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Rodoreamon, to the Waters of the Soul: Part I: Though Lads Are Making Pikes Again

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Rodoreamon, to the Waters of the Soul: Part I: Though Lads Are Making Pikes Again

Post by LonelyDelight on Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:15 pm

Title: Though Lads Are Making Pikes Again
Fandom: Simoun
Characters/Pairing: Rodoreamon/Mamiina
Summary: Mamiina helps Rodoreamon with her job.
Word count: 1,226
Comments: Rachel made me do it.
Warnings: I refuse on principle to ‘warn’ for homosexuality. But there are spoilers for the entire series.

Though Lads Are Making Pikes Again

Rodoreamon, kind yet gaunt, happy yet with the great black beast of unresolved sadness still on her shoulders from years ago, sat in placid fortitude at her country estate, reading the news from the telegraph road. She would not be required at the Home Office to-day; the Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs was still able to do everything on the current administrative agenda. Next week, though, this would likely change.

Rodoreamon sighed, and sat back. Of the three Ministries under the Home Department’s umbrella, the Ministry of Children, Schools, and Families, the one whose portfolio she held herself, was the hardest-hit by recent events. The money that went into sustaining the war orphanages was under constant questioning and subject to constant cuts, so that she had to supplement it with her own income from her family’s land holdings in what had once been north-eastern and was now rather more central Simulacrum. It was tiring in itself, and she was thankful that other people could handle the Ecclesiastical Affairs and Police and Immigration briefs while she was at home.

She set about reading the budget for schools for the coming year. Other than priestly schools, which fell under the Ecclesiastical Minister’s purview, the money that the war cabinet was willing to set aside for education was very limited. Fifteen pages into reading just how limited it was, Rodoreamon decided to come back to it later and turn her mind to the rather sunnier budget for family aid.

‘I could read the rest of the schools budget,’ said a voice in the air behind her. It was a voice that had become happily familiar to Rodoreamon over the past months: light, sarcastic with an obviously fake overlay of coquettish innocence, and, to Rodoreamon, one of the world’s most beautiful sounds.

‘Ah,’ said Rodoreamon, and in a few seconds the temperature in her study dropped almost five degrees. It was a change that would have been imperceptible over a matter of hours or even more than a few minutes, but over a matter of seconds it was very dramatic. Rodoreamon shivered and hugged herself.

She turned.

‘Mamiina,’ she said happily. ‘You can’t turn the pages.’

‘You read fifteen pages of a twenty-six page report. Spread the other eleven pages on the floor or something.’

‘All right,’ said Rodoreamon, and the shade smirked. Though mostly content to exist in the water and light of Tempus Spatium, the eternal Spring in the new world that would never run dry or force genders upon the unwilling, she enjoyed coming down and telling this particular living woman what to do. And the living woman enjoyed doing what she was told. Together they coinhered in a happy and mutual dynamo of agreed power-sharing more ‘real’ than any purely living or purely ‘dead’ marriage or government.

Rodoreamon went and spread the papers neatly on the floor. Mamiina drifted over and scrutinised them from a height while Rodoreamon went back to her desk and read the family report.

She was only a few pages in when Mamiina cleared her apparent throat, turned her apparent head, and said in a voice that was real (but how was it real?): ‘Rodore.’

Rodoreamon looked up from her report and said, fleshy lips and fleshy throat: ‘Yes, Mamiina?’ She sang Mamiina’s name, like a lover in a lay of old.

‘There is an emergency contingency,’ said Mamiina, ‘to get the money from Plumbum if all else fails.’

‘Really? What is it?’

‘You may not like it. It involves partial adoption of the Plumbish education system.’

‘For the duration of the war or permanently?’

‘For the duration.’

‘Then it’s worth it,’ said Rodoreamon without hesitation. Her eyes fell on a poster that Paraietta had brought during her fortnightly visit a few days ago. It was one of the propaganda posters from the Plumbish capital, with the blaring caption (in both allied languages) ‘THE HOLY LAND OF SIMULACRUM: OUR NEW PARTNER IN FREEDOM’. It showed Yun in an (accurately) aloof and ceremonial attitude, with the War Cabinet ranged below her. Beneath Rodoreamon’s portrait, which was technically correct but rather imaginative in its portrayal of her facial expression, it said, again in both languages, ‘The Lady Rodoreamon Kyabyu Mofas, Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Children, Schools, and Families’.

‘It uses your family’s name, Rodore,’ observed Mamiina.

‘They use the family name in everyday life in Plumbum,’ said Rodoreamon.

‘I see.’

Mamiina walked back over to Rodoreamon. ‘You know,’ she said, ‘you are, and will always be, just…’ She shook her apparent head. ‘My precious ‘Rodore’ to me…little ladyship.’

Rodoreamon flushed. No matter the cool air that fluttered when Mamiina passed through it, the warmth that stirred within when Mamiina said things like this in that lovely, sardonic yet somehow sincere voice of hers…it kept Rodoreamon the way she was, and…

What they were saying, up in the Highlands, was that this was ‘The Good War’. That the last war had been a tragic necessity, given the actions of the Simulacran government of the time; that the alliance with Argentum had been the doing of the Consul of Plumbum at the time, who was too fond of the expedient to pursue the right; that the war back then had been over land and disparities in culture and creed since shown to be of dubious basis. It was said that, after this war, Plumbum may even allow Simulacran girls to become sibyllae again, though they would have to come to Plumbum for training. And so, with the Plumbish Green Party in power, and Plumbum developing ways of living that did not poison the sky without violating the sanctity of the helical motors, things were, on a wise, genuinely better than last time.

So Mamiina reminded her.

‘But war is still war,’ said Rodoreamon.

‘I imagine that’s why Yun has basically abdicated all of her governing rights until it’s over?’ said Mamiina. She did not say this as if she were disappointed in or angry at or even confused by Yun. She simply said so.

‘Yun respects what I am doing,’ said Rodoreamon. ‘She does not accept what is happening.’

‘Just like Yun,’ said Mamiina.

They went out into the square courtyard of Rodoreamon’s country house and sat on the grass. Over the brick walls around them the spring wisteria grew, blooming madly in some spots and dying as quickly in others.

‘Apparently,’ said Rodoreamon, ‘when the war is over, and a new Process of Government Selection occurs, I am considered possible to be the new formateur.’

‘Really?’ said Mamiina. Rodoreamon nodded. Mamiina laughed. ‘Vice-Chairman Rodoreamon,’ she said in a pompous tone. ‘I shall be,’ she said, honestly, ‘so, so proud of you if something like that comes to pass.’

Rodoreamon nodded, and sighed. ‘I know.’

They said nothing for several minutes, just watching the sun set and make the bricks blaze.

‘You know why I’m doing what I do, right?’ asked Rodoreamon.

Mamiina nodded. ‘To protect these places.’

‘And…?’

‘To protect these people, and ideals. To do what I couldn’t and what Aaeru and Neviril can’t, even as we do what you can’t.’

‘The seamless garment,’ said Rodoreamon. ‘The Web of Souls. That’s what Yun calls it. I do what thou canst not. Thou dost what I cannot. And we all do what everybody can do. The one thing that everybody has the capacity for, somehow, somewhere.’

‘I know what you’re talking about,’ said Mamiina.

Rodoreamon smiled. ‘I had hoped so,’ she said, and they went back inside.
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LonelyDelight
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