Feb. 8 – Chapter One
Feb. 15 – Chapter Two
Feb. 22 – Chapter Three
Chancellor Toomale was rushing down the entrance hall to the Syndicate Offices when the sky grew dark. Panicked cries echoed off the marble walls, “They are here!”
She picked up speed. Her transport was just outside ready to take off the moment the bay doors closed behind her. She could see it through the double doors.
“Attention,” it was an announcement from the clouds. “Attention: All members of the Celestial Syndicate are hereby ordered to surrender unconditionally to the Zephyr Alliance under martial law. Any attempt to escape or retaliate will result in the destruction of the entire planet. Repeat: All members of the Celestial Syndicate are ordered to unconditional surrender. You have 60 seconds to comply.”
Toomale ran faster. She felt a hand embrace her right arm and from the corner of her eye she saw her viceroy running next to her. His strong hand grasped her and soon he was dragging her along. They said no words only ran. He threw her into her transport and slammed the bay door shut behind her. There was no time to pull him in with her before the transport lifted off the ground and left him behind for certain death.
She threw herself against the bay door, slamming her fists into the cold metal.
“We must go back!” she cried.
“Orders are to transport you to safety,” the pilot answered.
“I order you under the law of the Syndicate to return to the surface at once!” she screamed.
“All do respect, Madam,” the pilot answered, “The Syndicate is dead.”
“Please,” she pleaded, a single tear ran down her lily-white cheek. “It’s David.”
“Viceroy Franco has been secured on his own transport,” the pilot answered over his shoulder. “It was too dangerous to transport you together.”
Toomale sat and strapped herself in, preparing for the launch to hyperspace.
As the transport left the atmosphere a great red flash forced her to shield her eyes. This is it, she thought.
“Launching into hyperspace in three, two, one.”
The transport rocketed forward, forcing her deep into her seat. The weight of a thousand Catellavid Roamers were sitting on her chest forced her to struggle with each breath. When the jump was complete she shook herself to regain control of her own body.
“Viceroy Franco?” she asked with a shaken voice. “Did he get out in time?”
“Affirmative,” the pilot answered. “His transport made the jump to hyperspace one second after we did. I have confirmation of that now.”
“Send a message that I expect to hear from him when he is safe,” she ordered.
“I can’t do that, Ma’am,” the pilot answered. “We are switching to radio silence for the protection of the Syndicate.”
“Do we know if any other members survived the attack?” she asked.
“Negative,” he answered. “I suspect it will be many days before we learn anything. I suggest you rest now, Ma’am. We have a long journey ahead of us.”
She sighed as she rested her head against her seat. Her David would live. If only for today.