I

Soon the intimidating monolith of a station could be seen through the haze depositing dust onto the rebels. It was a large complex built out of scraps of the local metal, tayeet, from projects and buildings the rebels had torn down or scavenged. Green flames crudely decorated it with no rhyme or reason and gave the rebel headquarters a dark and ominous feel against the backdrop of the Milky Moon. A subsidiary group would be sent out to the mining transportation facility to salvage material to add to the horrendous site. It was a conglomeration of instantaneous creativity from the minds of her people thought to no longer have the power of free will. The building was raw. Paeosfu loved it.


The vehicle picked up speed, and the princess held onto the rails and tightened her grip on the yēoñogou in response. Smiling, she heard a few curses at the sudden acceleration, but those were soon drowned out by the sudden uproar of relief and near simultaneous shuffling of rebels anxious to exit the carrier.


They stopped in the hangar breathing cool air onto them. Large doors were brought down to keep out the gritty wind and locked to deter any unwanted guests.


Paeosfu was helped down to the floor equal parts uneven and tiled with whatever the rebels could get their hands on. Were those who assisted in laying down random materials reduced to nothing but a core? She pressed her lips together.


Roskavna exited next, tipping the vessel with her weight and causing a cacophony of rebel grunts as they squished against each other. Pulled from her sullen thoughts, Paeosfu lifted her head, and with a soft smile, she accepted a medic's invitation to sit in a hover chair.


Roskavna approached the officer there to greet them. She exchanged data that Paeosfu supposed went offline after their communication team was systematically wiped out. The kingdom troops were getting smarter. Unfortunately for the rebels, Third Ruler's hard work paid off.


As she waited for Roskavna, she glanced over to see Timoti helping to disembark the severely and critically injured. One of the Tayan doctors, waving his hands in panic and disgust, delegated Timoti to upload their status reports to keep him from touching their people.


Timoti stiffened his shoulders and clenched his teeth as he forced out a curt, "Yes, svan," at the new command. He allowed an injured Tayan to pass before stepping off the vessel. The foreigner slid his fingers across the front face of his Cube and pulled out the status report. Wandering toward Roskavna, he began to look through the casualty list.


"I thought the Tayan was actually beginning to like me," Timoti grumbled. He stopped beside Paeosfu and looked down at her. "How are you feeling?"


Upset, angry, disappointed, like a failure she wished to answer. "A little tired," she smiled weakly, "but my legs feel much better thanks to you."  Unwilling to linger on the thought that she sent so many Tayans to their graves, she peaked around the doctor to look at the Tayans ushering the last of the injured off the carrier and toward the medical bays.


"I wish you could be helping them. You truly do have good intentions, and they need to see that."


He shrugged, shaking his head and turning his attention back to the report. "You'd think I'd be used to it. Hey, at least I can edit this report. Aye!" he scowled. "Some of these notes are horrendous! Limbs missing. Which limbs? Viaete everywhere. That's useless! Cracked cores, but how many?" As he complained about the measly efforts of the other medics who managed to make it through the battle, he inserted his own clarification from what he picked up on the ride here. To think he had to submit a preliminary report with so many errors and riddled with vagueness!


Paeosfu giggled softly and pushed her frayed curls back behind her ears. "It's comforting to know that at least one person has kept a steady head through this mess. I'm struggling to cope with the fact that so many died by my hands," she admitted through a quivering smile. The princess stared down at her injured legs. "We were prepared for a few losses. We weren't...I wasn't ready for this."


Saying nothing for a few moments, Timoti stared at the princess pulling at her tattered shirt and with a mix of disbelief and hurt in her eyes.


"Yeah," he simply responded, dropping the report back into his cube. He wasn't completely heartless, Timoti thought as he stole a glance towards Paeosfu. He had trouble digesting the ruthless slaughter of the rebel group too. Perhaps that was why they refused to allow him to handle the cores or the injured—they saw him as heartless. "Let's get you to the medical bay," he said. The foreigner walked behind her and pushed the chair toward the other injured Tayans rolling toward the sick ward. "We have the Tayan's trust to gain."

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© 2019: Operation: UGAWTS || Princess Paeosfu: Journeys of the Abstract Princess || Conflicting Views

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