Desolation by Lyssa
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‘There is no other choice,’ the dark haired, green eyed woman stood statue still at the window looking out on a peaceful vista.  Internally she felt anything but the calm, serene individual her public expected.

‘None,’ agreed her consort and tactical advisor.  ‘We have little time, it must be done now.  Spectra’s advanced fleet will be within our airspace by the end of the day.  This will be our last chance before the invasion.’

‘Then,’ she sighed warily, turning to the man holding a newborn, ‘let us do this before I lose the will.  Matloc,’ her voice became hard as she called for her head of security.

‘Princess,’ the impressive man enquired.  The single word became an entire sentence asking what he could do.

‘Has the Earth envoy departed Ordan?’ she asked.

‘The ship is due to leave shortly,’ Matloc shared a gaze with Jamieel behind his Regents back.

‘I have two tasks for you,’ she stated, eyes darting to the infant she dare not touch, ‘both must be accomplished with extreme care and discretion.  Arrest Ambassador Anderson of Earth and bring him directly to me.  If we are to be invaded by Spectra, we must demonstrate enough revulsion of Terrra to maintain an underground government and work with these barbarians.  I do not want Ordan and its culture completely destroyed.  Our only hope is to pledge our allegiance to those who will enslave us and resist their domination.  The Earth Ambassador must be made to understand this.  While I grant him an audience, go to the morgue and find a child to replace your future Princess.’  Unable to continue without tears, the woman returned her gaze to the window before her.

‘Princess,’ Matloc made the Royal sign.  Saluting he held both hands before his left eye, thumbs and index finger shaped like a diamond and prayed, ‘may this bring us deliverance from the Spectran scourge.’

Once he’d departed, she found the will the approach her consort.  Reaching down, she touched her forehead to his.  Unable to stop the tears now she’d made this decision, Jamieel wiped one away with his thumb.  Smearing the salty water on their infants’ cheek, he held her out to his leader.

‘No,’ she stated, turning away once again, ‘if I hold my daughter, I will not be able to let her go.  It is enough that I must leave both of you to an uncertain fate.  At least on Earth you will have the freedom to watch our child grow.  We will take this moment to say our private goodbye.  I will not see you or our daughter again.’

‘Princess,’ Matloc interrupted the intensely private moment some time later.  Fulfilling his duty, in his arms a tiny body, its face coloured with the pall of death.  ‘I have completed the tasks you requested.’

Keeping her composure, she indicated he should bring the bundle.  Taking it into her arms, a sad smile covered her face.  He looked perfect on the outside as she uncovered the infant.

‘A boy,’ surprise covered her face for an instant, ‘that is fitting Matloc.’

‘Princess,’ he replied at a loss.  Not needing to explain, he saw the acceptance in his Regents green eyes.

‘Ambassador Anderson,’ she queried, her attention completely focused on the Terran Envoy.

‘Princess Nyora,’ the sixtyish man bristled at his impertinent treatment.  ‘May I ask the reason for arresting a member of Earths Diplomatic Emissary?’

‘I am sorry to have treated you this way,’ she replied, signalling her security chief to remove his bindings.  ‘I understand it is not consistent with galactic law.  Please forgive me and allow me to explain my reasons.’

‘As you know, my world is in peril.  Ordan lies in an extremely advantageous location between the Crab Nebula and the Milkyway.  Spectra must use Ordan as a staging post if they are to conquer your galaxy.  That is the reason your World sent you on such a long and perilous journey, was it not?  To gain our support?’

‘I understand,’ Jamieel stated, ‘it has taken you over five months with your current level of technology to travel this far into space.’

‘Yes,’ Anderson answered, keeping his tone and expression neutral.

‘I need the assistance of your government,’ Nyora stated.  ‘In ten hours the Spectran advance fleet will invade this planet.  We are a peaceful people, dedicated to improving culture and environment.  As such, there is no standing Ordanian army or space fleet, nothing to fight this insurrection, nor do we intend too.  We will resist while allowing them to think they have conquered us peacefully.’

‘What is it you want?’ Anderson asked, perplexed.

‘Ordan,’ Jamieel stood, approaching the Terran, ‘will allow the Earth and the other planets in your sector time to prepare for the Spectra attack.  This confrontation has not come without prior knowledge.  Much has been done to prepare for the occupation and the resistance to it.  We hope to give you at least ten earth years before Spectra have the ability to use Ordan’s unique resources to continue its decimation of other worlds.’

‘Your plans,’ Anderson understood the foresight of this world’s ruler, ‘are breathtaking in there consideration of other planets.’

‘We do not believe in harm to others.  It is the ethos by which we live,’ Nyora’s reply didn’t quiet hide her irony.  ‘There is, as you would expect a price.  You must take my concubine and the next Regent of Ordan to Earth.  Jamieel is a master scientist and tactician.  He will aid you to improve your science of space travel which you may adapt to weapons.  With the Terran spirit and ability to overcome obstacles, I can only pray it is enough to delete the greatest menace this universe has seen.’

‘There is one issue we must resolve,’ Jamieel turned his piercing brown gaze on the Terran Ambassador.

‘Yes,’ Anderson shuddered, understanding an undercurrent played around the room which he didn’t appreciate.

‘I believe you have a saying on Earth,’ Nyora attempted a smile.  It came out sorrowful.  ‘It is an ill wind that blows no good.’

‘Our Princess’s,’ Matloc indicated the deceased infant in her arms, ‘pregnancy is well known and anticipated among the people.  I male child is seen as a regretful omen.  When the first born is both male and stillborn, it is expected the consort will live in exile, allowing another, with stronger blood lines to take his place.’

‘Now,’ Anderson finally appreciated why he’d been chosen, ‘you will take on the identity of my son, Jamieel.  William has been on Riga since The World Council became aware of the Spectran threat.  He is part of an exchange program to foster understanding and cooperation between our planets.  No one will question you returning with your four year old son and new daughter when they learn of your Rigan wife’s death.’

‘Then,’ Nyora moved back to her vista of a beautiful and inviting world while dying internally, ‘all is in place.  Matloc, you may take the Ambassador and his family back to their ship.  Please ensure they lift off immediately.  I would not like our new Spectran masters to think us remiss in our duty.’

‘Turn around,’ Matloc ordered, replacing the bindings on the Earth Envoy.
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