Deceit and betrayal end in torture, Jaylon suffers all because a legend promised the return of the Bastards of Ran.
From the atrocities of war a decision was made to save their race and their world. Protection of those of paramount value must be assured by any means. Ships to orbit their planet were built. Only when their planet would not support even war, the last and lowest, the military, were sent to the ships.
From the age of seven when his training began, Jaylon knew only military. Guard duty in the Paramount lounge should have been easy duty though he was warned by his peers to never trust the Paramounts, especially the woman. Many played a game, flirt with military, and report them for punishment for breaches of protocol. His secret assignment, discover the trickster and the method behind the self-moving, sometimes attacking objects.
From the first night, Tieanna caught his attention. She didn’t flirt. She tormented, using a formidable weapon, the truth. Hidden behind the lies, corruption, and betrayal of all but the chosen few, was the Paramounts’ fear, resurrection of the Bastards of Ran. Surely they and their powers were no more than legend. Who could believe in powers of the telepathic mind to healing with the touch of their hands? Jaylon did not. Still, if the belief of the Bastards and their belief all were equal revived, then too would revolt and treason?
“Meeting closed, dismissed,” the governor said. He quickly amended the order when Jaylon was the first to turn to go. “You stay, trooper.”
Governor Edwrin loosened his collar as he leaned back in his chair. The man was not nearly as pompously formal in private. The change didn’t mean Jaylon cared for or trusted him more. Even informal, he was offensively condescending.
“At rest, trooper.” He waited while Jaylon spread his feet and clasped his hands behind his back. “I want to know what you’re seeing, in your words.”
“I don’t know what you mean…sir.”
“The people, damn it, what do you see in their faces?”
“Fear and curiosity primarily while it’s happening,” Jaylon answered truthfully. “A restlessness when it isn’t. Some of your people appear to have difficulty sleeping. There’s a lot of movement during the night, although much of it does not reach into the lounge, and they exhibit shortness with one another.”
“Go on,” he urged when Jaylon paused.
“I don’t see anything malicious in the incidents. Only two were directed at a specific person, without intent to injure.”
“Didn’t you say you saw fear in some of the faces?”
“From not knowing what’s doing it, not of injury, a condition which would disappear as soon as you release the information on how it’s being done,” he stated, baiting the man.
The governor’s eyes dropped. “Such a disclosure would alert the culprit to the fact we do know.”
Certain they didn’t, Jaylon baited further and said, “Surely knowing how gives you a clue as to who it is by the knowledge they’d need to accomplish it.”
“We have some of the most brilliant minds in the universe on this ship. I can name you ten who are as good in one field as they are in another.”
Jaylon could say the same for more than ten in the trooper’s section. He held the thought and asked, “Why is it being done?”
“Have you ever heard of the Air Dancers?”
"The Wane King was centuries ago and a fairy tale,” he commented dryly, holding back his opinion of a mythical race of people with the power of making things dance in the air with their thoughts.
“Horror story,” he corrected.
On the verge of saying if any of it was true, the horror was in what was done to those people, Jaylon wisely held his tongue yet again.
"They were the essence of evil," the governor went on, "using charades and theatrics to control ignorant peasants. If they had not been destroyed, our world would have been far different than is is?
As far as Jaylon was concerned, not much could be worse. Their world didn't exist anymore. What survivors there were lived on ships with a rigid caste system, the lower classes being controlled by the higher
with fear between the castes and within castes, with little to see in the future.