8 - Spybreak!

Coming back to his room, Lyric takes stock of what he has, now that he has time to do so. His King has given him the rest of the day with no tasks to fulfill and no more lessons to learn or guided tours, for which the actor is grateful. All he wants to do is flump onto his bed and let the day soak into his aching brain.

That endures for a few minutes, but it's not long until he's investigating his new quarters, looking for the nymphs that the Peacock King nudged him about. It's also a good excuse to casually look for magical bugs and recorders. He has a feeling that the good King won't be shy of spying on his newest employee. He won't sweep them out, but he'll note the location of each one, and ways of avoiding them.

He's not sure what to think about the fact that so many are in the bed area.

He finds his first methilae in the bath, and wonders how he missed it earlier. Caught up in his own stress and indulgences, he supposes. She's nothing the size of a river-spirit, but has very apt control of the water currents and temperature in the faucets and plumbing of his room. She's also very articulate, and Lyric finds that more time has passed than he thinks while he simply talks with her. He gives her a bow, then excuses himself.

There's a small tyrotyrle in a globe by his bed, and it passes on a few cursewords to Lyric that are new to even myself. It apparently warms the bed during cold nights, but Lyric thinks he'll avoid using the thing, lest it set his hair on fire in the night. He's not even sure if he wants it in the room at all.

There's a strange spirit in the mirror that seems to be a cross between a dryad and a constructed familiar. Once Lyric realizes her presence she begins to give him even more tips on makeup and fashion that he doesn't really need by this point. I'll spare you the details. At least he has somebody to talk about those kind of things with now.

He returns to his bed, then looks to the dresser beside it. He had left Faun's furs there earlier. Now he tucks them up into his arms, sits on the bed, and breathes in deeply the scent of woods, trees and bark and earth and birds and sunlight. It's so potent that he's almost convinced he's been transported into a forest. He opens his eyes. No, still his bedroom.

He thinks: Faun must miss these so much. They bear the smell of his home, of everything he protects. The last physical connection he had to his forest, taken and traded for a silken insult of a robe. He wishes he could just return it to the animism, but knows he'll have to settle for keeping it safe until Faun is freed. In the meantime...he can enjoy the smell. The feel. There's a flash through Lyric's mind of the tone of the animism's skin after he stripped him down. It catches the boy by surprise, and he looks up, cheeks making themselves rouge without any expert makeup job. He looks around. No one was there in the room to witness that, were they? Wait...

* * *

My perverted brat of a brother then kicks me right out of his skull, and my mind is left with no anchor to latch onto as I pick through the King's wards. I bite a curse back. I'm in too sensitive an area to make any sound. I'm knee-deep in the energy that locks this place down - I was using the connection to Lyric to make myself seem like a normal member of the Court here.

I can fake it until I extricate myself, and then see where I've ended up. I was aiming for the inner sanctuary. Instead, I've found myself a reading room, full of history texts, minutes from meetings, inventory records of the Palace's store-rooms...

...And geneaologies.

It seems my brother's abject stupidity is a tool of great fortune and justice.

* * *

While I leaf through all of this wonderful paper, I might as well educate you on the Armed. After all, my brother refuses to entertain us while I work, and I daren't reach out to anyone else to record their goings-on while I don't have his mind as cover.

We're well-known, we who carry the Arms, but not much is known publicly about us. People don't like to get in too close, because they don't want our attention. We are guardians, a police force. We enforce the Law, and that makes the populace nervous. Well, as they should be.

The Law is absolute. It is a force we do not change, and others cannot change as well. Only those in the highest positions in the power structure could do that...and not even then, really. My Father is the Judge, and he is very high indeed - he does not change the Law. He passes down Justice from it. And we Armed, we walk a path that echoes his great footsteps. Our positions and missions are not exact. Our organization is not structured. We have our rites and practices, but ultimately we are the walking evidence that there is a Law by which all are judged - and we deal that justice out in lead, and fire, and gunsmoke.

There is not much to know about us other than that. Nothing else is very important. We walk the land and give it Law. What else matters?

That Faun called upon me to back his cause with my Arms is no light thing. I cannot ignore any call for aid. And a call to the Law...it's dangerous, you see. Because the Law is a pure thing, it has no negative or positive in its heart. It simply abides. Calling it down will not bring any allowances for apologies, any exceptions for mistakes. You can't take it back because you didn't mean it. Faun's forced my hand, forced my Gun into it. If I have to make any judgements from now on, the Law will be what passes those judgements, not my own heart or conscience.

...I worry for my brother. I worry for myself. And I worry for Faun, because if my brother and I are dispatched, who is to help him?

That would cause greater worries, too. An animism, broken and tamed by a King...that could call down higher judgements on this Kindgom. On the bystanding Kingdoms. Who knows how far it could echo?

I leaf through family histories. I take my notes here and there, but honestly...it's not helpful. Whether or not the King's bloodline is more royal than mine isn't going to bear much weight when it comes to what sins he's committed. And I can't find any record of his daughters in here. So who is to know who their other parents are? If I knew that...knew anything about their backgrounds...anything to puzzle out this blasted situation...

They're Princesses, after all, so their bloodline has to have some trace here in

(Poet Gerald's written account stopped abruptly here)

No comments:

Post a Comment