Harl grunted and crossed his arms. “Fine, we’ll get started on this project. Amaria, you’re in charge of it, and the girl. Vallen, get back to training your troops. We need that ammo from the depo. Without it we are going to have to start cabalizing our gear to make weaponry.”
Amaria and I bowed keeping our heads down until Harl stomped off. We exchanged a look. Both of us were worried about Harl’s attitude. To this day, I find it odd I had more in common with an alien than anyone else.
“Vallen, do not trouble yourself. Harl does not like her cavalier attitude.” Amaria fixed a very slight frown at Gulla who only grinned in return. “Neither do I. If she ever expects to lead she must behave as an adult, not a rebellious child.”
A sweet delight laugh burst out from Gulla. “I’m just being myself, Amaria.”
I shook my head. “I’ll go back to my soldiers.”
A week passed without much change to our routine. Missions happened, people came back injured, and we retrieved supplies. I walked by the lab occasionally to see Gulla and Amaria.
At the end of the week I attempted to choke down some dry rations. I was relieved when Harl called for a camp meeting. I trotted over sipping out of my cup. The first one to arrive as I gazed over the angular, broken landscape. The remains of old wars. The Nobles had stopped trying to rebuild the planet, too wrapped up in their own affairs. In the end, I couldn’t be fully upset, since it kept us hidden.
I heard voices talking behind him as I turned. Harl, Gulla, and Amaria stood at the center. Harl motioned to Gulla.
She raised her voice loud enough to nearly echo over the area. “We have created enough for the serum to enhance all the working soldiers. However, as we tested we realize it does not activate immediately. Therefore, we will do it in phases. General Harl has picked out the first wave and you will report to the lab for your injection and calibration. Not all the enhancements will take, and they may manifest differently. Report any reaction to the medical officer or genetics, even if it is minor.” She paused her dark eyes narrowed, and intense. The strength of her personality struck me, she took after my sister apparently. “Headaches, rash, food tasting different, anything, understood?” The edge to her words was a command.
A chorus of ‘yes ma’am’ filled the air.
“Do as she says. Obey.” Harl slapped his hand onto his palm. “Go out, the geneticist, will grab the first round.” He waved me over as the crowd dispersed.
I strolled over, taking another sip of water. “What is it?”
Amaria stepped up beside Harl. “General.”
Harl’s nostrils flared as Gulla strode up beside him. “This doesn’t involve you.”
“Oh, I can’t listen?” How such a sweet-looking thing could come off so demeaning surprised me.
Harl turned his back toward her before talking. “Tonight, I want to hit a military installation with a small team. I want you and Amaria. You need to bring two operatives from each of your teams.”
I considered this. “Why are we going?” Gulla remained quiet and watchful.
“They have high grade explosives, and advanced weaponry. And from a source I learned they won’t be as guarded because they were diverted to go escort a Noble to another Noble’s estate.” I knew without asking he would not reveal his source. Whoever the source was, he used them often and achieved good results.
Amaria’s appearance shifted a bit. Her skin lightened and her hair darkened to black. “This seems risky. Perhaps we should have less valuable people on the mission. The cause could be irrevocably harmed if you and Vallen both died.”
“It’s too dangerous to risk the non-enhanced members. You are, well, a Star Child, Vallen is a Noble, and I am a former head of a guard.” Harl ground his jaw together loud enough to be heard. “This will give us a good arsenal. I have hopes we will be able to duplicate some of it in our lab as well. Though, it may not be possible.”
With grace, Amaria bowed low. “It will be done.” She popped up and headed out.
I nodded. “I’ll get it done.”