Chapter 1: Ambassador

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Reads: 278
Comments: 3

 

Emissary Part 2

 

Chapter 1 Ambassador

 

Prolog 

 

My name is Yehya Ibn (son) Sharif. Most people call me John, which is the Latin derivative of the name “Yehya”. That is because I don’t look much of an Arab, or what many people perceives an Arab to look like. My father, may Allah (God) rest his soul, was from Aleppo a major city on the northern edge of the Syrian peninsula. My mother, may Allah build her a house in his eternal Heaven, was a Greek slave and so was I. That is why I am of fair skin with blond hair and green eyes. 

 

This is the second part of my memoirs which starts in the month of Shawwal of the year 473 of the Muslim Hijri calendar, which corresponds to the 15th of March of the year 1081 of the Christian era.

 

The first part of my life’s Journey  (Emissary Part 1) was mainly spent in Egypt studying to become a soldier, a diplomat, a lover, a poet, a musician, as well as an assassin. I had spent the first twenty five years of my life preparing for what was to come next; wars, destruction of civilized societies, massacres of millions of innocent lives, and I was the cause of it all.

 

The second part of my life was a different kind of journey which I spent traveling all over Europe as the Emissary of the Fatimid Caliphate. For no reason of mine I managed to put my mark on the lands I have traveled, people I have met, those I have fucked, killed, or help kill. Regrettably I will grow to mold the histories of those countries I visited as well as the lands I originally came from…

 

I hope you don’t judge me too harshly …

 

John

 

===============================================

 

 

 

He looked like a ‘weasel’, most probably a ‘thief’ … and a ‘scumbag’.… etc. He stood in front of a small one horse, worn out, carriage a few yards where the galley had just docked. He raised the flag of the Fatimid Caliphate and waited. An old man in his late fifties, short, bold, clean shaven, with a scar on the right side of his forehead. 

 

I added a ‘murderer’ to the list. I liked this man. 

 

“Go away,” he hushed me to leave, “we don’t want beggars disturbing the ambassador’s welcome. SHOOO... go away.” He was waiting for his new master, his royal excellency the Emissary of the Caliph of the Fatimid Empire, the most powerful Islamic dynasty on the Eastern Mediterranean. The Fatimid Empire was relatively at peace with the Kings of Europe at that time. Trade was abundant and ships dotted the seas carrying all kinds of goods until tensions flared up again for some reason or another.

 

“You must be Counseler Gilbert,” I said in Arabic.

 

“YES” he snapped, “who’s asking?” He was surprised to be addressed in Arabic. Not that no one spoke Arabic in a port city on the White sea. But because I was fair skinned with light blond hair. He must have assumed I either spoke Greek or Latin.

 

“I’m Prince Yehya (John) Ibn (son of) Sharif, the grandson of prince Ali Sayf al-Dawla (the sword of the state) al-Hamadani the Emir (Prince) of Aleppo. Ambassador to the Papal seat in Rome.” I let him chew on that for a few seconds.  

 

His eyes bulged out of their sockets. I didn’t blame him. I certainly didn’t look anything like a prince or an ambassador he had ever met. I wouldn’t have believed it myself either. Standing before him was a man in his mid twenties, who most likely looked like a beggar with those dirty clothes. I have been cooped up inside my cabin in that abominable vessel, emptying every drop of liquid I managed to take in until I thought I was going to die. My clothes smelled of vomit and my beard was dripping with filth and muck. I hated ships and I still do even though I have travelled in a great many of all shapes and sizes in my lifetime. Unfortunately that was my first, and I prayed to Allah (god) almighty my voyage had finally ended.

 

“WHAT the...” he was about to curse out but managed to compose himself, “you look young to be an ambassador.” 

 

I added ‘rude’ to the list. 

 

I wasn’t going to debate the attributes of being an ambassador with this man so I handed him my official scroll of office and climbed onto the carriage. I just wanted to get in a bed that didn’t move underneath me. 

 

“HOLY SHIT!!!” I heard Gilbert exclaim as he tried to read the two foot long scroll in his hands. Most certainly he hasn’t seen anything like this in his life time. Probably no one has. The scroll was the official decree bestowed upon me by my master, General Badr al-Jamali, the High Commander of the Armies of Egypt and Grand Vizier of the Fatimid Empire. It was also stamped and endorse by the Caliph himself, a rare and exceptional document. It contained all my official titles, a great many I might add, as well as my official ambassadorial duties to almost every King, Prince, Duke and ruler on the European continent. It was very impressive. I was here to impress and I did. He kept apologizing all the way to my residence. 

 

I don’t remember much about the journey to my new home in Rome. The galley I sailed on from Egypt had docked in the port city of Ostia more than twenty miles south of Rome. I was dizzy. I had an awful headache and must have slept all the way home. I woke up to find myself in a small room with an old bed that smelled of mold. My chest of belongings was placed outside the room. Gilbert must have brought it up. So I put on a new set of fairly clean clothes, washed my face, and went down to get something to eat. I haven’t been able to put much in my belly for more than a month on that damn ship. I was famished. 

 

“Good morning John,” Gilbert greeted me. I didn’t answer. I went strait to the small dinning table in the room. A few seconds later an old woman dropped a stew, or what I believe was a stew, in front of me. I ate without saying a word as Gilbert sat on the other chair waiting for me to finish. The food wasn’t much, the house wasn’t much. Heck there wasn’t much of anything that I could see. Gilbert and the old woman, that wasn’t much of a cook either, were the only residents in this small house they called the “Fatimid Embassy”. It was located at the old market place, in the middle of the city. I could almost smell the stench and hear the sounds of caretakers and shoppers who cramped up the streets outside. That was an odd place to set up diplomatic quarter for one of the most important empires in the world!

 

“I really can’t believe it!” Gilbert said, “You certainly look young to be an ambassador,” he reiterated his surprise one more time. “forgive me for saying this, but someone must really NOT like you.” he said. 

 

I added ‘blunt’ to the list.

 

“What makes you say that?”

 

“Well, This is not exactly the ideal job one would wish for,” he explained, “the last four Fatimid ambassadors were killed in this city,” he said, “you must either be very expendable or is being exiled for some reason or another. In either case you’ll probably not last the year. I’m really sorry.” He wasn’t very reassuring. “You certainly shouldn’t be planning on staying here long,” he added. “I’m just saying this for you own good. I really am.” 

 

I wanted to include ‘threatening’ to the long list of enduring qualities to this man. I still liked him.

 

“Well, I really appreciate your concern, Counselor Gilbert,” I replied, “however I’m a little curious though, when did you last have an ambassador in this place?”

 

“His excellency Ahmad-Ibn-Bakeer was killed more than ten years ago right here in this room.” I had no idea why Gilbert was smiling as he mentioned this. I could swear his scar had darkened a little. “I was just a mere secretary then,” he added, “since then every one had left the embassy residence except for me and my wife ‘Serena’ here.” 

 

Why wasn’t I not surprised?! Master Badr-al-Jamali had omitted to inform me of all these interesting facts. His concern for my well being was always heart warming. However I finally realized what was happening in this place. For ten years Gilbert and his wife had been collecting every gold coin the Fatimid Empire had sent from Cairo to Rome to maintain its diplomatic presence in this city. I figured Gilbert was afraid his share of that money was going to be cut short now that I was there.

 

I looked up at him and smiled, “don’t worry Gilbert,” I reassured him, “I’m just here to deliver a message. Once my job is done I will be out of your hair.” 

 

I wasn’t lying. At that point in my life all I wanted was to get as far away from Cairo as I possible could. My memories of that place weren’t that good. I also wanted to explore the world. I was still young and stupid. However before I left Egypt, I was offered a job I could not possibly refuse. I should have.

 

“Go to Europe, Rome, Paris… see as much of the world as you want,” Master Badr had said. “The Fatimid Caliphate is willing to cover all your living and travel expenses provided you do a couple of tasks for us and send us a monthly report of what you have seen and experienced. We also need you to relay a personal message to the Bishop of Rome from his brother the Caliph of Cairo.” 

 

How could I have refused that simple and easy offer?! Technically General Badr was my master. I had been a Mamluk, a slave, but Master Badr had absolved me of my servitude, or so I thought. Besides, I owed him my life and still do. As I said I was stupid and I needed the money, so I accepted. 

 

“How long would it take to deliver a message? A month? Two months? A year?” I thought to myself. What I didn’t realize was that it would took me years and years with the loss of a great many lives to deliver that message effectively. More than thirty years later, I still regret my decision.

 

I looked at Gilbert who snorted and said, “And I will do everything in my power to make your short stay here in Rome as safe and memorable as possibly.” I can still remember that smirk on that man’s face. It was very memorable. “If you need anything or anyone, female or male I would be happy to get them for you,” memorable and accommodating. As I said, I liked this man.

 

“May I ask what is it that you do here exactly?” I was almost afraid to ask. 

 

“Officially, I am the Grand Counselor to his Excellency the Ambassador of the Fatimid Empire, his most trusted confidant, and mail carrier. In this case that is YOU.”

 

“So you basically deliver the mail.”

 

“Unfortunately, that is about it these days,” he was hesitant to say. “It has been slow lately,” he tried to explain, “I usually drop the official mail at the Lateran Palace, that is where the Pope resides. They’re the usual congratulatory letters from the Caliph on the Pope’s birthday or his condolence when one is killed, as well as his support when a new one is elected... so many letters to shuffle through.” 

 

“You mean all those officially sealed letters which weren’t supposed to be opened?” I was almost about to ask.

 

“Have you ever met the Pope?” That I asked.

 

“Oh! no no, No,” Gilbert replied, “I’m not the ambassador. I’m just the counselor.”

 

“So you just deliver the mail.”

 

“Yes and very promptly I might add.”

 

Great. Now that the mailman was present and accounted for, I had to build up the rest of the ambassadorial staff. But first I needed a new embassy. That one smelled of shit.

 

Before I was given the task of delivering the Caliph’s message to his pontiff the Pope of Rome, I had discussed the best way to approach this assignment with master Badr. We both agreed that the only way to show that the Fatimid Empire was a serious and powerful ally, across the Mediterranean, was to show him our wealth as well as our strength. However if Gilbert and I showed up at the Pope’s palace we would surely not be taken seriously. Not only that, we would probably be killed before we got back home. I was also thinking of my own self preservation at that point. I definitely needed more staff and a new embassy.

 

But first I had to get to know this place better before I started my job, so I asked Gilbert, “let’s take a tour of Rome.”

 


Submitted: April 19, 2021

© Copyright 2022 samnash. All rights reserved.

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Comments

DampKitten

Suggestion

What I didn’t realize was that it took me years and years with the loss of a great many lives to deliver that message effectively.

change your tense to:

What I didn't realize was that it would take me years and years....

Tue, April 20th, 2021 4:44am

Author
Reply

Done... glad I have to cover my back.... (don't you dare put...)

Tue, April 20th, 2021 12:18pm

DampKitten

This is really well written, Sam.
I remember you sending me a message about this story (part I) when I first showed up on this site and slapped a few poems down before scooting off like a thief, never expecting to hear anything from anyone. That was years ago - when I was innocent - before I read all your naughty stories and fell under your salacious spells.

I like the Prolog approach. It's a good idea to review some important issues before beginning volume II. You provide a nice background before we get into the meat of the chapter, which (as always) is most interesting.

Gilbert is not to be trusted. John has already figured that out.

Time to call a realtor and look for a new pad. This place feels like a dorm room. I like an open floor plan and a live in chef....some surround sound. Sounds like we need some new threads. Better send a message back to Cairo for funds.

Tue, April 20th, 2021 4:58am

Author
Reply

I was the one who was innocent before I met you...and shy... and ....mesmerized by your words

Tue, April 20th, 2021 12:26pm

Amy F. Turner

I suppose I've always imagined John to be like an Assassin's Creed character like the one of Ezio that you use for your cover of Part 2 of this book. To say the least, (and I would never I promise) I am well pleased to see you writing again and at the most that the story of choice is this unfinished memoir of John's life. The first installment dealt with the early years of training and such and here sounds like more political intrigue, as well as getting to nitty gritty of the matter in how he caused so much damage. Loving historical novels I eagerly look forward to your weaving of such a tale of sex, history, and violence in the name of duty, of course.

As usual, you set this up beautifully, hinting at regrets, and mistakes that should have been made in hindsight even after 30 years have gone by. Awww, I love the way he tells the tale. It looks like John has his work cut out for him but I can already see how much I will enjoy the ride. :)

Sun, May 2nd, 2021 6:00pm

Author
Reply

Finally.... I managed to get your attention!!!!
You are a difficult lady to get a hold off... so I figured John has a much better chance than me to get you into his embrace. I am glad you approve so far, if not I will also be looking forward to one of your kicks in the ass to keep me in my place. Thank you mistress.

Mon, May 3rd, 2021 11:13am

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