Marshal Nemina’s flagship, the Will, docked in her private airship base.
Far from the eyes and ears of any senator or Ministry of Safety minions, Nemina was certain nothing would take this victory from her.
She barked orders to her subcommanders and took the orb with her to her personal quarters.
Her scout had served his purpose exceptionally. It was a pity he disappeared before she could properly reward him. He scouts her handpicked for their loyalty and discretion. She was certain he met with a bad end, defection was not in their vocabulary.
No matter. The White Dragon Orb was now on its way to Emperor Thenacus XII, May He Live and Rule For Eternity. She removed her heavy field armour and readied herself for His summons.
A day, then two passed. Nemina was accustomed to His Excellency’s whim, and did not let her impatience show.
Finally on the third day after her arrival, Nemina was ordered to present herself to the Emperor at once.
Enroute to the palace, Nemina was accosted by the one man she had wanted to avoid.
Roltus, Minister of Safety by name, but in truth the Superintendent of Thenacus’s Secret Police.
“Marshal!” the vile man purred. “I trust your great adventure was fruitful? His Excellency is becoming impatient with our lack of progress against the Four Nations.”
Nemina continued to stride towards the audience chamber, her disgust quite easy to see.
“The Emperor is confident in my plans, Minister. Don’t you have addled vagabonds to execute for sedition, or children to torture for disloyalty?” She knew his underlings, the Black as the Emperor called them, were desperate to find out what her excursion was really about. His continued prying satisfied Nemina that she had not been betrayed.
“I would never question his Will, Marshal. And I assure you, all His enemies will be found.”
The leaders of the Black and the White both entered the chamber at the same time. Nemina grew more annoyed. It looked like the viper was going to be there for her triumph. So be it.
Thenacus XII (May He Live and Rule For Eternity) sat on his throne, enjoying the subtle warfare between His White and Black. Underlings needed to be constantly set against each other, both to strengthen them, and keep them from plotting against Him.
Cunning little Roltus, and loyal, unimaginative Nemina, so different in their uses and values. He was pleased enough with both their fields of expertise, but He would not dare let them think He was satisfied.
“Marshal Nemina! Enemies amass at our borders! Orcs from the Steppe threaten Xix, the Four Kindoms are painfully cooperative, and the Morgors are not at each others’ throats. And yet you run off on a personal excursion! Explain why your head does not decorate the wall!”
He did not expect grovelling or excuses. Nemina (sweet fool) believed in Thenes. She would apologize, and redouble her efforts.
She instead drew forth the White Orb.
Stunned for a moment, the Emperor burst into laughter. He never thought in all His years anything could surprise Him.
Looking then at the stunned rage on Roltus’s face made Him laugh again. Truly it was a great day…