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Truth, Justice, Honour, and Loyalty

Cat's Lair was now, more or less, quiet. While there had been a lot of fuss from the Thundercats, they had finally relented and agreed to let him finish his cooking. Knave chuckled quietly at the memory, as he ate in the solitude of his bedroom. The Thunderkittens had been kept out, though he could hear their protesting from down the hall. Panthro had threatened to throw him in the pot, while Lion-O grudgingly had to admit that the Thundercats respected the cultures and beliefs of all. It was far from an amicable solution, but it was the one they had.

He chewed a piece of meat from his stew, savouring the taste of it. There had been a time when the taste of Zanaya on his lips had been delightful, he was happy to experience it one more time. According to Icewalker tradition, eating the flesh of a loved one was supposed to bring one closer to them. In actuality, the custom had started due to a lack of food on the Ice Moon and continued on after that. Carefully, he spooned a bit of broth for Krystalin and she ate happily. There was no way for her to know the truth, but he did. That's all that counted.

As Knave placed his bowl on his desk he stared at the new addition to the collection of trophies. A single hand, the bones long and a dirty white. He would need to do some more work to it, to preserve it for time to come, and work on a plaque to mark it for the future. "Zanaya," he thought, licking the spoon and putting it next to the bowl. "You meant a lot to me. We loved, we fought. I honour your memory and pledge never to forget you. I can't forget you, you blessed me with the most precious gift of all. Ironic, that an assassin's greatest gift be life." He touched the hand, and scooped up Krystalin to put her to bed.

While he tucked his daughter in, Knave thought about the other Psion in his life now. Lura. Their lovemaking had been adequate. Her demands for gentle had been grating, and he would see how it worked out in the long run. Still, the news had to gall Mystan, and it would infuriate Zanaya if she were still alive. That plus the love she felt made it worthwhile to give it a chance. He curled up and dreamed pleasantly of the future.

Elsewhere, Chilla sat at her computer console. Not many of the Lunataks had access to a terminal yet, though it was one of the projects that Tycho was working on. At present, she knew, there was a public section, while the higher ups were granted their own. Chilla was one of those. She, along with the rest of Luna's original crew, sat on the council as advisors to Governor Tycho. In addition to them, an extra delegate representing each of the moons was chosen. Paeder and Stalker, military specialists, Soot Foot a Graviton who operated a brewery had a closer ear to the ground, while Mystan had been a spiritual source.

Chilla wondered, skimming a report on her family home on the Ice Moon, who would replace him. Once her reading was done, she requested any information the people back home could get her on whomever it was. The Icewalkers weren't good at spying, but they did have a small underground network.

The next message flashed across her screen. A video report from a distant relation. Icewalker genealogy was complicated and it hurt to think about, he was a cousin some number of times removed. "Chilla. I'm not sure what to make of it, but there's word from the Royal capital. A number of mixed race Lunataks are disappearing. I didn't think anything of it, damn bastards, but someone broke into our home. Knave's room was torn apart and marked with a strange emblem. 'MP' it says. It fits with the reports from the royals. You've always said that an attack on one is an attack on the whole family. I await your response while we increase our security."

She cursed silently, staring at the screen. He was absolutely right. There was no way they could let such a challenge go unpunished. Chilla turned off the computer. While she might not be able to travel to the Ice Moon herself, in her role as advisor, a high ranking member of House Iespyk was needed there, and she had an idea who.

How the mighty had fallen, and yet Mystan knew he couldn't afford to waste a moment in regaining his standing. He would learn from his mistakes. He would grow and earn his way back into the favour of the other high priests, and be rewarded with his old position and power. He had done it once before, starting as an acolyte himself, learning from the best as though knowledge were water and he were a sponge. Yes. Already the inklings of a murky plan were forming.

What the Psions desired most was the throne. They didn't want to sit on the throne itself, that would invite others to seek their place, they merely desired to control it. Aristarchus had been their man. It had Mystan who had helped him manoeuvre him into position, coddling and hinting at potential glory. When Mystan had been taken away from him, however, he had gone mad and earned himself a spot on the Control Force's prison planet. Tycho required a different tactic. He was cunning, and saw through the manipulations. Mystan hadn't learned the rules to that game quick enough, but Tycho was not the man on the throne. He had relinquished his right. If Luna died, the throne would pass over him, would pass over Aristarchus too, which meant figuring out who was next in line. He thought he knew who that might be.

But there was another way. If Luna could not be swayed directly, perhaps her heir might. Already rumour was floating that she sought a biological mate to strengthen her rule. If the Psions could find the right mate, someone dim enough who could be controlled. Or perhaps both problems were one in the same. He would do his research, present his ideas, and be back on top in no time.

Mystan scowled as he was jostled. He had been loaded on to a small transport craft for the week long voyage, and placed in a secure cell in the hold. He looked to see what had distracted him and saw Nitro and his pair of women approaching. He knew the Darkling was Nuiane, she had helped Aristarchus on occasion, a spy within Nitro's organization, while the other was a hefty Graviton creatively named Gravica. "It's nice to see there's some justice in the empire," Nitro said, arm around each woman's waist. "I'll be joining you on this trip to the Psion Moon. It's just too bad I won't get to watch your punishment."

"If there is justice here, you'll be pushed out an airlock," Mystan replied calmly. Though there wasn't much in the hold he still had access to his telekinesis and shifted a crate purposefully. It reminded Nitro that such an act could be carried out by him, even from within the cell.

Sadly, if he was expecting fear from the Icewalker he didn't get it, though the women did react. "Enjoy it while you can. Soon the only way you'll be able to move anything is with your pathetic muscles. Come on ladies, let's find our room and break it in." Mystan watched Nitro leave and cursed all members of House Iespyk. Once the throne was where it belonged, he would have his enemies destroyed.

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