Silver Wordsmith: An author's journey
“Angzal gan Mreniyaur.” The Ambassador’s formal address was short and to the point and she faced a camera that was positioned well below her eye-level, just to drive that point home.
“Ambassador.” Angzal pressed her ears as flat as she could against her head, a gesture of calmness and docility in front of someone whom one would never dare challenge.
“I take it you are now well-settled into your position.”
“Yes, thank you, I had hoped to be able to –”
“I understand that you met with Congressmember Frances Reyes earlier today.” The image was clear, and the signal delay was minimal, even so, speakers would normally pause to make sure the was no cross-chatter, so the Ambassador was quick to establish that Angzal had earned no such courtesy.
“Yes, Ambassador I had the, uh, opportunity to meet – well, you can imagine how it went.”
“That I can.” The Ambassador absently looked away from the screen.
“She insisted that she wanted to speak to you directly.”
“My only solution for her is that she unwant it.”
“You, on the other hand,” the Ambassador returned her gaze to Angzal, “will need to schedule another meeting with her as soon as possible.”
“I’m sorry, Ambassador?”
“I’m sure you are. But we need the Human Congress to pass this vote, and she represents the most reasonable faction that could be swayed to our cause.”
“I’m not sure ‘reasonable’ is a word I would use to describe her.” Perhaps an early retirement was in order, to live off the family estate as hired help if that was all that was available to her, then recommend Rzena for a promotion and find happiness in knowing he was the one who had to deal with this instead.
“You’ll find that Congressmember Reyes is not such a unique specimen among Humans. If you think this is an impediment to the duties of your current assignment then we can always –”
“No, no, not at all,” Angzal cursed the signal delay that couldn’t cut the Ambassador’s admonishment fast enough, “I just meant that maybe there was not another way.”
The fur about the Ambassador’s face turned a shade darker as her eyes narrowed on the viewscreen, and Angzal wondered what sacrifice to the bloodthirsty gods would take to restart this day.
“If you’re already aware of some kind of alternative, please share.”
“No, I’m sorry Ambassador.” Any flatter and Angzal’s ears would have to roll into little tubes and crawl inside themselves. Angzal was well aware the ensuing silence by the Ambassador was deliberate.
“There’s someone here on Mars I’ve had several discussions with, another representative in the HID Congress.” Hearing that during Angzal’s tenure the Ambassador had time for multiple meetings with a Human made Angzal strangely jealous.
“Congressmember Ferrety is one of a handful of colonial representatives willing to support our request. He told me he should be in Malbur in two days, ahead of next week’s vote. The Winti Reagent has already said they will follow whatever decision the Human Interstellar Dominion makes, and the Fusir hardly have any opinions of their own. As long as we can break this deadlock in the HID government, all the other pieces are already in place. What I need from you, is to get Ferrety and Reyes in the same room, and make sure they don’t leave until Reyes can pledge enough votes for the motion to deploy the ORC fleet to succeed.”
The Ambassador once again stared off languidly past the screen, suggesting to Angzal that her importance had run its course and to close off the conversation. Angzal, evidently not intent on learning any lessons that day, continued.
“If you permit me asking, Ambassador, but it may help me to know why we’re so interested in the Humans and the ORC sending their fleets to Krevali?”
The Ambassador’s expression, her cowl darkening further, suggested she was not used to being asked questions, especially such rudimentary ones.
“I know it must be difficult for you to comprehend, being so far out from home, but the Thorians’ obtuseness about Krevali has complicated matters. Dismissing our involvement in the Nabak Insurrection as mostly humanitarian had pacified things back home initially, though the unforeseen losses that we sustained turned the tide against any such future intervention. That said, there are many who believe that despite the fact that the Thorians had not posed a significant threat for more than two generations, this Krevali business is all a portent of more sinister machinations. If the Thorians have gone so soft in the head as to start something bigger, then likely the Hatvan will be ready to take advantage. The Humans, for their part, share a much closer relationship with us than the Hatvan. Not to mention that they’re potentially promising almost the entirety of their fleet. Having the Humans there sends the Hatvan a strong message, while keeping all but a cursory part of our forces safely occupied elsewhere.”
Angzal chewed over Reyes’s admonishments of the Mraboran Protectorate and the Hatvan Empire and her own belief that the Protectorate had become too content to define its identity and direction through constant contrast with their neighbours and oldest rivals. Despite the incessant twitch in her ears she decided this is where she’d draw the line and chose silence instead.
“Thank you, Ambassador, I will do my best.”
“The Protectorate doesn’t need your best, Angzal gan Mreniyaur, it needs the best. Figure out what that is, and report back to me with good news.”
Finding no need for additional fanfare, or for a final word from Angzal, the Ambassador ended the transmission.
Michael is a husband, father of two, lawyer, writer, and is currently working on his first novel, at a snail's pace. A very leisurely snail. All opinions are author's own.