Ch. 73. Mistakes of the Past and Present

“It’s a pity you feel that way, though I hope for your sake your crew does too.” and so with his last statement, and the Guardian’s prodding, Ionas made his way out of the Keep. One final thought phrased in a conciliatory manner but with a hidden barb potentially raising the issue that the crew, who could hear every word that Ionas spoke, might actually agree with him. He didn’t know; there might have been a lot, some or none at all. But for the effect he wanted, it didn’t really matter as long as the captain couldn’t get the thought out of his mind that at least some of his crew were against him.  Then he would not give the Selkie a thought.

However, as he was escorted out he suddenly started to feel dirty. He wanted some information and he didn’t care what he said to achieve it? Sucking up to the Spriggans? Really? And then that raising doubt in the mind of the captain thing. It was like he was back in Sesus in amongst his “contemporaries.” He was so good at playing the game, his sight allowed him to pick up on subtle clues that others missed and so he was able to plant jibes or speak at people just out of earshot. He had not the physical prowess, so he had to make up for it by using his words, and he was good at using his words as weapons — almost as good as some of the fine fencers that he saw.

The problem was that he had started to see the effects that his words had on people, people who hadn’t really done anything to him but were starting to suffer in his peer group from what he had done. This started to upset him.  He hadn’t expected things to work out the way they had and being the otherwise good boy had started to solidify the notion that there was something fundamentally wrong with the system.

That’s part of the reason why he liked Lafitte.  What you saw was what you got, and despite rather peculiar oddities, he was a good decent Eorman who didn’t give two hoots about form and rules of etiquette beyond basic decency and respect for persons, no matter the rank or station. There was a purity to that which appealed to him.

There was one exception to Ionas’ distaste of etiquette and politeness.  To those that he respected it was a recognition of that respect, and to those in positions of authority it was merely that, well, the consequences of not doing so could become a problem. In both of those areas he trusted himself, but dealing with the Spriggan — just how much personal development the young Selkie had to do.

Unfortunately he couldn’t just hang around the front of the keep.  He was going to head back to the Alderman’s but no, he didn’t deserve that and he no longer felt like grabbing a drink nor having a chance to meet Captain Starhand, a man he really admired. No, he’d simply go back to the Calinda and sleep in in his bunk. He deserved no more.

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