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Sword of the Stars

Captains Log

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Captain's Log Edit

Today I have assumed command of the Imperial starship Massa Lac, and according to tradition I have begun a captain's log to record my thoughts and impressions.

The ship: I have spent the day pouring over it. I have read the schematics, and traveled its length and breadth many times — memorizing every switch and weld, inside and out. It is a fine vessel. Small, perhaps, but as good a place to begin my career as an Imperial officer as any. A mere destroyer may not look like much, but it is spaceworthy and swift as our shipwrights can make it. When they can build better, I will simply have to see to it that I am ready for promotion.

The crew: I reviewed them immediately and gave them my first address and orders this morning. An eager pack of bright–scaled, stiff–tailed killers — young, anxious to please and to prove themselves, hungry for my favor. I must admit, I like them already. All of them have a taste for victory. I know it will be difficult to find the proper balance, as their commander — to spur ambition without sacrificing obedience, to encourage them to strive for excellence without turning on one another. This is why I chose to remind them, upon our first meeting, that we will face real hazards in the days ahead. They had best learn to fight together — or they will each die alone.

The mission: We are shipping out into open space, seeking the nearest habitable planet. In days of old, there were maps of these regions, and colonies which made our people wealthy, wise, strong. Thanks the gods that the new Supreme Commander is a man of vision! Our people are returning to the stars for the first time in years, after decades of useless tail–biting on the homeworld. And I am delighted to be a part of this push to reclaim the power and the glory of old. I am delighted to feel, for the first time in my life, like a true Tarka–born, like my grandmother and the generations before her, to cleave the stars.

And myself? I am Sara of the clan Ja’dur, and this is the happiest day of my life. For hours my heart has been pounding, blood singing through my veins. At the close of day I went to my own chamber for my meditations, but I could not be still — I performed the sword kata instead, whirling until my body and blades became a blur. It took nearly an hour to exhaust the outpouring of my little heart. Now I can only curl upon the floor, radiating the heat and aching with a passion I have never felt before, a yearning I can barely understand.

It is as if I am hungry, with the hunger of centuries. As if I want a man, right now, this minute — as if I could exhaust a dozen men. As if I am enraged, with my enemy’s throat between my teeth and her heart’s blood throbbing against my tongue.

I am drunk. I am delirious. I am ridiculous. Traveling at engines full, knowing there could be nothing in our path, I nonetheless spent the day praying that we would meet with some obstacle — be it so humble as a drifting chunk of rock — so that I could open up the batteries of this vessel and smash it to atoms. Just to hear my own voice give the order and see the power that has been placed in my hands.

Yes, I know I should delete this entry, and replace it instead with some sober and dignified mumbling about honor, duty, tradition. I should compose some stale blather about the joy of meritorious service in the name of the Nine, praise the Supreme, mention my ancestors. I should compose a stilted sonnet to be read by gray–scaled bureaucrats who have forgotten what battle fury feels like — if they ever knew.

But I won’t change a word. This is a new age. There are new rules. There will be a new empire! And I, Sara Ja’dur, will help to win it.

Onward to glory. And thank the gods I was born a Tarka!

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