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Last Flight of the Admiral Stalkforth 12

Half of the Blæc Guard split off and cornered the villagers. The rest lined up before the Admiral and raised their rifles. Their black armor bristled like quills, red lights blinked in place of eyes on their visors, and fearsome plastiform trunks hung from their mouthpieces. A voice lacking any resonance or warmth came from their ranks, seeming to belong to all of them at once.

“We have come for Seraph-Admiral Noel Porphyries Stalkforth. Who is in charge is irrelevant; who summoned us is irrelevant; the laws of this world are irrelevant; the cost at which we will accomplish our duties is irrelevant. Our actions are the sole certainty, and we WILL cull our charge from his former existence and bear him unto the heart of the galaxy.”

The Admiral wriggled his bare toes. “You brought the Shining Blæc down upon me Lord Grefa? I’m flattered you think me so dangerous.”

The Officer stared at the ground. “If this planet can rehabilitate Igrid Pleth, then what effect might it have on the most glorious mind in the galaxy?”

“It never occurred to you that I might have exiled myself to banish that very glory once and for all?”

Grefa felt as if he was going to be sick. “I couldn’t fail my Operandi,” he said through clenched teeth. “I’m sorry my sovereign, but would you wish failure on your closest friend?”

Before the Admiral could answer, one of the Guard raised its fist and produced a small cylinder between its knuckles. A thin stream of blue electricity shot out and smacked the Admiral right between the eyes. The Guard took a step forward, then stopped abruptly. The Admiral was smiling; the blast hadn’t made him so much as blink. For a moment, the two sides watched each other, human eyes pitted against circles of glowing red.

Grefa backed away, fingering the hand cannons under his sleeves.

The Admiral’s arm shot out, as if punching the air. The Guard flinched slightly, but nothing happened. The Officer, now crouched into a defensive position, readied his weapons. Then, the Admiral slowly raised his arm and flicked his fingers. A handful of pebbles flew out of his hand and bounced off the Guard’s bulky armor. The Admiral's face softened and he began to laugh. Grefa could not believe it.

The Guards reacted immediately. Small turret-guns on their shoulders switched barrels and pivoted. All at once, each gun sprayed a reflective silvery paste on the Admiral, trapping his entire body in a glittering cocoon. Without further excitement, they picked him up and carted him across the clearing. They took him into the ship and the gangplank closed behind them.

Grefa watched the sleek vessel rise through the wound in the canopy and fly off into the starlit sky. “Forgive me friend,” he whispered, “but it’s for your own good.”

End of Part I