The Message (short fiction by Iris).

April 9, 2014 | By | Reply More

The guard stepped back to make way for Sagittarius as he strode in, with his longs robes swaying out behind him. Usually the guard would have searched anyone entering for weapons before allowing them admittance, but the chancellor wasn’t someone you wanted to stop, especially when he was wearing such a determined expression. The guard heard him swear under his breath as the whole of the council glanced up from their meeting at him. He was late, and the smug expression the high advisor, Belaquin, was wearing as she made a point of glancing at her watch probably wasn’t helping improve the chancellor’s mood either.

The rest of the council were a mix of annoyance and expectancy. Only Brachium’s expression was impossible to read, but that wasn’t new. As Sagittarius hastened to the table he sat next to Brachium who was at the head, as was only customary for the King; or better said Guardian of the Realm, seeing as Brachium only controlled a portion of Tzartzarium. It had been divided after the war, when too many people’s lust for power had threatened the planet. Sitting next to Brachium, Sagittarius towered over him, and you could really appreciate how he was a born fighter. Brachium, however, had a small slight frame, but what he lacked in body he certainly made up for in brain. It was he who first discovered how the power of the Orb, dug up by miners deep down under the earth’s crust, could be harnessed to do virtually anything.


The meeting continued after the brief interruption and a group of scientists reported back on the Orb. “It’s true that following a certain procedure, the Orb’s power could, in theory be harnessed, but that’s just in theory, and if something goes wrong…. Well, this is nuclear power we’re talking about.” They didn’t have to say anything more to emphasise the danger.
They had all seen the 4th Realm, if not personally, then the footage describing the after effects of the bombing. Laciuna had been in bad shape even before the Three Year War and the Truce of the Realms. It was only lucky for the rest of Tzartzarium that it was a realm located in the sky, one of a kind, held up by a mixture of sky crystals and engines. This meant rich people could afford to live where that the air was not polluted as on the ground. If it had been another realm on land, the whole planet could have died in the nuclear attack. A lot of people in the council would have had friends that died in that bombing, so the warning of the same happening to the whole kingdom got the message across.

Brachium nodded and after more council, the meeting broke up; Sagittarius, Brachium and Belaquin remaining for a private summit. With the three most influential people in the Realm, two of them harbouring a mutual hate for each other, this gathering was sure to not go as smoothly as the first. Brachium started by addressing Sagittarius, who had barely concealed his rage throughout the council. “Sagittarius, what are your thoughts on harnessing this Orb?”

Sagittarius, as was his way, jumped straight to his main point. “All you talk about is how we can advance as a civilisation, using this Orb. How we can use it for our betterment and reunite all the Realms, but we won’t have to if we use the Orb for weaponry!”

Brachium’s eyes flashed dangerously. “Are you suggesting we use this discovery as a start to a new war? We just survived the last one. A new one, especially with weapons of this level, could wipe us all out forever!”

Sagittarius banged his fist down onto the table. “This Orb is the level. There will be no need for a war if we can just obliterate everyone at the touch of a button. You talk of truces, but the other Realms will see we are weak, and when they do, they will strike!” He emphasised this with another bang on the desk. The guard rolled his eyes. All the meetings, they always got down to this. “The Realms, they need a strong ruler, one who’s not afraid to act!” So there it was then; a direct challenge to Brachium’s leadership. It was sure to happen sooner or later.
Belaquin had kept strangely quiet through the meeting, and now she was carefully studying Sagittarius’ face. Brachium saw it was pointless to argue while he was in such a mood, so quietly, but with a voice like thunder, he dismissed the meeting. Sagittarius stormed out. Belaquin hovered for a moment, and then left too.

Brachium sat at the table consulting his notes, then saw something Belaquin had left behind. It was a sheet of paper, hastily ripped off its pad, but she hadn’t left it by accident, she had left him a message. He reached over towards it, and skimmed over the words. They were hastily scribbled, but he could still make out what it said.

Don’t trust Sagittarius. He’s after the Orb.

Brachium realised a second too late where Sagittarius had gone. He was after the Orb, and although it was carefully guarded, Sagittarius would easily get inside being one of the most high up officials. He turned for the door to raise the alarm, but a figure blocked it. A figure holding an Orb.

Almost casually, the figure pointed the Orb at the guard, fixing him in its light. The guard tried to move, but the light rooted him to the spot. The light intensified and the guard’s body jerked up, then dropped to the floor. The figure turned to Brachium, then . . . BAM.

Sagittarius smiled as he turned away from the room. He had the power now. And he wouldn’t be weak. He thought back to what the scientist had said about the power of the Orb. Unlimited power. That was his kind of thing. All would bow before him.

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