Chains of Mist

Free Chains of Mist by T. C. Metivier

Book: Chains of Mist by T. C. Metivier Read Free Book Online
Authors: T. C. Metivier
Admiral asked.
    Drogni looked up. He could tell from the look on Laslo’s face that his friend already knew what he was about to say. “I’m going after Sellas.”
    Laslo sighed. “Of course you are.” He shook his head, a half-smile cracking his lips. “Well, I’m not going to try to talk you out of it. Not even sure that I should. Hell, I’ve half a mind to join you, but I guess someone’s got to keep an eye on things back home.” He held out a hand, and now his expression turned deadly serious. “Good luck. Take that stelnak down.”
    “I plan to,” Drogni replied as he shook Laslo’s hand. “That’s twice now that I’ve had him in my sights and missed. Third time lucky, am I right?”
    Drogni was trying for levity, but the words fell flat and hollow. The air suddenly seemed to shift, growing dark and somber. Drogni met Laslo’s gaze, but almost immediately had to turn away. The look of pained sorrow was too much for him to bear. It forced him to face the truth that he dared not admit even to himself.
    The truth: that Rokan Sellas was beyond him. That there was nothing Drogni could do to defeat him. And that, by moving to face his enemy yet again, he was only striding full force towards his own death.
    A poignant silence spread, settling around them in a suffocating embrace. Again, Laslo was the one to speak first. “Well, I guess I’d better get going,” he said, clapping his hands against his thighs. “If past experience is anything to go on, those fleets aren’t going to re-organize themselves.” He stood and took a few steps towards the door. Then he paused. He glanced over his shoulder. “Take care of yourself, Ortega. The Fleet will be waiting for you when you get back.”
    Drogni pulled up another smile that he did not feel. He didn’t let Laslo see the fear that pulsed through him. “I will, Jon. Same to you.”
    Laslo nodded. He lingered a few more seconds, and he seemed like he wanted to say more. But he merely nodded again, turned, and was gone.
    As the door swung shut, Drogni sank back in his chair, his earlier discomfort and troubled thoughts returning full force. He shuffled around some of the datacards, but it was more out of habit than any real interest in their contents. He still could not get his mind to focus. Hours passed like seconds, and the deep red of sunset had crept in to bathe the room when his comm blared out through the silence. He answered immediately. “Ortega.”
    The Vizier answered him. There was no introduction, no pleasantries. Instead the deep voice simply said, “I have found Varenn.”
    Drogni could not help but be a little surprised. About time you did something useful. He didn’t say that, of course. In his experience, taunts were mostly wasted on the Vizier. Besides, even if he succeeded in getting a rise out of the big man, what would be the gain? Having a spitting contest wasn’t going to bring down Rokan Sellas, or help them defeat the Coalition. “Where?”
    “The planet is Espir,” replied the Vizier. “You know the name—that world is something of a scientific curiosity, though for reasons unrelated to Rokan Sellas’s intentions. On Espir, there is a peak called Nembane Mountain; beneath it, there are vast subterranean tunnels, carved out ages ago by ancient forces of magic. Within those tunnels, I have seen a… convergence …of power, the likes of which I have never before felt. Forces are in motion that have not stirred for millennia, and they are destined to collide, soon…though to what end I do not know. It is there that you will find Justin Varenn. More importantly, it is there that you will find Rokan Sellas.”
    “You’re sure?”
    “Of course I am sure.” The Vizier sounded more dismissive than haughty. If he was angry that Drogni had questioned his abilities, there was no sign of it. “I have already informed Forgera and Makree. Your ship is being prepared. You have one hour.”
    The Vizier fell silent, leaving Drogni to

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