Part 3 is the last for chapter one. By RAW version, I mean to say that this first chapter I am posting is the very first write through. I checked for typos, but I have not changed anything else as of yet, so there is plenty of work to be done. After this our story moves to Penta, the central city with a very unique culture (map) to check in on Nina, the Academic POV. It is strange beginning the next chapter as I must go from writing for an old man to a twelve-year-old girl. Pretty much the only thing they share in common is their eye colour. Keep the suggestions coming, they have been helpful. I’ll post some chapter two excerpts in a little while.
Book 1(untitled): Chapter 1 – Senator
Part 3 (unedited)
Gieslo remained stern throughout the full minute of laughter, and once it ceased he fixed his gaze on the Solan who had originally interrupted. Surprisingly, he did not look any more impatient than he had before the outburst.
Out with it, please. Say what you must before my heart bursts from the tension! Andro could not help himself with a chuckle or two along with the others, but the eyes in his wrinkled sockets now peered toward the man named Gieslo with a fierce focus.
“You are correct. Yes, the Senate has spoken on this matter countless times in recent years. I have seen the records. But, no. This is not the news we are used to. I have met with their ambassadors on a few occasions. I have looked into those strange eyes and heard that odd language with my own ears. I assure you all, senators, that these are not their typical messengers asking if we’ve seen their brothers, or if we know where they went. Not at all.”
“The Blood-Heads, these Aquari, now come in greater numbers.” He said the word Aquari with an emphasis bordering on hatred. “There have been a number of complaints from our people west of the rapids. I have spoken with farmers, personally, who claim the Blood-Heads have ceased their typical probing and now violently interrogate.”
Andro, leaning forward on the edge of his seat at a fierce attention, took the opportunity of the Calamite’s short pause in catching his breath, to voice what the others were all thinking.
“Violently? What do you mean?”
“Violent, I say, for blood has been spilt!” As he yelled those last words, he threw down the brass bracelet he was wearing at the marble ground.
Silence stretched out for a long moment. There was shock on every face. Blood? Deaths? How many? What does this mean? Why would they do this? Details, we need more details. Just as Andro was about to ask for more information, he realized another senator, a man from Nimbis to his left with the cloud symbol on his shoulder, was already doing so. His voice was loud even against the background noise of senators raising their voices left and right.
“And how many victims have they claimed? Are we being attacked!?”
Gieslo began to answer, but his voice was too quiet to discern. Suddenly, the familiar quake of the Mediator’s vocals shook the dome’s acoustic chamber, “WE WILL HAVE SILENCE!” The one-hundred and thirty nine representatives took longer than usual, but soon their chatter was down to a respectable level once again.
Gieslo repeated his answer to the Nimbian, “No senator, we do not believe this is an act of war. They are coming in larger groups of around twenty men, but we see this mostly as an intimidation tactic. Most of their groups have come and gone back to the peninsula without harm, but a few, from what I have been told, walked into villages and killed anyone who could not answer their questions with a definitive answer, which must have been everyone they asked. As we all know, our knowledge on the subject of their questions is as limited as their own. Forty-six farmers have fallen victim from the last report.”
Ah, now I see why this man has become the new Calamo head. A strong temper, yet the calm of a wise elder. I used to be just like him, not so long ago. Sadly, that fire has left me. Gieslo’s final words hit Andro very hard. Forty-six! And so quickly? May their brave souls find Heaven among the stars. I still fear the journey.
The Nimbian senator spoke again, still in panic, “Forty-six!” He then shifted to address the entire chamber from where he stood on the leftmost end of the half-circle, “Where were our own soldiers? We must send a force, kinsman. The guards in the countryside are too few. Let us send a detachment for securit-”
“Enough, Tieri! Take a seat before you make a fool of the rest of us. Leader calm your panic.” The man who had quickly stood up was a Nimbian as well, and well known to Andro. Pato had been a senator for years before Andro had reached office. The man was a cool-headed voice of reason, a mediator in his own right.
“Pardon this foolish idiot, my good men,” he said as he made a quick glare toward Tieri, “but he has also made a fair point. What is to be done about these Aquari interrogations? I will not choose to sit idly by as our people, their vulnerability obvious enough to me, are murdered.”
“What is it you suggest, senator Pato?” asked Gieslo.
“I plead we give this a night to talk over, to think on these grave tidings. It is far too rash to make decisions right here and now. I say we return tomorrow, and sit here all day talking until our voices are lost if we must. Something must be done. That much is clear. What say the Senate?”
Andro stood and raised an arm, “Agreed. Let us have more time to speak privately about this. Then tomorrow we decide.” Andro found himself agreeing with the old Nimbian more times than not. He was a fine politician and a fair man.
When a few others, after whispering to their nearest peers, stood and motioned their favour, Mediator Malago stepped forward and made the question official, “The Senate will vote. Will discussion cease, to continue after sunrise? Or not? Right arms for yes, raise them now…”
All but a few had their right arms in the air, so much so that the Mediator did not say another word, apart from the customary closing of the day’s proceedings, during which the senators had already began discussing their opinions on the new issue.
When Andro stepped out onto the cobbled spiral road to begin his downward journey into the streets, he saw around him a sight that he had not seen in all his days as a senator, and it was in fact something that had not been seen in Sola for generations. All the old men were walking together and speaking loudly like excited children.
We must look comical to the citizens down there, like a legion of grandfathers marching down a hill, Andro thought to himself with a sniffle as he urged his tired legs onward. Thankfully, the return journey was much easier than the way up.
They all made the trip back, walking together through the streets in a wide procession, the eyes of Sola’s citizens looking after them with curiosity. Luckily for the old men, the news had not yet reached their ears.
© 2013 FOTS Fantasy