Governor Ykcor opened his eyes. In the blur of light he saw the outline of two dark figures. Momentarily shocked, he jerked backwards.
One of the figures spoke, his voice high and effeminate. “Sorry to wake you, governor, but you must come with us immediately.”
Now wide awake, the governor sat up. “Why?”
“There has been another incident.”
The governor got out of bed and put on the bed robes handed to him by the other bodyguard. “What kind of incident?”
The effeminately spoken bodyguard lead the governor away. “The Government Tower has been destroyed.”
Governor Ykcor stopped. “How?”
The bodyguard shook his head. “It happened just a few minutes ago so we have no details as yet. We must leave at once. It’s possible that the same attack could be carried out on this building.”
The governor nodded. He suddenly felt extremely anxious. “Yes, of course.” He looked around. “I must change into my robes of office.”
“There’s no time, governor.” The bodyguard said as he led the governor briskly out of the massive bed chamber. “As per our procedure for such an occurrence, you will need to be evacuated to your yacht and …”
The governor frowned. “I am aware of the procedure!”
“Of course, governor.”
The bodyguards escorted the governor down through a narrow escape route – a short cut to a large hanger bay.
“What about my senior staff?” the governor asked.
“They are also to be evacuated.”
The governor gave a solemn nod.
They arrived at the hanger bay. Sitting in the bay was the governor’s yacht, a sleek and highly polished black spacecraft that bulged and curved in a mass of elegance. A line of people were boarding the ship up the vessel’s side ramp – the governor’s essential staff of cooks and domestic assistants. Beyond, the wide bay door was already open allowing a strong humid breeze to swirl around. Two police air cars hovered outside.
Despite the warmth, the governor wanted to shiver. What is going on, he thought, as he was lead quickly to the ship’s forward underside ramp, the governor’s private entrance to his ship.
As the governor stepped off the ramp an onto the ship’s soft blue carpeting he spoke to the effeminate bodyguard. “What of Ambiam Muts?”
The bodyguard shook his head. “We have not been able to contact him. He was not at his residence. We believe he was still in the tower when it fell.”
The governor signed. “I see.” He paused for a second. “As soon as we’re airborne set up a conference with the military and police chiefs. I will run the conference from my quarters.”
“Of course.” The bodyguard said.
They reached the doorway to the governor’s quarters, safely located at the heart of the yacht. The doorway whooshed open revealing a large cabin adorned with art and fine furnishings. The governor entered and the door slid closed behind him. Walking over to the drinks cabinet he poured himself a glass of sparking swamp wine and sat down on the plush red sofa at the foot of his bed. He sank into its deep velvety cushioning. He noticed the feeling of movement. The yacht had launched.
The governor’s yacht was a fast, luxurious and heavily armoured star ship. Brimming with advanced defence and communications technology, the thirty-metre long three-deck vessel was the standard ship given to every governor of a central world. Although the primary use of the yacht was to transport the governor and his entourage on official visits to other worlds, in an emergency the ship could be used as a command post allowing the governor full remote control of his planet’s government.
Such an emergency appeared to have arisen.
Eager for news, the governor touched a control on the side of sofa and activated the large video screen on the wall of his quarters. Perhaps one of the news channels would already be covering the disaster.
An image of a dark cloud of dust filled the screen. “…collapse began only a few minutes ago. We do not have many details yet, but several eyewitnesses claim to have seen what they describe as a giant missile bursting out of the top of the tower just after it began to fall apart. We’ll bring you more information on this just as soon as we get it.”
The image changed to that of a scantily leather-clad and exceedingly obese and mass-breasted woman. Several labels appeared with arrows pointing at various parts of the woman’s body. “Just why would Governor Ykcor be attracted to the hideous mounds of sweaty flesh that adorn a deca-whore such as this? And why would he spend days buried deep between her massive but repulsive appendages? Join us after the break as we discuss the governor’s bizarre sexuality with three distinguished psychologists, and former quadra-whore Amandia Thung.”
Governor Ykcor slammed his fist onto the control panel. The screen faded to darkness.
The communications panel next to the governor bleeped. He answered. “Yes?”
It was the effeminate bodyguard. “Your military chief, General Eggtug, and your police chief, Commander La’Turb are now online, governor. You may conference with them when ready.”
“Thank you.” The governor said. He activated his video screen’s conference mode. The screen, spit down the middle, displayed the two chiefs. The governor got straight to the point. “Commander La’Turb, what destroyed the Government Tower?”
The heavily scarred commander, who appeared to be almost bursting out of his shirt, spoke. “We still have very little information, governor. What I can tell you is that the destruction was caused by the launch of what looked like a very long space vessel from within the tower.”
The governor nodded. “Yes, I heard some such story on the news a minute or two ago. Where did it come from? The swamp beneath?”
“As yet we can’t be sure. It’s as though it was in always in there.”
Governor took a sip of his wine. “How could it have been? Apart from the renovations over the last few years, the tower contained only the most luxurious…”
The police chief spoke. “What are you thinking, governor?”
The governor sighed. “There were massive renovations going ahead in the core of the tower. The core had been completely sealed off for many years. That space vessel, missile, or whatever it is, must have been constructed during that time.”
“How could you allow such a thing?”
The governor frowned. “I knew nothing about it! I delegated all responsibility for the renovations to my assistant, Albiam Muts. He assured me that the renovations were…”
“He must have known about it and deceived you, governor.” Commander La’Turb said, interrupting.
The governor nodded reluctantly. A deep sense of betrayal washed over him. Albiam – a traitor? The governor suppressed the extreme anger and disappointment that he was feeling. “That does appear to be the case.” He changed the subject. “What about casualties?”
“Fortunately the tower was almost empty. It is very late and most of your bureaucrats will have gone home. We expect there to be hundreds of thousands of deaths down in the under-class districts around the base of the tower. It will take days to make a full assessment. Fortunately their loss will be relatively insignificant.”
“Thank you, commander.” The governor turned to the military chief. “General Eggtug, do you have any more information for me on that giant space vessel or missile?”
“Not much, governor. We are tracking it as it heads out into space. It is accelerating at quite an astonishing rate. There are two ships following it – both bounty hunter vessels. That is all I can tell you.”
“Thank you, general. Thank you, commander. Keep me updated.”
The general and the commanded nodded. The screen faded to black.