Author : Bryan Pastor

An officer sprinted down the hall, past superiors and subordinates alike. Nearing the end of the hall, he slid to a stop, upsetting two chairs outside the deputy legate’s office. He quickly set them back in place, then checked himself in the reflection of a picture’s glass. Confident that he was in order, he marched around the corner toward the Marshal’s office.

A pair of guards flanked the high officer’s door. A young female officer sat behind a desk, upon noticing the officer’s appearance, she fixed him with a dower glare.

“The marshal is not to be disturbed.” The female officer growled, even as he was only halfway down the hall.

“I have an urgent message for Marshall Kana.” He replied, snapping her a salute.

“You can give it to me.”

“It’s for his ears only ma’am.” He replied. “It’s is about…” he paused and cleared his throat.


“Send him in.” a voice barked from the office.

The interior of the Marshal’s office was decorated in deep red and gold. A wooden desk sat opposite the door, a rare item this far from the home world.

“This better be important.” Said the Marshal, a half-finished plate of food sat among maps and troop deployments.

The officer steadied himself then made the ten steps to the front of the Marshall’s desk.

“Who are you?”

“Second Corporal Lew, intelligence corp.”

“Spit it out, Lew.”

“We have him, sir.” Lew beamed.

The marshal’s hand reflexively shot to the patch over his left eye.


“On an inbound transport that will be docking in less than ten minutes. I have an interrogation room ready for his arrival.”

“Good.” The Marshal chuckled. “I have been waiting a long time for this.”

Four heavily armed guards led a shackled and hooded man down a dimly lit corridor. They marched on for what seemed like an eternity until they came to a plain, unmarked door.

“You sure this is the place?” a guard asked.

“This is where we were directed.” His superior replied. He knocked on the door.

A camera dropped from the ceiling, scanned the small group then retreated. There was a clank and a hiss, the door and surrounding wall faded. In its place were a dozen more guards.

Second Corporal Lew stepped forward.

“We will take him from here.” He dismissed the men.

“There is someone who is eager to see you again, Duren’La” Lew grabbed the prisoner by the arm, pulling him toward a table. The Marshal sat behind it.

“Duren’La, my old friend.” The Marshal laughed, “I haven’t seen you since…”

“You lost your eye?” A voice offered from beneath the hood. Lew motioned to have the hood removed.

The man squinted as his eye’s grew accustom to the light.

“I am going to make the last days of your life as miserable as possible.” Kana rose, anger emanating from every fiber of his being.

“Six long months I languished on that desolate rock waiting to be found. Then another six months spent in a field hospital. It’s a pity I don’t have an asteroid to plop you down on.” Kana jabbed a finger at his prisoner’s chest, it sank in nearly up to his knuckle.

Kana stared, a look of incredulity crossed his face. Duren’La looked at him and smiled, before collapsing into innumerable nanobots.

“You brought me to the center of your citadel, right?” Duren’La’s voice seemed to come from everywhere.

Men screamed as the swarm engulfed them in a maelstrom of destruction, none louder than Marshall Kana.

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