Senator Tlotoxl sat in his office in Awanesa frowning at the report before him. Written in the tight, symmetrical hand of Janissary Hausis, the news was not good. The Janus Horde had nearly leveled the barely reconstructed city of Trovaska. The Arman Protectorate kept Confessor Karena as their prisoner. Sightings of First Ones: First Ones and shape-changing horrors throughout the city.
The report detailed how the Protectorate was increasing its defenses and strengthening its garrisons. The Raina returned to Mureath for her safety. Protectorate senators had admitted in open senate that “the only way to rid the barn of its mice was to send more cats.”
The implication was clear. The orders from Mureath were clear.
A little too clear.
The Arman Protectorate military was sending more resources into Sametia. Worse, every man, woman and child that would fall in their hands would be summarily murdered to satisfy the zealous bloodlust of the Protectorate. Janissary Hausis reported that General Gronnovitch – now promoted to voivod of Arman Sametia by the Tsarina – was holding public “justice”: just a fancy word for public execution of any Sametian captured. These spectacles pleased the revenge-hungry crowds, especially when wrapped in religious iconography.
The senator had no doubt the Dominion would also increase their military presence. Though their methods were different, the results would be the same. There would be no peace in Sametia until every nation of Exodus had bled all of its children dry.
I’m getting too old for this, the senator thought to himself with a prolonged sigh. I made a terrible mistake, all in the name of peace and the defense of the Imperial Alliance. He placed the report on the desk. Wearily, he reached for a cup of tea he sipped without enthusiasm. “What now?” He asked aloud.
He jumped in surprised when he received an answer. “WE GO HUNTING! ENOUGH STAYING IN SHADOW! NOW WE HUNT! TEAR OUR ENEMIES TO PIECES!” All this time, a massive enuka warrior remained standing by the window. “ENOUGH TIME WASTED! NOW YOU ACT!”
The old senator looked at the Prelate of Awanesa, the massive Neck-Ripper. His first instinct was to reject the enuka’s suggestion but he stayed his tongue. Maybe it was time to act out in the open and try to end this masquerade. He now had blood on his hands, the blood of the children of Sametia and of every nation that broke the treaties of the Imperial Alliance.
The senator pondered some more as Neck-Ripper mimicked tearing apart some unseen enemy with childlike joy. The grunting of the Prelate brought a smile to the old man’s wrinkled face. Neck-Ripper may not be overly bright but I doubt many share his opinion, thought the old man. Perhaps it is time to use the resources of the Imperial Alliance to strike back. For the past year his people had kept tab on the enemy without striking back.
“You are right my friend, now is time to strike back. Call the others! Though we will do so from the shadows, we will strike back. Our enemies will feel the power of our unseen hand, the power of the Imperial Alliance,” said the senator. Prelate Neck-Ripper bellowed his approval by pounding his chest.