An Inheritance of Stars

A Departure

Croswell looked up from his packing as he heard the air-car land in the courtyard beyond his dormitory. From his vantage point on the 5th floor, he was able to see the markings of the Queen’s personal guard. Once the vehicle had landed, 4 men got out while the drive stayed inside despite the warmth of the day. Two of the men took position outside the air-car; from their uniforms they, like the vehicle were part of the Queens Guard. The other two men walked together to the building, and disappeared from Croswell’s sight.

Croswell caught himself fingering the collar of his dress uniforms, still the bare fabric of a student. Later today he would graduate, swear his oath’s to the Realm and to the Navy, and by nightfall he would be in transit to his first post. After 6 years of study, the speed at which today was happening, was almost enough to make him sick to his stomach. Not that he ever would of course, his grandmother Mira would skin him like a Bantha being prepared for a feast. With effort Croswell tore his mind away from the all too graphic images of his grandmother with a bloody vibro-blade, and re-focused on the task at hand; packing.

Several minutes passed before activity outside the window again drew his attention. Croswell looked up as the second two men returned into the courtyard. The one held the door, while the other waved at the waiting vehicle. At this, a further occupant stepped out of the air-car. As he came into veiw Croswell almost choked, the man getting out of the car was High Admiral Chode, what was he doing at the Academy?. The High Admiral’s arrival was greeted by a joyous scream from below his window. Croswell looked down and his eye opened further; exiting the building were the Royal Twins. Princess Alyssia screamed again, and against all decorum ran across the courtyard to embrace the Admiral. “Uncle Chode” she cried out, “its been forever.”

“Uncle Chode?” Croswell did choke slightly for a moment, she called the High Admiral of the Royal Navy “Uncle Chode?” Even for a princess, that’s ballsy he thought. He didn’t know either of the twins at all beyond their reputation. The combination of his family’s financial station, his chosen calling of signal’s operation, and his position as an upper year student meant that he didn’t interact with either of them in any normal way. However that didn’t mean that he wasn’t aware of the rumors; genetically modified children, groomed from birth, and raised to rule the Kingdom. Usually Croswell didn’t put much stock in rumors, but today he wasn’t so sure. What he heard next made him even less so.

The High Admiral, after returning the hug of Princess Alyssia, and shaking the had of Prince Dresden; said in a voice which somehow carried to Croswell’s ears. “Come your highness’s, your mother has called. A ship waits in orbit even now. On our return to Jerazol one of you will be declared heir to the Winterscale Kingdom.”

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Talib

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