Chapter 2 of the Gods Of Juluka, the first entry in the Kingu Chronicles takes us into the heart of Planet Kingu’s central Civil Administration Building, The Citadel.
In case you missed it, the updated version of Chapter 1 is available here.
Chapter 2:Â The Citadel
â€œâ€¦â€¦.Goooood moooooorniiiiiing Maaaajorâ€.
Like a slur, Dimp//:oâ€™s words slowly registered as he stepped out of the Teleportation capsule.
The senses always needed time to adjust following a teleportation jump, and after a few moments he could now muster a response.
“Morning to you too. I see youâ€™ve been holding down the fort in my absence. Sometimes I wonder when the Savants will realise that Iâ€™m not needed hereâ€ he teased.
The Citadel Complex Administration Control Room was a brightly lit kaleidoscope of colours coming mainly from the glass wall Mainframe screen which dominated the room.
They were three workstations in the control room for him, and his two assistants, Dimpo and Juju each with its separate Crystal Display Monitor.
â€˜â€™Youâ€™re too kind Majorâ€ Dimpo coyly replied.
Dimp//o: was a tall, perky but authoritative skinny, fair skinned female Immigrant with bright green eyes from Eya, one of the main Planets of the Kingu Confederation, and she was one of his most reliable Team Members.
Despite the regimental system of the Savants, Tind//:o tried as best as he could to maintain an informal work atmosphere in his Citadel Team.
â€œI thought I should you bring you up to speed on the latest figures from the Zig Ore Mines, Extraction Reactors and Temple Mind Scans.â€
Dimpo went straight to business as usual.
â€œSureâ€, he replied trying to sound authoritative and only slightly impressed.
They headed over to the Citadel Mainframe where the wall screen showed the latest figures from the Zig Ore Mines, Output from the Extraction Reactors and a list of flagged Kingu Confederation Citizens whose Mind Scans had shown an â€˜aberration patternâ€™ on their last Temple Worship Visit.
The data showed that there was a decrease in the Zig Ore output and an increase in Mind aberration patterns of people whose Minds could not be reprogrammed to Worship the new Juluka King, Lord Bindu at the last few Temple Rituals.
â€œNothing too unusualâ€, Tindo//: observed with a feigned air of indifference concealing concern.
â€œBut thereâ€™s been an increase in the aberration reports coupled with lower output on the Zig Minesâ€ Dimpo interjected.
Heâ€™d obviously observed this trend too, but did not want to openly acknowledge it to Dimpo.
The issue would surely be coming up as part of the scheduled Status Report Meeting he would be having with the Savants later today which would also be attended by the Temple Engineers and representatives of the Mamboâ€™s Courtâ€¦He decided to change the subject.
â€œAny word yet on our applications to be elevated to Temple Engineers and join the league of the Savants?â€
A cynical voice retorted, â€œI doubt that will be going anywhere. Theyâ€™ll never accept us and believe weâ€™re capable of the responsibility despite the fact that this place would practically fall apart without usâ€.
It was Juju, who despite his cynical attitude was vital to the Team. He was a Kingu Citizen with a round handsome face punctuated with beady observant eyes and a short, stocky build.
His good looks seemed to defy all odds, perhaps thatâ€™s why he was so cynical because he always had to fight somehow for the good in him to be acknowledged.
Then again, maybe he wasnâ€™t cynical but was the only realist amongst them.
For now, Tindo chose to be optimistic and confidently dismissed Jujuâ€™s assessment despite his own wariness.
â€œLook, this is the first time Kingu Citizens have even been considered for elevation. Its never happened before so itâ€™ll probably take some time. They could have just chosen to not even accept our applications you know!â€
â€œIts just a charade to keep us in check if you ask meâ€¦Anyway, its not over till the Supernova explodes I suppose, but Iâ€™m not keeping my hopes upâ€ was Jujuâ€™s frank assessment.
â€œIâ€™ve uploaded the latest Status Report to your Cerebral Implant. Can I send our report to the Savants now?â€ Dimpo intervened reminding him of the business at hand once again.
â€œNo point in holding backâ€¦Iâ€™ll see what they have to say about the reduced Zig Ore output and increased aberration patterns. Hopefully they donâ€™t try the lay the blame on us.
You know how the Temple Engineers are always trying to blame everything on us if thereâ€™s something wrong with the Mind Scan Psycho-Meme Reportsâ€.
Despite his outward demeanour, inwardly Tind//o: was concerned about the relationship between the reduced Zig Ore Output and Mind Scan aberrations.
For a while now theyâ€™d been reports of unrest and dissatisfaction amongst the workers in the various Zig Ore Mines and Extraction Reactor facilities across the 10 Planets of the Kingu Federation.
The Temple Engineers had also recently asked them to update the Templeâ€™s Mind Scan Parameters, and he wondered whether this change had anything to do with the increase in Mind Scan aberration patterns.
Also why had the Kingu Federation Psycho-Meme Map been updated?
Was this somehow linked to reports of the changing of the Guard amongst the Juluka after the Juluka Interstellar War that had led to the rise of a new Regime under Lord Bindu, and so the people now had a new Juluka Lord they needed to be reprogrammed once again to Worship?
How did the people of Kingu and the Federation fit into all this? Maybe some answers would come out of the Status Report Meeting with the Savants.
Secretly he hoped that the acceptance of a Kingu Federation Citizen into the League of Savants would finally enable the Akan and all other people of the Federation Planets to get their voice heard.
For one, all the Federation Citizens were living off only 10% of the Wave Energy produced by Federation Reactors as the majority of the Wave Energy was shipped to Juluka by Space Carriers at each Reactor Station.
The Citadel Credit System also meant that Federation Citizens were completely at the mercy of the Juluka because access to all their basic needs depended on access to the Citadel Grid and the Credits allocated to each Citizen.
A lot of corruption and greed had been spawned as the Temple Engineers and Savants exploited their privileged access to maintain control and exploit the Citizens of the Federation in this system.
Last but not least, the Citizens of Kingu would soon lack any privacy as a system to detect and record â€˜subversive thought patternsâ€™ which would be stored on the Central Citadel Mainframe Quantum Computer for further investigation by the Citadel Authority was currently in high priority development.
Luckily, the Savants and Temple Engineers were still working on a prototype of the system, but it was the final frontier.
There was a lot going on in the Kingu Federation but now was not the time to think about it allâ€¦Best to prepare for the Status Report Meeting with the Savants later in the day.