Friday, July 19, 2013


“Look’s like our ride has arrived,” said Urendil. 

Hiakalite’s shuttle landed on the deck.  His aide, Aakate, stepped from the shuttle and stood at attention by the door.  Hiakalite walked out of the waiting area and boarded, quickly followed by Urendil.  His aide brought up the rear, closing the door behind him.  He sat down at the controls, and proceeded to take off.
“I trust the meeting went well, sir?”  His aide asked.
“As well as can be expected, Aakate,” said the Supremor.  “As well as can be expected.”
“In other words, it was a waste,” said Urendil.  “As expected, but at least we did our due diligence.”
“Sorry to hear that sir,”
“Don’t trouble yourself,” said Hiakalite.  “In truth, we accomplished a great deal.”
“Very well sir.  Destination?”  Aakate asked.
“Military district 45.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Aakate, I’m erecting a privacy screen.  I do not want us disturbed.”
“Yes, sir.  Understood.”
Urendil and Hiakalite sat within the cocoon of the privacy screen as the shuttle streaked away from the spires of Narella City.  The shuttle quickly gained altitude, flying high over towers that seemed to reach to the stars.  The Supremor looked out the window, down at the beautiful city in which he grew to adulthood. 
Narella City, the capital of the planet Narella, the Narellan Federation, and the Majestic Alliance.  All its great towers were either ebony, ivory, or silver, or silver gold, the color of ascerium.  They were pure structures, with clean edges, order growing from the natural chaos of the northern continent’s great forest.  Narella City was a band of crystal that existed in harmony with its surroundings, merging with the forest that stretched across the continent, from one sea to the other.  Some of the trees, revered by the people of Narella, grew as tall as some of the buildings.  Sentients all over the Majestic considered Narella City to be one of the most beautiful cities in all the worlds.
The shuttle left the capital behind.  The Supremor’s aide set a high parabolic course due south, flying at nominal cruising speeds.  Its flight path would take it into low planetary orbit, and then back down again. Military district 45 was a small island in the midst of an archipelago on the other side of the planet.     
“We won’t have their full support,” said Haikalite.  “Of course, you knew this.”
“Yes,” said Urendil.  “Still, the trip wasn’t worthless.  We must always make every attempt.”
“You’re always looking for converts.”

“Not necessarily,” Urendil said, smiling.  “However, a new convert never hurts.  We want more sentients to understand the esoteric nature of our universe.

“Yes, it would help.  That way they can avoid the pain of having the truth smack them dead in the face.  When it does, they’re usually turned into mindless catatonics who can no longer distinguish between fantasy and reality.”
“Especially when reality looks so similar to fantasy.”
Haikalite chuckled.  “Indeed.”

They both continued to look out at the window, as the sky soon gave way to the darkness of space.

“Fortunately, the sentients who matter the most don’t need to be convinced,” said Haikalite.  “They’re longtime converts.”

Urendil looked at him critically.  “What did I miss?”

“Only what I wanted you to miss.  As we left the Ocracy chamber, I received an encoded communiqué from 1st Supremor Numerlen.”

“Couldn’t speak to you directly, could he?”

“You know the way the game is played.  He’s been at this far longer than I have, and just now things 

have been a bit precarious.”

“Everyone acknowledges a new Zradgen offensive is coming.  The what and how are in dispute.”


“So, what did he say?”

“Of course, I apprised him of the situation some time ago, and sent an encoded update just prior to our

departure from Verdoon.  I received a response.  They were understandably distressed.”

“You wouldn’t know it from the way some of them behaved in the hall.  But again, it is the way.”

“Absolutely,” said Haikalite. “Could wind up being too controversial in this climate.  One has to temper

his connections, his communications, his dialogue.  Make it appropriate for the public and private eye.”

“You sure you don’t want to be a politician?”

“Quiet old wizard.”

“A sentient for the ages, soldier, historian, poet, spy, and politician.  My oh my, you’re so well suited.” 

“I do not agree, old friend.  I’ve made my home on an ancient backwater steeped in mysticism.  My ally, best friend and confidante, even among Emirs is considered—”

“Eccentric,” Urendil finished for him.

“Not the word I was going to use, but I guess it’s as good as any.  However, we digress.  We have accomplished what we came to do.”

“Which is?”

“We now have enough resources to prosecute a campaign against our perceived threat.  They have given us the means.

“They?  Who besides the 1st Supremor?”

“The Chancellor of the Council, and The First of the Ocracy.”

Urendil was truly surprised.  “Both?  I was not aware our influence extended to the heads of both bodies?”

“Well, I believe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  After all, I’m the spy, you’re the wizard. “

“Point taken.  Please continue.”

 “Old friend, I’ll tell you.  We’ve been given more than even I could have dreamed for.  Essentially, we will have to hold the course, if we can’t fix it on our own.  And that is what they have given us, the chance to fix it for them.  Keeping conventional forces arrayed against a conventional enemy.”

“And that would leave us arrayed against a god.”


“So, my Supremor, exactly what have we been given?”

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