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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, '10, 5:20 pm
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New chapter! This is sort of a "Later that day..." chapter. Now that Emanuel has returned to Esper Mansion, the elders suggest meeting with him to discuss things, since he left on less-than-pleasant terms (and don't worry, I'll write that story, too). Therefore, this chapter is from Emanuel's perspective as he meets with the elders.
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“Master Vidar,” one of the Esper elders addressed Emanuel from across the table. Emanuel turned his eyes to the elder, one of many sitting in front of him as if he was going through some sort of inquiry. In all honestly that's exactly what he was going through, though the Espers made a habit of making all of their inquiries seem very unofficial and completely voluntary in the eyes of the examinee. It was one more reason Espers were regarded as pushovers, Emanuel thought. Inwardly he rolled his eyes at this whole process. There was no way they would get any real information out of him this time. He was here for one thing: Esmeray.

“Yes, Elder Lauritz?” answered Emanuel attentively and charmingly.

The elder’s face twitched slightly. Emanuel wasn’t sure if it was simply an itch or if his attempts at feigning utter sincerity over his return to Esper Mansion weren’t going over well. He waited patiently to find out.

The old Esper cleared his throat and continued his interview. “As you know, there are no firm rules regarding reintegration into our community. We welcome those who come back to us, even after more… turbulent separations. Given the circumstances surrounding your departure, however, we will require a probationary period from you before your full duties are reinstated.”

Emanuel listened patiently and nodded his head in agreement as the Esper spoke. “I understand completely, Elder Lauritz.”

The elder cast his eyes to another board member sitting next to him, giving him a somewhat skeptical look. The other Esper picked up where Elder Lauritz left off.

“This is no small matter, Emanuel,” spoke the elder sternly, a slightly younger and more outspoken man. “Not only did you break trust with your superiors, you led another, more impressionable member of our community down a dangerous path. She was often more than sidetracked in her duties because of your actions, and she’s done much since you’ve been gone to find her place among our ranks.”

Bah, ‘among our ranks.’ Like this is the military. What a joke, Emanuel cockily thought to himself. Of course, he knew they would mention Esmeray, even if not by name. Everyone wanted something from her; she was merely a pawn to them just like all of the outsiders that came to Esper Mansion. If they had remained exclusive then their whole silly cult would have shut down years ago. Espers that were born and raised in Esper Mansion were nothing but a bunch of inbred bigots, he thought. Outsiders were only as important as what they could offer to the Espers.

“I deeply regret my past transgressions, and only hope I can make it up to you and to Ms. Younan,” he replied. He noticed some of the elders squirm at mentioning Esmeray by name. What *, he thought.

They didn’t care about Esmeray, not like he did. She was wonderful and beautiful, not like the homely tomboys running around who usually ended up marrying a cousin or becoming old maids that bellyached all day long about all the wrongs in the galaxy rather than actually do anything constructive. Esmeray had talent and loved openly. Best of all, she was willing to try new things and deviate from the normal. That was worth celebrating, not chastising. ‘A dangerous path,’ yeah right, he grumbled to himself.

The Espers had won Esmeray over, giving her what she wanted: A place to raise her animals and teach others about all she had learned living in and around wildlife. In return, they got everything they wanted and more from her. In the two years since Emanuel had been gone, it was amazing what Esmeray had done with their otherwise weak attempts at raising livestock and training animals for guiding and hunting. They would be nothing without her. They’d still be eating mostly nuts and paying the village hunters’ hefty fees for meat and fur.

“We would prefer you limit your contact with Ms. Younan, but of course that is entirely up to her,” one of the oldest of the elders chimed in with his aged, wheezy voice.

No worries there, he thought. He knew he had the one thing Esmeray was missing from her life. He wouldn’t even need to seek her out. He already offered himself to her, and there was no way she would refuse his love. They were one and the same. They could have been together years ago had it not been for these useless, meddling fools he was looking at now.

“Of course,” he feigned agreement at the old man. “I will not interfere with Ms. Younan’s obligations to this fine organization. I have much catching up to do with my own studies, anyway. Now if you’ll excuse me…” he rose confidently from his chair and stared down every last elder, “I must return to my duties in the guild.” This meeting was going to end on his terms. These elders had no power over him.

He nodded his head respectfully at the board and waited for them to rise before turning around to leave. Once he had his back to them, he grinned confidently. It wouldn’t be long before he would leave this place again, only this time he would take his beloved with him. He was only here to rescue her.

Esmeray deserved better. Her talents were wasted on such morons. She belonged in one of Palm’s sleek and shiny towers with all the modern comforts. She could write about her experience on Dezo, just like her mother, and receive the fame that was rightfully hers. Emanuel could give her that. She would never labor again, she would never be subservient to anyone, and she would have all the time in Algo to love him and be with him, and no one would ever interfere with their lives again.

Last edited by Tanith on Tue Aug 17, '10, 5:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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