Don’t look at Zana, focus on what is happening, you are a high ranking Interprete! Jair told himself. Still he felt his head turning automatically to the left, and he forced himself to keep looking straight.
Now is not the time to have watermones, Jair!
Billen was poised. He didn’t need all of Arsin’s bluster but he commanded attention. His height, calm demeanor. Everything about him was confident. Why wouldn’t he be, look at the shape he was in? Jair put his hand to his own protruding stomach and felt like doing some wind sprints.
Velut couldn’t have been more pleased. It was concerning. The Vibulare should be trying to calm tensions, but it seemed that the Secule wanted the opposite. Fortunately, Jair knew Shabina was ready, she seemed confident enough. She wouldn’t back down even a tiny line length on behalf of The MultiFacet. Still, Arsin and Billen were combustible elements. Jair longed for the days when those two got along, with Rydin in tow.
As crazy as Rydin was, he was much more agreeable. Sure he would wander in his thoughts, and was unrealistic at times, but Jair did miss his presence.
When Shabina and Rydin had broken lines, Rydin had withdrawn and it had become awkward to try and keep relations with both of them. Because of official duties, it was more practical, and truthfully, easier to stay connected to Shabina. Rydin had become a recluse. Jair did enjoy his Nardvale stories though!
He and Zana had tried to talk to Rydin but that was over a lyear ago. They should have come earlier because his parents left long ago, and Rydin had too much time by himself. He remembered him sitting in his room by himself staring at those bottles of coloured water that he had collected. Rydin was obsessed with them, and Jair never understood why. His brothers leaving and parents splitting, it was tough. Add in a messy breakup, yikes!
Still, Rydin was always the biggest supporter of Jair’s intentions towards Zana.
Rydin would probably have yelled at him for calling it ‘intentions’. Vibulare were trained to minimize feelings after all. He could hear his friend saying, “Just say you love her, idiot!”
Jair had thought Rydin would have been the opposite, with his parent’s bad union of course.
Rydin was reckless; he didn’t care about the consequences of his actions, and would keep pushing Jair to propose. As much as Jair had wanted to, it was precisely because of Rydin’s parents that the situation was complicated. Rydin’s families shattered vision had on one hand created hope for him and Zana but crushed it in their marriages failure.
Zian and Mimeen’s split and fall from favour had been a tale told at bedside to children in the Vibulare, it had become a main discourse on relationships, and had cast a wide net over anyone considering it. Not just because they had lost standing in their own Facets when they married, but also for how they had returned to their own Facet in shame after.
Jair and Zana had planned an immediate diplomatic session right after the ceremony because whoever lost would be on the defensive and the winner would be gloating. Plus, it would be an excuse to see her.
He and Zana had been ribbing each other about who would win the ceremony as well. He was Vibulare after all! Still not turning his head, he strained with all of his might to look out of the corner of his eye.
Shabina smiling at them had caught them both off guard, and his mind was racing. Shabina, like Rydin, had always wanted to see them together, and had promised them a strong place (should they choose to leave. Jair was a bit skeptical especially since Shabina wasn’t exactly a relationship expert, but the gesture was nice. It didn’t matter though.The Sanctuary Meeqat didn’t really exist. It was there physically yes, but it’s intent and purpose had all but disappeared when Rydin’s brothers left it.
Still being careful not to directly stare at her (too many eyes here), he thought about their future as she filled his periphery and… his world. She filled it with possibility, but how far was he willing to go for her? She was so pretty, he was so…water loaded. Still, for some reason she liked him, despite his chubby appearance.
They had the excuse of averting war and career development to delay serious discussion about their future, but the time for excuses was ending. If he didn’t make a move, sooner or later someone else in the Royligio would ask Zana: not to mention that fact his mother had been not so subtly hinting for him to start looking within the Vibulare.
He settled in as Arsin, Shabin, and Billen got ready to launch.
What did the future hold? For all of them.
He was glad that he didn’t have to be at the front, the more time to discuss in private with his ambassadorial mentor. Truyuuh was giving him some last bits of information.
“Now Jair, just follow my lead when we get into the briefing. I understand you and Rydin used to be friends, but he is in deep lines here.”
“Yes, Sir.” Jair responded in hushed tones. He was worried for Rydin, he imagined him sitting alone and afraid. It was almost surreal. A couple of hours ago if you had told him they would be all centred on Rydin, he would have dismissed it as nonsense!
Full Spectrum… The Vibulare lientists had long been fascinated by the forbidden use of it. They had lobbied fiercely to extract white resin for prisms, but there was too much political fallout over it and the idea had been abandoned. Yet somehow Rydin of all people, had done it here and now! Unreal.
The procession was descending the lifts. Of course Velut would never use the stairs! He would have loved to (he needed to lose weight), but would forego them as even though he could be down there much faster, it wouldn’t do to arrive before Velut and suffer her wrath. He wouldn’t want to put Truyuuh in that position.
Out of respect he waited with all of the lower aides. Truyuuh went on ahead and nodded at him as he entered the lifts, with Velut, Billen, Thadro and their entourage.
The aides immediately began chattering now that the leadership was momentarily out of sight.
Jair ignored their chatter and thought again of Rydin.
How did Rydin get a hold of a Full Spectrum Prism? Jair pondered intently, so intently he was surprised to realize that all the aides were streaming into the lift that had come back up finally opened. He was the last too enter and it was a tight fit. He shimmied and turned around facing the doorwaza and it rewound closed, the green spectrum-resin spreading out and expanding.
“C’mon Jair hit the gymnase once in awhile.”
He didn’t know who had said that, but it elicited laughter from the entire group. He wondered why being overwatered bothered people so much. Was he any less of a person? No, but roundism was real. You could always make fun of a chubby like him it seemed. He wondered why Zana was attracted to him sometimes.
They didn’t like him very much, but he couldn’t care less.
After today’s events Jair knew the talk would be all about how a Full Spectrum user had resurfaced. People would see Full Spectrum as a threat, but Jair knew others (especially Velut) would see it as an opportunity.
He wondered how it was on the Roy side. How was Zana fairing? Of course they couldn’t have their scheduled meeting. Was she as disappointed as he was that they couldn’t meet?
It couldn’t be helped. Rydin had caused line vibrations that were being felt by more than just he and her.
Interrupting the ceremony was one of the worst acts of transgression: precisely because it had been interrupted so many times in the past by the Roy or Vib,had these strict rules for non-interference been created. Regulated resin, stripped down spectrum, no sensors, and no outside help!
This situation was unprecedented, not just because of Rydin’s Full Spectrum use, but because Rydin was technically under the protection of The MultiFacet. He wasn’t one of them, but as he was their charge, that meant The MultiFacet had culpability! The InterFacet would surely not miss a chance to exploit this.
Would they perform a full dehydration on him? Jair shuddered at the thought.
The lift thudded to a stop and hissed as the spectrum contracted into a green papery ball. Stepping to the right of it, Jair was quickly the first out of the newly opened doorwaza.
He had expected that he and the rest of the aides would have to hurry down the corridor to catch up with the main procession. Surprisingly, the Vibulare leadership were all waiting for him.
Billen was still at the head of the procession and he hadn’t moved.
Billen looked at him, “Jair please to the front. I would like you next to me.”
He could feel the other aides staring holes through his back, as he walked gingerly through some very elite people who looked less than pleased at this announcement.
Thadro smiled at him and clapped him on the back, while Velut kept starting straight ahead like he wasn’t even there. Truyuuh winked at him.
He settled into place next to Billen who immediately began to move forward: the procession followed. Billen whispered without turning his head, “Rydin will be more at ease if he sees an old friend, don’t you think?”
Jair nodded, but he wasn’t so sure……
The entrance to the holding cells was up ahead, Batrouk and Thalina were waiting there to receive them. The corridors here were extremely spacious, 20 people could have walked side by side and still have plenty of line room. The Multi Facet Liase to the Vib waited patiently, and behind them Jair could make out Waleez forming a human barrier.
Wait those weren’t Waleez, those were Thabaz!
Jair looked again and standing in front of the entrance to the holding cells arrayed in a line was Fakhir! Why was he here? Where was Esbin? How had the Inter Facet forces been given jurisdiction all of a sudden!?
The Thabaz had created a human barricade, and stood shoulder to shoulder. They alternated, with some of them looking at his Vibulare procession while others were looking in the opposite direction.
The Thabaz were tall enough (both the men and women), and so it was difficult to see her on the other side, but after some shifting of his feet he was finally able to see the Roy bright orange, yellow and red garments through the dark emerald green of the Thabaz. Just as his procession had come here, so too had the Royligio one. He saw Hrovje the MultiFacet Connect and Corina, and his heart beat a couple more water skips as he saw Zana.
She was at the head of the Royligio procession, standing with Arsin. They were talking in hushed tones to each other. They looked so at ease with one another. An image of him pushing past the Thabaz and knocking Arsin out popped into is head. Of course Arsin was loved by all the women of the Royligio. Zana probably wasn’t an exception!
Fine, let her do her ‘duty’, he would do his!
He turned to Billen, “Something is off here, Billen. Thabaz don’t have the lead duty here, they are supposed to be stationed at the well site.”
Billen looked perplexed, than immediately impressed, “As always, Jair, you know their protocol better than I, and it is why I need you.”
Billen’s encouragement was like a huge rush in that moment. It seemed trivial, but it still felt satisfying, he wouldn’t look at Zana. He would be professional.
Billen turned to Velut and mouthed two words to her. Few saw it but Jair did, and he had made it out, judging by Billen’s facial expression it was a question not a statement.
Ultrere Location? Jair’s mind began to race. Velut and the Vibulare always said that the Ultrere were arm’s length from the Vibulare. Yet the sheer chaos they had caused in recent lyears showed that something was afoot. Officially the Ultrere always said that there were rogue elements they were stamping out, and the Vibulare had accepted their explanations, but Jair didn’t buy it for a second.
In any case, it couldn’t be helped. The man leading the Thabaz, Fakhir (looking as mean as ever) spoke loudly, “Royligio and Vibulare we are going to open the doorwazas and allow both parties to proceed inside. Use your designated doorz, any transgressions will be immediately dealt with.”
Billen got an intense look on his face. Jair grabbed his hand, “Billen let the fool bluster for now.”
Billen looked at Jair and flexed his fingers to show him he would listen.
Jair exhaled and breaking his promise from moments ago, glanced towards Arsin and Zana, they would probably be laughing and joking.
Except Zana was staring right at him. He caught her eye and she gave him a tight-lipped smile. It was beyond pleasing.
She looked worried, really really worried. Jair’s mind raced as to what she could be thinking?
The processions began to march, there were three doorways, and each was ornately decorated with different coloured resin. The Vibulare delegation walked towards the Violet doorwaza which was studded with violet, blue, and, indigo linear patterns.. Thabaz were walking in their green doorwaza in lockstep to ensure that their barrier never had any gaps. The Royligio were going through their red doorwaza.
Everything in this world was so measured and divided.