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    Cia
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Ancalagon - 93. Chapter 93

“I insist you call Seedrah to investigate this,” Sloval said.

“He is,” Garjah said shortly. “Who do you think is outside looking for the launch source for the projectile orbs? This room should have been secure, with many different layers of checkpoints between here and any entrances or exits from the compound. Therefore he is investigating outside of the room, and I will handle the security matters inside.” Garjah crossed his upper arms. “Unless you have revoked my status publicly?”

They hadn’t, and we all knew it. Therefore the Kardoval had to let Garjah do his job or risk creating a schism in front of the people.

“Well?” Mereval waved her hand at the panicked crowd.

“Are you done questioning my ability to do my job?” Garjah wasn’t budging an inch. It was a far cry from the awed deference he’d once shown them when we’d first met. He’d been more disaffected than I thought.

She inclined her head. “You may leave your bonded here with me, if you wish to ensure his safety.”

I snorted. “No thanks.” The last thing I’d feel standing next to her was safe. Besides, we still didn’t know who the target of those ball things was. I’d stay next to the one being here who made me actually feel safe. Bouncer, of course, nearly stood on top of my feet. His ears were erect, and his tail lashed the air as he guarded me. Stroking his head, I mentally corrected myself; I’d stay next to two beings who made me feel safe.

Garjah headed straight toward Ases. I hurried by his side. Speaking quietly, I asked, “Those ball things, you know what they are?” I didn’t, but I wasn’t that familiar with weapons. My mother was far more likely to contact lower-technology races and my father’s enemies would simply try to bore him to death with their arguments against his discoveries, not bomb or shoot him.

“Projectile balls. When they detect living beings, the ball splits into thin filaments that are then sent like miniature arrows directly toward the beings’ closest mucous membranes to burrow until it finds internal organs to perforate.” Garjah paused to study the crowd, eyeballing the beings closest to the doors.

I blanched, clutching my loose tunic top. “That’s horrific.”

“It is, and something I haven’t seen in a long time.”

“Then how did Ases destroy them?” Maybe he’d gotten lucky. Or maybe it wasn’t that hard.

“I’m not sure. This is old tech, sure, but not something that had been shared. Let’s ask him immediately.” Garjah strode across the room, and the crowd parted for him. “Ases, we owe you thanks. So many people could have been hurt if your mech hadn’t stopped the threat.” Garjah placed a hand on his chest and saluted, bowing his head.

“It was my honor to be of service, but really, all I did was order the mech to stop the threat.” Ases rubbed his hands on the opposite arms, his narrow pupils blown wide. He was a politician, and assassination threats and other dangers weren’t completely outside of the role he fulfilled, but I didn’t think he faced it very often. “It did the analysis and responded independently once I gave the protection execution command so it would preserve more than just me..”

My eyes widened. “It has that much processing power and speed?”

“Apparently so,” Ases said. He lowered his voice. “My father had it custom-built, but I wasn’t aware it was so… capable.” There was a wealth of worry he wasn’t saying. What else could the mech do that he didn’t know? Could it become a threat to the treaty?

“We did scan it,” Garjah assured him. “It’s not harboring any information or weapons.”

“Good, good.”

“But it was still able to assess the projectile balls and was able to use a chemical to freeze the filaments until their bonds became unstable and the metal collapsed.” Garjah connected two of his hands behind his back. “The balls seem solid until they separate to attack. How did it catch that the balls were made up of filaments and know how to destroy them?”

“I don’t know! It just did.”

“Hmm. We’ll need to scan your mech again,” Garjah said.

“Of course, whatever you need.” Ases took a breath and dropped his arms. “I didn’t want to see this treaty fail because of small discontent.”

“We shall hope that is all it is.” Garjah pursed his lips. He signaled a security officer over who took the mech away to a portable comm system set up in the corner of the room. “We need to review the security footage and see who the target was. That will help us understand better who sent it.”

Ases snorted. “You don’t know?” The glance over his shoulder toward the Kardoval, subtly flicking his fingers at them. “Faugh. It was clearly them.”

“We don’t have evidence of that,” Garjah said. “And I refuse to investigate with any preconceived notions. That way leads to guilty parties getting away.” He cracked a pair of hands, the knuckles popping over and over. “And whoever tried to do this is willing to take out all the major players, including us. We can’t ignore the truth in favor of our biases.”

Besides, with how revered the Kardoval were, it would be impossible to accuse them and not have it go bad. I ran my hand along the thick scales dotting the upper spine on Bouncer’s neck, trying to calm him. He was still agitated, and there was no way I could reassure him with this many people around.

“What should we do?”

“You two sit down,” Garjah said. “The security officers and I are going to start talking to the good citizens who are so patiently waiting to leave.”

Copyright © 2020 Cia; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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