Silver Wordsmith: An author's journey
In the weeks that followed the deployment of the Human and combined ORC fleets to Krevali, little changed on Earth. It was a planet that was not even on the fringes of any potential war, so any death, should it come, would take place so far away it was almost theoretical. One only needed to know which blocks to avoid in order to keep any reminders out of one’s day-to-day life.
One such problematic block happened to contain the Mraboran consulate, which the authorities ensured would not again become the epicentre for the kind of large protest that Angzal and Rzena were swept up in earlier, but which assurance did not extend to dispersing the small crowd that gathered around its entrance every day, because this was mostly targeted at the Mraboran, and minimally disturbed the Human residents of Malbur. For the Mraboran, there was no coming through the front doors anymore, and even Humans who worked in the building, most of them completely unrelated to the consulate, were eyed with suspicion by the irate protestors.
There were other ways in – such as subterranean passages from adjacent buildings – that made the staff feel closer to vermin than guests of this world, but all they did was shrug it off and view the whole situation as the cost of doing business on Earth, leaving their colourful griping confined to the walls of their office.
They had all taken these back entrances, at offices across the planet. All except one. Not the Ambassador, not even a consul, but an upstart deputy consul from one of the lesser of the major Earth cities who, despite being pulled aside by local police on several occasions, insisted she would continue using the front door.
“Please, Deputy Consul, if there is an unfortunate altercation, it would happen too fast for us to be able to protect you.”
“You did a bang-up job of protecting me the last time. I wouldn’t expect this to be any different.”
“As we’ve said, we’re actively pursuing the suspects in the assault on you and your associate.”
Angzal had been pulled aside by three members of the local police force – not the chief, she’d obviously had more important things to attend to, but one of her sergeants, the one with the droopy mustache who smelled vaguely of some kind of boiled vegetable, and two of his officers. They had been waiting for her that morning, so they could have a chat in full view of the crowd that only grew in its agitation, slinging jeers at Angzal that she couldn’t quite make out.
“Far be it for me to tell you how to do your job,” Angzal said, “But I think it would have been significantly easier to pursue them when they were arm’s length from the officers who’d witnessed the assault with their own eyes.”
This Sergeant always tried to start speaking Trade Thorian with her and it seemed to make him visibly uncomfortable to hear a Mraboran respond in Standard Earth Commercial. Not to mention that he’d start sweating his boiled vegetable sweat more anytime she’d show her teeth, so she made sure that her canines were on display as much as possible.
“As we’ve said before, we are internally investigating the incident.”
“Yes, Sergeant, and I’m sure you have your best people on it. Hopefully the same ones that were able to get our man within a mere two hours of the fight he was involved in, even as he was in the process of trying to get off world.” Before the Human managed to sputter anything in response, Angzal said, “Are we finished here?”
“Of course, Deputy Consul, you’re always free to go.”
Angzal glanced behind her at the crowd and then back to the police officer. “That’s an exaggeration and you know it. Thank you for your concerns, Sergeant, I will take them into advisement.”
With that she turned around and headed back towards the protestors who eyed her with acute interest. Despite what many thought, including some at her office, Angzal did not do this to send some kind of message, or as a gesture of defiance. It had been far more base than that. She did it because it fueled her anger. She submitted to the throngs of screeching Humans every morning before work because she secretly hoped that one day one of them would give her just the right excuse to snap, to wreak havoc on their fragile cowardly little bodies and then enter her office, seek diplomatic immunity and then get shipped off to some faraway Mraboran colony hopefully as equidistant from Earth and Mrabr as possible.
On that morning, she reached the doors largely unmolested, the crowds seemingly at least somewhat skittish about the small police presence that watched her go inside. Fine then, she thought, some other morning, and some other idiot, this planet did not have a shortage of them.
“Sergeant Ram thought he’d have a chat with me this morning,” Angzal said as she opened the door to her office. “Should worry more about that moustache of his. What is it with bald-faced species –”
“Shut the door,” Rzena said and the abruptness of this request made Angzal comply without question, not even registering the audacity of it. “You’re lucky you got in when you did. We’re told this’ll probably hit the local news within the hour.”
“What’s going on?” she asked and Rzena passed her his open tablet.
“This was relayed from the Ambassador a few minutes ago, passed through our own emergency communication channels.”
Angzal picked up the tablet, her eyes scanning the text as the sound of her blood rushing through her ears grew ever louder.
“How did this happen?” she asked, hearing her voice turn gravely.
The Human fleet sent to Krevali had been destroyed.
Michael is a husband, father of three, lawyer, writer, and looking for that first big leap into publishing. All opinions are author's own.