Good Night, Sweet Prince – Part 10

I’ve written other parts in this, but I haven’t been able to post them.  When they’re all finished, I’ll create a page that has all of them in order, so that they can be read in sequence.  This section was written using the prompt, “Extreme” from the NaNoWriYe DreamWidth.

**

Ilya was shaking slightly as he stepped up to Director Petrov’s office.  He knew that the larger man was still cross with him for what had happened during the invasion.  They’d failed to take the Northern Isles by force.  Valuable warships had been lost, their crews killed.  Someone needed to pay for that and Ilya knew that Petrov blamed him.

He tapped on the thick wooden surface and then closed his eyes, as he focused on calming himself.  By the time that Petrov invited him into the office, he had managed to still his trembling.  “You bade me to see you upon my arrival, sir,” Ilya said, bowing slightly.

“I must say, little one,” Petrov said, scowling.  “I am rather… disappointed in your performance in the Northern Isles.”

Swallowing thickly, Ilya nodded.  He ducked his head, locking his gaze on the carpeted floor of the office.  “I’m very sorry for what happened with the – the naphtha, Director,” he said, his voice going high and thin.  He shook his head.  “I just…” he trailed off.  There was no excuse for the failure.  “I’ll do better, sir.”

Petrov moved to his feet and stepped over to Ilya, until the large man was standing just behind him.  “Remove your jacket and shirt, Agent Putin,” he said, his voice low.

Ilya hesitated for a moment.  Then, he closed his eyes and did as he’d been ordered.  He knew what was coming.  He’d known it would come eventually.  When Petrov had realized the danger the ships were in, Ilya knew he’d be blamed and this was the punishment.

He set his hands on the smooth wood of Petrov’s desk before that order came.  Then, he locked his gaze on the window.  He bit his lip to keep from crying out in pain as Petrov meted out his punishment.  By the time the director was satisfied, Ilya could taste blood in his mouth and tears were streaming down his cheeks.

“Dress and clean yourself up,” Petrov ordered.  Then, he strode back to his seat behind the desk and said, “You are dismissed, Agent Putin.”

“Y-yes, sir,” Ilya rasped.  He pulled on his shirt and jacket, ignoring the pain that flared across his chest as the fabric pressed against the welts on his back.  “What – what will you do about the Northern Isles now, sir?”

“Taking them by force did not work,” Petrov said.  He smiled.  “We will try… other avenues.  The queen regent is without a husband now.  She must be… lonely.  Yes?”

“As you say, sir,” Ilya said.  Then, he bowed and hurried out of the room.  He was moving so quickly that he nearly ran into Taurys.  He cried out in pain when Taurys set a hand on his back to steady him.  A moment later, he was pulling away.  “I’m fine.  It’s fine,” he rasped.

Taurys heaved a sigh.  “You’re not,” he said, his voice soft.  He sent a glare at the closed door of Petrov’s office.  Then, he shook his head.  “Whatever Petrov thinks, this isn’t your fault, Ilyas.”

Ilya stifled a laugh and shook his head.  “I should have known,” he said.

“We’re agents, not psychics,” Taurys snapped, his anger at Petrov flaring.  “You can’t know things unless someone hints at them.  You didn’t know about the fire until it was too late to tell the director.”

“That may be,” Ilya said, his voice faint, “but Petrov needed to punish someone.  We can’t lose half the fleet and no one be at fault.”

“Petrov’s at fault,” Taurys breathed, shaking his head.  “He rushed into that battle without giving us enough time to learn everything.  Eight months is too long, he said.  I say, if we wanted to succeed, he should have waited at least a year!”

Ilya shrugged a bit stiffly.  “Don’t speak too loudly against Petrov, Taurys,” he said.  He stepped away and headed towards the lobby.  He needed to rest and recover his strength.  “His anger… it comes in waves, yeah?”

“I won’t let it sweep me away,” Taurys said, rolling his eyes.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Good Night, Sweet Prince, Part 9 | A Land of Curiosity

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