Book 3 of the Natan Fleet Show.
Ha'Likka is dead, but that doesn't mean Gilonnia's troubles are over! With Daharn and Hasabi missing, possibly dead, and the Varas creeping further into gilon territory, Natan has to fight one last battle to unite Gilonnia in an effort to stop the alien menace. But can he do it when those he thought were allies are actively working against him at every turn? Can he hold out long enough for Vathion to recover and take over as Emperor, or will the stress of losing Hasabi do him in before he can achieve anything?
"I demand to know why you are here, disrupting our work," Koshka said.
Natan gestured at the window to the wrecked palace just as a ray of sun broke through the clouds to highlight the burnt out skeletal structure that remained. The construction equipment was moving again, tearing apart the remains of the ship that had crashed into the building. "What work?" Lifting a finger, he gestured the tip of it at Koshka and grinned, "You were all in your offices, pulling your hair, weren't you?"
Clian, the bald man, looked guilty.
Twirling the tip of his finger in the air, Natan said, "So I have come to alleviate your boredom."
"There is nothing you can do, Ha'Natan. Unless you happen to have the emperor hidden in your pocket."
"Actually, Vathion's resting on the Xarian right now."
Koshka's teeth clicked shut, eyes widening.
"So in the meantime, we need to get things moving. This little digestive disorder can't be left as it is," Natan said.
Director Landern had been in the process of taking a sip of tea, he choked and coughed. Clian patted Landern's back even as he looked up at Natan. "Digestive disorder?"
"Yes. The paperwork, it's not flowing," Natan dropped into one of the remaining chairs and took one of the cups of tea and sipped it, smirking behind the cup.
"Your bathroom humor isn't appreciated," Koshka muttered. However, he sank to a seat finally and gripped his knees with bony fingers. "What authority do you have to do anything about the situation anyway?"
"The authority Vathion has conveyed upon me."
"Why doesn't he say so himself?"
Natan turned serious, lowering his teacup, he looked directly at Koshka. "If you'll recall, that," he gestured out the window again, "Isn't the first time she's trashed something dear to me. Vathion is resting. Doctor's orders."