Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Post Surgery Update

The scars three days after surgery.  So far it has been good and I haven't required much pain meds at all.  My next appointment with the specialist is on Jan. 7 so I'll find out what the tissue was like that they removed, then.

I'm so glad it was so quick.  Two weeks from discovery (I actually found it the month before, and had the appointment already scheduled to 'meet and greet' my new family doctor.) to surgery.  I spent two separate days in the hospital getting a full body bone scan, abdominal ultrasounds and a separate breast scan... its a good thing I wasn't a patient on House, given that something awful always happens when they're being scanned.  The MRI's aren't that claustrophobic anymore either.

Merry Holidays, all!  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

167 - That Much Part of Me?

Nadian looked around the outer room at every single one of the men who he knew were all plotting to become the next Queen bee... and a number of others, all staring around with venom in their eyes.  Their looks... from his brother Billiph to d’Molfe, from his own, to his wife’s implacable gaze as she held her place at the door, keeping them all out.  Keeping them all away from Diryish.

“Wife.  You will let me in.  It is proper that I attend my delicate mother in this dreadful time.”

“No, husband.  His Radiance called for certain people and wished everyone else kept out.”

He loomed over her as she sat, supremely calm, completely unmoved by his glaring down at her.  You WILL let me in, wife. But somehow the will he’d bent on her over their marriage just... ceased working... as if she were somehow suddenly shielded.  I’ll kill you if you thwart me, woman.

“Husband.  The Emperor did not call for you.” Some of the great hive lords were leaving quietly, withdrawing from the scene of their humiliation.  Others shrugged and sat down, either speaking softly to their friends or solitary on their gilded stools, like d’Molfe who merely sipped his raki.

Nadian’s eyes flickered up to lock with the Captain of the Rasheem who stood next to Shashi in perfect parade rest, hand on his sword hilt.  The man hadn’t moved but somehow Basserus knew he was a moment away from cutting him into collops. He stood, quivering, and that was the instant that a bee stung him.  He snapped, smashing it and a half-dozen others on his sleeve.  “FAKIN’ THING!” He whirled and stormed out, the swarms of bees rising up and away from him as he did.  I will kill the old man NOW.


*####c#nn#tion#### co###rom#### ########## A@em###d*

Make connection my little sisters.

*##Great...GRAN### da@@???*

*Attempting connection 45: Grandson.  Great Grandson.  Listen to the bees.  Let them establish... Let them in.  Without the bees we cannot connect.  Without the bees we are nothing*


*Excellent, boy.  You’ve made connection, at least partly.  Listen...I have left you recordings, files, memories, as much as I could.*

Diryish’s figure on his throne, was as still as if he were dead, his eyes open, his veil barely moving as he watched the parade step onto the entry bridge.  I sent my one great grandson to his funeral mountain.  Now you come back the other way.  Look up, boy.

His hand, clutching his staff trembled slightly, making the sun crystal quiver, throwing sparks of light everywhere.  The crowds, cheering, waved handkerchiefs and mirrors since most flowers that anyone could handle, or would want to wave, were dead in the deep Dry.  No one in their right mind wanted to wave eyebleed, or stalks of hearts-'n-spines. Their noise was distant in Diryish’s hearing.  It should have been overwhelming.  It was muffled and getting more and more distant.

He could see each clawed footfall bringing his heirs home to him.  The distant dot that had to be Dukir, in his guise as Amir, raised a mirror to swinghim a wave.  *Dukir. Acknowledge.  Well done, old friend. They seem good.  The Hive, so far, approves.  Shashi is magnificent.  I’ve managed to use my dying to swing things around in the court.* His eyes closed, showing the blank, gold-painted stare over his veil.

*Diryish, you son of a bitch, this is a lousy time to die.  These boys need you.*

*I cannot stop it this time, Dukir.  You will have to help them.*

*##Grand###### ####father!  Connection: ack###*

Another swarm of bees coursed out of the Great Hive and arrowed down to the parade and Kyrus’s armour and his bird quivered with them.  Ky didn’t dare move his arms and hands lest he be more stung than he already was. It didn’t hurt nearly as badly as when they’d first started. It was starting to feel warm though each new swarm was a new kind of pain.

In the middle of the bridge, he looked up, to see the winking light on the balcony so far above.  Just the length of the road.  So close. He wasn’t sure he wanted to meet the old man, but they needed him.

*Great Grandfather.  We... um... you see us.*

*I do.  Great Grandson. Sense of connection.*

*Why am I connected and father... isn’t managing?*

*Yet.  He is taking up a great deal more connections than you, Great Grandson, but he’s a strong man, hmmm?*

*The Emir-al said it could kill him. Worry.*

*It might.  It nearly killed me.  But I doubt it.*

*WHAT?* The emotional wave from young Kyrus disrupted the fragile new link.  When it was re-established it was much weaker than it had been before.

*...##trust our ##ost ###llent spymaster, Great...####son.*

*Wait! What? Great Grandfather!!!*


The whole Mandery school was in connection, through the Headmistress Amardad, standing next to Mother Thriti. The wall behind them and the ceiling above was covered in moving, shimmering, wings-quivering bees.  Sander Raghnall stood next to the two women. The zardukar ranged out on either side, with them. The Headmistress reached to support the Emperor who rallied enough to speak and to speak clearly.

“My court, behold the approach of my Kraghanz and his son, Siwion of all Lainz... I lea...” He exhaled and tried to breathe in. *### ##### ##### #### ### ###.... .... ....connection lost.*


Nadian ripped open the doors to his work-room, slammed them shut behind him, cutting off the surf-roar of the excited crowd. He profligately jabbed into his hand, smeared his own blood over the palm and fingers, set the bloody handprint onto his table.

He reached to flip open his spell book and at that moment felt the old man’s presence drain out of him like sand out of a shattered gourd, shocking him to his knees.  Endarkened endarkened he was that much a part of me?


Shashi rose from her chair in the doorway, came onto the balcony and gently reached out to touch His Radiance’s shoulder. Doctor Brienz stood on his other side, his hand on the old man’s pulse.  The two of them stood, breathing, listening to the silence hovering between them, listening to the silence despite all the distant noise outside, and then let him go.

166 - A Tumor in Lainz's Gut!

A swarm of bees soared out of the Emperor’s balcony and arrowed straight for the badlands, a glittering stream of black and gold. Another swarm returned from the desert road, below. This group of insects an ornament of green, gold and silver.

“Ow.” Kyrus said conversationally, riding toward the soaring flower of a city, at a slightly faster than parade walk.  “This fakkin’ hurts and all the endarkened Amir'll say is that it's part of my being a siwion.”

“I suspect it’s part of being the old one’s heir as well, though I can’t guess any more than that,” Ilax answered.  As they approached the gates it was apparent that curious crowds were gathering. “They’ll have a good idea who we are, from the Lin, even without announcements.”



Hara leaned toward Ky and said quietly, “It’s so beautiful!  You never described it like this!”

“Um.  I guess because I’m used to it?”

On his other side, Werfas nodded his agreement.  “Your Lainz city is really astounding.”

Ky blinked and tried to see the city through their eyes.  The Milar banner snapped across in the ceaseless wind and obscured it for a moment, before revealing it in the new light of their regard.  He found his heart full of a whole cascade of emotions in a moment and was unable to sort them all out, at least right then.  It was enough that the bees swarming him, swarming him and da, sometimes stinging, just faded out for a bit.

The white and gold city, with the loggia stretched out all around the central spire, like flowering branches, the whole thing in the basin, empty and scoured clean and dry as bone right now, before the water came back again.  Every upper banner bright and new in the sun against the lower city where everything was pale and bleached out, soothing and comfortable to the eyes after all that bright, especially in this sun.  The Sunrise loggia right at the apex, surrounded by millions of glittering swarms of bees shining in the light and the crystal throwing rainbows against the bands of stone of the canyon the butte rose out of.

The broken trunk where the old mander school had broken, and fallen, was repaired. New white and cream and yellow and red tiers healing the old scar, fringed with terran green suspended out over the canyon by the soaring white bridges.
The cages along the main bridges were empty, some street rats daring to clamber out and up on the mechanisms to get better views. Most people were cheering, the sound thin and attenuated at this distance, a distant hive like buzz ripped thinner in the wind on the rim.

“Why are they cheering?” Ky asked.  “We could be the worst thing ever to happen to them, they don’t know!”

“We look amazing,” Hara said.  “We’re smiling and waving empty hands, not scowling and clutching weapons.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Werfas said.  “They just want to cheer because we look like something they’d want to cheer for.”

“That’s dumb,” Ky muttered.

“That’s human,” Hara countered.  “Someone cheers and other people follow.  At least they’re throwing sound at us instead of dead stink-tights.  Especially at your da.”


“Shashi...”  Diryish’s voice was very weak.  “Get Sander and his crowd in here, would you?  And the so-called Greater Hive lord’s mothers, sisters, and zardukar.” I’m so sick of the court I’m leaving.

“Uncle?  The women, not the Hive Lords?”  Basin rat assholes and stink-tights that they are, whyever not? 

“Don't you defy me, child!” His voice was a savage rasp.  “They're a tumor in Lainz's gut!

She didn't quiver even in the face of his failing rage. “Of course, Uncle.  Don’t...”

“Don’t tell me to conserve my strength!  You need to get me sitting up...” he stopped to gulp air.  “Gild my eyelids, dip me in gold if you must, paint my raddled old carcass, set me on the presentation throne on the balcony.  I will see them come up the same road I sent Ty down last time... I need my stick.” She is still trying to save me.  Dukir... I... they are going to need you. Shashi looked down at her hands under her veil, clearly struggling to control herself.  “I love you, niece.

“Uncle, please...”

“Do it.  Now or it will be too late.” Recording: final.  The ritual to aquire control codes for the Great Hive...

“Yes, Radiance.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Latest Update

Hi everyone,

Biopsy results are back... they have me scheduled for a lumpectomy Friday.

So, today I had a totally cool full body bone scan as they go see if this thing has spread before they open me up.  I can now say I've seen films of my whole skeleton!  Which will one day make an interesting self portrait to paint.  Much better than just the torso images I had before.

Tomorrow I get a different kind of radioactive isotope injected, so the Dr. can see what she's doing.  Today I was only the geigercounter anathema for about six hours... ;)

I'm scheduled for surgery 9:15 Friday morning and should be home the same day.  Lots of cool imaging and I'm please with North York General Hospital, aside from the paying for parking issue which is like kicking you when you're down.  But the hospital is right on the subway line so no big deal.

I'll keep everybody posted.  Heck if I feel that I need wordy distraction or run out of books I want to read I might have another post out of the waiting time.   

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unexpected Hitch in Life

Chere Readers, I may not be posting for the next few days.  I'm being booked into North York General for a spot of day surgery.

However hard I try and put a brave face on it, I'm a tad freaked and finding it hard to focus.  I'll do what I can the next few days and let you know how things go.

I'm so glad that the doctors are jumping on this.  From my discovery to removal, less than two months. From their examination to removal, two weeksThat's really good work. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

165 - Smack Me Stupid

They were paused in the shadow of the rocks, just before the road turned onto the salt plain leading straight to the gates of Lainz.

“Elemfias, how on earth did you carry that through everything, perfectly intact like that?” Ilax looked up at the Milari banner floating overhead.  The silk was light enough to show the Milari sigil, the white and red almond flower on a spiked mining wheel, centred over a jaggedly split field of red tsingy and white sky.  The zon settled the pole into the saddle socket next her boot and smiled down at Ilax.

“I have my secrets.”  The bird she rode had been rushed from the city and was an enormous old white and red male that had somehow not gotten too vicious to ride yet. They had the remnants of their fancy bird caravan as well, and Werfas and young Kyrus were over with the Amir, the two boys fussing with the Lainz banner, a slash of solid gold with two long tails.

The Emir-al had his war-bird perfectly turned out, with every feather carefully groomed, at the head of the kuluri who had met them with water, remounts and re-supply in general.  The Rasheem troup’s gold trim flashed in the sun, and the thousands of tiny mirrors along every edge glittered savagely in the harsh sun, making it hard to look at their polished ranks.

The zon’s silks were a wild rainbow in a loose cluster in front of the Rasheem, each had their own banner.  One or two that had the silky feathered birds had somehow arranged to have them stand out like moving puffballs.

“Ilax, I suggest you and your husband call up some glitter for your armour.”

“Glitter,” Kyrus growled, making the arm-long gold feathers woven into one side of his head quiver.  “I hate glitter.”

“It’s a parade inamor.”

His sarband was pulled back, even in the harsh sun, to let everyone see him, his veil was edged with gold medallions and his armour was black false-chain banded in gold.  “This isn’t my armour.  You don’t WEAR armour on a bird...”

“It’s a parade, da,” Kyrus said, coming up behind.  “I feel weird dressed in cloth of silver.”  He was dressed in black trousers with a silver shirt and an open long vest striped purple and silver. His sarband was silver as well and his veil was silver with silver bells as weights.  “If a Basin rat can ride in pretending to be a siwion then you can face them.” His da flashed a smile at him that showed even through the translucent veil.  It went away as he went on.  “I’m more scared of what ma is going to think of all this.”

“She’ll probably be thrilled,” Elemfias said from above them. “We should go before we all perish of heat.”

“She’ll probably smack me stupid,” da muttered under his breath as he caught up his own bird’s reins.

“Smack you stupid?” Ilax asked disengenously. “You mean more stupid.”

He sighed as he settled into his saddle.  “More stupid.”

Kyrus backed off from the look that Ilax threw his father, went over to Hara dressed from head to foot in white, with her sword hilt in silver, looking like somekind of avenging spirit.  “Do I look all right?”

“You look fine.  Take a breath and if you feel like you’re going to pass out look straight ahead.”

“Look straight ahead,” he said and swung up on his own bird, sneezing at the puff of dust.  “Right.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

164 - Shake Them Till Their Teeth Rattle

The zardukar offices were full of people, full of every one that the Empire could manage.  Even the youngest of students from the Dee school were there, working, running errands, doing small programs up to the limits of their strength.

Dag was just as glad she had a door on her tiny cubicle, shutting out the physical noise and letting her dampen down the mental noise as well.  
(Head of Milari State to Visit Lainz!

-- Linned by Ahymander Dagdohva

The rumours of the Milar surdeniliarch and his family making a state visit to His Radiance can now be confirmed.  Ilaxandal Vania ah Ruikart will be arriving in procession at the city Gates tomorrow afternoon.)

*Dag, you should also announce exactly who is with him.  His Radiance gives his approval for this announcement.  The Great Hive has begun to approve both siwion.  They might not be the heirs for his Radiance that the Hive wants but that is still up in the air, so to speak.  The bees have not yet approved.*

*Datrus, Should I not hold back then?*

*Diryish is failing.  He may not live out the night.  He needs to let the city know that there are heirs.  More than Her baby Brilliance.*

*Yes, Naser.* 

Amardad, this is so beyond my experience.  I thought I would be failing... dying by now, my body overwhelmed by code triggering cascades of attempted biofixes, not trying to explain this whole convoluted mess to the whole Empire! 

(Escorting the foreign prince is a Brilliance of Lainz’s own.  Born and raised a Talain, the champion, Kyrus Talain, who was reported dead in Milar ten years ago, is the grandson of our own Radian Diryish Pollus. He was found to have been kept safely out of the country, in secret, by his honour the surdeniliarch.  We may speculate all we like that it was planned this way by His Radiance, to keep the unknown siwion safely out of Lainz politics.) Not likely.  I thought Kyrus was truly dead. 

(There is a possible Kragahnz to the Sun Throne, if the Great Hive approves.  He is proven in battle, he is proven in spirit, and body for his son accompanies his father.  Even as His Radiance grows closer to his final cell, he provides Lainz with a strong heir – his grandson, and a great grandson, also named Kyrus after his famous father.) Oh, my boy, you ripped open a whole hive of new bees, going to Milar.  (Lainz will not be left leaderless in the face of His Radiance’s transcendence.)

*Datrus... this is too purple.* She could feel him call up what she'd written and waited for him to read it. 

*No, go with it.  It’s all true.*

Dag set down her pen, rubbing her temples.  Her Kyrus.  Her Kyrus and her boy were about to come back to the city in triumph.  Why do I want to smack them both silly?  I want my boy back and I won’t get him. The only place I'll get to see him is in the Dee school. 

Finding out that her unofficial zardukaro was alive and married and and and... she wanted to pound her fists on the desk.  I realize I wasn’t locked tight to this world then, but did they have to leave me out of understanding for so long?  I want to shake them till their teeth rattle in their heads. 

All of the things she’d seen in Petra’s memories had shaken her completely out of the fog.  It seemed that much of her nightmares and her ill-advised frobbing had been both improper training and a secret hack of some kind actually designed to harm her.  Someone has been slaughtering and mind burning anyone even close to Diryish and hiding in that rancid mess that his father left behind.  If I believed in an afterlife old Hamun had a lot to answer for. Hamun.  Huh.  The old Emperor had died long before she’d even been born and here she was sitting judgment on the man.  Either way, Diryish had been foolish to leave all his old crazinesses in place up until now.  It seemed downright sloppy, if not merely lazy.

(The surdeniliarch, recently married -- don’t say it... endarkened tell the truth! – recently married to our new Kragahnz, has never made a state visit to Lainz before but we anticipate with celebration of the ten year peace between us, the unexpected and gracious visit of the Milari during this difficult time.) 

Diryish... this should have happened earlier... not as part of your deathwatch.  Dare I critique the most High?  Surely you cannot have thought us all to be so ignorant? This is as messed up as my thoughts used to be.