Sunday December 18, 2005
Book 7: Emperor Pius Dei — Part III: Return to the Tub of Happiness
Note: Saint Nog was a Qlaviqlese mufter who lived in those shadowy times between pre-history and the information age. The nations of Brantee and Pooqla had established a peace of sorts by wedding a Brantee prince and a Pooqla princess. Djugga Nog, a widely traveled preacher considered neutral, was invited to muft for the royal couple.

Almost from the moment the royal Son was born, the royal houses of Brantee and Pooqla began fighting over matters of succession. As the year of royal mufting progressed, the peace became increasingly fragile, and it looked as if war would break out in earnest the moment the boy emerged from Nog's pouch.

To everyone's surprise, triplets emerged instead -- a son, a daughter, and a mufter: the Triplets of Saint Nog.

Despite the fact that the most rational explanation of the event was that Nog had snuck another couple of infants in with the royal boy, the event was hailed as a miracle, and the ensuing 76-year peace resulted in the birth of the Empire of Brantee-Pooqla. The Brantee-Pooqlans then waged war across an entire continent, dragging their neighbors kicking and screaming into a golden age of commerce, art, and lots of taxes.


Narrator: Aboard an ore freighter, in orbit above Qlaviql. . .
Lupo: Triplets of saint Nog! Did you see that, sir?
Lupo: That Frigate just torched the Capitol! Where's Sky Command?
Freighter Captain: Late to the party, Lupo, it's up to us.
Freighter Captain: Compy! Match orbits, then charge straight in.
Freighter Captain: Lupo! Man the rock-slinger and lay some chaff.
Lupo: Chaff? We're a rock-hauler. Where are we going to get chaff?
Freighter Captain: Our shields can't hold up under that lance. I want you to take our nickel-iron cargo and create a moving field of rubble. The Frigate will have to burn through that to get to us, and by then we'll be right on top of him. Chaff.
Lupo: Sir, this is a job for the military. We're just -
Freighter Captain: In the right place at the right time. Now start throwing rocks, Lupo.
Freighter Captain: You told me you wanted to see how much of a mess you could make with all six feeders running at once. Show me your dream mess.
Compy: Captain, the Frigate is attempting to paint us.
Freighter Captain: Keep us behind Lupo's flock of rocks, Compy.
Compy: It appears to be working, Captain. I detect plasma hits in the rubble.
Freighter Captain: Lupo, if you see holes in that rubble pile, fill 'em.
Lupo: Sir, Our rocks aren't going to breach their shields. What's the plan?
Freighter Captain: Ramp up our shields to breach his, and then ram him. Why do you ask?
Lupo: Oh, I just wanted to make sure we're not going to do anything. . . you know. . . stupid.