Jiska has grown up as her people’s fiercest general. When peace breaks out, she is reassigned to Citadel Lowel and given a partner who needs a bodyguard. After a few minutes in his presence, she knows why. She is assigned to protect him, even if she wants to kill him.
Deskin is a Negotiator specializing in hostage situations. He needs a bodyguard to watch his back while he plies his trade, and General Jiska Irthano is far more than he could hope for.
Jiska has grown up denying her needs from clothing and shelter to companionship and love. The Citadel offers a solution to her denial in every category.
“General Irthano, you are the best that the Urgat species has to offer, and your military record is exemplary.” The administrator in the centre of the judiciary panel looked nervous.
Jiska kept her eyes forward and her expression blank. She was the final member of the security force being dismissed, and once she was gone, the peaceful world that had come to treaties after decades of bloodshed would be able to pretend that she—and the other warriors—never existed.
“With the breakout of peace, I am sure that you understand why we cannot retain a military force in our cities.” The man was sweating, but the room was cool.
“What is to be done with me?” She remained at attention, her limbs straight and head high.
“We have made an effort to place our military with other colonies and the Alliance. They were interested in you, and you are being assigned to Citadel Lowel.” He brusquely moved his data pad and the judiciary watched her for any signs of attack.
She nodded her head. “I realize that this will be struck from the record the moment I leave this room, but I have served the government of Urgat to the highest of my ability for the last fifteen years. I am pleased to see peace in my lifetime, but I know that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Sending the military away and pretending that we were never here, never acted on your orders, is the height of hubris. When the next uprising happens, and there will be one, who will you turn to when there are no more children to train?”
She saluted the panel, turned on her heel and strode out of the room with slow, measured steps. Outside the judiciary, she relaxed her posture slightly but kept walking to her quarters. She closed the door and leaned heavily against it, looking at the remains of her life in service. Her rooms were sparse, spare and had no personal effects.
With shaking hands, she pulled off the uniform that she had worn with pride. Her civilian clothing hung in her wardrobe, and she pulled on the dress that her mother had gifted her with on her last birthday.
Jiska let her hair down and put on a jewelled clip that kept the strands from her face. She confirmed that she looked like any other woman in the city by turning front and back. As a final measure, she packed her bag and had it ready for her departure from her world. First thing was first. She wanted to talk to her mother.