Damma and Katayay (Day 1474)
Damma had a bad habit of picking fights with the dozens of small nations around it. Damma is not a small nation, nor is its army a small army. Usually, after one of these fights, Damma is a slightly larger nation.
When Trest had the Peace Everywhere Array, Damma stopped doing that. Actually when the Array was first built, Damma didn’t stop. The military bases at Okku Psaddu still have huge twistor scars from the consequences.
But that was before we came. Damma did conquer Lirradak the year we were living there, but we didn’t have anything to do with that. Except we’d kept Trest from interfering, by destroying the Array and conquering the country, but we didn’t do that to help Damma.
And, for the last few months, and especially the last few weeks, there had been all sorts of incidents between Damma and Katayay. (Katayay is another of those small countries.) Three journalists from the Damman state television station had been brutally beaten by masked men after they tried to interview soldiers in Katayay, and the Bishop of Katayay (who might be called “Supreme General” in another country) was unable or unwilling to find out who actually did it.
A wooden bridge was ignited, though conveniently-placed Damman firemen were able to extinguish it without great trouble. A bomb was found in a Damman trading enclave in Katayay, fortunately before it exploded. False prayer books printed by presses in Katayay (the first time Damman prayer books ever printed in Katayay) were discovered in Damman temples near the border, substituting the religious cadences of Katayay for those of Damma in the ceremony of allegiance. Grand upon grand of people had taken their annual vows improperly before someone who knew the ancient ceremonial language well enough discovered the substitution. Vimenti, again, was unable or unwilling to find the perpetrators.
Finally the new Damman ambassador to Katayay was discovered in his bedroom, having been killed in a particularly gruesome manner. His brain ended up in a pool of defiled milk, which supposedly condemned his soul to a million years of torment. The Damman government was furious. The prime minister was particularly furious. This was particularly great-souled of him, as the new ambassador had, shortly before his appointment, adulterously impregnated the prime minister’s adult daughter, and caused the prime minister much personal and political trouble. And of course Vimenti was unable or unwilling to find the perpetrators. And by “unable or unwilling” Damma meant “Damma made official proclamations about the event before Vimenti even heard about it.”
And if Vimenti was unable or unwilling to do it, then the Damman military could manage it for him. And the Damman military had tanks and artillery and jets and zeppelins and bombs and twistors and many, many, many soldiers. Conveniently, a plentiful supply of them happened to be near the border with Katayay.
While the diplomats Damma and Katayay were issuing preliminary ultimatums at each other, Nrararn and Osoth and I paid a sneaky night visit to Vimenti.