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matapam
24 September 2018 @ 11:26 am

Garit certainly didn’t seem to think there was anything going on. “Do you mean Xen was running about seducing every woman except you?”

Rael grit her teeth as the soup plate was swapped for salad. “Pretty much. Well, eighteen women. Twenty-five children.”

The king snickered. “Rufi, we’ll have to count. You may have beat me on descendants.”

A spell forming . . . Rael spiked her speed, read the first bit . . . Mental, a compulsion spell! She formed the counter, shielded . . .

The spell snapped out, and she had to slam her shield out to block the poorly aimed . . . That wasn’t aimed at me! That was aimed at the king! Who the One Hell?

She leaned forward and looked down the table . . . at least four people away . . . The obnoxious flunky was scowling at the king.

Updo Withione Azteca. What the hell!

:: What the One Hell are you doing! ::

His eyes jerked to meet hers.

:: Was that you? You blocked me? You stupid bitch, I could have had him! Stay out of this! ::

:: By whose orders are you attacking the head of a foreign government? :: Rael kept her mental voice cold.

:: None of your business, Girly Guard. ::

Rael stabbed lettuce, turned back to smile at Rufi. "I really regret the assassination attempt that sidelined Xen's planned address to the Empire's Council. I suspect it would have been epic."

She chewed, and felt Updo collecting power again.

"Oh yes. He was going to deliver our response letter, and then give a history lesson—while the rest of the team kept the Councilmen locked in and the vids all running." Rufi grinned. "And then set up an embassy in Paris and start some diplomacy. Not sure he could have pulled it off, but he was probably the only person who survive trying, at that point."

Rael set her fork down and the salad plate was whisked away, replaced by a block of something cheesy and meaty. "Ambassador Never has been very impressive."

The king nodded. "And successful. Respected in every sense of the word. Duke Dydit actually leaves her alone there fairly frequently now."

Another spell, or rather the same, building up.

Rael's :: Don't do it! :: crossed with Updo's :: Don't interfere! ::

She damped the spell with no trouble.

Ignored the mental cursing as she poked the block. Layered pasta, cheese, and meat in a spaghetti sauce. "Lasagna? I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some ethnic foods survived here."

"So, the Empire has lasagna?" Rufi grinned. "I'm surprised, since Europe was so thoroughly nuked fifteen centuries ago."

Power building up hard and fast. A sense of anger slipping control.

Rael giggled. “What survived changed a lot over time. The old style is a newly imported cuisine. Spreading fast.”

She looked across at Deena Janic. Solid shields, high and low.

Probably trained by Xen.

She reached for the high frequencies. :: Flunky is causing trouble. Shield the king, I’ll tromp the . . . ::

This attack was aimed straight at her. She absorbed and countered the sneeze spell, glanced left. Updo was leaning forward.

Risky. But at least he waited until the diners between us had leaned back to give him a shot at me.

He glared, then looked back at the king. A small diameter punch flashed out. Rael reflected it upward. Dust drifted down from the ceiling behind the king.

All right. That’s enough.

Rael pulled out a spell she picked up from the Fiend. Up and over the intervening people and down . . .

A clatter from down the table. Rael forked up more lasagna. “This is excellent.”

Rufi nodded, frowning down the table. “It looks like the Obnoxious Flunky disagrees.” A flick of a glance to the side. “Easterly, make sure he’s not actually choking.”

Deena Janic eyed Rael from the far side, where she’d stepped up closer to the king. :: What did you do? ::

:: Chain Spell. Unless you want to test that ‘diplomatic immunity’ nonsense, I’ll take him home and dissect him to find out where his orders came from. ::

:: Nonsense? ::

:: Necessary, I can see that. I can however, recommend to the President that he rescind Updo’s, if you want him. ::

Rael finished her lasagna and started in on chocolate cake and ice cream while catching faint hints of a mental conversation going on over her head.

Updo stepped away from the table and Easterly solicitously helped him from the room. Across the table, the Ambassador was looking both wary and worried.

King Leano raised his voice and thanked his guests for their attendance, and rose.

And now for the hard part!