Bhelith found herself in a transmat, staring down the barrel of a half a dozen Taianese soldiers – of the same sort she had seen in the field. The blue piping stood out on the black hardsuits, and glittered off of their laser rifles.
This did not bother her quite so much as even she had expected; she still had all her arms and armor, the latter of which would protect her from the brunt of the force brought to bear against her, should she choose to resist. And she could still, in the back of her mind, feel the curiosity of her ship – closer now, but over distance. So Bhelith knew that they had not left planetary orbit, and that they were not halfway across the solar system, which is what she had assumed might be the case.
She sheathed her sword for two good reasons; the first was that, although she might have a good chance of murdering the six soldiers in front of her, especially as close as they had to stand to crowd into the ship’s little transmaterial bay, she would not survive a single-woman assault. It had been her hope that she could have maneuvered the Asteria into such a position as to provide some sort of covering fire, albeit through a mountain, but that had not been the case. Nor was she a sailor. Bhelith the Blackspear, Monarch of Kowloon, employed other people to fly her starships.
The second reason, the reason that she could sheathe the sword with any amount of confidence that she would be treated with respect and dignity, was that she had the favor, dubious as it was, of the Tai Pan Emperor, Cixi Kuan Leong. It had been bestowed on her long ago, for an act of compassion, and for holding onto one of the man’s dangerous secrets.
Such were the dangers of rule.
Bhelith hefted her shield and stepped off the platform, her metal sabaton’s tread the only sound in the room.
“I will give my good conduct to your commanding officer. Take me to them.”