Queen Rossetta Winterscale IV set her cup back down on its plate and directed her unwavering gaze towards her guest. “Now Oswald, while I’m having my breakfast I’m on my own time, and not burdened by my duties as Queen. Tell me about my children; I know its only been a month since they left on their quest, but I’m curious to see how they’ve begun.”
Oswald, High Admiral Chode paused for a moment, and then deliberately filled himself a cup of tea and sat at the table before answering. “Since we’re on breakfast time and not on Royal time…” His eyes glittered at her disproving scowl and he continued. “As of my most recent reports, both are still alive and well. The young Prince Dresden has apparently traveled to the Koronus Passage. He has established himself with the diplomatic group on the Footfall Station, and is attempting to end the trade embargo between our Nations.”
The thought of her son, noble and bound in his honor and tradition attempting, to negotiate with the dried up and long winded old gas-bags who got sent to the cushy permanent diplomatic posts made the Queen laugh out loud. “I wonder who will be more shaken up. The boy when he discovers that those old men are all snakes in the grass, or the old men when they discover that he’d rather take a beating than break his word.” After another sip of tea she added “I trust you’ve already taken the appropriate safety precautions?”
Chode looked slightly offended. “Of course I have. At least as best as can be.” He raised one hand to forestall the coming comment, and continued. “He’s under surveillance by one of my best teams. He’ll never notice them, and they can provide us regular updates, and protection as well. He’ll be as safe as we can make him, without his knowledge, on a space station filled with untrustworthy and ambitious politicians.” This last part was delivered as dryly as possible without constituting disrespect towards his monarch.
“I understand. Now about my daughter, what about her? That child could find trouble in a padded room.”
This time Chode’s pause seemed slightly more nervous than before, the Princess was known to be independent to say the least. “In this case your Majesty, I’m afraid I have less information than I would like. From her departure from Lucin’s Breath, she traveled deeper into the Kingdom. She then apparently sold her personal craft on Jerazol, and booked passage on a passenger vessel named the Gilded Lilly.” He paused a moment to collect his thoughts. “We don’t know why she sold her ship, or where she was booking passage to. What we do know is that when pirates captured the vessel, she was neither killed or kidnapped.”
“What do you mean Oswald? Where is she?” Though her voice remained level, fire flashed in the Queen’s eyes.
“What I’m saying is that her name was not on any ransom list, nor was her body found in the aftermath. In-fact, only the personal items in her cabin even indicated that she had been there at all.”
“You lost her.”
“We captured the pirates, she wasn’t with them and she wasn’t on board the Gilded Lilly when we searched her.” He paused to invite comment, but on receiving none he continued. “I have a theory, although no evidence. I believe that somehow, during the hijacking, Alyssia somehow ended up on one of their boarding craft, and commandeered it for herself.”
“She pirated a pirate ship?” The Queen’s voice held only a little surprise.
“I can’t think of any other way she could have both been on the Lilly before the attack, but not after, or on the pirate command vessel when we captured it. I’ve checked the scanner logs to try to verify, but with the debris from the space battle, its impossible to determine if any fighter sized craft escaped. She hasn’t made contact, or yet attracted any attention elsewhere.”
The Queen sighed, took a breath, and then spoke. “Let me know immediately if any further news unfolds.”
Chode slid to his feat, and bowed slightly. “My Queen.” As he backed from the room, her face didn’t move.