Vadef meticulously worked through the convent records, discovering who was who in the religious order’s hierarchy. He had figured out that there was one elder called the Mother Superior who was in charge of the colony. Then there were nuns, or sisters. Last were aspirants, young women and girls learning to become nuns. The Imdiko had quickly realized that the aspirants were the colony residents most likely to be underage girls. He’d quickly gone through birth information for those and forwarded the squad leaders vid pics and identification scans of those who were too young for clanning.
Vadef had worked his way into cataloguing the of-age females, those who could be made prisoners of war. Under Kalquor’s code, that gave the Empire the right to claim them for clans looking for Mataras. Pretty spoils to be kept and cared for and who would hopefully carry children for the nearly extinct Kalquorians. The reason they’d gone to war in the first place.
He blinked as a familiar ethereal face appeared on his vid. The Imdiko’s mouth went suddenly dry as her face seemed to offer him a gentle smile.
She has blue eyes. Like the sky on a clear day on Kalquor.
It was the blonde who’d not screamed when he and Miv came for her. The one who’d only wept and prayed as they tried to comfort her even as they took her prisoner. By the ancestors, she was beautiful. Still sad though, even in her picture. Her sweet face smiled a little but there was such sorrow in those large, blue eyes. It made him want to find and try once more to comfort her.
Vadef stared at her for long seconds before he could get his mind working again. At last, he looked down at the details of the lovely Earther.
Name: Katherine Archer, Sister of the Europan Order of His Eternal Brides
Vadef frowned at the name. Part of it was a title, like the Mother Superior’s. Earthers often had two, sometimes more names, the last being the names of their fathers. So this female would be addressed as Katherine.
“Kat – Her – In – Ee?” Vadef shook his head. No, the ‘th’ of the name was one sound. According to the rules he'd learned of the English language, the ‘i’ would be a long vowel with the silent ‘e’ at the end. He tried again. “Kath – Er – Ine.”
The Imdiko practiced the name, rolling it around on his tongue as if he might taste it. As he whispered her name over and over, he checked other items of interest. She was close to his own age, slightly older. Still well within childbearing range.
Duties: Teacher, counselor, advocate for aspirant punishment appeals
Special notes: Case No. 18937, exile re: undue alien int. M.S. eyes only
Vadef arched a brow. Some of Katherine’s file appeared to be in code. He wondered why.
His private com channel beeped for attention, and Vadef smiled with affection to identify his Dramok’s frequency. Vadef and Miv’s clan leader was the spyship’s first officer and had been left on board to run the vessel while Captain Tranis led the group on the colony. No doubt Simdow was hard pressed to keep patient while the majority of the ship’s crew was busy with their invasion and capture of General Hamilton, who they’d followed to this little moon.
He didn’t keep his clanmate waiting for more than a second before answering. “My Dramok.”
Simdow’s smooth voice rolled over him like a gentle wave. “Hello, Vadef. I understand they’re keeping you busy down there. Congratulations on your part in capturing an enemy general and 120 Mataras.”
The Imdiko picked up on the excited note in his clan leader’s tone. “Yes, we’ve been very busy, though I can’t take any credit for Hamilton’s capture. But you sound like you have news. What’s going on?”
Simdow’s voice was low, which meant he was still on the bridge of the spyship. Yet there was no mistaking the delight in his tone. “We have our pick of Mataras. A Matara for our clan, Vadef! Any one we want except for the one named Cassidy Hamilton. The captain’s clan has made claim on her. But we can choose any of the others because we’re the next ranking clan on the ship.”
Vadef’s breath froze in his chest. Captain Tranis’ clan was claiming the one missing girl, an of-age aspirant they’d caught a glimpse of just before taking over the colony. She’d been a pretty, pale thing.
Still, there was one prettier, and he was looking into her sky-blue eyes as he tried to speak.
In a croaking voice, he told his Dramok, “I think I have the perfect one, Simdow. I’m looking at her file right now.”