QI’RA: Chapter Seven

Inner Conflict

Qi’ra’s fingers tapped on her armrest and her leg bounced more feverishly. Something was wrong. Her top lieutenant always completed his missions with precision and speed. It had been twenty minutes since she had last spoken with her two-man team. She understood the risk of claiming the Yartish Jewels. Her top lieutenant, Nienye, could die.

And yet, for some reason, it didn’t make her heart pound in her breast or her throat tighten with worry at the thought of his demise by her lofty goals. She was a leader of Crimson Dawn, a powerful figure in the criminal underworld, she could find someone more skilled who could replace him.

Her eyebrows knit. What was she saying? Had she really become that cold-hearted?

No! She couldn’t. She wouldn’t. If she did she would be no better than Lady Proxima or Dryden Vos, and she vowed to never become like them.

She leaned forward, pressing a button on the console.

“Nienye, Ventra Dune, please respond.”

There wasn’t a response. She contacted them again. And like before, there was no response. She sighed.

“Forget it.”

Nienye and Ventra Dune were perfect for this mission because they didn’t adorn themselves with the Crimson Dawn brand, making their role in this operation classified. If they failed, nothing would fall upon Crimson Dawn’s head. But if Qi’ra inserted herself into this and failed she could not only lose her life but tarnish Crimson Dawn’s reputation for years to come.

Suddenly she was beginning to grasp the difficulties in being someone of such high stature in the galaxy.

She had never been able to understand how crime bosses and senators let the people that worked for and believed in them die without little remorse. Now, as her finger hovered over the button that would send her ship, Night Shade, toward Symtora, the weight of her responsibilities rested heavily on her shoulders.

She sat back, sighing. Nienye and Ventra Dune were on their own.

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