Monday, January 12, 2015

45 (706) Give Him to Me

Minis ponderously rose to his feet as the Speaker sounded the End of Assembly bell.  For once it hadn’t dragged on past the formal dinner hour. His head ached from having been woven into the head-dress even as little as he was. The door from the glass bridge cracked open a hair and his little brother peeked in, gesturing, ‘come out’ with his comb as fast as if he were water powered, obviously jigging in place with excitement.

He didn’t shout, but lifted the edge of the Imperial robe, the collar weighing heavily on his shoulders. Hold your donkeys little brother. 

It probably has to do with that security kerfuffle half way through the Assembly session. The Speaker had announced a lock-down of the perimeter of the Marble Palace and that the Assembly could continue undisturbed.  Then he'd hit the bell ending the session.The 'all clear' had come barely a tenth later.

He made his way to the door, forced into stately motion by the heavy robe and collar, little hairs pulling at the back of his neck. “Ili, wait, wait, let me sit... oh, Captain Idiesas... My Radiant Wife...”

“Sit down, My Illustrious Husband,” she said and put out her fan to push him into the retiring chair just outside the Chamber. Bella pushed her grizzled old head under his hand and Doof flapped and squawked from her perch but didn't fly over.

Busy fingers began freeing him from the collar as he stared at Idiesas, who bowed formally.  “The honourable Mahid, Amitza, has captured the illusive Unomas, Imperator.”

“I spotted him!  I saw him and I screamed and hid and he threw his chunk of stone at Ilesias Mahid and ran and ran and Jorasa grabbed me, and Gian was getting everybody else and she threw me into a chair and ordered them into the Marble Palace and...”

“Wait. Wait, slow down, Ilesias, please.” He turned to Idiesas. “Thank you for your report Captain. It is Matthas Mahid, is it not?”

“Yes, Imperator.”

“Ilesias Aan.  Tell me, in order – calmly, please – what happened.”

The boy took a deep breath and straightened, hands clenched behind his back. “I was wrong and skipped my oratory class to go see the new construction behind the Temple because they were just using the house-donkeys.” Minis noted Kafiris hovering in the background, without taking his eyes off his little brother.  “We were all on the walkway around the pit and there was an accident that had everyone running around and yelling –“

“—contained, Imperator,” Idiesas said quietly.  “The Fenjitzas will be along with his report shortly.”

Minis nodded.

“That was when Matthas stepped off the crane, carrying a marble slab as big as his chest and I saw him and recognized him and yelled. Ilesias Mahid grabbed me to get me back and Matthas threw the stone and hit First Ilesias, I think he’s got something broken, there was a spray of blood but I got back behind a pallet and everybody was yelling and screaming and running around and Jorasa grabbed my arm and got me out of there.”

Minis nodded, “Good for her.”

“Janiras and Amitzas ran after Matthas... I saw as she pulled me out and she grabbed somebody right out of a chair by the neck... I didn’t think girls were that strong... and dumped me in the chair and told me to get down.  Then she yelled for them to get me into the Marble Palace and they did really fast.”

“Excellent.” Minis’s heart raced but there was nothing he could do. The fight was over. He couldn’t help. All he could do was sit as quietly as possible while deft fingers freed him from almost a manweight of gems and wire.

“I asked Captain Idiesas if I could call from the Presentation Balcony to see if I could call Matthas out.  I mean it seemed like the right thing to do. He was running. He tried to kill you so many times... and he almost messed up the Temple.”

Minis put up one hand to stem the tide. “Thank you, Ili. Captain?”

“The rogue Mahid had secreted himself inside a fountain tree on the University grounds. Amitza posted a watch, certain that he had not gone any further and she was correct.  She sat watch till the end of Assembly Chimes sounded and at that moment the Mahid flung himself out of hiding, in a distraught condition.”

“A Mahid? Distraught?”

“He must have heard me calling!” Ili beamed.

“Perhaps,” the Captain said. “The Ministry of Internal Serenity has him quite securely.

“So... he is now unconscious, I assume?” Minis found his guts in a sudden uproar. I should just order his execution and be done with it. 

A flat slapping of sandals on stone as someone ran up from the lower levels of the Marble Palace.  The Fenjitzas. He’d obviously run over from the Temple and all the way in and wasn’t short of breath at all. “Imperator... would you say that this Mahid actually attacked the Temple by trying to kill you after your Ten Tens?”

Minis shut his mouth with a click.  Why? Um. “I suppose one could say that.”

Radas genuflected, sincere and firm as always. “Please, let the Temple have him. Let me have charge of him.”

BTW if you're going to comment on facebook (I'm looking at you SK!!) I will still count it in my comment contest.  It is only fair.

Now I have a question.  Of my current characters would any one of them properly represent the Goddess Anae?  Or the God Imbas?

I am going to need them fairly soon... as we come around on the guitar... I have appropriate avatars for Oas, and Mella, Mikas and Risae, Aras and Dimae, Muunas and Selinae.  I'm still missing two.

You might gather that I'm planning to have a new and renewed Temple in the face of this illness, especially since it has shown up for sure in Tor Ench.

The Haians are really concerned and are throwing their University Healers at it... The Assembly of Arko is going to propose to Minis that a society that is 'growing' needs a certain basis of bodies to maintain social growth and that mere 'maintainance' of current reproductive levels will not allow Mikas and Risae to expand their purview.  They are not demanding unlimited, pre-industrial growth, but a growth calculated to further their industry, instead of 'land-grab' Empire.

There are huge tracks of land unpeopled and everyone does know that unchecked population growth was one of the causes of the First Fire. Arko and Tor Ench are arguing to the Federation that there needs to be carefully controlled and sustainable growth, or a country stagnates and dies.

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