Wind curled between the stalks of ruined corpses, gently stirring, sighing through the smoke.
Above, the dark sky cracked open, and sunlight poured though the shattered, gunmetal plate, like lances thrust in into the heart of god.
“How many?” He asked, the battlefield smoking bellow him.
“Sixteen hundred or so, more, if you want the women.” Dregger said back, fixing the thin spectacles on his face with exaggerated calm.
“Nobody pays for women.” He said. Black against the black sky. A collapsed star, the darkest night from which no light escaped, no accretion disk circled.
“Of course, sir. And the children?” Dregger flicked the dataslates number scroll holographic upwards.
“None.”
Darkness. Seething, drowning oil before it’s lit.
The detritus of war came apart bellow him, fire and ash, sliding over the broken ground and crashing into the slope he stood upon, thrust into the bones of the conflict like waves crashing on rock.
He tilted his head gently, almost contemplative, and the hard amber glint of flames caught in burning motes of heated iron in his eyes.
“What word from the fleet?” he said, like cold wind moving through a mountain pass.
Dregger looked up from the blue florescent glow of the data magic, floating gently above the slate.
“Yes,” he said, “perhaps a week, perhaps more. There is heavy fighting in the skies above Sullust. They won’t move until Admiral Cren arrives to reinforce. After that…” Dregger frowned. “It won’t take long for them to arrive.”
He nodded, shifting his gaze back out to the placid sea that came after battle.
“We will be offworld before the dawn. I want merchandise branded and stocked before the next market day in the Empire. The Hutt will not want to wait, and we need the coin. Can it be done?”
Dregger folded up the dataslate carefully, tucking bellow his arm, and flattening his neat uniform. He threw a glance to his left, and the tide of sentient beings being shackled and dragged into the cages on the skiffs were wailing, screaming, and crying out, as armed and armored soldiers lashed them with whips and rifles butts.
“I think so. It will depend on the weather. Rain makes for poor searches, slugs down the raiding parties.”
“We will be gone regardless.” He said. The comlink on his belt winked to life in pulsing, arterial red.
“Survivors?” Dregger asked.
And he turned, and behind him, the ruined city smoldered in the aftermath of orbital fire and the sins of sentient achievement, and haloed his inky form like the dying breath of a supernova.
“There are none.” He said, and lifting the comlink to his ear, he took long steps towards the gaping mouth of the shuttle.
Wind curled between the stalks of ruined corpses, gently stirring, sighing through the smoke.
Above, the dark sky cracked open, and sunlight poured though the shattered, gunmetal plate, like lances thrust in into the heart of god.

Drift

Darkplces Dholcrist Tappist drubixcube Quixotic_Earthling Jaxom