12: God Emperor of Kathoom IV
The Bulikaya Particle
Location: Konaar, capitol city of Kathoom
Timeline: 3,946 years A.R.
Tags: Rita Bulikaya
Running through the cavernous grand hall of the God Emperor’s palace, the middle aged woman had a bit too much gray in her hair for her age and a few too many age lines for someone who rarely suffered under the beating sun of the city. In truth, on most days, hers was a job that rarely gave her a reason to run.
But today was not an ordinary day. Holding up the hem of her long, orange green and gold robes off of the edge of the polished marble floor, her breath was heavy and beads of sweat ran down her brow. While it was always hot on Kathoom, even in the halls of the great palace, the sweat came instead from anxiety.
As she reached the tall double doors to the conference room of the God Emperor of Kathoom, who ruled all he saw from on high as the voice of the Ritaris and the teller or the will of Fedra’shuun, she stopped to catch her breath and adjust her robes of office. Even in a crisis, it would not do for the Royal advisor… the Hand of the God Emperor… to be seen in such a haggard state.
Pulling open the great door, the hinges that still needed oil on them creaked, a piercing sound that echoed through the great rotunda of the conference room. In the center, was a triangular table that, from above, was the familiar shape of a Starfleet Delta. Around the perimeter of the table were 6 men in robes, all looking at the man in the large, gilded chair sitting atop a raised dias at the end of the point of the table.
Leaning with a dull, irritated expression was a somewhat young man, looking to be no older than maybe twenty five by Human standards. He wore ornate red and gold robes with a shorn head that was a deep maroon color. On his brow, a golden band that had a carved jade Delta in it’s center.
Looking at the doors that had just opened, the young man, now known by no name other than the God Emperor of All Kathoom scoffed and rolled his eyes. “What is it, Aunt N'Ryssa? Have I not given instructions that I am not to be disturbed when speaking with the heads of the commerce guilds?”
His voice was shrill and petulant as he leaned heavily upon the word ‘aunt’, reminding the woman named N'Ryssa of her place. He regularly refused to refer to her by her official title of ‘Emperor’s Hand’, a childish affectation he used to protest at the position his mother, the former God Empress, had appointed her sister to help guide the young man. It was clear that he resented having an advisor, but preferred to embarrass her, as even the God Emperor had to consult the council of the sun to fire an advisor appointed to her position by a past ruler.
On Kathoom, the only law an Emperor or Empress could not defy was the laws of the past Emperors. For that, it took a unanimous vote of the council of the sun: the Priests of the Ritaris. And the Priests of Ritaris liked their petulant Emperor to be off guard. So, N'Ryssa remained his Hand, much to his irritation.
“You have so decreed, my Emperor. However, there are situations dire enough to merit an interruption, and as your advisor, it is to me to decide what those are.” N'Ryssa said as she walked past the older, robed men in their seats. “Gentlemen, the God Emperor has other business more pressing to attend to. I suggest you take your leave of us now. The guards will escort you to safety.”
At the table, there was much harumphing and muttering of angry, rich men not used to being told what to do, but N'Ryssa was used to being obeyed and she snapped her narrow gaze at the main doors, where a dozen guards stamped their pikes upon the marble floor to make their presence known. “Perhaps I should change the word ‘suggest’ to something more clear. Leave us, NOW. The God Emperor has more important matters to attend to than your mongering of wealth.”
Quickly, the guards rushed the robed men out the doors, leaving the two alone. Standing up in a huff, the young ruler was redder than normal, his face twisted in a scowl. “How DARE you make me look a fool in front of the guild members, Aunt…”
“Quiet, young one. While I know how you feel about me and my position here, this is NOT about me. You must calm yourself and hear me.” N'Ryssa said, trying to change her tone to a more familial one, which served to only anger him more as her stomped down from his throne, finger jutting towards her.
“Law or no, I have had enough of this, I am the GOD EMPER….” He shouted, before she cut him off with a stronger voice.
“THE RITARIS IS HERE, C’DIOS!! Here, now, in this city! She stands, reborn with what looks to be near half the peasantry of the city behind her and she is at the gates NOW to speak to YOU!” N'Ryssa snapped, using the given name that was abandoned when one took the throne.
At her words, he blanched slightly, and his eyes widened.
“The… the Ritaris!? Impossible. She was… just a myth! A story meant to frighten children,” The God Emperor said, the anger in his voice, replaced by uncertainty.
“That story is walking this way, right now. The guards reported that she waved her hand and cut through a ten foot thick wall. Every guard she encounters lowers their pikes and JOINS her.” N'Ryssa said sternly, adjusting her robes. “You should not be here, young one. You are the God Emperor. You should make haste to the bunker, where it is safe.”
“What!? No, I must show strength, let the people…” Her replied, but was cut off again as she raised a hand, and two guards from the hall stepped up to her.
“Magistrates. Escort the God Emperor to safety. The lower hold… with the guild members… until it is declared safe. No harm must befall him, understood.”
“Understood, Hand.” The guards responded and stepped around their ruler, whose eyes narrowed as he hissed at her.
“This… this is a COUP! There is no RiTARis! This is you! Guards, obey ME! Take HER to the palace hold! NOW!!!” The God Emperor raged, pointing at his aunt, who didn’t waver.
But the guards simply took him by the arms and began walking him to the rear of the room as he struggled against their grip.
“This order to protect you came from the Council of the Sun, C’Dios.” N'Ryssa said coldly. “Obey it and you will sit upon that throne when this matter is resolved.”
“TRAITORRRR!!!! This will NOT stand!!!!” He shrieked as the guards opened a hidden door in the rear of the chamber and closed it behind them. As they did, more guards from the door stepped up to N'Ryssa.
“My Hand, what are your orders? Reports from the wall say the Ritaris has breached the inner ring of the city. She is at the foot of the great palace.” The head Magistrate said with a salute as she turned and stood in front of the now empty throne.
“Deploy the Thunder battalions. I want three Phalanxes at the perimeter of the palace. I want a full deployment of our finest archers on the battlements. That woman is no GODDESS! She is a pretender from the Deadlands, playing on ancient superstitions, and I would have words with her. Drive back her followers, take her into custody, and bring her before me.”
With a salute, the head Magistrate barked back, “It is the Way, My Hand.” and turned back to the large, ornate doors of the room.
Alone for the moment, N'Ryssa sunk her shoulders a bit and exhaled. She had a lot of work to do in a very short time.
Her day of destiny, it seemed, had arrived.