The minister is meticulous. The minister, sitting in the leather couch with a glass of sparkling mineral water on the polyresin-compound tray folded out in front of him next to the small, ovalesque Leetch-jet window is absolutely, 100% meticulous. It are only the hands which are shaking slightly as they rearrange the documents in front of him with the outline of the trey to be parallel and also meticulous. The treaty is dynamite, the two as-yet unsigned dotted lines are the detonators. The minister wonders when exactly he became a specialist for explosives.
The inside of the plane is nearly perfect in regards to the minister’s preferences and desires: cream-colored leather and two female staff who divine the wishes of the minister from the angle of his gaze and the positioning of his eyelids. The wish could be sparkling mineral water or a tranquilizing spansule or, more simply, silence. Before a big explosion, it is silence that can accent and perfect it.
30’000 feet below the flawless, streamlined Leetch-jet the Mediterranean is glittering goldenly as the day moves darkeningly towards its conclusion. If the minister looks level out of the ovoid window he can see the burning, straight, undisturbed line of the horizon and the sun reduced to half a disk. The caprice of the clouds makes this non-nonpareil but he can deal with imperfection that is beyond his reach. At least the sun will not explode, as certainly the treaty will.
The minister remembers that in the past, when he was not yet flying over the Mediterranean or the Channel or diverse salient features of the world’s geography, everything was more simple. Being more simple it was easier to keep in line or parallel. He could gaze out of a much bigger window then at the green hills of his native Canton and dictate a memo to his secretary without having at the back of his mind six other ministers that have to be taken into account. Without having inside his head both the media and the entire nation to judge him. And at any moment any one of these parties could stand up and destroy the ne plus ultra by saying: “Dear minister, you are not up to the task, it will blow up in your face. Go back to the hills of your native Canton where everything is much easier and the pastures are greener. Where there are in fact pastures as well as cows. No offence.”
The fact that the minister imagines such things and does not just focus on the secret conference and political business ahead makes him think of himself as not being flawless, which is a bad feeling. He looks in a certain direction, closing his eyes to a certain degree so that the flight attendant blessed with great beauty knows at once: more white wine.
The Ruler is standing in the middle of the dessert in his white flowing robe ornamented by golden embroidery with the big black sunglasses which are part of what makes him imposing and are his trade mark. He has a double trade mark: his huge, flamboyant sunglasses but also his majestic, imperious gaze. He alternates between the two as he sees fit.
Right now he is in the middle of the fucking desert so logically sunglasses. The Ruler shifts his wait from one foot to the other which is a bit of a precarious maneuver on the sands but having grown up as the son of a bedouin, plus regularly going back to the desert he makes even this look majestic. One can look at the man and know: this is a Ruler. Not just because of the robe with the regalia of his nation, passed down from ancient nomadic people. Or because of the royal Milvus Milvus on his leather-gloved left hand lifted to shoulder height. The Ruler is not sinisterial although he is often referred to as sinister. Criticism pearls off of the Ruler like raindrops off of oil. So anyway, one also knows the man in the middle of the desert’s ruling status because behind him there stretches a caravan of seventeen armored vehicles glinting in the merciless sun. The color? Burnt sienna. Proof against RPG and attacks of a biochemical nature. A small platoon of bodyguards dressed in black, sweating profusely, is standing within his very close vicinity keeping watchful eyes on the seemingly harmless desert. They are trained to shoot a cerastes vipera, a Sahara sand viper at 50 yards distance from the corner of their eye, is how good they are.
Many of them dedicate their surplus mental capacities to envisioning dying for their Ruler, to imagine dying for him is what motivates them, the majority of the small army of bodyguards. He has incredible status because of achievements in the historical past and present intransigent recalcitrance vis-à-vis the bigger forces, especially empire. The domestic political record does not enter the picture of intrinsic motivation for any of the bodyguards, for sure. The sun is difficult to suffer even for the best trained men.