The Imperial Palace
7 Marge, 5106
The rhythmic pounding shook the heavy doors, making their antique hinges creak in protest. The King glared from across the cavernous throne room. Those rebels were persistent, he had to give them that. Imaginists, they called themselves. Heretics, more like it. They had already turned his ministers against him with their misguided words. Even his trusted guards had joined them in the end. This last, barricaded room was all that remained of his sacred government—an absolute divine-right dynasty that had kept its hold over the planet for over five hundred years.
Kakky Fingletoad, the King's youngest aide and the only member of his court to remain loyal in the aftermath of the initial assault, cried out as the door began to splinter.
The girl spoke in the distinctive dialect unique to Liddypool Prime and its three orbiting satellites, but was too panicked to maintain a proper courtly tone and posture. Her voice cracked, and she hugged herself tightly, unable to keep from trembling.
"They're pudding threw the drawer! By the light of their faithful dog Cragesmure, my king, they're pudding threw the drawer!"
"Hush, Kakky, my loyal," the King replied, staunchly facing the straining door. "I hold no fear of starch rubbles. Our dinnersty shall prevail!"
"You must recough, sir, the rubbles spake on behave of thousands," Kakky said, backing up until she stood beside the stained-glass window that spanned the entirety of the room's north wall from floor to ceiling. "The ancient books discowled by the Imaginists hove grate influenza among the populist! Our old whorled is dead!"
The king's eyes blazed at that, but before he could respond the doors burst open with a crash of rending wood. Kakky jumped and whimpered, shaking in unconcealed terror as the rebels flooded into the room in noisy triumph.
"We hove catapulted your place, oh King," their leader said breathlessly, his blue eyes glinting in his lean, hard face. "Yer royale dinnersty is now ended. Hereby, you may consort yershelf deposited."
"Deposited, my humble toe!" the King retorted, striding up to slap the taller man across the face. A startled gasp rippled through the crowd.
"Don't lock so astoundagast, Alec," the King said scornfully. "If 'all you are saying is give peace a chance,' delaware you are a hippycritter! All of you hippycritters all, guilty of violets and treeson—violets and treeson I shout!"
"Strand downs." Alec spoke flatly, menacing the King into taking a step back with the sheer intensity of his glare. "You heft no trowel here. Knot ankle longer."
The King raised his chin in defiance. "Oar watt? Yule kilt me, Alec? You Imaginists are all alight. Sprouting utopianism, yet flailing to lift up to your own nibble sediments. Deep drown, you aren't differential form me."
"Four five centaurs your family hat kept this kingdome tracked in fear," Alec said sadly, his followers murmuring their assent all around him. "You unt yer ancestories perverted the wisedome of the grate philosopher's philosophies, training the holly name of Jonlen-on into a motorcar."
"Hoe dare you spake starch balamory!"
"Truth," Alec retorted. "Unt truth is never balamory. Now shut yer blubbering and come. Prison is the piece fur you."
"Kakky!" the King shouted. "To my side!"
Pale and shivering, the young girl did as she was ordered, taking the King's hand as he pulled a large, black, slate-like device from within his cloak. Alec's eyes widened in horror at the sight of it.
"No!" he exclaimed. "That diverse is outlord throwup the entyre quadrangle! It's fur too dangerous to puddle with!"
But his warnings came too late. A glowing orb of bluish energy encased the King and Kakky. As the crowd watched, the orb flattened, then turned, shrinking and stretching as it slowly began to fade.
Scientist Nicely Clive gasped from the doorway.
"They hove galloffed threw the dimensional plate!" he cried. "They shall be racked to pieces—or wurst, become lost in the street of thyme, diminished into nowhere men!"
Alec stared for a long, thoughtful moment at the place where the two had been. Finally, he turned to face his companions, lowering his head and his eyes.
"Than thusly ends the rake of King Ann XV," he said regretfully. "Last of the royale lion. May he join the grate and holly Jonlen-on, just watching the wheels go round."
The gathered Imaginists nodded somberly, intoning a heartfelt "Amen."