Experiment #391

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 1

Fiz appeared out of thin air with tired eyes. The tooth fairy control room was long past the height of activity. Only the first of the tiered rows of operations personnel remained. A janitor busied himself in the back of the room. Fiz walked up to the first row and yawned. “Kip, remind me to fire Ralph if he ever gets sick again.”

“That won’t solve your issue, Sire,” Kip said. Kip was an old elf who’d recently come out of retirement to help Fiz get into the swing of things as the new Duke of Tooth. He had a habit of constantly reminding Fiz how young and inexperienced he was.

Fiz shook his head to banish the sleep. “These double shifts are going to kill me.”

“You’ll have to live through Franella’s wrath first,” replied Kip. 

Fiz reasserted his quizzical stare.

“She’s been entertaining Martuke for you.”

Fiz furrowed his brow. “The giant dog from the comics? He’s real?”

“No. Lord Martuke,” Kip said, “Chancellor of the Dwarven Regency, Martuke.”

“That was today?”

“Yesterday actually. Luckily he’s been on an underground schedule and you’ve only missed his arrival by twelve hours. Ed and Fred are waiting in the blue room to brief you before you go see him.”

Fiz nodded to Kip. 

On his way to the blue room Fiz handed a ninja dwarf his Teeth Containment Ball.  The product of his double shift in gathering teeth as the Tooth Fairy. The dwarf took the ball and promptly vanished to the port city of Root Canal where he took a boat the rest of the way to the Pixie Dust Production Facility. 

Fiz wearily walked into the blue room, the room where he prepared for missions. 

Ed and Fred sat on two of the chairs with a mountain of paperwork between them. “Oh good,” said Fred. Ed jumped up and ushered Fiz closer to the mound of papers. 

“We have studied,” said Ed. 

“The diplomatic relations between,” said Fred. 

“Fairies and dwarfs”

“For the last two hundred years”

“Stretching between your great-great grandmother Beatriffous Bollanzzo.”

“And your grandmother, Ballenttina Bollanzzo II.”

“We know more about fairy-dwarf diplomatic relations”

“than we know about our parents’ relationship.”

“Not that Dad stayed around very long-”

“Suffice it to say that you’ve gotta trust us on this one.”

“No matter what.”

Experiment #392

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 2

“Well of course I trust you,” Fiz said more worried than usual about Ed and Fred’s plans.

“Good,” said Ed. 

“Politically we need the Chancellor to reinstate you as Lord High Grumgrum of the Dwarven Regency,” added Fred. 

“The Duchess of Tooth has held the position for the last thousand years,”

“But the transfer is by no means guaranteed from one ruler to the next.”

“Even more so this time with the change in gender.”

“He’s here to see whether you’re worth recommending”

“Or not”

“If you aren’t reinstated you’ll lose most dwarven support. A precarious place to be if something should go wrong.”

“Tensions have been high between the Regency and your administration thus far,” said Fred. 

“What?” asked Fiz, “Why?”

“Well you’ve fired your highest ranking dwarf,” said Ed. 

“Ringo was a traitor,” Fiz said.

“Even so,” said Fred, “his family hailed from Martuke’s own caves.”

“What would he have me do? Reinstate the traitor?”

“You also removed four of the five dwarves on the DCSP Council,” said Ed. 

“Dramatically reducing their already limited influence,” said Fred.

“They were known Brotherhood sympathizers. They were all but branded.”

“Yet your actions could be seen by some as anti-dwarfic,” said Ed. 

“Particularly since you only removed four elves,” said Fred.

“That’s the same number,” said Fiz. “Four of each.”

“Yes, but not percentage wise,” Ed said.

“But it’s even.”

“You didn’t replace all of those positions with dwarfs,” said Fred.

“The council members were elected.”

“So it’s all the more important that you throw your weight behind a Dwarf candidate,” said Ed. 

“Dwarfs are concerned with their honor and prestige above all else,” Fred said. 

“Ok, Ok, how do I fix this?” Fiz asked. 

Ed and Fred both smiled.

“Do you trust us?” Ed asked. 

“Yes.”

“For realsees?” Fred asked. 

“Yes, yes I trust you.”

They looked at him. 

“For realsees…” he added. 

“Ok,” said Ed, “Hop on one foot.”

“Seven times,” added Fred. 

Fiz stared at them. “What does this have to do with-”

“You said you trusted us,” Fred said. 

“For realsees,” Ed added. 

“Fine,” Fiz said and hopped on his right foot seven times. 

Ed looked at Fred. “Hmmmm… I don’t know…”

“Try the left foot,” Fred said. 

Fiz complied. 

“Much better,” Ed said. “He looks more scraggled on his left.”

Fred nodded in agreement. 

Fred leaned forward and smiled thoughtfully. “Are you familiar with the term ‘Jazz Hands’?”

Experiment #393

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 3

With Ralph sick, Lord Cuspid on a visit to his constituency, Jeffrey on one of his trips to see the Jolly Red Elf, and, of course, Fiz working a double shift gathering teeth, Sekh, head of security, had woken Frannella up from a deep sleep when Lord Martuke arrived. 

As aide-de-camp to the Duke, She was the highest ranking person he could find. Once Sekh had repeated the issue three times she wiped the sleep from her eyes and dressed quickly, meeting Martuke less than ten minutes later. Though shortly thereafter she wished she’d taken longer and thought about what to do with him. 

After what seemed like hours of awkward small talk and a short tour of the palace, they landed in the outer chamber of Fiz’s personal rooms. They sat on some of the fine cushions and chatted about various things. 

To Franella’s initial relief, Fiz came in. He walked straight up to the Chancellor, hopped on one foot (his right), made Jazz hands while doing a disco move and singing “Hi-Hooooooooo!”

The Chancellor, far from being impressed, stood. “First you make me wait here, then you give me a third-rate reception from a bleary-eyed gribble-grabble,” Franella tried to object but Martuke’s rage overpowered her, “And finally you insult me and my dwarves with this nonsense? If you cannot perform a proper greeting for a head of state it would be better if you didn’t try!” The Chancellor stormed off. His retinue followed. 

Fiz stopped Jazz handing. He turned toward Ed and Fred who stood just outside the door. They both gave Fiz a thumbs up and motioned Fiz on. 

Fiz sighed and followed after the Chancellor. 

“Lord Chancellor! Wait!” Fiz yelled as the Chancellor put his hand on the doorknob of his room. 

The Chancellor paused. “This better be an apology.” He said as Fiz caught up to him and his entourage. 

Fiz opened his mouth to apologize when he saw Ed and Fred at the end of the hallway. He closed his mouth.

“What I really wanted to say is-” Fiz began. 

Ed and Fred looked sternly at him. Ed mouthed “for realsees”.

Fiz sighed. “Fribble Frabble Freplihkan.”

“What foolishness is this?”

“Frappy Flapper Fringgaloo.”

“You are on unsure footing, young Duke.” The Chancellor opened his door.

“Fapspar Filpsy Frawtohes Fringy Flanderos!” Fiz shouted as the Chancellor went through the doorway and slammed the door behind him.

Fiz looked at Ed and Fred. Both smiled and gave him a satisfied thumbs up. Fiz closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. Then he turned and went to find his bed.

Experiment #394

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 4

In the morning Fiz performed his tooth retrieval duties, then sought to avoid the Chancellor as much as possible. At one point when he heard the Chancellor coming he jumped into a wardrobe and pulled the door closed. After the Chancellor had passed, Fiz discovered that he had locked himself in. His yelling and banging soon brought him a savior: the Chancellor.

“What are you doing amongst these women’s clothes?” the Chancellor asked. 

Fiz looked around him and saw dresses and skirts and blouses.

“Frahboppal!” Fiz yelled and strode off at an awkward speed-walk. Before he was out of the Chancellor’s sight he ran into a suit of armor sending it and himself clattering to the floor. He got up, tried to put the armor back together without any success, gave up and walked into Greg (the butler). The lunch tray Greg was carrying spilled its contents all over both of them. Fiz jumped to his feet and ran away, with soup footprints following him wherever he went. Greg groaned, got to his feet and began to clean up. The Chancellor shook his head and went on his way. 

*

Fiz successfully avoided the Chancellor for the rest of the day, though not without hiding in a plant and pretending to have a stomach ache so he could hide in the infirmary.

That’s where Frannella found him. “Fiz! There you are,” she said. “You’ve gotta get ready.”

“Why?” He asked.

“The banquet’s tonight.”

“What banquet?”

“The one you scheduled for Chancellor Martuke.”

“Well, I’ve got this stomach ache-”

“My Grandma’s hairy face you do.”

Fiz tried out a groan, but he could see she wasn’t buying it.

“You’re the Duke,” she said, “sometimes you’ve just gotta muscle through that fake stomach ache and get to work.”

“But… I’ve gotta… and-and… Ed and Fred… With the Jazz hands…”

“That was the weirdest diplomatic greeting I have ever seen.”

“Then they made me do that and-and speak nonsense and-”

“Listen to you,” she interrupted with sudden passion. “Are you the Duke or a doormat? Whatever they suggested you do, you made the call of following their advice and you are responsible for the outcome. Either commit to it or don’t but you can’t blame anyone but yourself.” 

He opened his mouth to reply but she wasn’t in a mood for his excuses and stomped off. 

He closed his mouth and watched his girlfriend walk away. As she turned the corner and went out of sight, he mumbled, “I’m the luckiest man in the world.”

Experiment #395

Fozzworth Diplomacy Part 5

The tables were set and the guests were seated. From just outside the door Fiz breathed out a prayer. He straightened his shoulders then walked into the black tie dinner wearing a chicken costume. 

Fiz walked out to the center of the room and began singing the doleful end of a popular dwarf opera about a mine that had run dry and the dwarf who’d worked it all his life. When he finished the room was absolutely silent. 

The Chancellor stood to his feet. “In all my years as a Chancellor no one has ever, EVER, treated me like this.”

Fiz swallowed.

“Normally, I’d come here,” the Chancellor said, “and the Duchess would fawn all over me, there would be gifts and compliments and plenty of words that no one meant. But you did not do that. You chose to do dances, to speak nonsense and to dress like a chicken.”

He paused and looked steadily at Fiz.

“You willingly played the fool,” he continued. “When most would have shown power or prestige you humbled yourself.” Martuke began smiling. “That takes integrity. You are what the Dwarven Regency needs in a Lord High Grumgrum.

“Come, let us discuss this in greater detail.”

“You honor me Chancellor Martuke, but uhh… would you mind if I take the chicken suit off first? It’s kinda itchy.”

The Chancellor nodded.

As Fiz turned to go he looked over at Ed and Fred. They smiled and gave him a thumbs up. “For realsees” they both mouthed at him. 

Fiz gave them a feathers up and walked out of the room; the bravest chicken there ever was.