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Tetchikhan: Marbled Halls

Fillibus' footfalls echoed down a marbled hall.
He passed a gauntlet of paintings hung side by side.
Portraits of dead bureaucrats, prominent in their time
A who's who of a nameless and faceless system;
Men who turned red tape into an artform.
Tetchikhan's hall of fame for mountains of paperwork.

The hall dead ended into a suite with mahogany doors
A single wooden bench rested against the wall
Fillibus sat down and wiggled for comfort
This bench wasn't placed there for that purpose
He sighed and gazed around before he looked down
There on his tunic was a reminder of his breakfast
He cursed under his breath and wetted his fingers
Trying to rub out a stain that was going nowhere

Minutes seemed like hours and hours into days
As Fillibus sat waiting in that tomb of a hallway
Finally, the door cracked open and a head popped out
A mouse of a man waved Fillibus in,
Through the antechamber to another set of doors.
Filibus wondered why he couldn't have waited in here.
The mouse rapped three times and then went in,
Leaving Fillibus standing there, waiting again.
A little perturbed he looked around and thought,
"Why am I being treated in this manner?
Don't these people know who I am?
By god, I am a senator! "

The mouse opened the door and waved Fillibus in.
The senator looked around amazed at the size
And decor. Holy cow! Look at that view!
You can see all of Tetchikhan from here!
This office belongs to a bureaucrat?
Who is this man and what does he do?

A bald headed man sat busy with paperwork.
Fillibus cleared his throat not once but twice.
The bald man looked up feigning surprise.
He stood up and offered his hand,
"I'm sorry, Senator. I was engrossed in this project.
As you know, government work never ends.
Please sit down. May I get you something to drink?
Coffee, water, tea or some wine? " He winked.

Fillibus, a little perplexed, apprehensively shook his hand.
"I'm sorry. Do I know you? Surely we must have met.
A man of your stature and eminence,
We must have encountered one another at a social event.
I for one am at ease no matter the situation.
Were you at the New Year's Gala? Oh, what a time I had.
What about the race track? Do you like horses?
Cards? Oh, yes. You must be a poker man."

"Senator, my name is Pertucleas. And I don't attend galas.
My caste forbids me to attend events, nor do I go to the track.
However, I play poker of sorts, but not with cards." He laughed
"I know you're intrigued as to why I invited you here.
So let's get to the point: I know you're being blackmailed.
There are unsavory characters that shakedown people.
And as a government servant I can't allow that to happen.
A senator should be inviolable, especially a man
Of your stature. Now, I know you enjoy the pleasures of life.
A man has to indulge himself every once and awhile.
You're wondering how I know such things.
Well, to tell the truth, it's kind of my business.
Tetchikhan, as it does you, means a lot to me."

Fillibus sat back dumbfounded.
It's been two weeks since the Whore's Belly
How could this bureaucrat know what transpired;
It just happened a short time ago.
Something is amiss. Somethings not right.
Fillibus played it over in his mind.
He shook his head, "I appreciate your concern,
But believe me nothing occurred of that sort.
I'm not being blackmailed. That I can assure you."

Pertucleas stood up and smiled, "Forgive me, Senator
For being so bold. It seems I was misinformed.
I'm sorry for wasting your time. If I can be of any service
My door is open. Please don't hesitate to call on me anytime."
Pertucleas escorted the Senator to the door.
They shook hands and bid each other farewell.

Once the Senator left the antechamber,
The darkman entered from a side door.
Pertucleas walked to the window and stared out.
"There is a note on my desk, deliver it to Killian.
Make sure he follows my instructions to the letter.
Parliament has been delayed for about a month.
This will give us plenty of time to work on Fillibus."
Monday, March 1, 2021
Topic(s) of this poem: fiction,politics,cities,social comment,government,bureaucracy
This poem is part of a series about a fictional civilization

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4/18/2021 9:20:31 PM #