The bright green energy bolt lanced out from the rifle’s muzzle, connecting with the big Hekayti smuggler’s broad, scarred blue chest.

His mouth had fallen open and his eyes had widened in surprise before he toppled over backward. In those moments as he fell, the scorching plasma obliterated internal organs and fused them into inert lumps of charcoal.

He was dead before his back thumped on the ground.

The Lotorian perched on the high-backed metal chair upon the tiered dais grimaced, twitching his whiskers as he looked from the smoldering corpse to the pale blue and white felinoid Lyiri who kept her rifle at the ready. “Space what’s left,” commanded Lord Akazar.

Ruler of the underworld deep within the forgotten crevices of Comorro’s ancient core, Akazar never responded well to bad news. Shooting the messenger? Second nature. He watched as the Lyiri and another Hekayti set to work dragging away the remains of the late unlamented Olarn.

For what he had planned, Akazar would still need the supplies that the smuggler had catastrophically failed to deliver.

He leaned back in the throne, lacing his nimble fingers together, and supposed he could wait just a little longer.

But he wouldn’t like it.

By Brody

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