“I can’t believe Elkay is gone…” Rethais muttered as he entered the Council Room, closing the door behind him. The other members of the Circle were all there, they were just waiting for the High General. Behind their simple, wooden seats, the V- and S-Classes stood on guard, watching for any threats via the large, tinted window, while the Θ-Class, normally stationed at the Great Library, guarded the entrance.

It is absolutely horrible!” Emthion exclaimed. “And to think his own Ksa were behind it all!”

Actually…” Veeksiar, the Keeper of the Great Library, as well as the secretary for the Circle, countered. “We don’t know if it was just the three of them, if they were connected, or anything. We don’t have all the details yet. We should wait for a proper report before we prosecute anyone. Not to mention that a fourth suspect escaped…”

The K-Class failed their job,” Emthion growled. “They deserve punishment.”

Suddenly, the door flung open. High General Photeianos had arrived.

Do not fret, brothers. Everything will be sorted out!” the High General proclaimed. “Shall I recap what has happened?”

Rysos and Lepidas both glanced at each other. They had only found out that morning that the Vice General was gone. Lepidas in particular had not taken that news well.

No, there is no need…” Omnos sniffed. “You already announced in your prior press meeting that Elkay’s body has been taken to a secure location and…”

What is more important is that we get ourselves a new Vice General and carry on as before as fast as possible!” Emthion interrupted. “We leave ourselves dangling, others will see us as weak. We get Elkay buried, we get the guilty punished, we carry on as normal.”

Photeianos nodded. “That is the exact sort of attitude I want. I have been thinking about this for a while… But first, a toast…”

The High General waved his hand, and two N-Class Ksa rushed in, brought drinks for all the Generals, then rushed out again.

A toast, to our dearly beloved Elkay. You were taken away from us, little one, far too young. You did so much for us, you made our lives better and more secure. You may have stood in my way a few times, but I can forgive you for that. I had such big plans for you. Bless you, little Elkay…”

Photeianos raised his glass, then took a sip. The other Generals did the same, their heads lowered, trying to hide any tears they may have had. After a moment of silence, they all looked back towards the High General.

I suppose we must pick a new Vice General?” Lefterias asked.

There is little point holding an election when we have elections next year,” Rysos shrugged. “We pick someone now, the Rethans can elect someone new. We are all elected officially, after all.”

Exactly, Rysos,” Photeianos smiled. “And I have already chosen. Emthion, as the eldest member here, will serve as Vice General.”

I will?” Emthion looked rather shocked.

He will?” Rethais, Lepidas and Omnos all looked rather shocked too. None of them thought Photeianos would chose so quickly.

Yes,” Photeianos nodded. “He has the most experience out of all of you. We need someone strong and powerful to carry on Elkay’s legacy, at least until the elections.”

But Emthion is mostly opposed to many of Elkay’s ways!” Lefterias protested. “He-”

Silence. It is my duty as High General to decide, and I have made my decision.”

Rethais sighed. None of the other members of the Circle wanted Emthion to be Vice General. “Photeianos, who will take his place?”

Again, Photeianos smiled. For someone who had lost a close friend, he seemed to be hiding his sadness incredibly well. “Oh, I have already decided. General Kaldoran will take his place, and his assistant Elenar will stand in as General of Medicianl Affairs until the election, after which General Kaldoran will return to his duties there. Understood?”

The Generals all nodded.

Good. Now, I have a funeral to plan, and Emthion has a murder case to look over…”