16-28 Alglidis, 1138
This is a disaster.
From behind my stone-grilled window, I watched Karsai guards and Metropolita officers disperse the crowd. Each night since the Coronation, the mob had grown larger and angrier. Tonight, the sixth since the world shifted off its axis, the guards were armored and armed with cudgels. I couldn’t count the torches anymore, and before the officers descended, people had packed Welces’ Square. At least four thousand people stood down there and any ill-considered action might cause a panic and a stampede. The first two nights, they’d called for me, but Savrin’s Captain of the Guard forbade me show myself, and Simin reluctantly agreed. Now, the crowd only wanted Savrin, or more specifically, his head. On a pike. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 14 – 16 Alglidis 1138 Rien”
12 Aglidis 1138
The approved succession plan on the first sealed ballot got seventy-five votes, but that was still a failure. All five Teregenis Advocates in the room — Ragin, Royalist Bruckides, Reformist Catalan, Progressive Julianis and me — and the fifteen Advocate aides watched the ballot box from every angle. We all fixed the memories, and after, we compared, looking for where we had let it happen.
Seventy-five. That number is so odd, given the factions. Twenty-nine Reformists. Twenty-six Royalists. Two Royalist-leaning Ascendars. One Reformist leaning Ascendar. Forty-five Progressives. Take the Progressives and Royalists as a given block for approval, but that’s still only seventy-one. Add Ragin and me. Seventy-three. Two of the Reformists broke ranks. Perhaps one was Savrin; that still leaves one. Tiwendar, perhaps? Or Catalan, who seemed ready to be done? Maybe Tristari. Or maybe two of them broke and Sav didn’t. That ballot was odd, but ultimately futile. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 13 – 12 Aglidis 1138 Rien”
11 Alglidis 1138
“While my honored father has an excellent point,” Ragin said, looking at Mathes over the tiers of the chamber, “Her Ascendency’s youth is an asset, not a detriment. Like the late Razin, she will have many years to lead this chamber and realm. She’s vigorous, driven and determined, necessities in a Monarch. Further, claiming Her Ascendency is too young while promoting our even younger cousin is — “
“A contradiction,” I interrupted. Ragin would have used hypocritical or irrational or foolish, and this situation could not bear any word that would leave bruises. “Sorry,” I whispered.
“Thanks,” he replied and returned the Vocata to the Optimus. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 12 – 11 Alglidis 1138 Rien”
10 Alglidis, 1138
“I want to go somewhere,” I said. “Without guards or being noticed. Help.” Ragin and I were having supper in my rooms, the long days starting to wear on us both. I’d snapped at him earlier and a fight brewed, but I throttled my temper. I needed rocks dropped on my head more than argument with Ragin. When we get going, the wise man flees to the far side of the sea.
He shoved away from the table and stalked the length of my room. “How many assassination attempts will convince you that you’re not immortal?”
“One. Security through obscurity.”
“Hm.” He closed the hangings on my bed, to keep the interior cooler than my rooms. He’d shared my bed since he’d come home and though he liked his bed practically freezing, I probably slept a little better with him there. He didn’t want me out of his sight. Da’s assassination scared him. I didn’t blame him. It scared me. Maybe if Da wasn’t using my carriage. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 11 – 10 Alglidis 1138 Rien”
28 Festivis, 1137 to 10 Alglidis, 1138
That morning began the longest fourteen I’d yet lived. Rien, Savrin and I took our places with the Prava and almost from the first, I knew it would go badly. The Prava was in complete shock — Teregenis I’d never expected to show the slightest emotion openly wept. They were bewildered, drunk on grief, and just wanted to know what happened. I didn’t know. Paval and my opposite number at Western Garrison Two were investigating, Metropolita investigators had already traveled west, but simple facts remained: Vohan was dead, he planned to elevate Rien to co-regnant Razia in the spring. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 10 – 28 Festivis 1137 to 10 Alglidis 1138 Ragin”
28 Festivis, 1137
When I dozed off, Da was there, saying something I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t reach him, he couldn’t hear me, I couldn’t find him.
Ragin beside me, his arms around me, didn’t help. His presence should have been solace, but his sweat, his soap smelled like Da. Even their shapes and temperatures are similar, both always warm, almost fevered. Then that blasted dream came again. Fine, I told my rebellious mind. Take me through whatever you want me to remember, but just the memory. No embellishment. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 09 – 28 Festivis 1137 and 1-2 Glacilis 1129 Rien”
27 Festivis, 1137
The Karsai was built by the double scourge of the Founders’ memory of the Porsirian Empire’s institutional anarchy and the ash that blanketed the world after Mount Porsir annihilated the Empire. From outside, it’s practically impenetrable — small, stone-grilled windows; high, narrow approaches; ramparts and guard-towers present a white monolith of authority and continuity. It rings a courtyard and the glass and mica-roofed Presentation and Curiars’ halls. The exterior walls are high, but from inside, one can gain the courtyard ring roofs and still be secure and unobserved. On those roofs, Rien, Savrin and I played as children. Which is where I found her. I’d brushed past the ministers and had not bothered to stop for warmth or water.
I nodded at her Captain and stood beside her. Rien’s heavy, pale braid fell down her straight, narrow black back. Her smooth face gleamed white against her dark coat, her elbows propped on the parapet overlooking the Presentation Hall. Through the glass, I made out the shadow of Felicita’s Rose. A few lamps burned beneath that ancient tree’s spreading branches, but the Karsai was dark. Continue reading “Rien’s Rebellion 08 – 27 Festivis 1137 Ragin”