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An Enemy Spy
2010-08-24, 04:25 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a story my friend and I began nearly two years ago. It has since undergone countless revisions and improvements.
The original version had a character screaming things like "I AM A GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and "We must stop this douchebaggery!". These were not used in a humorous fashion.
No. I did not come up with those quotes, nor did I condone them.
Well, here are the first two chapters of my latest and certainly best version of the story. Enjoy!

I: The Raid
In the farthest reaches of known space, the rigid laws and military might of the great interstellar empires give way to a vast region of uncivilized worlds and barbaric peoples. Out here, countless explorers and would-be conquerors journeyed forth into the unknown, seeking new worlds and cultures to take for themselves. What they always found was death, either at the hands of the raiders that preyed on the weak, or by other more horrid means.

Through this untamed expanse, a shadow moved across the starry void. With deadly purpose, the black ship neared its destination.

Poseidon, the second planet from the great blue star Arne, was a world covered almost entirely by deep oceans. Ialysa, its single continent was barely more than a thousand miles long and on it were no cities beyond the settlements set up by the nomads and fishers who lived there.

A world like this would be a prime target for the myriad raiders and slavers that thrived out here but for one city out on the ocean.

Aptera.

Aptera, the city of the Ancient Ones. Built untold millennia ago in the Third Age of the Ancient Empire, it was a symbol of power that served as a source of pride for the entire Anasazi race and as a dire warning to their enemies. No foe would dare launch an attack on the city not only for fear of the Anasazi response, but also because of the impenetrable energy shield that surrounded it. To attack Aptera was to be destroyed.

But that was exactly where the Pale Horse headed.


“Janis. Janis, wake up.”

Janis opened his eyes and looked up at Maris, his young assistant. As the Chief Engineer of Aptera, Janis had spent countless hours maintaining the city, searching for incoming threats to Aptera and overseeing the thousands of workers required to handle every task needed to keep the city operational. It was a tiring job to say the least, and it was sometimes necessary to catch up on sleep while on the job. Janis did not enjoy being disturbed, but he knew that if Maris deemed waking him necessary, than it was probably over something important.

“What do you want?” He replied curtly.

Maris, nervous about waking his superior, said, “Our long range sensors have picked up a massive object heading toward Poseidon.”

Janis sat up from the desk he had fallen asleep over. “Have you identified it?”

“No sir, It could be an asteroid or a large ship. We haven’t determined which.”

Janis tapped the small communicator on his right ear. “Put the long range sensor data on my screen.”

Immediately a holographic screen appeared in the air over the desk. Moving past the fourth planet of the system, Yemaya, was a large object, easily 4 miles in length. At its current speed, the computer predicted that it would reach Poseidon in less than ten minutes.

Janis pursed his lips. “It seems to be moving in a straight line rather than being pulled off course by Yemaya’s gravity. This suggests a ship, and one with powerful thrusters too.”

“Could it be a raiding vessel?” interjected Maris.

“Possibly.” Said Janis. “But I’ve never seen the raiders in this sector using a ship as large as this one. It’s possible that it is a large warship, perhaps Freyan or Opulan.”

Maris snorted derisively. “As if the Freyans or gods forbid, the Opulans would dare to send a fleet, let alone a single ship to Poseidon.”

“Even so, we cannot discount it as a possibility. Prepare to raise the shields in case of emergency. I will inform the Chancellor.”

As Maris rushed off to relay the orders, Janis tapped the tiny communicator attached to his ear. “Janis to Chancellor Moros.” He spoke to it.

“What is it Janis? I am in a meeting with an important delegate.” The Chancellor said from the other side of the connection.

“Your worthiness,” Janis replied, careful to give the proper title. “Our long range sensors have detected a large object en route to Poseidon. I believe that it is a warship.”

“By all means Janis, deal with the problem. Do you not have the most powerful defensive technology in the known galaxy at your disposal? Dispatch the vessel and be done with it!”

The connection cut off.

Arrogant bastard. So assured of Aptera’s invincibility that he considered military threats to be nothing more than a minor distraction. Had Janis been in charge, the entire city would be in a state of emergency lockdown by now.
But still, Moros was right about the power of Aptera’s defenses. Janis seriously doubted that any attacker would be able to breach the heavy energy shield of the city.

Janis stood up and walked through the crowded control room and approached the large chamber designed specifically for the city’s defense. The chamber had no door, simply a shimmering blue force field designed to keep out all unauthorized personnel.

As Janis walked into the field, it recognized his DNA and allowed him through, instead of giving him a nasty shock as it would have had he not been authorized.

Maris and several other of Janis’s subordinates were already there, working at terminals. On the far wall was a giant screen showing the nearby space. The ship was represented by a large yellow blip heading towards the blue blip representing Aptera.

“Have you identified the ship?” Janis asked.

“Definitely Freyan in design, sir.” A young officer replied. “Looks like it could be one of their supercruisers.”

“Do we have any ships in the area?”

“The Argos, sir. It is already en route.”

“Janis!” Maris called over from his terminal, “I have the name of the vessel.”

Janis went to the terminal and read the report. “Raise the shields. Right now.”
He activated his communicator again and contacted Moros.

“Is this important?” The Chancellor demanded.

“We have identified the incoming vessel, sir.” Janis replied. “You are not going to like this.”


Aboard the command deck of the Pale Horse, Desmond watched intently as the blue orb of Poseidon grew larger on the main view screen. As he waited, he idly twirled a small knife in his hand. This display left many on the bridge uneasy. They had all seen firsthand what Desmond could do with a blade.
At the front of the bridge, Celine, the Pale Horse’s weapons officer, turned in her seat and smiled devilishly at him. “Aptera is within weapon range, El Capitan.”

“Wait to fire.” Desmond replied. “I want them to see their deaths coming.”

“They are trying to hail us, sir.” Michael, Desmond’s second in command reported.

“Ignore it. Wait until we enter the atmosphere.”

The ship loomed closer to the planet and finally entered the upper atmosphere. From the city below, people could see the giant vessel hanging in the air high above, like a long black shark sensing blood in the water. Little did they realize how accurate that analogy would soon be.

“Hail them.” Desmond ordered.

Janis appeared on the view screen. Around him was a flurry of activity as junior officers rushed from one station to another in a state of near panic.

“Desmond.” Janis spat his name out with as much venom as he could muster. “Why have you come here?

Desmond chuckled. “My my, it seems my reputation has preceded me for my presence to cause such a commotion. I’m flattered, I truly am.”

“What business does a Freyan warship have in Anasazi space?”

“Justice.“

“Justice?” Janis frowned.

“Justice and retribution. I have come to your precious city to exact revenge on your craven people. You vainglorious pigs, who have proven again and again your ignorance and your misguided notion that you are the rulers of the universe. It is time for you to answer for the thousands of years of crimes and atrocities your race has committed, sowing war and poverty throughout the galaxy while you hid behind your technology, so sure that no foe could ever hurt you. Well those days have come to an end, Janis. For like an angel of death, I will rain destruction on your vaunted Aptera. The entire galaxy cries out for your destruction, and I am their hammer.”

Desmond cut the transmission. “There. Let them chew on that for a while.”

“All missiles ready to fire on command.” Celine said.

“Launch one.” Desmond ordered. “Let’s see if this thing actually works.”


Janis watched on the view screen as the missile dropped from the gargantuan Freyan vessel and raced toward Aptera’s shield. He wondered why Desmond would only fire a single shot. Surely he couldn’t have expected that one missile to destroy the city shield. The Freyan Empire simply didn’t have the technology to pack that much power into a single warhead.
Moros had similar thoughts. “The fool. That missile will never break our shield. He came all this way for nothing.” He laughed derisively.

As soon as Moros had found out the identity of the intruder, he cancelled the meeting and took a teleporter down to the command station as soon as he could. To the Chancellor, Desmond was no mere Freyan commander. His very existence offended Moros.

Years ago, Desmond had served as a low ranking servant in the Chancellors personal villa. Janis had seen him there on the few occasions he was forced to attend Moros’s lavish parties, but he had never payed all that much attention to a mere servant.

One day, it seemed that Desmond became fed up with menial housework and left the city with an unidentified woman. This in itself would not have been a problem. After all, people came and went from Aptera all the time, particularly when it was back in the Core Worlds. The reason Moros despised Desmond in particular was that he and his companion had incapacitated a small number of Moros’s personal militia force and made off with his personal yacht, the Turul.

Years later, Desmond resurfaced as a Freyan starship captain, commanding the Pale Horse. Besides being a prominent figure in the Freyan-Allutian Wars, he had also been a thorn in the side of the Anasazi for years. Every ship in the fleet had standing orders to kill or capture him at all costs (with a very high reward), but despite the inferior technology at his disposal and the best efforts of the Anasazi Ship Lords who had hunted him, Desmond had thus far proven to be too wily, or perhaps simply too lucky to catch. Janis himself had almost had the traitor in his grasp once, but due to an unlucky incident involving a Desporan pirate king, Desmond had escaped.

And now the bastard had come right to the gates of the greatest city in the known galaxy and had been so reckless, so vain as to attempt to threaten Aptera itself. Janis knew him, this was not like Desmond to attack an enemy so far beyond his capabilities.

Actually, Janis realized, it was exactly like Desmond to do something this reckless. But only if he had some ace up his sleeve. Desmond would never attack Aptera without a good reason to believe he could succeed.
And now a single missile was screaming down toward Aptera.

“That fool.” Moros repeated. “All we have to do is wait for the Argos to arrive, and then we shall see who will pay for their crimes.”

“Don’t be too confident Great One.” Janis cautioned. “I have fought Desmond before. He is impulsive and self assured of his own invincibility in battle, but he is no fool. He never would have come here without a plan better than firing uselessly on our shields.”

“I think you overestimate the traitor, Janis. His victories have so far depended on luck, not any particular tactical prowess. He shall be destroyed this day.”

“As you say, my liege.” Janis muttered.

The missile had almost reached the shield. In another few seconds it would explode harmlessly against the great barrier of energy and magic.

The missile impacted the shield. It did not explode. It was not vaporized, nor was it burned up. It simply passed through the translucent bubble and raced down to the city, where it struck a glistening spire and blossomed into a bright yellow fire ball. The debris fell thousands of feet into the streets below, killing anyone unlucky enough to be under it.

Everyone in the war room gaped at the screen, too shocked to react.


The crew onboard the Pale Horse’s command deck watched in anticipation as the missile raced toward the city below. Each man and woman held their breath, waiting for the moment of truth. When the missile penetrated the shield without incident, a great cheer went up through the bridge. Desmond stood up from his chair and took a sort of stage bow. He let out a great whoop and pointed at the mainscreen.

“Are the rest of the missiles ready, Celine?” He asked.

“Enough to blast them back to the Stone Age.” She answered.

Desmond flashed a winning smile. “Then by all means, fire away.”


Janis looked on in horror as the rain of missiles fell to the city, impacting the beautiful crystal spires and turning them into burnt slag falling down below. Some of the first places to hit had been Aptera’s primary pulse cannon stations.

“Maris!” Janis cried, “How long until the Argos arrives.”

“ETA, three minutes, sir!”

Janis cursed. Three minutes could mean thousands of innocent lives lost.

“Activate the repulsor lifts. Get us off the ground.” He ordered.

“Belay that order!” Moros yelled.

Janis gave him a look of disbelief. “Forgive me for asking, but have you gone mad? We have no way of fighting that behemoth. We must run.”

“If we run, we will lose control of this system.” Merlin replied.

“If we stay, we will be annihilated! People are dying out there!”

“I am not about to give up this planet without a fight, Janis.”

“I’m sorry sir, but as Chief Engineer of this city, I have supreme power in emergency situations.” He addressed Maris again. “Now get those repulsors running!”


Desmond watched the enormous metropolis rise from the water.

Michael said, “Sir, the city is leaving the surface.”

Desmond put on a face of false surprise. “Thank you Michael. As always, your observations are invaluable.” He turned his attention back to the screen.”Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t take off sooner.”

Ensign Ferras called over from his terminal.” Captain! A new ship is coming out of Hyperspace. It looks like an Anasazi warship.”

Desmond chuckled and took a long swig from his hip flask. “Ah, the guests of honor have finally arrived. Celine, cease fire on the city.”

The missiles stopped firing out as Aptera maneuvered past the Pale Horse.
A pink cloud formed near the moon Thetis. It began to expand, sending ripples of gamma radiation out. Within seconds, it had opened into a rift in space.

Out of the hole in reality came a blue gray vessel, bulbous in shape and marked with ornate symbols. This ship was almost as large as the Pale Horse itself, and armed with a frightening array of weaponry and powerful defensive capabilities far exceeding the technology of even the greatest Freyan ship. The Argos swung around the moon and approached the Pale Horse ready for battle.

A hail appeared on the mainscreen.

“Answer it.” Desmond said. “I’ve been dying for this moment.”

A very well dressed Anasazi Ship Lord appeared on screen. The color of his well ironed uniform matched that of his ship. A variety of brightly polished medals polished his broad chest. He looked like what he was: A veteran commander with countless victories under his belt.

Commanders like this were the virtual antithesis of Desmond, who only followed the bare minimum of military regulations, and even those only loosely. He wore not the light gray uniform of an Imperial officer, but rather a long black overcoat made of fine leather. The only thing that even identified as a member of the Freyan fleet was a small crimson emblem of the Freyan Serpent and Hammer emblazoned on his jacket’s front.

The Aanasazi’s voice filled the bridge; deep and with the sound of confidence that comes from many victories. “I am Ship Lord Adrastos of the ANS Argos. Power down your vessel and surrender, or you will be destroyed.”

Desmond unscrewed the top of his flask and took a drink from it. He burped loudly and put the flask back in his pocket.“I’m sorry; I didn’t quite catch all of that. Something about one of us being destroyed?”

Adrastos glared at him. “Do not attempt to distract me with your childish theatrics, Desmond. You have thirty seconds to comply before I open fire on your vessel. Starting now.”

Desmond gave the Anasazi Ship Lord a knowing smile. “You drive a hard bargain, Addy. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’ll have to decline your offer. You see, I’ve never been one to surrender. However, I will guarantee that if you turn around now and exit this system, I will not be forced to destroy your ship along with its crew.”

Adrastos frowned even more, if that was possible. “May I remind you that I am in command of a Chimera class Star Cruiser, which even the greatest of you Freyan vessels are but insects compared to? Your ship could not possibly defeat mine in a head to head confrontation. You are an egotistical incompetent, commanding a glorified flying box that would serve more use in a scrap yard than in space.”

Desmond sighed and folded his hands behind his back. “Insult me all you like Ship Lord, but I will not tolerate anyone insulting the Pale Horse, particularly not an empty-headed blustering bag of hot air such as you. Even so, for the sake of the no doubt far more competent and worthy men and women unfortunate enough to be under your command, I will give you one more chance to leave. There will not be a third chance.”

“Your thirty seconds are over. Prepare to be destroyed.”

“I look forward to it.” Desmond beamed at the Anasazi, flashing what he thought was a winning smile. “Oh just one last thing, Addy old bean. I thought you might be interested in seeing this.”

From behind his back, Desmond produced a tiny black sphere with three buttons on its shiny surface. Adrastos’s eyes went wide. “What is that?!”

“Oh, I think you know damn well what this is.” Desmond replied.

Deep inside the Argos’s cargo hold sat rows and rows of antimatter bombs, hundreds of them. Each of these bombs contained within them enough destructive power to vaporize entire cities in a split second. And the Argos possessed nearly a thousand of these weapons. All of these bombs had been thoroughly inspected and cleared for use. None of them could ever be activated except with the complete approval of the Ship Lord.

Except for one.

One bomb sat among hundreds of others, identical to its fellows in all but one way.

It was hooked to a remote detonator. A detonator that rested in the hand of the captain of the I.F.F Pale Horse.

Desmond smiled at Adrastos.

“I would make some pithy remark right now, but frankly you won’t live long enough to appreciate it.”

He pushed the button. The detonator clicked.

“Can’t say I didn’t warn you.” He said.

A brilliant white flash enveloped the Argos. When it dissipated, there was nothing left of the ship, as if it had never been there at all.

“Sir,” Michael reported, “Aptera is about to make a hyperspace transition. Should we pursue?”

“No, let them run.” Desmond said nonchalantly. ”We’ve already achieved what we came for.”

II: The Empress and the crone
Lightning coursed through the dark clouds, its thunder splitting the air asunder. Far below the yellow skies, poisoned with sulfur, the black water of the sea of Folkvangr churned angrily as acidic rain poured down into it.
Far below the tumultuous waves, lay the city of Sessrumnir. This great metropolis, sealed within a series of giant domes, sprawled along the ocean floor. Built centuries ago, when the people of the planet Freya had finally run out of room on the land, Sessrumnir now served as the capital city of the Freyan Empire. Billions of people lived beneath the planets oceans, trying to escape the poisoned skies above. Most had never seen the sun.

Within the largest bubble of the city was the great Imperial Palace, elevated high on a giant mesa above the dank, poverty ridden slums below. Covering more than five square miles, the giant marble palace was an image of pure decadence and power. Before its iron gates, more than forty feet high and twenty feet wide, was a great courtyard, with hundreds of Imperial Guards standing in formation. Inside the gates was a place of lavish opulence beyond the wildest dreams of the common people living just outside the walls.

Within the building, thousands of members of the Imperial Court gathered, all trying to gain more power and influence and riches. The courtiers were pictures of obscene wealth, the men dressed in long robes, adorned with gold and silver trim and carrying swords on their belts they had never used. The women wore their hair piled high in extraordinary styles, some over tree feet in height. Their gowns were so wide that many needed servants to hold them off the ground just so they could walk. Slaves were everywhere, their eyes on the floor, careful not to make eye contact with the nobles.

At the very apex of the great palace, was the throne room itself. This chamber was quite possibly the most heavily guarded room in the Empire. Anyone, even planetary governors, would be shot if they tried to enter without the proper authorization. Each entrance was protected by four Imperial Knights, the mightiest warriors in the known galaxy. Standing almost seven feet inside their silver armor, each one had been trained as a warrior since they were able to walk and ingrained with a fanatical devotion to the crown. They could not be bribed or bargained with, and would gladly sacrifice their lives for the Empire. They were nearly impossible to kill.

Inside the throne room, the most powerful and influential nobles in the Empire gathered at the bottom of the throne, a dazzling spectacle of silks, gold and sparkling jewels. And at the center of it all, flanked by a pair of Knights, was the throne of Freya itself, carved from black ebony and gilded with glistening gold. On this throne sat Empress Yvonne.

At the age of twenty-three, Yvonne was the second youngest monarch to be put on the throne of Freya, a position that was becoming more and more of a mere figurehead. The nobles were always vying to earn her favor, hoping to gain influence over the young empress and control her. They cared nothing about the welfare of the people; only about their own standing.
Unlike the noblewomen in their obscenely large dresses and wild hairdos, Yvonne wore her hair in the style of the common women and clothed herself in a simple black gown, the neckline cut just low enough to attract the eyes of any male courtiers and governors while still leaving something to the imagination. And her perfectly curvaceous body certainly was in the imagination of a great deal of any men who happened to present. She found this made them easier to influence.

One such man was busy trying to talk to her at that moment, about some charity ball he was proposing and wanted her to attend to gain attention. Yvonne had no illusions that most of the donations would go to their proposed cause rather than his pocket, but that was no big secret among the nobles. His eyes constantly wandered away from her eyes to her chest, she longed to order the Knights to take him away, but decided that would be unseemly of a monarch as young as she was. Better to keep the favor of the court while they still regarded her as a naïve girl in an adult’s world.

Just as her patience with the nobleman was reaching the breaking point, the doors of the throne room opened. All the conversation in the chamber ceased, and everyone looked toward the door. Standing in the open doorway, followed by two bodyguards, was the head of the Freyan High Council, Hera.

A shudder seemed to pass through the chamber, as if the Councilor’s mere presence had made the place go suddenly cold. Every member of the court knew of Hera’s notoriously short temper, her contempt for the nobility, and her quickness to order executions, regardless of what someone’s social status happened to be.

Hera bowed to the Empress. She did not actually have to do this, as she and the Empress were technically of equal rank, but her over exaggerated bow made her disdain for the Empress clear. Hera never came to show respect or to gain status. If she was here, then it would be for something serious.

“Get these overdressed vermin out of my sight.” Hera said. “I wish to speak to you in private.”

Yvonne would have loved nothing more than to throw her out, but she secretly feared the Councilor. Hera had outlived two emperors and Yvonne had a suspicion that she had had a part in her father’s assassination. If Hera could do that to an emperor as powerful and respected as Yvonne’s father, than how easy would it be to eliminate her. The noble’s wouldn’t bat an eye at her death, and since she had no husband and no children, and thus no heir, it would leave the door open for them to all fight over the throne. Their feudal armies would clash all over the Empire and Freya would be torn apart by civil war.

So Yvonne would show the Council the proper respect, and she would live on as Empress, an artifact of the long gone days when that title had the power to keep the whole empire under control rather than the figurehead it was now, while Hera went on commanding the fates of billions.

With a wave of her hand, Yvonne ordered the silver armored Knights to usher the nobles out of the chamber. Within a minute, the room was clear. Nobody had any wish to resist a fully armored Imperial Knight.

“On what business have you arrived, Councilor?” Yvonne said, relieved to be away from the lords and ladies of the court but apprehensive of the elderly woman before her.

“Word has reached our ears that four galactic standard days ago, the Anasazi planet Poseidon has been assaulted. The city of Aptera was heavily damaged in the battle and one of their Chimera Class Starcruisers was utterly destroyed.”

This was strange news indeed, Yvonne realized. The shields of Aptera were impregnable to nearly all known weaponry. It would be a powerful foe indeed who could pull off such a feat.

“The Anasazi claim that it was one of our vessels who carried out the attack.” Hera continued. “I have assured them that the Freyan High Council issued no such orders, but they are adamant in their position.”

“Wherever could they have gotten that notion?” The empress inquired.

“The notion is correct. Two months ago, the battlecruiser I.F.S. Pale Horse disappeared while on patrol in the Jengu cluster beyond our borders. These mishaps occur quite frequently during missions on the edge of known space, the commander of that vessel, one Captain Desmond, has a long history of disappearing for weeks or even months at a time only to return with some exotic flora and fauna from uncharted worlds. Naturally, we thought nothing of this. However, the Pale Horse was reported to have arrived at the Sif spaceport yesterday, a three days distance from Poseidon. The Anasazi are claiming that this is the ship responsible for the attack.”

“How could this have happened?” Yvonne asked. “I issued no orders for attack on any Anasazi settlement.” This would not be the first time the Council did business behind her back, but to commit an act of war without informing the Empress was tantamount to treason.

“Neither did we.” Hera replied. “The captain acted entirely without orders when he assaulted the city.”

“What did you say his name was again?”

“Desmond.” Hera spoke his name with venom, practically spitting the word out. “As far as we have determined, he does not have a surname.”

“I remember him. He attended a ball that I was at once. He was wearing the most revolting lime green suit I have ever seen. I recall him being a rather…” Yvonne searched for the right word. “eccentric person.”

“The man is an absolute boor.” Hera cut in. “How he came to be in command of one of our only three battlecruisers I will never know.”

“Are we sure that he is responsible for the attack?”

“Not yet. Investigators on Sif are looking through the ship’s logs as we speak. I suspect they will find evidence soon enough.”

“You sound so sure.” Yvonne did not know what sort of history Hera had had with this Desmond, but it obviously was not a pleasant one. “Do not let your biases cloud your judgement.”

“Don’t lecture me, girl!” Hera snapped. “Desmond has a long history of insubordination and impulsiveness. Were it not for his outstanding record during the Allutian Wars, he would have been court-martialed long ago and in prison.”

Yvonne rose from her throne and headed to the balcony looking over the underwater city. The Imperial Knights followed her, watching for any sniper waiting to fire outside. In the distance, a food riot was ensuing; flames engulfed entire blocks, issuing great pillars of smoke into the enclosed air. Even from this distance she could hear gunfire from the police, gunning down the dissidents.

“Our people are starving and dying in the streets while the nobles who watch over them gorge themselves on fine meats and rare wine.” The Empress muttered bitterly, “And when they find a voice and speak up for themselves, they are crushed under the boots of the feudal armies. And now we are to tell them to send their sons and daughters to die against an enemy that we provoked? How shall they react?”

Hera joined her on the ledge, careful to keep her distance. Physical contact with the Empress, unless permitted by Yvonne herself, was punishable by death, even for the head of the High Council.

“The common folk may be embittered as of now, but they are still Freyan. If the Empire is in peril, they will rally to defend it.

“And besides,” Hera added, “War is not inevitable as of yet. There are always alternative options to an armed conflict.”

Hera’s communicator buzzed. After reading it’s screen she turned back to the Empress.

“I’m afraid I must leave. There is a pressing matter involving a Desporan pirate king.”

Without bothering to do the traditional bow, Hera turned on her heel and left the throne room. Almost immediately, the nobles began to flood back in, the heavy scent of their perfumes filling the air.

Yvonne looked out over the filthy slums spreading out beneath the magnificent palace; her gilded prison filled with dressed up roaches. A single tear ran down her cheek and fell hundreds of feet below.

An Enemy Spy
2010-08-30, 01:44 AM
DRAMATIS PERSONAE

The Freyans

Captain Desmond
Captain of the Freyan Battlecruiser, I.F.S. Pale Horse, Desmond is a distinguished officer with an outstanding record during the war against the Allutian States some years ago. While not yet a household name, he is considered a minor war hero in many circles. What is not known among many people is that Desmond is in fact an Anasazi, a long lived race with some members exhibiting magical abilities.
To say that calling Desmond's command style relaxed is an understatement would be an understatement. He enforces almost no fleet regulations, to the point that he doesn't even wear a uniform. This ruffles the feathers of many of his higher ups, but due to his combat record, they tend to let some of his behavior slide. At least as long as he still proves himself useful.
Desmond is an extraordinarily heavy drinker, although he is rarely actually drunk. This is partly due to his Anasazi biology but mostly because he has developed a very high tolerance to alcohol.

Commander Michael Torres
As the First Officer of the Pale Horse, Michael Torres takes his duties very seriously. This is why he cannot stand being under the command of a captain like Desmond, who in his eyes at least, seems to think that commanding is a starship is a game. He follows every rule and regulation to the letter, and expects his subordinates to do the same.

Lieutenant Celine
Celine is the Second Officer of the Pale Horse and also controls the ship's weapons systems. Like Desmond, she is also an Anasazi. The two are lovers in secret, despite fleet regulations forbidding such affairs. When Desmond left the Anasazi city of Aptera more than a decade ago, Celine accompanied him for reasons she never explained. The two had never met before then.

Empress Yvonne
Yvonne is that very rare thing among the Freyan ruling class, a leader who actually cares about her people. She fills a role that once would allow her to command the fates of billions on a whim, but as of now the title of Empress is barely more than a figurehead, while the real power in the Empire is held by the High Council and the noble feudal lords.

Hera
Hera is the head of the Freyan High Council, making her the most powerful person in the Empire. Her hatred of the Empress and the nobles is well known. Hera does not suffer fools and is not above ordering mass executions to fulfill her goals. She despises Desmond, but recognizes his usefulness.

The Anasazi

Janis
Janis is the latest in a long line of caretakers for the great city of Aptera. His job is to make sure the city's systems are working properly, and when Aptera is in danger, his authority supercedes all others.
Janis is well known for his skill in magic. Some even believe him to be the greatest wielder of magic in all the known galaxy.

Moros
Moros is the supreme ruler of the Anasazi Empire. He is known for his short temper but is considered to be an effective leader. Moros harbors a particular hatred towards Desmond, who stole his personal starship years ago.
Moros is also highly skilled in magic, rivaling Janis and pehaps even surpassing him.

Terish
Terish is a member of the Anasazi Council and an old friend of Janis's. She considers the upholding of Anasazi ideals to be the highest calling in life and will not abide those who seek to tarnish them.
Terish possesses considerable magical power but not anywhere near the level of Janis and Moros.

Kortos
Kortos is a member of the Anasazi Council and is Janis's closest ally. He possesses modest magical ability, but is higly skilled with it.

Maris
A young Anasazi, not even a century old, Maris is Janis's assistant and is being trained to be his successor. Maris is already showing signs of high magical power.