Governor Paroche Baatega

Fairdale Latimer

It was the thirty ninth day of my recovery when I cordially accepted my invitation to enter the presence of the Governor, Paroche Baatega.

What first struck me — aside from the architecture that was bizarre and impossible to my eyes — was my vacillating on Governor Baatega’s gender. Taken in isolation, each gesture, fashion accessory, tone of voice or curve of physique might have suggested to me a particular gender. But taken as a gestalt, I could form no coherent position. I have since learnt there are more than two gender roles on this Mars, though I have yet to grasp the nuances of their system of personal pronouns.

I also recall being startled by her clear obsession with the Cats of Krester, an aberration purportedly bred from a domesticated ship cat inflicted with a parasitic infection native to this Mars. I was uncertain whether the appearance of the beasts was more unsettling than the adoration, nay worship, Governor Baatega and others unabashedly show them. I, myself, am no great animal lover yet surely this large predator had no right to roam freely through civil society, untouchable.

Taken as a collective, these elements sorely tested my attention for the baroque details of the local politics and…


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Governor Paroche Baatega

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