Star Brink: The Crash

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Questionable Leadership

Chapter 14: Questionable Leadership

“Admiral Quatar, the council is waiting to meet with you.” A well-dressed officer called out from the doorway, getting Admiral Aslan Quatar’s attention as he sat comfortably in his private chair behind his desk.

Aslan looked up quickly from his datapad to see the young officer, a female barely in her twentieth cycle, standing in the doorway. Though she was standing at attention, he could clearly see the concern on her face though she was doing what she could to hide it. He guessed she had just been transferred to his fleet from the academy, her unease being a clear sign, as well as the tidiness of her uniform. Her nervousness didn’t help though Aslan chalked it up to being in his presence, recent academy graduates were often nervous around a high ranking individual, especially an Admiral or General, combined with bringing him a message from the council. If Aslan was being honest with himself, though he was expecting a meeting to be called he wasn’t looking forward to it, he just didn’t let it show, especially in the presence of a subordinate.

“How many are in attendance?” Aslan asked as he stood up.

“All of the Admiral and Generals are in attendance, even General Saban.” The officer reluctantly answered, appearing to be nervous to mention General Saban, as was most Zordons.

Aslan shook his head and let out a loud sigh. “I was expecting only a couple, not all of them.” Aslan shrugged. “Oh well, nothing I can do but deal with it.” Aslan walked around his desk past the officer. “Go about your business officer, you are dismissed.”

“Yes Admiral.” The young officer saluted and exited the office as did Aslan, leaving him to deal with the task at hand.

Aslan exited his office and preceded the short walk to the meeting room while the officer turned and headed back to the command center without saying a word. For what needed to be done he preferred to be alone, talking to the other Admirals and Generals was not something a recent graduate should go through. That allowed him to mentally process and prepare for the inevitable. Unfortunately, he didn’t have much time to prepare as it was only a short walk with his destination being located near his office. Before he could really get his mind prepared he found himself standing at the security door to the high command meeting room.

Well, this should be interesting.

Aslan thought as he pressed the button to open the door.

The door quickly opened revealing a small room with very few equipment and no one inside. The entire room was colored a bright white with red neon lights positioned in each corner so to not throw anyone off. Aslan personally didn’t like being in the room due to the bright color that hurt his eyes but put up with it because it was necessary for his position. In the center of the room was a circular platform low enough for someone to step on with a rectangular terminal that came to up to Aslan’s waist. A short distance away, on the opposite side of the room, were several small projectiles positioned on the floor; at least ten at the moment, one for each of the Zordon fleets, with room for more to be is installed. Having used the room many times since he became an Admiral, but still hating to use it, he had come to calling it the holographic room when it was officially called the Contact Room among his race. Every fleet command ship had one and it was the primary means of communication used by the Admirals and Generals to communicate with each other. The platform served as a recorder when a person stood on it and was illuminated by the projector on the receiving in. All Aslan had to do was stand on the platform, work a few controls, and he communicating with the Admirals and Generals via holograms even though he would prefer to avoid talking with most of them.

“Alright, might as well get this over with.” Aslan sighed loudly and stepped onto the platform, quickly turning it on.

Aslan didn’t have to wait long, barely a moment, before all of the projectors switched on and he found himself looking at the green holograms of ten Admirals and Generals all glaring back at him. The holograms were so lifelike he could see each individual’s intentions and could nearly count each strand of fur. That made it harder for Aslan to endure their stares but having been on the receiving end before it was quite each for him to remain composed. He smiled at the holograms and bowed in respect but only lowered his head as they were the same rank.

“Good day my fellow Warriors, it is a pleasure to see you again.” Aslan spoke as he slowly raised his head to see the others giving him the same gesture.

Aslan fully stood up and looked from left to right at each Admiral and General. His gaze rested first on the smallest and youngest individual General Trent Helmston. Appearing to be a strange mix of husky and corgi, that was everyone’s guess, he was one of the smallest Zordons many had seen. Aslan knew very little about him beyond that General Trent had become a General last cycle, but had earned it after leading a successful charge against a well defended Voldermont position, something many would consider impossible. As a result, he was promoted to General and given command of a large force in a distant System. Being one of only three Generals in the entire Zordon fleet, which was equivalent to Admiral but commanded a different type of force, he held some significant influence.

Standing next to General Trent was the beast of ball of fur that was Admiral Triton Feltron. Being an unusual mix of grey wolf and mountain dog, most didn’t know if he was large due to his thick fur of from his muscles. Despite being around the same age Triton was even more muscular than Aslan, though that may have been from how little care he performed on his fur which often appeared to be dirty and ragged. Thanks to him appearing as a hologram Aslan couldn’t tell if he had taken his time to clean his fur for the meeting. At least he was gentle giant though most were unaware of his soft side.

Beside General Triton was the exact opposite of him, Admiral Zelda Polts. Being one of the few remaining pure breed poodles, she was considered the definition of elegance, standing alongside the others with a smile. Though she was getting up there in age Aslan was well aware of the rumors that she was still frequently pursued to individuals of all ages, despite already having a mate. He would be lying if he said that in his younger days he didn’t pursue her himself before he found his previous mate. Over time he was glad they were able to become friends with her and knew she was just as smart and tactical as she was beautiful. For that reason he was glad she was among the individuals he was meeting with.

Too bad that near Admiral Lucy was the individual Aslan was often in conflict with, Admiral Harkon Dewalt. Being one of the younger individuals in the room, he was often considered by the other to be a bit inexperienced and too headstrong. He had a reputation for throwing away lives to win battles and that put him at odds with the other Admirals and Generals, and a big reason why many recent academy graduates did not want to be assigned to his fleet. Aslan was just one of the few individuals that called him out over it and he did it frequently, resulting in him not being happy in the slightest to see Admiral Harkon alongside the others

In the middle was General Lucy Helstrom, by far the oldest and most experienced member in the room, and probably in the entire Zordon race, excluding those that had retired. Being a full blooded wolf, like Aslan, she was also the tallest in the room, standing even taller than Admiral Richmond but just barely. Besides her size and experience she was easily the most respected individual in the room because of the stories told of her bravery against multiple Xulon invasions. Aslan was happy to have her there, hoping her presence would keep the others in check; plus it felt comforting to have an old family friend there. Though General Lucy had assisted in raising Aslan, and he was sure most of the others knew it, they didn’t seem to care.

Next to Admiral Lucy was Aslan’s oldest friend Admiral Rhyan Wenslon. Having known each since they were kids, going to the academy together, served in the same fleet together, and fought alongside each other multiple times, Aslan had no concern about his opinion. Aslan was certain that Rhyan would agree with him, particularly since he liked Fara and Felicity; he was Fara’s godfather after all. They had already been in contact with each other since Fara was shot down, requesting to join in the search personally. Unlike most of the others he appeared to be energetic for the discussion.

Unfortunately, depending on how someone looked at it, was the mysterious Admiral Darleen Hamlet. Even though they were all just holograms, except for Aslan, the two Admirals holographically projected near her looked uncomfortable and Aslan didn’t blame them knowing the rumors about her. Despite being one of the smallest and youngest individuals there, her cold, dead eyes were enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine that it fell upon. Aslan hardly knew anything about her other than Darleen managed to repel a massive Xulon invasion on the system her fleet was stationed to protect in only single Zordon standard rotation, something that many would consider impossible, without a single solder. How she did it was unknown but it was rumored she used guerilla warfare tactics to sabotage the Xulon fleet before they could really launch their invasion. Despite the mysteries surrounding Darleen she evidently was quite intelligent and clearly tactful, Aslan was honestly glad to have her presence and to seek her opinion, assuming she would give it as she was known for being quiet and rarely spoke a word.

Next to Admiral Darleen, looking nervously at her on occasion while focusing mostly on Aslan, was the large Admiral Quin Fulcrum. Being one of the newest Admiral, bring stationed at a System known for almost its lack of combat, Aslan couldn’t say he knew much about Quin. Being quite young he didn’t really seem to have much of a career, or really anything acknowledgeable, not even rumors. Having only met him a few times, and those were after Quin became an Admiral, Aslan was still left in the dark about him. All he really had to go on was what he had heard from the soldiers under his command, which wasn’t much, Quin was a fair and compassionate Admiral, but could be strict when he had to be. That left Aslan wondering if he had to worry about Quin or not.

After given Admiral Quin just a glance Aslan focused on the individual casually standing next to him looking half asleep, Admiral Eragon Yolts. He mostly, just stood there yawning while his eyes remained half opened. The impression he gave off indicated he clearly didn’t want to be there but being an Admiral he had little choice. Aslan was well aware, as were the other Generals, that Admiral Eragon suffered from a sleeping disorder that not only made it difficult for him to sleep but also made him drift off to sleep at weird times, thankfully never in combat. As a result he had lazy personality about most things in general to where people saw him as the type of person who just didn’t care about anything. Aslan knew that wasn’t the case as Eragon one of the serious individuals he knew when it came to important matters, especially when it involved the Xulons. In combat he was regarded as one of the most badass individuals in the Zordon society, often strategically throwing himself into combat if he had to. Though for thematic at hand Aslan was uncertain he wouldn’t get much out of Eragon beyond the occasional word or yawn.

Lastly, his attention rested on General Saban Clutch who had been giving him the harshest stare of all that borderline into hate. Given their history, Saban constantly competing to outdo Aslan at every opportunity, for reasons Aslan had yet to figure out, often resulting in rage towards each other, Aslan would have been surprised if he wasn’t getting Saban’s infamous gaze. Being one of the three Generals in the Zordon force, he held quite a bit of influence, despite very few Zordons liking him.

“Admiral Quatar, took you long enough to answer our call.” General Saban spoke up first.

“Cannot get to meeting when no one tells me the time.” Aslan sarcastically replied than turned to Admiral Lucy. “Thank you for getting everyone here, it just took you significantly less time than I thought it would.”

General Lucy nodded. “You should know better than that by now.”

“It helps that she knows all of us.” Admiral Quin stated.

“Made it easy for us to get together everyone together.” Admiral Zelda spoke up.

“And informed us why we are gathered together, though it should not be surprising why.” General Saban shouted than looked angrily at Aslan. “Your daughter got herself into some serious trouble by being somewhere she should not be.”

“QUIET GENERAL SABAN!” General Lucy shouted. “That is not the reason we are here.”

“But it is how we know there were Xulons in the system Admiral Quatar was supposed to protect. The report states everything that happened.”

Aslan restrained himself from sighing, knowing what the report stated and everyone had no doubt read. He read it himself not long before the meeting started so he knew exactly what it said and that worried him. It stated the reason Fara and Felicity went on their flight, which was an argument they had, something he wanted to forget. Though he usually didn’t care what the Admirals and Generals thought he wasn’t all too excited for them to know about the argument. The last thing he wanted was for General Saban to know and have another reason to dislike him, even though he didn’t like him either.

General Trent shook his head. “Can we please onto the issue at hand, the Xulons being in the Solar System?”

“For once I agree with you.” Admiral Quin stated. “If I wanted to watch an argument I would sit down and listen to a single conversation between my mate and my mother.”

Aslan tried his best not to smirk, having heard from Admiral Quin himself how dangerous arguments between his mate and mother could become, but was able to quickly push the thought aside. “So, since you all have the report and have read it, I doubt I have to explain the situation to any of you.”

“Nope, I made sure everyone read it.” General Lucy spoke. “This meeting is mostly to discuss what will be done about it.”

“Assuming we can come to an agreement.” Admiral Rhyan muttered.

“I am sure we can once we come to a common conclusion.” Admiral Zelda spoke up. “Though that is rarely the case when the Xulons are involved.”

“Unfortunately that is usually the truth.” General Lucy stated with a loud sigh. “For that first to happen we need to come into agreement on the Xulon threat.” General Lucy continued than looked at Aslan. “So Admiral, you believe the presence of Xulons in the Solar System is a sign of what’s to come?”

Aslan reluctantly nodded. “Hard to say with the Xulons as their are often unpredictable. But, there is always one certainty when dealing with them; where there is one it is certain more are nearby.”

“He is speaking truth.” Admiral Darleen spoke for the first time, getting everyone’s immediate attention, though mainly from the shock of her actually speaking. “Just a small patrol in your system is a sign usually should be on high alert. If anything you should be running patrols constantly.”

“That was the first thing I did once I got confirmation of the attack.” Aslan uneasily replied. “Unfortunately, they have not spotted the Xulon force that attacked, or any sign at all of their presence.”

Admiral Darleen appeared to think for a moment before responding. “Hm, that does not sound good to me. Xulons usually do not disappear like that unless they are either retreating or planning something big.”

“Agreed, any time the Xulons fall back should be treated with caution and we should not lower our guard till we are ABSOLUTELY certain there is no threat.” General Trent added.

“Which we cannot do till we have more information.” Admiral Triton argued. “All resources possible needs to be poured into the investigation so we can know for certain.”

“Fortunately, I am sure that Admiral Quatar has taken care of that.” General Lucy spoke up than turned to Aslan. “Am I right Admiral? What have you done since the incident to prepare for a potential invasion?”

“You mean besides constantly patrols, keeping my fleet on high alert, and undergoing preparations, there is not really much I have down besides standard procedures?” Aslan answered confidently, despite the questionable looks from General Saban and Admiral Harkon. “My fleet is always ready for a surprise move, whether it is from the Xulons or another race. Unfortunately, we do not have enough information to do much beyond prepare, which we have already achieved to the best of our abilities.”

“Hm, that seems the case given the situation.” General Triton spoke, pausing for a moment to think. “Since all you have to go on is a short ambush there is not really all you can do besides prepare. For all you know the Xulons could be long gone and have no intentions for the Solar System.”

“Even though that is completely unlike the Xulons.” Admiral Rhyan added as he crossed his arms. “Though you are right, all Admiral Quatar can do is prepare, patrols, and investigate.”

“Which is what I intend to do till I know more.” Aslan responded. “Till I know more my fleet will not make a move other than patrols and preparation. If something does happen than we are ready for it.”

“Knowing how tedious you prepare I would be surprised if you were not ready.” General Lucy replied with a smirk.

“I learned it from you.” Aslan smiled back.

“Of course you did.” General Lucy responded, letting out a soft chuckle. “Since you got the preparations handled, that leaves another issue we need to discuss.”

“You mean his daughter and granddaughter being trapped on a designated red planet?” Admiral Quin asked.

General Lucy nodded. “Yes, if it was not Earth they were trapped on than we would not even be discussing it, because they would be back already.”

“Exactly, I would have had them back on safely on the fleet within a rotation.” Aslan responded, looked down at the floor, than back at the holograms of the others and blurted out. “Please, allow me to at least send a small squadron to rescue my daughter. It has always been one of our biggest and oldest traditions to never leave anyone behind, no matter where they are.”

“That was before we had designation red for planets like Earth!” General Saban exclaimed. “Those planets are simply not worth the risk interacting?”

“ARE YOU SAYING WHAT I THINK YOU ARE GENERAL?!” Admiral Eragon shouted at General Saban, nearly everyone gasping as he spoke. “Are you suggesting me deny tradition, allowing one of our own to die, simply because they are on a designation red planet?”

Even Aslan found himself staring blankly at Admiral Eragon who looked serious and angry instead of his usual sleepy self. He, and apparently, most of the others, were caught off guard having never seen him be anything be besides sleepy. Aslan had heard that Eragon was capable of a good but didn’t believe it till he just saw it. Even General Lucy was shocked to see it while General Saban would’ve taken a step back if he wasn’t on a hologram platform.

“No, I am saying risking a rescue team for a . . .” General Saban began speaking.

“For one of our top combat pilots and her daughter? Is that what you are trying to say?” Admiral Eragon shouted.

“Hm, that sounds like exactly what you are suggesting to me General.” General Trent spoke up, shaking his head. “Suggesting we leave behind a child General Saban, that is pretty dark.”

“And why we will drop the subject.” General Lucy shouted, getting everyone’s attention, than turned to Aslan. “Do you know how Captain Fennix and her daughter Felicity are doing?”

Aslan reluctantly sighed. “We have been in contact with Captain Fennix constantly since they crashed and we know they are holed up safely with an ally.”

“Ah, so they are safe for the time being?” Admiral Triton asked.

“Yes but there is an organization called the PDF who have a history of capturing, experimenting on, and torturing our kind that are searching for them. So we are on a time limit to find them.”

“Than why are we talking about this if we got plenty of time to save them?” General Saban arrogantly spoke up, causing everyone to momentarily stare at him.

General Lucy shook her head, completely ignoring General Saban. “At least they are safe for the time being but as we all know that can change on a moment’s notice.”

“Agreed, plus they probably have some information on the Xulons that could prove useful.” Admiral Darleen spoke up. “I am for getting them back.”

“I second that!” Admiral Rhyan blurted out.

“Of course you do.” General Trent muttered. “But yeah, we simply cannot leave our own.”

“And could be done relatively easily if we do it strategically.” Admiral Darleen added. “I know that is difficult for you Aslan, knowing your history, no offense, but please be stealthy in this.”

“I am sure he can, Admiral Aslan can be strategical when it comes down to it.” Admiral Harkon added, even though he didn’t appear to have much experience with Aslan, while the remaining others nodded in agreement but didn’t speak up, not seeing a point to add anything.

General Lucy looked around at everyone with a very short smile. “Huh, this has got to be the first time everyone had been in agreement.” General Lucy turned to Aslan. “So, go and get your family back, but please be careful. Make sure to plan it out and recon Earth first. Be ready for a fight.”

“But, that is going to take forever, putting Captain Fennix and her daughter at risk.” Aslan shouted.

“I know but designated red planets need to be approach cautiously. Please, follow procedures in this.”

“We know that is not going to happen.” General Saban softly muttered, once again getting everyone’s gaze but they all ignored him.

Aslan reluctantly bowed his head. “I will do what I can General.”

“Good, I know they will be returned safely.” General Lucy replied, seeming to know Aslan was up to something. “So, if anyone has anything else to say now is the time to say it.” General Lucy looked around but no one spoke a world. “Then this meeting is dismissed.”

One by one the holograms switched off quickly, almost as if they were just waiting on the dismissal. Soon, only Admiral Lucy’s hologram was left and she didn’t seem intent on leaving till she spoke her mind. Her hologram let out a loud sigh that somehow Aslan could feel, despite it coming from a hologram; how that was possible was beyond him. Even not physically there, being stationed to guard a system on the other side of the Milky Way, it was as if she truly was there before him. Admiral Lucy looked at Aslan with the all-seeing expression he had experienced from her countless times but remained quiet for a short time, appearing to try and gather her thoughts before speaking.

“Are you going to be okay, Aslan?” Admiral Lucy asked with genuine compassion. “I can see through the stoic front you are putting on. You might as well be cradling yourself on the floor right now.”

Aslan shook his head, knowing he had to speak the truth. “Not at all, no one could be when their daughter and granddaughter are in danger. Keeping up the front is quickly becoming impossible with each passing rotation.” Aslan looked down at the ground and let out a loud huff. “Times like this is when I really hate being an Admiral, not being able to shed a tear or even appear worried.”

“I know, but we have to always be professional in the presence of our subordinates. I have seen many Admirals AND Generals not only ruin their careers but ruin fleets by being unprofessional.” General Lucy calmly replied. “If you do need to break down make sure to do in secure privacy where NO ONE sees it.”

“I have, more than once unfortunately at the lack of speed to get Fara and Felicity off that forsaken planet. So it is a combination of frustration that is driving me crazy.”

“Ah, that is something I am far too familiar with myself.” Admiral Lucy replied with half a smile. “They just had to crash on one of the worst planet possible.”

“Exactly, if Earth was not designated red we would have gotten them back within the first rotation.” Aslan let out a low growl, followed by a deep breath that calmed him down. “Not being able to do anything at the moment is what makes it so bad.”

“Indeed, the same thing happened to me when my son’s transport ship was shot down while on patrol a generation ago.” Admiral Lucy responded, Aslan swore he saw a tear on her hologram. “You know how that ended.”

Aslan hung his head, the incident resurfacing to his best recollection, he was just a kid when it happened so the details are a bit fuzzy. He remembered coming home after a long day at the academy to see his parents comforting Lucy, who was just a Captain at the time, over the loss of her son. Aslan found out later that her son had been on patrol over hostile territory when they were ambushed by Xulons and his transport ship was shot down. He survived the crashed but due to a slow response for the Admiral he was stationed under was killed by the same Xulons shortly afterwards. At the time it was a common fate till the next generation of Generals, Lucy being one of them, stepped up and installed polices to correct it. Aslan still felt sorry for Lucy and she seemed to still be saddened by the memories, despite having come to terms with it long ago

“I remember that and am still sorry for your loss.? Aslan spoke trying to comfort General Lucy from the painful memories resurfacing. “Fortunately, I do not plan on that happening to Fara or Felicity.”

General Lucy smiled warmly at Aslan. “I know you will. I have faith that they will be rescued before any harm can come to them.” Admiral Lucy gave Aslan a confident smirk. “You have to remember that Fara is one tough woman, the men of your fleet fear her for a reason.”

“Oh, that I am very aware of.” Aslan couldn’t help but chuckle. “I just forget it from time to time.”

Admiral Lucy sarcastically shook her head. “That is just common for parents, especially for our species. You just have to have faith that everything dill work out okay, I do.”

“That is easier said than done.” Aslan replied as he reluctantly nodded his head. “But yeah, I do have faith old friend.”

“Good, just keep it and do whatever you can . . .” Admiral Lucy gave Aslan a wink. “. . . even if it is a bit . . . unconventional.” Admiral Lucy leaned back and sighed. “Well, my fleet needs me. So, take care Aslan.”

“You too Admiral.” Aslan replied with a bow of his head, getting the same response back from Admiral Lucy.

As soon as they finished bowing Admiral Lucy’s hologram shut off, leaving Aslan completely alone in the room. Though he did feel slightly better thanks to Lucy he was still quite anxious to say the least. After the tense meeting he needed time to calm down, at least a moment to relax. After being up almost constantly since Fara and Felicity were shot down, he was starting to get tired. At that moment, a bed and pillow sounded very good, once he finished making some final arrangements for a task he needed to be completed.

“Well, I am. If going to get any work done standing here.” Aslan muttered to himself as he turned and headed for the door. “Sooner I get it done the quicker I can be in bed.”

Aslan flung the door open and walked out of the room to find a gorgeous, young adult female in an elegant, military dress with a young male child by her side, appearing to have been waiting for him to exit. The woman, appearing to be around the same age as Fara, was the definition of elegance and beauty, stood there holding the child’s hand, patiently awaiting him hardly moving. Considering she was from the so-called Poodle clan, it would have been a surprise if she was anything but elegant in public, Aslan personally knowing she was the opposite in the all-important bedroom. Her long, thick, curly fur was dark red, and well-groomed with her head hair being tied in a short pony tail; even her military uniform was well maintained, appearing to be brand new. She smiled warmly at Aslan which brightened up his mood, which was what he needed at the moment.

Glancing down at the small child brightened up Aslan’s mood enough so he could smile. The child, being an evident poodle/wolf hybrid, with thick but also curly red fur, appeared to be quite sleepy, seeming to have trouble keeping his eyes open. He was leaning up against his mother letting out multiple yawns, bearing his large teeth for the two adults to see. Being only three cycles old, Aslan was kind of impressed he was there at all instead of his mother keeping him back in their quarters. The child clearly didn’t want to be up but wasn’t putting up any kind of fuss, instead acted calmly. His mother was doing a good job at keeping him calm while looking adorable herself while looking serious enough back at Aslan.

“I take it did not go well.” The woman stated, not as a question but as a fact, as Aslan approached them.

Aslan shook his head. “Unfortunately, it went exactly as I expected it would. I hate being right when it counts.”

“Ah, I feared that would be ether case. You have the worst luck when it comes to your predictions.” The woman walked towards Aslan as rested a hand on his chest. “Too bad you are never right when it comes to us.”

Aslan couldn’t help but crack a smile. “True, but in our case it’s a good thing I was wrong.” Aslan looked down at the young body who stood by his mother’s side. “I am very glad I was wrong.”

Aslan leaned down and patted the young boy, his son, on the head causing him to laugh. Hearing his son laugh made him smile even more than he was, almost forgetting about the stressful meeting he just had. He didn’t care that his son was a Zordon cycle younger than his granddaughter Vixy. Such a thing was not uncommon in their society, particularly among the older members who had lost their previous mate. Aslan’s was just glad that Isaac and Vixy got long quite well, making it easy for them to live together.

“You brighten my day Isaac.” Aslan said to young boy. “And I have had a crap day.”

Isaac smiled up at his father. “Glad I can make you smile daddy.”

The woman tapped Aslan on the shoulder, getting his attention. “So, are going to fill your mate in on the details of the meeting?”

Aslan looked up at the woman and let out another sigh. “Do I have a choice Matra?”

“Yes, but you know how my curiosity gets the better of me.” The woman named Matra replied.

Aslan chuckled as he turned to Matra, trying his best to ignore how amazing she looked in her military uniform that still highlighted her natural curves. The red top did very little to hide her bustiness while the skirt, which was long enough to reach her knees, did not hide her well-tonged rear in the slightest. Even though she was his mate, and had his mark on her neck to prove it, and he had hers, males still pursued her, even more than they pursued Fara. Despite the age difference, Marta being the same age as Fara, and her friend, they were still happy mates. Though it had put it at odds with Fara, taking a much younger mate only a few Zordon cycles after her mother passed, the two of them had made it work. It was quite awkward for Fara since she and Matra had been friends since they met in the academy. In Zordon culture it was quite commonplace for an older person to take a much younger mate of the opposite sex, after their previous mate passed, so they can keep producing children. No one would usually bat an eye as long as the older person was still able to reproduce and Aslan certainly was; that was proven barley a cycle after he and Matra became mates when she gave birth to Isaac. Despite that, Fara still took issue with her father, while she got along with Matra, Aslan had hope they could work through it.

“You want the long version or short?” Aslan said.

Matra shrugged. “Short version, it is getting close to Isaac’s nap time.”

Aslan saw Isaac let out a big yawn before replying. “Alright, that should be quite easy. We made some progress with the Xulon presence in our Sytem. There was an agreement to raise the security and alert throughout all the fleets, especially ours but that has already been done. But, until we know for certain there is an invasion we are supposed to remain on alert. Increase patrols, keep our forces ready for attack at all times, and alert the other Admirals if the situation change.”

“Ah, so basically we are just playing it safe and remain on high alert?”

“That is the idea, for the time being at least. Until we know for certain that the Xulons are invading we will not be taking any unnecessary risks.”

“Hm, I can agree with that.” Matra nodded in agreement. “All Zordons know how unpredictable the Xulons can be so I can agree with being cautious.” Matra continued, smiling down at her, admiring her intelligence, common sense, and wit that was often uncommon, and most people didn’t suspect someone as beautiful as Matra possessed. “And what about Fara, I imagine that came up?”

Aslan reluctantly nodded. “Of course, an Admiral’s daughter crashes on a planet that has been designated red. Something like that is bound to be brought up, and it was immediately.”

“Let me guess, General Saban is the one who brought it up?” Matra responded with a loud huff, reaching down and covered Isaac’s ears so he wouldn’t hear. “I have always hated that puffed up, narcissistic moron.”

Aslan didn’t hide his laugh. “That sums him up perfectly. Just do not say that, or anything similar, in anyone else’s presence.”

“I know, being your mate will not get me any kind of special privileges.” Matra said as he uncovered Isaac’s ears. “So, what did they say about Fara?”

Aslan looked down at the ground and took a deep breath before looking back up at Matra. “Well, given Earth is designated red, you know that means travel there is completely prohibited there except for VERY special reasons granted permission by an Admiral, the Admirals and Generals were not exactly happy a rescue attempt; even though suggestion got them riled up.”

“Huh, so they disapproved of a rescue team going after Fara and Felicity?”

“Is that true daddy?” Isaac spoke up, with a fearful expression, getting the attention of both adults. “Is Fara and Felicity in danger?”

Aslan was quick to respond by placing a hand on Isaac’s shoulders. “They will be fine, I promise you that.”

Isaac looked up at Aslan, his fearful expression fading almost immediately. Even Matra was surprised at how quickly it faded. Aslan, having significant experience from raising Fara, and being a high ranking officer, knew how to look confidently at a child to raise their spirits and ease their fear. Compared to Fara, getting Isaac calm and easing his doubts was an easy matter.

“At least your confident in the matter, that can never be denied.” Matra spoke up. “So, what are you going to do Aslan? You cannot just let your daughter and granddaughter stay in danger on a hostile planet.”

“I have no intention of leaving them in danger.” Aslan confidently replied. “I am going to get them back, without the other generals telling me what to do.”

Matra smiled as Isaac began nodding off as the two adults kept talking as she held onto him. “And that is a big reason I love you. You do what needs to be done no matter who stands before you.” Matra looked down at Isaac as he learned against her leg. “I am certain you already have a plan.”

“Already initiated it to. A rescue team left just before I met with the Admirals.”

Matra’s jaw dropped. “That is one galaxy of a big risk.”

“I know, I could lose my rank for such a move.” Aslan looked away from Matra out the window at the vastness of space. “But for my daughter and granddaughters safety I am more than happy to make that risk.”

“And that is why I keep assuring you that you are a good father. I know soon Fara and Felicity will be back safe and sound.” Matra nodded to Aslan giving him a proud smile. “But, what about the Xulons, I know you are suspicious about their presence.”

“I wish I could give an answer to that but all I got right now are suspicions.” All Aslan could do was shrug as he saw Isaac nearly nod off again out of his peripheral. “I will say this . . .” Aslan took a deep breath while looking confidently at Matra. “. . . we are in for a rough time ahead.”

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