Sunday, November 29, 2009

Even the simple days are numbered

Before the knock is heard, she pulls the hood over her head again, making certain to tuck her hair into it. The knock comes, and her stomach churns as it has every day for the last two years, when he comes to get her. “Come in Kareth.” Her voice faithful to her, remains calm and emotionless.

Kareth opens the door and comes in, looking at the cloaked figure, he sighs. “It is time for morning meal, and today you and I leave for the Council of Families. The position belongs to me.”

“As we knew it would, Kareth. You require time there to understand how to become Kolnair.”

“Yes…” Kareth trails off, not sure what more to say, he turns and holds the door for her. “You may go first.”
Arrianna does not move.  Kareth is not surprised by her choice. “I am not the senior in the home.”

“None other knows this.”

“But Arrianna, even you said one day they will.”

“Yes, Kareth, but that is not today.” She waits for him to step from the room, and then follows wishing she would become an equal instead of what will be. They continue to the main hall, and enter together as is expected and they are seated for the meal. She rolls up her sleeves just enough to be able to eat her meal, as she has every day for the last many years. She eats in silence unless spoken to, and that does not occur as often any longer as it once did. When the meal concludes, the house of the family of Kareth, moves onto their business for the day. For her part Arrianna shadows Kareth in his effort to prepare for the trip to the capital city.

The day winds by rapidly, and the announcement is made for transport. Kareth's authoritative voice turns attention to her, “Arrianna, are you prepared?” She nods in confirmation. “I’m confused. You’ve not returned to your room once, and I see no bags.”

“I wear what I require at this time. I have no need for luggage.”

Kareth, frustrated, yanks up one of his bags then almost tosses it into the guard there to take it from him.

Once the guard takes the bag he turns to her again “We are not looking for Martyrdom.”

“Nor am I a martyr” her voice remains emotionless.

“Arrianna you need to prepare for a trip. This is not days gone, this is months gone.”

“I am aware of this Kareth.”

Exasperated, he walks from the room and to the transport, she enters closely behind him, taking an assistants seat nearby. She says nothing, but he turns to her and says “I hope all of this confusion that you offer will be made clear one day. This is becoming more than one person can bare.” He turns back to the guard, orders privacy; the guard closes the compartment door, then takes position outside.  Kareth then looks over to Arrianna one more time before getting comfortable and going to sleep for the long ride.

Arrianna meditates while he rests, preparing for what will be her last trip into the capital city.

Changes Expected

The morning processions move one into the other, Jackson reluctantly answers the questions of the Sonteria. The whole while he observes the various burial customs, and has many of his own questions. Galk answers as much as he is willing to, and does not allow Jackson to inquire directly of the Sonteria. This only serves to aggravate Jackson, but the morning ends without incident.

They return to the palace without a full escort, as she had ordered them off to deal with other preparations. Only she, Galk and General Jackson remained as she walked back into the office. Already feeling tired, she sits and requests lunch be brought to all of them. When the attendant takes her leave, Anazlyn turns to the general “Mr Jackson, you said that your selection process for your president included a vote. “ Her gaze studies him a long moment. “How is this done?”

Jackson sits up a little bit, caught off guard by her question. “All of the people who want to participate go to selected locations and select their choice in secret.”

“Not something public?” Anazlyn asks attempting to clarify.

“You don’t vote around here for anything?”

She looks at him, curiously. “Yes, we vote several times from the Council of Families. Our people do not vote. All voting is done publically, where all can see, and beforehand each member is required to hold open hearings, to learn the voice of their people. Each person may make a case to their official, but it is the official that votes for them and makes a choice.”

Jackson speaks gruffly to her “so ulterior motives prevail”

Galk turns sharply to him, grabbing his collar he pulls him from the seat, voice lowered and directly to him. “You will not speak to her in that tone.”

“Galk, put him down please.” She stands, her voice remains calmly and kind. “He is speaking his mind, and that is what I requested.”

Galk glares at the smaller man as he drops him into the seat, and then says “Only upon your request. But his tone must change.”

Jackson looks up at Galk, glaring, his lip curls then he says “Churl.” Jackson settles back into his chair as the food is brought to them. He begins to eat, aggravated and trying to figure out what to think. The young woman before him seems genuine, but this dolt she has guarding her belittles and offends at every turn.  The attendant looks at him; she nods, places the tray before him, and then leaves. He considers her actions and realizes she did the same to each of the other two in the room. He looks up at the Sonteria who is eating in silence, seeming not to be paying attention to either of the men in the room. In a tone much calmer than previous “Sonteria, what do you plan to ask of my people?”

She stops eating and looks at him, serenely “I plan to bring the Cordelian people into our normal structure” She resumes eating. “The goal is for both worlds to operate together, flawlessly.” She nods as she finishes a bite. “Yes I realize this will not be an overnight success, however in time...I believe it will succeed for everyone.“

Jackson sips a drink a moment, looks over at Galk. “You have high hopes Sonteria. But at least someone has positive ones.” As he continues to eat he finds himself observing every aspect of their conversation, as it continues to cover various aspects of Cordelian political structure and culture. By the time the meal is over Jackson realizes he is speaking to an idealist with the ability to change things.

Galk is the first to stand and summon the attendant. She enters again with a cart to collect the plates then clean after them. He smiles gently to her and helps, while the Sonteria sits idle waiting, trying to think of her approach. After several moments an announcement comes and she stands with Galk, looks over to Jackon and says “You may join us, but you come as my advisor, not as a Cordelian representative. If you are unable to do that, please remain here with the guards.”

Jackson sits a moment longer considers her words, decides he can better serve his people if he joins her, so he stands and follows them out the door. He walks in silence as they pass large lavish decorations, and several hall markers. When they finally arrive at a smile metal door, they stop outside and wait. Galk steps in does a security check then returns to their side.  Galk indicates they can enter now, and the Sonteria does so first. Galk and Jackson follow.

Anazlyn looks at the small deligation, surprised by the lack of presentation, and calmed by their demeanor.  “Hello, everyone.  I’m your Sonteria. “ She smiles softly, but maintains an unmistakable confidence. “I have provided all of you with our expected changes. Have you objections to any of it?”
The president speaks up first “Yes there are many things wrong with what you wrote.” He stands to show her what he means, Galk swiftly moves next to the Sonteria, and the president returns to his seat. “You need to remember our people are used to having a voice, you’re planning on a full merger of our two worlds. That will not be reasonable.”

“Your convictions, president, are noted; however under the circumstances they are virtually irrelevant.” She looks over at General Jackson who is lingering in the door way, “he has explained much about your people to me today.” The president glares at Jackson, then returns to the Sonteria to hear what she has to say, already preparing a response. “Our people cannot function if they continue to function as separate worlds; we are now one people, Zarrokian and Cordelian. I am not moving on this, neither should you. You will remain in your position; however you are now the foundation of the Cordelian royal home.  Your children will replace you, and this will continue as you represent your people at the Council of Families. Should it occur that you have no children to take your role…” She smiles warmly. “There will be a publicly open vote, in the Cordelian structure.”

The Cordelian delegation looked up at her, stunned she made the change so smoothly. The Cordelian assistant looks to her and says “I will make the adjustments to the documents for your approval and the approval of our president – “ She looks down at the documents again and back to the Sonteria. “sorry, our Dolk, and representative to the Council of Families.”

Anazlyn smiles warmly as she acknowledges the changes, impressed she paid so much attention to the information. “Thank you Sarika. I am confident it will be approved.” She looks around the table, not seeing enough differences to justify the attitudes or the war. “This war has left us many problems to resolve, let’s start to do this now. “ They all agree and begin a full dialog that progresses deep into the night. The two delegations cover many issues, some are simply resolved others are left to be addressed in the Council of Families.