My family or clan has always been very secluded and remote. Normally girls or women were chosen by the clan master. The children were raised by the mother but trained by the clan warriors and the father. In my case it was the master and all six of my mother’s brothers. I do not know what my father did to deserve my mother or why she still loves him.
At eighteen I qualified for a commission in the emperor’s marines. First I had to see him and kneel to give my oath. That was the way of our clan if we wished to enter the service. Our clan was one of the only ones allowed to enter his presence with weapons. I dressed in black clan warrior garb and put on the face covering last.
Even the screen covering my eyes kept anyone from seeing me. My hands were in tight black gloves and I made a last check of my weapons before I left the hostel. It was an hour walk to the palace but I had called and they knew I was coming. The guards looked at me with suspicion when I reached the gate.
I held out a black card and pushed it into a reader slot. The light turned green and the smaller personal gate slid open as guards looked at each other. It was not supposed to do that for anyone. I walked up the long drive and entered through the front doors. I ignored all the servants and sycophants as I made my way through the halls to the emperor’s outer office.
The guards moved to block the doors as I crossed to a desk, “I am Kelso Lyon of the Demon clan.”
The woman swallowed and used her intercomm and a shielded voice screen. She straightened and nodded and turned to gesture, “open the door and let him pass.”
I turned and started for the door as the guards looked at each other before opening it. The office was huge and another guard stood at the emperor’s shoulder watching me as the door closed. This one seemed to know what I was and smiled. I pulled the face covering down and lifted the eye screen.
I stopped short of the desk and went to one knee and bowed my head, “I have come to give into your hands my soul.”
That was the term the clan used for honor and it meant everything. The old man stood and moved around the large desk, “your name son of Demon?”
I did not lift my head as I relaxed, “I am called Lyon’s Pride my lord.”
I felt the guard shift and held still as the emperor put his old hand on my head, “I accept your soul as my own until I fade. Long may you guard and protect the clan.”
He lifted his hand and I came to my feet, “thank you my lord.”
He smiled before turning, “it is my honor to lad. Once your grandfather...”
I spun at the sound of weapons and glanced back, “you need to go to your safe room.”
I pulled the eye screen down and lifted the face covering. The door began to open and guards spilled into the room. I walked out and turned to walk down the hall. The firing was growing closer as people fled. At a intersection I moved to the side and leaped and let the special surface of the gloves catch.
I pulled as I used the toes on the mocs and crawled up and turned to press against the wall. It was not long before men in black strode into the intersection. One fired at a guard and I waited as they fired back and started down the hall. I pushed off and flipped while pulling the twin short swords hilt down at my waist.
I landed among the soldiers and slid in while slashing and stabbing. Men screamed and died as I began the very old dance our clan had created. I cut a throat here and slid aside to stab into the neck of another and ... I spun the wounded and dying men into the path between me and others with weapons.
The body armor and screens could not stop the swords and finally someone began firing into them with a tribarrel. I dove and rolled into another hall as the few men left alive were torn apart. I wiped my swords as I stood and slid them into their sheaths. I leaped and caught the wall and climbed up and then reached for the ceiling.
Whoever was using the tribarrel was moving closer and firing through walls. I waited until they walked into the hall before twisting as I dropped. There were six men but only one with the tribarrel. I landed on him and caught his head and twisted and yanked. I rolled away and moved to the closest man as he fell and began to spasm and die.
The next man tried to turn the rifle he was carry but I slid in and caught it while turning. He fired and the rounds struck the other four men as I pulled a knife and shoved it into his neck under the ear. I twisted and ripped it out as I yanked and threw him towards two of the men. I leaped and caught another and spun with him as the last started to fire.
The rounds struck him but his body screen and armor stopped it. One of my hands pulled his arm up and his rifle fired and sprayed the other man’s head. I shoved the knife into the gap under the edge of his helmet and twisted before letting him go. I pushed him to the man and followed and caught the barrel of his rifle and pulled.
I moved in as he yanked to keep it and turned so he was between me and the last two men. I slashed across his throat under the face shield and shoved before moving after the last two. One spun to flee while the other tried to dodge. Neither made it as I reached them and buried the knife in the second man’s neck and pulled a thin chain with a disk on the end.
I swung it at the other man and it wrapped around the helmet. When the disk slapped against it there was a subsonic burst and he dropped. I pulled the chain and knife free and turned to look at the carnage around me. I looked at several wary guards pointing weapons and bowed before I turned and moved to one side.
I knelt to clean the knife and put it away and then the chain and disk. I glanced up a moment later when guards surrounded me, “is my lord safe?”
The guards looked at each other and one cleared his throat, “the emperor is safe.”
I sighed and stood, “good. Please inform him I have killed our enemies.”
I turned and another cleared his throat, “you are not going anywhere.”
I looked at him and then the others before I gestured, “your comp.”
He hesitated and then pulled it and handed it to me and I accessed it and lifted it to whisper. I handed it back as the screen flickered and a flashing crest appeared, “that is my sign.”
They looked and one checked before they stared at me and he gestured, “you can go.”
I nodded and started walking down the hall. When I pulled the float into the gate of the fleet base the guards watched me and one came to sign me in. He looked at the comp and turned, “a vehicle is being sent sir.”
Five minutes and I was being driven across to the marine officer’s academy. There were nine weeks of classes and training including with the marine weapons. During the official giving of oath I stood to the side and remained quiet. When I was promoted to second lieutenant there were a lot of senior officers.
The emperor appeared and while they went to attention I knelt and bowed my head. He smiled and touched my shoulder and whispered, “stand son of the Demon.”
Six of the dukes were present as he put a ribbon with a medal around my neck. He touched it and nodded, “you are your mother’s son.”
I smiled, “she says I am my father.”
He snorted and then nodded, “yes you are like him in some ways.”
He stepped back and everyone saluted before the ceremony ended. As the officers left a captain appeared, “lieutenant please follow me.”
What followed was a private meeting with the emperor and my grandfather who did not speak and the fleet sky marshal and the marine commandant. The emperor handed me a set of orders and told me what to do. My grandfather gave me a scroll and looked into my eyes, “it is for the broken clan.”
Like all the other cadets I had already packed and pulled my float after me and took a fleet shuttle up to a station where I caught a courier ship. The hatch was closing when Kaira slipped in with a large bag over her shoulder. She was sixteen and not really my clan but close enough and partially trained.
She grinned as I looked at her and held out a scroll. I accepted it and glanced at the crewman beside the hatch. I looked at the clan master’s mating seal on the scroll before looking at her, “are you crazy?”
She gave my chest a pat, “you are mine.”
I sighed and turned and started for the bridge, “very well but you have to wait until we get under way.”
She walked beside me, “the clan is very proud. The clan master showed the recordings from the palace and we saw you.”
I glanced at her before we reached the bridge and I stopped, “you know where we are going captain?”
He nodded, “as soon as we finish filling the water tanks we will leave.”
He gestured while glancing at Kaira, “you have cabin four.”
I saluted and he smiled and returned it. A few minutes and I was locking the float to the deck in one corner of the tiny cabin. There was a set of bunks and Kaira was already lifting and stowed the top away. I checked the tiny fresher before I put a screamer on the hatch and turned to undress. Kaira was half naked and grinned as she watched me.
She finished removing her clothes and laid on the bed, “I have waited many years for this.”
I sat beside her hip and reached out to softly feel and caress her, “you have finished the neural training?”
She snorted, “learning about sex in my mind is not real.”
I gave one nipple a tug, “answer witch.”
.... There is more of this story ...