PAGES 6 WORDS 1213
CHAPTER 7 PART ONE
Lord Ganath is a new character
Within a vast hall located in the Snow Kingdom’s capital of Mexico City, a disturbed atmosphere had settled over the hastily convened council of politicols and military officers known collectively as the Tribunal. On the enormous gemplasma screen at the front of the chamber, Lord Tabir’s image shared the screen with the data Teis had compiled on the escape from the Atacama Hydroponics Complex. Lord Ganath, a man of great power and influence within the Snow Kingdom, second only to that of The Supreme, Lord, Coquero, sensed the growing disbelief and discontent before him. He knew if he didn’t act to quell the unrest, those seated before him would soon become a restive mob of ill-conceived blame regarding the information concerning the escape.
Lord Ganath, his back still towards the dignitaries, studied the data on the screen. If just one of the logictates Teis sent to Tabir proves to be true, then the Alliance scum may have the means to overcome the addictive properties of the snow. If they were to implement such a plan it could, over time, free millions we now control with the snow.
A muffled chorus of ‘proof now’ rose from the floor of the chamber. Ganath, having anticipated such a reaction, turned to face the dignitaries and in a deep, thunder-clap voice, spoke: WE HAVE SEEN ENOUGH, LORD TABIR. YOU ARE TO REWARD CHIEF ANALYZER TEIS IMMEDIATELY.
The chamber fell silent.
Though a bitter disappointment clouded Tabir’s face, he respectively bowed towards Ganath. “As you wish, M’Lord. I will see to it personally. Tabir, EOL.” Ganath’s command had angered Tabir: He would be unable to claim a single Torinn for his personal account.
On a wide stage two meters the above the floor of the chamber was an elevated podium set deliberately high to enhance Lord Ganath’s intimidating figure. Motionless, confident, he projected a stoic confidence as his joyless dark eyes; set deep in a round hard face carefully studied the reactions on those seated below him. Their thoughts are ripe with confusion. I must, I will convince them that punitive military intervention against the Alliance scum must be undertaken to eliminate this threat to the Kingdom.
His large, bald head glistened under the lighting, a lighting carefully staged to enhance Ganath’s huge, menacing outline. In silence, with hands cupped behind his back, he continued to observe the Tribunal’s emotions. As he stood motionless, he let a sinister smile momentarily crack his thick lips then fade, leaving a hard, chiseled face that projected a cold, ominous anger. Satisfied with his performance, he deliberately looked to his right then his left before saying, “I am Lord Ganath, the right hand of our Supreme Lord, Coquero, protector of the almighty Snow.
A wave of disconcerting whispers quickly filled the vast chamber. Ganath smiled. No better time to strike than now, M’Lord. With a measured gesture of his right arm towards the monitor, he watched the logictates sent by Teis fill the screen a second time. “M’Lords as you study the information before you, should our hypothesis prove to be true as to the reason why the mules escaped, the possible repercussions to the Kingdom could threaten our power over the territories and semi-autonomous regions we control. Should this happen, the Alliance scum could alter the balance of power in their favor. This we cannot nor will not tolerate.”
As shouts of disbelieve filled the air, Ganath gestured with his hand and the screen darkened only to present new information. “M’Lords, there have been four escape attempts within the past year involving the Kingdom’s hydroponics complexes. All attempts, with the exception of the latest from Atacama complex were originally classified as acts of desperation. Based on the current logictates we no longer believe this to be true. The three previous attempts before the latest escape have been reclassified as deliberate attempts not only to gather information on the daily operations and defensive capabilities of our hydroponic complexes, but to study the effects of the chemical agents designed to reverse the snows addictive elements.”
A heavy silence blanketed the chamber. Ganath, seizing the moment, turned to his left and nodded towards Lord Meza who had emerged from a door behind the screen. Yes, his calm expression will quiet them. If he performs with his renowned thoroughness, it will not take long to secure their approval. He looked into Meza’s old, wrinkled face. “Lord Meza, if you would…”
An unremarkable man of plain features and frail stature, Meza respectfully acknowledged Lord Ganath’s presence before moving forward to stand next to the podium. Appearing nervous, his face taught and serious, he coughed to clear his throat. I must, for Lord Ganath, convince them of the potential danger that threatens our civilization. “The evidence we have may prove that the escape from the Atacama Hydroponics Complex was not only deliberate, but had clandestine help from the Alliance. Since the two alliance warriors involved with the latest escape are believed to have genetically reconstructed organs designed to prevent snow addiction, we are in the process of disinterring the corpses from the last three escapes for exhaustive autopsies. If evidence exists that Alliance has this level of medical technology it only reinforces our belief that they have increased their efforts to undermine the Kingdom’s snow production. Once we have verification of this, Supreme Lord Coquero will act.”
“I, we thank you Lord Meza,” Ganath said, his left arm making a sweeping motion toward the assembled. “You have provided the critical information needed for us to act upon.” Before facing the dignitaries, Ganath looked at Meza and indicated his appreciation.
Meza bowed and the screen went dark. They are restive, all the more reason to convince them of the potential threat to our civilization. “Loyal subjects, there are aspects you must know regarding the last escape. Twelve mules, lead by two alliance warriors were intercepted by four HKs and were believed killed. Verifiers were sent to confirm their deaths which they did, however when the stalkers reached their location, they found only twelve corpses. At this juncture in time the logictates state the two surviving mules may be headed in the direction of the wastelands, their intent still unknown. Six stalkers continued to track the survivors. Since they have not returned to the complex with the two Alliance warriors, we must assume they have been killed.”
A low, building murmur spread rapidly throughout the chamber, forcing Ganath to again raise his voice. “M’LORDS, HOLD ALL SPECULATIONS.” This said, he looked at Meza and nodded. He knew the old man would set the tone, allowing him the luxury of analyzing the various moods of the Tribunal. It was not for this reason that Ganath held Lord Meza in such high regard—it was his dogged perseverance, thoroughness and unswerving loyalty, traits that Ganath cherished dearly that forged Lord Meza’s special status with him.
Meza’s strong, unassuming monotone filled the massive hall. “The new information forming on the screen indicates the twelve mules that escaped with the two Alliance warriors were themselves warriors. Our resources within the wastelands are being readied as I speak. To insure success, we have engaged the Worlar scavengers to intercept and kill them. Once this has been accomplished they will contact Teis to retrieve the bodies for extensive autopsies.”
© 2016, Raymond Tobaygo. All rights reserved.
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