Virgulle’s Vestral 45

Tuesday 8th November 2011

The author comes face to face with a giant

HARD was the seating, strepitous the noise, and tasteless the décor, but the flight was swift and one of the men in dappled clothing opposite winked often in a manner which I took to be friendly. There being no windows in the abdomen of the drone, I was unable to view the land below and thus calculate our speed or height, but I would be surprised if the Rhetan long-distance champion, Brighlend, could maintain a similar velocity or altitude.

Another cage waited to take us the short distance from the drone’s landing area to the nearby buildings. Do these people never walk more than a few yards?

From there I was escorted down several corridors and into a room, where some ten people were standing. All ceased talking and turned to look in my direction. I assumed an Emily mood, answering their stares by sticking out my tongue: a gesture met with embarrassed laughs and fidgety movements.

A man, whose remaining hair was confined to two neat, small plots either side of his cranium, moved towards me, cleared his throat and spoke slowly in a strong voice, as if making a ceremonial announcement:

“I believe that you understand our language and speak some English. I am A Minister, representing the Guvver Munt of the united King Dumb and the people of Earth. Welcome.”

He extended his hand in the traditional manner of greeting.

To remain silent would achieve little now that I finally had an opportunity to speak to a figure in authority. But how should I reply? I did not wish to anger him, but nor did I want him to think I was in awe of him. Whatever I said might be recorded in history books or become an oft-repeated saying, as in the case of those words spoken by the mariner Longst on the shores of the far Lurcun Sea.

I recalled my initial encounter with Tom and how he, though frequently uncommunicative or sullen, nevertheless often had an apt remark to suit the occasion.

I shook A Minister’s hand, smiled openly, and replied:


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