I know it's been a while, but I hope you'll forgive it! Here's your next chapter everyone!

Petra almost wished she was back in a camouflage lesson on her home planet. Or stuck in one of the gathering parties. Or literally anywhere other than walking into the Salamander Army bunkroom at that moment. She and Dink were reporting in with the other members who had been chosen and as soon as she stepped over the threshold, a bad feeling filled her stomach.

Standing still and upright like the others, she watched Bonzo eye his new picks. He puffed his chest out and practically strutted in front of them, an irritating smirk on his face the whole while. His eyes landed on Petra and the smirk only grew wider. He made a beeline right for her.

By the harsh rays of the sun, I swear, if he says one word to me, I'm-.

Before he reached her, though, Bonzo stopped in front of Dink. Petra blinked in confusion, but Dink didn't even flinch. "How'd that other army treatcha, Meeker?" Bonzo sneered. "Probably wish you were still takin' orders from those lackwits now that you're under my command, huh?"

"I take commands from whomever is my commanding officer, Sir," Dink responded almost mechanically. Petra watched him carefully. There wasn't even a twitch on his face. She needed to be like that. Filing the information into her infiltration repertoire, she kept an eye on the interaction curiously.

Apparently, before being in Tiger Army, Dink had gone against Bonzo in a Battle and had beaten him. That meant he was also a vendetta pick. Bonzo wished to exercise the power he now holds over those who are better than him. Petra stifled a snort. She already had a queen. This human's pride and preening would never match up to her natural elegance.

While she waited for Bonzo to finish his self-satisfactory posturing, she took a look around the bunkroom. Most of the bunks appeared to be filled up already. Petra wondered briefly if they were also vendetta choices, but quickly dismissed the thought. Bonzo wouldn't have much of a faithful army if he did that. She knew from her lessons back home that, if someone wished to gain a proper hold on their subordinates, they needed at least a sizable number of subordinates already loyal to them. It kept the disrespectful or disobedient ones in line and stopped anything treasonous from happening, despite how rare it was for that to happen in her colony.

Something else also occurred to her as she looked around the room. She was the only girl there, or at the very least, it seemed that she was from the soldiers she could see from her position. Looking around, there were no other girls there with her as far as she could see. Petra blinked. Well, that is an unexpected turn of events, but it didn't really matter that much.

She snapped back to attention as Bonzo finished with Dink. He stepped in front of her and his eyes glittered maliciously up at her. She kept her gaze forward like Dink had done. If she acted the same way he did, Bonzo would likely get bored and leave them both alone. That was the good outcome, at least. If he didn't, she may have to forfeit her mission…

"Well, looks like Arkanian's taken a few lessons in respecting her superiors." He eyed her up and down, clearly unimpressed with what he saw. Not that she was the one strutting about in the first place, but she couldn't say as much. "Good. I'd hate to get a lackey who doesn't know a thing about showing respect to real talent." Petra just barely pushed down a scoff in time.

Thankfully, Bonzo moved on quickly and started assigning bunks. "Meeker, Arkanian, two bunks on the far back left. Rosary, Tigre, far back right…"

Petra and Dink waited to be released before making their way to their bunks. Once Bonzo was out of earshot, Dink's expression fell into a snarl. Petra chuckled lowly. "Someone's holding quite the grudge, huh?" she asked him as she climbed to the top bunk.

"You'd think he was a peacock with how he was strutting about," Dink agreed gruffly.

"Well, part of that word is correct," Petra snickered. "Wanna head to the training room tonight after lights out? Not like anyone will notice if we go missing from our bunks, after all."

Dink grinned. "You're on. Whatever Bonzo's got going on, I doubt it'll be as tough as what Gabrielle put us through. We'll definitely need the spar."

Petra smiled and leaned back on her bunk. She felt the presence of her queen in her mind and relaxed a bit. Bonzo's hold over her wasn't nearly as strong as the one Gabrielle had held. That meant he wasn't a suitable queen. With this information, Petra's eyes narrowed playfully. Less of a hold meant she could have more fun with him. If he thinks he's getting privilege to control her that easily, he had another thing coming.

And the best part is that Petra knew she wasn't the only one of the vendetta picks thinking that. Something taught in the scavenging classes back home was that if there were enough dissenters, the queen may not be overthrown, but her work can be made difficult. Of course, this was an example of the other species on their home planet, since dissent among her own kind rarely cropped up. However, this would be a wonderful place to test the theory.

I wonder what our instructors would think of me now, she thought with a small chuckle. Applying their teachings in enemy territory. I hope I can make them proud.

She cast a glance around the immediate area. The two others on the bunk opposite her and Dink were speaking to one another in low voices. Neither looked particularly happy with the commander or the sleeping arrangement. They would be her first recruits into the Dissenting Faction.

This is going to be fun.

Remember, sneak peeks and updates are available on my tumblr, gothalbinoangel-fanfiction. Where you can also ask questions.