Oh Kievifkwa, this has been all too overwhelming. I’ve only spent one overnight at the Kmpamew. I’ve postponed my appointment with Apacevj, the Mieta. I’m not looking forward to having a formal teacher. I mean, Utcoozhoo is a fatherly figure, knows when I don’t understand something, and knows how to explain a subject with a story. His homework can be difficult, but I don’t mind doing it for him. He doesn’t push me too hard, but guides me toward the subtleties. Utcoozhoo is always very patient with me, but Yenkoi, now, I’ve come to think, is in a rush or panic about something, and very eager for me to get started with Apacevj.
Oh Kievifkwa, I nearly ran screaming from the Kmpamew (but I was calm and polite to Yenkoi, actually). I told the Gavicte I had to consult with Utcoozhoo urgently, and that seemed to placate him. I told Utcoozhoo I had to go back to Doug’s apartment to unwind, because I was still feeling weird and not myself. Oddly, he didn’t object, seemed preoccupied, and just thanked me for the report on James Ziohat.
I don’t know why I didn’t want to stay at the Kmpamew. It’s very luxurious. Yenkoi, proudly gave me the grand tour and told me the statistics: there are 800 rooms, 25 State Rooms, 60 guest rooms, 100 offices, 200 staff rooms, and 100 bathrooms. Doug would be impressed with the State Dining Room and the kitchens and the chefs, and … . Oh Kievifkwa, I don’t need all that.
I’ve chosen my Royal study and bedroom. Oops, I’ve forgotten the correct terms for those, but anyway, I guess, considering how scatterbrain I can be sometimes, Yenkoi has done the best he could.
Well, I can say this: the Grand Ballroom is magnificent, with a sky high ceiling and with a seemingly endless staircase, and thanks to Utcoozhoo’s instructions, the Gavicte took extraordinary measures to accommodate my tastes. When Yenkoi said, I have a special surprise for you, I thought, oh no, now what. We had entered the huge room through the main entrance off the sacred corridor.
But he had said, “We’ve taken special measures for your Grand Ballroom. We’ve hung Velijdiko that reflect your esthetic tastes while still functioning quite well… ” He spread his arms in a grand presentation gesture.
“It’s drapery or curtains made from the traditional fabric of fiber-optic threads, and carbon nano-tubes, joined with the standard interstitial crystalline rubies and sapphires and with rare-earth wave-guides. But the enhancements are adjusted to… ”
I shifted my weight from one impatient foot to the other. “Too much information for me right now, um…”
“Yes, Fevepo Zawmb’yee, let’s just say, it’s beautiful adjustable-color curtains that also act as a communication device and antenna. Will this do for today?”
“Yes, thank you, Gavicte Yenkoi. I’m sorry, I interrupted you — you were going to say?”
Yenkoi gestured and we walked across the expansive marble floor. Yenkoi tilted his head: “Look up at the Gijlek, um, the frescoes…”
I looked up at the ceiling. Beautiful landscape paintings adorned the surface. I said, “Wow. It’s great and so intricate, but the ceiling is so far away and … Oh, didn’t you say before that you had a ‘special surprise’ for me? Is this it?”
“No, Fevepo Zawmb’yee. Walk with me to the center of the room.”
We walked across landscape mosaics embedded in the floor, meadows and flowers, deer and fruit trees. As we approached the center, I could see a desk and chair on a long low platform resting in the center of the room. “That’s an odd place to place a desk,” I said.
“Well, step with me onto the platform. Be careful of the rim — step over it.”
We stepped up just an inch or so. I sat down in the chair. “What’s the rim for?”
“That’s so the chair doesn’t roll off the platform.”
“Well, then if it did, I could just roll around the marble floor… ”
“Not if you’re near the ceiling…”
“Yes, well. It is after all a Reksipj, and if you’re flying around you have to be careful. Look up — do you see that white blank spot?”
“That’s for your painting. Look at your desk.”
“Oh… tubes of my favorite acrylic paints. Let’s see. Yes, wow: you’ve given me all the primary and secondary colors, custom shades… um, extra-large white, yeah OK. Great. Brushes?”
“Yes, in the draws, all the standard types and sizes, and if you need it we can custom make a brush to your specifications.”
I told Yenkoi I’d take flying lessons some other time. Painting in the sky is something new for me, and I’ve never seen a bird use a paint brush so even though birds are good at flying, they must not think that painting is safe.”