Thursday, July 12, 2018

That's Quite a Character - Aisulov from the Lone Wolf Series by Dellani Oakes



Quite a Character is a series I published on another site. I thought I'd share it over here, for anyone who missed it, or anyone who would like to revisit it.

Chairman Aisulov, head of the Galactic Committee is an interesting guy. He's a member of the Vandaran race, one of the oldest cultures in the galaxy. The Vandaran people come from a beautiful, verdant, heavily forested planet and are greatly in tune with nature. Though they walk upright, the Vandarans resemble antlerless moose. They have hooves, but the ones on their arms are retractable and they have long, strong hands beneath them.
Aisulov is one of the three most powerful beings in the Galaxy. The other two are Emmelia Spenser, Chairman of the Board of the Galactic Mining Guild, and Chairman Shimmelfenig of the Navigation Guild. Heated arguments have carried on for decades as to which person is the most powerful, but the balance sways constantly in favor of one or the other.
Described as “A moose with issues”, Aisulov had his tempestuous moments. Some of his frustration can be attributed to the fact that a bizarre, interstellar incident destroyed his planet, killing his wife and children. Who wouldn't find that alarming? Though arrogant and obnoxious when we are first introduced, Aisulov finds balance once more and becomes the Vandaran male we can all know and love. I never intended him to take as much of a role in the stories as he has, but he's not a fellow who dwells in the background. At one point, his vice-chairman, Telorvech, has him declared dead. This is what happens at his funeral, during the euology.

"And now, I consign the remains of this once great man, Aisulov, to your care. May he dance in the afterlife and walk among the clouds." Raising her face toward the sky, Telorvech flung her head back, her arms out wide to her sides.
At that very moment, a bright beam of light shot through space, illuminating the stage beside her. The hazy, glittering outline of a very large, Vandaran male, scintillated beside her. It solidified, coalesced, cleared. Before her, in the undamaged flesh stood Aisulov. Falling to her knees, Telorvech took his proffered hand, kissing it and showing every sign of being delighted at his return.
"My Lord, we feared you dead!"
Aisulov stood to his full and impressive height, barely acknowledging her existence. "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." The Mark Twain quote had been Wil's idea.
There was nothing like making a surprise entrance at your own funeral. Aisulov hoped that Telorvech was stunned enough to make a mistake.
The shocked silence lasted 30 seconds. Then, far back and to one side of the chamber, hollow, echoing applause began. For a few moments only one set of hands, then two, several, many, the entire chamber erupted into resounding applause, cheers and cat calls. All manner of creatures who had no hands or paws, clicked pinchers, rasped legs and wings, clacked jaws or did whatever they could to create a positive noise in support of Aisulov.
Aisu, being the elder statesman to the core, allowed it to continue just long enough before raising his hands for quiet. Gradually, the noises died to complete silence, for all knew the Chairman would stand for nothing less.
"My friends," Aisulov's booming voice carried to the far walls even without the aid of any hidden microphones. "This show of grief honors me more than I can ever tell you. This out pouring of emotion for a poor, humble being such as myself." He looked neither poor, nor humble, but the point was made.
Having dressed simply for this occasion, he wore a plain suit of rich, deep green, the color of his clan. His earrings were simple golden hoops, no gems of any kind. The only things setting him apart, aside from his regal bearing, were the sash of office he wore, bearing the insignia of all the participating planets of the Committee, both living and dead, and a golden circlet on his brow which carried a dark green, pear shaped gem.
"I regret having put you all through this highly charged emotional time, but it couldn't be avoided. The same disaster which wrecked such havoc here in this part of the galaxy, also damaged all communication gear between here and the rim. Contact was impossible. I've returned as I said I would and in more timely a fashion than I anticipated." He paused, waiting for the precise moment to make his announcement.
"In my journeys, I've seen and done much and made many new friends. Today, I bring with me my newest friends and applicants to the Galactic Committee. May I present, The Kindred!"
With a dramatic, sweeping gesture, he presented with a flourish, indicating a barren portion of the stage. Instantly, the Elders and their entourage, the representatives of each of the clans, appeared.
A sharp intake of breath, a sigh, a chitter of delight, quiet applause, building again to a great crescendo of noise. Once more, Aisulov let the jubilation continue for just the right amount of time, playing the audience like a Stradivarius. Holding up one hand to still the crowd, he extended the other to The High Elder and he waited for silence.
A count of five after the last cheer, and he continued. The High Elder came forward, standing beside Aisulov. His diminutive size all the more impressive given his bearing, manner of dress and comparative size to Aisu. He looked breathtaking. His fur was brushed and conditioned to shine in even the slightest light. His bracelets glittered and tinkled as he moved, a musical accompaniment to his actions.
He was almost completely white, his eyes the cloudy blue of a blind man. His wooden ceremonial staff was taller than Aisulov and adorned with beads, and gems as befit his age and office. The body sash he wore was a resplendent metallic fabric swimming in the illumination like a rainbow trout, casting a spectrum of tiny lights from it.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes

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