Gregor held up a black blazer and checked the size against Potsy’s back. “In terms you would understand, think of me as your executive assistant.”
Potsy slipped his arms into the jacket. “And in terms I would not understand?”
“I’m your brother and father.”
Potsy smoothed his red tie over the black shirt he wore. “Okay, then. Glad I asked. Not sure I can wrap my head around that.”
“You will, all in good time, sire. There is a lot for you to learn.” Gregor folded a red handkerchief and slipped it into the breast pocket of the blazer. “King Carlton certainly knew your size.”
“How long had he been watching me?”
Gregor stepped between Potsy and the mirror. He smoothed the lapels of the jacket before checking Potsy’s hair. “Months, perhaps years. He only found out he was dying five months back, but I suspect he had picked you out as his successor long before that.”
Potsy thought for a moment and glanced around the burgundy walls of the bedroom again. “And who exactly is Lilly?”
Gregor chuckled. “Lilly and Gem…of course, you have yet to meet Gem, but after we do the introduction you will. Lilly and Gem are your concubines.”
Potsy’s blue eyes widened. “Concubines?”
“We cannot have a king distracted from his duties by a frustrated libido…and a king does not have time to date, per say. Thus, yes, concubines. They were Carlton’s and, until we figure out your preferences, they are yours.”
Potsy shook his head hoping it would clear some of the questions.
“Unfortunately, neither Gem nor Lilly bore a child for Carlton…had that happened, that child would now be our leader and you would not be standing her, mind you. Under the circumstances, not sure that would be a good thing.”
Gregor nodded and raised his eyebrows. “Again, all in good time. I believe we are filling that brain with too much for a first day.”
“What about the crystal?”
Gregor reached inside his own shirt and pulled out a crystal ring that dangled from a chain. It was similar to the one residing around Potsy’s neck, but with more of a light blue tinge to it. “For now, let’s just say these keep us young.” He shrugged before continuing, “Then again, your concubines will assist with that as well.”
Potsy felt an uncomfortable laugh that he stopped and it came out as more than a cough.
“After the introduction to your people, you will have your pick of one of them for tonight.”
Gregor shrugged again. “Or both. Carlton liked both together.”
Potsy blushed bright red. “Okay, new subject. Who are ‘my people’?” He used his fingers for quotes.
“There are ten billion people on the planet…”
“Ten? I thought we were approaching seven billion?”
“On the outer shell, yes. On the inner ring, however, there is roughly another third. These ten billion are your people.”
Potsy’s eyes dropped to the floor as this last bit sank in. “All of them? I thought Obama was the leader of the free world.”
Gregor laughed. “No one is free…and yes, all of them, though those on the outer shell are unaware.”
“Because if they knew of the coming Rapture, the panic would rip the planet apart. People would panic. Mayhem, destruction, violence and death. We need them to do much work so we can prepare to defend ourselves.”
“The Rapture? That’s when Christ is to come back, right?”
Gregor grinned. “That is the story we propagated to those on the shell, yes. Not quite the real story, however, and this is something you will need to learn quickly as it is not far off.”
“Great,” Potsy snickered. “Banker yesterday, and now world leader that is preparing for the second coming. I really have moved up.”
Potsy snapped his head to look at Gregor. “What?”
“Attack. Not the second coming, the second attack.”
“Can I have a drink?”
“Another soda, sire?”
“How about a stiff vodka.”
“After your introduction.”
Potsy rolled his eyes. “Then I will wake up from this and realize it is all but a dream.”
Gregor patted him on the back. “I understand why you might wish for that, and in the days to come that wish may be even stronger, but the rewards of your position have not become apparent yet either.” Gregor pulled a time piece from his vest pocket. “It is time, sire.”
“So what am I supposed to say to my people?”
“Nothing, this time. Just wave. Try to convey confidence in your look, if you can…awkward as this all seems so far.” Gregor led him to the door and out into the cream walls of the hallway. After a few metres, the hallway turned left and opened into a larger room where a few people mingled around
Lilly and Sir Charles quickly approached. Muffled crowd noise came from outside of the room.
Charles, in his crisp navy suit and tie, bowed to Potsy. “My teams are spread out in the crowd and have not detected any weapons.”
Potsy shot a look at Gregor. “Hold on here, you never mentioned any fucking weapons.”
Lilly, in a blood read dress, slipped her arm into Potsy’s. “Sire,” she whispered close to his ear. “No need to worry. We are with you.”
A second woman, whom Potsy had not noticed slipped her arm into his other. Her hair was flame red in colour and she wore a light blue gown.
Potsy whispered to her, “Gem?”
Barely perceptibly, she nodded. “At your service, sire.”
“So now what?” Potsy asked hoping someone would give him a direction.
Two security men stood either side of a door at one end of the room. One reached for the knob and pulled it open. The sound of the people hit the room like a wall of sound. Out the door was a small balcony.
Gem and Lilly pulled Potsy towards the door.
Gem whispered, “Your people, sire. They need your strength.”
Potsy was amazed, considering the sound, that he could hear her. He glanced quickly in to her green eyes and was shocked when she stole a kiss before leading him out the door to see the massive throng of people below in the dark grey cavern. The balcony was roughly three floors above the crowd which erupted with cheers, reminding Potsy of a scene from Moon Over Parador when the actor is brought out before those that think he is their beloved dictator. The cavern looked like a Victorian street with street lamps and store fronts on either side of the group.
Gem and Lilly each released his arm and took a step back.
Potsy, as Gregor had suggested, waved.
The crowd cheered.
Potsy smiled and whispered to himself, “Oh boy.”