We Have Arrived
We flew for what seemed like an eternity. My quarters on the ship were no bigger than the cell of the Telenir warlord, and, from the looks of his cell, no more comfortable. At least I was free from hour after hour of practicing, mainly because there was no place to do so. The ship was sparse, the food was sparse, and the “important people” spent all their time in conference while I languished in my shabby little box. Jasreth was there a lot of the time, and that did make it better, but I was so nervous that visiting was a chore. My mind was too full for anything but trepidation.
There was no huge fanfare when we landed, and I found out later they didn’t know we were coming. That made me feel a little better. I’d hate to think they knew of our mission and were unimpressed. As it was, we took them completely by surprise. The ship was put into orbit, and we were given instructions as to where to land the smaller craft.
We stepped out into the blinding sunshine, and to make matters worse the huge building beside us was pure white and reflected the light. I closed my eyes and all I could see was orange and yellow concentric circles. Samarra had swaddled me in a dozen or so layers of cloth, and as luck would have it, the only thing exposed was my eyes. We were greeted by the biggest man I have ever seen in my life, and with the help of several servants we were shown into the building through a back, high entrance and taken down a blessedly dim passageway to a set of enormous apartments. There was a fountain in the entryway, and rich fabrics and furniture everywhere. Naram asked that the lights be kept dim, and the man complied. He said his name was … something … Bashkir, I think, and even speaking quietly his voice vibrated off the walls and into my chest.
He said he was Master of the Great House of Equus, and that the Dragonhorse was away, but that he would be informed that we were here. He showed us around the apartment, and it was strange indeed. There was a replicator for food and one for clothing. There was a huge pool of very warm water that he said was for bathing, though there was a total lack of privacy for doing so. When he thought us sufficiently informed he took the lesser members of our retinue next door and apparently repeated the process, because they said their apartment was exactly like ours, which was not flattering.
I have given my own room, which pleased me very much until Samarra announced that she would be staying in here with me, to protect me, though from what seemed vague. I will admit, I am happy in the sense that my nasty half-brothers can’t sneak in here and find me alone. They scare me; they really do.
The room is nice. It is simple, but very well appointed.
Servants came and offered us food and drink, though all of it was vegetation, as I feared it might be. I was willing to try it, but Samarra and Naram forbad it, saying that we had brought our own, good food. I suppose by that they meant the caronai flesh that by now has seen better days. I reminded them that this would be my diet from now on and that I might as well be getting used to it, but as usual they ignored me.
The servants were most interesting in that they didn’t act like servants at all. They were very forward and smiled at us and spoke in familiar terms and acted like they were as good as we are. They were laughing and friendly, and we were shocked to have them be so disrespectful. They didn’t bow or drop their eyes, and treated us in every way as though they were our equals. Again, and in their defense, I’m not sure they know who we are. I’m sure they act much differently in the presence of the Dragonhorse. Who is someplace other than here. I wonder what he is doing.
It is warm, and bright and very comfortable. I do believe I’ll catch up on my sleep, just in case his majesty makes that hard for a few nights after we wed. I hope his bed is as luxurious as this one.