Neopedia : The Lost Desert Crisis
Warden's Council Room, Xendrik Mansion, Sakhmet
Aymas Xendrik is enjoying a scrumptious meal in his council room when one of his guards barges in uninvited. Xendrik is not pleased.
"How many times have I warned you all against coming in without knocking?" he barks.
"I am sorry, Sir, but this looked important," says the guard, fixing his gaze downwards.
"Nothing is important unless I say it is."
"Forgive me, Sir, but this has King Jazan's seal on it. Should I take it back?"
"Hand it over to me, you idiot. And take your sorry face out of here."
A Few Days Later:
The Queen's Chambers, Royal Palace, Qasala
The Queen is waiting for Aymas Xendrik in her meeting chambers. She and King Jazan were planning to meet him together, but Xendrik failed to show up on time, and the wait was visibly upsetting the King. Realizing that the meeting could quickly go downhill, Nabile insisted that Jazan see to other matters while she dealt with the Warden herself. However, Xendrik is unusually late, and the Queen is growing more and more restless with each passing moment. She has every intention of storming out of the room in a fit of rage and cancelling the meeting but the issue at hand is too big to be ignored. The people of the land are angry and seek a resolution. The Queen regrets entrusting Xendrik with this responsibility but more than that, she regrets not trusting her informants about his antics.
The door creaks open and a flustered Xendrik walks in, followed by two of his guards. His strides are urgent. He salutes the Queen smartly and launches into his report before she has the chance to question him. He informs her that a few new demonstrations have been reported from Sakhmet in the last 24 hours but things are under control now. He also informs her that his guards have nabbed a few Neopets who are the supposed leaders of these demonstrations and are questioning them in custody currently. He looks set to carry on in this vein but Nabile raises her hand, gesturing him to stop.
"You are late! It isn't like you. Should I be worried?"
"I apologize, my Lady. I just have too many things on my plate right now," Xendrik fumbles for an answer.
"Really? I have been hearing about a corrupt official within the band of the Warden's guards. Tell me, do you know who it could be?"
Xendrik says, "Corruption? In my crew? That's highly unlikely, my Lady. I am afraid someone is feeding you with misleading information."
"Perhaps I wasn't very clear," Nabile smirks as she says. "Let me rephrase. For quite a while now, I have been hearing stories about a certain corrupt official who whiles away his time eating and drinking when he is supposed to be working. Does it ring a bell now?"
Nabile fixes him with a stern glare, signaling that she doesn't appreciate being interrupted. She says, "I have also heard that under him, the men who have been specifically employed to keep the peace have allowed the city of Sakhmet to plunge into utter chaos. Now I hear that even the Trade Union of the city has decided to stop trading with my people. This is bad. Do you understand the ramifications?"
"I think I do, my Lady."
"Good. Now, as the Warden of the Lost Desert, how do you suppose we should punish the one responsible? Should we strip him of his uniform and his powers? Lock him up?"
"My Lady, give me a chance to explain myself," he pleaded. "It isn't what you think."
"I have had enough excuses, Xendrik. The tension between our cities has gone on for far too long. It's all over the newspapers. I will have none of it anymore. Tell your men to get things under control now. You have one day for it."
"My Lady, this is just what I had come here to explain. I have been thinking very hard about the unrest between our great cities and I have now come up with a solution that is sure to sweeten sentiments."
"That sounds promising. I have just one question: should I trust you again?"
"You have always been just and generous. Just give me one more chance to prove my loyalty. My family is pitching in to make this a success. I promise I won't disappoint you," he trailed off.