Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Sacrifice

From the Chronicles of House of Bhravo:

This story was told by Esmerald Nunan, 87, of Okavango, after the assassination of the Pretender, Emir Alexius Thoras, in TN1935.

Ingar Nunan was old, nearly 108 cycles, but he had seen the inside of the Emirate Palace of Okavango more than any other sajhalin alive. He sat cross-legged in his little hovel in the slums of the floating city, and smiled. He had been a loyal servant to the Bhravos, and was much loved as Raphael's first butler, and his father's before that. When Emir Thoras seized power, most of the sajhalin servants of the palace were put to death as a precaution. Old and toothless, Nunan was deemed so harmless that when the Emir discovered that the old servant was missing, he magnanimously let him live, but always kept an eye on him.

Ingar smiled at the floor mat. He knew the day would come when the Emir's mercy would run out. He didn't even look up when the security men entered his home, such as it was.

"Ingar Nunan?" a stern woman's voice barked.

"Yes, ma'am," Ingar's voice was fragile.

"I am His Excellency the Emir's havildar for security, Joneen Muhammad. Look at me," she commanded.

Ingar looked up into the face of the havildar, a ceremonial rank for a solicitor who served in the senior ranks of the emir's retinue. She was young--well, she seemed young to Ingar, who long ago lost the nuance between old and ancient--and stern looking, with a pistol at her hip, and a wicked looking dagger on her thigh. She had those fancy polarized-lens sunglasses, which were dark enough that Ingar couldn't make out her eyes. Which was probably the intent.

"Yes ma'am, I am Ingar Nunan," he said simply, "former servant to the Bhravo household."

"Nunan, I am very busy. Tell me what I need to know, so that I might leave this..." she looked around, dismayed, "household."

Ingar nodded, eyes half-closed.

"How many tunnels are there under the Emirate palace?" Muhammad asked.

Ingar nodded, smiling, "only one," he lied, "most were sealed when Emir Bhravo's father became Emir, and the Emirate palace's basement was set up as a bunker. The tunnels were very dangerous, and infested with all sorts of swamp creatures. They were deemed unsanitary, and filled in."

"One. You are sure."

"Yes ma'am," Ingar smiled tiredly, "just one. Was it used during the attempt on the Pretender's life last season?"

Muhammad scowled, "the Emir does not believe you, and neither do I. Take him!" she barked to her subordinates, who came forward, grabbed old Ingar Nunan, and took him away. His daughter Esmerald was taken as well.

Ingar Nunan never divulged the truth, and the secrets of the tunnels died with him in the dungeon of the Emirate Palace of Okavango.


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.