“You’re not going to call the guards?”
“No. I assume you’re going to want to leave here, though, and you’re not likely to manage that without meeting a few of them.”
“I don’t suppose you’d care to tell me your entire plan before I try to leave?”
“Even if I had a plan, I am afraid I couldn’t share it with you,” the probably-Grand-Vizier replied. “The rules, you see.”
I looked around the throne room again, wondering just what my options were. This whole situation was a twelve-car pileup, and even though I was arguably a mechanic and a doctor, I just didn’t know where to start. The metaphor was spectacularly inappropriate, but refused to go away. It was, I reflected, exactly like Creepy in that regard.
My glum examination of the chamber brought me back to the man who might have been a Chamberlain, who was standing with a faintly apologetic smile on his face and with his hands folded in front of him like a pair of dead albino bats.
“Who are you, anyway?” I asked.
“Me? I am the bastard son of Sir Garçon de Chapeau, abdicated heir to the jade throne of Xix and assistant court historian,” the man replied. “Perhaps this might explain why I am so careful to avoid having the rules apply to me.”
Make that a thirteen-car pileup, I thought to myself.