Earth day

It has been decided that Sev shall stay in the capital forthwith, to assist with initiatives here and coordinate overall strategy. In part, this is because Dri wants my husband under his eye.

“You’re valuable,” Dri said to him, looking ‘shifty,’ as Sev put it.

“Like a horse?” Sev asked.

“More like a sword,” he replied.

Regarding the children, I have my way. I will relate the how and why tomorrow. I saw Nima today. She clutches her bedclothes and shakes terribly, and she did not know me. She is much worse than she was. What a difference a few weeks make. Her wrinkles are deeper, like a web of shadows laid across her face, and her eyes shine too brightly. Her breath rasps, her skin is yellowed, she stammers as she talks.

I hope that if and when I live to be her age someone puts me out of my misery. Not that I think Meyni’s mother should be – ah, well. Perhaps she will get better. She was hale and whole, at this time last year. Her condition has worsened steadily since she took to her bed.

I have not written in detail about the riots because I do not know what to say. Sev admits he put spark to dry tinder, igniting the fires in men’s hearts that roiled the city for days. The Guard was called up. Some fled, and had their heads smashed in for their trouble. Some turned their anger on the Guard, and had their heads and hands cut off. Such is the fate of sedition.

The Guard is like the Army, except that to the last man they are of high blood. More than half the lower ranks in the army are conscripts from the conquered lands, relocated and drafted. Removing two out of ten able-bodied men has a way of setting societies out of balance and keeping them vulnerable. If there is a shortage of labor, the Army can be employed, with the extra wages going to its feed and maintenance. Otherwise, armies become expensive. All that crisscrossing of displaced peasants ties the countries – provinces – together. A northern man from the jungle’s edge might have a wife and children thousands of leagues from his home.

My point is that the Imperial Guard in their pretty capes and dragon helms have no such attachments. When the Army is cruel, it is cruel in the way of armies. When the Guard is cruel, it does it to its own people, to beget terror.

What a world we live in. What a world.

Comments (2)

llubnekJune 24th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

“A northern man from the jungle’s edge might have a wife and children from thousands of leagues from his home.”

One too many “from”s in that sentence.

“A northern man from the jungle’s edge might have a wife and children from thousands of leagues away.” (since you already established a reference point, namely “the jungle’s edge”)

or

“A northern man from the jungle’s edge might have a wife and children thousands of leagues from his home.” (if he does not return home, or his wife and children do not return with him)

adminAugust 26th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

I quite liked the latter. Changed!

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