Pyntis Cean was browsing the many messages received this morning. Monopolized by her filing work, she startled sharply as the door of her office opened violently, and in a reflex movement, she sent the stack of messages in front of her flying through the room.
On the threshold stood Gramald Xarius, her boss, so to speak, short-breathed, crimson-faced and whose features betrayed a barely contained anger.
Gramald Xarius "Cean! How is it going in Thesos?" he barked at his subordinate.
Pyntis Cean "Well… we received the… last report from Intendant Apo…"
Gramald Xarius "… And what were you waiting for to give it to me?! You know I have Strategos Iribus on my back!"
Not abandoning her calm, Pyntis Cean got up and picked up the parchment bearing the mark of Thesos, which had crossed the whole room to land at the feet of Gramald Xarius. Standing up, she handed it to him in a measured gesture, but her black eyes and tight jaw denied her apparent calm.
Pyntis Cean "You were already in an interview with the Strategos, so I couldn't…."
Gramald Xarius "… Yes, well, she has just made me aware of the full extent of her "patience", and I would have been fine without it, believe me!"
Still grumbling, but gradually regaining his composure, Gramald Xarius grabbed the parchment and browsed it quickly.
Gramald Xarius "Well, at least the news is encouraging…."
Pyntis Cean "Pretty much! But I wonder if it's not a little embellished. How is it possible…."
Gramald Xarius (sweeping the remark away) "Well, they're the Barkers. Their reputation is well established. Hmm. However, this last delivery was much lighter than the previous ones. How far have we got since the start?"
Pyntis Cean headed for her desk and, recalling the academician's crashing entrance, finally turned her eyes to the cluttered floor.
Pyntis Cean "Ha, here it is!" she said as she grabbed a faded parchment and scrolled it down to read it.
Pyntis Cean "The Barkers have made 4… no… 5 deliveries including the latest one. According to the data provided by Intendant Apotis, they gave us… (quickly computing) 190,000 units of wood... 130,000 units of oil and... 30,000 units of sap."
Pyntis Cean "To that, of course, are added the resources handed by patriots."
Gramald Xarius "Still about 100,000 units of wood and 30,000 units of oil, so." (slightly sighing) "Well, I'm going back to complete my report to Strategos Ibirus."
As he walked through the door frame, Gramald Xarius turned around to look at the papers scattered all over the room and sent a sheepish smile to his assistant.
Gramald Xarius "Akep!" he said, shaking the Thesos' report over his head.
Pyntis Cean "Oràch!"
Then he rushed into the hallway and disappeared from Pyntis Cean's sight.
Pyntis Cean "Well…" (noticing the state of her office) "I only have to start all over again…."