Thalia and Earth
Chapter 1: Secrets
Lamar left Llewellyn’s office with a frown on his face. A quarrel had erupted and he had been ordered to nay speak those words again. He hurried down to the Ops Room where Beatrice, his wife, was working. He was relieved to see she was standing up as though getting ready to leave.
“Can ye walk a bit with me ere ye return to whatever it tis ye do here?”
Beatrice looked her counselor. His hair was almost white and his brown eyes were filled with puzzlement. His right arm that had been destroyed by the Justines, hung loose from his shoulder. He was fine when he plied his Warrior’s trade, but as someone confined to the ground, Lamar was not the most proficient being when dealing with others. He, like herself, had kept his Warrior’s body and except for the right arm most of his muscle power. She couldn’t fault him the white hair, but it was worrisome.
“Of course, I can, Lamar, as I was about to leave for lunch. Andrew and Linan have their tracking set in such a way that I rarely have enough to keep me busy. I’m hoping things improve as much as Llewellyn predicts and others are trained to do this work. Then I can spend more time at the Warriors and Flight Academy.”
They walked outside. Lamar was tight-lipped and glancing back and forth. Once they were outside in the walled section of compound, Beatrice turned.
“Lamar what tis wrong?”
“What makes ye think something tis wrong? I just need to discuss something, mayhap receive your counsel. My words seem to do nay but antagonize my Maca.”
Beatrice stared at him. It wasn’t her imagination. The man was truly agitated.
“Lamar, what did ye do?”
I have done nay.” His denial was emphatic. “Tis Llewellyn and that, that one he calls his laddie. They will nay listen.”
Beatrice sighed. She knew Lamar meant well, but his advice for everyday living could be irritating. “And to what will they nay listen?”
“Lorenz and that Ab woman canna marry. Tis wrong.”
Beatrice shook her head. “Lamar, if ye mean the Kenning Woman, Llewellyn has named her and made her a Tri. Once she tis healed, he can appoint her to a position of worth and she will be House. Tis better this way. Who in any of the Houses would wish to marry a Justine mixed with some primitive planet’s genes? It tis a perfect solution.”
Lamar was shaking his head. “Ye dinna ken. She tis apt to talk.”
“About what? She has been a land Ab these many years.”
“She will tear this House apart.” Desperation was building in Lamar’s voice.
“Lamar, what have ye done? Did ye bed her ere the Sisters tried to kill her? I paid nay attention to that gossip I heard about ye taking her to the Warrior’s Haven.”
Lamar swallowed. “I did nay bed her.”
Beatrice reached out and grasped both his hands with hers. “Lamar, why did ye take her there?”
“It was to be but a temporary arrangement before sending her inland. Rollo said it would be a way to silence her. How could I ken that the Sisterhood would find her and try to kill her?”
“But why did ye go along with that scheme? Why would ye want her silenced?”
“Rollo said the Sisterhood would come after us if she continued to say Don would be restored. He kenned she was nay a true Kenning Woman.”
“Lamar, her predictions have come true. Llewellyn tis back, his laddie tis with him, his eyes are the color of a blind man, and Don and Donnick are being restored. Of course, she tis the Kenning Woman.
Lamar was shaking his head. “Nay, Rollo said...”
“Bah, Rollo said!” Beatrice was exasperated. “Rurhran hates the woman. They feared Rocella would make an idiot of herself over her, and they certainly didn’t want Don to have the kine and sheep back. Llewellyn and Lorenz had to take the kine before the Sisters attacked. If our victory over the Sisters hadn’t been so complete, Rurhran would still try to keep everything.”
“We are Warriors!” Lamar roared. “Nay kinemen. Even that Lorenz fought better than I thought such a skinny body could fight.”
“Lamar, Lorenz tis a kineman. Have ye nay listened to the tales LouElla and Llewellyn have told us about their life on his planet? Ye need to go to Llewellyn and confess what ye did and apologize.”
“Why? I did nay wrong. She tis an Ab. Who would care about her? It would be better to encourage Lorenz to see more of Lettuce.”
Beatrice felt like shaking him. “Lettuce tis but in her sixties. She tis too young to wed. Lorenz tis ready to wed as LouElla claims he has some sort of strange beliefs that he should be married ere bedding.”
“He tis in Thalia. He has nay need to follow the laws of his planet.”
“Tis nay a law of that planet. Many of the people there have kept their Book and try to follow its directives. Have ye nay heard the reports? He reads some black book almost every day according to his Laird’s Home Director.”
“I tell ye, the man tis mad. I will nay apologize for what tis right in Thalia.”
Chapter 2: Changing of the Guard
The first meeting of the Guardians of the Realm after the Sisterhood’s Rebellion had been temporarily thrown into panic when Betta, Guardian of the Realm, stood and announced, “I have grown eld. My decline starts soon, and I will nay sit in judgment of my lassie, Beauty.”
She held her white head straight, but her lips and skin were almost grey. She bowed to the minor House members, Tris and Abs seated in the tiers facing the rostrum. Then she bowed to the left and right where members of House were seated before leaving the rostrum and descending the stairs to exit the building.
Jolene, Guardian of Ayran, her brown eyes gleaming was ready and she spoke. “I think we should all thank Betta for her service, but we have much to do this eve. I nominate LouElla, Guardian of Flight.”
Cheers erupted from the tiers facing the Council members. A small smile played on the Maca of Don’s face and amusement lurked in his dark eyes. Llewellyn realized Jolene was doing exactly as she had said and promised. She had also brought her Tri population with her to sit among the predominantly Don Tris and add to the cheers.
Ravin, Maca and Guardian of Rurhran, glanced to see who she could count on to nominate her, but Magda, Maca and Guardian of Medicine, was on her feet shouting, “LouElla, LouElla!” The promise of the Sisterhood that Ravin would be the next Guardian of the Realm forgotten.
The other stunned Council members voted for LouElla. LouElla appointed her brother, Lamar, Guardian of Don, as Counselor of the Realm, and her laddie, Llewellyn, Maca of Don, as Guardian of Flight. Llewellyn had no choice but to appoint Lavina temporary Guardian of Don. He could nay appoint his laddie, Lorenz, until the Claiming Rite had been approved and completed.
As soon as they were all reseated, LouElla began her speech. Her hair was graying, but her body was still a Warrior’s body and her voice was firm.
“Guardian and Counselors of the Realm, I thank ye for this honor. As ye all ken, there tis much on the docket this evening. Our first duty tis to make Thalia safe for all again.
“Our first vote is to restore Thalia under our rules. Then we will reinstate Troyner as Maca of Troy. Nest the traitorous Sisters that fought to bring Don, Troy, Ishner, Brendon, and Ayran down will be sentenced. I suggest that Beauty and Belinda be tried separately and that the rest be adjudged by their own Guardians. Either way the labor force of Ayran will increase.
Once those issues are settled, Llewellyn, Maca of Don, will request the Claiming Rite for his Earth laddie, Lorenz, and then Llewellyn will be joined by Brenda, Maca of Betron, in a request to Walk the Circle. I’m told that once the reseating of Troyner as true Maca of Troy tis completed, he and Lady Marta of Medicine are making like plans. This tis truly a new beginning for Thalia.”
A few cheers and light clapping rippled through the crowd before the dull business of voting for the laws of Thalia, the names of the traitorous Sisters were read and sentenced to prison time and then as Abs for the rest of their lives. The seating of Troyner as Maca of Troy brought a few cheers.
The crowd leaned forward when Beauty and Belinda were brought before the Council of the Realm. Both had wires around their wrists. Beauty was six feet, five inches tall and heavily muscled as a Thalian Warrior. She held her head high and glared at all. Belinda was shorter, a softer round version of the House of Betron. She was bewildered and looking frantically for any ally, but saw nay in the Council. Even those from the House of Ishner or Rurhran refused to look at her and she knew they were doomed.
“Beauty, Lass of Betron and Belinda, Lass of Betron, ye are charged with rebellion and murderous use of force against fellow Thalians. Do either of ye have ought to say before we vote on your crimes and pronounce sentence?
“Ye may bring your lies against me, but Belinda was too devastated by her Mither’s death to participate in our fight for freedom.” Beauty spat the words at them. “Ye are charging her because she tis my counselor, nay for what she did.”
LouElla eyed the couple below. Mayhap what Beauty said was true as Belinda had nay been with any of the Sisterhood troopers. She had been found in the quarters she shared with Beauty. LouElla turned to Brenda, Maca of Betron.
“Do ye find credence in her words?”
“Aye, all ken she tis nay a Warrior.”
“In that case, I suggest we turn her over to Brenda, Maca of Betron, or declare her an Ab.”
“How would her own House detain her?” The scornful voice came from Jolene.
“I hate all of ye. I will fight ye anyway that I can. Condemn me with my counselor; nay by myself. Ye, LouElla are the one that killed my mither Ye should be on trial.”
LouElla looked at her. “As ye wish. The confinement will nay be pleasant.”
“Do nay forget they both must be judged Abs. I suggest we do that ere we finish.” Jolene was impatient, and there was always the chance Beauty would be sent to her mines.
“That leaves the matter of securing Beauty, Lass of Betron and her counselor. Who kens such a place?”
“Why nay ask Troyner to confine them in that miserable hovel where they held him and my laddie?” Brenda’s hatred of what the Sisters had done to her laddie was in her voice. “The House can take turns supplying troopers to guard her. My troopers could be sent as the first ones. Then the troopers or enforcers from the other Houses could rotate with them.”
For a moment, silence reigned among the Guardians of the Council and then Troyner spoke. “I intend to demolish that place.”
Llewellyn addressed the Council. “The cells at my Tower are capable of holding them till a place tis built or one refurbished to hold them. I suggest the holding place be on Don or Ayran. Arrangements for rotating guards from all the Houses would mean that all share in the expense.”
“Who would select such a place?” It was Raven, Maca of Rurhran.
“Why nay send her to the Justines.” Magda, Maca of Medicine spoke. It would be fitting since that tis where she made sure Llewellyn was sent as a youth.”
“That presumes the Justines would keep her. I doubt if they would oblige us even for a price.” Llewellyn’s deep voice rumbled out and others nodded and began to offer suggestions.