This is my weekly serial, written raw as a writing exercise.
You can find the first post in the series here.
After the cheering died down. Vethri and Eiskra remained in speaking position. Diamond Silvermane frowned.
“Normally we would call for a vote now,” said Vethri. “As is custom for a leadership challenge. But, given the unusual circumstances, we would like to suggest that a full election be held. The Union is only recently recovered from a fractious end to Madame Glorianna’s leadership and Diamond Silvermane entered the race too late to be given fair consideration. It will also give the rest of you a chance to put forth your vision for The Union, should you wish to throw your name into the contest.”
A ripple went through the crowd. Diamond Silvermane’s exquisite face betrayed some surprise.
“As always, we will put this suggestion to a vote. All those in favour of running a full election, at no cost to the Union, in order to be as fair as possible to Diamond Silvermane and others, raise your hands.”
With a sea of hands thrust into the air, the suggestion carried easily. I could see Diamond’s jaw clench in anger. Her supporters seemed to think they were doing her a favour by supporting the motion, but I could tell that she did not want it this way.
After business was concluded, Diamond Silvermane sauntered off into the crowd without another word. Many of the Doxies fell in behind her.
“Why is Diamond so angry about another election?” asked Carmen while The Twins wound their way through the Union Hall, greeting people and gathering support. It was a thankless task, and one I was not eager to repeat my part in.
“I don’t rightfully know, Carmen. It did make her angry though.”
Later on the carriage ride back to our home, I broached the subject.
“We knew that Diamond was fairly confident that she had strong support for a single vote,” said Vethri. “That is based on a read of her personality, and the depths of her backer’s purse. A leadership challenge only gives those present a vote, and allows a secondary vote for the rest of a membership if it carries. Winning the challenge would give her a strong case to the membership at large though. Even if she was unable to carry a leadership vote she would be seen as the main opposition by default. Having her run an open election against, not just us, but all of the other factions. It will cost Lily Gemarkand more money and will force Diamond to navigate the difficult areas of Union politics.”
“What she is trying to say,” Eiskra mock-whispered to Carmen. “Is that we want Diamond to suffer through the same bickering and infighting that we have for the last eighteen months.”
A few days later, as I was researching the last morsel of information that I needed to return to the North, a letter from Lily Gemarkand arrived. It was addressed not to The Twins, but to me, asking me to attend upon the lady of the Emerald Tower in her private box at the Kaemoul’s Playhouse.
I was intrigued.