Find me my woman
The resounding slap echoed through Bojan’s head, reminiscent of a fighter colliding with the inner wall of the Highliner. The sound reverberated, leaving his left ear ringing. Gingerly, he touched his left cheek, his gaze fixed on Duke’s face. To Bojan, he would forever be just a Duke—an inadequate man with the visible flaw of albinism. It was no surprise he had to mate with a genetically engineered Ghola to produce a worthy heir.
“So?” Duke snarled at him.
“Your Grac… Highness,” Bojan spat the word, testing his mouth with his tongue to see if the slap had left any cuts. “We could do as you ask, follow the Borg, and launch an attack. However, that won’t expedite your fiancée’s return to us. There are no records indicating her current location. We don’t know if she is currently a Borg prisoner or will become one. We must wait for the message.”
Duke stood in front of Bojan, his fist clenched. His pasty white face had flushed bright red. It was interesting how easily the man blushed. Perhaps that was normal for albinos. Maybe, Bojan thought, dumbness was normal too. This was the third time he had to repeat the same thing.
“Your Highness, the things we cannot change, we have to accept. Menthat is correct in his statement that records about the encounter are damaged. We just don’t have information,” Dittrich said.
Duke almost jumped onto the Suk Doctor, but Dittrich didn’t move, didn’t even flinch.
“The whole point of Menthats is the ability to figure out the truth from limited data. And if I had a better Menthat instead of this.” Duke’s arm pointed in Bojan’s direction while his face was just a few centimeters from Dittrich’s. “I wouldn’t be in this predicament. Alathea would be already here, pregnant!”
Bojan could figure out that Alathea was not with Borg, even before they entered that blasted black hole. He was worried about it. The end of it back in their time flickered in and out of existence, since that one was detected. No one knew why that happened, or where the black hole went when it disappeared. On this side, it was stable, but they would have to head inside of it again and risk disappearance together with the black hole itself. Pity the Empire never wanted to study celestial objects. Now, such knowledge would be very useful.
Rapid knocks interrupted the Duke. He moved away from the Suk Doctor and fixed his jacket, turning towards the door.
A Feydakin Captain came inside, followed by two of his men, and nodded at the Duke, clicking the heels of his boots together.
“We destroyed three cubes, Your Grace.”
“Did you look through them before destroying them?”
“Of course, Your Grace. None of them had any traces of Lady’s inhabitation. She was not on any of them.”
Bojan opened his mouth to repeat, again, that Alathea was not with the Borg when a knife got stuck in the Captain’s neck, cutting his jugular. The man gurgled and slid down the floor, blood sprouting out of his neck onto the floor and the boots of his comrade.
Duke fixed his jacket again. “I am not Your Grace, but Your Highness. I’m here to start an imperial house, not a mere duchy.”
The remaining soldiers clicked their heels and yelled in unison, “Yes, Your Highness.”
“Now clean up that mess and bring me my fiancée!” Duke waved towards the door.
Bojan swallowed. What kind of monster was this? Historical records never even indicated this level of monstrosity. He had just killed one of his most competent captains because he wasn’t addressing him in the way Duke wanted. Bojan would have to make sure that the future real emperor doesn’t pick up on such behavior. Luckily, aristocrats never really cared about their children once they gave them to the servants and tutors.