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PostPosted: Thu May 12, '11, 7:22 pm
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Due to their inability to agree on certain fundamental points, the siblings kept to themselves in the following weeks. Alair didn't keep track of her brother's comings and goings from the small satellite and chose to stay mainly in her own chambers. On the opposite end of the palace, the prisoner's ever-distending abdomen offered proof of one of Lune's more reprehensible activities. Once the pregnancy was confirmed by the trained medics in the infirmary, it didn't take long for the whispered news to spread to every inhabitant of Dahlia.

Lune had heard the door open, but as soon as he turned around, he was met by a stinging slap across the face. “You are disgusting!” Alair screamed at him.

He grabbed his sister by the wrist. “If you ever lay a hand on me in that manner again,” he said calmly, “it will be the very last thing you do.”

She jerked her arm out of his grasp. “I...I can't even...I don't even know what to say to you right now,” she stuttered. “I am ashamed to even be related to someone as vile and disturbed as you so clearly are.”

Lune paid no attention to her angry words. “She will bear me a son. Unlike you, he shall grow up to fight alongside me in the name of Laya and help bring glory to our people.”

Alair closed her eyes and rubbed her temples in exasperation. “There is something wrong with you. There is really something wrong with you.”

“At least I'm trying to ensure that our family line doesn't end with us. That's more than I can say for you.” He narrowed his eyes at her. “Though I can't say I've seen any men lining up to marry you and take you away from this place.”

She shared her brother's ability to shrug off petty insults. “You won't have to worry about me being here much longer. I have no intentions of staying here and condoning your abhorrent actions.”

Lune let out a nasty chuckle. “Go ahead. Leave. I guess you've forgotten what happened the last time you tried to go back to the ship.” He paced around her in a small circle, still grinning cruelly. “You might as well have a target on your back. There are plenty of people down below who are foolish enough to believe that harming you would have any effect on my efforts to destroy them. Getting into that shuttle is just as good as signing your own order of execution.” He stopped in front of her and stared directly into her eyes. “If you want to keep breathing, I suppose you are also a prisoner here. Funny, isn't it?”

Alair had no counter-argument, for she knew he was right. “It doesn't have to be this way. When are you going to finally realize that there's no point to all this fighting? No one is ever going to 'win'; how many of your own men are going to have to die before you realize that?”

“I'm not going to prevent you from leaving,” he said, his voice still cool and even. “But I am also not going to tolerate these futile debates. I'm sure we can find a way to live together civilly, but this is the last time we will discuss my business with the Orakians. Now, I have work to do.”

Lune turned back to his plans and diagrams, but Alair still didn't leave the room. “Can you at least let her out of that cramped cell and make her more comfortable?” she asked softly.

“The medical team has orders to check on her at specific intervals,” he said without looking up.

“One would think you'd be concerned for the health of your child, especially when you have such grand expectations for him.”

Lune paused. “I shall consider your request,” he finally conceded.

“Thank you.”

With his sister mostly staying out of his way, the Layan commander was able to focus more on his strategies for bringing down more of the Orakian kingdoms. Messengers from the camps outside the ruins of Satera reported back that the ruler of Landen was an accomplished warrior and the city's military provided a near-impenetrable defense, so Lune turned his sights back to the smaller town of Divisia. Accompanied by some of his finest officers, he flew back down to Elysium for several weeks to better plan their future attacks.

Unfortunately, Divisia was situated right in between two thick forests, which provided an excellent natural barrier. The lush trees made it possible for them to get fairly close to the walls of the city undetected, but guiding a large army and hordes of monsters through the brush would be an entirely different situation. The northern and southern borders weren't as well-protected, but the towering castle in the center of the kingdom made it easy for both of them to be monitored.

“We would have to orchestrate a simultaneous attack from both the north and the south,” Lune quietly said to his second-in-command. “Otherwise, one side would have too much advance notice of our presence. Let's go back to Dahlia and plan how to best mobilize the troops.”

Though it was the middle of the night when they returned, many of the residents of the satellite's compound were awake and rushing about. Alair was even out of her room and, for the first time in months, she didn't appear to be visibly repulsed by her brother's presence. “Oh good, you got here in time,” she said, abandoning all pleasantries and polite greetings.

He followed her to the doors of the infirmary, but hesitated outside, as he had no desire to personally witness the messy beginning stages of life. “How much longer?” he inquired.

“It's hard to estimate. She's been in there nearly all day.”

“Is everything okay?”

“It seems to be. Granted, your medics don't have a whole lot of experience in this field, but I'm sure we'll manage.” She pushed open the doors to rejoin the medical personnel, leaving Lune out in the hallway.

He paced back and forth along the stone floors, not straying too far from the immediate area and trying to ignore the various noises drifting through the doors. Though he had planned on immediately expanding upon his plans for battle upon returning home, he hadn't expected to be so anxious in anticipation of this moment and his soldiers kept their distance from him. In the future, his son would be by his side, helping him plan his strategies and share in his victories; though the embittered former general had never previously contemplated having his own family, he had to admit to himself that it was a rather pleasing picture.

After restlessly meandering for over an hour, he saw Alair finally emerge, beaming down at the swaddled bundle she was carefully holding. Lune joined her and stared at the bright red face of his angrily wailing child with a combination of curiosity and apprehension. “Everything went well?” he inquired.

“Yes. Mother and daughter are both doing fine,” she said, never taking her eyes off the screeching newborn.

Lune snapped his head up to stare at his sister in surprise. “Daughter?”

“Yes. You have a perfectly healthy baby girl.” Alair continued to coo at her new niece and rocked her gently.

He groaned and rubbed his eyes with his balled-up hands. “Useless Orakian wench...” he muttered.

“I don't really think she had much control over this,” she reminded him.

Lune turned away from her and started anxiously pacing again, still mumbling about his disappointment under his breath. Instead of a son to continue on his family line, he now had to deal with the responsibility of raising a respectable daughter. Though he had nothing but the utmost respect for his former leader, Laya was, in his opinion, the only woman he had ever met who could hold her own on the battlefield. Even his own sister had given up on her warrior roots and had chosen not to fight with him. The dreams of having his own flesh and blood carry out his goals were quickly disappearing before him and he felt his rage begin to build deep within his chest.

Before he could begin to let out his frustrations on the nearest available target, a blood-curdling scream pierced through the air. The siblings exchanged panicked looks before racing through the doors, nearly knocking into the medics rushing around the room. On the floor lay the Orakian prisoner, the handle of a blade protruding from her chest, blood spilling out over her hands and onto the immaculate floor. Though the staff was trained in simple procedures and healing techniques, her aim had been unexpectedly precise, and their efforts to save her were proving to be entirely ineffective. Her eyes fixed on Lune as the life gradually drained from them and there were no longer any traces of fear or submission to be found in the dulling dark orbs.

Alair's free hand was clasped over her mouth in shock as she stared, horrified, at the gruesome scene. Lune furiously addressed the head of his medical team. “What the hell happened in here?” he demanded to know.

The man was shaken by what had transpired. “We...we thought she was resting! We were cleaning up in here...she just grabbed the knife and plunged it into her heart!”

Tears sprung to Alair's eyes as she glared at her brother, a whirlwind of tragic emotions displayed in their cobalt depths. “I hope you're satisfied with yourself,” she hissed at him, still clutching the baby to her chest.

Lune stared down at the corpse at his feet for another moment before shrugging his shoulders and moving towards the door. “One more dead Orakian is not cause for such a hysterical display, pull yourselves together.” Before exiting, he addressed Alair again, though he wouldn't look directly at her. “Do whatever you want with the child. Keep it, kill it; it makes no difference to me. I wash my hands of this entire situation.” Having made his decisive declaration, he stormed out.
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