Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dreams of Stars Part 28

      Minister of Education Malcolm Donalds loved to swim. His biographies said as much, pointing to his long career as a swimmer since high school and through college. Those same biographies failed to mention that Malcolm Donalds never got a medal in any event, but that wasn't the point, the point was that he swam, a lot. So it came to no one's surprise when he had a very large pool installed at his residence in the capital.

      It was the condition of that pool that surprised most people. Instead of the clean, crisp blue, his pool was green with algae and filled with scum and large water born plants. Special pumps had been installed to move water through the system, scum and all, but there were no filters, no chlorination and no pool boys to clean it. Because of this, Minister Donalds swam in his pool alone. Not that he minded, he preferred the pool to be “dirty.” It meant that there was more oxygen in the water to wash over his gills.

      His biographies didn't know he had gills either.

      His biographies did know he never stopped working. Even as he made his laps around the pool perimeter, he was thinking about his various projects. Test scores were up, pleasing everyone from the Prime Minister down to the weakest member of the Parliament. They all, of course, took credit, but knew that Minister Donalds was, in fact, responsible for the good work. Restructuring the tests to more accurately measure the education level of students had been a simple enough task, and had earned him many friends and allies in the Parliament.

      His real task had been hiding the fact that his Ministry had become one of the most efficient in the country and that they were so far under budget that the surplus money that was being given to them would have made even the biggest ministries as green as his pool. Hide this fact he did, however, shifting the extra funds to his “special projects.” These projects ranged from building the Tameran Asylum, then stocking its more secretive levels with so called “super solider” programs. The military and intelligence services couldn't have been more thrilled with his special projects, as he had specifically leaked them information about them, then started feeding them bits and pieces. In the process, he had earned the respect and admiration of many of the generals and other key figures in the upper reaches of the government.

      All this was the groundwork for his great educational restructuring project that he only announced a few days earlier. The goal was a complete revamp of the very structure of education in the country. It was going to get a lot of resistance from the teachers unions, the local boards and more, all with vested interests in keeping the level of education in the country to a minimum. It had taken Donalds years to make sure the project would pass, no matter which party was in charge, which Prime Minister, and even if Donalds himself was taken out of the picture.

      As he completed yet another lap, skimming the slime covered sides of the pool, he realized that was a very real possibility tonight. His last meeting of the night had been set only a couple hours ago, hidden in a pattern of identification numbers, addresses, birth dates and bank account numbers. He was pleased that she had finally caught up to him without ripping out a continent or two, even if the slight chance of derailing his well laid plans would be the result. Slight chance, less than one percent.

      That said, she certainly had left a trail of bodies in her wake. The massacre at the CDPC would have driven his restructuring plan from the front pages if he had tried to announce it a day earlier, or if he hadn't been able to convince the involved parties to withhold the reality of the event from the public for a couple of days. 35 people had died and little evidence was given on the culprit, aside from a vague description from one Sergeant Blake about two women, a tall blond and a dark skinned, black haired one, who were the last people he saw before being hit from behind. There was also a name he remembered: Patricia Igningus.

      Donalds wouldn't learn of this name until a couple days later. In the meantime, another explosion killed eleven soldiers in a truck while searching for the fugitive women. This made the front page along with the announcement of the education reform project. That night, the Asylum experienced its own massacre, ten people died, several more were wounded. There was still some confusion as to what happened, but it is clear the alarms went off when the tank containing Patricia had been breached. At which point, the soldiers guarding the doors began firing on anyone who approached. How and why this happened was still not understood, at least to anyone who wasn't Donalds. He knew exactly what happened, as soon as his aid had reported back to him.

      Still, there was no sign she had found him yet. No ripping out of continental plates, no mass riots or even nuclear war. Nothing but the same old, same old, that is until six people and a diner suddenly appeared in the capitol as if they had always been there. Within their vital statistics was a message only he would understand or recognize. It said simply: Coming at 7:30.

      A warning flashed before him, indicating he had only a few more minutes left before she was set to arrive. More than enough time for a couple more laps. He swung around and made a mad dash around the pool. If his biographers could only see the speeds he could achieve, they'd wonder why he hadn't won any medals. He hadn't, of course, because he had merely inserted himself into history, and didn't want to take away anyone's achievements. Even now, though, this speed wasn't his top speed, it was all he could manage with this human shell he wore.

      At precisely 7:30 pm, the door to the natatorium opened and two women stepped through. He swam over to the nearest edge of the pool to them, then did a quick dive to the bottom of the pool. He pulled a mass of water over his gills, reveling in how good it felt, thinking of all his plans one more time. With a final, water filled sigh, he pushed himself upwards, toward the surface.

      Then The Ritch 'arrd climbed out of the pool.



1. What kind of person is Lcorn L'lorne? What does she look like (in your mind)?
2. What kind of person is the Deborah Ignigus? What does she look like (in your mind)?
3. Long in coming, what kind of person is The Ritch 'arrd?  What does his human form look like (in your mind)?
4. Does the setting seem fitting? Would you like to know more?

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