Arrowed In: An interview with Ardashir Khan Pt 1

A Babhkan border guard near the Luthorian border.

I had been waiting at the border for a number of days longer than I had been scheduled to. The discovery of a number of refugees in the back of a lorry had caused a furore on the Babkhan side of the border. People fleeing the Harmonious Society that exists north of Luthoria have been attempting ever more risky solutions to this conundrum. They run the gauntlet of heavily armed Babkhan forces which constantly survey the border, preventing anyone getting in and anyone getting out of Babkha. The Harmonious Society is also a Closed Society.

My original intention with this interview was to get to understand the man that has been demonised by so many. Is there more to him than the simple cardboard cut out bogeyman we have been led to believe? I was loathe to believe that this is a man the Shirerithian Press had dubbed a cannibal. When our difficulties at the Border arose he was informed almost immediately by his men stationed there. His reply was gracious and understanding, agreeing to reschedule the interview for when we arrived at what the Babkhans refer to as a temporary capital but Alexandrians prefer to think otherwise, the provincial capital of Raspur.

Once the furore at the Border died down we were admitted into the Kingdom of Babkha. It was definitely a sight to behold. We drove along huge and expansive desert highways, almost empty of people bar our own 4×4 vehicle. Occasionally we would see the odd camel herder, or a group of lowly individuals referred to in Babkha as Catagory E subjects. Yet the expanse of the desert was vast, only punctuated by the presence of impressive Ziggurats. What exactly these Ziggurats are for is uncertain to my knowledge but I was sure that had I had time to ask the Emir would be more than willing to explain their significance.

A Babkhan Ziggurat just outside of Raspur

We finally approached the outskirts of Raspur shortly before two o’clock in the afternoon. The sun on Eura is often considered oppressive; the people who travel to Luthoria from across the Empire often make this comment. Yet, on the coastlines of Luthoria the heat is tempered by the ocean breeze. In the heartland of this desert continent there is no breeze. The oppressive sun is fitting for the nature of what many believe to be an oppressive society. Upon our arrival in the Grand Vizier’s ornate compound we were greeted by a number of his retainers and were ushered towards our rooms. The opulence of the palace is painfully magnificent. We were informed that our interview with the Emir would take place that evening, as the sun set towards five o’clock. We had three hours to spare at the luxury of the Emir. The only luxury we were at that point interested in was some cool water.

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