Wednesday, April 22, 2015

109 - Innocent As The Wide Blue Sea

Atzathratzas’s hand flew across the page as Megan spoke. As a Temple scribe transcribing almost any kind of vocalization from the ‘taken-up’ he had little trouble deciphering the slow, drawling Arkan that was the Zak’s translation.

“…Whall, Rey… They ain’t as stupid nor decadent as they want us to be thinkin’.  But they’all din’t push too certain hard fer to get some’un inta the house to spah on us.”

“Psh, Bil.” The ambassador’s dismissal was obvious.  “Ain’t no-one, no-how who kin speak our speakifyin’.  Even Illizbuah don’ get it when we talkin’.”

“Yeah.  That pregnant lady… the one that don’ look washed out, soaked in bleach n’ laid out to pale in t’ sun’s pretty.”

“Keep it in yer loincloth, Bil. She’s one of the IM-perial fambly… Imperial boy and his wife, Yeol boy n’ his pretty wife, keep yer dick offn her… D’j check out t’ Temple?”

“Yep. Nice carvin’s, lotsa gold n’ more metal n’ you can shake a stick at.  They’re hidin’ the mechanisms that make all the magic pretty good, though.  I looked.  Couldn’t see any seams in the floor ‘tall.”

“Hmm.  Maybe we can ‘range for some ‘miracles’ to convert some of these hanka savages?”

“What’s left in the box?  Don’ Beeoofor and Jeb hev all of the good stuff?”

“Wahl… I din’t give it all away.  They’re supposed to listen and coordinate w’ me, but Bee… he’s still full of himself w’ who his fambly is and how close priests they are to Himself.”

“So, he’s fightin’ y’all?”

“Nah.  Just bein’ a right stupid ahrshole, an’ pushin’ the time.  God-King’s got all’u time in the world.  He could jes’ wait for it all to outgrow this ten worship n’ fall apart.  It nearly did w’ t’ war.  If we’d a got that Yeol boy it’d all be in pieces now an’ we’d be roundin’ up slaves an loot from t’ ashes o’ every city on the Med.  T’ God-King calls that Midwurld ocean ‘t Med.” He was clearly proud of having been close enough to the God-King or his priests to have picked up that wording.

Atzathratzas bit his lip and his hand stayed steady, quick and clear, even as Minis made a slight choking sound but didn’t move.  The metronome hum, ticking now between bass and tenor, from Matthas, didn’t falter or slow down in the slightest.

“Ah could get use to all this food and entertainifyin’.”

“So could I Bil.  We’ll let Beeoofor and Jeb get they asses handed to ‘em.  None ‘o our fault if they ran out ‘o the ‘Believe Me Believe Me’ too soon.  Them sky-scrapin' darkies south don’ have nuthin’ to get ‘round the desert so’s our baracoons ‘ll be fine, bringing in more slaves all the time.  An’ you and I we’ll be here in t’ middle of it all and getting’ fed fine wi’ no one ‘t wiser, innocent as little lambs.”

Laughter.  "Innocent as a sunny day..."

Megan coughed suddenly and Matthas’s voice cut off.  She sank forward and laid her hands flat on the stone in front of her, the hairs falling in a tumble onto the mirror.  She gasped as if it were hard to breathe.

“Break the line, Zak,” Matthas rumbled, standing at the edge of her semi-circle.  “You need to go back into the Temple with me.”

“I… Dah.  Carried away, I was. It... so good.”

“Thank you, Megan,” Minis said.  “You need to rest and eat, I’m certain.” He turned to the boy and held out his hand. “Thank you, Atzathratzas.  I’ll take your pages.”


In Brahvniki, in the darkened manor of the House of the Sleeping Dragon, Rilla's eyes popped open.  She reached up to check on the new baby, her hand colliding with Shkai'ra's who seemed to still be asleep, from her snores.

Aside from the untuneful snoring from Shyll on her other side, and Shkai'ra's grunt as she rolled over in the bed, all was quiet.  The baby snuffled to herself and Third Inu, the latest in Shyll's line of great hounds, farted. 

Something woke me. Something is going on.  Something odd.

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