Hindsight twenty-twenty.

“Impossible! Unprescedented! Irresponsible! Is General Prettana to blame for this? Or Counselor Vassi? Or am I to face the consequences?”

A collective wince. The silent screens flicked between various broadcasts of the violence on Tertius, casting their light on this abashed room of Verdan heads of state. Gregor kicked the table, then slumped into his chair.

“And the shipments… What of our ships? Which idiot consolidated the transports to all be on Verdanus at the same damn time!?”

The answer was, of course, reflexive, and Con Gregor recognized it only after voicing the question. His cabinet retained silence. Now Pretanna spoke.

“We have lost contact with our forces in twelve of their nations. However, I have secured loyalty in at least three others. Fighting continues in four. And Koagrad has unwittingly accepted my proposal for a parlay.”

Gregor waved to her his acknowledgement.

“Keep on with all that. Counselor Vassi, assemble me an analysis team. I need to know how I let this happen.”

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