Chapter 39

Heat Rising (Part 1)

Alfran sat down next to the aging emperor. He was staring out in to the courtyard below with a distant smile on his face.

“My children used to play in those fountains when they were young.”

“I sometimes still do… When no one is watching of course.” said Alfran with a smirk on his face.


Alfran laughed, “You know, sometimes I think it is you that has San’Dreki tech and not me!”

The emperor cleared his throat. “You have news for me Alfran?”

“Yes, I do. One good piece and one bad piece of news.”

The emperor nodded, which Alfran knew meant to just give it to him straight.

“Nakaia made contact just before they left our system. The Helsian girl woke up, it looks like she will survive but is a bit surly about the whole incident.”

“That girl is always surly Alfran. And the rest?”

“Pyroxius has been spotted.”

“So soon?” asked the emperor shocked by the stewards statement.

“It’s strange that something that is so constant can continuously surprise you when it arrive right on time isn’t it?” muttered Alfran.

The emperor knew what he meant. The arrival of Pyroxius, the planets third sun heralded a new Hot Summer, a meteorological event that occurred once every twelve years. It appeared like clockwork, but because of the length of time between each arrival it always seemed to catch you unaware and unprepared.

“We don’t have time to move from here do we?” the emperor asked.

“No Your Imperial Majesty. We do not. All we can do is get as many soldiers here as we can and reinforce the walls in preparation of an attack for when Pyroxius’s influence passes.”

The emperor sighed heavily. “Either Korv timed his actions perfectly, or that blasted nephew of mine has incredible luck.”

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