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Richard Fenner
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Alkothi Tales
Deville's Tales
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Sheng Seleris' Tales

Arrival in Pavis - Part 2: Interview with Sor-Eel

The broad face was apoplectic with rage. Deville assumed an expression which indicated a touch of boredom but a willingness to be reasonable. It was one of his favourite expressions and he'd practiced it for years.

"You walk into my city, execute one of my most able administrators as if eating Godsday lunch then barge into my office _holding _ the mans head and wish me "goodday"! Are you insane sir?" Sor-eel leaned heavily against his desk, his rage passing, leaving him drained. The damned made-up face in front of him had never changed expression once throughout his tirade. It was like shouting at a statue.

"An object lesson was needed, Gaius ably filled that role." Deville nodded in the heads direction. It was on Sor-eels desk spreading blood on his papers in a slow ooze. The surprise still plastered on Gaius' face was almost comical. Devilles smile widened as he suppressed a chuckle. "Besides, the Overseer gave me explicit instructions that I was to execute the little worm on sight, are you going to argue with his wishes Governor?"

Sor-eel stared at Deville for a few moments then shook his head. "No, of course not, but please try and be a little more circumspect in your actions. Remember, this city is straining under our control, the rebels are just waiting for something to give them public support for a general revolt."

"Fear not Governor, I rarely leave a situation less calm than it was before I arrived. Understand this though, my remit is to stamp out rebellion _and_ the miserable failings of our own people and by the Emperor's will, so I shall."

Sor-eel shook his head sadly. "You know I can't interfere, but you are going to upset a lot of people Deville, I'd appreciate some consultation on any of your actions, maybe I can help you out with information about our more unwilling subjects in return?"

Deville bowed graciously. "When you put it like that Governor, I'd be boorish to do anything else." Suddenly Deville turned round quickly, hand going to sword hilt, at the sound of heavy boots coming up the corridor behind Sor-eel's door.

The door crashed open, revealing a large iron armoured man with Centurion's plumage. He was plainly Yanafali and bore an impressively large scimitar. He didn't notice Deville who had moved quickly to the side of the door upon the man's entrance. He stomped straight to Sor-eels desk where he took his impressive helmet off and saluted sharply. He began speaking at Sor-eel in what could only be described as a parade ground bellow.

"Heard some effete Heartland priest was in town, killed someone at the gate. Natives restless again sir. Should take a squad and round up a few of them troublemakers in Gimpys, maybe burn down Geo's, crucify the lot of them. After that, what say I find this priest fellow and kick him out of town." The mans eyes had taken on a glazed look as he saw the deeds done already in his mind. He was far enough gone not to notice the choked look on Sor-eels face.

Deville stepped forward, the Yanafali Centurion turned round _very_ quickly. Deville smiled. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Morthander Deville, the "effete Heartland priest" you want to kick out of town. From your enormous iron boots and sparkling personality, I'd say you were Radak, the Iron Centurion. Is that so?" Deville's smile was carefully crafted to display contempt without being offensively obvious.

The Iron Centurions long disassociation with Heartland subtleties was welcome to Sor-eel because he completely failed to notice Deville's insulting behaviour.

He straightened up. "Yes, I am Radak, senior Centurion of Pavis and commander of the Empires forces of occupation. We don't need another priest here, we need soldiers. Why don't you head back to Mrins Cross and tell them to send us some fighting men?" He locked eyes with Deville in an attempt at intimidation that was utterly wasted.

"Indeed? Well, I am a fighting man Radak. Large boots do not make a warrior, if they did, I'm sure you'd be able enough to take on Humakt himself. However, I hold Tribunal rank and can and will have you punished for insulting and disobeying a senior officer."

Radak snorted. "You think you can pull rank on me?"

Deville smiled sweetly. "Yes." He said.

Radaks face assumed a dangerous red colour. Before an explosion could occur, Sor-eel slammed his hand on his desk.

"That's enough you two, your behaving like fighting cocks!"

He rounded on Radak. "You will obey this man's orders. Do you understand?" Radak's face maintained its stubborn, almost petulant look. "Do you understand?" Roared Sor-eel.

Radak gave a stiff nod. "Yes sir, permission to leave sir?" He barked. With Sor-eels nod, he saluted sharply and strode out, back straight, totally ignoring Deville.

Once he'd gone Sor-eel looked at Deville. "You were provoking him. Watch him Deville, he has his limits."

"I can look after myself Governor, though I appreciate your concern."

"I've heard of your reputation as a duelist, but Radak is very popular with the men, like as not his men would not take kindly to you insulting him. You can't beat a Regiment Deville, not even you can do that."

"Perhaps, perhaps it would be an interesting experiment. Regardless, I shall take your advice into consideration." Deville bowed again. "I must go to my Inn now, I am tired after such an arduous journey. Till tomorrow then?"

Sor-eel nodded. "Rest well Deville, believe me, this city taxes even the hardiest of souls."

Deville smiled. "I think you'll find Governor, that this soul taxes even the hardiest of cities. Light be with you." He turned crisply to leave a weary man behind him. Before he left the room fully Sor-eel had the final word:

"Don't forget to take the head on your way out, I already have a paperweight thanks."

<< Part 1 | The Deville page | Meeting the Natives Part 1 >>

May 31, 2000

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