• Nick Richards

Chapter 7: The Emptiness of Space - Part Nine

“Training is done for today,” said Vialon to his soldiers. Grif, Tinno, Janen and Kinter walked out of the room, but when Wenden started to do the same, Vialon called him back.

“Wenden, I am pleased with your progress. You show good soldier aptitude. You are gaining strength, and that will develop in time, but your instincts are good, and you follow orders well.”

“Thank you, sir, I appreciate you training me. This, at least, I can understand fully. It seems guarding or soldiering keeps involving the same skills regardless of tek.”

“Yes,” said Vialon, “a punch is a punch is a punch in any society. But speaking of tek, I think you will be able to try our guns soon now that you have shown a mastery of our other weapons. After we leave Shadrach, I will get Tinno to give you laser lessons. For now, you will stick to knife, sword and club. And that is what I wish to tell you. When we land on planets, we always leave at least one soldier behind to help guard the ship from any curious locals. This time I want you to take that duty, but don’t worry, I will leave Janen behind as well, at the least, so that the two of you can do the guarding.”

“Yes, sir.”

“You seem to get along with Janen.”

“Yes, sir, he is a good friend to me.”

“Fine, then there will be no problem on Shadrach. The two of you will guard the ship, and any exploring of the planet will be in the immediate vicinity of the Candell. Any questions?”

“No, sir, I’m sure Janen will tell me what my duties are. I will take orders from him.”

“You were a junior guard on Enarw, weren’t you?”

“Apprentice, sir, yes.”

“It shows.”

“Oh? What did I say wrong?”

“Nothing,” Vialon said laughing, “only usually when I tell one of my men they are to stay behind they are at least a little disappointed. You just say, ‘yes, sir’ as if that’s just how it is.”

“I follow orders, sir, but if you mean I am not disappointed, well, I am a bit. I’ve never seen another planet and this will be my first.”

“I understand that, but you can see that you need more training before I can put you on the front lines. But do not worry, if we are greeted in a friendly manner, I’ll let you go exploring once we get that first impression over with.”

“Oh, I would like that very much, sir.”

“I’m sure you would. Dismissed.”

Wenden left the room with a smile on his face.

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