I’m very happy that I managed to get the next chapter of The Solune Prince out on schedule. It was a stuggle, my internet is being finicky, and so is my brain. Thus, the chapter is a little short, but it is out! It exists!
Natasha did not wait for anyone to introduce themselves, rather, she began for them. “Astore, here on the wing. Something of a reliable man. Want is your name and station?”
Astore straightened. “Astore Reginal. I am an ex-guard and current rank three Solune Agent.”
As he spoke, Natasha wrote.
“Next, you.” Natasha looked ahead to Alexandre. “Dirge.”
“Yes, um, yes.” Alexandre was tense. She breathed. “I am Alexandre Dirge. I have a degree in Kemia, and I am between semesters for my masters in Kemia.” Natasha wrote, andw hen she had finished, she looked up at Alexandre and frowned. She hoped that by doing this, she could compel Alexandre to continue.
Alexandre did continue, though nervously. “I am also an ex-gang leader, and an ex-convict, and umm…it was only for a few months.”
“Yes.” Natasha nodded. “Next, to the Lussa guest, Lilllith.”
Lilllith spoke, composed. “I am Lilllith of the Lussa City, though I am known to some as Lilllith of the East.” She paused for a moment, possibly omitting something, and then continued. “Though I retired from the Lussa guard, I am still technically satellite member, and am often called to serve the crown. Before I had the honor of serving the royal guard, I was in the police for a period of fifteen years. I was part of the force during the time of the brief military operation that occurred a few years ago.”
Natasha nodded again and wrote.
Chloe squinted at the ceiling in order to avoid eye contact with anyone in particular while she thought about what she had just heard. So Lilllith has always been a woman of combat. And; she is rather aged after all, isn’t she. How strange…
“Next, Kent Rhye.”
Kent stopped whispering to Senica when he heard his name. “What?”
Natasha sighed visibly. “State your name and station so that the rest of your travelling party knows who you are and has an idea of what you may be capable of.”
“Oh, we’re doing like a roll call. Okay.” Kent straightened, deigning for once to look like a dignified part of the royalty. “I’ve done a whole lot of work studying the Sol-Metch in the south. They have some interesting but dangerous methods for creating energy. Nuclear. In the past, I also served as a judge, although that was under a different law system, and it was a long time ago, so I’m not sure if I could do that again.”
Natasha frowned. She wrote documents like this in point form, so she had to translate his words to fit. “Fine. Next, your woman.”
Senica, not realizing that she had been so rudely addressed, said, “I am Senica Eir-Aeur…for now anyway.” She smiled and looked around, bashful. “I work as an anthropological researcher from the Djeb, although like Kent said we also work in the south. While I was in academia, I…worked part time. Due to the nature of that work, I was trained in unarmed fighting.”
“Fine.” She finished writing, then said, “And you…the man who would hide his given name.”
The blonde-haired man mumbled to himself from the corner before speaking up. He said, “Siren.”
“Sure.” Natasha wrote. Chloe peered down the steps and over Natasha’s shoulder at her papers, something she would not have been able to do if not for her elevation, as her sister was even taller than she was. She saw that Natasha had written down a different name, quite likely the young man’s real name.
“And?” Natasha continued.
“I study biology and the liberal arts. I can play certain stringed instruments.” He scratched his stubble. “That’s it I guess.”
“So, ah, that is everyone?” Chloe asked.
Natasha said, “No, there is one final person.”
“Ah, yes, me! Ah—”
Natasha unclipped the sheets she had been writing on, put away her clipboard and stepped forward so that the stood with the rest, facing Chloe.
Chloe looked around at her audience. She was more alarmed than nervous. She started and then stopped a few times, failing to speak. She realized that she had accidentally begun engaging in one of her greatest fears: speaking to a crowd. She gazed around, dazed and frightened. She found confidence in her sister, Natasha, likely the oldest person in the room.
“I am Chloe Rhye, fifth Prince of the Solune. I have spent most of my life studying. I dabbled in tutoring. I can play keyboard instruments like the harpsichord…sort of. I know a bit about everything, and a lot about certain things.
“My father trained me in the royal weapon, the two handed sword. I am also versed in other forms of martial and offensive fighting, thanks to my mother. And, umm, that is all. Thank you.”
Chloe then sat down in her mother’s throne, exhausted by her effort.
Honestly, I have no idea what this is about. It’s vaguely political for sure. Maybe you can have a go at it, as Northrop Frye says: The poet is not the ultimate judge of his art. (Though he can put on the “critic hat” so to speak, and become one of the many critics for his or her work.)
I’ll also put a note about TSP at the end for those who read the serial.
Forces you do not know, but you could understand.
Politics, the wake of war,
Cold wars are heating up again.
South Africa, kill the whites.
Don’t cover it, cover it up
Our permissible genocide
In the making.
Wake the sleeping giants, wake the beast
Don’t close your eyes don’t stop your feet.
We know, you know: Man is not judged
for what we did not know.
But is knowledge is power,
You know or ignore it,
The world may rot inside your fingers.
(That the world may know peace…)
To whom shall the blame be taken?
For whom does the bell toll?
Executive orders is not a strong plea.
Walk into the pain of the light,
And lift up the rocks,
Sear the parasite.
Watch the world.
Few references in this piece I have no issues pointing out:
Cold wars are heating up again. Megadeth, from “Blackmail the Universe.”
South Africa, kill the whites. This is literally happening. Racism, torture, death. And the mass media is silent on it for some reason… (can you guess why? White people can’t be victims!) Katie Hopkins is keeping an eye on it. Here’s a decent link if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXDpvN4V-RY
Wake the sleeping giants, wake the beast. Metallica, from “Shoot Me Again”
That the world may know peace… This was a sort of mantra that a few characters from Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai (…Under the Innocent Sky) said when he was stressed. It’s an anime, although it’s definitely rated 18+, so keep that in mind if you want to look into it. (Talked about it a bit in an old blog piece of mine.)
For whom does the bell toll? A loose reference to Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” To be honest, I’m not that familiar with the song, just the title. I really only know St. Anger.
Reflex Deflex. A reference to a type of bow. It’s a form of longbow/recurve bow.
The 17th chapter, Jagged Assembly II, will be out, for sure, next Thursday. Of course, this doesn’t count as a “missed week” according to the schedule, as I set as guarantees every second week OR every week.
It’s exam time, and the safety net of every second week is in play here. Anyway, see you then. Looks like the narrative is getting a cool little sub plot for a few of the characters.