Wednesday, June 22, 2011

509 - What Was So Funny?

“… as Arkans we have had a long, long tradition of maintaining Mahid.  They have been the reflection of the Imperial line as long as we have been Imperium… from before we fell from the stars!  One must remember we cannot judge on the last few generations, since the Mahid have no choice but to be what the Imperator wills.  In this case… and in this proposal, it seems that Minister Rafas is suggesting that the Mahid be a true reflection of Empire, rather than an image of a single man, or his family.”

We were finally getting to those who were more moderate in their opinion of Mahid, it seemed.  This was going to probably go on the whole cycle since it had been brought up and that part of Rafas’s suggestion was voted in.  Let the public weigh in on it.  The Pages would publish the whole of the proposal and then we would be hearing from everyone.

So we would be bringing up the debate periodically through the whole session.

A different Assemblyman… Rialas, from Horaman District… “No one seems to be commenting on the fact that some of our greatest Imperators have had some of the greatest Mahid.  Heroes. Extensions of a benevolent and protective ruler.  We call them ‘Black Dogs’ but if the dog is vicious it is the owner who is responsible.  The Former Imperator put the vicious owner down and the rehabilitation of the ‘Black Dogs’ is already underway.  We have a poet thoroughly hidden inside a Mahid mask.  Perhaps we should also look to the past for other examples.  I personally recall a historical account from my own family about the Imperatrix Riala.  The Imperator chose one of his Mahid concubines as his Imperatrix and she is counted as ‘Riala the Good’ and ‘Riala the Fecund’.

“My own great-grandmother told me of the mourning that happened when she died… when my own ancestress was but a tiny girl.  The Imperator was correct in His choice.  And he chose a Mahid as worthy.”

I hadn’t thought of that Imperatrix much at all.  I knew every Imperator back perhaps fifteen hundred years.  But the ones popularly titled ‘Good’ had seemed pretty boring to me when I was a boy, and the Imperatrices even less.  I hadn’t even realized she’d been born and trained as a Mahid.  Of course that would have been buried very deep in any history of her, if it was mentioned at all.  I’d have to look her up and find out what I had missed.  I almost put my head in my hands.  Perhaps in my copious amounts of spare time.


My head was buzzing with flying theory and relay theory when I and my entourage... including Joras Mahid who was going to learn how to relay, to keep up with me, showed up on the Rim overlooking the river below but my head wasn’t so full that I didn’t notice Kyriala sitting by the launch yard wearing flying leathers.  That were soaking wet and her attendants were busy wringing her hair out, in sections fanned out behind her, handing down over the edge of the platform where she sat.

Her entourage was spread out the other direction.  We managed to cross eighteen districts of the Empire with no more than six people... why do we really need a ten or so apiece just to move from the bottom of the crater to the rim?

“Ky… um… Serina Kyriala.”  My tongue locked tight on the ‘what are YOU doing here’ demand.  I knew fikken exactly what she was doing here.  She’d announced it at dinner not so long ago.  Apparently her mother hadn’t managed to talk her out of trying to learn how to relay.  Oh my Great and Most High Noble God what in Hayel are you DOING, woman?  You could be KILLED, or MAIMED, or…  I locked my teeth on all of that as well.  If I could risk myself I certainly must offer her the same courtesy.  “How is it?” I said finally.

She smiled at me.  “I’m so glad I learned to swim!  It means these lessons are much safer.”  She pursed her mouth in frustration and some thought.  “I almost had the timing perfectly on the last one…  I spent most of the time swinging around and missing the other cable.  Tomorrow I’ll have it I believe.”

Sawas, and his partner Eminaias, both looked up from where they were checking their amoyawa, both with enormous grins on their faces.  “You’ll have it down soon, Serina,” Eminaias said.  “And you’ll be safe practicing it over solid ground.”

“The water felt almost solid when I hit.”

“It does that,” I said shortly.  I didn’t even want to think about that.  “So, Sawas, do I start with you, or with Eminaias?”  She giggled, behind me.  I didn’t think it was that funny so I tried to ignore it, but I could feel the embarrassed red creeping up the back of my neck and into my ears.  Why couldn’t things just have stayed like they did when Gannara and Farasha where here?  I missed them dreadfully and I kind of, sort of wanted them to translate Ky for me.  I understood her better when they were there.  What was so flipping funny that she’d laugh at me?


  1. Fantastic. XD We still <3 and admire you, Minis!

  2. Thank you Serina! I shall endeavour to continue in your good regard.

  3. Please excuse me, Serina, that above comment was myself.