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Fight or Flight
The Senate asked the Civil Service to appraise the possibility of evacuating the people of Morrow. They have returned with their answer; if Morrow is to be abandoned it can be done. Yet even with the best plan, at least a fifth of the people will be left behind, prey for the Druj should their advance be renewed.
Yet evacuation is not the only option. Some of the greatest minds in Urizen have another proposal, a way to harness the unique qualities of the people of the mountains, to triumph over the despair wrought by the loss of the Halls of Knowledge. Where there is now darkness, there could be light again.
“It’s just not possible, Portia. You’re letting your personal feelings get in the way of your judgement. This is not the job we’re here to do.”
She ignored the grave insult and summoned her poise to avoid grinding her teeth. She hadn’t joined the civil service to be told what was or wasn’t possible by a thirty year old upstart of a boy barely passed his citizenship. She reached down, embraced her feelings, and brought them under control.
“I am fully aware that it appears impossibly difficult. That was my understanding too on first hearing - but we’ve checked and rechecked every element of the proposal and it works. Here in Urizen - it works. All I need you to do is to look at it.”
“We’re here to carry out an appraisal. That’s the job we’ve been given by the Imperial Senate. We don’t have time for flights of fancy I’m afraid.”
She tried not to gasp. He hadn’t tried to shut her up by name-dropping… the Imperial Senate had he? Seriously? No… he couldn’t be that… She put her head in her hand as if she were too worn out to hold it up. It was an easy gesture to fake, exactly what people expected of an old woman. Once her mouth was safely obscured her poise cracked and her laughter met the shape of her mouth. “Oh my Empress - what would you say if you could see me now?” she thought.
The young firebrand would have told her to cut this fool down to size. But she was gone and Portia would have to fight this battle alone. Very well then - let us draw weapons!
“You are right Master Roberts - I have allowed my personal feelings to influence my assessment of this situation” Right now she wanted to drown this fool in a bucket of his own pomposity - so part of that was true at least. " It’s just that I happen to know the Empress herself is most concerned with the situation here in Morrow." Well if she wasn’t she bloody well ought to be. “I shall write to her in the morning and let her know you’ve taken the decision to put a stop to this nonsense immediately. I am confident she will be certain you have taken the right decision.”
Master Roberts blanched, but he tried vainly to stand his ground. “There’s absolutely no need to be bothering the Empress with any of this…”
“Oh it’s no bother - Lizabetta is always telling me how much she enjoys getting my little letters. She says it does her good to know what’s going on in her Empire.”
“Absolutely. That’s the mark of good Empress you know. Attention to detail. Just like Nicovar. Well before… obviously…”
Hmm, that last bit might have been too much. Still it was clearly doing the trick. What was it about people? How could anyone possibly believe that if you knew the name of the most famous person in the Empire - that somehow was evidence that you were on speaking terms with them? It was just absurd. And yet it never failed! She’d give him “Imperial Bloody Senate” - seriously.
Her old friend would have hated it - she couldn’t abide people dropping her name and she rather suspected that this new Empress was probably no different. However, since neither of them were remotely likely to ever meet the Imperatrix it probably didn’t matter.
"Well - lets not be too hasty. I don’t think it would be good for anyone’s career… " He stopped and changed tack "I think we can afford to include this element in the official recommendations - if it really does do what you say it does…
He reached for the papers and Portia handed them to him with a smile. One narrow-minded middle-level bureaucrat defeated she thought. She swallowed down a smile. It wasn’t exactly Conclave - but it was still fun… even after all these years… Focus on the big picture Portia - she reminded herself sternly. Be Urizen.
Where there is darkness, bring light.
The Imperial Senate set the Civil Service the task of appraising the best way to evacuate Morrow. That report is now available - and you can read it here -> http://bit.ly/WoF_Flight
The evacuation relies mostly on bringing enough soldiers to bear to protect the people of the high peaks as they flee south toward Redoubt.
Yet there’s another opportunity presented here, one that presents a more hopeful picture and seeks to reclaim the pride of Urizen by doing something ambitious that could be done nowhere else in the world…
#OneDayPortiaWillMakeItToTheField, #ItsBasicallyAMessageBoardForMagicTheoryNerds, #MakeTheUrizenGoLiveOnFarmsAndHavComingOfAgeAdventures