Imrama The Fable of the Reconstruction makes its first grand arrival to the day-lit sky of the Blessed Isle. The crew of sunlight silhouettes, stand at the rail, throwing white rose petals over the side in a glorious cascade. The people of the former Imperial City take to the streets in droves to catch the snowlike petals out of the air, a blessing from the new saviors of Creation.
Thirteen stands in the center of the boat, heedless of the cheering crowds, waiting impatiently for Imrama to land.
Imrama , ever the showman, banks low across one of the more sumptuous suburbs and comes to a precision stop over the temporary residence of the Lady Mnemon.
Imrama calls out to the red-haired scion of the previous administration. "The People of the Sun have come to parlay with the Dragon of the Earth."
Thirteen "Please, Imrama. We need not be quite so formal. We are not unexpected."
Mnemon The manse is far from the luxury she is used to, but then, everyone was sacrificing in these difficult times.
Thirteen steps off the edge of the boat, curling his legs under him as he descends. He lands softly in an immaculate patio chair, and lifts a nearby teacup to his lips.
Thirteen "Good morning, Mnemnon. No honey next time, please." He patiently sets about removing the unnecessary sweetener from his drink.
Mnemon After a few moments, Mnemon steps out onto the dais in a simple but attractive outfit of white and black, her head unadorned.
Mnemon "Good... morning."
Thirteen "We have come to pay a polite social call."
Thirteen "How have you been? I trust your abrupt and total disenfranchisement has not been too debilitating."
Mnemon makes an expression that is not exactly a smile, not exactly a grimace. "I am alive, while my mother is not."
Thirteen "How fortunate for all of us, in both cases."
Imrama descends from the ship on an invisible staircase. "But I am certain that all three of us can agree that the current situation is not without its...difficulties."
Mnemon turns a small, diamond quill around between the fingers of her left hand. "Indeed."
Thirteen "For example, you find yourself suddenly stripped of power and influence, the throne inherited by one of your bitterest enemies. For such a one as you, the frustration must be intense."
Thirteen "I am sure you are already beginning your plans to overthrow Tepet Ejava and seize the Realm for yourself. Since Ejava is my sworn soldier, and the Realm is our property, we would then have to kill you."
Mnemon looks at Thirteen, the same look etched on her face. "As I said: I am still alive."
Thirteen "Still. Yes."
Imrama "But rather than consign you to such a fate, we have come, awash in magnanimity and generosity, to offer you another course."
Thirteen "We members of the Solar Deliberative find ourselves in equally unfortunate straits. We have just inherited, from the Sunlands, the viceroyalty of a rather large and important plane of existence. It is called Xara."
Thirteen "Our current ruler there finds themselves in rather desperate straits. She lacks the force, the dedication, the...ruthlessness to remain in power in a complex and multifaceted political environment in which every hand is turned against her, as the appointed ruler and eternal outsider."
Thirteen "Now, where could we find a politician with sufficient brilliance and will to succeed in such an environment? Any such hero would long since have forged an empire of her own...unless, for some reason, she has just lost the empire she dedicated herself to."
Imrama "It is an impossible challenge, but one that offers the very richest of rewards in wealth and power. We thought you might like to have a go at it."
Thirteen sips his tea.
Mnemon picks up a wine goblet from a nearby table and downs the airy liquid within in one gulp. "You think yourself very clever, Thirteen Blooming Flowers."
Thirteen "Not nearly as clever as I am, I assure you."
Imrama *You know that not to be so, Thirteen. You think yourself exactly as clever as you are - your commitment to accuracy would allow nothing else.*
Thirteen ::I thought I was being diplomatic.::
Imrama "Lady Mnemon; there is no reason for us to be anything other than friends. Our great mutual enemy, your mother, is dead, and we have each other to thank for that. We suggest a means to ensure that peace prevails between our two companies. What say you?"
Mnemon "What do you have to offer me that I should care to accept from you, instead of casually wrest away at the time of my own choosing?"
Imrama "At the moment, given the state of the Gate Network, and the Path of Stars, no one comes to Xara but through me. I offer you conveyance, which, things being as they are, is the most precious commodity in existence."
Thirteen "I have been meaning to discuss this with you, Imrama. I suspect that in fact one could harness the power of the Realm Grid to effect transportation from one plane to another, if sufficiently informed."
Mnemon seems to consider for a moment. After a reasonably long period of thought, she speaks up: "That is a reasonably attractive offer."
Thirteen "Of course, to do so, one would need to be an Exalt who in addition was the leader of a sufficiently powerful governing body or state to earn them an invitation to the reforming Exalted Deliberative."
Thirteen "We are very reasonable individuals."
Mnemon snorts again. "Please, please.... stop." She twirls her quill again. "It's insulting."
Thirteen sips his tea.
Imrama makes a long, slow show of taking out and lighting his pipe. "Indeed. There is no need for pretense or posturing between us. We are all reasonable people, aware of our respective places in the world, are we not?" Imrama raises an eyebrow.
Thirteen "Very reasonable."
Mnemon "Indeed. We all know I am the only one who can achieve what you are seeking here, yes? So let us cut out the nattering and establish what will happen here."
Mnemon She looks over the two Solars.
Mnemon "I will require the unfettered ability to travel back and forth, to begin with, of course...."
Imrama "I will be happy to establish a regular trade schedule, and of course Xara will be prioritized as we work to reestablish a more general means of interplanar transit."
Mnemon "Indeed." She looks at the big ship floating near her roof. "Well. Shall we?"