The press was ravenous today.
Elkay stood at his podium, looking down at the horde of hungry assorted races, all desperate to know what had happened. A lot of them had worried or accusatory looks on their faces. Normally, this never bothered the Vice General, but today, he didn’t have notes or a speech prepared or anything. He would have to ‘wing it’.
“Fellow Retha, fellow Maza races…” Elkay paused. Everyone present was silent. The only sound was from the odd click of a camera. “I will be completely honest with you. I haven’t prepared for this press conference. I don’t have notes. I am… almost in shock over what happened. I was carrying the fate of not just the Rethans, but the entirety of the Maza system on my shoulders, against an empire that spans many a solar system, and somehow I came out on top. I… I’m just going to let you all ask questions, I think. After I’ve given you a run down of what happened.”
Another pause. Elkay took a deep breath. “Basically, the Temthans demanded that the Rethans swear loyalty to their empire, follow their religion and give up a portion of the Rethan population to be kept as sex slaves. For essentially nothing in return. Of course I did not agree to her demands and tried to offer alternatives, but the Empress did not listen. She eventually threatened me with violence and attempted to attack me, when my Ksa intervened, paralysing her. No Temthans stood up to defend the Empress. In exchange for bringing the Empress back to full health and being allowed to leave the Maza system peacefully, we were allowed to maintain our independence. We did as we promised, fixing the Empress up and ridding her of some nasty illnesses she had, and the ships all left without any hassle.”
Elkay glanced around the room. There was some degree of disbelief. “I know, it’s hard to believe myself and I personally experienced all of this. I’ll answer a FEW questions, and I won’t let anyone who gets up from their seats speak. First off… you.”
A Cassid sat up. “How did the Temthans find us? Apparently one of the Ksa who intervened was on the side of the Temthans, the missing Dessaron member. Did he spill all this information?”
“No!” Elkay replied bluntly. “In fact, we believe that their information was vastly out of date. They repeatedly called us Threavok, despite the fact that they have been extinct as a species for a long time. They could have found us in any number of ways, from passing space junk to intercepting signals to just stumbling by. But they already knew we were here, because they are related to the Thanatians. Let me make this clear. No one was ‘behind’ any of this. The Temthans had their plans foiled. Next question.”
“Ser!” a young Ethran-type asked. “Will these current events affect the application process for the Tavrans to join the Maza, after it was revealed they were linked to the Temthans?”
“Possibly. While they are technically a part of the Temthan empire, the Tavrans provided a great deal of information that was vital to our success. If they are accepted, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t be, only the Tavrans will be included in our laws, any Temthans or other external races will have to make their own applications. There will be no loopholes for Temthans to slip in. Next question please, you over there.”
A Vohra stood up on his chair. “Is there a chance the Temthans could come back?”
Elkay hesitated. “Yes. There is always a chance. But for now, we are safe.”
A Kalsa Warrior next to the Vohra also stood up. “There are rumours that the Empress was murdered not long after she left planet Threa. Can you confirm any of that?”
“Pardon?” Elkay exclaimed. “What evidence do you have behind these rumours?”
“We picked up fleeting transmissions of a Deitic origin, suggesting there had been a rebellion on the Empress’s ship.”
Elkay thought for a moment. “I will have to get in touch with your nest and see this evidence for myself. But when Empress Elisia left here, she was perfectly healthy, we have both Rethan and Temthan proof of that. It was clear that her soldiers didn’t really seem to support her, but otherwise I cannot comment on that. Next question please.”
Another Cassid asked his question. “It was the missing Dessaron, Arkay Theanon, who intervened, wasn’t it? Where is he now?”
“Arkay is currently in a medical centre being treated for his extensive injuries. Due to his condition, I must ask that you respect his privacy.”
“And what about the High General? Where the hell is he?”
“Unfortunately for us all, High General Photeianos has been rendered ill. Most likely to due to old age. His Ksa and his medics are seeing to him and for public and private safety reasons, I am not going to comment further. When Photeianos is well again, he will once more take lead. That is all for today. My staff will send out written reports in three hours. Thank you.”
Elkay sighed as the press awkwardly filed out of the room. He wished he knew what was really wrong with the High General.