Kiryn emerged from her bedroom with her tears dry and her head aching, and found her father’s former crew waiting. They were a vast difference from the refined, powerful people of Sorendaal’s colonial government who had surrounded her when the news of the starship’s destruction first arrived. No wine or other refined, expensive beverages for these men. Tanned by radiation, scarred by shipboard explosions, grim and heavy-set, they sat around the oval table where her father, the governor, had entertained ambassadors and officials. Their glasses were filled with murky brews that could have come from the coolant tanks of their battered, fierce starships.
She was gladder to see these men than anyone else who might have come to console her. Kiryn knew they wouldn’t speak soothing words and offer useless philosophy and homilies to to ease her pain. They would be just as angry as she that Captain Niall Encardi, the Terror of the Spacelanes, had met his death at the hands of the government that had once begged, long ago, for his help.
What did it matter if galactic civilization and the government of the Central Allied Worlds shredded a little more every day, and the soldiers in the attacking ships had been rebels? The government provided those weapons and trained those soldiers, and failed to keep its vaunted control over the far-flung colonies throughout the galaxy. The end result was the same. Her father and mother were dead, despite their ship being clearly marked an ambassadorial vessel and transmitting their identification on all frequencies.
Their deaths hadn’t been an accident.