Empress Game: The Empress Game Trilogy Book 1

Empress Game: The Empress Game Trilogy Book 1 by Rhonda Mason

Book: Empress Game: The Empress Game Trilogy Book 1 by Rhonda Mason Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rhonda Mason
want to achieve our ends.”
    “And those ends would be…?” Kayla’s interest piqued. A senior IDC agent, the princess of Piran and the heir to the Sakien Empire working together, all for… what?
    “An end to the Ordochian occupation and an alliance with the Wyrds.”
    Isonde’s words hit her square in the chest. “What?”
    “With enough support in the two lesser councils, we can influence the Council of Seven to vote for a withdrawal from Wyrd Space. That is,” Isonde added, “if the Wyrds will agree to create the counter-nanovirus we’ve been asking for.”
    Kayla thought she must have hallucinated. Did a leader of one of the empire’s most powerful planets suggest freeing Ordoch?
    “Wait. Wasn’t Piran involved in the original attack?” Kayla reached back in her memory to the weeks leading up to the coup. Emissaries from the empire had come, a contingent made up largely of IDC agents and diplomats from several of the Sovereign Planets. There had been meetings. Talks. Hours upon hours of talk over a nanoplague that the empire had accidentally unleashed on itself and the technology they demanded the Wyrds provide them with to stop it. Dangerous technology. Technology forbidden in Wyrd Space for its insidiousness and unpredictability. Technology that, in the hands of the aggressive empire, could just as easily be used as a weapon against the Wyrds, rather than as a cure.
    “We were under pressure to approve the use of more… persuasive measures with the Wyrds, if talks did not go as hoped.”
    “Assassinating the ruling family was your idea of ‘persuasive measures?’”
    “Not initially, no,” Isonde said, with a coolness that made Kayla want to slap her. “But it became necessary.
    “The current situation on Ordoch is tenuous at best,” Isonde continued. “It’s only a matter of time before the other Wyrd Worlds refit their ancient battleships and mount an offensive. We’ve only held the planet this long because interplanetary warfare between the Wyrds ended generations ago and their armadas had fallen into disrepair.
    “We can’t afford the manpower and resources it would take to hold Ordoch against the combined might of the Wyrds, not when the Tetratock Nanovirus plague is still advancing.”
    The TNV. Kayla thought the same thing about the plague now as she did back then—serves them right. But news that it raged on unabated surprised her.
    Isonde nodded. “Our designers are useless. All they’ve managed to do is speed up the destruction in the Tanaki sector.”
    “The Ordochians can’t deactivate it?”
    “Won’t. We captured their major tech installations with minimal casualties, but many of the brightest scientists and designers slipped our net. They’ve been in hiding since.
    “It comes down to simple numbers,” Isonde said. “We can hold the capital city, control most of the power grid and tech centers and keep the highest ranking Wyrds hostage, but we can’t do a door-to-door search of the planet. What scientists we did manage to capture have been uncooperative, despite… pressure being applied.”
    “We never should have gone there,” Malkor murmured.
    Kayla struggled to rein in her anger, to sound as disinterested as a pit whore would be about something so far beyond her sphere of influence. “And now you—what? Want to do the right thing? After five years?”
    Malkor looked pained. “We want the same thing as always: to deactivate the TNV before it spreads farther among the planets of the empire.”
    “And you think that if you return control of Ordoch to the Wyrds, they’ll be so thankful that they’ll agree to help you neutralize your super weapon gone awry?”
    “We don’t have another choice,” Malkor said. “The Wyrds will eventually reclaim the planet. Even trying to hold it this long is draining resources needed elsewhere. Agreeing to withdraw now, and avoiding what could be another half-decade of occupation for them, is our most

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