“The question was why you want them?” Princess Vanera didn’t like her Chief Advisor’s tone. The “them” in question were the Seven Moons of Planet Endi, hundreds of light years away from their present location. It would requite an embarrassing amount of effort and time to achieve them. The fact it was impossible and expensive didn’t mean it was prohibited, just that it needed a stated purpose. From the Princess.
The why was self-evident. The dark blue planet spun, a rich water source, worth the trip alone. But then the seven perfect moons of equal size, stuffed with rare minerals and biological organisms. Her experts would have a field day. She would be praised by them. But that wasn’t the real why. The real why, truthfully, was because it was pretty.
“Are they not mine to want?” She finally answered. She sat in the middle of her large square bed. Endi rolled right in front of her. The moon circled them. The advisor sat on a silver chair in the corner. “Of course, but for our action plan–”
“Well, of course, but there are a number of other valuable resources in our area. As your Highness is well aware, the beta-matter in quadrant four of the nearest stare system has been the primary focus.”
“They have enough beta-matter to devastate a dozen galaxies. These ships need water.”
“Your Highness’ current vessel is at capacity.”
“Not mine Nimrod, everyone else’.”
“Your Father is securing the resource.”
Silence. Of course you could hear nothing from the half man, half computer sitting there, but his slow breath in and out. Princess Vanera felt like she could hear his brain though, working through it. It knew it shouldn’t push the Father issue. But his presence was there, sitting right on top of the whole thing. She could do as she wished, as long as he agreed. There it was. Prohibition. Restriction. “Make it primary objective.”
“Indeed your highness. Shall I cancel you meeting with the eminent Chief Council of His Holy Fire?”
She’d forgotten she’d sent for him. It would be untoward to leave him dangling in vacant space. A bad first step with Father. It was better to file the order. Make preparations and have it out, then proceed. “No, make the launch time a day after his arrival. Our meeting will be brief.”
“As you wish.” There was more gear spinning. She watched the man. He sat there perfectly straight, arms out on his legs. He seemed to be watching Endi’s dance with her beauties. She hope he saw it like that. She hoped he understood the why.
She sat watching them all roll until she was sleepy, and then she shut it off. Invisible machines tended to her. Covering her up, patting her pat. It smothered her in aroma therapy and mild narcotics, and she sleep for almost twenty hours. She was roused by visible hands, which transformed the room and prepared her. Washed, dried, dressed, she was placed on her platform and transported through her ship.
They meet in her dining room. Her Father’s Chief Advisor was an ancient Pleiadian, an Uncle from her Mother’s side. He sat eating in barbaric fashion, crude utensils stabbing at the re-hydrated grub packed from his village. He ignored her as he finished, grumbling muttering to himself. He grabbed a chunk of swab, and stuffed his cheeks with it. Then he addressed her. “The Pervading Holy Fire applauds his Daughter’s large ambition. And offers two of his Universe Crushers to assist in her activities.”
She tried to stop herself from smiling at the generous offer. Father had approved. “He order only one slight amendment. That Her Holy Endowment will finish her securing of the betamatter of quadrant four.”
“Years, that would take years to accomplish.”
“Indeed,” he said, sucking back the toxic juice. “But what is time to us dear cousin?”
“Right, Uncle, well I’m afraid I will be unable to fulfill this request. The order has been given. Preparations have been laid. I’m sure Father can send a team to finish the task. We will leave hold systems in place.”
“Stop the games silly girl.” Slurp. “You will follow the order. Or your Father will seize the ships. Disable this crew. And pull you in.”
“He wouldn’t dare.” Slurp. “It would be a blemish on his legacy. They didn’t believe a Daughter should be a Sovereign, but he went and made me one. He won’t stop me.”
“I can stop you right now. He already gave me the authority.”
“Order Eight-Four. VIP 1.” With her word the ship enveloped the man in a control chamber and sucked him deep into the bowls of the ship, where he would be transported in hypostasis with the rest of the biologicals. She sat in the now quiet dining hall. Her advisor came in and sat down. His eyes were blinking at an incredible speed. Then from its mouth came the voice of her Father. “He’s a slob, but that’s no reason to freeze him.”
“He made a threat on the Captain of this Vessel.”
“He did not, Cat,” a nickname she hated, “please let him go. Secure quadrant four and then have your treasure. Please. There are serious matters at stake here.”
“I’m taking him to Endi.”
“Cat, stop that, please. I need him to run several other errands. Stop this.”
“He’s insurance. So you don’t stop me.”
“Insurance? Stop you? You’ve gone mad. Deep space sick. I’m about to pull you in.”
Her advisor’s finger began to tap on the table. “Let him leave or I pull you in.”
“Order 88.” He Chief advisor shut down. Her vessel went into Executive Function. She stood there a minute. Waiting to see if the program would hold. She imagined her Father bombarding her tech’s security forces. Her batteries downstairs would be heating up under the pressure. Sort of thing that could send a ship into meltdown. She waited for her alerts but they didn’t come.
Everything was quiet, peaceful, perfect. Just like she liked it. She got off her transport and made the walk back to her room. The Moons and Endi spun, waiting for her.