A blue and gray and white sphere sprang into being, a perfect representation of a life-bearing world floating in space.
All the officers turned both eyes toward the hologram.
“It shall be done.” Kirel stopped the flow of images.
Every officer in the command station swiveled one eye toward the image, though most kept the other on the tasks before them.
That chilly world revolved around a star more than twice as bright as the sun under which he’d been raised.
Unfortunately, it did so toward the outer edge of the biosphere.
Shiplord Kirel, his body paint less elaborate only than Atvar’s, joined him at the projector.
As Atvar did every morning, he said, “Let us examine the target.” Kirel served the fleetlord by touching the control with his own index claw.
This native belonged to the pinkish race, though only one hand and his face were visible to testify to that.
“Cold-looking place,” the fleetlord said, as he usually did.
“Cold and wet.” “Yet it will serve the Race and the Emperor,” Kirel replied.
Kirel said, “Even if Tosev 3 is colder on average than what we’re used to, Fleetlord, we won’t have any real trouble living there, and parts will be very pleasant.” He opened his jaws slightly to display small, sharp, even teeth.
“And the natives should give us no difficulty.” “By the Emperor, that’s true.” Though his sovereign was light-years away, Atvar automatically cast both eyes down to the floor for a moment. Then Atvar opened his jaws, too, sharing the shiplord’s amusement.