Canto 81 – Mong the Miser-like (The Midnight Blue Thread)
Tara Salongi stood next to the conference table in the reception room of the main hall. She wore a diaphanous blue gown that, with its see-through fabric, was quite revealing of her newly-healed feminine form. In fact, it was the kind of dress that, if this story were a Japanese anime, it would be called fan service. But, of course, it was no more so than the fur bikini she had worn for most of her old life back on Don’t Go Here.
At that moment, Emperor Mong, who had summoned Tara, entered through the double-door entrance.
“Ah, the beautiful sorceress Tara Salongi, I believe,” said the sinister looking bald man with the goatee that came to a sharp point under his chin.
“Yes, I am here. What do you want of me?”
“I am told that Wormheart Toadsucker, Admiral Tang’s left-hand sycophant, delivered you here by giving you over to Lord Dark Doo.”
“That is correct, if I know who you are talking about.”
“But the question is, my Lady, why weren’t the admiral’s specific orders carried out?”
“What do you mean?”
“Yes… whatever do you mean, Mong?” said Raylond, appearing from behind a curtain on Tara’s right.
“Excuse me, Lord King. I do not believe it is business you were supposed to know anything about.”
“Am I not one of the ruling triumvirate of this star system with it’s multiple inhabited worlds?”
“Yes, that is so. But the Admiral…”
“Wait a moment… do you mean Admiral Tang started a business in secret that he didn’t want me or Lord Hardretter to learn anything about?”
“That is correct… er, I mean… It was a local matter from another star system that the Admiral wishes to control… for Imperial security reasons.”
“So, tell me, what is the Admiral’s specific plan involving Tara, whom I consider to be under my protection for now?”
“Um, well… Lord King, the fact is… this woman is a dangerous Psion. The Admiral captured her at great personal risk to himself.”
“I am aware that she is a Psion. But we have the proper shielding capability available to us, do we not?”
“Um, yes… but the Admiral wanted to ship her to the planet Djinnistan where Dr. Havir Bloodlust could possibly use his genetics skill to transfer her unique abilities into a suitable Mechanoid or even a controlled genetic Freak.”
“No sir. I will not have it, sir. She is under my protection. Lord Hardretter and I have discussed ways to use her here on our worlds to better life for all of us.”
“Ah, but since Lord Hardretter isn’t here now, and I have the Admiral’s proxy vote in the matter…”
“Ah, but I am here, Mong.” Smoky Hardretter, the teenage ruler of the system’s manufacturing worlds, stepped out from behind the curtain on Tara’s left.
“Lord Hardretter? Uh, are you suggesting you are siding against me and Admiral Tang with Lord King?”
“That is exactly what I am suggesting. We have use for the cooperative and lovely Psion, and two thirds of the ruling triumvirate can overrule even the Imperial Grand Admiral.”
“So, maybe you should go back to playing with your rot warriors and tin men, Emperor Mong, and leave us to the business most beneficial to the Imperium,” said Raylond King.
Mong, white in the face and obviously frustrated, stormed out of the room.
“Thank you, Lord King. And thank you too, Lord Hardretter,” said Tara.
“Think nothing of it,” they both said simultaneaously.