Ascension: Book One of The Alliance Chronicles

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Zendista McKenna sat down at his desk to ponder the future of the Migichinan Alliance. Riskhad Slann had been dealt with and the previous Lord Chancellor, Awrann, was now enjoying his eternal reward for his service to the Alliance with Migichina in the Hall of Heroes. He opened a side drawer to snoop and found a box. Opening it revealed a number of fine clan-made cigars and a note. McKenna unfolded the paper to find the hand written words of Awrann.

“McKenna, my surrogate son, if you are reading this then all has gone well and you are Lord Chancellor of the Migichinan Alliance. I don’t have any words of wisdom for you at this point, my son, but my spirit will still walk these halls for the rest of time. I am certain that spending eternity in the Hall of Heroes, hoisting pints with the likes of Draesoneth and Callivare will be quite interesting, but my heart and soul will always be in this office. Good luck.”

McKenna selected a cigar and lit it. It tasted sweet, with a flavor the Saurians called ‘chocolate’. “Good choice, old man.” McKenna commented to himself. On the other side of the desk was a small refrigerator. He opened it up and pulled out a can of beer.

“Gotta beer, gotta smoke... gotta posh office. Now what do I do?” McKenna asked himself.

J’Laren appeared on his desk, lying on her side, her head propped up on one hand as she idly smoked a cigar. “What you always do, Brother. Follow your heart.” She blew three smoke Rings in his direction, mischief sparkling in her eyes. The sudden appearance of his sister on the desk startled McKenna, and he fell backwards along with his chair. He managed to keep his own cigar in his mouth, but the beer was lost to the carpet.

“By the Goddess’ garter, don’t you Avatars know how to knock?” McKenna growled as he tried to pull himself up. He looked at his sister, who was still sprawled out across the desk like a cat. “So, to what do I owe... this?” He asked, motioning to her and his desk. He wondered if the Migichinan Senate would appreciate knowing that a stack of bills had become a resting-place for the butt of the sister of the Lord Chancellor.

“Whatcha doing behind a pile of papers? Don’t yah have a secretary?” J’Laren sat up, effectively mangling several requisitions for funding, pet projects pushed through by the Senate for the new Lord Chancellor’s signature.

“I’m going over selections for the new Warlord. It seems we have an opening now with Riskhad Slann being sent away on a humanitarian mission as part of his sentence. I’m strongly considering appointing General Franclyn as the new Lord Protector of the Migichinan Alliance... but there could be some complications.” McKenna replied. “You’re sitting on his resume.”

J’Laren rolled her butt up enough to extract the folder. “This?” She asked saucily, handing it to him. “What’s the problem?”

McKenna opened up a folder. “Them. Tolliver & Salaazar Slann... Riskhad’s boys. They are the heirs of Slann and I’m expecting them to raise a stink once I name Franclyn as the new Lord Protector. It will be the first time

in history that a Slann has not been a part of the Council of Lords. The House Slann is one of the few noble houses that maintain a private military force, and there is a chance that they could use it. Salaazar is a Colonel in the Army and Tolliver holds a seat in the Senate. If they wanted to, they could cause some problems. I’m willing to bet that one of them will likely challenge Franclyn.”

J’Laren frowned, taking a last puff on her cigar, and then setting it down on the edge of the ashtray. “Let’s hope the General’s in good form. I don’t trust the Slann’s. Treachery tends to run in families.”

“Franclyn can be trusted.” McKenna replied. “He can also take care of himself. I’ll only get worried if one of the Slann try to and succeed in ascending to the Lord Protector’s slot... but that will something to deal with when the time comes. We’ve got other fish to fry. I’m planning to send Dakkoth Starkiller and Rhaine Quatralis out to find and arrest Maxaa


“A dragon and a cat!” J’Laren laughed musically, her voice in sharp contrast to the biker outfit she was wearing. “How about an army of Migichinan in battleframes?” She was being sarcastic, knowing her brother had made a wise decision.

“They’re not going alone. Winter has given me use of the MNV Draesoneth and her crew to back up Starkiller and Quatralis. I’d hate to send them out without some kind of backup.” McKenna said. “And since we’re dealing with an agent of Merid, they’re going to need all the help they can get.” He remembered back to his days on Meridia, when the Dark Priests had been more dangerous than the self proclaimed freedom fighters the Migichinan occupational forces had faced because of their use of magic.

“Merid! Our scary uncle!” J’Laren grumped. “We need to stay away from that one! We can only hope he doesn’t become involved in our politics!”

“He already has... and he will have to be dealt with eventually... and when that time comes, you better believe it’ll be my boot going up his ass and out his mouth.” McKenna said. His voice was loud enough to make it seem like a challenge, if the evil one of the Migichinan Pantheon happened to be listening.

The Lord Chancellor pulled out the remainder of his six-pack in the mini-fridge and two more cigars and laid them on the desk. “Yeah... we’ll deal with all that when the time comes. Right now, I’m in the mood to party.”

“I’ll drink to that!” J’Laren exclaimed, and took a beer from the pack.

From a dark corner of the chamber, Merid watched. ~Oh yes, Zendista McKenna... the time will come when you and I will meet on the field of battle... and we will meet again and again and again until I stand over your broken body and all around us your precious Migichinan Alliance crumbles with you...~ The dark god of the Meridians laughed, though neither McKenna nor his sister could hear him...

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