Chapter I - Page 6

     “I see,” Garik replied. “I’ll report it to Governor Montross first thing tomorrow,” his father told him, a slight level of sarcasm that all adults seemed to apply when a child told them something important.

     Soren sighed.

     “I’m serious, Dad.”

     “Alright, alright,” Garik replied, holding his hands up in a mock defensive stance.

     “Whatever you say, Son.”

     Soren held much disdain for the governor; Nathan Montross was a Coalition officer before the war, and is often blamed for the entire conflict. He sent his entire battalion into one of the Bastions, disobeying his orders to remain non-combative. That was before their nature was even discovered. In a way, Governor Montross was responsible for provoking the first contact, and the vast majority of Makeloan colonists wish him to be court-martialed. He would not investigate the craft, but likely destroy it.

     Garik placed two full bowls of berryhawk stew onto the counter, and walked around to take a seat beside his son.

     “I hope you’re hungry, Soren,” Garik said with a hearty chuckle as he picked up his spoon.

     “I lost my appetite,” his son replied, pouting at Garik’s lack of seriousness.

     “I heard your tummy rumbling; it said ‘Feed me! Feed me!” Garik teased, poking Soren’s ribs. They played and cackled, until the joyous moment was interrupted by a loud round of rapping on the door.

     Still chortling, Garik stood from the stool, holding his hands over his abdomen to prevent Soren’s tiny fingers from retaliating with violent pokes.

     Garik walked over to unlock the door while Soren blew on his spoonful of stew. The steam that rose off the tender flesh of the berryhawk was perhaps the most wonderful smell Soren could collect with his nose.

     After punching a nine-digit code into the wall-mounted console by the frame, the automatic door soundlessly slid open. On the other side were several Coalition troops.

     “Lieutenant Jade?” one of them asked from inside his helmet.

     “Aye?” Garek answered.

The End

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