CHAPTER 4: PROUD PARENTS

“He’s already the size of a five year old Earthling!” The Muse of Mischief exclaims when she sees G’saar.

G’ist and Rogs have landed their refurbished Myaad ship in Lecur, a short distance from the Ploosnar Palace. An aircoach was waiting to bring them to the palace. Emperor Bartala, Empress Nalau, the Muse of Mischief, Agent Brzko, and Lelelu are waiting to greet them when it pulls up to the palace entrance. There is an escort in the front seat and three beings in the second seat, the one in the center looks far too large to be a baby. The aircoach comes to a stop and one of the palace guards opens the door for them.

Like the flip of a switch, Bartala turns on. He approaches the visitors with his arms wide, “Friends! Welcome back to Ploosnar, I see you’ve brought us a new friend.”  He bends down to G’saar who is standing between G’ist and Rogs, each holding one of his hands. “You must be G’saar, I am honored to welcome you to my palace. Will you come inside and join me for refreshments?”

M turns to Brzko and projects, “I love seeing him like this. It cracks me up.”

I know, he’s so damn good at being a diplomat.”

It’s what he was born to do.”

G’saar looks up at Rogs, seeking permission to answer, Rogs’s gentle face gives him the assurance he needs. G’saar turns back to Bartala, “If it please you sir.”

At his point Nalau swoops in and reaches for the child’s hand, he eagerly lets go of G’ist and Rogs, and takes Nalau’s extended hand. “We have some special treats ready for you, would you like to come and see?”

“If it please you ma’am.” G’saar answers as he’s whisked off by Bartala and Nalau. They look like characters in an Earth fairytale – the tails of  Bartala’s long black formal coat flutter as he walks and Nalau is followed by the long train of her formal gown. Also black.

Brzko greets Rogs and G’ist, “You’re both looking well. It looks as though raising a child agrees with you.”

G’ist reaches for Rogs’s hand, “We are very well, thank you. Raising G’saar has certainly changed things for us, we are enjoying every day in a new way.”

“He has changed our perspectives about many things.” Rogs said. “We consider ourselves to be very lucky.”

“I didn’t expect him to be so well developed, is that typical of Xinoods or Myaads, or both?” M asked.

“Both.” G’ist answers. “We are born larger and with more advanced abilities than some species, for example the ability to communicate using vocabulary. And due to the extensive development time of Myaads, they are quite large when they emerge from the hive. ”

“G’saar was lucky enough to inherit the traits of rapid development from both of us.” Rogs said. “I see myself in him in other ways but I also see some of G’ist in him.”

“Is he excited to see Myaad, to see where you’re from Rogs?” Brzko asked.

Rogs looked at G’ist and they both laugh. “There isn’t anything that doesn’t excite our G’saar. By the time we get inside he will have asked close to a hundred questions and sampled every food he was offered!”

“Well then, let’s go see how Bartala’s holding up.” M said as she turns and heads toward the entrance, her own long coat flutters as she walks.

The group walks down the main hall, M is in the lead. She can see a butler standing outside of the green sitting room, so she heads that way. As they near the room they can hear Bartala bellowing loudly, “Stand aside ye scallywag, lest ye be tossed overboard and eaten by sharks!”

M doesn’t wait for the butler to open the door and announce them, she rushes into the room, Brzko and Lelelu right on her heels, followed by Rogs and G’ist. Just as they enter the green sitting room from the front hallway, Nalau enters from the back hallway. The room is in total chaos – two of the sofas have been overturned and the third is standing straight up on its end. Bartala stands on one of the overturned sofas, and G’saar is standing on the table. Each of them has a poker from the fireplace. Pretending they are swords, they smack them into each other as though they are having a duel. G’saar is giggling hysterically. 

Before M can say anything, Nalau speaks. “Kufeter Whakeclyte Wissswara Bartapulnye what is going on?! Why are stabbing that child with a poker, have you lost your sense?”

“Uh-oh. We’re in trouble G’saar.” He walks to the table, sits his poker down and takes G’saar’s, placing it on the table next to his. He helps G’saar down. “My dear, we were recreating an ancient Earth battle between the scallywags and the pirates. It was purely a history lesson, ask M, she’ll tell you about the pirates of Earth.” He turns and looks at M, waiting for her to bail him out of this trouble.

“Well the pirates are a part of Earth’s history. But I’m not sure that upending sofas is the best way to educate G’saar about them. Although I’m sure it was an exciting lesson.” She walks over toward Bartala while she speaks. When she’s close enough for him to hear her she whispers, “I’m doing this for the kid.” 

She stops in front of G’saar, “So what did you learn about pirates today G’saar? Anything exciting?”

“Oh yes.” Even though he’s young, he’s intelligent enough to know that he can help Bartala out of this jam. “The Emperor was kind enough to teach me about the giant ships they used to travel the seas. And that they were really just criminals that would steal things and throw each other overboard. Similar to the League of Mongers.” He turned toward G’ist and Rogs, “I would like to go to Earth and see the artifacts of the pirates, is that possible?”

They were clearly stunned to see that their son had been involved in something that displeased the Empress, Brzko comes to their rescue.

“The Muse of Mischief and I still have a home there, maybe we can arrange to take you there once your fully grown.” Brzko said, knowing this is not likely. With skin the color of obsidian, bright green eyes, and white hair, G’saar will likely never be safe during a visit to Earth.

By this time Nalau has gotten over the shock of walking in on a pirate duel. She’s far too gracious to allow palace guests to feel uncomfortable about anything. “Well I’m sure you worked up an appetite during your pirate duel with the Emperor. Why don’t we move into one of the other sitting rooms and enjoy some refreshments?”

“A wonderful idea my love.” Bartala said with relief, as he realizes he’s off the hook for his pirate escapades. “Shall we gather in the grey sitting room, right across the hall?” He slips his arm around his wife’s waist and begins walking toward the door. “Come young G’saar, you can tell us what you plan to do when you get to Myaad.” He said placing his hand on the child’s shoulder, intent on directing him toward the door. But G’saar didn’t budge.

“Thank you sir, but…” He looks around at the disarray they had caused.

“Ah, the sofas, yes. I see your point G’saar. But one of the advantages of being the Emperor of Ploosnar is that I get to turn the sofas upside down but I don’t have to right them. I have butlers that will do that for me.”

G’saar crossed his arms and gazed at G’ist and Rogs. “Thank you for introducing me to the Emperor, I find him most enjoyable.”

Bartala answered before G’ist and Rogs could. “Thank you G’saar. You’re not bad yourself. Now let’s go get something to eat. I worked up an appetite with all this pirate history.” Again he put his hand on the child’s shoulder, directing him to the door. This time it works. G’ist and Rogs follow them across the hall, then M, Brzko, Lelelu.

The amazing palace staff already has the room ready for them. On the coffee table there are platters with various fruits and vegetables, a few bowls of lusimis, and a pitcher of something cold, probably a locally grown tea.

“Please, help yourself to refreshments and sit wherever you like.” Nalau said as the group entered.

Bartala takes a seat in the only winged chair – grey of course, like all of the furniture in the grey sitting room. Nalau stations herself next to him, standing – they look like an old fashioned portrait. As soon as they are settled one of the palace staff delivers a glass to both him and Nalau. The blue steam gives away that it contains their new favorite beverage, espidrun.

M and Brzko hang back, letting the guests take in the delights that have been laid out in their honor. G’saar can hardly contain his excitement. Recognizing that, Rogs immediately sets to work assembling a plate of the delicious foods for him. Once he settles in to enjoy his refreshments, Rogs and G’ist seat themselves on one of the sofas. M, Brzko, and Lelelu take the other. They are all immediately presented with a glass of espidrun.

Before anyone has time to even take a sip G’ist stands. “I would like to offer my, well our deepest gratitude to you, Emperor Bartala and Empress Nalau. The work you have done, and the gifts you have bestowed upon not just the Myaads, but also me, is beyond anything we have experienced before. Your kindness has helped us create a new life for ourselves and we are in your debt.” He lifts his glass, as do they all, and sips the hot pink liquid with blue steam rolling off of it..

“Please, there is no need to thank us. As a good friend of mine often said eh it’s what we do.” He looks over at M, she smiles back. “And really, I cannot take the credit for this. The Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko set things in motion and there were many others that helped, as there always are. Like Lelelu, she kind of holds us all together. What will you do while you’re on Myaad?”

“As far as business is concerned, I will attempt to set up a trade relationship with them. We aren’t sure if they have had enough time to recover yet, but Xinood 5 is very interested in establishing a relationship with them.” G’ist looks to his partner Rogs, letting him finish.

“And I want to introduce G’ist and G’saar to my home and my culture. Myaads are unlike any other beings in the Universe, and I think it’s difficult to understand us until one has spent some time immersed in our culture. Because we are raising G’saar on Xinood 5 he is already being exposed to that culture. Even though he doesn’t look like a Myaad, we can see the exploratory traits of a Rogsaar in his personality, and we want to make sure he has an opportunity to understand the culture.” Rogs slips his hand into G’ist’s and settles back into the sofa.

They pass the remainder of the visit leisurely chatting, and snacking. When G’saar starts to get sleepy the new parents make their exit and continue on their way to Rogs’ home, Myaad.

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