The shorter of the two secret agent is realizing only just now that he has to mentally tune out of the minister’s soliloquy because it is significantly draining his general level of concentration. He wishes for the gate to be opened or any other godsend.
– I have ordered you here by the depression of this orange button
The minister with childish glee points to a small, round button set flush in his armrest. His yellow, crooked teeth are a far cry from perfect.
– Ordered you here simply to remind you of the highest, highest priority of the mission: to keep alive the unnamable! And that I fully trust in your ability to achieve all of this as laid out in the 173 page mission manual. Agent E and Agent P, I wish you the best of luck. May the lord be on your side.
– Good night Minister M. [again unisono, the two, so highly trained]
Both of them salute and under shock from the blatantly religious statement exit the compartment in forward direction, feverishly attempting to refocus their minds on the difficult mission ahead.
The Ruler has returned to his mansion on the hill, doing so in the precise geometrical, unassaultable middle of the car caravan. One of the vans towards the end of the convoy had experienced a flat and was left behind where during repair work it exploded. Three men died, two of whose body parts were scattered in parabolas all across the surrounding dunes. This immediately raised the national security alert level to stage intermediate vermillion, which every educated citizen in the country knows is the second highest level of alert at which one is expected to be vigilant even while simply going for a walk along the edge of the desert. The benign aspect of the sands is understood by anybody living in and around the thousand-backed beast to be the most deceptive disguise in the world.
The Ruler has taken note of the explosion at the tail-end of the convoy but he is unconcerned because he knows or at least believes the Most High to be smiling down upon him. And whatever hardness he shows to his people, the Ruler wishes everybody could understand this, is that of a caring father. It is only logical that a father of millions needs to be more exacting for harmony to be maintained.
Outside the mansion’s main compound the Ruler is sitting on a wooden, reclinable chair of improbably rare wood which has been passed down by generations of hard-handed sovereigns, reclining, penning a speech he will soon be delivering to the assembled representatives of the nations of the world. He is trying to choose his words carefully for maximum effect and so that the position of his nation can be understood definitely.
The Ruler is sitting next to a swimming pool, the largest swimming pool on the continent, having varying depths smoothly fading into each other, spanning many qm’s and being adorned at bottom with a majestic mosaic depicting images from the most ancient history of these lands. Famous historians and archaeologists bear part of the responsibility for the pool’s bottom absolute authenticity. Peasants and beasts of burden and vengeful forebears and kings and gods variously constellated, which can only be seen clearly while snorkeling. Along the pools perimeter the bodyguards are posted as black pylons in their impeccable suits, slowly rotating to keep in sight all imaginable angles of attack. The poolside is also a bothersome site for them because of the desert sun refracted off of the water’s surface most unfortunately. They are wearing thin black sun glasses, which are ordered to look as unlike the Ruler’s as possible.
From the grassy, irrigated slopes of the mansion’s estate the Ruler can hear the lowing of the hostages. As a matter of curiosity this makes it easier to find the words he is looking for. Perhaps the visit from the minister from far-away will go somewhat differently than expected if these abductees happen to have such a beneficient influence upon the Ruler’s writerly prowess. Again to the bodyguards’ delight, he smiles.
The Leetch-jet’s humiliating, unnecessary travelling around the still hot tarmac as the surrounding desert plunges into night clocks in just under 45 minutes during which the minister is assiduously rehearsing his diplomatic strategy for the Ruler. At times he thinks he can hear the sounds of the pilot’s distressed communication with the tower: “All we want is a gate, a damn gate. We don’t even need a gate, just tell us the next mobile staircase to taxi to. There must be an open set of stairs, don’t be ridiculous. We have the minister of the confederation in here, do you flipping copy that? Jesus!” But not like that because pilots don’t ever talk like that. Pilots are the masters of enunciation and minimaxing every last bit of communication.
The humiliation of the situation, meanwhile, has become an acute bodily sensation of discomfort. The only thing the minister wants right now and which is absolutely impossible, is to inhale the scent of freshly cut grass as he remebers it when he used to open his office’s windows in his home Canton. With closed eyes he whispers to himself the name of his native Canton.
At one point of the long circulation there is a bump which is more sharp than the regular potholes. Later the minister and the special agents and the flight attendants of great comeliness will be informed that this was the unfortunate event of a desert fox appearing suddenly on the runway. For obvious reason the minister would rather not be made aware of the unexpected demise of animals at this time on this particular diplomatic mission. Another bad omen not to believe in.