h1

Glint Part 1 – Piece 11

February 3, 2012

11.

“Yes, of course,” Bernie said stroking the long grey tassels of his mustache. “You’ll feel better once you know she is safe.”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” Guus said. “If I were you, I’d leave the empire like all the rest of the gilten. I mean, if I were me and I were a gilten that’s what I’d do.”

“She can’t survive out there, she doesn’t know the world and she doesn’t know herself.” Old Bubble slapped his belly as an exclamation. “I don’t think it will be too hard to see the emperor.”

“The emperor? I just want to find the girl…I don’t even know her name.”

“Her name is Clara. I don’t think that is her real name, but that is the name the emperor gave her. We have to see the emperor because the emperor has her. She is his consort.”

“She is the emperor’s what?” Freij’s voice was a discordant melody. “Concert?”

“You know…consort,” Guus said.

“No.”

“She’s a prisoner, in a sense…” Guus said, looking at his elders then back to her. “But, she’s more like a princess. Hey, it isn’t too bad. I mean, he is a robot, he can’t exactly…you know.”

“Guus! What goes through yer head? Eh?” Bernie said looking at Guus and lowering his epic, grey eyebrows. “What he means, dear, is that she’s had a good life- has a good life. What she needs and wants she gets and then some. And she’s a beauty, too, my word. You’d have to be to be a princess.”

“I see,” Freij said quietly in a sound that could have otherwise been a bell chime.

“Look, I wouldn’t worry about her. She lives in a palace. If I were her I’d be happy. Happy as…as anything that’s happy. Happier than me, anyway,” Guus said.

Bernie tossed his empty beer back into the box and then swung on Guus with a cruel looking finger. “I know what you’re thinking, Guus. If you’re too scared of the emperor to help a poor lady out, then just keep your mouth shut. Isn’t it enough all she’s gone through? She has no one else. The least we could do is help her see the girl, right?”

“I don’t need to tell you where I stand,” Tomas said.

“What are you saying? In a day you two have just decided to march off and visit the emperor? Doesn’t it sound just a little crazy leaving like this?”

“The decision has already been made,” Tomas said. “The moment I stepped in and took her from old Eric it was decided. You think word won’t spread? Hasn’t spread already? You think Eric and Buddy won’t be trying to make as much money off their find as they can make stick to their greasy little fingers? The Baron of Umber will be fully informed by tomorrow morning, and what happens then?”

“Then you’ll be seeing the emperor eventually anyway,” Bernie said.

“And you have just dragged me into this? Oh, don’t look at me like that, Bern… Oh, the hell with you old gazzas. What else am I gonna do? I’ve gotta come now, don’t I?”

“Then let me tell you what we do,” Tomas said.

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