Later that day, in the main briefing room onboard the JTNS Xshathrya, forty or so pilots sat, idling after their mission. Conversation was subdued, the men still coming down from their adrenalin high, their taste of combat. The room quieted when the door opened.
First one in was the Vataban Frya, the man in command of the Xshahthrya’s Carrier Air Group. After him came the captain of the Xshathrya himself, Navban Asabana. The last person to enter the room, slightly shorter than the others but much bulkier in his usual golden-and-black powered armour, was the Shahanshah, Gilgamesh the Golden.
Upon seeing him, the pilots in the room rushed to their feet and snapped to attention - right hand over their heart in submission to their monarch. The Shahanshah spoke, a hint of wriness to his voice: “At ease, men.”. He stood at the center of the room, in front of the operations screen - one slave-linked to the one in the CIC, able to show all the stylus annotations made by the operations officers.
Gilgamesh scraped his throat. “Pilots, today you have struck a mighty blow against a fearsome power from the North. It was not our enemy, but those of the Valkorians we devastated. With our attack, we have shattered the military might of this foe. In doing so, we have finally repaid the debt of a hundred years, owed to the Empire for their aid against the Tyrant so long ago. Your work today released our whole nation from this bond, and for this I give you my gratitude.” to everyone’s astonishment, the Shahanshah actually bowed his head at this, raising it again before continuing.
“With our debt settled, we can now approach the Valkorans as free men, unbound by any historical bonds. We have shown them our strength - shown them that we are not to be trifled with. And this is necessary, because our scouts indicate a Valkoran garrison occupies Kurshid and the Temple, and has wreaked devastation on our erstwhile capital.” The Shahanshah’s voice grew hard and cold. “This is something we cannot easily forgive. We will expunge the Imperials from Kurshid, by diplomacy if we can, but by force if we need. We will reclaim the city of our ancestors, and rebuild it into a shining testament to Kavehan engineering and ingenuity. From there, our power will once more spread over the steppe, until the whole land has become a wonder to behold!” With finality in his voice he concluded. “This is what I, Shahanshah Gilgamesh the Golden of Kaveh, have determined. It shall be so.”
Without a further word, he turned and walked out of the room with his naval captain in tow.
Vataban Frya waited until the senior officers were out of earshot before chuckling softly and speaking. “Alright, laddies, have a sit down and let’s debrief. Damage reports indicate that…”
@staff You can close this one.