Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Chapter 31

Rin gives the Myshkans under siege in the temple an ultimatum: they are to give up their leader. In exchange, the rest of the people will be let go. Lagos accepts the deal and is told he will be put on trial. His friends try to convince him not to do, that they can fight it out, but he tells them he wants to go and spare the suffering of everyone else.

An excerpt:

“Alright, we’re listening.” Lagos said. Someone had found a table and set it in the middle of the main hall so that everyone could stand around it and listen to the conversation. The only ones seated were Lagos at one end and Maceoran Rin at the other.

“Look,” said Rin. “I know you may not believe me, but it is really not in the interest of either of us to start a war.”

“Don’t want to get your butts busted back to your little rock?” Lyrin mumbled from above and behind some of the observers gathered around the table. Lagos shot him a glance that told him to button it tight. Rin pretended not to hear it.

“I appreciate you saying that, Maceoran Rin. I think we are all weary of fighting.”

Ony’a stepped up behind her brother and placed her hands on his shoulder. “Wouldn’t the simplest path to peace be to just let us go?”

The maceoran placed her fingers together almost as if prayer, then leaned forward. She touched the edge of her fingertips against her lips in a gesture of deep thought. “Oh, that it were so simple, my dear,” she said. “But it is not. You see, I have superiors to answer to and they have their own superiors and, of course, we all have the Supreme Magnate. They will want to know what we have done here to take control of the situation; they will ask who will pay for the incursion, how we will restore order.”

“I’m sure they will listen to you,” said Lagos. “You are, after all, a maceoran.”

“This may be true, but I did not get here solely on my charms and eloquence, abundant as they may be,” she smirked. “I, too, must follow orders. Those orders include maintaining peace and assuring that disruptions to that peace are dealt with.”

Lyrin pushed past the people in front of him whose forms were now knocking down several others surrounding them. “If you hadn’t put your arrogant banners of conquest on our temple, we…”

Rin’s face reddened as she forced herself to remain in control. Lagos rose from his seat and stood directly in front of Lyrin.

Lyrin!” Lagos barked. “I need someone to go to the front doors and keep watch!”

“But…” said Lyrin gesturing in the direction of the maceoran.

“I know,” said Lagos. “But this is not the time.” He looked up at the sacred walls and the high vaulted ceiling. “This is not the place.”

Lyrin looked at the unmoving woman at the table and then back at his friend staring him down. He huffed then relented. His hulking mass moved toward the front doors.

“You see?” said Rin indignantly. “This is precisely what the button pushers on Kevutu think of you. You are rash and untrustworthy. You do not understand that you are now part of the Great Conglomerate. All of this…” She raised her hands above her to indicate the temple itself. “Is also part of the Conglomerate.”