I'm a star
Get it right, yeah: not just a star -
I'm a Superstar
More than that, I am
Put it up there, big and bright:
!!!MITHRIDATES THE MAGNIFICENT!!!
!!!OF THE WHOLE WORLD!!!
Loaded with talent, that's me:
Try it out:
No, not you - me.
"Alright, Miffradates, you khar-brain. I'll let you off, just this once. But lock yer lips shut, right! I don't wanna hear no more 'deuuhr, deuuhr, deuuhr' from you!"
Don't get the hump, Matt, you know you need us Daktils. Right, Daktis?"
"You need us, Mith."
I'm cool, duzzers. Was coping.
"Yeah, Mithie, coping, was you? As if."
The Daktil Duzzers - dozen to you, though they're more like half-a - that's their gang - but we ain't none of us prehistoric, if that's what you're thinking, my friend: a little learning is a dang'rous thing, as my dear mother used to say; then she'd go, drink deep, or taste not some weird spring or other, no idea what she meant; why don'tcha look it up? Never mind that - but every Daktil's one of us artios. Don't listen to Matt: he can never say it right. Though why we're called artios who can tell? I'm the only true artiste among this crowd of complainers. Hear 'em groaning?
Hey, what's that? Did you hear a noise up in the Tower?
The Tower? Where is it?
Well, that's easy, my friend. Gaze ahead of you into the darkness of night. D'you see a heavy band of blackness in front of you, extending far to the left and far to the right?
Well, if you do, you're looking at what some of the highfalutin' types here call the terrace. But I call it the big wall. It's like a massive, straight-sided barrier of stone, half as high as a cedar tree - know what that is? - blocking our way. A huge rock blockade. When the sun scorches the land in its typical nasty and belligerent way, the stones of the wall burn hot and yellow, but during these pleasanter hours they become as warm and black as is the night itself. So black that, right now, you cannot see them.
Cast your eyes before you, my friend. D'you see the stones?
I guess you barely can, for all around us is darkness; y'know what I'm sayin'?
"Kaz! Come here! Quickly!"
D'you hear those voices? They've spotted me! It sounds like two of them! Very young, wouldn'tcha say? Coming all this way to discover me!
"Look at that super star!"
Yes! Yes! Recognition! And through the voice of a littl'un! Did you hear that? 'Look at that Superstar!' At last! Adulation for me! Out of the mouth of babes, they say...
Thank! You! Thank! You! My! Sharp-eyed! Sharp-eared! Truth-telling! Fans!
You baffled? Something I said? 'The mouth of babes', perhaps? The truth comes out, my dim-witted friend. They say that out of the mouth of babes comes the truth. Now, of course it don't mean babes as in pretty ladies. Babes as in children. Babies. Natch.
You wanna know who says it? About babes? I don't know. Who cares? Look it up, why don't you. That kid does speak the truth, though: she's recognised the one and only Superstar here.
"It's so beautiful, Kaz. To think that it should blaze out so vividly amid the millions of other twinkling flames. It burns almost as brightly as the moon, don't you think so?"
As brightly as the Moon! Yes! Yes! Yes!
"Oh... yes. Yes, Peri. Yes, it does. Very bright."
Brighter! Even brighter!
Whoops! I didn't mean that - what I said just then... Ah, no, it's not quite as... it doesn't burn at all as brightly as the moon... as dost Thou, thine Holy Moonship, should I say. And I hadn't forgotten Thee, honest truth, Thy Majesty... so, I'm not gonna lie, that little squirt of a star burns, er, shines, er shimmers, er, glows not nearly as brightly as doth blaze the Infinite Glory of Thy Sterling Silver Radiance... that insignificant little dot peeps out from the blackness quite dimly, in fact... dull to the eye... almost invisible... no comparison at all to Thy Glorious Majesty... I can hardly make it out... uh... is it actually there? I mean, thou art so dazzling to a weak and humble mortal, it's as though the star does not actually exist...
Between you and I, my friend, it's safer if I talk to Her like that.
Not that I don't mean it, every word, Thine Adorable Majesty!
"For three hundred years the soul of our city has waited, its lonely pillars mere shadows of the echoes of the ghosts of the great buildings that once dominated the space behind where this tower now stands alone."
"For three hundred years, we have been awaiting a sign,"
"A sign from the God of Fire!"
That's their religion, friend: stargazing, wisdom, and fire. Not mine, as you well know, but who am I to say what they should believe?
"Now the sign has come to us through this blazing fire in the firmament, interpreted by a girl-child."
A bit ironical that, don'tcha think? They worship fire, yet fire destroyed their sacred texts!
"Through the eyes of this child, gazing with reverend innocence towards the burning jewel in the sky, the Divine One is sending us the message that a new king has come into the world. A king in the west who shall reign with truth and justice!"
Look, old Baggy's eyes are shining. I can see it from here. Summat's gone wrong with 'em.
"A King who'll Reign with Truth and Justice!"
"No, let's take the Tower over. Occupy it as the Parsa Collective."
That's a bit radical, Yue.
"I'm with ya, Yue!"
"Right. Let's do it!"
"Just a minute, Al... Brother."
Oh-oh, Siye's got a word to say.
"Brothers and sisters, we do have to vote first. Agreed?"
"No! Let's raid the Tower now!"
Hang on, Klem. Listen to Siye: With her face dappled in the red light of her flame, she looks serious about her new role.
"Well, raiding was Motion One: Taking over the Tower."
"Yes it was! So, come on! What we waitin' for?"
"Take over the Tower!"