Whispers Ch7 ficbit – In a Name

“Something bad happened.” Aladdin was looking up at him, quietly worried. “That’s why you left here, right? Sinbad said Balbadd was a place for people who didn’t have somewhere to go. So it must have been awful.”

“Sindria would also like an answer to that,” Ja’far said plainly. “We had letters about you; your father was very proud of his son. But we were busy. Saving the world, Sinbad would tell you. And he wouldn’t be lying.” The white-haired minister shook his head. “But we should have come anyway. We trusted our ally King Rashid too much, and failed him when he needed us most. And now you’re trying to pick up the pieces of what Abhmad has shattered. Legal or not?”

Pretty much summed it up. Even if it didn’t answer the real question in Aladdin’s eyes.

Morgiana, now; those exotic eyes were wide, putting together what Ja’far had said with what she’d seen in the dungeon, Alibaba would bet. She knew what it took to beat Lord Jamil at swordplay.

So there’s only one person I need to explain to. Alibaba swallowed hard. “I told you before, there were things I wanted to tell you. I just… didn’t get the chance….”

Ja’far held up a hand as he faltered. “Morgiana. Aladdin. You should know that your friend is probably in great danger here, if his name is widely known. So far as I know there are no official orders hunting him – but having met your brothers, Alibaba, I’d be surprised if there are no unofficial orders to see you… detained. Or worse.”

“You met Alibaba’s brothers?” Aladdin said, startled. Glanced back at Alibaba. “You have brothers? And you ended up in trouble because of me, instead of… people can send letters to help cover debts, the caravan traders told me that. Why didn’t you ask them to help you?”

“Because they don’t want to know I exist.” Now; he had to say it now, or he never would. “My name… my name is Alibaba Saluja.”

Morgiana’s breath huffed, like a lioness spotting unruly prey.

“King Rashid’s third son, and acknowledged heir,” Ja’far stated.

“Which is crazy, and I told him that,” Alibaba gritted out. “No one’s going to follow the son of a palace maid, I-”

Aladdin poked him, right in the ribs by Amon’s knife. “This sounds complicated. Start from the beginning.”

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18 thoughts on “Whispers Ch7 ficbit – In a Name

  1. Yes, always tell stories from the beginning . . . it tends to be less confusing for all.

    Don’t worry, this audience will be sympathetic. If anyone understands this kind of mess, those three do. Okay, Aladdin might have a lot of life experience but he’s a pretty empathetic kid.

    “King Rashid’s third son, and acknowledged heir,” Ja’far stated.

    “Which is crazy, and I told him that,” Alibaba gritted out. “No one’s going to follow the son of a palace maid, I-”

    Funny, they seem to be doing that pretty well. When they don’t think you have any connection to King Rashid at all.

    Could both a plus and a minus. Minus in the fact that as demostrated by Cassim and some of his gang, people suddenly act different toward you when they know you have noble or royal blood, those
    ‘unoffficial’ orders regarding him, and the fact that a son of Rashid is one doing the damage.

    On the plus side, the people seemed to have liked Rashid and Alibaba has already demonstrated over the course of six months to the average citizens that he is much more like Rashid than Abhmad is. And a lot of people find change of any king to be disquieting so having a Saluja in charge (however you want to define “in charge”) would probably be appealing to some people purely on that. It probably also appeals to that sort of tradition, nostalgia for the old days crowd that he is being a pirate king.

    Re: Unofficial Orders
    It would not surprise me at all if while there were no official orders, it was known to the Guard and other powers that should Alibaba be found alive that he was be very quickly and very quietly detained somewhere until he could be “dealt with.” And somehow I don’t think that “dealt with” will result in long term health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Ja’far is already pleased that Alibaba is still alive and kicking; Rashid was a very good friend to Sindria. When he hears what Alibaba’s got planned, he will declare it Gleefully Evil.

      Alibaba though would tell you there’s a world of difference between leading a bunch of merchants already inclined to break stupid laws and mostly taking care of themselves, and leading a whole country. Really.

      And I don’t know about unofficial orders, but given how inconvenient Alibaba was to Abhmad… I’d be surprised if they didn’t exist!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alibaba though would tell you there’s a world of difference between leading a bunch of merchants already inclined to break stupid laws and mostly taking care of themselves, and leading a whole country. Really.

        To an extend, yes.

        (1) Just the thought yes, those particular rules are stupid and nobody is going to follow a stupid rule. On the other hand, you likely made up rules for this enterprise (possibly with their input) and they seem to be following those just fine. And I should note that no matter how you write the laws, someone is going to find them stupid and not worth obeying.

        (2) I should point that no matter how in charge of leading the whole country, those people would be mostly taking care of themselves regardless. Because said people are adults and you aren’t a nanny.

        (3) It could be argued that the main different between the two is scale. There are a lot more people and a lot more occupations involved in the later. Through since this is Balbadd, one could argue the King has always been the leader of a bunch of merchants already inclined to break stupid laws and mostly taking care of themselves.

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      2. IMHO, I think part of Alibaba being throne-shy is his own past. After all, Rashid is pretty much acknowledged by everyone to have been a good king, and yet Alibaba grew up in the slums. Meaning even under a good king, there’s horrible things happening to people who never asked for them. Alibaba knows exactly the kinds of horrible things that happen, and he wants no part of being responsible for that. Who would?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Understandable . . . that’s a lot of pressure.

        On the other hand, unless it is a direct democracy and even those usually vote to have someone be in charge of something that needs to be handled, someone has to be in charge. And right now the person doing it is utterly incompetent. Someone else needs to be in charge.

        I don’t disagree with Alibaba that democracy is a better system – because if it is set up right, you can at least agree that the process is fair even if you don’t like the results – through part of me feels like pointing out that the person they might vote for could well end up being him.

        Meaning even under a good king, there’s horrible things happening to people who never asked for them.

        Yeah and some of them were no doubt caused by people being people but at least some of those horrible things weren’t anyone’s fault and there was literally nothing anyone could have done. Yes, if the noble and wealthly classes actually got off their butts and helped those less fortunate than themselves, then a lot of the problems would be reduced. By a large margin. Some of them might even be eliminated. They could and should have been doing more.

        But not even the best kings or society can completely prevent disease. Can completely prevent crime. Or natural disasters like earthquakes. Or fires that get out of control and burn half the city . . .

        There is no such thing as a utopia. The best king, the best government, the best citizens in the universe and things will still go wrong. Things you cannot predict or cannot control. And because none of those people are prefect, this means that even doing your very best, you are still going to fail someone somewhere sometime.

        AND in addition to all of that, we have Al-Thamen doing their sneaky evil best to make it all worse. I’m not saying they are responsible for all it – even they can’t do that – but it wouldn’t surprise me if they made sure that already burning fire had plenty of fuel . . . .

        Liked by 2 people

  2. > “This sounds complicated.”

    Which in turn reminds me of what Ja’far said in your Around series: “You don’t want to know. And you’re about to find out.”

    Popcorn, anyone?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Prediction for the future:

    You mentioned earlier how Alibaba was convinced that he couldn’t got to Sindria because they (meaning Sinbad) would blame him for his father’s death and the mess . . . here is to hoping that upon hearing the whole story and his reasoning for that logic, Ja’far will snort with disbelief and do his best to convince Alibaba of that particular fallacy. Through Sinbad will probably have to reinforce it later.

    Because like most bad tape things, he probably won’t believe that reassurance at first.

    Of course, this conversation also gives Alibaba a chance to warn Sindria about the trap for Sinbad. Through I don’t think he – Alibaba – realizes that Sinbad isn’t in Sindria at the moment. After all, while Aladdin said he met Sinbad, they have been separated long enough for Aladdin to have reached Sindria and later come to Balbadd easily.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I never said his reassurance was effective or even very comforting. Ja’far isn’t good at being either those things.

        He will probably be very blunt about the logical fallacies and that kind of thing is rarely comforting. Because a lot of bad tape is irrational, you know it’s irrational but knowing that doesn’t make it go away.

        Also as mentioned by trantos01, Ja’far usually looks like he is about to stab someone. Also not very comforting . . .

        And he could argue that being reassuring and comforting isn’t his job. Besides Sinbad is much better at it than he is anyway. There is a reason he’s the leader of their country and it isn’t the Seven Djinn. They are a side effect.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sinbad as a comforting figure. *Blinks.* Maybe a dramatic figure who gets you to forget your troubles in the wake of the oncoming waterfall, but comforting? Naaah….

        Oh aye.*grins*

        I just meant in comparison he’s better at it than Ja’far. Which admittably is kinda of a low bar to jump over.

        Also since part of what he is worried about is Sinbad hating him for what happened, the only one who can really convince him otherwise is Sinbad himself. He needs to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. >I’m not sure how reassuring Ja’far is being…. >
      Not very, but at least part of it’s unintentional.

      Ja’far constantly looks like he wants to stab somebody. Understandable as he’s been riding herd on Sinbad for years but it can be a bit off putting to people.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope Ja’far doesn’t meet Black Mage. Black Mage is the name of a character from the webcomic that brought you Flaming Sword-chucks.(defictionalized by a nut) He’s a stabbity mage who is the only character known to be revived by demonsl

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  5. Black Mage was in the process of taking the place over.Think Final Fantasy Aku for personality mixed with squishy mage for body.When the person’s body acts as Sealed Evil In A Can…

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