention from impulsive words, I say quietly, “Commander, Enris is on his way into orbit to rescue our King.”

The man’s jaw literally drops with a popping sound, he is that astonished. “Excuse me?” he hisses once he has his jaw in control again.

“Hush,” I issue grimly. “Keep this close, Commander.”

Gennerin inclines his head, and waits.

“The soldier revealed to Damin my father and uncle are both orbiting in secret, along with General Moravin.”

To his credit, Gennerin merely blinks. “Why?”

“To kill a king.”

Again he blinks, keeping his expression neutral, but he pales markedly. “Who is behind it?”

“Our uncle. Lorn Makar seeks to place his son Brant on the throne.”

“The soldier must have been high placed to know this.”

Damin glances at him. “Moravin’s son.”

Gennerin swipes a hand over his face. “Man, that will cause trouble for us.”

“What you regard as trouble now will become far more if they succeed in murdering my father,” I snap.

He stares at me. “His Majesty has been ill; why would he travel all this way? Is he under duress?”

“He was told a cure awaits on Massin,” Damin says. “Instead he is to die here. Tell me, Commander; how is it you had a Glonu ship?”

“We captured it on the plateau and hid it in the hold for possible stealth missions into Glonu territory. It was no great secret; it was merely not parked out in the open.”

Relief washes over me. This man is honest and loyal.

He suddenly leans towards me. “My Lady, I will accompany you on your mission.”

“You are needed here,” Damin immediately states.

“These men know what to do. Many of them have served under me before and therefore know my mind. I am coming with you.”

“Why?” I ask, studying him intently.

A faraway gaze answers me at first as Gennerin lifts his attention to the distance. Then he says quietly, “I despise traitors and I loathe men who desire chaos for the sake of position. His Majesty has ruled Makaran well for a long time and all have prospered as a result. We do not require change, not to that degree. I am certain change will come, but it will be achieved with time and patience when your brother is declared, Lady Iniri.” He focuses on me. “We take the Spire and then we turn the shuttle into space. Lord Enris requires a rearguard and I am able to command the troops in orbit.” He gestures at his soldiers. “They will follow once they mark our outward trajectory.”

Damin smiles. “I agree.”

I do as well. “Very well. Let us do this.”

Gennerin clicks his heels. “Two minutes. I need a word with my second.” He swings away and marches off.

“Damin, it will be bloody,” I whisper.

He closes his eyes, no doubt wondering if he should command Siri to stay behind. No doubt he swiftly realises it will change little, for these soldiers will hurtle into the fray soon after the Spire falls. Opening his eyes, he mutters, “It will not be pretty.”

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