matapam (pamuphoff) wrote,
matapam
pamuphoff

_Not Fallen_ part 8 or so

I'll assume you've all gone back and read the last time I posted the story.

And the bit I've added, which needs major expansion . . .

***

The Ambassador and the Bishop each sent reports home with gofers, and received in return truckloads of panels, ready for assembly. In five days they'd moved to temporary quarters on their half-mile-square piece of home.

And quickly offended several other polities.

The Bishop's virulent anti-magic stance earned them a fair amount of enmity. Despite Father Leonard attempting to point out that the problem is the use of magic in crime and sin, not the magic in and of itself.

Both of the One Worlds forbade them entrance, claiming that their preaching to the masses would incite rebellion against the One, with the original One World additionally forbidding their colonies to admit them to foment heresy and hatred of magic and magic users. Names were called, legal action was threatened.

A shouting match between the Purple Ambassador and Father Leonard starts to descend into a physical confrontation when standers-by intervened.

Ambassador Amin tried to have Bishop James Hatterus recalled.

The Bishop reciprocated.

“Old Gods! I swear I’m never inviting another Comet Fall split to come talk to us!” Xen clutched his head.

Lon snorted. “Well, they haven’t invaded anyone.”

“Yet.” Xen sat back. “Yes, you’re right. He’s nothing compared to the Helios. But that man is not living up to the tenants of his faith.”

The door to the conference room slammed open. Bishop Hatterus stalked in. “The Arbolian Ambassador had his guards lay hands on me!” He frowned down at Hackathorn.

Lon sighed. “In or out of their embassy?”

“In. I was preaching to their downtrodden staff, the lowest of the low who deserve Our support!”

“Nothing we can do, inside an embassy, Bishop. You might consider a softer approach . . .” He stopped at the glare.

Xen frowned at him. “If you feel contact with us is dangerous to your people, you can depart. We can close the gate here, and leave you the two Empty Worlds your World is now connected to.”

“Never! You’re nothing but a pack of Heathens! Damned and cursed, all of you! If I am called to cleanse the multitude of worlds, I will!” He turned and stomped out.

Xen groaned. “I’ve never expelled a world. But I’m tempted. Oh how I am tempted.”

“It may come to a vote or somesuch. Goor grief.” Lon shook his head. “Any other business?”

Two Earth splits that had a low level of genetic engineering, and rarely, someone with actual magical ability were arguing internally about the matter, with both pro- and anti-magic factions both wishing the Not Fallen Church had resisted stirring things up.

Earth Prime’s Ambassador Montgomery was gleefully supportive of the “Not Fallen” but even Arrival’s resident priest was disturbed by the aroused passions and enmity floating around the small city and begged Bishop Hatterus to be a supported of peace rather than controversy. And was shown the door.

Captain Collier received more guards to beef up the Bishop’s security, as well as the other members of both the religious and secular staff.

Miles followed the Bishop now and then, but wasn’t part of his expanded guard.

So he wasn’t on duty at the party in the Earth Embassy when the Bishop fell, or was pushed, from the roof.

***

“. . . and I demand a full investigation.” Father Leonardo was cold and dignified.

If not for the red eyes, I’d think him unbothered by the loss of his bishop.

Miles eyed the packed assembly room.

“And not a single magically talented person on the investigating team! May God bless and guide this investigation.” Father Leonardo nodded firmly and stepped away from the podium.

Lon Hackathorn pinched the bridge of his nose, and took over. “Ambassador Montgomery, let’s talk about whether Disco investigates, or whether your people investigate with an observer from Not Fallen, and an observer from Disco.”

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