Marking of the Days
In the morning I am glad to meet with my own troops in the throne room to let
them know of their new positions. It is no surprise that they cheer when I tell
them my father is dead. They have absorbed my venom for the old bastard over the
years that I have led them into battle. I let them know of their promotions and
that we will be actively recruiting more members for the divisions to fill the
slots that have been vacated. I trust that they will be good judges of new
members for they know what it is to serve and depend on one another for their
lives. They will not choose new members recklessly.
I speak with great joy and seriousness to the newly promoted men who bow
before me, “If you are not yet prepared to lead others into battle, do not
hesitate to let your superiors know this. There is no shame in not yet being
ready. There is great shame and disaster to be had if you know that you are not
ready and lead your troops to death… Now bring me the 53rd… Every
one you can find. Shilne, bring me Namden… GO!”
My troops are happy to oblige and thunder out of the grand hall to find our
own internal enemies… And we wait.
“I hope you know what you’re doing. This doesn’t really match with
protocol.” Hanta breaks the silence with a sigh where she stands behind me.
“This is not protocol. This is revenge and discipline. That is why it does
not make sense to your training.” I grin to myself, thinking of what I have in
store for the commanders and sergeants of the 53rd.
“You are not going to kill anyone are you?”
“I hope so.” I laugh, still grinning at the prospect, “It may not be
“Gods, how can you enjoy this so much?”
“Stop being squeamish, Hanta… Ah, here they come now.” My men come
spilling back into the hall again, driving members of the 53rd before them like
herd animals. They are thrown onto their knees before me. A wonderful sight…
And my smile grows further. The event is now being broadcast into the barracks
and hangars, every corner where military personnel might be. I want them all to
know this is happening. That is why I have brought them all back to base, so
that they can witness this change in power and understand that it is not to be
questioned. Finally my objective is reached… The 53rd is surrounded and
subdued by my men then Namden is brought forward by Shilne and thrown down on
the steps to my new throne.
“Bow to your new King!” Shilne bellows at Namden and the cry goes up from
the men. They want to see his blood almost as much as I do. My grin fades into a
snarl, my teeth set in the presence of this old enemy who is now helpless before
me. He is still full of fight though…
Namden rights himself in the commotion and turns on Shilne who responds
gladly with a sharp blow to Namden’s jaw. He staggers backward.
“Show your respect! NOW!” Shilne presses.
“I will have your head you bastard!” He spits at my commander only to be
It is important that Namden yield to me or that he die for refusing. All eyes
are upon us now and there can be no mistake made. The 53rd realize they are in a
bad position and are holding to their places on the floor. I can almost hear
Hanta wincing behind me. She hates this. I live for it.
“Bow your head!” Shilne demands of him again.
“Never!” He holds his ground, enraged and ready to kill, if only the odds
were not so far out of his favor.
That last refusal is enough invitation to me and I move down the steps to
stand with Shilne and confront him myself, “I am your King, Namden. My father
is no more. You will bow to me… Or you and yours will find you
have no more home within the Empire… So bow.”
“Never! Murderous child of your father’s whore!”
His words send a rage through me and I fix upon him, drawing my blade,
sending it flying at him. Off comes the top of one of his ears and part of his
scalp. His cry of pain fills my ears, “I will take you apart piece by piece,
Namden! And I will love the sounds of your pain as they come to my ears!
It will be like music to me and I will make your song carry on for days upon
days! BOW TO ME!!”
He was shaking now, realizing that this is no joke being had with him at all.
I am deadly serious and will not tolerate his refusals. He will not save face
before his men this day. He growls at me, clutching the side of his head as it
bleeds through his fingers and onto the marble floor. “I will kill you the
first chance I get.” He hisses at me and slowly goes to his knees before me. I
realize that this will not be easy, much as it is entertaining me to cause him
“Bow your head!” Shilne commands him and slowly he does so, jaw set with
I smirk at the sight, I laugh, and I turn to my men and the men of the 53rd.
I let them see my ego at the conquest of my foe, throwing up my hands in victory…
and then I hear it. The sounds of a man intent upon a kill, the drawing of
breath, the movement of the air... Namden is on his feet and lunging at me,
sword drawn. I had not sheathed my sword for good reason and now I put it to
work, turning and slicing through Namden’s body. The look on his face is one
of great surprise as he is frozen in the realization that his life is over…
And that I have taken it from him. He drops his blade, the sound of it echoing
in the silent hall, and stumbles forward. I grasp him by his throat as he falls
forward, looking into his face as he gasps, his eyes staring at me.
My smile returns as I look into the face of this dead man in my grip, “You
thought you would kill me… Fool. How does it feel, Namden? To have your
insides spilling out of you? Surprising isn’t it?” They were indeed spilling
out, slicking the floor beneath my boots. His face is growing pale
from the rapid loss of blood as I watch and I am amused to be the audience for the last
moments of his life.
He thought that it would be the other way. That I would be dying before him.
He had said as much so many times... And now I drive my blade through him again,
feeling the heat of his blood upon my hand and watching as the last bit of his
life leaves him. His muscles are no longer holding him up, only I am. I can feel
the pulse in his throat as I clutch him. It grows weaker and weaker, his eyes
become empty and though they still are fixed on me in a surprised stare, he sees
nothing. I tighten my grip, causing one last sound to come from him and then
release him, feeling great satisfaction as his butchered body goes crumbing to
“Is anyone else interested in sharing his fate???” I cast my eyes over
the room and the rage turns to pleasure as his troops bow to me and call me
Out of the corner of my eye I see Hanta up by the throne, hand over her eyes.
It certainly hasn’t been the best way for her to start her day, but in some
way I believe that this is what she expects of me and I would have disappointed
her if I hadn’t killed him.
At my command, the 53rd is absorbed by my troops and driven off to the fields
for some exercise. They will drive those ego-softened creatures until they drop.
Their division will be no more. I will split their numbers amongst those who are
loyal to me and break their will to defy me, or they will die as has their
commander. Those who have not returned to see this will be rounded up piece by
peace and absorbed as well.
“I hope you are happy with yourself.” Hanta grumbles after the
transmission is cut.
“I am.” I smile up at her as she shakes her head and leaves the room. “Ah
Hanta… No sense of humor…” I regard the blood on my blade with a sense of
deep satisfaction and then eye the body on the floor at my feet. No rag is about to
clean my prized weapon and so I use part of his uniform that is not stained by
his innards then kick his body over so that he stares at the ceiling.
“You and you… Hang him on main landing pad. NOW!” I bark and watch a
few of the primaries carry off Namden’s body, trailing pieces of him behind.
This should make a fine visual treat for the Ministry of Information when they
arrive. I wander out onto the balcony and watch the fun below as my troops drive
the 53rd to breaking. Shilne comes and stands beside me as I am sheathing
my blade once again.
“Three down…” He remarks, “You had better clean up before the
Ministry of Information arrives.”
“Mmh?” I look down and see what he means. Bits of my conquest have soiled
my uniform and boots, “Ahhh… I kill him and still he makes me angry!!” I
march off to my rooms to change, disappointed that I have this to interrupt my
watching of the53rds humiliation.
Hanta is there in my chambers when I arrive, looking a very pale blue,
sipping at a glass of water and trying to settle her nerves. She grimaces at my
appearance, “Gods… Get out of my sight!!”
“Just a little blood, Hanta.” I laugh.
“A little!! GO!” She looks away from me in disgust.
I retreat from her wrath to the safety of the bath and clean up, finding
fresh clothing that she has laid out for me.
“I see you do not want me in uniform again…”
Clothing that is more royal than military will not stay my hand if the moment
calls for death. She should know that by now. Apparently she still has her hopes
“Tell me you are not going to kill any of them.” Is the first thing she
says to me when I immerge.
“I do not know what will happen, Hanta.”
“Then I am not going to go with you. One a day is all I can
“I am being serious. I am not here to watch you gut your troops and
government personnel. You are behaving just like your father...” She shakes
“Rrrhhh… I will not kill any of them.” I agree and then come forward,
face to face with her, “And I am not being like my father… I am offended
that you would say so… Certainly in my position he would have also killed
Namden… But he would have also slaughtered the entirety of the 53rd
releasing them to be absorbed by other loyal troops.” And I smile neatly at
“For the moment.” She finally comes and picks at my clothing, making sure
it is arranged properly, “Hold still.” She brushes out my hair and pulls it
back in a leather tie. “Now you are somewhat presentable. Hold your temper as
best you can with these people. They will be your voice to the galaxy and you
want to have them on your side.”
“Banrek is doing a fine job of being friendly with them.” I smile and
then stop it as she is positively glaring at me.
“Banrek has never been described to me as ‘friendly’.” And her glare
“Settle yourself, woman.” I chuckle.
“Move out, soldier.” She points towards the door. “March!”
“You are not quite as threatening as Shilne.”
Now she smiles in an evil way at me, “We will see how you feel after an
evening with the tailors. You need some more clothing.”
“Something to not look forward too.” And off I go with her to my next
meeting. In the adjoining hallway my guards join our march and shortly we arrive
in one of the smaller meeting rooms.
No one here yet and so I ask my guard to stand down. I offer Hanta a chair
but she elects to stand as usual. She has said that standing helps her to focus
her thoughts. I choose to sit and after a while I pull out my dagger, tapping
the blade on the table absently, thinking of how to threaten these people enough
without killing any of them. It should be simple, as they are a more civilian
group and my father has often set the fear of the gods into them.
Hanta snatches the blade from me on an upward bounce and I scowl at her for
breaking me from my thoughts.
“No weapons.” She scolds.
“It is just a dagger.”
“No… Weapons.” She slides it into her belt and comes to rub my
shoulders, leaning down and whispering in my ear, “Do you know, I liked you a
great deal as a child… When I simply taught you different languages. You told
me how you were upset with the humans who were taking over our worlds. You were
so cute then. You were angry that you were learning their speak but they would
not learn yours. You said that the humans were arrogant and that you were going
to win our worlds back for us… Little did I know you were telling the truth.”
I laugh, “Ah the good old days.”
“Yes, when you were simply a warrior in the yearning… Learn to be calm.”
“Mmhh.. You ask a lot.”
“I know.” And with that, she stepped back as the doors opened and the
Ministry of Information representatives enter along with 10 of the sergeants
from the 102nd and Banrek. I stand from my chair and glower at them. They seem
to be shaken. My decoration at the main port must have impressed them. And they
bow to me, addressing me as King. This will work perfectly. Yes, they are more
civilian than military and a small display of strength is enough to set them on
They agree to my terms and hurriedly lay out a plan to separate the internal
Imperial news from that which is filtered out across the galaxy. Banrek will be
left with them to make certain that they keep to their word. He is pleased with
this assignment beyond compare. The first news release constructed, I send them
on their ways to do what they do best.
I next call the commanders of all the contingents and divisions together to
speak their minds of what has happened on this day. They are surprisingly
relieved. The 53rd had not been a thorn in my side alone. Their egos
earned them a poor reputation across all divisions. The Emporer’s High Guard
no more, they will be subdued and reduced in rank. The High Commanders are
pleased with the challenge of taking them all back into the fold of the regular
armed forces. No ill will is held from the last conflict between my ranks and
theirs. If there is, it is hardly apparent and I will have to keep watch. I
prefer to trust in the honor of the High Commanders to keep their loyalty to me
until I see good reason not to.
Pride and duty are often great assistance in these matters and I have worked
long and hard to restore the honor of our troops and the warlord clans. Finally
this is appreciated openly.
“The border wars are over. I will need all of you to be of service and
defend our territories. We are closing our borders to them as of this day. This
is not a sign to the humans that we are backing down. And if they attack I
expect you to be merciless in your response. There will be no more Myceneas. I
will also need your support to defend our carriers as we rebuild the Empire and
our commerce paths… To push back the pirates who have been attacking our
western borders and the trade corridors. If you have any concerns or objections
to this, speak now so that we can resolve things and move forward.”
Surprisingly the questions were few and to the point. No one objected to the
killing of the 53rd commander. No one has objected to the closing of
the borders to the humans and supporting the internal growth of the Empire. Strange…
And then after many more such a meeting with numerous government bodies,
comes my torture… Standing still for the tailors while they attempt to replace
some of the clothing I have lost to the depths of my chambers. Hanta enjoys this
to no endher face on the verge of laughter the entire time as she
watches my discomfort. I insist that I have had enough and she tells me to be
still, that she doesn’t want to have to repeat this exercise any time soon. It
goes on for far too long.
After this long day has turned well into night I go to my bed, still amazed
at how well things have gone so far. I can hardly close my eyes and so I find a
few leaves of tavisk and chew on them, letting their soothing effects take hold
and force my relaxation.