A New World – Conviction
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In this excerpt Todd is getting ready to meet the full nentraee Speaker’s House for the first time. It is a tense moment between Todd and Vi-Narm and a moment where Todd learns that not all the nentraee may think as highly of him as Mi’ko, the vice-speaker, and Mirtoff, the speaker general do. I hope you enjoy:
Todd finished reviewing the details on the ceremony before leaving his quarters.
Ceremony. Bullshit! It’s not a ceremony but an interview in front of the full Speaker’s House. Why didn’t Vi-Narm tell me? She made it out to be no big deal.
He rushed down the hall, his cloak, the Kap’erin, billowed out behind him. Several Nentraee stopped and bowed as he passed. He turned the corner and checked his datapad for directions. His palms were damp. His heart pounded, and not from rushing.
“Todd.” Vi-Narm offered a stiff bow, her cloak shifting about her shoulders.
He should have been more diligent, not assuming that all the reports she gave him were the only ones.
We’ll learn to work together. If I survive this.
“Hello, Vi-Narm,” Todd said as he searched for a hint of a friendly greeting, but her face was stern and her lips a straight line.
“We will go in the council chamber where the Speaker’s House will be in session.” She eyed him coolly. “Once they address us, you will present yourself and answer their questions to the best of your ability. The interview process is simple, so you should have no trouble. But, do not be fooled. This will also decide if they will accept you.”
“Wait. Accept me?” Todd tried to process while catching his breath. “What happens if they don’t approve of me? Mi’ko didn’t say anything about that.”
What happens if I can’t understand their broken English and answer the question wrong? God, I hope it’s in English.
“Then he must believe you will be fine and not want to worry you.” The slightest suggestion of a smile reached her lips.
Sweat broke out on his forehead. Vi-Narm had sent him file after file last night for review. “There was so much information to review, and some of it made no sense until I researched it further, taking more time.” He frowned. “It didn’t help that you’ve been sending me a ton of information. I haven’t been able to sort through it all.”
“It’s not my job to help you sort through what I send.” Vi-Narm’s voice was calm. Cold. “I send the document that are required for all your different tasks. It is your responsibility to organize them and go through them and be prepared.”
Todd shook his head and stared at the floor. He inhaled deeply and met her eyes. “I would’ve appreciated you pointing out the information that was important for today’s events. I could’ve focused on it.”
“Perhaps you should organize your time better, or is that a failing of your character?”
“It was in the report I send to you this morning,” she interrupted. “You did read it? Did you not?”
“Today? This morning? As in, while I was still in bed, or while I was getting ready for this interview?”
Or when I was on the toilet?
Trying not to sound as pissed as he felt, he checked his pocket watch. Since getting it, he kept it with him as a good-luck piece. Now, more than ever, he needed the luck.
“Vi-Narm, how could you send it this morning? I didn’t have a chance—you made it sound like this was only my welcome ceremony. That was my impression from… I didn’t have a chance to…”
She hates me. That’s why she’s doing this. She hates me and is determined for me to fail.
He saw a hint of a smile, and he was sure there was a brief twinkle in her eyes.
God, she’s a total bitch. With luck, she’ll trip and fall on her way into the chamber. That might loosen the stick up her ass.
He took a breath and held back the frown that was stalking his face. “I’ll do my best.”
She watched the chamber doors open. “Let us hope Mi’ko’s faith in you is well placed.”
The soft ticking of his watch reminded him why he was here.
I can do this.
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