"The Sindu inhabited gas giants in the spinward marches. They refused my invitation at first. As with all things, they came to see things my way." —Emperor Calus
When his eyes finally opened, Jarus was staring at a fuzzy silhouette of something giant. The giant spoke. "Welcome home," it rumbled. Jarus blinked rapidly. The room began to come into focus, shining like a temple. The giant spoke again.
"My child, there is nothing to fear. I have rescued you. Welcome to my empire." The feeling returned to Jarus' limbs. He was restrained. And this creature now towered over him. He was staring into the face of death. "Fear not, my warrior-to-be."
Jarus blinked slowly. What about the other pilots? His battalion? Did they escape?
"You, the last star-pilot of the Sindû, will be my Ace-Defiant."
It was not a choice.