Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rough Riders On Mars! - Chapter 24 - My Interview With Jordak

Chapter 24 - My Interview With Jordak

The next morning found us making good headway back toward Ceraunius. I asked my officers to inspect the men and make sure all of our equipment was ready for battle. I felt sure that we would be flying into a combat situation very soon. After I had breakfasted, I called on Professor Edgren and Chronto to accompany me for a visit with Jordak.

The professor and I met Miss Linton at the door to Jordak’s cabin. I asked if the lady was ready for visitors to which she replied that she was. So, we entered the cabin and found Miss Jordak sitting up in bed finishing her meal.

Miss Linton Introduced us, “Jordak, this is Mister Roosevelt, Professor Edgren, and Chronto.
They are the men primarily responsible for our rescue.”

“I am pleased to meet you both.” Jordak replied, is slightly broken English.

“The pleasure is ours, I assure you.” I replied. “How are you feeling?”

“I am doing quite well.” She said. “Miss Linton is a wonder.”

“Indeed she is.” I replied. “I understand that you have quite a story to tell us. Do you feel up to it?”

“I believe so.” Jordak replied.

“Bully.” I said. “Let us have a seat and you may begin.”

We sat down in a semicircle facing Jordak and she began her tale.

“I was originally from Amazonis, born the second daughter to the Queen.” She said. “My father was an Avatu from Arduenna.”

“What is an Avatu,” I asked “A king or a prince?”

“Neither,” Jordak replied, “an Avatu is a captive used for reproductive purposes.”

“Oh!” I said with a somewhat shocked expression.

“Please do not judge my culture so harshly, Mr. Roosevelt.” Jordak replied, “This is a practice left over from the time that Amazonis was the slave nursery for the Nagi Fej. It is a practice that has been going on for eons. We can no more change it than you can change your methods of selecting a mate.”

“My apologies, Miss Jordak.” I replied. “Please continue.”

“When I was a small girl,” She continued, “the Queen’s sister led a successful revolt against the palace. My mother and elder sister were imprisoned. I, on the other hand, was taken away by a Trinythioian trader.

Tregtar raised me as one of his own offspring. I trained in the martial arts alongside his sons and learned how to deal with the nomads from Tregtar himself. I learned reading and writing from Tregtar’s mate. She also tried to teach me to be a woman of the Trinythioian culture, but that did not go well.

It was a happy life. I learned to fight and I learned how to defend a caravan. I also learned about the desert nomads, who to deal with and who to avoid. Our main trade route was along the Liris canal, from Trinythios to Ceraunius. Occasionally, we would travel the Styx canal to Laestrygon to trade for medicines and spices. That trade was very profitable, but could only be made once a tau (Martian year).

By the time I was a young adult, I had become an expert trader as well as an experienced warrior. The taue (years) I spent with Tregtar were happy times. I became a well respected trader, in my own right. I led many caravans and always got the best deal for my goods. Unfortunately, it did not last.

The tyrants of Trinythios became jealous of our good fortune. We were soon being harried with trumped up charges and accusations of wrong doing. We were able to hold off the legal assaults for a while. Then, some how, a petty noble was able to get the tyrant to declare us outlaws. Of course, this occurred without our knowledge.

Our caravan was nearing the Ceraunian border when we were attacked. The tribe of Nulak and the retinue from a noble that I do not know ambushed us. We killed many of their warriors before we were overran. Tregtar and his sons were killed. I was wounded and taken prisoner with the other women.

I was given to Nulak as a concubine, a gift he soon regretted. He allowed me to recover from my wounds and regain my strength. That was his mistake, for when he tried to have his way with me, I killed him. Then I took over his tribe. I was able to make my new tribe prosperous until those dogs Reytik and Deyak double crossed me. And that brings us to today.”

“That is an amazing tale.” I said. “Why is it that Reytik and Deyak turned against you?”

“Trade works better in a democratic society, Mr. Roosevelt.” Jordak said. “Therefore, I supported the democratic movement. As you know, democracy is a threat to both Reytik and Deyak.”

“I believe most of your story,” Chronto said, “however, I have heard the tale of a lost Amazon princess told around campfires since I was young.”

With that comment from Chronto, Jordak flared with anger. She then composed herself.

“I am sorry,” she said, “I am not accustomed to being questioned by male servants. However, for your sake Mr. Roosevelt, I shall prove my tale.”

With that, she threw back her bed covers to reveal her half naked body. Fortunately, the bandages she was wrapped in provided the modesty that her actions lacked. Across her abdomen was intricately cut scaring, in the form of two inward facing snake-like creatures.

Chronto stammered, “That is the symbol of the royal house of Amazonis.”

“This pattern was cut into my body when I was an infant.” Jordak said. “It has been concealed for many taue. I shall conceal it no longer.”

“What are you planning to do?” I asked.

“Because we are heading toward Ceraunius,” she replied, “I will deal with Reytik first. Afterwards, I will take my revenge upon Deyak. Then, who can say.”