Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe looked down at little boring man in silly clothes with condescending contempt. Wind howled on the teopulli’s top, ripping the flames on sacred bonfires in rock bowls. Warriors and priests of Ambutl’ Tribe were sitting on long stone benches and talking quietly while eyeing the envoy of savages from overseas.
“Your sorcerer will be led here, put on altar and our best priest will do justice by ripping his heart off his chest. Such is punishment for murder.”
Chief was very patient. He repeated the same words for seventh or eighth time: he lost some fingers in battles of the past and there wasn’t enough left to count. Stupid, small and boring savage from beyond the sea couldn’t understand the simplest things.
“It wasn’t proved that murder was committed by our… erm… employee,” replied little man. Chief loudly sighed for seventh or eighth time.
“Great Oglopogle revealed that to us,” said Chief with self-control that knew no bounds, “With Oglopogle’s blessing our priests discovered that your sorcerer murdered stepson of Ambutl’ Tribe. Why should you question Oglopogle will?”
This twist in conversation was new, and little man quickly glanced aside before formulating an answer. One of the priests, who was considered upstart in his youth and now has a reputation of small Chihuahua who didn’t grow up and happy to be a pup, seized the moment and jumped from his place:
“They don’t believe in Oglopogle, o Chief! Savages do not honor Virasicaka! Exile barbarians from our shores, o Chief, and send priests with suitable guard to the lands beyond the sea. Let these wild men know the glory of Oglopogle; let them establish Virasicaka of their own!
Proclaiming that, priest let himself down on the bench with a huff.
“We honor Virasicaka,” little man’s face was blank when he denied accusation, “We believe in Oglopogle as much as Ambutl’ Tribe do. We just call him differently. We have the right of originality.”
“Quit your subterfuges!” yelled same priest, this time without raising himself, “Our envoys related that no Oglopogle altar stands in the lands beyond the sea! They saw only,” priest made a face,” Crosses!”
Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe nodded supportively to priest pleads. Chief was civilized and tolerant man and understood that Oglopogle shows himself in different forms to different tribes. So far his existence cannot be truly comprehended by pathetic intellect of savages. Let them pray to their crosses; in due time they’ll know true faith and blood-stained ziggurats will be standing on the places occupied of their ungainly temples.
“Virasicaka of yours,” Chief’s nose ring moved as he smiled, ”Just too original. Your warriors march in ranks and files, isn’t that sign of slavery? Your women cover their breasts but open their legs…”
Warriors guffawed as one; priests spat as one.
“…isn’t that a sign of vulgarity? Your Chiefs haven’t labored for year at Oglopogle altars, how can they be considered chiefs at all? You do not drink tlatepoka nor eat chinubampa, isn’t that a sign of your backwardness?
We taught you about Virasicaka a hundred moons ago. How dare you compare your Virasicaka to ours, which have over eight thousand moons of age?
Priest and warriors of Ambutl’ Tribe made all sorts of agreeable noises. Little man kept silence – he couldn’t argue with that.
“Those with Virasicaka so immature and… original… should bow before one with Virasicaka so stable and dignified,” Chief spoke the obvious, “Hand out your killer-sorcerer and our best priest will do justice by ripping his heart off his chest. Such is punishment for the murder.”
“It wasn’t proved that the murder was committed by our… erm… employee,” replied little man without much thought. Chief sighed again and adjusted his headgear made from great feathers of bhabhaka, which looked especially imposing compared to dull gray garment of a little man.
“Stepson of Ambutl’ Tribe was killed by boomstick made overseas. In the lands of Ambutl’ Tribe there are no such despicable weapons,” mighty and scarred Unfairness Extirpator joined the discussion. He was rumored to be so blessed by Virasicaka, so he can discern the guilty just by single glance.
“Unfortunately, in the lands of Ambutl’ Tribe some swashbuckling scum from our shores found shelter,” mumbled little man, “Those have boomsticks of their own.”
“Our Virasicaka haven’t called them ‘swashbuckling scum’! They are stepchildren of Ambutl’ Tribe!” roared Unfairness Extirpator, “No one saw even single boomstick on them!”
“Likewise, our port inspection haven’t uncovered them in time…” started little man, but Unfairness Extirpator haven’t let himself be fooled by those obscure and thus untrue words:
“By the mercy of Virasicaka! Those men fled to us from your barbaric attempt to change their way to life, afraid that that their extermination was certain; so they were accepted as stepchildren of Ambutl’ Tribe!”
“And who do have in mind?” little man had began to lose patience. Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe felt joy upon the sign that the barbarian wasn’t exactly lost for the truth.
“They were members of mountain tribes, which was oppressed by you who roamed the plains! You denied them the right of their own Virasicaka, better than yours!”
“Ah, those… but they’ve…”
“You killed them and buried them!”
Warriors and priests made noise in agreement; someone yelled least toombalacatl’ towards barbarian, for it was blasphemy, abomination and outright stupid thing to bury dead enemies.
“But you too waged wars… when Parak tribe crushed Malapat tribe and conquerors wanted to own their lands for eternity, you supported them and attacked Malapats…” little man looked like he was astonished.
“Virasicaka guided us,” explained Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe, “Virasicaka was merciful to Paraks and unmerciful to Malapats. Besides, we haven’t buried those we killed,” Chief licked his lips and the memories of the feasts of his youth.
“Malapats would taste better than Paraks,” added Unfairness Extirpator, “Virasicaka knew that.”
Chief gratefully looked at Unfairness Extirpator. Savage was once again defeated by immaculate reasoning of best minds of Ambutl’ Tribe. Unfairness Extirpator sat on the bench, and his wide shoulders no longer blocked the view from teopulli’s top. The gulf with unwieldy large boats from beyond the sea became visible again; in three rows of open windows on their sides something gleamed with gray cold light.
“I’m tired,” admitted Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe with dignity, ”By the force of our eldest Virasicaka and to uphold the friendship between our tribes…” some priests giggled at these words, waving their earlobes enlarged by heavy earrings, “…you have to hand out your sorcerer. He’ll be put on altar and our best priest will do justice by ripping his heart off his chest. Such is punishment for the murder.”
“It wasn’t proved that the murder was committed by our… erm… employee,” parroted little man, defeated many times in fair discussion but too dense to admit that, “And even if it was, we can’t hand out our man. Our… erm… Virasicaka forbids that.”
“Then you should fix it,” it was easy for Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe to show the light in the cave to puny boor, “What have you? Magna Carta? Bill of Rights? Con-Sti-Tutl’ or something like that… My, what a foolish names you chose… So, break the stone tables on which those written, and make new ones. Friendship and opportunity to witness ancient and great Virasicaka of Ambutl’ Tribe worth it, isn’t it? For your good-for-nothing firewater we’ll send you priests of Oglopogle who can artfully etch the stone.”
Face of little man betrayed his contradictory feelings. For some reason he looked back at windowed boats, and then, with a scowl, to the Chief in the grand headgear of bhakbhak feathers.
Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe decided that savage’s soul is naturally leaning to Virasicaka, but his mind is still clouded and unready for the light of truth. Well, compassion to the poor and weak is advantage that Ambutl’ Tribe do have. Besides, the firewater that was casually mentioned, waited in teopolli chambers, as well as large dishes of minced chinubampa; from some time chief can’t imagine his life without both.
“I’m sad,” concluded Chief, “Go away. By my decree, Ambutl’ Tribe exile four your men from our soil. We won’t, however, would leave our stray brothers beyond the sea without Oglopogle’s light, and in due time Virasicaka like ours will sprout on your shores! Kindness of Ambutl’ Tribe is immense, so our junior priests will bang daily and nightly at sacred drums, calling the mercy of Ogopogle to your wretched land, and your useless firewater will be always bought to fuel our illustrious Virasicaka. Now, off with you.”
Little man, not understanding the measure of contempt rained on him, bowed deeply.
“We’ll send back four of your ambassadors from port’s Chamber of Curiosities, too,” warned him, but Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe no longer paid attention. Envoy of savages left teopulli, his dull garb vanished from sight behind stone steps. Junior warriors that stood watch, suppressing the laughter, yelled short toombalacatl’ behind his back, marking the end of audience.
Chief arose from his throne and began, with usual majestic grace, to rub his buttocks tired by sitting on cold stone.
“How difficult is to serve as Virasicaka’s beacon in the world, where boons of Oglopogle spread so unevenly, and only a few tribes have gifts worthy of our attention. Best of Ambutl’ Tribe, you saw the savage, heard his senseless babbling and you know how challenging is our mission. But we never abandon it!”
And hearing the joyous cries of Thrice-Great Toombalacatl’ around, Chief of Ambutl’ Tribe became convinced that Oglopogle was satisfied by the talks.
[Translator Note: this masterpiece was posted in Russian on July 25, 2007. My question to Virasicaka followers over the world -- "Are you still happy to bring Oglopogle will to the unsuspecting people?"]