The snowflakes started to adhere to the streets outside my window, painting a beautiful white coat over the hills and mountains of the landscape. September has just begun its course and the familiar weather that I am so used to greats me strongly, another glorious year of progress both in technology and politically is at its beginning, promising great rewards but nonetheless challenges to accomplish greatness. I strap the harness to my chest securing two guns under my coat, the medals shine brightly against the black wool of my blazer demanding respect and asserting domination. The title of general always appealed to me since I Heard others call my father this way, he had a way of owning the room he was in and persuade people with his words that pushed me to be like him.
My aspiration was that of walking into a room without having to introduce myself and without the shadow of my father’s glory upon my back.
A smile stretches upon my face upon thinking of my father, Gerald Farrell, a great man and colonel during the World War 3, it is said that he alone fought a dragon but when ever I asked him about it, he would smile and wink at me, never giving me a concrete answer.
He was the only parent I knew since my mother refused to acknowledge me as hers, but I don’t blame her as it is her right to do that. She became pregnant while married to my father out of duty but never wished to be a mother as the law does not force women to do what they do not wish as it is not upon other what decision they make with their bodies and lives.
In our culture feeling are viewed as weak, love is the destruction of glory, it clouds the mind and corrupts the souls. Not even parental love is praised, of course there is a sense of responsibility and a tendency to take care of the progenies, but having a child is not the greatest accomplishment of a woman’s life in Norland.
“General Farrell, the council is in the great hall waiting for you”. I straighten my collar and turn towards Alfred, my second in command.” I will join them in a moment, have the servant to bring food and drinks for the members. Today fate will be decided “.
I take my uniform cap and place it between my hip and my arm ready to faces the circus of beasts waiting for me, I take a deep breath a stride toward the two wood doors that lead to the great hall , it suddenly opens and I hear my name being announced by my gaze is focused on the council members seated at the table , the great families of Norland are represented by an elected member that brings up the concerns and proposes policies to best face the various problems of this wide union.
Some are more corrupted by the concept of power than others, but all the members bring valuable opinions even if they are driven by the aspiration of my position.
The General of Norland is an estimated and regarded position, it is deeply influenced by the past concept of a prime minister or first minister, but it is a position that requires a leading character, someone willing to put their life in danger for the welfare of its people.
The decision and suggestions of the council are reviewed by the General Selection, a legislative body that issues law and policies, these are in turn subjected to the scrutiny of the Supreme Court of Justice that has supremacy over the General Selection.
The executive powers are in the hands of the Great Council that works closely with the High Judge and the Lord Justices for uniformity.
The public has a greater power over the decisions that are taken as in the past, it can reject a law even if it is passed by all the bodies of the Union.
“Good afternoon members of the Council, I apologize for my tardiness, I had to attend some urgent matters”. I lay my cap on the table and take place at the head of it as it is custom.” I will not take much of your precious time as I appreciate the great lengths that some of you had to travel to meet with me. We are on the verge of war with Inaia and few villages on the border of the Hole have been attacked by those beasts. We must show a united front with our enemies to ensure the survival of the human races, the heart has reached half of its potential sooner than anticipated and we need their collaboration and knowledge of magic to assure its proper functioning as we cannot produce a device so advanced in such a short period”. I pause for a second taking a deep breath to let this information sink. I feel the gaze of the Colonel Hansen burning my skin, her family was slaughter during the last World War by a dragon, or so she says, and her refusal to trade or discuss with Inaian has been the cause of many disputes amongst the members.” General, I do not wish to come out as rude, but those beasts do not deserve our help, we can easily design a device by ourselves and be the sole proprietors of the heart, they deserve to rot in their deserts”. The foolishness of this woman will be her downfall, I just hope we are not caught up in it.” Colonel, I appreciate and value your opinion, but this is a matter that regards all the Union of Norland, not just your region. I have come up with a proposal that will give us insight into their culture and tribe system and will allow us to monitor closely their leader’s decisions and behaviour. I ask for you to vote wisely as for this will shape our future and possible peace, not just the mere tolerance that we have built through the years”. Some faces appear intrigued, some are concern, surely more for themselves and their title that foot the sake of their regions. Colonel Allard is the only one sporting a smile as his region is near the border of the Hole and he would benefit greatly by an alliance.” I propose an alliance through a marriage, since it is a pact that cannot be broken as it is sacred in their culture. we will be having a direct insight into their economy, govern and culture- “the screech of a chair interrupts my speech, and the enraged face of the Colonel Hansen is a good enough answer and her storm from the room confirms it.
“At least her position is clear” laughter erupts from the other members and my patience is thinning by the moment.” Let’s all vote on this so that we can put it in motion as soon as possible. If you agree with it place your families’ crest in the bowl “.
“But General, excuse me, who will be selected to marry a beast?”
Colonel Romano has always been the one rational and has a great attention for detail, I admire her, and she has always been by my side, either in battle or in court.” I will be the one marrying one Count of their choice as I am the one proposing this solution.
I know you might have concerns about it, but we have to give them the illusion of an advantageous deal. They will have no access whatsoever in our daily duties or to the documents of the library of Izamont.”I get up from my seat and place my crest into the bowl glancing at the other members and waiting for their vote to be casted .
When everyone leaves the room, the content of the bowl has decreted the majority, I am now left with the realization of my decision. I will have to marry a person that till now has always been an enemy, maybe someone I even fought against or someone that murdered innocent people…
But it is for the greater good, or so I keep telling myself , I have a duty to protect all of them with any mean necessary , but I never thought that I will have to give up my freedom of choice .
The room now fills emptier and colder and the few lights that adorn the wall shed a restlessness that seeps through my bones, I am playing with fire but the reward is greater than the risks involved. This cold season is going to thoroughly change our perception of the world. The chill air brings goosebumps on my skin while I stare at the bowl in front of me that decided my life.