By Douglas E. Gogerty
Prince William was in a small interrogation room with the stunning fourteen-year-old Princess. They sat across each other at the central table in plain wooden chairs. The Prince was attempting to determine his standing as Princess Angelina had told him that he was dead.
"How did you become so ruthless?" asked Prince William.
"Ruthless?" asked the Princess. "I was not the one who attempted to sell me to your father for a paltry stretch of land. To me -- that is ruthless. What I am doing is self-preservation."
"Yet you will let me die here."
"While that may be an eventuality, I do not think it will actually occur."
"Why is that?"
"You could be valuable to me -- if I choose to act ruthlessly."
"What does that mean?"
"It means you may get the chance to die somewhere else," the Princess laughed.
"That is not very funny," sulked the Prince.
"It is, but you lack perspective to have a sense of humor about such things."
"Oh! Very funny," sneered the Prince. "So, what happens now?"
"I have been exploring the resources of the city, and you will be free to do the same."
"What kind of resources?"
"There is an ancient library here. Fascinating stuff."
"You have been reading?"
"Education is the surest way to have a say in your future."
"That is crazy!"
"Oh yeah? You were convinced of this Prophecy of yours. With a little manipulation, you wandered into the Forbidden Zone at your own peril. For what purpose? To get the chance to marry someone that someone else told you would be worthy of you?"
"What is your point?"
"If you had enough knowledge, you would know that prophecy is bunk. It is just a tool to manipulate."
"Be that as it may, I was taking a chance to get land to call my own."
"And, what of this land? It is on the gulf coast. Raiders regularly besiege the coast and pirates are constantly on patrol along its shores. It is not the jewel that your father makes it out to be."
"But, it would be my land, which is important to someone who is not the heir to the kingdom."
"Well, it would be your until someone took it away from you. You would need to recruit a navy to keep it. This would be quite an expensive undertaking -- if you were smart enough to pursue it."
"But your father was willing to take the land."
"As I have said, my father has been less than truthful."
"Your father could deal with the raiders and pirates?"
"My father has assembled quite a navy."
"It was a requirement for doing business across the sea. He has allied himself with some powerful naval powers."
"No one in Morica knows of this," responded Prince William. "Do they?"
"No one -- except those closest to my father, and those of us in Forbidden Zone. It is important to him that it stays that way."
"Another reason I must stay here."
"Your curiosity gets you in deeper and deeper. Nonetheless, this is not such a bad place. Lots of things to do and lots to learn."
"Well, I would not go that far, but it is pretty nice. No snow. Lots of sunshine. Unfortunately, it also gets pretty darn hot outside, but the cooling systems of the buildings are quite remarkable."
"Cooling on this scale is remarkable. How do the accomplish this?"
"That is a good question. You should look it up in the library."
"Knowledge is power. I must take my leave of you now. You are free to wander about, but please try not to cause any trouble. I would hate to have to lock you up -- or worse."
"Yes ma'am," replied the Prince almost saluting.
"When I am ready to leave this place, I will do my best to get you out of here. That is, if you still wish it by then."
Princess Angelina gracefully arose from the chair in which she was sitting and walked to the door. It opened and she said a few words to the guard. He nodded and she walked off.
Prince William sat at the table for a few moments. He considered his options. He was not sure what he was going to do. For now, he did decide that he would not cause any trouble. After pondering things for a while, he arose and walked to the door. The guard let him out, but followed behind him.
The Prince wandered about the building. It was an ancient hotel. He walked into a great hall where there were vast numbers of people sitting at these strange electronic machines. There was a strange language drifting across the room. The Prince did not recognize it as one of the languages spoken in Morica. These must have been people from across the sea.
The people sitting at these buzzing and whirring machines had an exotic air to them. They did not look that different from some of the groups living in his kingdom, but there was something different from them. As he walked passed watching them, they did not look up from the flashing machines in which they were operating.
The Prince wondered what they were doing. It must have been some sort of local entertainment because screams of excitement would break out every now and then. He walked up to a machine but was unable to make it work. One of the visitors attempted to explain it to him, but he did not comprehend. He just continued to explore this unusual place with the guard in tow.
He wandered about the noisy great hall for a while watching the people play their games. It did his heart good to see the people enjoying themselves so greatly. If he learned about the game, perhaps he too would have fun here. However, that would have to wait for another time. For now, he was just exploring the surroundings.
Eventually, he exited the great hall and found himself in the lobby once more. There were people on the move up and down in the elevators. He marveled at the technologies the ancients had. He looked at the ancient art on the walls. It was quite an opulent place. He stood in awe of it all with his guard at his side.
He decided that he would see what else the city had to offer. Thus, he decided to leave this hotel. He walked out the front door and was blasted by a wave of intense heat. The midday sun was high overhead and baking the entire place with an intense heat. Because of this, the area outside was deserted. His guard remained inside. Thus, he could explore the exterior on his own. However, the heat was so immense that he would not be able to stay outside long. Thus, he headed for the nearest building to explore it.
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on December 6, 2009 5:30 PM.
"The God Wars" - Chapter Thirty-two: Illumination was the previous entry in this blog.
"The God Wars" - Chapter Thirty-three: Trumpets over Atlantis is the next entry in this blog.
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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