Lyena-Ifrit's Silver Fleet was the crown jewel of the Imperial Armada. The 4th fleet, having been given to Ifrit when he came of age, was reworked entirely into a smoothly operating wave of death. Just the mention of its name over comm would cause the enemy to withdraw.

When he became Lyena, Nova did not know what to do with it.

The Silver Fleet was, in his eyes, more like a mythological concept than a thing that could be governed.

" These are all the documents Lyena wrote about the operation of the fleet," Mordau said, bringing over several stacked boxes. They were all chock full of folders and notebooks. Ifrit didn't like digital records.

He set them on the side of the desk that Nova was sitting at; there was already a great deal of work in front of him.

" How did you get all these?" Nova asked, not daring to touch them.

" Apparently, in his absence, a certain Chief Petty Officer Hannan has been compiling records," Mordau replied. " She didn't seem very pleased that I was taking part of her collection, despite the fact that I assured her it was for your sake."

" ... I doubt any of them would be. They're already living on borrowed time."

Mordau stared down at him. Nova felt his skin crawling. It was judgment, wasn't it? Mordau knew, just like everyone else. Mordau knew. But he didn't understand, and none of them understood...

" Lyena-Nova," he said. " Do you really intend to completely destroy this fleet? You won't even consider relocating valuable staff members, just reinstating their sentences...?"

Nova had learned, on his second day as Lyena, how the Silver Fleet worked.

All personnel were recruited from death row, with their sentences commuted in exchange for a full tour of service; they went through military training in extremely harsh conditions, and, accordingly, they all seemed to have been fervently loyal to Ifrit.

Mordau's brother had been an advisor on this matter for Ifrit; he was a judge.

And Nova hated all of it.

If Ifrit hadn't been forced to fight for Irdat's sake... If he wasn't forced to take part in a conflict that he didn't believe in...

Maybe then, he would've stayed home more.

He abhorred his own policies, he had said as much before. He had said as much before! They were simply necessary in order to push back the front. They weren't things that Ifrit wanted to do. They were things he had to do.

" Lyena-Nova?"

He realized that Mordau had asked him a question and that he hadn't responded.

" ... Of course I do. Criminals are criminals, regardless of operational efficiency," he replied. " ... It's what Ifrit would've wanted of me, anyway."

A pause.

" Did you... know Lyena that well?" Mordau asked.

Nova looked away from him.

" Are you making fun of me? Are you going to pity me? Are you going to look at me with disgust like everyone else? I'm not going to tell you anything."

A silence.

" Mordau. You can leave."