Tempest came and tempest swept
And all that’s left are my darkened eyes…
My darkened ethereal eyes
That once danced with the light of stars
And the shades of a thousand lonely memoirs.
Tempest came and tempest…”
High tide made most of the Liberty Tower at the Gables inaccessible. Only the 15th floor and the roof rose above the waters. The weathered ancient building, piercing the deep blue waters of the Northern Ocean, was a yellowish testament to a different world. It was the only visible structure as far as the eye could see. It protruded from the waters like an island. From its roof circular Parthenon-like columns jutted into the windy skies.
Wendy North was in her parlor mentally reviewing the speech she had prepared for the crowd outside. She stood in front of a desk lined up with many sheets of paper. She always wrote several versions of her speeches. When she was delivering them she always when off script; it frustrated her speech writers so much she gave up on them. She was waiting for her turn to address the multitude gathered on their boats while her brother was delivered his speech. Her husband sat at a nearby table intent on his paperwork. Hazel Zennor stood guard at the parlor’s entrance.
“One of your brother’s attendants is here to see your Ladyship,” Hazel announced.
Johan Green escorted the woman into Wendy’s parlor leaving his post next to Hazel.
“Marθia, please come in,” Wendy said while waving Johan away. “Oh, and Johan, please close the door on you way out.” She looked at her husband in silence for a moment.
“What?” He finally said as he looked up.
“I need to speak to Marθia in private.”
“I suppose that I am an untrustworthy disturbance,” Danil Resd said.
“If you want to put it that way,” Wendy North said looking at the entrance of the room.
Danil gathered his paperwork methodically and left without saying another word.
Wendy led Marθia to a light-blue sofa that contrasted against the bright yellow walls of the parlor.
“Please sit and pray tell what tidings do you have for me.”
“Thank you, your ladyship,” Marθia said sitting next to Wendy, “there are strange tidings coming from your brother’s camp.”
Wendy was not surprised. Her brother would be plotting against her at every turn. He could not lose the vote. It would be ruin his and Avanna’s plans for Indigo Isle. His fortunes were tied to his ascension as the new Premier. Democracy was only a label taped over his ambition. It was a means to achieve his goal: consolidating power onto his person. As the most visible politician in Indigo Isle, he thought he would run unopposed for the Premiership. However, he did not bargain on Hazel’s proclamation. For that matter, Wendy had not bargained on Hazel’s impetuous nomination. She would have been content to retire from the public eye for a while, but she knew very well that her brother was a menace she could not retire from.
Wendy rolled her hand, a gesture she often did, and said, “come, come, tell me all.”
“His Lord was being attended by me one night.”
“You mean you were in his bed sarding him,” Wendy interrupted, “please do dispense with the pleasantries. I sent you to him for this very reason. You are being paid handsomely to sard.”
“Yes, Lady Aquamarine,” Marθia said shifting her gaze towards the door. She lowered her voice and continued. “Anyway, Wendy, after we sarded,” she smiled, she was not a shy woman, “he went into the bathroom and, well, he made a rather strange comment.”
“Well, on with it, what did he say?”
“He said, ‘remind me to meet with Admiral Ra’s son tomorrow.’ Naturally, I did not know what he was speaking about, but I was ready to know and I asked him who, indeed, were Ra and this son of his. He replied with the son’s name, Tevon Ra.”
Wendy North placed her hand on Marθia knees to stop her. After a moment’s silence, she asked absentmindedly, “Tevon is here?”
“It seems so my Ladyship. He left early in the morning and would not tell me where he went. I thought that he was meeting with this man.” Marθia looked at Wendy North carefully. She did not know what this information meant to Wendy, but Marθia knew the many layers of deception she was wading through. She had to be very careful.
“Thank you, Marθia,” Wendy stood, “you have done well. I must review my speech. Go back to my brother and continue as you were. Let’s not meet again before the election unless it is absolutely imperative, life or death.”
Marθia stood and followed Wendy as she went to the entrance of the parlor, “as you wish, my Ladyship,” she said loudly towards the door but then lowered her voice, “but there is one more thing, Wendy.”
Wendy placed a hand on the door’s handle but held it shut, “yes,” she whispered back.
“I think your brother grows tired of me,” Marθia said looking out the window next to the entrance of the parlor. Boats in all directions stretched into the distance.
“You must be mistaken,” Wendy said as she inspected Marθia, “it’s too soon.”
“I am not mistaken. He takes me to bed much less than he used to, and I fear that he is not as open in his dealings anymore when I am around.”
“Keep at him,” Wendy said, “he will come around. It is much too soon. My brother never bores with his women this quickly.”
Marθia bowed her head slowly, pensively. Wendy opened the door and bid her farewell. As she walked past Hazel Zennor Marθia felt a sudden urge to run. She knew what happened to Josse North’s women when he was done with them and she would not suffer the same fate. If Wendy North would not provide a means of escape then she would find a way herself. But Wendy had never failed her before; she wouldn’t now.
Wendy North called Hazel Zennor into the parlor.
“Yes?” Hazel asked.
Wendy did not hesitate, “Hazel, I need you to discover what Admiral Ra’s son, Tevon Ra, is doing in Miamm.”
“Has the Admiral appeared?” Hazel asked amazed.
“I do not know, but I fear that his presence here does not bode well for us,” Wendy said looking at Hazel seriously, “If this election is lost,” her words trailed off.
“We are lost,” Hazel finished her thought.
Wendy touched Hazel’s hand softly and said, “go, find out about Tevon Ra and on your way out send in my advisors. I need to rework this speech. Do not worry Hazel, my brother can’t destroy everything. The Nation of the Isles of Warm has survived this long. A change of government will not topple it. He will not win this fight. I’ll find a way out.”
Hazel turned and exited the parlor. Wendy closed the door and thought, ‘I’m going to need another informant in my brother’s house soon enough. Maybe, I shouldn’t have played my hand with Marθia this soon.’