Lieutenant Firedrake found Colonel Horncarver stood in front of the fireplace in the war room, staring into the flames, his mind’s eye gazing into the fires of battles long past. She marched over, stomped her boot-heel loudly and saluted.
“What is it lieutenant?” asked Colonel Horncarver, turning to face her.
“Sir, since we are imposing martial law, and controlling communications with the rest of the empire, it would be wise to consider shutting down the temples sir.”
Horncarver’s brow furrowed. “You’re right lieutenant, of course we must. After all, some of the holy orders have temples all over the empire, and their objectives may be contrary to the interests of Noetica.” Horncarver smiled at the young woman; Firedrake was a capable soldier who had proved her mettle on more than one occasion, a credit to her family which itself had a long tradition of loyal service to its country.
“Fine lieutenant, see to it.”
“Something else lieutenant?”
“What is it?”
“We should shut down the temples of the order of Seraphina first; the women of that order may have artifices which they can use to communicate in addition to carrier pigeons sir.”
Horncarver grimaced, squared his shoulders. “Alright, start with their temples.”
“Just one thing lieutenant – I need one alive.”
“Any one in particular sir?”
“Their high priestess – Katra.”
Saying nothing, Firedrake stomped her heel on the ground, smartly saluted the Colonel, then turned about-face and marched out.