The Micras Chessboard

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Mahmud bin Alsalam
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Re: The Micras Chessboard

Post by Mahmud bin Alsalam » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:58 pm

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Chapter 10: On the way to truth
22.XI.1680

Not long after his release from Raspur area, he had recovered a bit. Enough to appear for his liberator. Enough to meet the Kaiser of Francia. In a convoy of black cars, he was driven through the streets of Brandenburg, looking out in awe. Brandenburg, a new city, but so full of character. He was very impressed with Hofburg Palace, the work palace of Kaiser. There he was escorted to the Kaiser's office.

The doors swung open for him while his arrival was announced. The Kaiser stood in the middle of the room, Villy immediately rushed forward and fell to his knees in front of the Kaiser. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," he sobbed. The Kaiser did not know what to do, but lowered his knees. "Come on, get up," said the Kaiser. Villy looked up into the face of the Kaiser, who looked at him in a friendly and smiling way. He stood up while the Kaiser helped him by the arm.

After a moment that Villy calmed down, the Kaiser invited him to take a seat on a chair. The Kaiser sat down on the other side of the desk. Only then did VIlly see that there were two more people in the room. De Kaiser saw that Villy had noticed the other two people, and said: “May I introduce you? James Tazelaar, intelligence officer. And Eva von Babenberch, prosecutor of the Froyalan Tribunal.” Both people greeted him and Villy greeted them. He wondered why they were here. On the desk lay a thick package of paper, a file. The file pushed the Kaiser aside, added his hands, and sighed. "Villy, what have they done to you?" Tears began to accumulate in his eyes, thinking of all that pain.

"Let's start from the moment you are abducted by the Dark Orchid Society," said the Kaiser. Villy burst into tears. "Don't let me relive this," replied Villy. The Kaiser looked at him, but the friendly face was tighter. “You have been treated well since you were released from the hands of oppressors. Several tests have been done on you to see how you look psychologically," responded the Kaiser. "We want to help you, but that is only possible if you tell the truth," added Eva. Villy looked around at the faces that looked at him. The only one who hadn't said anything yet, he could tell from him that he knew. He knew it, at least the most important parts of the truth. He realized that his liberation would only be complete if he told the truth.

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Mahmud bin Alsalam
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Re: The Micras Chessboard

Post by Mahmud bin Alsalam » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:03 pm

Chapter 11: I'm Dreaming of Home
III.1681

Almost seven years after the encounter on the bridge, the Kaiser is standing at the same bridge again. This time not alone, around him are all the notables of Francia. Many flag bearers with the Frankish flag colour the company in Amokolian red. An army commander receives an approving nod from Kaiser, after which he commands orders. The flag bearers are in the position, the music corps is ready. The wait is to beat the clock. The ceremony starts exactly at noon in the afternoon.

There is also a delegation on the other side of the bridge. The High Priestess of the Thingeyri Temple is there, but also Æsileif Haraldsdóttir, queen of Ravaria. There too, flags fluttered, namely those of Gascony, Los Bananos and Ravaria. All eyes were on the other side, on the Kaiser and his delegation. There was silence at both delegations. Silence awaiting the clock.

The expected clock strokes sounded, twelve strokes. The Frankish delegation starts moving, the Kaiser leads the way and crosses the bridge. Behind him, on the sides of the bridge, are the flag bearers with the Frankish flags. The other notables follow. The moment the Kaiser crosses the border that has just disappeared, the band starts playing.

When the Kaiser reaches the delegation across the street, he greets the Queen and High Priestess. They made a curtsy for the Kaiser. The flags of Gascony, Los Bananos and Ravaria were spread on the ground before the Kaiser as a symbol of submission. He steps over these flags and then these flags are raised again. The Kaiser shakes hands with the many notables from Gascony, Los Bananos and Ravaria.

A steam train is waiting, puffing and steaming, to take the Kaiser and both delegations to La Roch-Derrien. The route the train takes from the Noah Brücke to Lannion, Amorica, Bordeaux and La Roche-Derrien will be the future route of the northern route of the Orient Express. The train passes through many villages, where people with Frankish flags flutter towards the train. The Kaiser is grateful that after so many years this area is again under the control of a Vinandy.

The princess of Austrasia told everyone who wanted to hear about her future mom. Every day, to fatigue, she talked about her day with Esther Fatima Gudrid. The four-year-old crown prince of Francia, was very enthusiastic about the steam train and could not stand his luck when he was allowed to pull the chain of the steam whistle. The two-year-old Marquis of Dornick mainly focused on his little car.

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After arriving in La Roche-Derrien, the Kaiser was taken to the Château de Draguibéliard, where he and his children were met by Esther Fatima Gudrid. The Kaiserhymne was performed in the courtyard of the Château.

The first state dinner, in which the Kaiser and the Imperial Chieftainess of Normandy participated together, was set up for the entire delegation. The state dinner was held in the Grand Hall of the Château. De Kaiser concluded the dinner with a speech:

''“With great gratitude to the High King of Stormark, the Storish government and the Althing, it is my pleasure to be here for you. This land of Gascony, the land of Los Bananos and the Kingdom of Ravaria, are now part of the Frankish Empire. The countries of Gascony and Los Bananos in particular have been closely linked to the House of Vinandy for centuries. We are grateful that Stormark took this country into custody when the Kingdom of Batavia fell apart. Now, as a descendant of the family of Vinandy, I can count this country again under my rule.''

''I express my gratitude to my grandmother for allowing Ravaria to join the Frankish Empire. Since the late Fränzi-Ferdinanda des Vinandy-Windsor, the Kingdom of Ravaria has been linked to the Kingdom of Batavia. That commitment and the memory of her may be the basis for a hopeful future for Ravaria under the Frankish flag.''

''Personally I often dreamed about this day. The day these countries would come to me. Several of my dreams have not yet come true, but this dream has come true today. May I present to you, all present here, the old song "I'm Dreaming of Home".''

''Thank you."''

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Mahmud bin Alsalam
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Re: The Micras Chessboard

Post by Mahmud bin Alsalam » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:05 pm

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Chapter 12: Unification in magnification

"What's on your mind, my dear?", the Kaiser heard his wife ask. He didn't respond, because his thoughts kept him busy. It was only when her question finally came to him that he saw her questioning eyes. Still, he couldn't say a word. "Is it too much?", she continued. The Kaiser didn't really have to say much, his wife sometimes understood him better than he understood himself. The Kaiser sighed.

Although he has tried with all his might to keep the countries under his sceptre each their sovereignty, lately he seems to be a permanent crisis manager. A war here, a government crisis there, a state of emergency, callers from the sidelines, a diplomatic puzzle, it doesn't stop. While the Kaiser and king are not vain at all, he has noticed that he has been ageing rapidly lately.

At that moment, a ball rolled against his shin. His eldest son came after that ball and hesitated when he saw that his father was looking at it. The Kaiser smiled at his son as he picked up the ball and gave it to him. The boy had his head at playing soccer, picked up the ball and ran back to his little brother. All his children were present on the lawn. As he watched the whole spectacle with satisfaction, a thought bubbled up in him. He looked at his wife, while his face brightened up. His wife saw the eureka with her husband and asked: "Let's hear it?"

But that's exactly when Noah and his fiancée Margaery arrived. Esther was almost disappointed with their arrival, which of course was due to the timing. "The Vinandy's together!" says Noah, after a hug with his sister. "Oh how wonderful to see all those little ones again," Margaery said. "Well, it's almost become a tradition that we meet here," said Arkadius as he gesticulated to mark the Castellum Avalon. "The Gustavus effect," Esther replied. "Indeed," Arkadius replied. "In blessed memory," sighed Margaery. "But Gustavus also had a brilliant way of simplifying," said Arkadius, after which he rushed into the palace.

The royals that stayed behind looked at each other, while Esther began to grin. "Come," Noah said, when he saw the grin on her face, "Let's see where he went." They found him while he put a chalkboard on a buck. "Look", began Arkadius, "two countries, four autonomous territories on five of the seven continents. That combination alone is complicated. But, all under my control. Bringing all those countries and regions within one nation, that's still not desirable. The countries are too different, their history too different and the only dividing factor is my person."

At that moment he was looking at his wife, to which he quickly added: "Statistically speaking". His wife smiled and had nothing to add. Noah looked at the country names on the blackboard and turned to Arkadius. "What's your hunch?" he asked. "Well", that's the real Gustavus effect." Margaery got a tear and wiped it off her cheek. Arkadius turned from her not to get emotional. "Gustavus was a master at recognizing problems, addressing and framing. In this way, every problem becomes comprehensible and manageable. All these countries have problems in turn, I'm sure, but as head of state, it's head-breaking."

Esther had to laugh at the joke and thought: 'typical remark for Arkadius'. De Kaiser continued his argument: "There are three policy areas where most problems exist. 1. Military. Although the armies function well and are able to work together, the different policies do not allow for unity of policy. So if one country decides to commit military action, another country does not have to do so. But what happens if that one country is attacked as a result of that military deployment? 2. Abroad. It's starting to become a web of connections. One country has relations with a foreign nation, but another country does not. That ansihilation is already tricky, let alone if it's played out. 3. Geography. "All countries have their own ambitions and development."

"So if I understand correctly", Noah carefully starts, "Merging into one nation with one government, that's not desirable, but the countries have problems with the same policies?" "Indeed", Arkadius replied. "It's like my family." Esther raises her eyebrows and looks surprised. As Arkadius looks at her, he continues his story: "It is composed of two successive marriages and five children. Apparently I am their unifying factor, but in essence it is love, loyalty and devotion. Without these three factors, there are all sorts of problems. In the countries under my sceptre there is unity, peace and quiet when the three main policies are organized together".

Esther gets up, looks proudly at her husband. She takes over her husband's chalk and circles the words 'military', 'abroad' and 'geography'. "But, my husband, unity is one thing. Distinction is another." She puts a line under the circle. Noah understands Esther's point and says: "A strict demarcation of policy areas is crucial. Multi-level blending can cost a country its stability." "Indeed", Esther responds, "We must learn a lesson from this." Margaery still looks seriously and says: "The changes are often rapid and the political situation always requires adjustment. Something that turns out to be an appropriate solution today, will be outdated tomorrow. If you think of a kind of union, within which the countries that organize three policy areas jointly, you have to leave room for flexibility or, because of the differences, a possibility of termination".

"Before working towards a solution, we are going to enjoy a typical Arcadian dish: stifado", said Arkadius as he took over his wife's chalk and placed it on the edge of the chalkboard. Noah thought this was an anticlimax, because he thought of all kinds of solutions and possibilities. "Yes," Arkadius said when he saw Noah hesitating, "Solutions are not so difficult when the problems have been recognized, addressed and framed".

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Re: The Micras Chessboard

Post by Mahmud bin Alsalam » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:06 pm

Chapter 13: Der Gute Kamerad
8.III.1685

Full of disbelief, the Kaiser and the Kaiserin showed that their wish to attend the funeral of the late Kaiser Ayreon IV was not granted. The panic-stricken reaction of the Livist nations led to a refusal. Even an apolitical commemoration of the deceased Kaiser was not possible. Deeply disappointed, the Kaiser and Kaiserin remained in Brandenburg.

That's why the Kaiser and Kaiserin held their own commemoration in the Temple of Friendship. Prominents from Arcadia, Batavia, Francia, Helderbourgh, Ravaria and Stormark came together. The eternal flame has been burning since the temple was founded. The memory of Vidar is alive, just as the flame continues to burn.

A large crowd stood around the temple, then the Kaiser and Kaiserin with an appropriate walk from the palace. In complete silence the imperial couple walked the path to the temple. Only the birds continued their business undisturbed. Throughout the Franco-Batavian Empire, trains, trams and buses came to a standstill. The drivers park their cars, all the traffic comes to a standstill. The commemoration at the Arkadius Palace is broadcast live throughout the Union, on large screens in squares, where many people have gathered. Flowers and burning torches symbolise the commemoration.

The Kaiser goes behind the lectern and gives a speech:

''"Ein guter Kamerad. Für mich war das Kaiser Ayreon IV. Seine Hingabe ermöglichte die Wiederbelebung des Königreichs Bataviën. Seine selbstlose Großzügigkeit stellte nicht nur das ursprüngliche Batavische Territorium wieder her, sondern schuf auch eine neue Ostgrenze. Dafür schuldet Bataviën ewigen Dank. Wir haben eine Stadt nach ihm benannt. Wir gedenken hier seiner.''

''Seine Herrschaft wurde vom Livismus geplagt. Der Froyalanische Völkermord fand unter seiner Aufsicht statt, aber der Kaiser wurde von den Livisten überstimmt. Heute ist der Livismus lebendig und wohlauf, heute ist der Livismus in großer Gefahr. Vidar wurde von einem Livisten ermordet.''

''Die Wiederbelebung des Königreichs Amokoliën ist eine Folge der Zersplitterung seines Reiches. Leider wird das Vermächtnis von Vidar heute zunehmend abgerissen. Aber hier halten wir die Erinnerung wach. Hier brennt die Flamme. Die Flamme für einen guten Kameraden!"''

The Kaiser stands next to his wife, after which the two minutes of silence begin under the sound of the air alarm.

After the air alarm is silenced again, a song is played.

During the song the Kaiser and Kaiserin lay a wreath by the eternal flame. After the Kaiser and Kaiserin have stopped at the wreath, they walk back to the palace. All present make a parade along the wreath and the eternal flame. In the palace, the Kaiser and Kaiserin stand to shake hands with everyone present.

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Re: The Micras Chessboard

Post by Mahmud bin Alsalam » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:06 pm

Chapter 14: After the winter comes spring

Part 1: Winter is coming
11.VI.1685

A classified file was in front of him, the title was "Winter is coming". The Kaiser hesitated to read the file, because the broad outlines had already been set out in the short briefing. Would the Amokolians betray him? Would their desire to unite with the Amokolians in Elwynn go so far that they would reject their Kaiser? That seemed so unlikely to him. The Kaiserin-Gemahlin entered the office room and saw the Kaiser sigh. She was worried about her husband. He was so busy. The formation of the Franco-Batavian Empire hadn't reduced the workload.

"Come," she said to her husband, "the plane is waiting." The Kaiser muttered almost silently: "That plane won't leave without me". The Kaiserin-Gemahlin did not react to the mumbling. She led her husband by her hand through the corridors of the palace, while she got a strange feeling. The feeling that she would walk through the palace for the last time, as if their departure would be final. Behind the palace, the helicopter was already waiting to take the imperial couple to the airport. There they boarded the imperial plane.

The plane took off and set course for Helderbourgh. The route first went west, to avoid having to fly over Raspur area. In the air traffic control bunker, somewhere in the Gänsleinkamm, one of the controllers called an untraceable number and said: "The first snowflake has fallen". A series of events were then set in motion. In several cities people took to the streets. These supposedly spontaneous protests were a smokescreen for other events. In the Reichstag the session was declared controversial, this caused the doors to close. Nobody could leave the building, not even the entire government present. At the same time the old Amokolian flag was hoisted on several military bases. Standard military communications were diverted or broken.

In the Imperial plane they were uncertain of the covert actions on the ground. James Tazelaar, the Batavian secret agent, walked across the street on the Unter den Eichen in Brandenburg. Inadvertently he looked at the cameras, which monitored the street. He saw that the cameras turned away one by one and alerted him. And he was right, because when he suddenly started running, the bullets started flying around his ears. Bystanders started screaming and running chaotically. A young woman James ran right past was hit dead. James was hit in the leg, but that didn't seem to hurt him at first.

A few hours later James arrived at a safehouse, but he saw a black AMW Imperia nearby. He loved that car, only this time he noticed that there were two people in that car. They seemed to be watching the street and especially the safehouse. So James knew enough and left. He called Esmeralda on her secret number. She answered and James said, "The oak tree has fallen over," and he hung up. Esmeralda wasn't surprised by the message, because she had already dealt with rebels. On her way to Frankfurt-am-Oder she drove past a military base and saw the old Amokolian flag flying. When she will insert tanks in her rear-view mirror on the highway, she knew something was going on. Instead of driving to Estherbyur, she turned off to drive via the Noah Brücke to Gascony. There she stopped behind a hill, where she looked hidden on the Noah Brücke. There she saw tanks blocking the bridge.

She called through a secure connection to headquarters in 's Koningenwaarde. She heard from her contact that disturbances had arisen both in the Frankish Empire and in the Kingdom of Batavia. Her observation was not the only troop movement in the Frankish Empire. Her commander was ordered to blow up the Noah Brücke, to block the rebel forces to Gascony. The loyal Frankish troops were already closing the former Gascon-Amokolian border, and were supported by the Batavian Armed Forces. Esmeralda made contact with a local loyal commander of the Frankish Armed Forces. He was ordered to set out laser beacons to guide missiles to their targets. Esmeralda assisted by aiming the laser beacon at the Noah Brücke, just in time for the appearance of three SAC J39 "Fliegender Griffin" fighter jets. They shot down the highway bridge, the railway bridge and the Noah Brücke. Two tanks also exploded. And that was when James called.

"Your Majesty," said a lieutenant to get the Kaiser's attention. The Kaiser looked up and saw the saluting lieutenant and said, "Yes?". The Kaiserin-Gemahlin also looked up from the book. The lieutenant replied, "All connections to 's Koningenwaarde and Brandenburg have been severed." When the lieutenant didn't say anything after this announcement, the Kaiser looked at his wife and got up to go to the command center on board the plane. The lieutenant preceded him. There was panic at the command centre because of the broken contact. Suddenly there was contact again, the marshal appeared. "Is everything all right, contact seemed to have been broken?", the Kaiser told the marshal. Erik Thorne replied, "Your Majesty, everything is fine. There seems to be a solar storm, disrupting the connections." This will turn out to be a lie, but at that point quite a logical explanation. One of the officers didn't trust it anyway and secretly contacted the Tassity Mansabdar.

The Kaiser returned to his wife and told her of the solar storm. He thought for a moment, if he was going back to work, or... He walked to the closet and got a new bottle of whiskey from the closet. This bottle was given to him by his good friend, Johan Anderion. For the first time the bottle opened and he smelled at the opening. He grabbed a glass and poured a large bottom. Arkadius took a sip and thought a cigar would taste good with it. "Esther?" His wife looked up from her book. "Let's visit the Arbor Isles soon." "Yes, after all, you have been appointed Jarl, my husband," Esther replied. The Kaiser took another sip and thought. Suddenly everything began to turn around him. He saw Esther get up and walk towards him, he heard her voice. But he didn't understand her, his eyes closed and the glass fell out of his hand.

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Re: The Micras Chessboard

Post by Mahmud bin Alsalam » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:24 am

Part 2: Light on the horizon

Three men gathered in the courtyard of the hospital. "What now?", the Colonel asked the other men. Colonel Tom Löw had landed on the Arbor Isles two days ago. He had been vetted by the Tassity Mansabdar and found loyal. The Imperial Frankish Army was in chaos, because of the coup by the Amokolian Highlanders and their allies. But because of the Colonel's organizational skills and discipline, the chaos returned to order. The entire Air Force and Navy had distanced themselves from the rebels, but not all parts of the Army remained loyal to the Kaiser. The Colonel sent commands to at least secure or otherwise destroy the weaponry. Although the Frankish Empire no longer existed, the Imperial Frankish Army stood firm and had settled in Port Goose. After hearing that the Tassity Mansabdar was on the Arbor Isles, but even more: the Kaiser, the Colonel tried to make contact. He only had to come to check his true intentions.

The second man of the trio was Raoul d'Ambray, he was the mayor of Vinderby and the governor of the Jarldom Arbor Isles. Thus he was seen as the Custodian of the Jarldom, to govern the Jarldom in the absence of the Jarl. With the fall of the High Realm of Stormark, his role is uncertain. A small part of the Storish navy was in the harbour, the civilians had remained calm, but contacts with the outside world were broken. The future is uncertain. Nevertheless, Raoul had the old red castle refurbished. The restoration work had already started before there was any unrest, because when he met the new Jarl there was interest in the castle. The red castle was restored to its former glory.

The third man was Mustafa Asada, he was the second in command of the Tassity Mansabdar, the Sawar. He managed to save most of the army unit, when some of his troops rebelled and split off. Within days of the fall of the Franco-Batavian Empire, the remaining Tassity Mansabdar was gathering on and around the Arbor Isles. Jet fighters were constantly in the air, destoyers sailed around the islands and submarines alternated to protect the mysterious waters. In addition, a loyal commando group had smuggled the four youngest children of the Kaiser out of rebel territory. The Castle Islàn was blown up in the process.

"Good question," replied the Sawar. The Custodian responded, "What would the Kaiser do?" That's when the Kaiserin Gemalin walked into the courtyard. She hadn't heard the whole conversation, but she had that last question. "That, gentlemen, is a question with which I can help. I know my husband and he would begin the analysis of the problem." Mustafa grinned and said, "The Gustavus effect." "Exactly", answered the Kaiserin Gemalin. It remained silent for a moment. "Well, come on", the Kaiserin encouraged Gemalin. "Your Majesty, the Frankish Empire has collapsed. In Batavia all kinds of unrest arose, but that's where the country stayed together. Gascony and Los Bananos separated from the rest of Francia and joined Batavia. The Amokolian Highlanders seized power and Kir Azariah Vidar was crowned king. The overseas territories of Francia have been left to the Green, while most of the Imperial Frankish Army is gathered at Port Goose. In the hope that the Kaiser can take command, we are ready to recapture the fatherland if necessary".

The Sawar became a bit uncomfortable during the last part of the Colonel's speech, but answered the Kaiserin Gemalin: "Part of the Tassity Mansabdar has been split off, but most of it is still loyal to the real Nawab, the Kaiser. We have more or less taken over the military control of the Arbor Isles, so the Kaiser is absolutely safe. The Franco-Batavian Empire is no longer, so the Kingdom of Arcadia and the Grand Duchy of Heroerbourgh have also collapsed. My approach is not to start a war to bring the Franco-Batavian Empire back under the government of the Kaiser, at least not for now."

The Custodian did not yet understand where all this is going, but Kaiserin Gemalin replied: "The High Realm of Stormark has collapsed, yet it has remained calm on the Arbor Isles. Contact with other parts of Stormark has been severed. We are grateful for military security, only we are now stateless." The Kaiserin Gemalin nodded, thought for a moment, and said: "So, we have an overwhelming amount of weapons, but no urge to go to war. We're on an island, but we're stateless. Then we have to make these islands our home and defend it with every weapon we have." The Colonel reacted, "So we have to set up a new Francia?" The Sawar said: "Hmmm, it seems to me better not to create a new Francia, but a new state that will succeed the fallen Francia, only with a new name, a new flag and a new coat of arms". The Kaiserin Gemalin addressed the Custodian. She didn't have to ask a question, because he already understood that it was his turn and reacted: "A new state, I like that idea. These islands must be governed, not only militarily secure, however grateful I may be for that". The Kaiserin Gemalin nodded, turned around and walked back inside.

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Re: The Micras Chessboard

Post by Mahmud bin Alsalam » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:25 am

Part 3: Spring awakes

After weeks in hospital, the comatose Emir was transferred to the Al-Hamra Palace. The Emira always stayed with her husband. She left the government to the Grand Vizier, the children were largely cared for by the royal household and she kept herself in dire straits. The Franco-Batavian Empire had fallen. The revolution in Amokolia had brought the Frankish Empire to an end. Fortunately, Gascony and Ravaria had not fallen into the hands of the treacherous Amokolians. Also the High Realm of Stormark had disappeared from Micras, but remained on the Light Side of Reikistjarna.

She was looking at her husband. He was breathing calmly, his heart rate echoed through the heart rate monitor. So peaceful as the world rages. She wondered, wouldn't he hear her? Wouldn't he get anything from his surroundings? The court physician told the Emira that it's quite possible that the Emir would get something anyway. It might even help to get him out of his coma by talking to him or playing music. "What am I supposed to say? I can't tell him all the misery I've been through lately, can I? Maybe that's just counterproductive." The court doctor told her to tell stories, stories that require imagination. The Emira thought and knew a few stories by heart. So she started to tell a story every night. Every evening a different story, a story that she immediately had written down. The writer did not want to tire the Emira with all kinds of questions, such as what title these stories should be given. He wrote: "Tales of the Emira".

It seemed almost impossible, but the Emira told a new story every night. "A long time ago, the Arbor Isles were even more mysterious than today. Not because of the isolation policy of the residents, but because of the residents. The islands themselves weren't inhabited by humans, but they were inhabited by mysterious creatures. Creatures that lived in the sea. The waters around the islands are still full of life today because of the coral and the great variety of fish. But then there lived creatures with a fish tail and a human upper body. The creatures could swim any sea around Micras, but every year they came together at the Arbor Isles."

That's how one of her stories began. The writer published her stories so that everyone in Arbor could enjoy them. The Emira kept the courage, even though there was no noticeable reaction from the Emir. She suddenly thought: maybe it would help if music was played? She had a small orchestra come and accompany her stories from behind a veil. She herself was very touched by the music and the atmosphere:


Did she really see it? Was the music and atmosphere so intoxicating that she wanted to see the Emir move? But it was real, the Emir moved again. His eyes opened and his hands moved. She screamed with joy: "Oh, my love!" She ran to him and hugged him. The Emir said in a soft voice, "My darling, what happened?" "I'm not gonna tire you out with everything that's happened, because I'm so glad you're awake again!" She kissed his cheeks, while tears rolled down her cheeks. The Emir said smiling: "Calm down, save some for later". "Oh, you have no idea how long you've been in a coma," said the Emira and she gave him a glass of water. The Emir drank it and had it checked by the court doctor. "Get those wires off me," the Emir said, pointing to the heart monitor. The court physician obeyed and then walked backwards out of the room. The Emir was so happy and wanted to kiss him again. But even before she could kiss him on his cheek, the Emir stopped her and held her head in his hands. He pushed her long red hair aside and looked into her eyes. They kissed deeply.

After a few days the Emir was able to wander around the Al-Hamra Palace again. For the first time he had consulted with the Grand Vizier. He had resigned himself to the great loss of the Franco-Batavian Empire. He thought of his children, his eldest three, who were staying in Batavia. But he was happy with the Emira near him and his four youngest children. That evening he was sitting upright in bed when his wife came in dancing to the rhythm of a drum. Her bare belly rolled and her hips moved to the beat. A passionate night followed.

The next morning, the Emir sent for a composer. "Write a symphony that marks the new world," said the Emir. Not much later this new piece sounded in the concert hall of the palace:

Locked