“I don’t want to hear excuses, you imbecile”, Cole Nivens, director of the ISS, screamed at the ISS agent standing stiffly at attention. “You were supposed to contain the situation QUIETLY! Not bollux it up.” Turning to look out the window of his office where flames could still be seen out over the city, he continued in a voice so controlled that it sent shivers up the agent’s back. “You will inform the news services that it was a terrorist attack. That will give you the excuse to search house to house in the city and to halt all ships leaving the planet for inspection. So help me, if you screw up again you had better just start running because I will personally strip your hide of skin and then rub salt in it. Do you understand? Now leave!”
Turning quickly the agent rushed out of the office
Nivens went back to his desk and sat down. Reaching out he activated a secure channel on the com. Consciously calming himself he adopted a subservient expression while waiting for his call to be answered. “Majesty. There was a little opposition, but the mission went as planned. I have instituted damage control to cover up. “Smiling slightly he continued, “It seems that there was a terrorist attack in the city tonight. I am sorry to report that your hospital was destroyed and that there were no survivors. We are making every effort to catch the terrorists.” Stopping to listen for a moment his hands nervously fidgeted out of sight of the com pickup. “Yes, your Majesty. Thank you, your Majesty.”
When the emperor disconnected Nivens sank back into his seat with a shuddering sigh. For a moment he sat there with his head in his hands as he controlled the fear brought on by the thought of what would happen to him if he failed the emperor.
After a moment he reached with renewed determination for the com. “Nazta I’m going to give you one more chance. If you screw up again like you did this afternoon I’m going to personally kill you. Right now I want you leading the search for any escaped children or staff. We don’t have any pictures of the children, and you’re the only one who might be able to recognize them” In a voice doubly chilling for is quietness he finished “Don’t make me regret giving you a second chance.”
Nivens sat back and held his hand to his stomach after the call was finished. Then he reached into his top desk drawer for the bottle of medicine he kept there. He would need it for the next few hours, and days if he was unlucky.