Description : The Hidden City
Professor Itagne of the Foreign Affairs Department of the University of Matherion sat on the platform reviewing his notes. It was early in the evening of a fine spring day, and the windows of the auditorium where the faculty of the college of Political Science had gathered were open to admit the smell of flowers and grass and the faintly distracting sound of bird-song.
Professor Emeritus Gintana of the International Trade Department stood at the lectern droning on interminably about twenty-seventh century tariff regulations. Gintana was a wispy, white-haired, and slightly vague academic customarily referred to as ‘that dear old man’. Itagne was not really listening to him.
This was not going to go well, he concluded wryly, crumpling up and discarding yet another sheet of notes. Word of his subject had been broadcast across the campus, and academics from as far away as Applied Mathematics and Contemporary Alchemy packed the hall, their eyes bright with anticipation. The entire faculty of the Contemporary History Department filled the front rows, their black academic robes making them look like a flock of crows. Contemporary History was here in force to ensure all the fireworks anyone could hope for.
Itagne idly considered a feigned collapse. How in the name of God – any God – was he going to get through the next hour without making a total ass of himself? He had all the facts, of course, but what rational man would believe the facts? A straightforward account of what had really happened during the recent turmoil would sound like the ravings of a lunatic. If he stuck to straight truth, the hacks from Contemporary...