Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Cafes and Calamities

Mirrored from Sythyry.

I had said we acquired ten or eleven percent of the population of the Cities of the Trough before they knew what was going on. This is a bit of a lie. That’s roughly how many came into Kismirth. A great many of them left Kismirth within the month, departing for more traditional places. Which is fine with us — we’d gotten a city and a half’s worth of people in a space of under a year, which is a lot for one city.

The Cities of the Trough did, at some point, start to notice their loss of glates. For a while they were amused and delighted. “Observe the foolish scluds of Kismirth! They want our criminal classes!” (And yes, we got a number of criminals, and that was several problems. We had gang wars in the corridors, and I used some quite nasty weapons to get them to stop fighting for long enough for us to evict them from Kismirth.)

But then they started having scenes like this back in the Trough of Kreischan:

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “I say! Here I am at my favorite cáfé! I think I’ll sit down and have a spot of my favorite sort of highly aromatic and highly expensive tea, with a few of those delicious squaptoloops!”

Maitre D’: “Welcome welcome welcome. I’m afraid we don’t have squaptoloops today.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “What? None?”

Maitre D’: “None, m’lord”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “Well, I’ll take a scone then!”

Maitre D’: “No m’lord, no scones today.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “What? This is an outrage! Are you some sort of sclud, to be out of both squaptoloops and scones?”

Maitre D’: “No, I’m fourth generation, that’s been tested by the Vepri experts.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “I do believe they got it wrong!”

Maitre D’: “I rather suspect not. We’re just having a bit of a baked goods problem today.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “I should say so! “

Maitre D’: “Our usual bakery has closed; the baker is gone to Kismirth in the sky.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “What? And taken my squaptoloops and scones with him?”

Maitre D’: “I’m afraid so, m’lord.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “How is such a thing possible?”

Maitre D’: “I’m afraid you made a law insisting that glates be driven from the city. Well, the baker’s wife is a glate, and so the whole family packed up and left.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “How dare you say it’s my fault?”

Maitre D’: “I apologize for giving you such an impression, m’lord.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “I should hope so! You must have your own generation checked again — on my express orders! I suspect you lied on your previous examination!”

The Maitre D’ is hauled before the Vepri and retested. This time he is shown to be utterly a glate. He is beaten, his house set ablaze, and he is given a public execration. He is not particularly happy. By the following nightfall he is the Maitre D’ on a newly-opened restaurant on the Purple Promenade in Kismirth, serving squaptoloops and scones made by the recently-emigrated baker.

The next day….

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “I say! Here I am at my favorite cáfé! I think I’ll sit down and have a spot of my favorite sort of highly aromatic and highly expensive tea, with a few of those delicious squaptoloops! Without any glates to get in the way this time.”

Café: [closed]

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “What? Closed? I shall bang on the door and summon the chef, whom I observe inside performing some obscure labor!”

Chef: “What? Who is out there a-banging?”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “It is I, Lord Optime Fussypissy! I demand to know why your cáfé is closed!”

Chef: “No staff any more. They all got sent off to Kismirth as scluds and glates.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “Well, hire some more!”

Chef: “Can’t. Every restaurant in town is looking for waiters, and every other business looking for their own laborers. Not many people need jobs and can’t find ‘em, with so many waiters and whatnots sent up to the sky.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “Ridiculous!”

Chef: “Sorry, m’lord. I’m trying to sell the place and open up again in Inihithre, but nobody’ll buy a restaurant in town. Nor any sort of shop or factory, not anywhere in the Trough of Kreischan.”

Lord Optime Fussypissy: “This is ridiculous — this is scluddery — this is TREASON!”

Chef: “Wouldn’t know about that, m’lord. It’s economics, is what it is, and not good ones either.”

Most cities don’t have quite enough people living there. Take ten or eleven percent out of the city in the course of a year, and the city will notice.


Apologies to the real-life Lord Fusée Micturine, who, despite having an eminently mockable name, is honored and famed throughout our immigrant population for defying the Vepri at every turn.

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