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Raev lounged against the couching curve of the alcove, where he was viewing a covert signal extraction of imperial news programming in purple tint. He’d had a full day of instructing novice plumber-technicians in the new wing. This included a couple messes, because in all honesty, it had been a while since he’d been top teen helper for the plumbing at the Hirylien refugee situation. He had gotten really good at it though, even working with scraps. This time they had the good material in quantity, and they just had a smashing success with the simultaneous flush. Despite all their similarities to Humans, Vedani do not excrete solid waste, so this had been an exciting sociological foray.

In the little warping broadcast, the new King Proxem was making declarations about danger and safety. He urged people to take care of home, reminding them that they are, of course, the best that ever was.

All of this just kills Raev a little more, groaning as he collapses further. He then propped himself back up with an offensive gesture from his home planet.

Looking at each one of the attending royal children, he considered what was known about Mireille, Cristobal, and Carlo. He had a dad when he was Cristobal’s age, too. They’d look different if they knew what he’d done. It bothered him a little that he didn’t have a plan for them, though that was probably for the better.

Raev’s eyes drooped balefully at this guy in the image with his important persona, trying to look competent and real. Sturlusson could read the policy transitions between lines of speech, shifts after the passing of Celeste. Oh, Raev had hated her so much. Still, he might hate Vario more, knowing whose counsel and implementation were most critical in the massacre of his home world by biological warfare.

These wounds were starting to feel older, now. Surprising… maybe something had changed. Just then, a message reached him. Oh – it’s this one. Sturlusson hadn’t heard from er for a while, but remembered the conditions for next contact from the Red Nexus dragons. He considered the possibilities and reformed his sinews, exhaling exhaustion before giving this his attention.

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