Back in the mothership’s command room, the alien commander shakily regained her feet. What happened? she asked.
The terrans won, Elroy said. And then they left. Much of the ship has been damaged, and the engines have been destroyed.
The commander sucked in a breath. I see. We need to begin repairs. I want a full report and-
Elroy gurgled with distress, and the commander looked at him. Her eyes narrowed.
What is it, she demanded.
The competition was being transmitted to the High Council, Elroy said hesitantly. We received a partial transmission from them, just before the explosions disabled our communications.
The commander stilled. What did they say?
They said… no high one of the empire has ever lost to a member of an inferior culture. Elroy practically vibrated with anxiety. They said there is no longer a place for you here, Terran.