Jento – Part 1
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"Admiral," one of the human crew members approached him holding a sealed envelope, "A message from Earth."
Admiral Jento nodded, and dismissed the man. He looked out the massive bridge windows, and smiled as the Council's lush blue and green home world hung below. It was the last jewel he had added to his crown of conquest.
The Council had fallen. Humanity was victorious, a new galactic order was falling into place, and due to his work Jento's people had a place at humanity's right hand. Brothers in arms they called each other, and he already sensed a bond growing between the two species that would last eons.
And this would not do.
As Jento tore open the envelope, he reflected on the fine line he walked. For the time being he needed to foster this budding relationship, but he also needed to cut if off before his people became too attached. Humanity needed to trust them, just as they had trusted the Council, so that when the time came he could make his move.
His thoughts fled him as he read the letter though.
"Admiral Jento. We hope this message reaches you in good health, as the message of the Council's surrender did for us. The entire human race wishes to thank you for your service in our name, and your contribution to the war effort. It is undoubted that your actions single-handedly saved us from extinction at the hands of treacherous allies. However, now that the war is over, views are changing. Somewhat understandably, many in our ranks still harbor a slight distrust of you due to your past with the Council, despite your many contributions. The current administration now believes that you would serve us better in a civilian capacity, and with a heavy heart I am following instructions to command your return to Earth for your discharge. You will be given full honors, and place of high status among our people should you chose. Best wishes, General Scott."
Numbly, his eyes scanned it over and over hoping that the meaning would change. But it was a dumb, childish hope. They had wrapped it in pomp, and tried to craft it into an honor, but the truth of the matter was right in front of him.
The humans wanted to take away his command.
"Adams!" Jento called out, doing his best to keep his voice steady. A youngish looking man, his uniform dotted with medals, approached. "Take control of the bridge whilst I visit the prison bay."
"Of course, Admiral."
Jento gave the man an approving nod, and left his command chair. A group of soldiers fell into formation around him, but Jento waved them away. "Stay here, I will not need an escort."
Oliver Adams ran desperately through the halls of the ship. He had been transferred to this ship five months ago with his father after the Council surrendered. Usually families were not allowed on board combat cruisers, but the galaxy was at peace now, and Oliver's father was second in command.
There were no other children on board however, and this had the tendency to lead to some dull days. Like many kids his age, Oliver had an active imagination and invented a handful of games to occupy himself. Today, he was trying to see how deep into the cruiser he could get before getting caught.
Moving like a spy would in the many movies he had seen, Oliver did his best to stay stealthy as he snuck by guard who could care less about his job. One was sleeping, and Oliver felt a temptation to try and steal a weapon off his belt. That temptation quickly passed though, as his imagination ran wild with the punishments he would receive for such an action.
He was already at a new record, having made it past the armory. The was the last place he had been caught, and it had taken him screaming out his last name to spare him a trip to the prison bay.
As if on cue, Oliver glanced up to a sign, and saw that he was extremely close to the prison bay. Despite how hard he had argued to stay out of it last time, he was now rushing headlong into it. Then, as he stealthily creeped down the hallway following the signs, he heard footsteps coming from behind.
In a panic, he looked around for somewhere to hide, but saw nothing. No open doors, no closets, or anything to hide behind. He turned to make a run for it, but saw that the only other way out was a sealed door with the word "Restricted" stenciled on in bold, red letters. Apparently this far in, they took security very seriously. Go figure.
Just as he had given up, Oliver spotted the hallway's light switch. It was one of the kind that could only be operated by an I.D, but in desperation he approached it. As the footsteps drew nearer, Oliver acted on impulse and pulled the pocket knife his father had gifted him from his pocket. Before he had time to think of the punishment for breaking something in the ship's restricted area, Oliver had driven the knife into the I.D. slot with all of his might.
There was a slight humming, and a violent burst of electricity flowed into Oliver. He would've cried out, but the shock locked all of his muscles up for a brief moment. As the lights blinked out around him, the knife was ejected from the slot with force, and landed beside Oliver on the ground.
"What in the hell," an alien voice wondered aloud.
Oliver grabbed his knife as he pulled himself into a sitting position. He could see the silhouette of a non-human creature standing in the entrance to the hallway. He slowed his breathing, trying not to make any noise, and moved to lie as flat against the wall as possible.
The alien did not say another word, as it cautiously walked towards the door that Oliver now found himself standing by. As it drew near, he held his breath and crouched down in what appeared to be a particularly dark part of the hall.
Without even a glance in his direction, the alien walked past Oliver, and waved an I.D. in front of the door. Silently, the doors slid open, bathing the the hallway in light. Oliver crossed his fingers praying that the alien would not look back.
And his prayers were answered. Without hesitation, the alien continued on into the room. Oliver sighed in relief, and stood to leave.
But he had made it this far already. Why give up?
Clumsily, his muscles still not wanting to fully cooperate after the shock, Oliver dashed through the closing doors and found himself in a brightly lit, white room with four glass doors on the far end. Above the doors the words "Prison Bay" were written. To his left, a solider was at attention, speaking to the alien. Neither had noticed him.
There was an unoccupied desk near the door, and Oliver quickly ducked under it to avoid detection.
"You are dismissed," the alien was speaking, "I wish to interrogate the Councillor in private."
Oliver heard the man's footsteps move toward the desk, and he held his breath as black boots came into view. They were only visible briefly though, as the soldier grabbed something from the desk, and left the room.
Jento smiled as he looked over his prisoner.
"Elder Illen," Jento spoke confidently, "Nice to see you in good health."
The man rose to his feet, and rushed toward the glass. He smashed his fist against it, a snarl rising from his throat. "How dare you speak to me, traitor!"
"Illen," Jento sighed, "You're smarter than this. The Council forced my hand. I was looking out for my best interest. The Council's best interest."
"The Council is gone!" Illen spat, "The plan was perfect! You're the one who ruined it."
"If it was perfect, it would have accounted for my treachery."
Illen spat on the glass, and Jento shook his head disapprovingly. "Now, you and I both knew that picking a fight with the humans was a fools move. You were playing politics when you agreed to it, and I was playing my own game when I did. I understand that you wanted to avoid this as much as I did."
Illen seemed to relax. He straightened his posture, and attempted to appear more dignified even if the hatred in his eyes remained. "The other Elders forced me into it," he confessed, "It was either vote for it, or they would find some young and uppity politician to take my place."
"Of course," Jento said, his voice filled with mock acceptance, "And I don't think it would be too far of a stretch to say you would have even be imprisoned afterwords. After all, you possessed classified information."
"Yeah," Illen nodded as he began to understand, "One could say I was under duress. I had my people to worry about as well."
Jento smiled, glad that there appeared to be an understanding. "I think, with this new information, you would at least be looking at a full pardon. Especially if a war hero such as myself were to vouch for your character."
Illen sighed. "What do you want?"
"I'm a strategist," Jento answered, "Not a politician. I need someone who can spin words, someone who can make something despicable seem agreeable."
"Will you be running for an office? There are plenty of politicians on Earth."
"Not exactly. But I need someone loyal, someone who has a vested interest in seeing me succeed. You see, we can't beat the humans, but we can outsmart them. I've already earned their goodwill and trust, now all we need to do is convince them that we are better leaders than any human could be."
"You want them to fall in line," Illen nodded.
"Yes," Jento smiled, "I want them to give us all the power. And you're the kind of man who could make that seem beneficial."
"That could work," Illen seemed excited now, "But we need something to play off of. Something to make ourselves look like the best option."
Jento was ready to sit here and work out a plan, when he heard some movement. He spun on his hooves, and came around to see a young human child attempting to quietly open the door out into the hall. Jento immediately recognized him, seeing as he had been running around the bridge for the first few days his father had come aboard.
"Oliver is it?" Jento asked in a soothing voice. "You're Lieutenant Adam's boy, right?"
Oliver turned to face Jento, and immediately turned back around to start banging on the door.
"Help!" He cried out as his fists pounded noisily against the metal, "Help me!"
"Be quiet boy!" Jento yelled, and to his surprise Oliver did as he was told. It appeared that Adams had trained his son to obey orders.
The humans had their adrenaline, but Jento's people had superb hearing. Out of the sense of anyone else in the room, Jento could hear footsteps approaching. The soldier was likely returning, having heard the boy's commotion.
Jento could hardly conceal his smile.
"You see Illen," Jento said, still looking at the boy, "Earth has only recently unified. There are still…tensions, simmering beneath the surface. All it would take is one event to reignite these problems, and divide humanity as they once were."
Oliver had grown very still, except for a nervous twitching of his finger. The boy's body was likely being pumped full of Adrenaline as they spoke. He had never fought a human, and hoped that children of human's were as vulnerable as those of his species.
"The nations of the world like to pretend that they are united, but there are still unspoken alliances. Treaties and such so that when shit hits the fan, and the union dissolves, everyone already will know who is on what side. These lines were drawn long ago, and it takes more than a few years of union to erase them."
The door to the room opened, and Jento's hand drifted down to his sidearm. It was a human weapon, the only kind of weapon in the galaxy that could stop a human pumped full of Adrenaline. He locked eyes with Oliver, and the boy clearly understood that he was to not move.
As the solider entered, Jento looked him over and smiled at what he saw.
"You see Illen," he spoke aloud, not caring if the soldier heard. "Once those tensions are ignited, they will divide themselves. And then when we come in, to unite them for good and spare them from savagery, they will welcome us with open arms."
The soldier seemed confused, and Jento turned to face him. "Sergeant Tzu, you're ethnically Chinese, correct?"
"Yes…yes, sir," Tzu responded.
"And I believe Oliver here is of Japanese decent?"
"Yeah," Oliver spoke quietly, "But we've lived in America for centuries."
Jento laughed, "See, Illen? All these nationalities, all these labels. The entire world is ready to explode!"
He then unholstered his side arm, and fired off two quick shots into Sergeant Tzu. One hit his chest, and the other his neck. He collapsed in a pool of blood, choking on it as it gushed from the hole in his neck.
Oliver cried out, and suddenly charged Jento with a knife he had produced.
A crack echoed throughout the prison bay, followed by the quiet thud of a small, lifeless body hitting the floor.
"Foolish," Illen shook his head as he stared at the boy's lifeless body, a dark red hole in his forehead where the bullet had hit.
"It's all the Adrenaline," Jento explained, "They can operate under it, but sometimes it makes them foolish. It is the fuel I'll use to ignite the flames that divide them. Now all we need is a spark."
Illen was silent as he looked at the two bodies.
Jento gestured towards them with a smile. "And here it is."
If you liked this story, check out my other stories over on r/Niedski! I post all of my stories there!