And though it was delayed a little due to computer issues, we still have the next chapter in the ongoing saga of The Last Angel. In this chapter, we take a brief sojourn from events in the Black Veil to check in on some of the characters outside the nebula, as their own plans and stories progress. Charles Proctor has another interesting conversation (he’s getting a lot of those these days) and Nasham encounters the words of another prophet, written on
the subway an asylum’s walls.
Below is an excerpt from Adrianna’s own meeting, a discussion with Noble Fleet Lord Jirrico and the future of both the Principality and the Red Hand.
Thanks to all my patrons. I couldn’t do all this without you.
Leblanc flashed her teeth. Despite being smaller and flatter than those of the carnivorous Askanj-illth, the gesture was no more reassuring. “So let’s not beat around the bush. What is going on and why have you called me here?”
Jirrico’s crests flushed and swelled slightly. “The answer to those questions is the same: the Pyre of Galhemna.”
One of the woman’s blue eyebrows arched. “And you’re not happy about the outcome?”
“It was a strategic victory,” Suun Rin Tor put in. “Albeit a costly one. The Compact was set to deliver a crippling blow to our support and resupply chains across multiple Segments and now their entire operational plan has been thrown into disarray. Both Parliament and the Fleet Nobility are very pleased about that.”
“And yet, that’s not the sense I’m getting,” the human observed. “If the Pyre caused the Compact so much upheaval that they’ve had to re-organize their entire strategic stance, I’d think you’d be just as ecstatic as you say you are. In other circumstances, I’d imagine that the reason you asked for this meeting was to coordinate a new offensive in the region – probably with that nice, shiny fleet you’ve got hiding here around Kebrak Daun’s inner worlds.”
Jirrico’s expression tightened and he inhaled sharply. “How did you know?”
That smile widened. “I guessed,” the Renegade monarch confessed. “Your jammers are covering the inner system, but you’ve got more ships than I expected outside their range. Now, you could just have called in support from around the Segment and its neighbours, but some of those ships you’ve got here… I don’t know, call it professional paranoia.” She circled around the room, stopping at one display tank in particular. “Plus, the course you gave us – you were keeping a lot of terrain between Eisheth and the inner system. Something’s down there that you didn’t want us to notice. Put it all together and what else could that mean but a nice, shiny ghost fleet, probably rushed from whatever crisis point was recently freed up?”
From the faces of her hosts, her guess was probably on the mark. “But I’m noticing a lack of cartwheels here and you haven’t asked after my forces’ disposition more than politeness has required.” Her gaze locked onto Jirrico’s face. “You were more concerned about my recent actions than my military strength. Whatever’s disordered the Compact has had the same effect on you.” She paused. “How am I doing so far?”