Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Spheres of Galia Part 2
In his weekly sermon, Philip the Old expounded upon what he believed was the original intent of the Ancestors on voting rights in the Kingdom. The manuscripts had been debated by half a dozen scholars in recent times, though none were as politically powerful as Philip, who had mountains of gold and fully equipped armies at his disposal. Because of his stature and riches, his words resonated with a harsher impact, turning other interpretations of the Ancestors to shadows that no one could remember. Standing upon the lucite scaffolding in the town center after the customary vaporization of condemned criminals, the smell still lingering in the stone covered plaza, Phillip huffed and spoke with such furious conviction that the great mound of his belly swathed in arbrit, a shimmering synthetic known for its superior wicking, jounced up and down, wiggling as his words tumbled out like dominoes.
The crowd was a little subdued, reflecting on the fragility of life and their own mortality, a feeling which hit them with whirls of hurt and confusion in the center of their chest, when Philip began to speak. A little chilled by the wintery air and morbid reflection, they were slow to comprehend the true content and underlying motives of Philip’s righteous monologue. Their consciousness flowed along on the pitch and cadence of his voice, not grabbing on to particular words or concepts, but floating with each rise and fall of vocal vibration like boats traveling along a brisk stream. His self righteousness and their easy and somewhat distracted acceptance of it imbued them with a sense of righteousness too, it was the perfect antidote for the poison of reflection.
Today, however, unlike his many other sermons, Philip failed to mention the massacre of Orzab and the hated hosts of Vitnu being hunted on the third Sphere by the brave Soldiers of the fine Old Kingdom. Instead he sought to interpret the desires of the Ancestors as stated in the old manuscript. He stated, once again, loudly and with absolute belief in his conviction, that their original intent in holding elections was to allow property owners the power to vote, nothing more.
"It makes a lot of sense," he said, belly heaving, "in a modern setting. If you're a property owner, you actually have a vested interest in the community, others do not." Further, he advocated the dismissal of a prominent council member for being a follower of the old ways of Annis, which was as close to a death sentence as he was prepared to make that morning.
There were rumblings in the crowd as Philip spoke, a murmur that rose as the torpor of the executions wore away. Of the billions of inhabitants of the Old Kingdom of the First Sphere, only a few could claim to be property owners. The King himself for certain, his Lords and their Ladies by marriage, the public conglomerates formed of coalitions of noble people, a handful of the great magicians, and a few private conglomerates and personages.
A sense of slow dread and alarm grew to a buzz of whispers and anxious glances in the cold winter-drenched chill, but nobody spoke up to question Philip’s interpretation of the Ancestor’s manuscript. Not one could raise his voice towards the man with armies and chests of gold. His power silenced even the most skeptical gathered in the square. Most assumed that the majority of those present were in agreement with him, or they forced themselves to believe that so the obligation for objection could be lifted from their shoulders, for there was no sense in creating disharmony when agreement abounded. And so Philip was allowed to continue with his carefully planned diatribe.
At the edge of the thick crowd Maia stood holding the hand of her small son Olslo. He had grown just as fast as his brother, which he had a vague sense of, though he lacked the words to describe it in any detail.
“What does it mean?” she asked her sister Alcyone, who stood on the other side of the tiny boy. Maia’s face hid her concern, but it swam within her, hidden by a lifetime of magickal practice.
“How can we know? We don't yet know how far they will go. We would still be in possession of Taurus, in any case.” There was a brief moment of silence, then Alcyone heard the voice of her younger sister standing so close behind she could feel the warmth of her cinnamon-scented breath.
“This is not the world I would wish for our son to inhabit,” Asterope said, her long fair face looking even longer with the glimmer of dismay. Beside her was Celeano with a smaller, muscular body and a moon-shaped face. “Sister, you forget. Our son was not made to inhabit the world. He was made to re-make it.”