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Offline Evie

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Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« on: September 07, 2015, 08:50:32 pm »
Previous chapter:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1571.0.html


Chapter Seven

Mid-Afternoon
Tre-Arilan
The Residential Areas
December 17, 2021



“Exactly how do we happen to have seven victims of acrinious gas poisoning in my entire Kingdom, Mr Carbury, not to mention in Lord Arilan’s parlor?” Sophia of Gwynedd demanded as she followed the butler downstairs from the guest wing where her room was located.

“The details are not entirely clear, Ma’am, I regret to say,” Carbury replied. “Perhaps one of the Healers present might be of greater assistance.” As he said this, he opened the door to the room in question, moving discreetly aside to allow the Queen through as he announced, “Her Majesty Sophia the Second of Gwynedd.”

“Mr Carbury, is this really the time?” she murmured under her breath as she passed him.  As the two Healers whirled to face them in shock, she asked more loudly, “Which of you is the Senior Healer?”

“Uh . . . That would be me, Dr . . . ah . . . Your Majesty.” Healer Dr Karim Al-Sayid’s eyes went wide in his dark face as realization struck him that his former colleague and very junior member of the hospital faculty was now his Queen. He bobbed a nervous bow as beside him Healer O’Flynn attempted a curtsey, the attempt somewhat spoiled by her green scrubs.

“For the time being, you may address me as Dr Formacek,” Sophia reassured them with a suppressed sigh before becoming all business again.  Turning to Karim, she said, “Healer, report!”

The familiar words, snapped in the same voice that Dr Formacek had used in the busy work environment of Hospital Triage when other emergency cases had been wheeled in, brought Karim’s mind back to his duties.

“The first notification of the attack happened at 12:10 PM, made to me by an eyewitness who had happened upon the victims, by means of Mind-Sharing what she had witnessed. Based on her information, I inferred that acrinious gas was used for the chemical attack, so . . .” Healer Al-Sayid hesitated momentarily. “The . . . uh . . . eyewitness notified a colleague of hers in Anti-Terrorism of the need for gas filtering masks and decontamination equipment. At 12:43 pm, the Detective Inspector geared up and went through the Portal accompanied by Captain . . . uh, the eyewitness to ensure it was secure. At 12:47, Healer O’Flynn and I went through along with one other Healer. We retrieved the victims and returned to hospital.”

“Where you did what?” Sophia asked, one eyebrow arched in question at the unusual summation of events. Something wasn’t adding up here, and even without Deryni powers to draw upon, it seemed evident that Karim was being evasive. “I would really like to know what transpired between the time you brought seven survivors of acrinious gas through the Emergency Department Portal of a civilian hospital in a highly populated metropolitan area, and whenever you decided to transfer them to, shall we say, residential care?

Healer Dr Al-Sayid flinched slightly at her coolly sarcastic tone, but to his credit he maintained eye contact. “Several of the patients requested that their presence at the hospital be kept . . . ah . . . completely confidential; therefore, rather than bringing them to the decontamination shower, we proceeded with the decontamination using magical means. They then insisted upon being discharged here, despite my protest that they would receive sub-optimal care outside of a hospital setting. The patients agreed to allow two Healers to attend them here for continuity of care.  One . . . ah . . . also mentioned that there would be a physician present on the premises.” He looked chagrined. “That would be you, I suppose, Your Majesty?”

“Yes, that would indeed seem to be me.” Sophia paused to think through what she had just been told. “Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with my questions, Healer Dr Al-Sayid, but let’s just take the first of my pressing concerns to begin with.  How in the Nine Dantean Hells did a banned chemical compound make its way into my kingdom? I presume this attack took place on Gwyneddan soil?”

“I . . . uh . . . really couldn’t say, Ma’am.”

“Can’t or won’t, Healer?”

“I have no idea where the acrinium might have come from, or what physical location we picked the patients up from. All I can tell you is that we were told it was some sort of ‘private conference venue.’” He looked to Healer O’Flynn for confirmation.  She nodded mutely, looking nervous under the Queen’s scrutiny.

“Told by whom?”

“The eyewitness, Ma’am.”

“And where is this eyewitness now?”

“Um . . . .”  The Healer’s eyes nervously flicked back toward where his flatmate sat speaking quietly to one of the patients.  Sophia’s gaze followed his glance.

“And might I have the eyewitness’s name?” The Queen’s tone was deadly in its politeness.

“Lady Alicia Coris, Ma’am,” the Healer informed her, sounding defeated.

“Thank you.  I trust you brought some medical supplies with you when you transferred your patients here to my care?”

“Yes, Ma’am.  Though of course Healer O’Flynn and I will remain for as long as needed until their conditions are fully stable.”

“Indeed you will.  And how exactly are you planning to explain your absence from your regular duties at RHR?  Shall I need to ask Mr Carbury to contact them and let them know that I have requisitioned your services for the duration?”

Healer O’Flynn spoke up, her voice slightly shaky. “Your Majesty, our shift technically ended two hours ago, so we shouldn’t be missed there until tomorrow.”
 
“All right, then, I need to glove up.  Size Small, if you have any on hand.” 

Sophia moved toward the back of the room toward the lady in question, who rose and curtseyed nervously at her approach.  “Lady Alicia, I presume?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.” Alicia’s ocean blue eyes were filled with trepidation.

“I will require a few words with you in private later, but for the moment, please simply remain available.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Alicia replied meekly.

 Healer O’Flynn approached with gloves and a face mask. Sophia donned both. “Stethoscope?”

“Here, Ma’am.” O’Flynn reached into her tunic pocket and handed hers over to the Queen.

“All right, take me to the worst affected patient first.”




Mid-Afternoon
Tre-Arilan
Makeshift triage area, aka the parlor
December 17, 2021


Sophia listened carefully to Lady Violet’s crackling breaths. Beside her, one of the other patients, a young woman with blonde dreadlocks, sat watching physician and Healer with a stony expression on her face.

“She needs more oxygen.” Sophia propped Violet in a more upright position to assist with her labored breathing.  “Do we have any Oxytol on hand?” Sophia asked Healer O’Flynn.

“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but we don’t. We administered Oxytol in hospital, and the other patients responded fairly quickly to it, but DI Adams reported that this patient was found lying closer to the gas bomb fragments than the others, so she may have inhaled more of the toxin.  I could Portal back to hospital and get more Oxytol, Ma’am.”

Sophia frowned. The patient clearly needed something to ease her breathing--the Healers had managed to repair all of the physical damage to her windpipe and lungs, but they could do little to alleviate the build-up of fluid that had accumulated due to her exposure to the toxic gases. Why she was having a more severe reaction to the toxin than the other patients had suffered, Sophia could not say at present. Perhaps O’Flynn was right, and she had simply inhaled more of the gaseous fumes than the other survivors, or maybe the difference had to do with the patient’s more advanced age. But what sorts of questions might arise if the Healer was spotted rummaging through pharmaceutical supplies several hours after the end of her designated shift?  “I’ve heard there is some sort of spell that Deryni can do that will draw extra oxygen from the surrounding air.  Is that true, or is that folklore?”

“No, it’s possible, Ma’am, although standard oxygen masks are more practical and don’t require Healing energies to function, so it’s rarely actually used outside of Healer training.” Healer O’Flynn considered the matter. “I can set up the spell for Lady Violet; the problem is that if I do, someone will need to continue maintaining it.”

“I could do it.”

Both heads turned to regard the young woman who had spoken. Elspeth lifted her chin as if expecting a challenge. “Well, I can! It’s not like I’m doing anything besides sitting here, after all!” 

“That would really help,” Sophia affirmed, “as long as it doesn’t put too much strain on your own healing.” Turning to the Healer, she continued. “Would it?”

O’Flynn thought about the offer for a moment. “I think it would be all right as long as you let one of us know the moment you start to feel tired, or get one of your companions to take over from you once you reach that point.  This spell doesn’t take a great deal of energy to maintain, but the energy does need to be supplied pretty much constantly.” She turned to sketch a pattern in the air around Violet’s head with a finger, murmuring some words softly.  A faint golden glow appeared around the Councillor’s head.  After a few moments, her body seemed to relax slightly as her breathing grew less labored and her coloring improved. After watching carefully to ensure the spell would continue to work properly, she beckoned Elspeth over, moving Elspeth’s chair closer to the couch on which Violet lay. “Here, take her hand. If you maintain physical contact, it will be easier for her to receive your energies.”

Satisfied that Violet was in more stable condition, the Healer moved on to tend to another patient. Sophia lingered, marvelling at the Deryni spellwork.  “Of all the powers that Deryni wield,” she said quietly, “I’ve always thought Healing was the most wonderful of all.  I don’t suppose it’s possible for a Haldane to assume those powers, is it?”

“I don’t think so,” Elspeth said curtly. “Not unless some Deryni with Healing gifts married into your family back in the day.  There was that one guy--Alaric-Rhys Haldane, I think it was--who claimed he could Heal smallpox scars, but I think it was probably just those crimson curtains in the Royal infirmary that did the trick.”

Sophia smiled. “Could have been a bit of both, maybe; who knows? I’ve read of studies into the efficacy of red-filtered light in minimizing smallpox lesions, though let’s hope we never have need to attempt that sort of treatment again.” Studying the patient carefully, she asked, “Is this Lady Violet Estridge? I think I recognize her, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ve not seen Lady Violet in years.”

“Yeah, that’s her.” Elspeth stared at the unconscious woman. “She saved my life today. That damn bottle fell right in front of me, but she shoved me away from the shards and the worst of the gas cloud before she passed out. I have no idea why she bothered. She hates me.”  She shrugged. “Not that I exactly feel the warm fuzzies for her either.”

“And yet you’re helping her now,” Sophia observed, transferring her attention to the younger patient.

“Yeah. I guess turnabout's fair play,” Elspeth said. A shadow crossed her features, and she glared up at Sophia.  “My father died keeping one of you damned royals safe! I’ll bet you don’t even remember,” she blurted, her voice bitter.

There were forms of healing that go beyond even modern medicine’s or a Deryni’s ability to Heal, Sophia mused. She felt a bit out of her depth here, but she took a seat on the other side of Lady Estridge, studying the young woman’s face intently.  “You wouldn’t happen to be Elspeth McIntyre, would you?” she ventured.

Elspeth stared at her in shock. “How did you know?”

 Sophia tapped her fingertips together, carefully feeling her way through the situation. “Your father used to show me your picture.  I figure we were both around five at the time. He told me that he had a little girl at home who was my age.” She smiled. “You had long, curly ringlets and a bow in your hair, and I used to wish I had blonde ringlets too.” The smile faded as sad memories came flooding back.  “John McIntyre was a good man, and yes, my father owed his life to him. Believe me, Elspeth, I never forgot that.  Or you.”

Elspeth looked away, fiercely blinking away tears.  She turned back to face Sophia, looking mutinous. “I don’t believe in monarchy.”

Sophia gave her a wry smile. “Oh, trust me, there are times when I’ve not been a huge fan of it myself.  Like . . . oh, for instance two nights ago around 7:27 pm.  I’m fine with civil opposition, Elspeth. Just promise you’ll never try to kill me because I happened to be born a ‘royal’.”

The other young woman snorted. “No worries. Not my style.”  She looked up.  “So, now that you’ve seen me again, you still want my hair?  I hated those bloody ringlets!” She cracked a sardonic smile.

Sophia chuckled. “I’m afraid my tiara would look awful with those dreadlocks, but I rather like the beads.” She grinned. “Though with my coloring, the pink fringe would definitely have to go.  Perhaps Haldane crimson instead?”

She stood. “Elspeth, if it helps any, try to remember that your father didn’t die protecting my father simply because mine happened to be a member of the Royal Family.  He gave his life to protect another because that was just the kind of man John McIntyre was--a good, decent, selfless man.  If it had been anyone else’s life in danger, he would have done the same thing.  He had a heart for helping others.” Sophia glanced down at Lady Estridge, then back at Elspeth.  “Just as you’re doing now.  I think he would be very proud of you.”  She moved to the next patient, leaving Elspeth McIntyre thoughtfully staring after her.


Later Afternoon
Tre-Arilan
Makeshift triage area, aka the parlor
December 17, 2021



Sophia moved on to check out how the other patients were progressing. Most seemed to be recovering quickly aside from a lingering cough, which she wasn’t overly concerned about since she knew that was likely to continue for at least another day or two.  Now that their strength was beginning to return, their own immune systems would begin to kick in, and Sophia knew from her medical studies that Deryni energies could be brought to bear in accelerating the healing process, even in Deryni who lacked the particular gene sequence that allowed more specific Healing powers to emerge. Most Deryni, barring accidental deaths or incurable disease, tended towards somewhat longer lifespans than the average human. Not ridiculously longer, of course--it’s not like they were living in some fantasy world with elves and the like!--but statistically, full Deryni  tended to have an average life expectancy of about a decade more than the average human lifespan, with Latents like herself falling somewhere in between.

She was jarred from her thoughts when she noticed a very familiar face smiling up at her. “You’re Lady Maureen McLain-Sheehan, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Your Majesty. It’s good to see you again, although I would have preferred better circumstances.” Maureen flashed a brief smile between coughs.

Sophia listened to Maureen’s breathing, nodding with satisfaction afterwards.  “I’m going to prescribe Allontin to all of you to help clear up this lingering nastiness, but you should be feeling a lot better in a day or two.  How is Eilonwy these days?  She’s married now, as I recall.”

“Yes, and to the Detective Inspector who rescued us earlier today,” Maureen informed her. “Lady Alicia introduced them.”  She glanced over at the Councillor whose late arrival had saved all their lives.

Sophia followed her look.  “Ah, yes, that reminds me.  I still have a few questions for Lady Alicia.  And is that gentleman she is speaking with Mr Peter Astari?”

“He is, Ma’am.”

“I thought I recognized him.”  She smiled at Maureen. “Good to see you again.  I’d love to see Eilonwy again once things settle down a bit.”

“She would love that, Ma’am. She and Jennifer DeLisle have been quite frantic about you in the past few days. May I tell them that I’ve seen you, or should I keep that information confidential at present? It would help alleviate their anxiety to know you’re safe and well.”

“You may tell them you’ve seen me, although perhaps not my location for the present. I would very much like to see them both, though, as soon as that can safely be arranged.” Sophia sighed. “I’m not to answer calls or texts at present; Lord Arilan would have a fit if I gave away this location to terrorists! But we’re working on other arrangements, since of course I want to get settled into a new home and center of government as soon as possible, so please tell Eilonwy I’ll ring her up once it’s safe. I don’t think I’ve got Jen’s current number, so Eilonwy can pass the message on to her as well.” Rising, she added, “Please excuse me” before walking purposefully across the room toward Lady Alicia and Peter Astari.

Peter began to rise shakily to his feet, but Sophia waved him down, drawing a chair towards him and Alicia instead. “Let me check your vital signs, Mr Astari, and then I think I’m going to need a few words with you both.” After a quick check, she added, “Breathing good, pulse strong . . . . Now, just why exactly did you feel the need to endanger two Healers’ careers by insisting on being moved out of hospital and under extreme secrecy, Mr Astari?  And am I to start off my reign with worries hovering over my head that it might get out I’ve been sucked into participating in some sort of cover-up scandal?” At Alicia’s horrified look, she gave the lady a wry smile and added, “Didn’t think about that, did you?”

“We . . .we didn’t think about you being here, Your Majesty!”

“No, I imagine not, under the circumstances.  I suppose survival was your first priority, followed immediately afterwards--for reasons unknown to me but which I’d dearly love to know about--by covering your collective backsides.”  Sophia sighed.  “So, now that all’s done and in the past, could you at least inform me of why you all thought this was necessary? I should at least like to know how to reply if the RHR Board of Inquiry should discover what has transpired and lodges a complaint against your Healers, or simply decides to summarily fire them. What extraordinary circumstances should I plead on their behalf? Not to mention on behalf of the Detective Inspector you roped into assisting you, whose job is equally on the line if his participation is ever discovered?”

Peter exchanged a rueful smile with Alicia before returning his attention to his Queen. “My most profound apologies, Your Majesty. As coadjutor for our assembly, I take full responsibility for our actions. This is definitely not how I ever planned on introducing you to the existence of our Council.”

"And the name of your Council?"

“The Camberian Council.” He paused, looking at her hopefully. “Did Her late Majesty ever happen to mention our existence to you?”

Sophia stopped to think.  “No, I don’t believe she ever did. Though that doesn’t mean I’ve never heard of your Council. Or at least I’ve heard speculations about its existence. So tell me more about the purpose of this Council, and why you have gone to so many pains to keep it secret.”

“That, Ma’am, may take a little while.”

She leaned back in her chair, folding her arms across her chest. “Then it’s a good thing, Mr Astari, that I’m not planning on going anywhere.”


Evening
Tre-Arilan
The Dining Room
December 17, 2021



“All rise for the heir and successor to her late Majesty Queen Araxelle, Queen Sophia Morgana Anastasia von Horthy Haldane Formacek, Queen of Gwynedd, Princess of Meara, and Lady of the Purple March," Lord James Arilan addressed the small group of people seated in his dining room.

Queen Sophia the Second of Gwynedd entered the room, surveying the faces gathered around Lord Arilan’s table. This was not what she would have envisioned for her first Royal Council, not that she ever imagined herself heading up such a meeting, but for the moment this national emergency council would have to do.

She sat, inclining her head at the assemblage in silent acknowledgement, signaling her permission for them to be seated.  “First things first.  Now that we are no longer in danger of our host and house guests all dying in the parlor, I’ve been given to understand we’ve had a break-in here earlier this morning, quite likely by the same woman who attacked the Camberian Council chamber even earlier, given that poor Mr. Whitfield was used as the unwitting means for entering both Portals. Mr Carbury, thank you for your swift handling of that situation.” Sophia looked around at the odd assemblage of mostly unfamiliar faces. “I believe the intruder is now in the Duke of Corwyn’s custody?” Sophia felt a pang as she considered her cousin’s absence. She had hoped he would be here with her this evening to lend her his silent support, but under the circumstances, it would hardly be prudent to have her legal heir remain by her side if Tre-Arilan’s security had been breached.  If one person had managed to gain the Portal’s unique signature, then she may have shared that information with others.

“Yes, Your Majesty,” Carbury affirmed.  “His Grace wished to bring her to Corwyn so she would not pose a threat to your safety.  Or to Mr Whitfield’s.”

“I should like to be apprised of any information that you might discover about that incident. Has my presence here become known, or is the timing of her intrusion simply an unfortunate coincidence?”

“We don’t know yet, Ma’am,” Carbury informed her, “but I will certainly keep you updated on the situation.”

“Thank you. And how is Mr Whitfield now?”

“Healer Dr Al-Sayid is still attempting to ascertain that, Ma’am,” Healer O’Flynn replied.

“All right. Now for our second order of business.” She looked around the table, making eye contact with most of the newly-Healed members of the Camberian Council, although Violet was still too weakened from the recent ordeal to attend with the other Councillors. Sophia smiled at Maureen briefly before continuing her perusal of the other faces around the table. She had been startled to find Lord Arilan and Father Devlin among the unexpected influx of acrinious gas attack survivors that had been brought in earlier in the day, and was relieved to see them both looking apparently no worse for wear after Healer O’Flynn’s ministrations, aside from the same lingering cough that continued to plague the other survivors. Mr Astari had, upon realizing there would be little advantage to continuing to hide the Council’s existence from her despite his hopes to continue keeping it hidden from nearly everyone else, readily confessed that they were all members of a highly-classified Deryni organization devoted to the preservation of the Deryni race, that they had been meeting at least in part due to their concern for her own continued preservation, and that her mother had been well aware of their group’s existence. Although she lacked her mother’s ability to Truth-Read, he had shown her the late Queen’s private phone number in his contacts list, which definitely appeared to be convincing evidence to support his claim. Araxelle had given her private number to very few people, and certainly to no one who did not need to be able to have immediate access to her at all times. This had helped to dispel the last of Sophia’s lingering suspicious about the group’s purpose.

“Given these new breaches of security which have not only thrown us together but have also made even this gathering place less safe for us to remain in, it seems more urgent than ever to relocate not simply myself, but the seat of my government to a location that can be more easily protected.” Glancing at James, she added, “Not that I fault Tre-Arilan’s measures in the least, Lord Arilan, but it was never intended to be a fortress, let alone become a sanctuary for an entire Royal Court.” Turning her attention back to the full assembly, she added, “Fortunately, even prior to today’s events Lord Arilan and Mr Carbury--foreseeing the need for a more permanent solution--had already spent several hours in close conference with my armsmen Sergeant Henry Carlisle and Corporal Michael Prior, coming up with a plan for preparing Eirian House, the traditional summer residence for the House of Haldane since the 13th Century, to become the permanent seat for my Court. Since it has been in frequent use by my family up to present times, it is already quite well secured. With their help, I look forward to seeing its security arrangements improved.” She cast a grateful smile upward at the two armsmen who had escorted her into the room and who even now stood guard over her as she presided over this emergency council. “However, today’s turn of events now highlight the need to escalate our original timetable.  For this, ladies and gentlemen of the Camberian Council, We request and require your assistance.” Her Royal emphasis on the pronoun was faint yet unmistakable.

“I understand that at certain times in the past, the aims and goals of your Council and those of my Haldane forebears may have at times diverged. I suppose it is also possible that they may yet diverge again at some future time. But if, as Mr Astari has informed me, your chief aim is to ensure both the safekeeping of Derynikind while at the same time upholding a stalwart defense of non-Deryni humanity--a goal first set forth by that saint whose name your Council bears, Sanctus Camberus Defensor Humanum--then I can assure you that Our chief aim is the same. Whatever differences we might have, it would appear we now share a common enemy.  Let us therefore focus at this time on that which unites us and gives us common cause rather than upon any matter which might threaten to divide our strength.”

Sophia took a deep breath, waiting to see if any present would challenge her statement, but it seemed that all were in at least cautious agreement. She exhaled quietly and continued on. “Finally, it seems imperative that I assume my Haldane powers as soon as may be arranged. Unfortunately, I have no notion where I might find the Ring of Fire, the Crimson Lion, and the Eye of Rom, or even if these insignia still exist. I shall need your assistance with this.”

She swept the circle of faces with her glance, her gaze coming to rest on Father Devlin. She smiled briefly before adding a final comment. “Above all, my lords, ladies, and gentlemen, I humbly request your prayers over the days to come.”



Next chapter:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1576.0.html
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 09:20:37 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Laurna

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2015, 12:23:20 am »
Sophia Haldane is most assuredly the Queen of Gwynedd. Regardless of being the youngest in her family, she has a special talent for handling stress and  winning support for her cause.  She has my support.

Quote
And am I to start off my reign with worries hovering over my head that it might get out I’ve been sucked into participating in some sort of cover-up scandal?”

Oh that was good! No one thought that thru, very well, did they? :o  I dearly hope no one records the comings and goings of the emergency room portal. There could have been security surveillance cameras on that space, just as there usually are on the entrance doors.  At least nothing from that footage can be connected to Gwynedd's new Queen. and I hope it stays that way. I will bet the paparazzi are going crazy about now trying to determine where their queen is hiding.

Offline Demercia

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 01:04:20 am »
Great start to a foggy Tuesday.   Whatever else has diminished over the centuries that Haldane steel is still honed.  Kelson would be proud of his many times great descendent .  And I love the bit with Elspeth.
The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

Offline drakensis

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2015, 02:09:19 am »
Very nicely done as an introduction to Sophia's queenly side.

Offline revanne

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 03:24:12 am »
"it’s not like they were living in some fantasy world with elves and the like!-"

Gwynedd is the real world surely... Please tell me it's the real world!
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline revanne

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 04:07:50 am »
At least nothing from that footage can be connected to Gwynedd's new Queen. and I hope it stays that way. I will bet the paparazzi are going crazy about now trying to determine where their queen is hiding.

I'm sure that the trauma to the whole of Gwynedd will have affected the paparazzi as much as anyone and for a while at least they will be treading very softly. For most people in Gwynedd (Elspeth and those who think like her will be in the minority or 21st century Gwynedd would not still be a monarchy) they will not only have lost their head of state but those who they regard as members of their own families.

I kept telling Evie how traumatic the idea of blowing up almost the entire royal family was to a pro-monarchist Brit!
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2015, 06:07:06 am »
Nice to see how well Sophie is stepping into her role as Queen.  It will be hard to balance what "was" her life with what now "is" for awhile.  I suspect that Jen and Eilonwy will play a role in helping her with that as the story continues.

Although the circumstances were beyond the Council's control (and I'm sure they are very happy at this point just to be alive), they are in a more humbling position to introduce their service to their Queen than would be their normal style. Not exactly starting off on the right foot!

As always, I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2015, 04:00:08 pm »
At least nothing from that footage can be connected to Gwynedd's new Queen. and I hope it stays that way. I will bet the paparazzi are going crazy about now trying to determine where their queen is hiding.

I'm sure that the trauma to the whole of Gwynedd will have affected the paparazzi as much as anyone and for a while at least they will be treading very softly. For most people in Gwynedd (Elspeth and those who think like her will be in the minority or 21st century Gwynedd would not still be a monarchy) they will not only have lost their head of state but those who they regard as members of their own families.

I kept telling Evie how traumatic the idea of blowing up almost the entire royal family was to a pro-monarchist Brit!

Since the readers have had a few weeks to get past the opening trauma, it is easy to forget that less than 48 hours has passed. The news media are still likely glued to the tragedy and the kingdom as a whole is still in shock, likely trying to determine just who of their head of state has survived. There would have been a lot more people than just the royal family in that palace in the early evening. It will be days before the news will think to look at the living instead of concentrating on all that was lost.

Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2015, 10:42:14 pm »
Some good points! Laurna, there could well be some sort of surveillance over that emergency Portal area, but if so, I'm just as sure that someone--possibly Karim--took care to ensure that nothing remained on the surveillance tapes that could positively identify anyone there. "Wow, what an odd technical glitch, how could that have happened? Dunno, I'm just a doctor/Healer, not a computer tech...." ;)

Sophia is used to stressful situations, having worked in the Emergency Department of one of Gwynedd's largest hospitals, where she's had to take charge of situations a time or two despite being a very junior doctor on the totem pole, so to speak. Maybe that's not the most conventional training for being a Queen, but it will have to suffice.

I'd like to think Kelson would be proud of his modern descendant, Demercia. He'd probably see a fair bit of Araxie in her too, despite her having almost no physical similarities to her great-great-great-*cough!*-something-grandmother. The bit with Elspeth was a bit of a surprise to me, although that bit of backstory ended up subconsciously suggesting an even larger plot surprise later on in the story.

Thank you, drakensis! Truth be told, I found myself ever so slightly intimidated by "Dr Formacek" in this scene. I wouldn't have wanted to have been in poor Karim's or Alicia's shoes!  :D

Yes, revanne, Gwynedd is definitely the real world! Now if I could just figure out how to get there.... ;D And yes, the paparazzi are just as traumatized as the rest of the population right now. They're all for a good photo and a good news scoop, but the last thing any of them would want would be to leak the story of where their Queen is hiding and put her in any more danger. So even if one of them were to suspect she was at Tre-Arilan, I think they'd wait until she was safely moved elsewhere before breaking that news. And even the most avid anti-monarchists in Gwynedd don't necessarily want to see another terrorist attack on Gwyneddan soil just to be rid of the monarchy!

Yes, Jerusha, Sophia will have quite a bit of adjustment to do, not just to her new role as Queen, but also with having to present a public face of strength and leadership while privately going through a great deal of grief and uncertainty. Jen and Eilonwy will be coming more into play in future chapters of the story. And you might say Sophia has the upper hand with the CC under the circumstances, at least for now.

Yes, Laurna, there was a long list of casualties from the bombing,and it's still quite fresh in everyone's minds. When trying to consider the impact on Gwyneddan society and the City of Rhemuth in particular, I imagined the hours and days immediately following 9/11 combined with the public outpourings of grief after Princess Diana's death to figure out what sort of coverage might have been filling the news screens 24/7 and what sorts of scenes might be taking place in the streets of Rhemuth, particularly with impromptu memorials springing up around the Cathedral, since emergency crews are still keeping people away from the vicinity of the ruined Castle for both police security and public safety reasons.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Shiral

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 12:42:26 am »
Yes, I think Kelson and Araxie would BOTH be proud of Sophia, right now. So would her more immediate family, if they knew how competently she had assumed her new rank which she never expected to have to do. She's showed she has the poise, and also the authority to be formidable. Not a whit intimidated by the whole Camberian Council, including the grumpy Elspeth. (Or at least not outwardly.)  Even Kelson was a bit taken aback to learn of the Council's existence on HIS first encounter with them.  And I think Sophia  has at least gained Elspeth's respect, if only grudgingly. But since Elspeth is ready to help Violet whom she doesn't especially like, while being conscious of the debt she owes her, it shows Elspeth's  instincts are basically good.

Enjoyed this chapter. Next one, please!
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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 12:17:56 pm »
LOL! The next one comes out late Saturday night, though I will leave it up to you to guess the number of minutes, since I don't even know that myself.  ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline NavaWazr

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2015, 06:18:05 pm »
Read chapter on phone when it came out. The week has been much easier as the good people are still alive and the next chapter is expected to be posted within the next 823 minutes, Pacific Time.
I realized that I wanted to be Deryni, would have loved to be another niece of Uncle Azim, perhaps living on a Fianna vineyard.... but I'm a never wazzer

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Seven
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2015, 09:03:31 pm »
Read chapter on phone when it came out. The week has been much easier as the good people are still alive and the next chapter is expected to be posted within the next 823 minutes, Pacific Time.

LOL! Not that you're counting.  ;)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

 


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