Paradox of Oronos

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Chapter 35

“The last of the new squadrons is aboard, sir,” reported Colonel Tollyn.

Yanex stood staring blankly out his office window. In his clenched fist was his new rank insignia of full general. He was hesitant in putting it on, as well as the new national patches.

“Good,” he finally responded. “Make ready to get underway. We’ll drop in, hit that base and be gone before the Delphians even know we’re there.”

“Yes sir,” Tollyn smiled. Being one of the few remaining original crewmembers, Tollyn had a difficult job ahead of him. He was taking a practically green crew on such a vital mission.

“And Colonel, when we return, I’m going to request that you be posted back here after you go through Kayden.”

“I only hope I can remember what an honor that will be, sir.”

Tollyn could sense the conflict in the man. The remaining members of the original crew spoke little about what had happened. They we’re all aware of what was to happening to them at Kayden and most accepted it as a necessary step.

“You did the right thing,” Tollyn said as he stepped up behind the General. “I know it’s difficult, but this is for the best.”

“She used me,” Yanex said quietly, “all the way down the line. What a fool I’ve been.”

She seduced him, not with sex, but with his own ambitions and dreams. She used his arrogance against him.

“You saved us from the Krix, sir.”

“Did I? At what price?”

When the Delphian base in the Darcane system mysteriously blew up, that war came to a sudden and un-climatic close. The new notorious ruler fiercely denied accusations that the Aultrians had a new and powerful weapon. As quick as one war had ended, another started, a war of espionage. The great arms race was on.

The alternate future was unclear about exactly when the first encounter between the Krix and the Gorrick Dynasty would take place. What was a hard fact was when the first major battle would occur. In 4224 a forced reconnaissance unit consisting of one Krix command battleship, three cruisers, and support ships would enter the system of Tyrainea’s largest colony. Dynasty defensive units would succeed in driving back the better equipped force, only to be later defeated by a larger fleet. The colony, and every living being on its main planet, would be obliterated.

According to long-range probes the Aultrians sent to record the event, the battle never took place. As damaging as this was to General Yanex’s credibility, he remained insistent that the Krix would come. There was little reason to doubt it. Some supporters theorized that the arms race on their boarder had caused the Gorrick to scale back their deep space exploration programs, and a deadly chance encounter might have been avoided.

The war would come. It was inevitable. It was an ever-present sense of doom that told of the coming storm, like a distant clap of thunder.

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