Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Spheres of Galia Part 4

The proposal by the Red Hats to make dramatic changes to the Kingdom’s inter-spheral immigration system had been stalled by the dramatized political threats of the Yellow Hats, which was to be expected. The plan called for an overhaul of the old and now shoddy AT field that surrounded the First Sphere and the implementation of a new citizen tracking chip. Over the past nine years, the third-generation chips had grown obsolete and were easily rewritten by tech-coyotes with the right set of demagnetizing and code writing tools. It was all too common for citizens from the Second Sphere to pay one of these tech-coyotes to re-write their citizen chips so they could pass through the scanners of the First Sphere undetected. The new chip, should it be produced, would be impervious to such manipulation, at least until those codes were once again broken by a new generation of tech-coyotes, at which time new chips would be developed. While there were many places where the First Sphere’s ailing AT field could be compromised, the overhaul would make it possible to track and prevent bodies of any size from entering the First Sphere.

The council was held in the old Chamber of Windows, a room reserved for discussion and political maneuvering. A muted light passed through the panes of particle glass, bathing the red and yellow robes and hats of the council members with its soft glow. The milky luminescent floor and benches of lucite reflected the light up into their faces so that each visage seemed to radiate an ephemeral light of its own. Argus the Torturer, a powerful Yellow Hat and former member of the League of Assassins, had just refused to sign onto the proposal and the Red Hats feared this critical, much-needed vote would fail. Argus sat with his elbows resting on the lucite tabletop, his hands folded just under his chin. His bald head shone like a pale sun in the illuminated space of the Chamber of Windows, his forehead bulging and protruding over the small slits of eyes that glared narrowly about the room from behind rectangular shaded spectacles.

Councilman Harrold knew, from years of experience and a finely tuned political intuition, that this could turn out badly for him and his fellow Red Hats. His gray hair matched the hue of his gray eyes perfectly, both shone like silver next to the bright crimson of his cap and gown. Through the general uproar that was taking hold of the chamber as arguments and discussions poured from councilmen with flushed cheeks and saliva moistened lips, Harrold caught sight of the gracious Lady Rob. He could remember the days when at her father’s table, he had dined on duck and wine and watched her play by the fire with the dogs. Her father had been a good friend in those days, and she, a maiden with braided brown locks decorated with rainbow-colored ribbons and pearls. It had been nice, those chilly nights by the fire, so many years before her father’s infamous fall from grace.

Lady Rob met his eyes and he tried to let her know, through gesture and carefully directed energy that he meant no harm, he was a friend. She returned his look with a wary, yet sympathetic smile. Keeping in mind the crucial vote, he turned to his left, to the one Yellow Hat that might come over to his side, "will you please help us," he whispered. She was a petite red-haired woman with a heart shaped face and hard blue eyes. She tilted her head to the left and right, refusing to say yes or no while she stared into the space ahead of her.

To the crowd that had been permitted to gather in the northern quadrant of the chamber of windows, the scribe announced: "We're getting close, but negotiations are still ongoing."

At the opposite end of the chamber, the King as usual, remained aloof, appearing distant and inconclusive, his head turned slightly to one side as he gazed into the milky surface of the lucite floor. His hand, covered in rings, tapped pensively upon the velvet arm of the seat reserved for him at the southern end of the chamber.

Harrold glanced at the wan statuesque form of Dominious. Turning again to the impassive female Yellow Hat, he said, "will you please help us, it is for the good of the Sphere..." Once more, there was no answer.

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