When I heard the news that Ta’Yal was back with nothing but a single urlot drawn korosok I was concerned. Now I am uncertain what to do. I am a philosopher and a politician. I do not know enough about this sickness to make wise choices. The Kha’Ri is really just a bunch of politicians. Farmers and store owners and guildsmen. They will have no brilliant plans.
Ta’Yal was grim when I met him. His normal jovial nature subdued by the horrors he had seen. All dead! The entire village was dead except for the three children he brought back. They were dirty and scared and alone in the dead village. Their families all dead. He left them to the ready hands of the D’Bok priesthood for cleaning and new clothing and food to fill their hollow stomachs.
I got only a glimpse of them. He assures me that they are probably sick, but they show no sign of it. He reminded me that the others all seemed healthy when they first came to Vas’Noth. Now only the female holds on. The other two are dead.
“I had my assistants bun their bodies and the bedclothes as well.”
“Because I believe that contagion can be spread by contact with the person. That is why I have prevented you from touching the sick and why you will not come in contact with these children. You, G’Quan,“ he paused to gather himself, “Father. You must not become sick. I fear this contagion will spread and it will be deadly. And that fool priestess!”
“Tell me of the rest of your party. I sent you with a party of five of the priesthood and thrice again couriers so we could be updated regularly. Yet no one had returned. I had feared the worst.”
He gave me a wry grin devoid of his normal humor, “The priestess commandeered your couriers for burial detail. After we had ascertained that the entire village was dead except for these three…”
“Could you find no cause? Was their foodstuffs foul or poisoned? Were the animals sick? Were the plants deformed?”
“I saw nothing that would explain it so easily. I am treating this as a foul contagion. Something that might be carried by the people that do not yet look sick.” His eyes had focused away from me as if he were thinking of the days past. I sometimes forget that this handsome young Narn is a child that saw all he loved destroyed in a moment. He focused again. His eyes were saying more than mere words could convey and I wish I knew that language. “G’Quan, I wanted the village burned. Burned to the ground. The priestess would not have it. She required all be moved to the burial crypts. She cited her authority as a religious figure and I am only a philosopher.” The last words were spat in disgust.
He looked at me again and his eyes were flat. “Those infected can carry the sickness to others. Sickness is a mindless thing. It only exists to reproduce. It will kill any without remorse, without thought. I brought these children because I could not leave them there. I am hoping I did not bring Sava herself into my home.”
I gave what thin reassurance I could and left to speak with G’Lan. He gave me little help. He agreed with the priestess. Philosophy can only bring you as far as you are willing to go. G’Lan traveled with this body, but his mind is well caged.
The couriers were to spread the news of the contagion if needed to the neighboring villages. I am hoping that all they spread is news. There is no way to prevent them from getting to the villages. And what if they discover more dead?
I feel impotent. I wish I were there so I could see what was occurring. As if witnessing the dead would inform my decisions better than my own child. I do not know what I should do so I sit here hoping that Ta’Yal is being too conservative. That the sickness is not as bad as he believes.
I have no other path at this time.