OOC: Well, that's my cue, I think
This takes place between the two preceding AdmRal RP posts. The 3rd DD has not left Ihefulian yet.
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Kalazonitov was known among his closest friends and his subordinates for his even temper. But there were signs – signs that those who really knew him couldn’t miss. There were very
few known triggers – and, given the old Praetor’s temperament, they mostly
had to do with people abusing their authority.
Tanya Skivlana delivered the missive; Kalazonitov looked up from his meeting with the current Archangel executives; smiled; excused himself and read through the report.
Tanya was, in truth, expecting
it but she was still surprised at how the old man’s body froze
. The executives missed it, and continued their discussion on how to deal with the increased drydock activities; Kalazonitov paid them no heed. His eyes were glued to the datapad, his body a block of ice.
Then his eyebrow twitched
. His right hand shook
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he said, his voice trembling. “You will please excuse me. I have just received some very bad news and I need to bring this discussion to a close immediately.”
The conversation stopped, abruptly. The executives exchanged worried glances. Some of them made to protest – it wasn’t easy
to schedule these appointments, they were busy
men etc.- but others, more experienced and savvy ones, rose, bowed, excused themselves and nearly dragged
their fellows away. The doors closed. There was silence.
“Tanya,” Kalazonitov muttered, his hands now truly shaking. “Please present my excuses to these fine Ladies and Gentlemen at the earliest convenience.”
“Also, stand back a little, if you please.”
Tanya stepped back
, into the shadow of the doorframe and assumed her best parade rest and thousand-yard stare. While they both knew what was going to happen, it was an unspoken agreement that she would try to maintain a level of professionalism for the both of them in such situations.
There were a few seconds of tense silence.
And then the dataslate flew
across the meeting room in a blur, its screen smashing into crystal shards against the opposite wall.
in wordless rage and rose, a nearly comical stick-figure unfolding from his armchair. His hands hooked under the table and heaved
– and all two-hundred pounds of steel and glass flipped over like a pancake. He reached behind him, grabbed his chair and swung it overhead, smashing it into the remains of the table again and again and again and again
, until he was holding nothing but a mass of bent metal and tatters of cloth.
His bellows eventually resolved into garbled curses, as his thrashing slowed – and slowed
– and then there was heavy breathing and his legs gave out and he collapsed onto the floor, his hands still thumping
on the remains of his chair. Tanya immediately was beside him, raising him into a sitting position while he gulped for big gasps of air.
“It’s over, it’s over
,” he mumbled, leaning on her for support. “Thank you
“Of course, sir,” she answered, helping him to one of the few chairs that had survived his outburst. “That was a bad one, wasn’t it?”
“Oh yes,” Kalazonitov agreed with a crooked smile. “Quite
a bad one. Not been so angry in a while.”
He exhaled again, and again
and breathed in. The trembling receded; he managed to sit up without too much help.
“We need to move fast
, if we are to salvage this situation,” he said. “Tanya, I need
an Imperial audience. Now
. I…I need to explain
, to make Her
see. If I can explain…This is madness
. We should be praising him, not accusing him of mutiny
“Yes, sir,” Tanya agreed, her tone neutral. “I shall do my best. But I cannot guar-”
The door opened with no warning, a serious
breach of discipline Both heads snapped up, to glare
at the unfortunate communications officer who had just walked in.
“Get out,” Tanya snapped, her voice as cold as ice. Her hand reached to her belt for her service pistol.
The boy – he couldn’t be older than thirty blanched and stumbled, as if he’d walked into a wall (vat grown, that one, for sure)
– but then his mouth narrowed into a determined line, he frowned and pushed forward
, ma’am,” he said, his voice granite. “I have orders
. Praetor, sir, this has just arrived.”
He stepped closer, navigating the fragments of the table and knelt
in front of Kalazonitov.
“Lieutenant, I have no
idea what you think you’re doing, but this had better be…” Kalazonitov started, but his words trailed off as the boy presented a dataslate to him, holding it high, as if it were a holy relic.
“Sir. This has just
arrived,” he repeated. “From the Palace
Kalazonitov stared; then, with short, jerky movements he thumbed the identification sensor at the side. And fell back
as if under a physical blow when the VOICE
“Praetor Kalazonitov, recent developments have made it clear to Us that a stricter oversight of Our Officer Corps is necessary if the Dynasty is to emerge victorious from this conflict.
“You are hereby awarded a Class 2 Mandate, and are established as Our plenipotentiary representative and assessor for Our officer corps.
“You have five days from reception of this message to excise those whom you deem to be the most corrupt, incompetent or downright mutinous of Our fleet personnel.
“You answer to no-one except Us for the duration of this Mandate. Your authority is only second to Ours and Class 1 Mandate holders.
“You have Our full trust in this matter. Our thoughts are with you.”
There was silence, except for the faint rustling of the uniform of the shivering
Lieutenant. There were things that vat-grown people of his rank were barely
able to withstand and Her
voice – even a recording
of it - was certainly one of them.
,” Kalazonitov croaked. And the Lieutenant got up, saluted like an automaton and left.
knew already,” Kalazonitov mused, once the door had closed. “I will never doubt again.”
“Sir?” Tanya’s voice was strained. “This is not
a purge. You can’t
– not it five days!”
“No, not in that short a time,” Kalazonitov agreed. “But the High Executor doesn’t
hold a Mandate – just his rank
doesn’t want me to purge the entire
corps. That’d be disastrous, in the middle of a war. She
wants to send a message.”
He staggered to his feet, reaching for his cane. Tanya obliged him.
“On the one hand – a Frontier Fleet Ter-Judicator, mobilizing his fleet against the enemy, but without orders to that effect. On the other hand, a Delest High Judicator of the Home Fleets, accusing him of mutiny
. And She
gives a purge order. To me
“Make this known to the Commisariat and have them stand by to assist us. Get Vladimir Ilievich himself, if you have to. Also - get me a direct secure line to the Yonsakuren HQ. I want us to move within the next two hours and I need to discuss this with them.”
He smiled – and there were a lot of teeth.
“Mark my words, Tanya. I will never doubt Her again.