Mordecai Marigold. Only a few hours earlier revealed that he one of the secretive ruling Technocratic Council. More importantly, he was now first among them as he stepped forward to lead the country as Antiford's First Prime Minster. In that moment, everything had changed. Only a few knew how and why. And much less than one would expect.
31st of Fi, 1897
The Night of Discovery Day
The Prime Minister's Inaugural Ball
"To you, Prime minister. "
In a circle of glasses coming together, the first and foremost of holding one in this group would be Mordecai Marigold. The man now known to all as Antiford's first Prime Minster.
"Thank you for your kind words. And while in the matter of thanking, I don't think I've personally did so for that little role for us on opening night, Francis."
Francis Claypool. Antiford's master stage actor and playwright. One of the artists of the the new Technocratic to have emerged in the past decade. Opening night in this case would be his own work. Harold: An Antifordian Story.
"That was a complete surprise to me, to be honest. I had not known a few if you "Originals" would be on stage that night. That is, of course, until I saw the original Skret masks when you were upon me in the final reprise of "Who Will Replace Me?". It was in that moment, I realized that with out an honest understudy the finale would take on a new meaning. And Harold would ultimately be as a one and done performance. But I then heard you sing, Mordecai, I figured it all out. Gilbert had you lined up to replace me."
A roll of laughter among the circled group.
"Oh, I would never be a able to replace you. Your voice is a national treasure. "
"Indeed, a national treasure that is due to preform for you that specific song. If you excuse me, There's no way your obsession with precision will put up with me after the fact if I'm late to perform for you tonight."
A small roll of laughter as Mordecai rolled his eyes at Francis before shooting him a stare a him before he turned. Francis gave his drink to an attendant collecting empties and then vanished in to the party. Mordecai rose his hand and then spoke quickly into a different attendant's ear. The attendant nodded in full understanding and left the hall. Turning back to the circle, Mordecai resumed.
"Despite of the wit of his tongue, He's always been good kid"
"Indeed he has. I've never regretted bringing him into the fold after his parents had their unfortunate fate."
"Unfortunate fate? It seems there been a run of those lately. The type that seems to associated with a Wrathchild, Gilbert?"
Gilbert, the older of the Wrathchild Brothers. The Wrathchilds, the engineer family that for generations made Mistfell run. After the revolution, the family would step in where the royal house of Mistfell had been.
"Ah, my family's reputation once again. Lets, for the moment, consider it true. And let's consider the tale as truth. The conclusion that it leads me to say is that if I was such directly involved as this whisper suggests, then therefore you would have been introducing me today!"
Another roll of laughter among the circled group. The switch over of power in Mistfell always looked at with some suspicion to as the official story. It just ran counter to the whispered rumors. There must had been more the Wrathchild family had been doing it was said. And perhaps there was, but who would have known?
"It was just the manner you assured me, Gilbert, that Lavashire would turn around to support... all of this... surprised me. "
Gilbert takes a sip of his drink, obscuring his face with a growing grin across it. Mordecai saw this and knew he would not get a response from Gilbert. He thus continued talking.
"Anyways, I like what you have done to this place, Gilbert. Very different. More Vibrant. Much Wow."
"I tore up the boards over and over thinking that sweet odor that affected us still lingered in the air years after the fact."
Gilbert clutched at his cane. Indeed, this circle was standing where it had been years ago. At that time, the group then received laced leaf to smoke that made most fall asleep early for the night. Gilbert himself had partaken of the laced leaf himself and was affected as the group. Later that week, the tobacconist's shop was raided. He eventually hanged himself in jail, or so it was reported. It one of the minor details that spun out from what eventual would be Button's last ball. Most affected where up and about, though a bit groggy the next day. For Gilbert, the leaf was had been nearly deadly and he entered a deep torpor of sleep. Almost a month later, He would awake but weakened unable to walk. Years now later, Gilbert insisted he still needed an aid to walk.
The attendant which had been sent off by Mordecai now returned with a small box. Mordecai, as gifted an speaker he is, showed how he was the master non verbal communication. Mordecai took at the attendant with a glare across his face and then directed the attendant to a spot by Gilbert as if dealing with a young disorderly puppy.
"Gilbert, I had something made for you... "
Mordecai pointed to the box and Gilbert looked towards it. The attendant stood there holding the box. He did nothing else at all. And Gilbert looked at Mordecai. And Mordecai looked back annoyed. Gilbert smiled, trying to hold back a laugh. Finally, Mordecai moved in forward.
"Open the box, you buffoon".
Mordecai then instantly slapped the backside of the attendant's head. It had caught the attendant off guard and he stumbled forward dumping the box out of his hands. Gilbert had been watching. He saw when Mordecai moved and the box fly. Gilbert dropped his cane and stepped forward gracefully. He reached out and pulled in the box mid air before it could hit the floor. He recomposed himself, without his cane, and looked over the attendant.
"Your services are no longer needed."
The attendant hearing that was at first shocked and then scurried away. Gilbert looked down at the box and ran his fingers over the wood carving on the outside of the box. It was the ceremonial symbols of the Technocratic Liberation Front, the precursor to the Technocratic Party and ruling Council. He turned the clasp and opened the lid to reveal inside was silk lined with a special stand for a silver fog watch. Gilbert slide his finger under the chain and lifted the watch out of the box. The back side spun towards him first It was an ornate leaf design common in the Mistfell area. The front side then came into his sight. The cover was ornate with a locomotive on its tracks, the train itself a gold overlay. Gilbert dropped the watch into his other hand and pressed down on the crown at the top. It popped open to reveal the watch face. Gilbert having examined the watch, turned to Mordecai and smiled.
"Mordecai. You have out done yourself once again. Lets head up to the stage, I believe Francis is about ready now."
Gilbert placed his new watch into a pocket and then turned to walk with Mordecai. As they moved through the crowd, he saw to it to push a few people of the way to make room for the Prime Minster. Some were pushed rightfully so, but many because Gilbert could.
Back where the circle once stood laid Gilbert's cane.