#9 Niko

| November 14, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is the 2nd character in a story I’m tossing around about an oppressively matriarchal culture.  Because unlike many feminists would like to believe, men aren’t the only ones capable of despotism, oppression, delusions of grandeur, and warmongering.


Niko was no fool.  Although it was an honor to be chosen as house guard for the Bear family, he knew that he hadn’t been chosen out of merit.  And the old men could damn well stop reminding him of this.  Not that it injured his pride- he was simply to young to have been tested in any remarkable way, had never seen action, had never done more than patrol the city nights.

He knew himself capable, had earned his scant titles, if not dramatically then at least fairly, having worked his way through more than his fair share of drunken disputes.  It was no mystery why so many of those problems landed on him.  Not since he had overheard the sector chief tell his pit-boss, “Send in the pretty one.  The only thing more powerful than a drunk sister’s pride is her lust.  He’ll be able to make them see reason.”

It didn’t smart half as much as it might have.  Niko knew the chief was a sensible and crafty woman, more willing than most to bring justice down on a Lady.  Even a Lady of a House.   And as far as he was concerned, he learned a lot in dealing with these situations with an equal measure of severity and tact.  He could never understand how these perfectly civilized women could become such petty beasts, then wake the next day contrite and shamefaced.  It made him glad that drinking was forbidden for men.  If creatures as adept at self-control as women were reduced to screaming and groping beasts, he could not imagine what he or his kin would be like with one too many under his belt.  Some of his brethren had tried it, once or twice.  It was not a trespass of the first order.  But for himself, he would never.

But he doubted that even this type of experience got him the post.  He suspected that it was another case of “send in the pretty one.”  Suspected, hell, it didn’t take a woman’s brain to tie a few facts together; the first being that he did not rightfully qualify for a post of this magnitude in a House as prominent as Bear was, the second being the much touted coming of age for a Lady who was rumored to be Elder Nameh’s favorite grandchild, the third being that Elder Nameh had not ever been known to make fickle or senseless choices, and the fourth and final fact– that he and the four other guard chosen were young, inexperienced, and good looking.

No mistake, his coming here was a test.  Not of himself, he would never be so arrogant as to think such a thing, but of the young Lady in question.  His Brethren had confirmed his suspicions.  There was little doubt but that one of them was to be that pretty thing that she must see daily but must not touch.  It was a test that he and his brethren were well familiar with.  These sorts of tests were given to every boy long before puberty so that he may learn self-control before his urges began to impose their heavy toll on mind and soul.  But this was not the sort of thing a woman was usually subjected to.  Not even a spirited potential heir.

Then again, this was house Bear, and Elder Nameh was renowned for her ruthless dealings, not only with the men her House claimed, but with every living soul under her care.  Niko was not so proud a fool not to admit that this particular confluence of events was filling him with an unexpectedly heavy level of dread.


Category: 2011, Drama, Fantasy

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