(1874-08-20) A Moment in the Market
A Moment in the Market
Summary: Alia encounters Pompey at the 'market' area set up for the duration of the games.
Date: 2018-08-20
Related: None
NPCs: None
Alia  Pompey  

Market, Just outside the Coliseum, City of Paras
Maket stalls everywhere, some more questionable than others.

Alia was meandering her way through such a clutch of stalls, never stepping too close to any, certainly not enough for her to be accosted by any sales presentation, but close enough that she could do two things at once. First, check the quality of the wares to see if they were worthy of a closer inspection, and also to get a sense of the sort of orders that were being placed with each. She was, at the moment, lingering by a vendor who seemed to specialize in small weapons and other utilitarian implements.

Having to leave the keep for anything always put's pompey in a sour mood, this is doublely so when there are colonials milling about and selling sub par items in the market. Quite a few times he as used his power as consul to shut down operations which have bene selling sub par items, citing lack of integrity and over charging. Four of his auditors have come as well, and are currently moving about the market in the same mannor, though, spotting the tribune, the consul makes his way to her. "Tribune d'Molari, I hope you are having a better day than I am?" He asks, his irritation about the whole thing is apparent, he wasn;t lying when he said he dislikes festivals.

Alia, hearing her name offered by a familiar voice, turned to both move out of the way of the various shoppers, and move closer to Pompey so he would not need to raise his voice, should the haggling reach shouting proportions. She looked momentarily away, as she caught sight of his auditors, shutting down a particularly offensive stall, before she returned her attention to the Consul. No skirts today, alas, and so she offered a bow of her head, "It has been…illuminating, Consul. I see your men are hard at work." She glanced back to the stalls generally, "It is amazing, don't you think? That someone would come so far to offer goods which someone in their home kingdoms would not even look at twice. I have found a few who might be worthwhile, but my needs are simple. Is it the day that bothers you particularly, or simply the environment?"

Pompey frowns. "My disposition this week has been rather poor, on top of the fact that this.. festival, has been going on. We are at war, I dont like that people who arent loyal to us can be poking their nose around our city." he says as he lets out a breath. "I should conscript the lot and use them as a defense militia."

Alia took her time, considering the Consul's words, before she offered a reply, "It is a difficult line to walk. To leave the borders through the Keep to Paras open to any who might wish to come. It creates the feeling that we are open to working with and not against the kingdoms of the West. And yet, on the other hand, if we restrict access, then we create the impression that we are not truly looking to open friendly relations with the kingdoms of the West. I have found myself questioning a number of the people who have passed through the Keep, but it is not within my purview to go against the wishes of the Princeps. But it worries me that we have also, it would seem, had to task so many of the legion to police the visitors, and to ensure that they are not attempting to go where we would prefer that they do not."

Pompey frowns. "I am not restricting acsess to diplomats, but in a time of war, restriction is paramount as it has the ability to keep the public safe." he says as he rubs his eyes. "Perhaps when this farse is over, I can get a book and a bottle of wine and spend an evening reading… instead of having to wonder if anyone is trying to undermine us."

"I would see the good that would come from allowing diplomatic expeditions through, of course, but this is not that, and we may find that others, having seen this precedent, will come as well. And have done already. And so far as I know, there have been no restrictions on anyone who wishes to enter Imperial lands." Alia took a step back, casting around for something that seemed suitable to her, "A book I cannot provide, but I might be able to provide wine. If not a bottle, at least a glass." That last, she gave more than a few moments thought, "I believe they would attempt that whether or not they were here."

Pompey nods and smiles. "So tell me, what would be the propper procedure if we should fine a sabateur of another of our fellow 'civilized' nations?" he asks as he moves to walk along with her. "Have you had a chance to look into imperial law yet? I find it to be quite enlightening."

Alia tipped her head, a polite request for the Consul to walk with her, if he was so inclined. Her final destination was not so far away. Not a colonial vintner, but an Imperial one. It was not only the spectacles of the coliseum that the visitors had come from. Even in the stories of old, the food and wine of the Empire had been legendary. And now? There was a queue waiting to taste such offerings as the city had been able to provide. Alia, of course, seemed to be ignoring the queue completely. "I would not presume to know what you consider the proper procedure, but for myself, it would depend entirely on whether I judged them to be an immediate threat, or a threat which I could turn to my advantage. If they were an immediate danger, an assassin or someone who posed a more immediate danger, I would first contain and isolate the threat, interrogate them to discover their purpose and origins and then decide whether I would execute them, or continue the interrogation to obtain other potentially worthwhile information. If I felt that they were someone I could use to my advantage, I would first attempt to ascertain what they were after, find a way to misdirect them or plant false information, and then attempt to track them back to their source." Alia shook her head, "Only a very small amount. The library that came with the legion is limited, and even moreso because it is expected that most of the legion already know the law."

Pompey nods. "Well, the biggest crime in the empire is Treason, it's even held above murder, now, treason is defined as: Betrayal of one's nation. I have sat in the senate many times over a case of treason after the fall of the capital, ironically there is no sentance hearing on the matter because when a verdict of guilt is reached, the death penalty is the only punishment for ssaid crime. Even a murder has the chance of exile or a life of labor, but a traitor, there is no mercy for. Most of the other punishments do involve involentary civil service, some are conscripted into the miltiary, others are put to civil labor works. Though another crime which is not readily taken serious though it should, is coruption, though I don;t find that as a fault of us, but of the human brain, as in any form of government one can find this problem." He says as he takes a lecturing tone, not mean, but maybe a small lession for the tribune. "Even our governmental breakdown, which was made to stem things like that, still has it, pay off a tax collector, or pay off a senator to have a stance on a policy, pay for a lesser sentence, or to bury an issue in buroccratic affairs until it becomes a non issue." he says with a frown.

"That sounds as a typical day in Four Corners." Alia paused, stepping through the crowd, ignoring the glances, some angry, other annoyed, that she was given as she stepped away from the Consul and to the vendor, who, while he did not seem to recognize her, did recognize the Consul, and offered the woman a pair of glasses, which, once she had paid for them, she carried back to Pompey, offering his to him first, "I do not know if you have every been there, Consul, but that place, as much as it clams to eschew the trappings of rank and nobility is an absolute distillation of everything that is terrible about the Western Kingdoms. And yet, they also produce some of the most skilled guildmen and crafters." In consideration of his lesson, she offered, "I can understand the reasoning behind such a course of action. Most other crimes, one can be rehabilitated from, or given such punishment as would dissuade further wrong behavior. Treason, however, is too deeply rooted, too systemic, and too likely to spread."

Pompey nods and smiles, offering thanks for the wine as he takes a sip. "I have bene there, during a meeting of the senate of the west I had asked for." he says as he turns to walk further wit hher. "Most nations were in atteendance, and when we raised the issue of the Qatunex, we were greeted with a sidestepping of that issue and they let their pride and feelings overtake their logic." he says as he continues to walk with her. "They were so worried about Paras, and the land we took. We took them from the Qatunax, not aequor, who had lost the land previously, thease people don't want to return to being peasents, they wish to be citizens, the sad part about it is that aequor's nobility don;t see that, or just don;t care. Ludovic d'Korbina was more worried about the stain on his name, rather than reclaiming his land or the plight of his people… If more people like you came to join us, maybe I'd have a better additude towards thease westerners, but as it stands, I don't see any merit in thier form of government, nor do I overly respect their king, they are loosing the human rights game to Galehtia, who as a whole has more garali blood than any other part of the west."

Alia was content to walk, taking only small sips of her wine as they wound their way through the market, the women, at least seeming to be setting their direction for one of the small areas which had been set aside for those who had a desire to escape the spectacle, "Perhaps I am not the right person to make such a commentary. Even at the height of my House's power, we were minor lords in the game of nobility in Aequor, being only a lordship vassaled to d'Korbina. And so, what steps we might have taken to improve our social standing in those circles was limited. But it seems to me, that in a culture that values name above good work, those who find value in themselves only through their names think with their egos before they think wit their common sense. My time away from Hellmouth opened my eyes to a very different world. One where my name afforded me no benefit, as it was one where only the work of my own mind and hands was the deciding factor on whether or not I was successful. Four Corners is many things, but most of all it is a place where respect must be earned as it will not be given. I would venture to say that much of the nobility, even those who have knighthoods to their credit, have not had that experience."

Pompey nods. "In the empire one can be granted standing through good deeds, though that standing can be taken just as easily as it's granted, but, still, a person can stand on their own merits. my family has quite a few of thease 'wax and seals' to their name, but it's not that which brought me to the position I am in, I earned my way onto the senate, and worked my way until there was no other optin but for me to be appointed consul. Oddly enough those senators in the chancery and those who are not have a slight disagreement on who should hold power during the absence of a crown ruler. I'm tempted to just seize the power until I can put darius on the throne, but that might cause quite a few more problems, and, it would involve me not being here to advise my cousn, rather, I'd be in our capitol dealing with the rigors of rule." he says as he finishes his glass and hands it off to someone in imperial colors before giving Alia a nod. "This has been a good walk, and a bright spot in my day Tribune, you continue to impress me, but I must see to somemore business, until we meet again." he says with a nod of his head before turning to walk towards one of the military offices.

Alia paused, or rather, slowed, as she listened, her expression thoughtful, "And with no emperor on the throne, how are rods and seals being given out now? Unless there exists some other system in place, would those in power not simply remain in power and leave those who wish to improve their standing with no true means to do so?" She did not continue, however, as she saw Pompey hand off his glass, offering another bow of her head in lieu of further discussion, "Of course, Consul. Thank you for allowing me to steal a few minutes of your day. With luck, you will not need to return to the bizarre that the square has become." Alia, having kept her own glass, once Pompey had moved away, did opt for settling onto a free bench to finish her own before returning to the market stalls.

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