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2- Two- Of Councils Great Small (OCGS)- p. 05


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~Section Two~

Of Councils Great and Small

2-026 Ardon w-alt. 15 b       Piercing eyes studied the solitary figure sitting quietly in a distant corner of a great chamber called the ‘Hall of Assembly’, the political strategy room since the beginning of the Rebellion.  The eyes squinted in wondering question…  ‘So, this is the wisest of councilors, personal advisor to the ‘Maker of worlds’?  Doddered, unkempt, nervous… Who really is this man, ArdonAzubahKenath, [‘Ardon’, as he was more often called]?  He looks more the part of an Eastern slave merchant awaiting his next client, and….he has just recently returned from one of his mysterious deep space sojourns.  This person deserves closer scrutiny.’

      Ardon had been sitting in the Hall of Assembly for nearly an hour, it being his custom to arrive early so as to observe the others entering, and to not be observed.  This afforded him the luxury for a silent inquisition of the gathering crowd and time to ponder the possible unfolding of the night’s events.  He had learned long ago to watch warily for clues that revealed motives and intentions.  More than once he had managed a coup on some spy or enemy agent sequestered among the loyal children of the Empire.  Tonight was special, at least according to Mother, and from the looks of all the military brass and high-ranking officials, Mother hadn’t been exaggerating.  These people needed his scrutiny.

He frowned in surprise and disapproval watching a ‘lowly’ naval officer shyly enter, his eyes opened wide in awe of the gathered company of royal officials and leading military officers.  For some moments the man stood there, arms hanging limply, with folded hands.  The nervous fellow looked more like a trapped animal seeking escape than a captain in the Empire’s navy.

Ardon stirred, leaning forward, concerned.  ‘Now why does Mother trouble our presence with a washed-out captain, unfit to hold the bridge of a cattle barge or… that scrap heap of a ship… the…’ It took a moment for him to recall.  ‘Oh yes, that derelict, Shikkeron…?  Should have scrapped it out before the Great War.  What’s Bedan doing at such an important counc…’  Ardon snapped his fingers.  ‘Oh, yes… the Zephath… Sirion…  The Shikkeron was a first responder to its distress signals.’  He slowly shook his head.  ‘Why does Mother need Bedan’s council here?  The official report contains everything he could provide.’

2-027, Bedan- colored- Copy of MANN Doriforo 2 b      Ardon’s apparent arrogance was not as it appeared.  True, he believed his position on the Head Council was well deserved, and he also believed it would be through the roles of the various councils that permanent peace was to be obtained, the military actions only a necessary stopgap to provide time for diplomacy to win out.  Bedan, a captain of peacetime necessity, and one of the countless younger children, made the man’s deficiencies loom greater in Ardon’s mind.  The fellow was just another of the ‘dullards and misfits’ this war had gathered to itself.  The great leaders of the ancient times were the ‘heroes’ who must bring matters to a finish.  And wasn’t that what this evening’s gathering was all about?

     It troubled Ardon to think that Mother (Ma-we*) did not bother to inform him, or seek his advice concerning Bedan and the Shikkeron.  It was not her silence about the matter when they visited in private conference earlier; it was her obvious secretiveness that was most disturbing.  True, she informed him, in somewhat lengthy detail, about Mihai’s reaction to being offered the king’s crown, and she being given another kingship later in the day, and he was also made privy to Trisha’s promotion to field marshal, something that also perturbed him as it had Mihai, but for additional reasons.  It was Mother’s incessant riddling and evasiveness that had been most perturbing.

“I think the girl has the right stuff.”  Ma-we had said so offhandedly about Trisha, before adding, “And she’s so pretty, too.  Don’t you think so?”

Ardon had sputtered about the woman’s youth and inexperience, presenting numerous reasons why she shouldn’t be given such a high military post.  Though not mentioning it, he secretly believed the position should go to a member of the council, possibly Lord PalaHar, a highly respected military officer and a member of the Council of 24, as was he, who understood the value of diplomacy in conflict.  Plus, her being an ‘off-worlder’ and so new to this realm led him to suspect the children of this world might feel resentment having to bend a knee to such a person.  The shadow of such a feeling already was being manifested by a few in the way they saw Ma-we dote over some of them.

2-028, Ardon's site of Ma-we b    Ma-we had brushed off Ardon’s arguments, saying it would be ‘Good for some to learn a little humility.’ she eyeing him carefully as it was spoken, then, bouncing from her chair, her golden tresses drifting high into the afternoon breeze, politely dismissed him, replying as she turned,  “The hour is upon us when humility may not only save the soul, but may well preserve the heart.  It’s time some of my children learned that… ArdonZoiathenBethy, (man who sees little use for the titmouse).’

    Ardon scratched his chin over Mother’s final words, the name she called him.  For hundreds of millennia he had been called ArdonAzubahKenath, ‘man of stones’.  At least it was the name’s original meaning.  Ardon ignored the less noble ‘the man who abandons the festival of the winds and hides himself in the misty caves’ that many of his younger sisters came to attach to it.  And that was another thing.  His mind wandered…  For all his age and wisdom, he being one of the most ancient of the children, he never was able to understand women at all – that was, except for Tashi.

Craning his neck, he scanned the room.  Tashi, governor of the Trizentine colonies, was supposed to be here this evening.  He searched carefully to see if she had made her arrival yet and been missed.  Satisfied it was not the case, the man settled back in his chair, watching the door, but his mind became distracted in seeking the reason for Mother’s name-calling.

“Hello there, Sweet One!”

Startled, Ardon looked up just in time to have two soft hands cradle his face and two full, moist lips smack his.  Eyes opened wide with surprise, Ardon stared dumbly into Tashi’s face.

Leaning back, Tashi studied the perplexed fellow who was still trying to get his bearings.  She frowned, shaking her head.  “I’ve come all the way from the Trizentine, holding my passions in check in anticipation of this coming night… to be spent with my lover… and you have nothing to say to me?  Tsk… Tsk.  Maybe I should have accepted that captain’s request to wile away some quiet hours with him.”  She pulled Ardon’s face close as she bent forward again, planting another kiss on him.

While sheepishly stuttering his hellos, Ardon glanced around the room, concerned that others might have seen or heard Tashi’s amorous advances.  Satisfied none had, he relaxed and, taking her hands in his, smiled, replying quietly, “It is good to see you, too, Governor…”

Tashi shot him a scolding stare.

 “Er, well… of course, of course, I’m overjoyed to see you and… and…”

2-029, Misty caves in mountains

Though teasing, Tashi’s voice was serious to the point of threatening.  “I have not contained my feelings these many days to be put off by a stuffed shirt, Lord Ardon.  As you have promised… and I will collect on that promise…this visit belongs to me and I shall have my way concerning it.  Tonight, and tomorrow, and the next, and the next if I wish… and I do wish… and for all the days I am here on this sojourn of mine, you will lavish your time and energies upon me.  ‘Our’ bed I shall warm with you for my entire stay.”

 She stood upright, shoulders back, eyebrows furrowed, hands still holding fast to Ardon’s.  “And if you think your phony piety will allow you to show aloofness toward me this eve, I will shout out to the entire crowd your passionate love songs showered upon me in your hidden chambers…songs that others so openly confess to all the world, but you, you stodgy old hermit, hide in secret vaults, fearing your dignity might be questioned should others hear that you also desire the flesh of women with manly abandon.”

 Ardon’s face flushed red with embarrassment and concern.  He squeezed Tashi’s hands, pleading quietly.  “Oh no!  No, my… my Sweet One!  I do want to be in your company.  I have been waiting long to see you.  It’s just that… well… you know this council is so important, and…”

 “And…?” Pulling a hand away, Tashi shook a finger at him.  “And if you don’t behave, I will take my leave with that officer over there…” pointing at Bedan in a distant corner, “and I will deliver my pent-up desires upon him!”

 Almost jumping from his chair, Ardon quietly cried, “No!  No! I mean… I mean, I do want your company… really.  I am sorry that…”

 Tashi grinned.  “That’s better.  No more ‘granny grunt’ stuff.”  She kissed him and turned to leave.  “I have other business to attend to, but I will not be far off.  Do not leave me alone after this night’s council.  I will be waiting.”  She hurried off to see some others.

2-030, Tashi, fire body b     Ardon slowly settled back into his chair, his eyes ever watching Tashi’s sensuous movements as she glided across the room.  Not even a muscle twitch gave away his pounding heart, his sweaty palms the only evidence the passions the man was fighting to keep under control.  “Oh my!  Oh my!”  He mumbled under his breath.  “How does she manage to do that to me?”  He hated and loved that woman.  Hated her because she could strip him – the great councilor to Lowenah – of all his emotional control.  Loved her because she chose him to be the one she so tortured.  How?  Strumming his fingers on the chair’s arm, Ardon pondered the possible reasons.

    The woman’s given name was ‘TaanathShiloh’, meaning ‘my peaceful ebony child’, but was later changed to ‘PurooQanaTashi’, having the dual meanings, ‘mistress of the passionate wild fires’, or ‘the child who possesses the wild fires’.  And the woman, Tashi, certainly lived up to her name.  Ma-we had struggled to keep the girl’s passions in check until her ‘coming of age’ celebration.  After her release of service from her ‘virgin year’ the child had gone wild, so to speak, and did chase down her dreams of passion like a consuming wild fire.

Ardon had come upon the woman during one of his many sojourns into the uncharted abyss of the Nebulan Cloud Bank.  His need for supplies had delivered him to Exothepobole, a then tiny mining colony on Sustrepho, far out in the Trizentine.  Tashi was already the elected leader of the mining council – no small achievement considering she was one of the younger children during that time, being only a few thousand years of age.

Sustrepho was a dark, cold planet, being a great distance from its nearest star.  Conditions were harsh and unforgiving.  Not only could the metavideoxide be a dangerous mineral, but mining for it was equally so.  Some of the early veins went two miles deep under the mountains west of the outpost.  It was Tashi’s job to secure the safety of the miners and make sure they had adequate supplies, responsibilities she executed flawlessly.  In fact, Tashi was responsible for turning Exothepobole from a tiny mining camp into a thriving city, provincial capital, and mercantile exchange for the entire Trizentine Star Systems.

2-031, Ardon's Seduction Scene b      Ardon’s arrival at Exothepobole caused quite a stir, few of its inhabitants having met the acquaintance of one so ancient, they being considered almost mythical creatures among the children of the latter part of the First Age.  Tashi, being head of the mining council, took it upon herself to make Ardon’s visit somewhat of a celebration and, seducing him with wine and song, bedded the fellow that night and, using her sensual wiles and cunning personality, entrapped him into surrendering to her his heart… the only woman ever succeeding in such a feat.

     Looking across the room at the woman now, her glistening black ebony skin and knee length, obsidian-midnight dark curly hair, Ardon slowly shook his head, his ardor for Tashi growing by the second.  How did she do it?  It wasn’t fair!  He was in control.  How did that woman pierce his defenses?  Still, this coming night of passion was looming before him with increasing anticipation.  For but a moment, the fellow wished she had clothed herself this eve in more that just her silk lace shawl… for just a moment.

Squeezing his eyes shut in an attempt to regain his composure, Ardon considered why Tashi, the governor of the Trizentine, was here at this council.  The reason troubled him. ‘The Stasis, those mischievous Stasis!’  If the threat of Asotos reneging on the armistice pact wasn’t bad enough – an armistice pact that Ardon was most proud of, he being the chief negotiator for the ‘Children’s’ side – the growing boldness of the Stasis Pirates was even more disquieting.

“My Lord Ardon…” a nervous, hesitant voice broke upon Ardon’s ears.  “Excuse me, my Lord…”

Ardon’s eyes popped open, he dumbly staring into Bedan’s face, the man’s hand outstretched in salutation.

Bedan smiled shyly.  “It is such a great pleasure to greet you again.  I’ve…”

Ardon blurted out, “Again?”

“Y… ye… yes, my Lord.”  Bedan swallowed hard.  “On Pilneser, after the Great War, I was a courier sent to deliver to you a letter of congratulations from the Council, for your heroic efforts at successfully sealing an armistice pact with our enemy.  Of course you would not remember, my Lord, but it was such a great reward for me to be…”

Ardon politely took Bedan’s hand.  “Of course, I remember.” – he was not sure, but it was his diplomatic style.  Smiling, he asked, “You’re captain of that old, I mean that boat.  Let’s see, now… oh yes, the Shikkeron, isn’t it? . . .”

*

And the book continues with more in Of Councils Great and Small between the pages of

The Chronicles of Heaven’s War: Book 1- Sisters of the Bloodwind

And

if you desire

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Also enjoy pages:

Section One- Destiny’s Road, p. 02, 03, 04

Section Two- Of Councils Great and Small, p. 06, 07, 08

Section Three- Legend’s Heroes, p. 10, 11, 12

Section Four- The Forges of Hell, p. 14, 15, 16

Section Five- The Silent Tombs,

And posts:

 Prologue,

Destiny’s Road 1-0011-0021-0031-004, 1-0051-0061-0071-0081-009,

Of Councils Great and Small 2-0262-0272-0282-0292-0302-031,

2-0322-0332-0342-0352-0362-0372-0382-0392-0402-0412-042,

2-0432-0442-0452-0462-0472-0482-049 & 2-050

Legend’s Heroes 3-0513-0523-0533-0543-0553-0563-0573-058,

3-0593-0603-0613-0623-0633-0643-0653-0663-0673-0683-069,

3-0703-0713-0723-0733-074 & 3-075

Forges of Hell 4-0764-0774-0784-0794-0804-0814-0824-0834-084,

4-0854-0864-0874-0884-0894-0904-0914-0924-0934-0944-095,

4-0964-0974-0984-099 & 4-100

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Take a look at Book, Comments, and Blurbs at ask David.The Chronicles of Heaven’s War, Book I – Sisters of the … Enjoy what we share.

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