Friday, May 20, 2016

Chapter 21

Ambassador Mirov is a Myshkan appointed by maceoran Kotygal to act as a liason between himself and the people he dominates. It is an understandably uncomfortable position to be in and the ambassador does his best to fulfill his duty. Kotygal delights in telling him that he is not dead and had no future plans to become so. Kotygal tells about how he has strived to have the people of Pa'Myshka love him for all the things he has done for them. To insure this adoration, Kotygal informs the ambassador that all the leaders from each province will be rounded up and taken to the detention center. He plans to kill them when he dies so that a thousand tears will fall for him. The ambassador tries to tell him how misguided that idea is, but to no effect. He warns that the Sifuti will take swift action. Before the maceoran can answer the challenge, however, Kotygal collapses.

An excerpt:

Maceoran Kotygal. Thank you for agreeing to see me. I was sorry to hear about your recent medical mishap. I trust you are getting better.”

Kotygal looked up from his seated position. “Ah, yes. News of my early demise travels fast. Pardon me if I do not get up to greet you, ambassador. My medical overseer here insists that I stay seated and relaxed.” Kotygal brought his hand up feebly and turned it in the direction of the thin man in a medical tunican standing next to him

“Would your eminence prefer I come another time?” Mirov studied the man before him. Kotygal barely moved–a difficult feat for the highly animated figure that he was known to be. He must be straining against himself underneath that blanket.

“Oh, no, please, ambassador. I welcome pleasant conversation, especially now. Everybody is so filled with gloom and doom these days.”

“There are so many who would mourn your premature passing. I’m sure they fear for you and for the whole of Pa’Myshka.”

Kotygal laughed. It was not the booming, powerful laugh that normally reverberated along the stone hallways of the great temple. It was more a guffaw that shook the hidden rolls of fat rolling beneath the covering. His face hinted a smile, however, and it looked like there was great effort involved in its formation.

“Oh, we chose well when we chose you,” Kotygal said just before a couple of mucus filled coughs interrupted his almost jovial attitude. The thin medical chief bent over him and observed his condition. Kotygal pushed him away with a wave.

“Stop fussing over me, would you?” the big man in the chair said, swatting away the carefully trained and invasive hands flapping over him.

Mirov walked over to the central table and motioned towards it. “May I?”

“Of course, ambassador.”

Kotygal was seated in a polished wooden chair with thick carved arms in the corner of the room, conveniently raised to cause anyone speaking to him to half to look upwards about half a foot. Mirov chose to break protocol and moved to the side of the table nearest to the corner where the Kevutian leader of Myshka sat proud, but not firm. Instead of turning around a chair Mirov pushed the seat over and placed himself on the edge of the table to avoid having to look up any further. It was a subtle signal, the slightest of provocations, one that the maceoran would notice, but not acknowledge.

Kotygal finished his thought. “Diplomats have the unique ability of saying just what their audience wants to hear while still managing to weave bits of truth into the fabric of their words. It is truly a gift.”

“You flatter me, your eminence.”

“Do I?  As much as you do me, but your words gloss over the reality.” The maceoran leaned back and let his head gaze to a far corner of the room. “I have walked amongst your people, Mirov. I have seen their faces, the looks they try to hide from me, but cannot. There is fear, of course. I cannot deny that we have brought that into this world, but there is more than that. I see contempt, anger, defiance even.”

“Your eminence cannot please an entire population.”

“Perhaps not, but I had hoped that more of your people might appreciate the things I have done for them.”