The Interrogations; or, Botching a Diplomacy Roll [5 Hispis 4262]
[Translator's note: the Legeriat is loosely similar to the Senate or Parliament, though it's much smaller. -bb]
Legeriator Brelsny:"Why have you not encouraged or even allowed local businesses full access to the nendrai?"
Me:"Because she is utterly insane and far too dangerous for anyone to deal with."
Legeriator Brelsny:"Yet, you deal with her several times a week."
Me:"And get cursed or otherwise doomed regularly. I'm not really expecting to survive this year."
Legeriator Colenne (Rassimel):"Right. what steps are you taking toward the nendrai's destruction?"
Legeriator Colenne:"That is a serious dereliction of duty."
Me:"No, it's not."
Legeriator Colenne:"Please explain that remarkable remark."
Me:"My duty is to keep her from destroying or mutatilating Vheshrame Mene. If anyone else is trying to dispose of her, best if I don't even know about it."
Legeriator Darsues (Herethroy):"I don't like the tone of that. Would you betray your city-state to a monster?"
Me:"To one who can cast complexity-80 Mutoc Mentador spells without spending cley? Yes, if she decided that I should."
Legeriator Darsues:"That attitude is unacceptable."
Me:"Then get someone with more magic resistance to do the job. Probably my grandparent Glikkonen could block her spells."
Legeriator Colenne:"We are the Legeriat of Vheshrame. We do not tolerate mockery."
Me:"I'm not mocking you. The nendrai is more dangerous than just about any prime."
Legeriator Darsues:"Then we should dispose of her."
Legeriator Brelsny:"That won't be easy, or cheap."
Me:"Isn't that the Duke's decision, not yours?"
Legeriator Quercus (Rassimel):"You don't need to remind us of our charter. We are well aware of it. In particular our duty to recommend courses of action to the Duke."
Legeriator Brelsny:"Besides, disposing of such a valuable beast seems foolish. We should harness her. Think what a wonderful addition her powers would make to our economic infrastructure!"
Me:"I don't think that's a very good idea."
Legeriator Brelsny:"Oh, don't be pessimistic, Sythyry! Cleverness and persistance will pay off!"
Legeriator Darsues:"Well, we could distract her while we are preparing to destroy her."
Me:"Really. If you're preparing to destroy her, don't tell me."
Legeriator Darsues:"Potential traitor. Right."
Legeriator Colenne:"It is ridiculous that Vheshrame suffer the presence of this beast. Are we not the mightiest city on the branch?"
Me:"That's probably why we have the worse nendrai on the branch. If we get rid of her, Gnarn will probably bless us with something even worse next year."
Legeriator Colenne:"Superstitious nonsense. The gods work very broadly, not with such individual attention to cities and years."
Me:"Actually, give me lots of warning before you try to kill her. I want to move somewhere beforehand. Very far away."
Legeriator Darsues:"You are being disrespectful of the military power of Vheshrame."
Me:"I'm also being part of the military power of Vheshrame."
Legeriator Darsues:"As am I. But you are talking about deserting and betraying the city-state."
Me:"No. I'm trying to give you my best estimate of how hard it would be to fight her."
Legeriator Darsues:"One monster. She can only cast one spell at a time, no matter how strong it may be. She can't even heal herself. With a suitable direct assault, she will fall."
Me:"Well. She's got complexity 80 Mutoc Tempador spells, so I'll bet she can do a lot at once. And she's got plenty of allies among the local flora and fauna ... and by "local" I mean "potentially, anywhere you can get to by a few complexity-100 Mutoc Locador spells."
Legeriator Brelsny:"How far is that, exactly?"
Me:"It's not restricted to our universe."
Legeriator Colenne:"See? Ridiculous to have such a threat show up at the Halflight Gate thrice weekly!"
Me:"I think Kaim-Su is in charge of strategy. You'd better talk to him about attacking Vae. I'm just the guard delegated to keeping us safe from her."
Legeriator Colenne:"And see how poorly that has worked!"
Me:"Right. I'm doing a terrible job. I ought to be replaced as soon as possible."
Legeriator Colenne:"Keep up that insolence, and you might be."
Me:"Is that a promise?"
Legeriator Colenne:"We will certainly give the Duke a report on this meeting."
Me:"Well, be sure to tell him that I'd love to be replaced."
Legeriator Colenne:"Bah. Your position is just a sinecure."
Legeriator Brelsny:"And gives you exclusive access to a potentially valuable resource."
Me:"Once the Duke dismisses me, I'm sure he'll be looking for volunteers."
Legeriator Colenne:"Bah! The suggestion is ridiculous. My courage is not in doubt."
Me:"Neither is your magic resistance, or lack thereof."
Legeriator Quercus:"Gentleprimes, please keep to the business at hand."
Me:"Which is to report on the status of the nendrai. She's here, she's insanely powerful, she's powerfully insane, she thinks I'm her friend and respects my opinions, and that gives me some influence with her."
Legeriator Darsues:"And are you her friend?"
Me:"Well, yes. There's no faking that."
Legeriator Artful:"And by 'friend' do mean 'lover'?"
Legeriator Artful (Cani):"The Duke's insinuations, and your own history, lead me to think otherwise."
Me:"Well, she's not my lover."
Legeriator Artful:"My nose tells me otherwise."
Me:"I think I, of all primes, am allowed to smell of reptilian lust!"
Legeriator Artful:"No. You were nervous and evasive with that 'She's not my lover'"
I gave a humiliating summary of what happens when a prime gives something to a nendrai.
Legeriator Quercus:"And that's how we keep Vae under control?"
Me:"She's not under control, and, yes, it's part of the Duke's program to keep her in bounds."
Me:"Feel free to suggest alternatives to the Duke."
Legeriator Artful:"You seem to think that the Duke is your ally here."
Me:"I think he is my lord. I'm doing what he has ordered me to, to the very best of my admittedly meagre ability. If you want me to do something else, get him to tell me to do something else, and I'll do that to the best of my ability. And I hope any loyal citizen of Vheshrame would say and do the same."
Legeriator Quercus:"Patriotic Zi Ri, at least."
Legeriator Darsues:"Quite an uplifting and noble statement for someone who has promised to betray us at the first opportunity."
Me:"No! At the first failure of magic resistance against a mind control spell that could flatten a demigod!"
Legeriator Darsues:"I do believe that the use of magic resistance is entirely optional."
Legeriator Zolommones (Orren):"It is."
Me:"If I used all my cley, I could maybe block one of Vae's spells, and maybe not. Leaving me naked to the next one. She doesn't run out of spells."
Legeriator Darsues:"You expect me to believe that the grandchild of Glikkonen doesn't have secret defenses?"
Me:"I do, but nothing that can block Vae's magic."
Legeriator Darsues:"What, then?"
I explained about the Eye of Mirizan and Melizan, and the seven-winged burning thing.
Legeriator Darsues:"That's all?"
Me:"I've got a water-creating pitcher and a levitation tether too. I made them myself in undergraduate enchantment classes."
Legeriator Darsues:"I am sure you are lying."
Me:"I wish I were lying."
Legeriator Darsues:"There shall be an official inquiry into this."
Legeriator Darsues:"I imagine your family will try to shield you. I doubt that they will succeed."
Me:"There's nothing to shield!"
Legeriator Darsues:"We shall discover the truth of that in due course."
Legeriator Colenne:"Probably wise. We'll want it for the assault on Vae, when that comes. I do get your point, though. You will be transferred from your diplomatic duties to a member of the assault team when that comes to pass. I imagine that whatever weaponry you have is for your species only."
Me:"I hope you discover a few nice little Holocaust War devices that I've forgotten about before that happens."
Legeriator Colenne:"Don't speak that way to me, you ungrateful lizard! I'm taking your side!"
Legeriator Quercus:"I do recommend that we all take Vheshrame's side in this matter. And all others."
Legeriator Colenne:"A bit ineffectually. There is room for improvement."
Me:"... right ..."
And they scolded me a bit more, and dismissed me.