The Captains

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Dimitri felt a dull ache in the back of his head. The meeting with the captains was in its fifth hour and there was no sign of an agreement.  Around the round table that was the traditional meeting place of the captains, sat the surviving five captains. Each captain had with him his closest advisors. Behind Dimitri was Vladimir and Alexi. Next to him say Branislav, the oldest of the captains. His age and experience should be invaluable to the meeting. If they were being listened to that is. Across from Dimitri was Igor. His light eyes gazed lazily at Dimitri. But his mood was anything but light. In fact it was his continual rejection of Dimitri's suggestions that had stalled the meeting and prevented a clear plan of action from being formulated.

'Are we certain that the attack on Sergey was from the General?' asked Ivan.

Dimitri nearly hit his fist on the table with frustration.  He couldn't believe that the meeting was still stalling on the origin of the attack. Under normal circumstances, Dimitri was quite tolerant of Ivan. As one of the newest captains he was learning fast about the necessity of coordinated action. But now was not the time for caution. The threat of the General required decisive and immediate action. Dimitri tried to restrain his irritation.

'The survivors gave enough evidence to support the fact that this attack was from the General. They saw badges on the uniforms that could only indicate the General's involvement.'Dimitri answered.

'Our main purpose here today is not to debate the origin of the attack. We need to plan a strategic and coordinated defense. The General has a plan even if we can't see the purpose of it now. We have to act!'

Dimitri sat back in his seat. His patience was running thin.

Igor shifted in his seat as he sat more upright. From the look in his eyes, Dimitri knew that what was coming wasn't pleasant.

'Since your woman is a spy of the General why don't you suggest the best method to deal with him.'

Dimitri felt Vlad move forward angrily. He put up his arm to restrain him. The uproar in the chamber grew as everyone spoke at once. Dimitri saw Igor sit back in his chair. A satisfied smile on his face.

Dimitri held up his hand for silence. Slowly the room settled down.

'Don't bring Lia into this, Igor. Your kidnapping of her is not something I will forgive but as captains we need to put aside out differences for the common good.'

Igor's satisfied smile became a sneer.

'Have you thought why she has such a potent memory block, Dimitri. We both know that to access her deeper memories would have meant her death. Why do you think the General did that? What do you think she is hiding that is so terrible that the General would rather she died to keep a secret? For seven years she was gone and suddenly she is back. Seven years is a long time, Dimitri. Are you not curious about that time? I am if you are not. I vote we submit the woman to a mind search. That's the only way we will really know what the General's plans are.'

Dimitri felt a wave of pure hatred pass through him. He looked at the other captains and realised that they were undecided. Although they had no doubt heard of the kidnapping of Lia it seemed as if Igor had kept them in the dark about the mind search. Next to him he felt Vlad move again. he knew he was as angry as Dimitri was. It was time to act before all control was lost in the captains meeting.

Dimitri deliberately and with much effort kept his face neutral and his tone calm.

'I will not allow you to conduct a mind search on Lia when we both know that the only certain outcome is her death.' he said with finality.

'Lia's memories will not change the reality that we need to act while we can.'

Igor's face reflected his anger and hatred. He stood up abruptly, his chair crashing to the floor. There was complete silence in the council room.

'You are on your own Dimitri, ' he spat out. 'If you come to your senses and stop protecting that woman to the detriment of us all you know where to find me.'

He stormed out of the room. Behind him the silence grew as the remaining captains looked at Dimitri.  Dimitri felt the dull ache in his head grow into an excruciating pain.

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