Shatterer of Worlds: A Novel

Tag: Katha

Interlude Part Three

by on Jan.25, 2013, under Interlude

Quani didn’t know what to say. Up until this moment he didn’t think it was possible for his leader and old friend to suspect Lossepharr. But before he could find some sort of response, he watched as doubt once again flooded Katha’s face. “I don’t know,” he sighed. “My son is power hungry, of that I am aware. But is he capable of killing so many of his own kin? It sounds preposterous.”

Quani’s claws extended in disappointment. The Steward was not just physically blind but also blinded by love. “My lord, if you have any doubt in your mind about the death of your nephews and niece, perhaps you should reopen the investigation. It will put your mind at ease.”

Katha was already shaking his head before Quani had a chance to finish. “What if it’s true, Quani?”

“Then, son or no, you are the Boentu Leader and must see justice is dealt.”

Katha shuddered and clutched his gut. “He’s my son Quani. Besides, how will it effect the system? If it becomes known Lossepharr murdered the line of Boentu successors, his own blood, it could lead to a revolt.”

Quani was stunned. Could Katha truly be so willing to sweep everything under the rug? “My liege, you must do what’s right for the system.”

“What’s right for the system,” Katha muttered. “What’s right is we never look too closely. Because I promise you Quani, the people will destroy everything we have built if this news come to light.”

Quani sat stunned. He couldn’t force Katha to launch an investigation. There was no evidence of wrong doings, only suspicions. Was Katha right? Would the Boentu System be torn apart by civil war if the news got out? He didn’t think so. He wondered why Katha had even told him of his doubts. Then, taking him by surprise, Katha took Quani’s hands in his own and thanked him.

“You have been a true friend.”

“I’m ever your servant, my Lord,” Quani murmured.

Katha smiled. “I’m sure I don’t have to remind you to keep this discussion to yourself.

“Of course,” Quani replied.

“Good,” Katha murmured, letting out a yawn. “I am tired Quani. I think I might retire to bed.”

Quani recognised a dismissal when he heard one. He got up to leave as Katha leaned back in his chair, breathing a sigh of relief.

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Interlude Part One

by on Jan.21, 2013, under Interlude, Uncategorized

Katha sat in his study listening to the reports of the day. Lossepharr was doing a fine job taking over the position Dennethom once held. True, he lacked his cousin’s initiative and seemed more focused on the military aspects of the Boentu system. But he was still learning.

Yet a feeling gnawed at Katha day and night. A suspicion he dared not voice aloud. Instead, every time the thought arose, he tried to push it back down again. He didn’t even share his fears with his wife, Marvena.

Stifling a yawn, Katha poured himself some hot tea. Ever since his brother’s wife and children died on Regat six moons ago, he found himself not sleeping well. Between the system being in mourning, and his son taking over, Katha found himself with little to do but think about the accident If only he hadn’t sent Dennethom to the outer rim. If only the Boentu Atten had been properly serviced. Despite the passage of time, the system still mourned the warrior who should have been their leader. The people on Indra planned to erect a statue of Dennethom. Lossepharr wasn’t too happy to about the news. The people loved Dennethom. It was difficult for Lossepharr to compete.

It was the right thing, sending Dennethom away. At least, that’s what Katha kept telling himself. Dennethom needed to get to know the outer rim planets. Still, it didn’t help much. The more he tried to suppress his emotions, the more his feelings of guilt redoubled their attack at night, when he would toss and turn in bed.

The obvious sources of guilt, he could handle. His order had sent Dennethom and his family to the outer rim. True. But then there were the other thoughts. The ones that made him question the official report. Was it really an accident?

Ever since Katha heard the news of their deaths he found himself suspicious. But he was terrified to learn the truth. Which was why he conducted only the quickest of inquiries into the accident. To a layman everything seemed above board. The Boentu Atten had not been fixed properly. Wydun charged his own personal engineer with gross negligence.

Katha would never sweep evidence under the rug. But he was afraid to dig too deep. Afraid of what he might find and what the information would do to his family and the system he swore to protect. He couldn’t talk to Marvena. Not because she would think him crazy. No. Katha’s biggest fear is she would agree with him and demand he reopen the investigation. But such an action would reflect badly upon him, not to mention the rest of his family.

At first, he took sleep medication. The meds didn’t help. He began taking increasingly larger doses to fall asleep, and even if he slept, it just meant the nightmares would come. Ghostly accusations from beyond the grave. Chran, blaming him for not protecting his family. Katha shivered just thinking about the dream.

Losing his sight he could handle. You eventually learn to do without. But ever since he lost his sight he had had vivid dreams. It was the only way he got to see anything any more. It wasn’t fair that in the past few months the only things he saw were the dead. And so he gave up sleeping, instead taking the barest of naps as necessary.

But tonight would be different. Tonight he would sleep, because now he finally felt ready to voice his fears.

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The Outer Rim Part 12

by on Dec.19, 2012, under Chapter Eight: The Outer Rim

They were watching an address by Katha. He looked worn out and in shock. His clothing appeared ruffled as though hurriedly put together. His eyes were red and hollow as he numbly announced the death of his kin. Briefly he mentioned the investigation that would take place on Regat to discover what went wrong. Dennethom wasn’t worried though. He already had Jora and Xien rig the ship so that if an explosive device did go off, they wouldn’t be able to recover any body parts. Katha then began to talk about his nephews and niece. His voice sounded raw. He spoke in a halting way, as though afraid he would break down in front of the entire star system.

Having stayed up all night, an exhausted Yasana decided to go take a nap. Though Dennethom was also tired, he and his siblings chose to stay awake, re-watching the broadcasts, particularly the one of Katha’s announcement.

It was clear that, at least for the time being, no one suspected they lived. They might make if off Regat alive. So why didn’t he feel happier? He had saved his family’s life. Mostly he felt confused, unsure what his next move should be.

Though he didn’t say anything to Arronanto and Arjuna, he knew in his heart that Katha couldn’t have been behind the plot to kill them. He seemed too shaken. Not even Katha could keep his emotions so well hidden.

Conversely Dennethom had little doubt of his cousin’s involvement. When Katha made it known that the title of future leader would now have to go to his eldest son, Lossepharr’s face was carefully blank. He didn’t look elated. But he didn’t seem visibly upset by the loss of so much family.

“I’m going to kill him,” Arjuna murmured, studying Lossepharr’s face as though he were a ballistic orbital bot.

“No,” Dennethom replied. “He will die once he is tried for his crimes.”

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Conspiracy Part One

by on Nov.12, 2012, under Chapter Seven: Conspiracy

Every day it seemed Katha had less to do as Dennethom took on greater responsibility as Future Leader. Getting to know planetary stewards, learning of their needs, and even representing the Boentu race on visits to other Systems. The lack of work was frustrating. Every day he received reports of the good job Dennethom was doing. Yet still Katha felt troubled.

He sat in his chair, listening to another audio report of Dennethom’s success, this time on Veran, in the outer rim. Katha threw down the report in frustration, and tapping his communications console he summoned his uncle Draddo, and also his vizier, Quani.

Seeing Katha’s unhappiness clearly etched in his face, Quani eyed Drado wearily as they entered Katha’s office. Katha beckoned them both to sit.

“I have concerns,” Katha said once the two took their seats.

“What kind of concerns, Sire?” Quani asked.

“Dennethom,” Katha replied.

Quani raised his eyebrows in surprise. Even Draddo looked tense. After the events on Hadad, they both had hoped there would be no more questions of Dennethom and the line of succession. “What about Dennethom concerns you?” Quani asked. “By all accounts the stewards have nothing but praise for his performance.”

Katha leaned forward, his chin resting in his hand. “You see that’s my problem Quani. Dennethom is doing an excessively good job.” Draddo inwardly sighed but said nothing, allowing his liege to continue. “I am concerned Dennethom wants to receive the title of Boentu Leader sooner than I would like.”

“Sire, is that such a bad thing? It would give you a chance to spend more time with your family,” Quani replied.

“I am still Steward of the Boentu System, Quani,” Katha said rather icily. “The time at which Dennethom takes office is of my choosing, not his.”

Draddo cleared his throat. “Has Dennethom given you any particular reason to be concerned?”

Katha gestured to his computer. “These reports are plenty cause for concern. The people love him. If he decides to take the position early, he would have plenty of support.”

Again, Quani and Draddo eyed each other. They were unsure what they could say to reassure their liege. Draddo cleared his throat, and spoke, pensively. “Nephew, if you are concerned Dennethom will try to take power before he is ready, you could always send him away.”

Quani stared at his companion in disbelief, but Draddo did not so much as glance his way. “You could send him to the outer rim for a while. I’m sure there is plenty of infrastructure work to keep him busy. It will be a good learning experience for him, while you decide when to step down.”

Quani looked disappointedly at Draddo. He understood this was probably the best answer Draddo could come up with to keep Katha from doing anything drastic, but he was unhappy nonetheless.

Katha on the other hand, gave Draddo his full attention, nodding his head in agreement. “Yes, that does sound like the best option,” he said, when Draddo finished speaking. “It will give Dennethom plenty of opportunity to get to know the outer rim planets. And keep him out of my hair.”

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