The Old Rulers of Klatan

As an avid traveler, you must go to the Omega Six quadrant of the Neutral Zone, down to the Las Vegas-style moon, Bengazzi, orbiting Vespa Green. It is the go-to place for entertainment this side of the Neutral Zone. You can relax at The Rocking Comet, get a drink, and catch a show. Folks are very friendly there. Always open for conversation, which usually revolves around politics, mining, and society.

One topic you can count on every night is news on the “Unwholesome Quartet,” as they call the four war-planets in the four star systems surrounding little planet Klatan―the white dove among the guns. With names such as “Deathrock,” “Ominous Black,” “The Cloud of Doom,” and Gördak Inú (which literally translates “you will all perish” but was too long to be regarded as a suitable name for a planet and so the original name in Konig prevailed), everyone wonders how the small peace planet Klatan has not yet been obliterated by any of its four neighbors.

Most say it is thanks to Klatan’s rulers, a dynasty of Empresses that has lasted for millennia. Yet the question of their age has always been the preferred mystery of the Paparazzi: “Why does Klatan have such old rulers?” With such ruthless neighbors, you would think only a young, strong, decided, war-ready king would be fit to rule the planet in order to survive the constant attacks upon his homeland, but whenever the media, and even common folk ask Klatanians the reason for the Constitutional Decree that states that only upon her 123rd birthday a successor may be crowned Empress, their answer is always the same: “It’s just tradition.”

But take my word for it. There is more to it than “just tradition.” Take, for example, the Empress’s last meeting with the War General of Gördak Inú, Bladdak the Demiser (yes, “Demiser.” Don’t bother telling him that is not the proper form of the word or he will chop your head off and stick it in the head rotisserie used for impolite, vexing people), which took place in Her Majesty’s throne room on the first day of spring four years ago.

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C.J. Cole

C.J. Cole

C.J. Cole writes humor, science fiction, and fantasy, or a mix of any two of the three. She is an avid reader and her mind is usually millions of light-years away and far into the future or in some other dimension. With an international background and family in North America, South America, and Europe, C.J. Cole often works abroad as a translator of English and Spanish, trying desperately to keep her head on the job and not be bored to death. Even though her U.S. address is in Coral Gables, Florida, she wishes she lived in Jupiter, FL, just to say she lives in Jupiter.
C.J. Cole

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