It is spoileriffic, if you have not been reading… well, any of the Paradox stories with Eldritch in them. But this was so perfect an encapsulation of the major conflict of this part of the universe that I couldn’t resist. (Also, if you have been reading the Usurper excerpts, this should make you feel foreboding, or something. >.>)
“Yes,” he said. “I imagine so. And I apologize for my part in your difficulties—”
“Stop,” she said, shaking her head. “I am glad you’re home, Hirianthial. I mean that.” Her smile was faint, but real. “I have missed the benefit of your counsel. I know it has been several centuries since I was an impetuous heir and you my trusted White Sword, but I have never forgotten how much easier things were when I had you at my back.” She drew in a breath. “And this is just the beginning.”
He looked up at her.
“This conflict here is as nothing, and you know it,” Liolesa said softly. “We have a far greater enemy outside this world.” When he straightened, she said, “Do you care to imagine what will happen when the Chatcaava finally find us? Us, as we are now? Without so much as a ship to our name, a fortification to defend us? God and Lady bless the Tams, but they are couriers, not warriors, and they have neither the firepower nor the training to prevent a determined assault force from reaching us. And then we are dead for truth, cousin: enslaved and then killed, because we never last long in their hands.” She squared her shoulders. “This thing with Asaniefa’s supporters must be put paid to as swiftly as possible, or we are done.”