Chapter 28:


The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The eldest Aqueenian princess, Hermina, found herself heading to a radio room at the docks. She sighed as her chair floated down the hallway, which would take her to the room.

They just had to come at the same time! Hermina's Needaimus echoed in her head with a laughing voice.

"This is no laughing matter... ugh," Hermina ran her hands through her long, silky hair as she continued down.

When she finally entered the radio room, it was in chaos. The operator had headphones on and was stammering as he spoke into a microphone; meanwhile, the others were shaking in their chairs as they awaited what might happen. Out in the distance, the source of the problem was visible through the clear windows. Two ships were floating by the dock where they would disembark. There was enough room for both boats to fit along the dock and even more for another. However, neither ship made an effort to come in any further.

The shipyard boss entered the room and surveyed the group before looking at the princess as she silently shook her head.

"It's a real mess here, huh," The boss asked. He was a burly Aqueenian with peridot green skin and a bald head.

"You're telling me," Hermina groaned. Then she waved to the speaking operator to get his attention. When he noticed her, she waved to indicate he should bring the microphone and headphones over. The operator happily obliged and handed the devices to the princess.

She put the headphones on and was greeted with a barrage of yelling that was so intense she couldn't make any words out.

"Shut up!" She yelled into the microphone; the rest of the radio room jumped in surprise. The voices quieted down on the other lines.

"Who might we be speaking to?" A female voice asked. It was deep and rough.

"The Aqueenian princess Hermina," she answered.

"Ah, are you the one that always causes trouble, or the older one?" a different voice asked. It was a female's voice and spoke slowly and without emotion.

Hermina gripped the mic tightly.

"Could you explain to me why you have started this argument?" she calmly asked while ignoring the last question.

"It's rather simple; we will not let the Zenototes disembark before us!" the rough voice answered.

"And we would not like the Bentulousians disembarking before us," the calm voice answered as well.

Hermina sighed and let her head hang. She had expected as much but hearing it in person was still disappointing.

"How about we have whoever arrived first...."

"That would be us!" the rough voice said.

"Lies, we arrived first." The calm voice added.

"Okay, how about us...."

"Princess, I ask that you do not favor the Bentulousians today," the calm voice interrupted.

"Don't you go acting like that!" the rough voice yelled.

Hermina cleared her throat loudly enough for the others on the line to hear.

"How about this, you send two of your best minds here, and we will play a game of Czaric. The winner will disembark first!"

There was a moment of silence over the radio.

"We agree to these terms!' the rough voice answered.

"We also agree," the calm voice added quickly after the Bentulousians gave their answer.

The radio room team cut the line, and all let out a sigh of relief.

"Good going there princess, I thought they might start a war right here!" the boss said while wiping sweat from his brow.

"Do we have a Czaric set? We need to get one immediately!" Hermina said while taking a deep breath of her own.

"Oh no! We don't!" The boss didn't say another word as he ran out of the room to get the game they would need to play.