QI’RA: Chapter Thirty-Seven

The Sword

T-38 was nervous. More nervous than she had been for a long time. The Emperor wasn’t someone to be trifled with and he didn’t summon visitors very often. That made his audience with Qi’ra all the more intriguing.

When Qi’ra had left the room she had looked back at T-38 with legitimate fear in her gaze. At that moment T-38 wanted to jump from her chair and demand to join Qi’ra’s side with her audience with The Emperor. Unfortunately, she knew if she did, she would have disgraced Qi’ra.

So, she was forced to wait for Qi’ra’s return and Moff Arnim took this chance as the perfect opportunity to learn Crimson Dawn’s secrets through her and Nienye in seemingly harmless conversation.

T-38 wasn’t a social type, choosing to stare mildly at the moff with his gleaming red eyes as he practically waited for one of them to spill the syndicate’s secrets. Nienye was doing a great job conversing with him professionally while not allowing the moff to swindle him into saying anything he would regret. T-38 could see the moff’s growing frustration as a result.

The Imperial captain, however, seemed delighted to get to know Nienye better. T-38 had noticed the growing rivalry between the two young men as Nienye’s alpha male nuances required him to be more protective of Qi’ra than usual. T-38 knew Nienye had feelings for the Crimson Dawn leader and he wasn’t about to let this fresh-faced Imperial captain swoop in and take her heart out from under him. But, it was becoming apparent that the two men had more in common than they first realized.

T-38 watched in silent bewilderment as the men shared personal events and talked about the goings-on of the galaxy as if they were best pals. This burgeoning friendship between the two men only made Moff Arnim more agitated who in turn tried to start chatting jovially with her which she did not reciprocate. His temples bulged in response.

Nienye was in the middle of telling Captain Peer about one time when he had to deal with annoying pirates when the door to the room slid open and in walked Qi’ra, still accompanied by the Imperial Royal Guard, resplendent in his maroon robes and a plumed helmet. A hush fell over the room as they watched. And then, in unison, their eyes were drawn to the sword in her hand.

Nienye’s eyes widened as he beheld the weapon, the power within the red stone on its pommel rolling off of the sword in invisible waves that struck him to the very core.

“Qi’ra, did everything go well?” T-38 asked.

Qi’ra smiled. “Everything is fine.” She turned her gaze to the baffled Moff and Imperial captain who couldn’t believe she seemed so pleasant after her meeting with The Emperor. “My audience with The Emperor was very nice. And apparently, he likes humor.”

T-38 smiled.

“Now, T-38, Nienye, it’s time to leave,” she finished.

She and Nienye joined Qi’ra’s side. As T-38 glanced back at the moff she reveled in the stunned expression he wore before looking down at the weapon in Qi’ra’s hand.

“That’s a beautiful sword,” T-38 said. “Where did you get it?”

Qi’ra looked up at her, her eyes gleaming with childish wonder, reminding T-38 how young she actually was. “The Emperor gave it to me,” she whispered.

T-38 nearly choked on her own spittle.

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