Wednesday, June 15, 2011

504 - ...No Idea Other Than Hatred

“The average Arkan has no idea of Mahid other than hatred.  The Mahid were pretty much universally despised!  They were tools of oppression, “the Imperator’s black dogs”!”  

Assemblyman Furninian spoke at length on how the Mahid were reviled by everybody.  He concluded with:  “This competition creates a perception: that Amitzas Mahid, by proposing it, and we, as Assembly, by approving it, and the regent and elect Imperators by not objecting to it, that we all feel that Mahid are an ideal, something to be striven for, emulated, admired.

I feel this is a very dangerous move indeed... that we will seem to be returning to an embrace of unfettered power and brutality, of blind and unquestioning loyalty to a tyrannical Imperator. Arko has only barely left these things behind... we do not want to bring them back or even start to by promoting or encouraging them!”


“Psst… hey Sil!”

“What?  I’m busy polishing the Eighth Ornate level silver.”

“The Mahid have locked the Faib bowl.  I saw some on skates… they might be trying to put together a team!”

“You’re kidding!  Where would they get anybody to play for them?”

“Hang if I know, but I'm going to peek through the spyholes along the Muunas gallery!

Not alone you’re not!  Wait for me!  Hey, Jas, Barb!  Tell your crews!  Mahid are trying out a Faibalitz team!”


“I truly don’t think we’ll get the best of the best by holding out the name “Mahid” as a prize.  I think we’ll get the best of those who want to be black dogs.  Why do we want to give people like that power and prestige?”


“Creating an award out of a higher caste is contrary to the efforts to work towards all Arkans seeing themselves as equals!  It is a null prize in the new Empire, anyway, since one Aitzas has no more votes than one okas!”

I shuffled the papers on my lap as if I were taking notes.  So speaks the one with the Aitzas income instead of the okas one.


“My professional GOD did you see that? He checked her as hard as if she were really playing!”

“Is she all right?”

“Yeah, see?  She’s up… limping but up.”

“He got a foul though.  She saw him coming and passed the disc so he checked her off-hand!  He’s out for a click!”

“Oh, dog-hairs, they’re howling circles around the older woman!  Hey, but she nailed the one girl and has possession!”

“Mikas’s white pubic hairs, they piled on her like it’s a finals game…. Shen on an eating stick… they’re not professionals but if they get coached I’d watch ‘em play!”


Assemblywoman Iferzen was a proponent of equal to equal speech and like the former Imperator spoke in no other mode, though her Aitzas accent came through now and again.  “My husband, rest he in Selestialis, was an expert in diplomacy and I speak as if instructed by him.  If you racked your brains to think of the absolutely most horrible, abysmal, execrable, Hayellacious bad, bad, bad idea for maintaining good relationships with neighbouring nations, this would be it.  Between putting an Aan back on the Crystal Throne and recreating the Mahid, we’re putting out a very clear message, “You need to cease trusting us and rather start amassing armies.”  In fact I can’t imagine anything that would make Fourth Shefenkas Shaeranoias change his mind about hanging up his sword more than us going down this path.  Is that what we want?

A shouted down interjection from General Todirias.  “It’s like poking him, and them, in the eye.  If we want to return to our full strength and begin conquering again, we should be more surreptitious about it.”


“They’re fast!  Hey, quit pushing there’s more eyeholes around under the Selestial gallery!  Go find your own eye-hole!”

“Fik you, I was here first!”

“Hush, both of you idiots, they’ll hear us!  Shhhhh.  I want to see more!  And I’ll be able to sell this one to the Pages!”

“Heh, Intharas will never believe you.”

“After the campaign?  Are you kidding?  He’ll have a reporter here so fast his ass will be be on fire!


“The Spark of the Sun’s Ray Elect should have not tried to deceive us with this presentation by the Senior Mahid as if he had nothing to do with it!  It is a minimization of political damage by letting the Mahid be under our control rather than Imperial control!  This is completely backhand tactics and a completely secretive way of doing things!  If Minis Aan wants his Mahid back he should decently wait until he has his buttocks upon the Crystal Throne and have it openly debated then!

I should get up and offer to let the Assmbly truth-drug me if they believed me of arranging such an underhanded move.

“I think only Ser Festen has raised the idea of extinguishing the clan, which I take to mean executing the few Mahid, mostly women, who remain.  Ser Izan is not proposing that, so I am not sure why anyone is arguing it.  I thought they would merely continue as an Aitzas line like any other, just engaged in less dark and more freely-chosen forms of work.  If they marry foreigners, as young Ilesias did, or remarry outside the clan, as the women must if they are to remarry, that is their choice.”

It was nice to hear some more positive voices in the mix.  Perhaps there would be more later.

“If Ser Joras Mahid is a bodyguard of such excellence, perhaps he can be contracted to teach an elite corps of the Sereniteers, or the solas? This seems more immediately practical for Imperial protection than training up children, if that’s what Ser Mahid proposes.  If it is also adults who may enter this competition, and the competition is conceived to produce the best bodyguards in Arko, I suspect they will all end up being the elite of the solas and the Sereniteers anyway.

He obviously missed the caveat that no children are to be allowed.

“I am suspicious of any attempt to create a general elite, i.e. an elite that is not the elite of any specialized skill, anyway, and especially if it is to be formulated as a clan.  Merit ceases to be a factor after the first generation; then it is blood.

The 'best of Arko' can never be any clan.  The 'best of Arko' is, in art, the best of its artists, in academia, the best of its scholars, in politics, the best of its statesmen, in war, the best of its warriors, in cliff-polishing, the best of its cliff-polishers, in faibalitz, the best of its faibalitz teams.  The 'best of Arko' is the mother who is most loving, the merchant who is most honest, the priest who is closest to his God, the house-servant who is most diligent in getting the dust out of the corners.  In fact, however much Aitzas might sniff and snort and pretend any different, it was ever thus.  We were conquered because we pretended, and institutionalized the pretense, that someone bad was our best.


“Did you see that?  That was like the coolest goal!  She was upside down and backwards and she still slung that sucker into the slot like she had eyes in her fingertips!”

“They aren’t pros.”

“Well, they must have been training by themselves!  I mean look at how good they’ve gotten without a coach!”

“They had access to all the men’s gear after they were slaughtered in the sack. Skates, pads, books… you know.  Everything that just got packed away.  I mean I and my crew cleaned up all that and did the inventory.”

“That one still has a bloody nose… I really wanted to see if they’d play hard enough to rip their shirts…”

“Shut up. you perv… I think the Senior is going to say something to them.”


  1. Ohh ohh! I almost want to complain about not getting the full-on practice except that this way I get to imagine all sorts of cool moves and people jostling each other for vantage points. Glad you balanced 'back at Assembly' with 'Bowlarama', for someone who couldn't care less about sports I find Fiab to be interesting in the way that not-very-subverted violence usually is.

  2. Thank you Blue! I'm considering doing a post from Jorasa's pov, as long as people are interested.

    I'm less a 'team sports' person than an 'individual sport' person, but I think I might like Faibalitz. Especially the women. Fast, physical and on skates in a half-pipe. What could be more fun?

  3. Faibalitz seems like a combination of roller derby, extreme skate boarding, and hockey to me. and while I'm not a fan of hockey per-se, I do love roller Derby, used to play it even. So all in all i rather like this new sport.