The Solune Prince (Act I, Scene vi)

First draft disclaimer: This narrative is a first draft, and is therefor subject to grammar errors, repetitiveness, lack of clarity, and other issues. Later drafts will smooth such things over, but for now they remain.

Study, Solitude, Sleep.

“We need to leave this evening.”

“Why evening?” Gwenhime stared at the tall, dark man.

“It is customary to leave in the evening. The first day gets the body used to the long journey. It’s a form of preparation.”

Dool nodded to the King’s wife.

“Hmm,” she mused, “okay.”

“So where is she?”

“Who? Oh, Chloe? I am unsure.”

Dool scowled, but Gwenhime pacified him stating that she would go look for the missing daughter.

 

The King had already noticed her absence. He had stopped by the girl’s room in order to see if she needed anything carried, and had found one bag packed, and one small girl curled up in the corner of her bed. He entered curtained the room, walled with stone and tapestry. It was mid-day, but Chloe’s room made one think it was nightfall.

He sat down on the bed, and she noticed him for the first time. Chloe stared at her father, her face shrouded in blonde locks. He looked back.

“Have you changed your mind?”

Chloe said nothing and the King, who had been a father for thousands of years, knew that it was still his turn to talk. He did what most parents should do, but none ever have the insight to try. He stopped asking questions until she was ready to give answers.

Before the silence became awkward he started.

“Do you remember the first time I sat on your bed? We had just gotten it for you when-”

“When I turned seven and finally moved out of your bed…”

“Right. We got you this room, but you decided that you weren’t ready yet, used it only for study and solitude, but not for sleep. And then, for years you remained in that position, not ready yet.”

Chloe nodded, and her father continued.

“Jealousy was the same way… Now that I think of it, all of you except the twins were…” he leaned back on the wall, dislodging a large brick. “Oops. Now, wait, did I not contract those workers to put in walls that I could lean on without worrying!”

Chloe exhaled, the most vague suspicion of a laugh. Chloe, out of all of his children, laughed the most.

“So, you were seven, and you declared, demanded that to your own parents get you a bed for your room!”

Again he heard an exhalation.

Fervently, the King went on, “We got it for you, of course. This mild daughter, how could we not spoil you? Maybe, if we could spoil you you would grow up more cultured. That was your mother’s thinking. Although, we both knew that someone of your nature and with out lifespan would quickly be beyond such things. It is difficult to find someone aged over one-hundred years who is so easily flawed.

“And what? The bed broke when I sat on it! Splintered! It cut your face did it not? But scars fade all too quickly when you live for many centuries. Now the bed is sturdy, but your walls I have broken.”

“I do not want to leave, King” Chloe said.

“You do not have to, Mistress.”

They were using titles, talking business.

“Or was it Prince?” The King smiled.

Chloe shook her head, she was not in the mood to be playful. The King continued, “Chloe, this is your choice. If you do not go, it is likely that I will instead.”

“What?”

“Throw off my responsibilities for your sake.”

“No…” and then, “King, Mars, Elham, Isaac, father, all that you have come to be called. I will go in your name, as an ambassador of war.”

Chloe stood, and Isaac followed. He said, “War?”

The king was not aware that much had happened to place his daughter in this position. That she had been deep in thought, and that she had already wept. Although, upon seeing her face, all of this and more had been communicated to him silently. Like all social creatures who had lived more than three hundred years, Isaac could read someone’s entire day’s story by gazing upon their faces.

It took only ten or twenty seconds, but he stared at Chloe Rhye’s face. He saw lines of joy, fading past her eyes and corners, her lips lined with fervor and passion, her puffed cheeks and red eyes. He saw her recent past and nodded.

“And so it will be a war, but you suppose not a large one.”

“I suppose three battles. The first to antagonize and draw out the enemy’s true nature. The second a display of power, and the final, a victory.”

“By drawing the enemy into your barracks during a time of their weakness. A clever plan.” The king nodded.

“But not a trap. They know all, and make the decision themselves out of wounded pride.”

“I’ve performed a similar tactic in the past. It is nearly flawless. As always, I am in awe of your omniscient genius.”

Chloe blushed, put on her single bag, and tied the King’s Sword around her hip.

“Thank you.”

Hours Earlier

“Yes, yes! Marginalized! I love your vocabulary!” Chloe exclaimed.

Elliott flushed, but his skin was dark enough and it light enough that he knew it was hidden.

“Thanks. Anyway, yeah, there are a couple of cultural issues in the Lussa city. The first is that the Royalty, the people who actually speak to us and hear our issues, are falling. There’s a silent powers struggle between them and the police.”

“A cold civil war?”

“Yeah!” Elliott’s eyes became wide, “Wow, that’s amazing, how you can find so few words that mean so much. Damn! I’m jealous!”

Chloe flushed, but unlike Elliott, it was shameless and open.

“Thanks…”

“So? What can we do? Even if you come, nothing will change. In fact, you’ll probably be in danger.”

“Oh yes?”

“Yeah! Look, if you’re a member of the royal family, which you are, then the police will be after you, which they probably are!”

Chloe considered this.

“We will have to fight back then. To prove that we are not only worthy of the people, but also worthy of our power. We need to show the true evils of our enemies.”

“Expose them? How?”

“If the police have power over all press, as you say, than it is because they want to hide the fact that they are not in complete public favour.”

Elliott shook his head up and down, and his hair went insane, as if he was some sort of hair-metal headbanger.

“So, what is the public favour? We will find out! That will be our first mission!”

“And then what?” But Elliott already knew, “Oh! We’ll publicize it! I know exactly what to do! A press conference! It’s perfect!”

Chloe smiled, and then became very worried. It was all well and good to plan such things, but would she, at the adjusted age of seventeen, be able to actually act on her words? No, she decided, someone else can do it.

Chloe began to cry. Unlike her flushing, this she was ashamed of, and shuffled Elliott out of her room so that she might find peace. Instead, she found only sorrow. Hours later, her father found her.

Daniel Triumph.

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