Chronicles of Neron (A short story)
Ko'ash slowly became aware of waking up from a sleep, the artificial lighting on the false window showed that it was morning, at least on station time. As he stretched he also became aware that he was alone in his sack.
“What the Chadra!?” he exclaimed, kicking the female onto the floor. She rubbed a sore shoulder as she stood and gave him a bow.
“Begone female. You have served the King of all Neron and should feel honored, now return to the clutch!” He told her in no uncertain term. With another bow she turned and left the royal bed chamber. Ko'ash shook his head, the nerve of that female allowing herself to fall asleep next to the king, outrageous.
After scrubbing off his scaly skin in the vibratum, which took and disintegrated loose scales, the King was refreshed. He was a warrior, he did not need to hire symps to clean his scales for him. He was perfectly capable of doing it himself, although his powerful tail was big enough to take some time.
“Sire!” His Chief Counsel, Reigu entered.
“I assume the preparations for the fleet gathering are underway?” Ko'ash asked. His Counsel looked a bit abashed.
“Not exactly, sire,” The Counsel said.
Ko'ash was taken aback. “We have been preparing for this gathering of the fleet for weeks, Reigu! What could possibly be holding it up? Who would embarrass the King this way?”
“The females are refusing to work, Sire.” Reigu told him.
Ko'ash was silent as he absorbed this absurd information, his claw clicking on the floor in annoyance, then trying to hold down his temper he replied, “The females are on strike? For what possible reason?”
“Sire, they have demands.”
Ko'ash wanted to bite his own arm off. “This is the worst possible time for the females to be playing these pranks. Tell them to get back to their duties! We have planets to invade, enemies to conquer! Glory to gain, why would we let females.... females, hold us back?”
“I assure you, Sire, this is no prank. They have representatives and they demand to see you or they will... they say they will and I quote 'shut this station down'.” The Counsel said.
Ko'ash stood there, his fangs showing as his jaw opened and closed a few times silently.
“Send. Them. In.” He said, almost a growl. They would be lucky if he did not bite their heads off.
Soon three of the small timid females were led into the chamber, he wanted to keep this information from getting out if he could. Better to keep it contained. Ko'ash thought their scents were a little familiar, something about that did not sit well.
“What are your demands?” he asked, in as neutral a voice he could muster.
One of them took a step toward him, the armed guard tensed. “Females make up half the population of this station, half the population of the whole Neron Empire! We are treated as if we aren't even Neron, we are treated as if we do not want to conquer our enemies and achieve glory just like male Neron!”
King Ko'ash sighed. Then he told them, his tail thumping back and forth, “The fleet is gathering as we speak, I do not have time to deal with the problems of females at the present time. Return to your duties immediately and you won't be punished.”
“We wanted to be treated better. Is that really too much to ask?” The female standing closer asked and with a bit of a jerk he recognized her. She was the female who had serviced him the previous night and fell asleep in his sack. The impertinence...
He crossed his arms. Ko'ash wanted this over, it would go one of two ways. They would take the first offer or they would be sent back to the swamps of their ancestors.
“I am the King, it would be good for you to remember that,” He told them in a warning tone, “This is not how one addresses the King.” (especially females but he really didn't have time to go off on that tangent.)
“I will ascent to consider all of your demands, seriously, once the offensive is complete...”
The led female glowered, “You haven't actually heard our demands.”
Her again! Ko'ash closed his eyes. Curse her whole clatch.
“Then quickly, let me hear them.” He said.
The lead female stood up straighter, trying to look proud. “We demand to be allowed to become warriors, some of us are fit enough.”
He nodded, “It's probably not a large portion, I suppose that's doable. Never hurts to throw more spears at the enemy.”
She looked as if that wasn't expected. Good, throw her off.
She proceeded, “We demand a female be seated on the Neron Council.”
Ko'ash looked away and sighed. After clearing his throat and pointing at the shorter, plumper female (an obvious follower, not a leader) standing behind the brave one and said, “Fine, fine, that one is a member of the council on my orders. One more, and then it is time to leave.”
The three females looked a bit shocked.
“Go ahead Li'ani.” The other one, with the thin head and yellowing rill said. Ko'ash hadn't really ever cared to know that females had names. He found that strange.
The bravest woman leaned forward and smiled, showing all of her sharp teeth, “We demand a queen!”
King Ko'ash nearly fell down from the shock. As King he had his choice of any female, and now these representatives were demanding that he share his bed and his power with a queen! The insolence, he had the mind then and there to have them thrown out the nearest air-lock.
“Or, we shut down the station.” Li'ani said, her small tail swung back and forth.
Having the station shut down at this time would threaten his rule. Every commander in the fleet would conspire against him. On the other hand, earning the loyalty and support of the females could prove to have some benefits in that regard.
“If I agree, you will return to your duties and the other females will also?” He asked.
The three females nodded.
“Li'ani should be the Queen!” Yellow rill said.
“Yes, that's a good idea.” Said the newly appointed council female.
King Ko'ash wondered what he had just gotten himself into. A trap that did not seem to have a way out, except possibly to execute the three of them on the spot. Maybe that example would make the other females get back to work.
Or revolt. Easily put down, but it would make him a laughing-stock.
“Well?” Li'ani asked.
The Chief Counsel was standing next to the short, thick one and he too asked, “Well, sire?”
He emitted a long growl, “I should have had you fed to the dwargs. Fine, I will accept these terms, but if this station isn't prepared in one sill, I'll send you three to the swamps.”
White Yellow rill and the council female celebrated, Li'ani turned to the Chief Counsel, “You heard the King, continue with all preparations!”
“Yes,” He bowed and awkwardly added,”my queen.”
“Let the hunts begin!” King Ko'ash said.
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