Come to Poitot, part 2

A fly on the wall account of an interview with Enalalon Achaert that followed the Federation’s invasion of Intaki. A sequel to the much more positive encounter three years ago, foreshadowed in this warning.

The Vratprodbuhutta Achaert is a place of winnowing, of reward and chastisement. The sparseness of the chamber’s synthetic wood beams and rush matting emphasise a single chair on a dias dominating the centre. The silence of the space is punctuated by the tinkling of a tiny dysprosium bell hanging from a pin through the piled hair of the diminutive figure occupying the chair like a brightly robed spider.


The supplicant, a wiry man with a blistered cheek, bows deeply. “I am honoured by the summons, Khararjya.”

“Well, you’re not going to like the reasons. Recent events have persuaded the Owners’ Council that those of us who favoured accommodation with the Federation were misled by advisers who are either naive or sinister…like you.”

The supplicant’s poorly hidden outrage draws a chuckle from the seated figure like a lone rock tumbling down a stony slope.

“A demonstration is called for… First, you will renounce your Federal citizenship. Second, you will re-register with Concord as an Intaki citizen of Kandashi Station. No, I don’t care how much that costs you… Third, there will be no more public statements of support for the ISP’s role in Placid. Fourth, you will publicly adopt Idic practice and make no further criticisms of the Aenebra. Finally, you are taking on new employment. She will contact you soon: your new association with the Angels will do wonders to restoring my reputation.”

A sharply pointed finger stills the protest boiling in his expression.

“Consider yourself lucky! Only my patronage spares you the fate of the en Kishari. Any failure to satisfy your new friend’s expectations and there will be no saving you from the Aenebra again.”

The supplicant bows again, touching an index finger to his left ear in a deliberate gesture of compliance.

“Yes, Khararjya Achaert.”


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