glacial_queen: (Serious queen)
[personal profile] glacial_queen

"Hobie!" Ludmilla raced into Hobart's suite, trying not to trip over her heavy skirts. This winter she'd pioneered heavily-embroidered and brocades fabrics as the fashion, which meant her gowns were beautiful but not easy to run in. "Oh, Hobie, they're back! Why are they back? Did--did you send for them?"

Hobart sighed, wiping his face with the napkin he'd tucked into his collar. He was having a leisurely breakfast in his own quarters; this was not the time to be dealing with a hysterical female. "Who's back?" he demanded, not even bothering to hide his exasperation. What in Hell was Ludmilla even doing up this early? "I didn't send for anyone. Send them away." He turned back to his breakfast, expecting her to carry out his bidding, though she was the Territory Queen and he simply the leader of the Ruling Council.

As if he'd been a simple anything in the past fifteen years.

"Me?" Ludmilla yelped. "But you said I'm never to address the people by myself! I'm always to be accompanied by you or another member of the Ruling Council to make sure I'm safe!"

More so they could make sure she didn't deviate from the script they'd handed her, but details.

"What are you blathering on about?" Hobart was rarely at his best in the mornings. Being interrupted by a vapid twit only made him that much more irritable. "Are you suddenly incapable of making nice and telling whatever aristo that's decided to camp out on our doorstep looking for favors to shoo?"

Mother Night, he was going to have to chivvy the Ruling Council about finding Ludmilla's replacement. She was meant to be a lovely and charming figurehead of the proper caste, able to mouth empty platitudes while the males did the real work of ruling. If she was incapable of doing even that much...

"But Hobie," she protested again. "It's what I've been trying to tell you! It's not the aristos! It's all of Sidra! They're marching on the estate again!"

She twisted her hands again, then began patting her curls to make sure they were still set right and pinching her cheeks to bring a bit more natural color to them under the rouge. Her Hobie prefered her to look as young as possible. "It's a good thing I was already up and dressed when I heard about them!" she continued. "Should I go change before I address them, or will this frock do? I have a lovely new gown in white..."

"They're what?!" He tuned out Ludmilla's babble with the ease of long practice, tossing down his napkin and making his way to his window to see what she was talking about. Of course, none of the windows in his suite looked out over the front entrance, so he got nothing but further aggravation for his pains.

"Don't be stupid!" he snapped without thinking. "You think anyone gives a damn about what kind of dress you're wearing?!"

Ludmilla sniffled. "I only wanted to look my best..." she whispered.

Hobart wrestled his temper back under control. Ludmilla was a delicate, fragile little creature. A proper female, not like his harridan niece. She needed to be treated with gentleness, even if his fingers were itching to wrap around her pretty little neck.

If she was to be believed, there was a mob coming. And her only concern was figuring out what dress to wear.

"There, there, pet," he soothed. "I'm sorry. I'm just concerned about your safety and it makes me short-tempered. You know how males can be."

"Which is why it's up to females to remain sweet and biddable," Ludmilla recited. "To anchor the males' temper and to provide a comforting presence while they deal with arduous tasks."

Her father, Hobart's closest associate before he had died of heart failure, had drilled that into Ludmilla's head for years, even before Queen Ilyse had died and she'd been chosen by the Ruling Council to take her place.

"But if you want me to address them, I should--"

"Absolutely not!"

There was no way he would let Ludmilla out to face that throng--not unless he thought that by giving her up, he'd be able to save himself. Queens were replaceable. Males of vision and wisdom--like himself--were not.

"I couldn't possibly let you go out and face that mob alone," he added. "Just imagine what they might do to you! Savages and murderers, the lot of them. They'd tear you apart. Go back to your room whatever it is you do these days. Don't you have ladies to talk to and things?"

Ludmilla protested, but not at being a woman in her thirties being spoken to like a child. That, she didn't even notice. Everyone spoke to her that way.

"Are you certain, Hobie?" she asked. "I think I can help, I truly do! I've been reading up on governance and the laws, trying to become a better Queen. If you let me talk to them, I'm sure we can find some way of ending this peacefully."

Hobart was saved from having to respond to that bit of idiocy--and who let her have books like that anyway?-- by the arrival of Lemmik, the Green-Jeweled Prince who was Hobart's strongest weapon.

"Ahh, I see you've already heard the news," he said, strolling into Hobart's sitting room. He took a seat, uninvited, and helped himself to a slice of bacon. "Figured I'd come and see what you were planning on doing about this."

Hobart gritted his teeth, but did not respond to Lemmik's behavior. Lemmik outranked him by a caste and multiple Jewel ranks and he had no compunctions about anything, which was why he had been in charge of the witchblood fiasco. If Hobart tried to assert his social dominance, Lemmik might decide to retaliate.

Even if Hobart hadn't been a coward, he wasn't as flush with allies as he used to be.

"What's to plan?" he growled. "Just more riled up artisans and laborers. I was thinking about sending a few of the boys to go deal with it. Break it up and send everyone home."

"Best of luck with that," Lemmik chortled around his slice of bacon. "You've got more on your hands than just some angry peasants."

"You don't mean--they haven't subverted the aristos, have they?"

"Even worse," Lemmik drawled. He was in no hurry to explain; he had a captive audience here, after all.

"By the Darkness, man! Just spit it out!"

Lemmik grinned, a rather ghastly expression. "Oh, didn't Luddy here tell you?" He ignored her huff of displeasure. She didn't like him. "Lady Karla and her motley crew of misfits are in the van. They've been welcomed into the city and are coming to lay siege to the estate."

He looked up that their stunned faces. "Bacon?"

[NFB! Almost done, yay!]

The Arrival

Date: 2013-10-13 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The cheering throng only grew louder as they crossed the bridge from Sidra to the grounds of the estate. There, they were met with people in servants' uniforms. But rather than stand against the crowd, they joined in. Their allegiance had long-since shifted, assuming it had ever belonged to the current regime at all.

It was a tidal wave of humanity; everyone wanted to see what would happen when the real Queen met up with the Court she was intending to replace.

Re: Reactions

Date: 2013-10-14 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dinah was watching the balcony, committing the face of the man she didn't know to memory, watching for assassins, wishing she was wearing her Karla-costume.... and listening for any reason to believe things were about to get violent.

And watching Hobart.


glacial_queen: (Default)

December 2016

18192021 222324

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 12:29 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios