KAN KE’ EL FALLS (Part One)
© 1999 By J. A. Stubbs
While the Dusters were patrolling their system, the Kan Ke’ El ships guarded the planets. Then Klerint and his government learned that more Kan Ke’ El citizens were missing. This time they were from the Planet Cip. Among those who had disappeared were the Gindi who tended the Palace and its’ grounds. Along with the workers who maintained the Platipla Estate. Which was thousands of their staff. That was a direct blow to his family and their rule.
Since they relied heavily on their servants to manage their day to day needs. Thus they were not in the habit of grooming themselves or preparing their own meals. This unsettled the Platipla’s and made it harder for them to do their jobs. As no one knew how their servants left. Or where they went. They were there one moment, and then they were not. But that seemed to be impossible. For when they vanished, their families and possessions did too.
This convinced Klerint that his government was still not ready to repel an attack from the Star Children. So he issued new orders. He directed that all Gindi ships guard their inhabited worlds from orbit. Which meant an average force of seventy of their warships for each of the three worlds. The Duster mercenaries were ordered to keep the blockade of the Kan Ke’ El system in place; until the deadline passed. Which was then only eight days away. But now each fleet was certain of their role; and what to expect from their allies.
However, when the day of the invasion came, the Dusters encountered something they did not expect. Thirty of the Gindi ships guarding Cip abruptly left their orbital positions without notice or explanation and advanced on them. These Gindi did not signal their intent. Nor did they respond when Duster fighters hailed them. So the Dusters concluded the approaching Kan Ke’ El Destroyers had been co-opted by telepaths; and were a threat to them.
Then the Dusters left their positions on the blockade to intercept these rouge vessels. The rest of the Gindi Fleet at Cip detected the Transchallian fighters as they abandoned the blockade. And then moved toward the planet. Their Kan Ke’ EL Charges saw thirty of their ships had already moved to stop this betrayal; without orders. The Charges of the warships still in orbit decided to join them. As each side was convinced that the other was being controlled by the Star Children.
They began to battle each other. Though the Dusters claim that the Gindi fired first. As they had spread their forces around the system, the Dusters at Cip were outnumbered. But they soon got help from the rest of their fleet; against the Gindi’s surprise move. For they abandoned the blockade to back the ships the Kan Ke’ El were attacking. Soon they outnumbered the Gindi at Cip. Which required the Gindi to respond in kind. And they called for more ships.
This resulted in the collapse of their entire defense posture. And while the Dusters and the Gindi fought near Cip; a Riftin Dreadnought slipped into orbit unnoticed, around Cantnos. It was just the one warship, but there was no one in orbit to challenge them. Then the Gindi learned a terrible secret. They found out that their thought screens did not protect them from the twin’s abilities. Nor did their screens save the Gindi from the twin’s anger.