On a large Coalition Starship, Lieutenant Erling Fenian walked into Commander Quintary’s office and stood at attention.
Commander Quintary finished what he was reading, a deep frown wrinkling his brow. His shoulders slumped and he looked exhausted. The war was hard on all of them. They were fighting a losing battle, but no one wanted to admit defeat.
Finally, the commander looked up, his eyes scrutinizing Erling.
“At ease, Lieutenant. Sit down.”
Once Erling was seated, Quintary pushed a button on the computer. “I want you to see a holomessage I received a few days ago from Queen Koriann Van Marsindi.”
Erling’s chest tightened, realizing Koriann’s country must be in grave danger for her to contact the Coalition.
A holographic image of Koriann appeared in the air just to the right of the desk. She wore a velveteen gray, high-collared jacket and black slacks. Warm feelings for her swept through him. He tried not to think of her after leaving Jaipar, but here she was—captivating, vivacious and needing help.
“Commander Quintary, you have come to our aid in the past, so it is with high hopes that I turn to you again. Samrat Condor has threatened to attack and completely annihilate Jaipar unless we surrender.”
Koriann lifted her chin and clenched her hands into fists, showing resolve and courage. It was a stance Erling had seen many times before.
“His air fleet is the most powerful in the galaxy and we have little chance against it. Furthermore, we are weakened from the war we just fought when we overthrew General Bhandar.
“What would you advise based on your current knowledge of Samrat Condor’s military strength and strategy? I know your situation is perilous and I know I’m contacting you at a difficult time. However, whatever aid you can give us would be deeply appreciated. Best Regards.
She bowed her head and the holographic image disappeared.
“What’s your reply?” Erling asked.
“I told her not to surrender and that we would send some agents as soon as possible. Samrat Condor is trying to intimidate her, but he is not in position to attack Jaipar right now with the war going on in Alandra. His threat isn’t surprising. We knew he wouldn’t give up control of Jaipar without a fight.”
“Someone should go immediately.”
The commander handed him papers. “I agree. Here are your orders, Lieutenant.”
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