A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Weregild" in Mirror Shards.
From the Viceroy's rooms on the third floor of what used to be an embassy for one of the petty nation states on this filthy organic world, the Viceroy saw flickers of orange torchlight refract through the windows and listened to the crowd's noise that hadn't coalesced into the single shout of a mob. Yet. He had to do something before they revolted. The Viceroy turned away from the window his black leather cape swirling to nip at the walls and he strode into the hallway where his aide had been waiting and who had been caught off guard and had to run to keep up with the Viceroy's long steps.
"They're going to revolt," said the Viceroy. His voice rasped with a touch of reverberation on the Rs.
"Yes sir," said the aide.
The Viceroy stopped and lifted the aide off of the ground and he slammed the aide against the wall. "We do not want you to revolt."
"No sir," whispered the aide through the Viceroy's chokehold. "I was only acknowledging your statement." The Viceroy dropped the aide and he fell to his knees. "You're very astute my Viceroy, nothing escapes you."
The Viceroy flowed into the conference room, but it was empty except for the primitive florescent lighting that the citizens of this world used. "Where are my colleagues?" asked the Viceroy.
"They have found errands they must run on other worlds."
"All of them?" The Viceroy stared at the aide who dropped his head to look at the floor. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I meant to."
"What ships remain, we must make an example of this crowd before it turns into a mob and revolts."
"None?" The aide was silent. The Viceroy didn't know what he could do. There were no ships for him to either leave this world or to use their weapons to bring these primitive citizens under control. Effectively, his brethren had stripped him of power and abandoned him here.
He had to speak with his superior back on the mother world. His eyes, a flickering red glow behind the matte black surface, stared at the aide. "What's your name?"
"Hira Sebi, sir."
These organic lifeforms were good for one thing, even if they made bad aides, they could fuel a transmission.