Legend Of Kai- The Chronicles Of Talmenti
Posted by lahar9jhadav on September 24, 2007
The Chronicles Of Talmenti
by Jacqueline Parkhurst. Copyright 1976. All rights reserved
Melargo looked at the papers on his desk for the hundredth time, all was in order; the biographical notes he had written so far, and the questions he had prepared. He got up and walked quickly towards the window, gazing out over the city to the harbour beyond. Passengers were disembarking from boats at the quay while others queued up behind; as far as the eye could see there were barges, resplendent in gold and red, their oarsmen clad in scarlet and dipping their oars into the sparkling water-making for the harbour.
He also noticed that there were one or two ocean going vessels also waiting to dock, their decks bustling with activity, as passengers, anxious to be first to sight the shore of Poseid scrambled to get a place on the upper deck. His gaze moved away from the harbour and up the road which led to the massive city gates which stood wide open, pressed back under the weight of the visitors who had already disembarked from earlier barges, and who were now heading for the centre of Trigas itself. Most of these, he thought, were probably heading for the attractions of the Flower Festival which was held annually in Trigas, though this year it had co-incided with the Grand Convention, which had hastily been arranged some 3 months previously. He supposed that many of the passengers on the two ocean going vessels were arriving for that, as the Colonies were involved on this occasion.
He looked back towards the harbour where he could now see that one of the vessels was indeed a Colony ship, for as it drew closer he could see the flag of Talenos flying from the mast: a gold sun on a white background with three blue stars.
“Things must be bad,” he muttered “if they have sent word to Talenos.”
Normally, only the close Colonies were directly involved in routine affairs of State, while the outlying ones, such as Talenos, were sent copies of any important documents later. For Talenos lay some 12,000 miles away, in the Great Southland.
However, he could not consider the matter further, for at that moment a bell sounded in the corridor outside his room and his attention was drawn to the sound of voices. Turning away from the window, he saw the door open and a man entered the room. His visitor was of medium height with dark hair and beard and an olive complexion that spoke of years spent in the sun.
Melargo moved forward to greet him: “Ishaylu Phidorai, kravatu?”
The ancient words springing to his lips immediately. “Essai bena,” replied Phidor-falling back into the Old Language with ease, though heaven knows it had been a long time since he had heard those words actually spoken. The ancient tongue of Poseid had once been the native language for most of the early world, but now it was only used for ceremonial occasions, or as a mark of respect for distinguished visitors.
Phidor looked about him, taking in the room and Melargo in an instant. Melargo was a tall middle-aged man with a slight stoop, gained from long years spent poring over his books. This was the first time Phidor had met the historian but, like every educated man in Poseid, he knew that Melargo was responsible for the upkeep of The Chronicles of Talmenti; historical records of the race which had been kept for some 4,000 years, though many scorned the earlier volumes as mere legend.
“Come in, come in. I’ve waited a long time for this moment,” said Melargo warmly. “As you know I am working on your biography, as part of the material on `Famous Sons of Trigas’, and I had hoped that you would be able to give me some first-hand details. I’ve gathered quite a bit of background data already, from various men who knew you in the early days, as well as some anecdotes from relatives, but it’s not the same…” He looked at Phidor again, wondering in his mind about this remarkable man that was now seated before him, on the other side of his desk.
A man born in Trigas some 45 years ago; a geologist, surveyor, archaeologist, mathematician and engineer. A man whose desire for knowledge had driven him to undertake research in almost all the continents of the world, at some time or another.
“Yes, well I’ll do what I can to help,” said Phidor, “some of my early memories may be a bit shadowy after all these years. Everything has changed…. my life, Trigas, the Colonies…”
“Do you really think there is anything to it then?” said Melargo sharply. He was referring, of course, to the persistent rumours that were once again circulating, concerning the downfall of Poseid and, some said, of the whole world system.
“You mean to Akistron’s ideas?” said Phidor.
“Well no, not exactly,” said Melargo. For indeed he had not really thought of the prophecies of Akistron at that moment. He reflected on the passage in question, written in the Old Tongue:
Es un nu mafal. Beroni matoni velosi, kayoli va ira sa ma. Kayoli va tu na, era ma.
He knew the translation well:
There is disaster to befall, for the progress of the world is such that all will come to pass at once. The Age, or time of The End, is now with you.
“All these philosophers are the same,” thought Melargo, “gloom and doom. Well nothing had happened, at least not in his time.”
“Do you believe them?” he said, addressing Phidor. “Surely you don’t take note of the mumblings of the ancients, you, a man of science?”
Phidor laughed, a bright smile that flashed and then was gone, leaving his dark eyes troubled. “Well I do not know what to believe,” he replied jokingly, “and I will leave philosophers to speculate on the mysteries of fate; but as far as science is concerned, and my research in particular, we can no longer afford to ignore the situation.”
“Well how bad is it?” said Melargo irritably. “One hears things you know, but no one seems to have any answers, even the academics cannot agree amongst themselves as to what is happening, let alone what should be done.”
Phidor hesitated, knowing that to say what was in his mind and heart would be of little use. He had tried too many times before. The uncomprehending nature of men had overwhelmed him in the past, but now he kept his thoughts to himself, though the ideas which illumined his mind were ones that weighed heavily, so heavily at times that he felt he would cry out with the sheer futility of it all.
Here he was in Trigas for the Convention, so as to give his opinion on the crisis, but would they listen when the time came – probably not. He sighed wearily to himself. “You’d think somebody in Trigas would realise the seriousness of the problem.”
“What was that,” said Melargo, looking up from his notes and catching only the last Word. “A problem? Yes, it certainly is. If the specialists cannot decide what is happening, what’s the ordinary man to do?”
“Well lets not waste precious time on further speculation,” said Phidor, in an effort to turn the conversation away from matters which he had no wish to discuss with anyone, at the moment, least of all Melargo. “We’ll have all the answers tomorrow when the various speakers have publicly aired their views. I haven’t a great deal of time to prepare my lecture, and if you want these biographical details you had better move fast.”
Melargo smiled, “alright. I have a few questions worked out but I will only ask them if I feel it’s necessary to clarify a point, or if there’s something you haven’t covered in your own account.”
He was quite willing to change the subject, though he sensed that Phidor knew more than he was prepared to admit. “He must do,” he thought to himself. “He’s seen far more than most of us. What about that expedition to Labruuls which he had undertaken, ostensibly to study some rift that had appeared in the outback areas around there?” It had also been rumoured that while in The Land of Pyramids, he had studied under some of their most eminent philosophers. While other rumours said that on a trip to The Land of Silk, in the far East, where his interest in archaeology had lured him to explore the tombs of the ancients, he had found bodies untouched by time. “I suppose we’ll get to the truth one day, though how much he will tell me, himself, is questionable,” thought Melargo, pondering once again on his distinguished visitor.
How to separate the fact from the fable, that was the difficulty and, as a historian and biographer, it was his duty to recount the details of Phidor’s life as accurately as possible. He felt a keen responsibility for his work and a sense of purpose, for The Chronicles of Talmenti were, to his mind, a noble part of Poseidon heritage.
“All our great men had been documented in this way down the ages,” thought Melargo, “and so had all the important, and even some of the less important events, which had marked the rise of our city and its people.”
The Talmenti themselves were a series of volumes compiled of the most learned treatises by philosophers, educationists, lawyers and physicians and, more recently, by men of science, that the empire had ever known. It was right, therefore, that Phidor should be included in this literary heritage, for his contribution up to now had been considerable, in so many fields of endeavour and, Melargo felt, his best was yet to come.
In some way he could not even define satisfactorily to himself, he felt sure that Phidor had an even greater contribution to make-but for the life of him he couldn’t think what it was. All he, Melargo, could do was somehow prepare the way, by making sure that the Talmenti were there for future generations to read, in the most presentable and accurate form possible.
“Well,” he said, turning again to Phidor, “what are your earliest recollections about your family and childhood?”
Phidor settled himself more comfortably in the divan-chair and forced his mind back to those early years — the memories of his parents, he knew, had been suppressed by him for a long, long time.
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