Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Father paced the space from desk to window, window to the desk. The window brought little solace, revealing misting rain and dreary bare trees to the river in the obscured distance.
“You worry, don’t you, my husband?” Spoke the not beautiful woman, nor was she pretty, the overly sharp nose and squared jaw precluded that. But her voice was appealing, soft, each word distinct. “The forced acquisition of the providence and its union is trying. Even still?”
Pausing his pacing, Father turned toward his wife. “What choice? Your insight was correct and the forced union is less costly than a war, by far, even accomplished by implied threat. A hateful way to secure that area of the border. Maybe, eventually, the people will forget the circumstances, or at least accept. But we are still stretched, militarily, alone that border. The union brought well trained and experienced units to us, leaving the central lack shortage of man power. These constant border scrimmages and the periodic full blown wars are taking a severe toll on our population. And now appears a rogue leader in the North, uniting the nomadic peoples. Yet another border to guard. The brightest incident is riding ourselves of the weak leadership of the old area we acquired. I’d rather not done that.”
“Until someone further over invaded them.”
Exhaling, Father nodded. “I suppose the forced union was best. I still worry.”
“That is not the central issue is it, dear heart? It is the officer. All your talk of situations, borders, manpower and to act or not act. You are still pondering beyond reason over this officer.” She straightens from the desk where she had been writing.
“He is the key to something. Things happen around him that do not happen around others. I do not fully understand it, and have not a clue, except Brother dislikes him with a passion, no matter his trying to hide the fact.”
“A fact in the officers favor, I’d say. A great deal in his favor, in spite of his origins.”
“You don’t like Brother, do you?” said Father, turning from his pacing path, walking to his consort. Circling behind her, he stood with his fingers on her shoulders, thumbs kneading muscles between her shoulders.
“That’s good, but you don’t have . . . “
“I know. But it is something that I can do that has little to do with the role I occupy. You were saying about Brother?”
“I had said little.” Flirting with a small grin.
“Say a little more, then.”
“Brother has an unholy desire for knowledge. So much so that he would sacrifice anyone or anything – anyone and anything – to acquire it. Whether it be new or newly discovered ancient, hurtful and harmful though it might be. It is . . . Well, close to an arrogance of knowledge.”
“That is true. He is arrogant about that.” replied Father. “It is also that which makes him a very valuable asset.”
“And it is also that which makes him dangerous and a very unpredictable individual.”
“That, also.” Father laughed. “You are better than all of my advisors and military seeing to the dark heart of matters.”
“And, you do not mind my other deficiencies?”
“We have time, love, we have time and what ever comes . . . Well, it will be what will be. I’d rather you, as you are, then any as they may be.” Bending, he brushed his lips across the nape of her neck.
From the reaches,