Paksos, Eastern Macedomonia
22nd November 2234
The old man shuffled forward holding onto his younger friend tightly as they made their way through the throng-the whole village had turned out for the Pan-Colony Address delivered earlier by their victorious Archigos.
'You must be very proud Alexandro...to have two such sons.'
The older man smiled but said nothing. In truth the pride he felt was tinged with some sadness-he knew that he had lost his sons both; one to the Starfleet and the other to politics. They were both being acclaimed as twin architects (along with Dr Zeus, of course) of the victorious end to this interminable war. For not only was their three year conflict with the Torians finally at an end but it was their allies, the humans, that the Torians had surrendered to. In some senses it was the best possible end-in other ways it was a disaster given that Exile fleets and transports stood ready to invade two key Torian planets: Ireland and Andromeda III when the ceasefire was announced. Maybe the Torian High Command had planned it that way-who knew? One thing was for sure, the politicians and the Diplomats rejoiced for now their only ally, who had themselves been hard pressed by other races, were handed a rump of star systems many parsecs from their own that gave them a lifeline of survival. It also meant that finally these two races, so alike and yet so different, could be joined more closely in galactic amity.
And his sons had been the architects, the one pressing the Torian home-worlds with his fleet and the other weaving his webs of intrigue and planning with the Great Leader-it was a scenario that he would scarcely have imagined a few years previously but one, nonetheless, that was upon them and one in which he, like all of the citizens in their burgeoning race, would revel in.
'And this in a year when the boys are only nineteen and in which we have lost both the Drath and the fearsome Korath-the Gods are fickle methinks my friend.'
'They are-they are Andreu' The old man said as they reached the haven of the younger man's dwelling-it lay at the eastern edge of the village and was a modest place boasting only three chambers in total. It would do, however, given the serried ranks of the press corps camped outside the Ohirides household.
'You do me a kindness that I will not forget Andreu-taking me in like this.'
The younger man blushed-he was a self-effacing type, not used to compliments.
'Think nothing of it sir-the least I could do for a man that I have always admired-you and your sons...and your good lady, whilst she was alive...' An awkward silence hung in the air. How could either broach the matter-that terrible secret that they had both carried for all those years. In some ways the untimely death of Delilah had only served to accentuate the awful mystery of a misguided night of passion that now hung so heavy between them.
It was Alexandro that spoke: 'Well at least I can console myself with the thought that my sons are safe-can you believe that Pollux is a Fleet Commander and not yet twenty-we all knew he had skill but...'
Andreu nodded 'yes truly a thing of wonder-and marvellous that in spite of the terrible losses that the Fleet took two years ago that he survived. You have been blessed Alexandro..'
'Aye son, blessed or accursed maybe.'
'They are safe Alexandro-that is surely all that matters?'
Alexandro could only grunt 'for now maybe. What say you of the Drengin-think you that it will be war?'
Any optimism they had been feeling quickly evaporated. It was true that they were finally at peace but the situation with the powerful Drengi meant that their situation was precarious. They could only console themselves with the thought that, by surrendering both their worlds and their still powerful Fleet to the humans, the Torians had made the Terran Alliance and transformed them from being amongst the weakest powers in the galaxy to being the fourth behind the Arceans and the Iconians with the Drengi reduced to third. They would think twice before attacking the Terran's ally. That was the hope of the ISA anyway....
He had spoken to Castor only two days previously-the young man, normally so serious, had been almost giddy at the thought of the upcoming reunion ceremonies with the Terrans on Toria-no less than ten feast days had been decreed by the Leadership for all to celebrate.
'I will get to meet my counterpart in the Human milieu father-think on it!' the boy had exclaimed excitedly. 'A man called Alan Bradley leads them-they don’t have daskalos and mathitis like we do here but they have apportioned much greater autonomy to their worlds thereby greatly strengthening their productivity and prosperity-think father: it is just what the Good Doctor has tasked me with looking into now that the war is over!'
Alexandro smiled at the memory-it was amazing how grown up and yet so young his sons could be all at the same time.
'Son-all that matters to your old man is that the two of you are safe and well and I can only pray for that day when I can feast my eyes on you both again.'
Castor had become serious again-adopting that stern mien that he used amongst the political avenues of the Agora.
'Aye father-myself too-it will be arranged-count on it'
Little did either of them know that they would never set eye on each other in the flesh again....
8th January 2235
Aboard ESS Crius
Pollux Ohirides had just ended a secure call to his brother where amongst other things he learned that despite the strengthening of their hand by the surrender of the Torians to their allies and the depositing on their left flank of numerous Terran worlds, the Drengi ambassador had recently delivered a demand for 333BC to the Exiles. It was staggering that the arrogant Drengi still felt that they had the whip hand when everything had changed. Would they not learn-one would think that the example of the Torians would serve as a stark reminder of the folly of challenging a race that was stubborn as it was resilient-and now they had their allies, their fellow humans, in close proximity. Of one thing he was sure, he had assured his brother, he and his commanders would be ready if war with the war-like Drengi came. Their possible future foe were already engaged in wars against the Iconians, the Arceans and several minor races and would learn very quickly that their own was not some weakling to be pushed around. The great Archigos had told the Drengi Ambassador that they should remember the lesson they had just meted out to the Torians before trying to extract money from them by extortion and menaces.
But this was not what really vexed the young commander as his battle-group and the three others in his fleet raced towards the pre set RV he had set at somewhere equidistant between the Torian (now Terran) worlds they had just been harassing and the Drengin home-worlds to their south-east. What really vexed him was the information he had just been provided about his First Officer. She had been a particularly able deputy and one to whom, in spite of himself, he had been attracted to despite his better judgement. It was sometimes difficult to resist urges that were only natural for a young man of his years. Yet no man of his age had endured so much or taken on such responsibilities, or such cares.
A knock on his Ready Room door.
Siriana Drew entered unsuspecting, theirs was an easy, relaxed relationship.
'You needed me boss-what's up? Not those ammunition tallies that you wanted?' Even now her piercing green eyes transfixed him, choking his throat, quickening his desire and stirring up his loins. Rather than the matter at hand all he could think of was the rise and fall of those fulsome breasts.
'Boss?' It was she who brought him out of his reverie.
He knew what he had to do:
'Lochagos Drew I have been provisioned with information that comes from the highest sources that indicate that you are and have been a Torian spy for some while-it is my duty to arrest you immediately, secure you and transfer you into the keeping of the Central Security Directorate. What say you?'
The junior officer's face crumpled and tears followed, 'May I-may I sit sir?'
Pollux nodded, 'Drew why? You realise that this will be a death sentence?' He searched her face for signs of defiance-all he found was the deepest misery.
'You wouldn’t understand sir-by the time I wanted out I was trapped-people from my past and a spy-master who knew just how to manipulate me.'
She looked into his eyes and for a moment there was a flash of understanding of how he really felt about her. Maybe, just maybe she could turn this to her advantage...
'Sir-please I cannot stand the thought of a trial, disgrace and execution. Please allow me to end it myself-I will open my veins in my own quarters-it will allow me to keep some semblance of dignity.'
And in that instance the lithe, beautiful young man was all over her, kissing, fondling, passionately thrusting, all pretence at composure or continence gone as the two fell to the floor, the room echoing to the sounds of their passionate and frantic lovemaking....