After the Destruction of K'tithrak Mang

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K'tithrak Mang System - Series 8 - Mission 4

After the Destruction of K'tithrak Mang

I knew I was going to get a load of guff from the Admiral when I returned, and I was right. He told me I'd disobeyed orders, had been derelict in my duty, and was guilty of theft of government property and endangerment of personnel. Then, for the first time in my life, I saw him smile.

"Nice work, Colonel," he said.

"Colonel?" I asked myself, and then I realized that he was going to rectify what had taken place 10 years ago.

"All right," I thought. "With the difference in wages between captain and colonel, I'll be getting a hefty check for ten years of back pay. If this war ever ends, I think I'll take Angel on a vacation. Centauri would be nice. So would Antares. ... "

The Admiral's words brought me out of my daydream. "I never thought I'd say this, Colonel," he said, "but I'm proud to have served with you."

It was a relief to hear the Admiral say that, but, to be perfectly honest, his opinion really didn't matter much anymore. Angel's thoughts were much more important to me.

"Colonel, I'm cutting new orders for you," Angel said with a smile. "You're to report to my quarters immediately... and make sure you remember the champagne."

After a few days of R & R, I began to think of all the lives in the past 30 years that had been affected by the war. Virtually everyone living on Confederation planets, stations, outposts, and colonies, knew someone involved in the conflict.

I wish I could say the war ended with the destruction of K'tithrak Mang, but nothing could be further from the truth. We had removed a few claws from the Kilrathi, but they still had their fangs. Prince Thrakhath had been rescued, and I knew we would fight again another day.

I had always sought the complete destruction of the Kilrathi Empire, but after meeting Colonel Ralgha, I realized that, so far, this war had been like many others throughout history. It wasn't being fought against the people of Kilrah, it was being fought against the tyranny of their Empire. It wasn't the people of Kilrah who sought to rule the galaxy, it was their rulers.

I hoped that some day we could return Colonel Ralgha to Kilrah and have him lead the reconstruction of their government. I could imagine the day when the talk would no longer be of war with the Kilrathi, but of peace. We could learn a lot from each other, if only we were given the chance.

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Meeting a Maniac...One More Time