The book was rocking right along, and I was more than halfway finished. I mentioned at dinner one night that I was using Navy ranks for the officers aboard the ship.
Did I mention that I have a rather opinionated son who happened to have been in Junior ROTC – USAF? My youngest son Joel is a stickler for details. He held a perfect score in ROTC, and was the pride of the colonel who taught the class.
Joel informed me that the Air Force is in charge of the air, and by extension space, Star Trek notwithstanding. He suggested I change the ranks of my officers and offered to help with the conversion. We made them close approximations fitting with the work they performed.
My lieutenant became a captain. The character once designated captain now became a colonel (and in later books, a General). Joel gave me a print out of Air Force ranks to use for reference, and is still (many years later and post USAF service) my go-to guy on anything related to the military when I don’t know myself, or can’t ask a fellow member of RomVets.
Here's an excerpt from the book. In this scene, NarrAy, having completed her mission (or so she thinks) has been shown to the office of the rebellion's leader.
The aide to Colonel Somnoll O'Venna saw NarrAy to the colonel's door, opened it without knocking, and announced her in a whisper. She turned back and set a finger over her lips as she gestured NarrAy inside.
Destoiya ranked him a desperado and the number one terrorist threat to the empire, but the man before her was slight of build and had a gentle face and shaggy blond hair. The desperado sat behind a desk piled with documents, note readers, and vidchips. He held a sleeping child on his lap, her head cradled against his shoulder. Wrapping the girl in his arms, he gestured to NarrAy to close the door.
She shut it quietly and snapped him a salute. "Sir." She kept her voice low. "Captain Jorlan reporting."
"At ease, Captain." The Chiasma officer leaned across the sleeping girl and extended his hand. The APLA disregarded most Better Laws, especially the one about not shaking hands. "Glad to have you on board. Please sit down."
The Sleeper had gained his moniker because of his first name, Somnoll, and his reputation in always catching the Conqueror unawares.
NarrAy clutched a hand over her heart.
O'Venna gestured for NarrAy to come closer and pointed to the floor behind his desk.
"Onys is the only Chiasma test subject who survived the Sabbath Experiment."
"Is he like me? Genetically enhanced?"
|NarrAy Jorlan, a Better|
"So these little ones are in your care?"
"I'm surprised to see an officer of your rank with children literally underfoot." She smiled.
"Quite a challenge."
He nodded, fondly gazing at the child on the pallet. "An incredible challenge. O thinks like a HalfKin, not a Chiasma. I'm not sure what to do with him. He doesn't know how to use telepathy or any of his empathic senses. And Talyn..." He sighed and leaned back in the chair, then grinned widely. "She'd been aboard less than one day when she convinced a fighter pilot to take her up backseat and teach her to fly against the empire. I had to discipline him, but I have a feeling it won't help. The crew's adopted her as their own."
NarrAy had to laugh. "She's a leader, then."
"And a troublemaker, just like her aunt. Ruffhaus will join us soon. Stealth and those Praetorian now on our side hope to free her within a day or so. Destoiya will spit venom when she finds out."
"You expect Ruffhaus to join the resistance?"
"Ruff has no reason to trust Destoiya and every reason to hate her. She can win us our freedom."
"You have a lot of faith in her."
"That is a massive understatement. I'm staking my life on her. More than that, I'm staking the future of the empire." He tucked the blanket under Talyn's chin. "I believe once Ruff's on our side, she'll become the leader of the rebellion. It's time I stepped aside. To that end, Captain, once your mission is completed..." He paused. "Which will be when?" He waited.
"I'll return Sen--Mr. Antonello--to Kelthia and be back within a day, sir."
"Good. When you return, you'll be Ruff's aide. Show her the ropes. That's a lateral move for you, but it will work into a hefty promotion later."
"Thank you, sir. I'm honored."
"Congratulations on a job well done, Captain. I've taken the liberty of assigning your aides elsewhere for a few days. I need their expertise on a private security matter. When they return, they'll report to you. I'll expect you to hire a staff and train them."
Talyn twitched and cried out in her sleep. Crooning softly, O'Venna rocked her in his arms.
"Nightmares." He glanced up. "Small wonder. Thank you, Captain. That will be all."
"Yes, sir." Smiling, NarrAy rose and clasped the Sleeper's hand between hers. "Thank you, sir. I wish you well with the children." She stepped back and saluted. At the door, she paused and turned back.
O'Venna was smoothing one of Talyn's curls.
He looked up.
"Permission to speak freely, sir?"
"I couldn't help but notice your ribbon."
With a smile, the Sleeper reached back and pulled the long blond braid over his shoulder. "This ribbon is for the Conqueror, Captain Jorlan. She's made a point of saying I'm the primary target in her war against domestic terrorists, which is what she calls anyone who resists her power. I've answered that tyranny cannot and will not rule any person free at heart. So this" -- he tossed the beribboned braid over his back -- "is to make sure Destoiya can spot me in a crowd."
Antonello Brothers 1: At the Mercy of Her Pleasure (a Tarthian Empire Book)
Available at Loose Id http://www.loose-id.com/At-the-Mercy-of-Her-Pleasure.aspx
Warnings: This book is a substantially re-edited, revised edition previously released by another publisher, and contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play, dubious consent, menage (m/f/m), reference to rape offscreen.
Copyright © Kayelle Allen 2010