The Solune Prince (Act I, Scene viii)

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. Please be tolerant.

The Riley Pack

Chloe had never travelled for more than three days at a time.

“How many days did you say this would take?”

“It took us ten, and then one more on the other side.” Elliott said.

Dool shook his head, “She’s slow. It will take us more.”

“Oh… ah, I apologize for what it is worth.” Chloe said.

They had exited the kingdom in two days, not even bothering to stop in the city Hannibal as they passed through. The Elken jungle also gave them no issues. The King had made a deal with the pair of rangers that patrolled that area long ago. They guarded travellers from the fiercely territorial tribes of Elken, and other than those two guides, they encountered no one in the short trip. Outside and to the north of the kingdom the wilderness turned to grassy plains. They passed the plateau on which the N’Tariel lived, but did not turn to visit. They did not need to resupply, and Dool had stated that too much time had already gone by in the kingdom.

Now they were entering the territory of the wild 100% Riley. Chloe became very nervous as the plains became littered with dark trees.

“Ah, did you happen to encounter any of the Riley here?”

Dool shook his head, not bothering to look back. Elliott shrugged, “nope.”

“Well… We might.”

“Why?” Elliott, who had slowed his pace to match Chloe’s, was right next to her.

Chloe looked down on him. Had he always been so short? Elliott looked back up at her. She had always been this tall. He wasn’t sure how to feel about their height difference. Chloe noticed his dark skin turn a little bit redder.

“Oh, ah, well… The 100% Riley are savages.” Elliott gave her a grave and suspicious look. “Ah! I don’t mean that in any sort of derogatory way! I mean they are uncivilized and… they eat us.”

At this, all of Elliott’s suspected racism changed to shock, “they what?”

Chloe looked away, but spoke, “The Solune are supposedly very delicious. First the Condors ate us, so we fled the Underside. Then here, the Riley hunted us.”

“That was four thousand years ago though.”

Chloe nodded, “so, while you became less appealing to the Condor and the Riley, we remained as sought after as before. For a long time the King tried to combat this by adding alkaline foods to our diet.”

“And?” Elliott asked.

“Ah, well, it sort of worked, but we’re still… a delicacy.” Chloe looked down at Elliott, “So if they come after us, it’s my fault.”

Elliott frowned.

“There’s a group watching us from the eastern ridge.” Dool said.

“Ah…” Chloe also frowned, and then timidly drew the King’s Sword.

Daniel Triumph.

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I would like to start this (long awaited) review with this.

Link to Quiz

Your in-depth results are:

Gryffindor – 15
Ravenclaw – 11
Slytherin – 10
Hufflepuff – 9

To be honest, I fancied myself a Slytherin or a Hufflepuff. I guess Gryffindor is in between, eh? Anyway, I didn’t take the official test on Pottermore because I refuse to make an account.

Start Weak

Everybody agrees that Deathly Hallows part I, the movie, was one of the worst in the series. Well, the first 2/3 of the novel was very boring as well. Even when it bothered to get interesting, it would quickly get boring again. The whole horcrux thing was a great idea, but it was played off really poorly.

Deaths

No deaths in the entire Harry Potter series was handled perfectly. Sirius was handled pretty well, but he was quickly forgotten, as if he had never existed. Dumbledore was the same way, but I will admit it was done much better.

In Deathly Hallows the people who died were so forgettable that I don’t even remember them while writing this review! I could go look it up, but if they were so minor I can’t remember them then… why bother mentioning them in a review? Oh! There was Moody. Right. The guy who was super interesting and clever until he got replaced by his real self. right. See my point?

The Hunt for Horcruxes

Look, the horcux thing was cool. Harry finally had a mission. But… this should have come about way back in book two or three, or four. Not six. And then IT’S THROWN ASIDE HALFWAY THROUGH??

The Deathly Hallows

What was the point of the Hallows? They could have never been mentioned. Actually, no it’s a motivation for Voldemort. he’s finding the wand throughout the entire book, so we need that at least. Well then what about horcruxes? It seems like, if Rowling had bothered to ever write a second draft of anything, which I doubt she ever did, then she would have found and remedied this redundancy.

Redundancy is a huge issue with Harry Potter.

The horcruxes really did serve no purpose whatsoever because it never mattered. It was a useless obstacle for two reasons.

  1. Voldemort is only really encountered when all of the horcruxes are destroyed already.
  2. Harry never fights Voldemort head on while he has the horcrux safety net.

The only thing that really mattered here was the Hallows. Horcruxes should never have come into the story.

Voldemort is an Awful Villain

This goes without saying. Why? Because he’s evil because he’s evil. There’s no reason for him to be bad, he just is. Nothing happened to him, he doesn’t really have a selfishness that makes people go bad, he just likes causing misery.

Why?

We can never get an answer to that question because there isn’t one.

The Ending was not Memorable

I don’t remember how this ended, except for Harry and Volde coming out of the trees and confronting a line of wizards, then Neville killing the snake. After that it’s a blur. I also remember the short, pointless epilogue.

Why wasn’t the ending memorable? Well, it’s because

All the Build Up Went Nowhere.

Remember Grawp? Hagrid went through a whole lot of trouble and abuse to get him. He even had a connection to the half-giant, it’s his brother! What did Grawp, for all his trouble, do? Shove Hagrid through a window and that’s it.

Remember the Deathly Hallows? Well we had one already, the other we also had. The wand Voldemort found, and then what? Not much really. Pointless.

How about Dumbledore’s army! No, wait, Harry disbanded that in book six. Or the Order of the Pheonix? Well, after Harry went off with his two friends to do nothing for a few hundred pages they faded into the background and did @#$% all for the rest of the book.

Lupin had a whole book. Moody sort of had a whole book. Sirius… nevermind. But there were a lot of huge HUGE characters in the series that did nothing in the final fight. Why? Remember all the trouble Harry and Dumbledore went through to recruit Slughorn last book? Well Rowling didn’t.

The Payoffs that did Land Fell Flat

Horcruxes? Yeah, we had to destroy those! Three down by this book. And then… there was no payoff. Nagini died and that was it, it didn’t feel like a victory. That slog, torturing Dumbledore, and at the end of it all we feel unfulfilled.

Then Snape actually did something good for once. We all knew that deep down he was a great character, just misunderstood! I awaited the moment when he would get over himself and start helping out the main cast. Instead, after becoming Harry’s friend, he died. Sirius all over again! No deep attachment was made yet, but bam! Gone!

Defeating Voldemort though, that must have been great, after seven books of buildup, right? Well, no, not at all. He’s floating somewhere ethereal right now, like purgatory or something. He’s a crying child which, by the way, makes no sense. Like, he was a vile trickster even in his orphanage. What’s he crying about? Who cares?

I Don’t Know what to Do Now.

evanna-lynch-just-jared-photo-shoot-01.jpg
Evanna Lynch, Luna Lovegood.

See, Harry Potter is beloved by so many, and while I don’t really hate it, I also can’t recommend it. I watched three of the movies, but there’s no rewatch/reread value whatsoever aside from maybe seeing what Luna looks like as an actor. (Nevermind, she’s super hot. Might have to watch the movies with her.)

The worst thing about the whole series is that it’s not even a bad story, it’s just delivered poorly, and in bad prose.

It’s as if Rowling never learned how to be a writer, and just decided to write a series regardless. Oh wait…

JK Rowling ignored the advice that was given in rejection letters. Advice to take a course, or otherwise improve her writing. She just kept submitting, and got turned down more than fifteen times. By refusing to improve, she not only let’s down Harry Potter, but also her fans.

Verdict

Harry Potter and the Nothing Happens is a book about just that. It felt kind of Hallow to be honest. I didn’t feel Deathly, or even let down. I didn’t feel much of anything, which isn’t a good sign. I just didn’t.

54/100, not memorable. I honestly hope Rowling tries to improve her writing in the future so that her next series is a masterpiece that people love far above Harry Potter.

Want to chat? Check out the Reddit post.

You can find all the reviews at the Harry Potter Table of Contents.

Daniel Triumph.
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Interested in getting the book yourself? You can buy it here, Deathly Hallows (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Update 1

What am I doing?

So, as of right now I have been accepted to university. I’ll have a week to move and then go all in on my arts as I enter university. Last Tuesday I gave my work the expected two weeks notice. The CEO, whom I’ve spoken to of my plans, congratulated me. My boss shook hands, and my direct supervisor has said nothing (lol).

I will be studying English and Creative Writing, so that’s cool. It’ll make me better at my job here, I hope.

Schedule Changes

Regular release days are Monday to Friday. Saturday is for off-beat post and whatever I feel like. Sunday might either be another regular release or a planning piece.

Updates. I plan on starting a weekly update to be released on either weekend day. I’ll figure it out as I go.

Releases are once a day, usually, but not always around 4am. 10:30am wasn’t working out for my readers or me.

What am reading?

Right now physically I’m reading A Wrinkle in Time, but very slowly. During my working hours, I listen to audiobooks.

Of Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina is the first one, a classic about two couples, one a man who’s proposal was turned down by a beautiful young woman. The other, an adventurous young man who falls in love with a married woman, Anna Karenina. How treacherous!

Levin is turning out more and more agreeable, and so is Vronsky. Anna falls ever deeper into sympathizable treachery, and Kitty remains a pure blossom.

I am using this as a period and domestic drama reference for my coming serial of dear Alexandre Jutt Dirge. (Poor Lex. She will find happiness soon!)

Of Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is a real page turner. Dante, tricked by his friends and arrested, is now trapped in a dungeon. He conspires with a cell mate to break out, in the process learning of a great treasure in Monte Cristo, and becoming a very learned man!

Soon to be a rich genius, and also physically capable man in search of vengeance… what will come of his revenge? Will he walk a path of purity or revenge?

I’m using this as a famous and poignant example of a well written serial for reference.

Emotional

Alright, so I missed a few days of my lithium, but otherwise things are okay. I still feel that seeping lack of motivation, but so far I’ve been able to keep my output up. I should be going down into a depression around September or October, and I hope it doesn’t interfere with my magazine publication.

The Solune Prince

Alice and Finch

Recent Works

Table of Contents

The Solune Prince (Act I, Scene vii)

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. Please be tolerant.

Honeymoon

alice-2017-001.jpg

Alice and Finch were both high ranking members of the guard. Finch was a Vice-Captain, and have been in that position for nearly seven years. Alice had joined two years after him, but was far better suited for the role, and had, in the span of two years, surpassed him and become his Captain.

Right now, the two were sitting in front of the Captain-Commander, Natasha Glass Rhye. Natasha now only worked part-time, overseeing the five groups of captains.

They were sitting in her red-plushed office, in large armchairs. Natasha, a giant of a woman, was too large for her chair. She had been intending on getting a custom seat for years, but never cared enough to get around to it. Natasha was a tall blonde with the tanned skin of a woman on duty. She wore a white lace top and black dress pants, an overall attractive and classic look.

On the table in front of her were her two top hats, a white and a black. Nearer to her body were the forms.

“So you two wish to take a vacation? How long?”

“Three months.” Finch said. Alice had wanted one, but he knew that they would want more when the first month came to an end.

Natasha nodded, “You are aware that this will leave the day watch with no Captain or Vice-Captain.”

Finch nodded, and Alice said, “I am prepared to make suggestions on the topic of deputies.”

Natasha said, “Artus as captain and Vhirghinnia as Vice-Captain?”

“No, Artus as Vice-Captain and Jutt, that is, Alexandre Dirge as Captain.”

Natasha leaned back. Her seat did not lean with her. She would have to make sure the new chair reclined with her.

“Alexandre? She is and has never been in the guard.”

“No, but she is bound to Artur. They would work well together. And did you yourself not work with her?”

Natasha nodded, “that is precisely why I have yet to turn you down.”

Alice gave her a stern look. She was one of those women who could give such a look to a superior with great effect.

Natasha felt her stare, knew that it was out of place, and yet still felt uncomfortable.

“Very well, dear. I mean, Alice, I will allow it. However, if Alexandre is not fit for the task then I will have it my way.”

Natasha, like most people older than Alice, felt strong urge to address her using diminutive terms. Due to her position as Alice’s commanding officer, however, such addresses were inappropriate, no matter how many times Alice told her it was okay.

“You can call me dear,” Alice giggled, “A lot of people do! Or little miss.”

Alice blushed and smiled a childish, girlish smile.

Finch waved his hand, “either way, we’re approved. Let’s go Alice.”

“Right. I really should be off myself, to go Chloe off. She’s taking a trip herself, although it is official business.

Finch knew Chloe, she was his teacher for many years, “Oh, she must be excited.

They stood, and Alice said, “Oh, and don’t worry Mistress Rhye, I’ve already talked to Jutt on your behalf about the deputy position. It’s smooth sailing for you!”

“Hmm.” Natasha stood and took the black top hat from her desk. Placing it on her head, she asked, “Where are you planning to go?”

“Somewhere exciting, for her sake,” Finch stated, “the Dead City.”

Years Prior

Alice and Finch had known each other since childhood, and after five years had become bound to each other. She was his bondswoman, and he her bondsman. Now, finally, they had come to a point in their relationship where they figured they should go away together and get to know each other a little better.

Because the two had been together since so young an age, neither had learned the ways of relationships. Their first two years together were dry, and they had nearly fallen out of love because neither of them knew about the common glue of all good relationships. That sticky, wonderful glue that keeps partners bound together. That sticky act called sex.

They knew all about it now though. Alice and Finch went home in a side embrace, talking romantically about what they planned to do with each other when they got home.

It was lucky that Crystal Jealousy had come when she did, those. She was a mother figure to Alice, but had abandoned the poor girl at the age of thirteen for reasons I don’t quite have time to explain here. But, feeling ashamed, she returned six years later, upon the completion of one of her many cross-world circuits.

And just in time too.

She did what any religious or otherwise worldly parent would do. She figured out what the problem was, and then solved it.

It was only a few hours ago, but Finch remembered it clearly. He kept looking at the sun, willing it to fall into the hills. Meanwhile his mind was trapped in Jealousy’s office. She had both a room and an office in the castle. Apparently, she was not only an heir, but also an illegitimate child of the King’s, his first child, the daughter of a long deceased Riley.

She sat on a giant lounging chair, the kind you would expect to find in a counsellor’s office, except it was for her, not her patients. Her patients, Alice and Finch, sat on a very small loveseat. All of her furniture and trim was red and fuzzy.

Jealousy was not lounging, such would be a great act of disrespect for her daughter and her mate.

“So you two are bound?”

Binding one life to another was something akin to marriage, but, as Natasha had put it, “Without the history of patriarchal slavery. You can become a bondsman or bondswoman and maintain your pride. As stated in nearly every book of national law, a wife is a slave to her husband, it states as much in our own law! Disgusting.”

Alice nodded, “We heard that bonding was more noble an act than marriage.”

Jealousy nodded. “And you intend to remain bound for the duration of his life.”

It was a statement, and both of the young adults before her nodded. Finch knew that Riley lived shorter than average lives by about a decade, so her last few words did not confuse him

She said, “Go to bed one hour earlier that usual. Shut up all the windows and doors, close the blinds and get under the covers and figure it out. That after their two years, neither of you seem to have encountered each other’s bodies is a tragic end waiting to happen.”

Jealousy then turned her noble chin and addressed Alice specifically, “And make sure he sees your figure.”

“What?”

 

And so, here he was. He watched the sun set. They often went to bed an hour after sunset, speaking of their day in the dark. Both had excellent nightvision, and so their few candles remained nearly untouched.

“I think,” Alice said.

“It’s time to try what she suggested.” Finch nodded.

Finch lay next to Alice for about ten minutes before saying, “Umm… Do you know what we’re supposed to figure out?”

“I think so.”

A moment of silence between them.

“Me too, but I can’t really see anything.”

Alice lifted the covers, turned to the bedside table and lit the candle. It burned dim and atmospheric. Their room was the perfect size, not much floorspace due to that fact that neither cleaned much, and very sturdy. The walls were a tame brown-orange, and the sheets a soft yellow. The bedspreads were soft fur. Finch figured that Alice would prefer to be sleeping under something that had once roamed the earth, and he had been right. Plainkind usually slept under rough leather, and he figured she would appreciate leather with something soft attached.

Alice was a mixed Plainkind, but she had been raised in the Solune Kingdom since she was very young. Despite losing her blood mother to a starvation incident and being an orphan for many years, Alice maintained a cheerful and endearing temperament. That’s why she rose to the rank of Captain so quickly. Alice knew the names of every single one of the thousands of citizens in the city, and each of them in turn knew hers. She was renown as the best guard in the ranks now, at the age of twenty-one.

Alice also built muscle easily and quickly. She had worked in construction during her teenage years, under her adoptive father, Jithin. According to Chloe, who was a reliable authority on everything Alice, who was only 3.2 cubits tall [4’10”], weighed an astounding 316 pounds. Most of it was structural, she had said. The Plainkind did not store energy as fat, but instead as an alternate and weaker form of muscle. Alice was zero percent body fat and sixty percent muscle. Another ten percent of her weight was due to what Chloe called “vestigial limbs” in her back. No one really knew what that meant. Alice was a tiny figure, but very strong. Plainkind muscle is extremely dense, so she simply looked like a woman who lifted heavy things (such as livestock and boulders) for a living, instead of like a hulking monster.

In contrast to all that was his partner, Finch was only 110 pounds, and the same height as Alice. He was also two and a half years younger, at eighteen, but was also a little more mature. Finch was generally an introverted, shy person but Alice was so awkward and oblivious that he often had to make the first move in anything important. It was he who suggested that they should share a house and then a bed. It was even he who asked Jealousy to for help.

Finch rolled over to Alice and sat on her midsection, leaning over her. They stared at each other, and enjoyed the feeling of their mutual breaths. Alice took off her nightshirt, and then Finch felt an odd sensation, like blood exiting his brain. Usually, this heat in his midsection was an annoyance, but as he looked down at Alice’s anatomy, he decided that tonight would be anything but annoying.

Finch closed his eyelids and his parched brain was immediately flooded with even drier biology textbooks. He harvested from the loose pages the information he needed, and then quickly filled his mind with images of Alice instead. Then he took her imaginary clothes off. He had done this a lot before they lived together, but now he realized he didn’t have to. His eyes opened and peered at her gorgeous red cat irises, then he pushed gently into her.

Alice let out a noise she had never made before in her life, and Finch was suddenly eager to hear it again. They made sultry expressions at each other, positioned on the bed in awkward stillness.

“I figured out what to!” Finch said excitedly.

“I-ahh, know that Finch. Can you please do it some more?”

Those were the last comprehendible words that either of them spoke that night. Within the hour Alice broken their wooden bedframe, Finch flung the candle across the room, where it was promptly extinguished, and both of them, until the sun warned them of their impending day.

Finch thrust into Alice and released what his body was willing to give and then stopped, staring at the small line of light that dared to show itself along the edges of his blackout curtains. They were his, as Alice did not believe in curtains, at least not until this night had come.

Finch was breathing heavily. Alice was too, but not nearly as badly. She could have gone on, but her emotions were strained as much as his body was.

“Finch we don’t work, we’re on vacation.” She said.

Finch looked down at her breasts and then her face, and said, “oh yes.”

He exited her body, stood, took a roll of thick tape from inside a trunk, and taped the black curtains to the wall. He would have none of this light ever again. Then he leapt over Alice and lay in the bed next to her. She put the fur covers over him. They looked at each other, noticing in their dark faces that glow that is universal to all good relationships.

Their mattress was now sitting directly on the floor, each and every one of the slats had busted. There was a dent in the wall where the bed had been repeatedly thrust into it, revealing the mercifully sound-proof masonry.

Alice shrunk into the blanket and said, “we should sleep naked, just in case?”

“In case?” Finch asked.

“In case of… an emergency.”

Finch was completely unsure what she meant by this, but, placing trust in her, he nodded and closed his eyes.

Alice listened to his breathing and stared at the ceiling.

“Oh no,” she said to his sleeping form, “oh no, oh no! What is this?”

And, fretful, hot, and filled with energy anew, Alice turned over and forced herself into a fitful sleep.

The New, Less Pressing Problem.

When Alice woke up, she knew at once what the problem was. When Finch woke up, they again had sex until lunch time, whereupon they dressed, ate, and exited on Alice’s request.

Daniel Triumph.

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.