Fall of a Senator: Episode 8

Radhnar lounges under a tree in the moonlit park, a few city blocks from the art gallery where tonight's charity event was held. It's a couple of weeks since he donated, so his naztehr should be able to zlin him from a considerable distance.

Radhnar nurses the last few drops of liquid in his soda bottle, wondering what's taking Triangusul so long.

Triangusul walks up quickly for a Sime who's out-Territory: that is, fast enough to get somewhere, not fast enough to frighten the Wild Gens.

Triangusul: Sorry, naztehr. These things take time.

Radhnar stands and brushes a few twigs from his dressy trousers.

Radhnar: No problem. Did you have trouble getting away, or was it interesting enough to be worth staying for?

Triangusul: I was about to ask you that!

Radhnar: Oh, I had no trouble getting away; I've been here nearly half an hour.

Triangusul: How did things go in the hall after I left, then? Was there concern? Obviously there was no panic, but what did the liberal Big Tuib say?

Triangusul is avoiding proper names again.

Radhnar: He made a quick little speech. Sorry for the disruption, minor medical emergency. Then he went straight into his planned speech about the fundraiser, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Triangusul: Good, good. I think.

Triangusul: Well, as I mentioned, there's a good chance that the conservative one will find himself the recipient of emergency medical treatment from a Sime. How he's going to make that fit together with his announced policy on interaction with Simes is a question that we'll have to watch very closely in the next week or so.

Triangusul: On the one hand, he could argue that what isn't permissible as a matter of policy is permissible in an emergency, particularly as the room was not Sime Territory when he entered it. On the other, he may decide that his conscience requires him to interpret his vow strictly.

Radhnar: Now that's going to be a drama worth watching. This will put him under a lot more scrutiny, no matter how he chooses to respond. Do you think the little thing with his cousin will come out once folks start zlinning around?

Triangusul: Hmm. I wish I knew. As far as I know there is no plan on our side to leak the matter. Have you heard otherwise?

Radhnar: No. My guess is it will be kept under wraps. With another man, I'd say keep it and use it for leverage, but this one's quite honorable, in a strangely out-T sort of way. He'd probably take the berserker by the wrists if he were pushed with it.

Triangusul: Still, do we want to get rid of him, only to replace him by another from the same party with unknown characteristics?

Radhnar: Frankly, I like the guy. Under all the posturing, he seems a reasonable and intelligent man.

Triangusul nods agreement.

Radhnar: So no, I'd rather not see him pushed to the breaking point. In fact, if anything, I think we'd do well to protect his position if we can.

Triangusul: Which is best achieved by doing nothing. Do we need to tell the liberal one or the diplomat anything? My sense is no. They're at least as smart as we are.

Triangusul smiles.

Radhnar: Smart, yes, but the former is definitely a bit reckless. His wrists are in the right place, but I keep expecting him to trip over his own bootlaces.

Triangusul: True enough, but the same point I expressed applies to him. He too would rather deal with a berserker in the family.

Radhnar: So we do nothing for the moment, then?

Triangusul: For the foreseeable future, I should say. Of course, today's lesson is that the future isn't foreseeable.

Radhnar: Indeed. Are we even sure the man will make it through? Did the diplomat get to him in time?

Triangusul: I can't say. As of the last time I saw him, the issue was still in doubt.

Triangusul has practice at equivocation.

Radhnar purses his lips.

Radhnar: Should we be considering contingencies, then? Who would be his stand-in?

Triangusul: In this circumstance? I can't even offer a guess. I simply don't know enough about his district. As far as I know, the only other Big Tuibs who have resigned have done so in disgrace, which this isn't. Exactly.

Radhnar: At least, not yet. And may never be, if he's healthy enough to manage the consequences himself. On the other wrist, if he's ill, the vultures may gather.

Triangusul: I think we can absolutely assume that if he is replaced, it will be by a relative who shares his philosophy.

Radhnar: But may be less honorable?

Triangusul: Indeed.

Radhnar: Let's hope the diplomat was quick and effective, then.

Triangusul: Yes. But it was at best only a stopgap effort, and it may be that neither channels nor anything else can keep him working much longer.

Radhnar: In which case, we should put more effort into the long term. A little expenditure, perhaps, applied back where he lives? Or should we turn our attention to other pieces on the chessboard?

Triangusul: The latter, I believe. But you need your beauty sleep, naztehr, and I need to see a man about a dog.

Triangusul literally translates some Genlan idioms.

Radhnar: Very well. Good night, then, and give my regards to Mother if you zlin her.

Triangusul: Of course.

Radhnar turns and, without further ado, drifts Gen-slowly into the darkness between the trees.

Triangusul heads for home, thoughtful. "Mother" will indeed be interested.

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