First Contact - Picoth

470 words. Approximately 3 minutes reading time

Lady Benniga Hemon was the nominal leader of the Picoth delegation. She ignored the fact that several soldiers actually marched in front of her. Additionally, a dozen or so administrators surrounded her. Despite the ceremonial armour they wore, they were armed with nothing more than ink and paper. The bureaucratic army that she despised so much.

As they approached the clearing, Lord Gilles and Lord Matilin slowed to walk behind her. She almost objected, but she knew that protocol demanded she, as the Lady Ambassador, be front and centre. She rehearsed her speech in her mind once again. It seemed so pompous, but she supposed it was…

The sound of Lord Gilles clearing his throat pulled out of her daydreaming. She looked back at him, and saw him gesturing forward. She looked forward at an albino man, barefoot and naked except for a black cloak. He leaned on a staff that was almost as white as he was.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, as her speech evaporated from her head. “Where is the Guto delegation?”

She looked around, wondering if other Guto were hiding in the trees.

The man bowed - to Lord Matilin, not to her.

“I am Corellan Grelen. I have the honour to represent the Guto for this meeting.”

She glared at him. She was not used to others ignoring her. And for him to greet her counsellors instead of her?

“What is this? A single person - a deformed one at that! His face looks like…”

Lord Matilin put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed.

“My lady,” he said. “Remember what your father said. Diplomacy.”

She frowned at him, and felt a chill of shame. She looked back at the strange man.

“I apologize for my words. I was expecting the Guto to send a proper ambassador, and…”

Lord Matilin coughed and gestured at Lord Gilles. They both pulled her back.

“My lady,” Matilin whispered. “I know that we weren’t expecting the insult of a single man for their embassy. Especially not one of the God-cursed. However, we need to be diplomatic all the same. We can’t risk a war right now.”

“I agree, my lady,” said Gilles. “Perhaps Lord Matilin should take the lead for now.”

Reluctantly, Lady Benniga agreed. She stood back while Matilin walked forward.

“I apologize for the words of Lady Benniga. As you can tell, she has no experience in diplomacy.”

While Maitilin continued negotiations, Benniga’s heart burned. It was obvious to her that the Guto had meant to insult the Picoth in the worst possible manner. Despite what Matilin thought, this could only lead to war.

This was written as an experiment with sharing a single story with two points of view. Read the Guto point of view, and an overview of my thought on this story.

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