Caught in midstride Chemokai couldn’t breathe. The Queen was making her way to the head of the table and the other councillors were taking their seats. As Chemokai made his way back to his seat his heartbeat thundered in his ears. He had to make the impromptu plan work–somehow.
Without more thought, he rose and bowed before the gathering.
“Great councillors, permit me to interupt the meeting procedures to present a surprise to the house,” He scanned the room for reactions, satisfied he continued,
“Hearing of this meeting I was instantly inspired to create a work in honour
of this Council. To accompany it, I designed a marvel that awaits your pleasure in the royal gardens. If you would step out to the gardens briefly, it would be my pleasure to present it.
“Beautiful! ” Said Queen Myne “What is the theme?”
“My lady, I fear that would be giving too much away.” Chemokai said with his most charming smile.
“Hmm very well, gentlemen and lady shall we see what Sir Chemokai has for us?” said the queen
The councillors rose and milled towards the door. Chemokai found himself just behind Kakai.
“Well, well, it appears some of us have really been thinking of the planet.” Kakai snickered “What’s on your mind pretty boy? Hoping to get a bonus? ”
Chemokai chuckled “You don’t say, so that’s how you rose up the ranks. I’ll save that in my diary , might be useful if I find myself starting over again.”
With that they left the council hall and the planted recording devices. His plan worked!
The Royal gardens were at the west wing of the Palace. They had miles of impeccably groomed carpet grass speckled with roses, hibiscus, ixora and azaleas. The flowers were in full bloom red,orange and purple , a rainbow of flowers. There were trees too: almonds, mango, and tropical apples. Chemokai barely noticed this as he led The councillors to the shade of a large almond tree, where there were concrete seats.
” So,” Tokai asked, a puzzled look on his face , “Where is this “magnificent” masterpiece ?
Chemokai replied ” Sir Tokai, My queen and noble Council , there is no masterpiece. I had to find a way for us to leave the hall, I discovered it was bugged. ”
“Impossible!” said the Queen
Subla’s hands flew over her mouth in shock. she whispered a ragged “Oh my goodness.”
Kakai threw his head back and laughed “Yes! Finally! Something interesting in these parts.”
Tokai Frowned “Chemo are you very sure of this?”
Chemo didn’t respond, instead he set up his tablet and mobile projector to display the events of the past hour. when he finished the Council was silent. Each of the nobles lost in a million thoughts.
Tokai spoke next ” There is no way bugs could be placed in the Council chambers without an insider. We have a traitor in our midst.”
A gentle breeze swayed the trees and the councillors looked at each other with a sense of unease.
Kakai spoke next ” It is about time isn’t it? For so long we have drifted aimlessly, basking in past glory, content in maitaining the status quo. Our numbers have trebled but the quality of our output has plunged! It is only normal that our current state would attract trouble.” He shrugged ” My guess is it’s a rival planet planning to take us over, Dragging us into a athousand years of servitude with bronze hooks in our noses. Maybe then we will come up with a plan to stop circling the same mountain.”
“Kakai!” Subla said flashing him an angry look.
“What?” Kakai replied ” I am just stating the obvious. For years we have allowed sentiment to govern our actions. Outwardly we are doing well but beneath it all where are we? What are we? We soothe ourselves with pools of puerile praise which we lap up daily. Every lump of horseshit dumped is acclaimed as ‘Nice’ ‘Cool’ and ‘Well done”, every appalling first draft is ‘Thanked for sharing”. Even I have had to tag along with a ‘Wow’ here and there but you know what ? I am tired! I am tired of this hollow shell we have become. I am tired of the lack of standards and the hypocritical pats on the back we offer to mediocre mumblings unworthy of the space they take up. I am so tired that soon I might be the next to board an inter galactic spaceship out of here, I have had enough! Enough!
With that he sat down in a huff , tapping his feet on the grass and folding his arms as he rocked back and forth with the dregs of his fury.
Tokai stood “That is indeed enough, Kakai. Everyone here loves Enestera. That’s why we have given her our time ,talents, gifts and treasures. Life is about change. Things, people, circumstances and planets change. Our duty as gaurdians is to adapt to the change in ways that will bring benefit to our people. We need to find new answers to the questions, to ask new questions. To keep seeking, keep growing, keep fulfilling our mission, our reason for being in the in the galaxy.”
Queen Myne rose then.
“Noble councillors of Enestera you are welcome to the Royal Palace. I convened this meeting so we could deliberate and come up with ideas to curb the low quality of the exports we are currently sending out. Yes, we have been a leader in in the literati circles in this region for aeons but times are changing, readers are becoming more informed and more picky. I believe there is a way to improve the quality of our produce and the overall experience of being an Enesterian. And I know that no others hold this planet dearer to heart than you do.
The events of this morning show that our weaknesses are becoming obvious. Whoever bugged the Council chamber didn’t do it to find out our favourite colours. More so, they might have a plan to bring destruction and pain to our domain. I suggest that we think both long term and short term. First we must find a way around the current threat, then we must continue our task of forging a way forward for the planet. ” She paused satisfied that she had their total attention, she continued.
“We have to split ourselves and begin urgent problem-solving.
First we have to find out who planted the bugs in the hall. Then we have to come up with viable plans to improve the quality of our products and our overall quality of life on the planet. Lastly we need to find where our best brains are going. Where is Kyla? Weirdkai, Enola, Quela, Jeffla, Makai? We need asnwers to these very fast.”
” I have an idea.”
Everyone turned towards the speaker, surprised.
To be continued.