Chapter 11: Rebellion and Invasion
The yellow cleared from the sky, leaving brilliant scarlet and crimson sunrises and sunsets, and an odd, slightly eggy scent in the air the day before the feast. Kiara partook in the liturgy with a calm heart and clean conscience, savored the rich bounty that followed, and enjoyed breaking her other fast as well. The conversation that followed that congress was almost as pleasant as the act. “Ah, my lady, it is such a pity that you are my empress and not my wife.”
She smiled back at him and chuckled. It was an old joke. “Ah, my lord, but do you want such a wife? My tastes are rather fine and it is said that I am perhaps a touch too strong willed for comfort.”
“And I fear your dowry is rather too poor for my household.” He had three sons and two daughters still living, and had not remarried after his wife’s death seven years before, Kiara knew. “I do have a reputation for excess to maintain.”
“If you are planning to challenge young Karlinov, I fear you will fail; your taste is too good.”
“No, I was thinking more of that trader from New Dalfa, Gerald DeRoyter.” He must have heard her puzzlement, so he added, “Yellow waistcoat, green coat, green trousers, blue neck-cloth, lace cuffs.”
“Oh St. Gimple yes. Now I remember. My eyes did not recover from the strain for a week. That green. I cannot think of anything in Godown’s creation with that color in it.”
“If there was, it probably died from shame.” He snorted. “You are not too far off, my lady. It is made by spinning together very fine yellow and pale green that includes a little rock dust of some kind. It will not become popular.”
“No, it will not. And no more yellow anything until we defeat the Harriers, if they are truly attacking.”
“Hmm.” She heard him roll over and sigh. “I do not like yellow skies after a yellow envelope and yellow paper.”
“Neither do I.” She hesitated. It sounds foolish, like grannies who steal candles from the church on St. Basil’s eve to light the fires outside the barn and stable so they will have a good year. “That’s why I’m taking this seriously, at least a little. I don’t know if we can trust them to attack, but Godown doesn’t send dramatic warnings that often any more. The earth shake, yellow sky, egg smell, the message . . . I don’t want to answer to Him for ignoring so many warnings, if that’s what they are.” I have more than enough to apologize for as it is.
“I am inclined to agree with you, my lady. Perhaps the wol-kane-oo is not related, perhaps the yellow skies are a warning to the Turklavi and Harriers not to do anything foolish, or a call for them to convert, but so close together? He is said to be subtle, but I seem to recall several saints’ lives where He took more, hmm, obvious steps. Like the story of St. Olga at the well.”
She nodded in the darkness. St. Olga had ignored Godown’s command to go to a well by the road and assist the people gathered there. So He caused the well in her convent to overflow and flood everything. She got the hint. “Or the story from A’asterdee about St. Issa striking fishermen dead for failing to pay proper respect to his day.”
“Yes.” They drifted off to sleep not long after. She woke first and got up, relieved herself, and went to see what her maids had for her. By the time she returned, he’d disappeared as he always did. Kiara wondered who had built the second passageway from her chamber into the fourth room down the corridor, and why. Pjtor had ordered the palace built and had been happily married at the time. Or was it so he and his wife could escape the room if someone attacked? That made some sense, actually.
She’d eaten a light morning meal and was collecting her things to go ride when a she heard male voices in the hallway. “It can’t be true.”
“As Godown is my witness, they attacked the main house and burned all the records and every book or scrap of paper with writing on it they could find, then stripped the building and burned it.”
The maids stared wide eyed and Kiara glanced down. She wore the uniform of the cavalry. Good. She pointed to the door and Borissa opened it. Kiara stepped out and met Pawl Arkmandii and young Poliko. “What news?”
They bowed very low. Pawl Arkmandii looked as if he’d ridden for days—bloodshot eyes, dirty clothes, haggard face, scuffed boots and his hair going eight ways at lest. “Your pardon, most gracious Imperial Mistress,” he said, voice harsh and strained. “The service-slaves and birth-slaves in the south have risen up against the lords and you, led by a man called Alexander Dimitrioff. The mirror system is not working because of the dim sun and storms in the south, Imperial Mistress, so I came as fast as I could. And they are aided by men who had gone to the Harriers, as Godown is my witness.”
Kiara’s blood boiled and she almost snapped her riding stick before she got her temper under control. A red haze seemed to fill the hallway and she took a long, slow but quiet breath, exhaling just as slowly. After she regained mastery, she nodded. “Come to my office. Poliko, has word been sent to the army and the other southern lords currently in court?”
“No and yes, imperial mistress. Pawl came to my father because his grandfather served under my great-grandfather.”
Kiara thought hard. “Find a messenger and have him tell General Maldovo to come as quickly as practical.” He’d race over, but without worrying as much as if she’d said “as soon as possible.” She turned and walked down the hallway toward her office. Poliko headed one direction and Arkmandii followed Kiara. Without turning her head she said, “You will find warm water and a washbasin in the retiring chamber beside the office.” Servants scurried off to make it so.
Arkmandii looked a little better once he’d rinsed his face and hands, but he still shook with exhaustion and Kiara did not want him collapsing or falling asleep before he gave her his full report. “Sit, and eat. Now.” She ignored him as he devoured hot sausage buns and drank at least a liter of tea. His line descended from the few survivors of Great Pjtor’s sweep to remove the heretical so-called True Believers from the southern land. A remnant had remained on the fringes, working hard and trying to stay out of official view. Kiara did not look too hard for them and the church had turned its attention to other matters. I don’t care how you believe in Godown, so long as you believe and don’t try to rebel against me.
Once in her office, as Arkmandii ate and rested, Kiara had a second table brought in and her desk turned around and moved into the corner. Hot tea appeared as she found the correct map roll and spread it on the table. Heavy feet came up the hallway and Kiara took a moment to glance up at the ceiling. Why did men stomp when they hurried? Arkmandii finished breaking his fast just as the southerners and Maldovo arrived. They bowed to her. “Come in. We seem to have a small problem in the south that takes precedence over our potential problem.” Andre Pushkin appeared as if from the very air, bowed, and closed the office door behind him.
“Arkmandii, show us what you saw.”
The tanned young man nodded, swallowed a little more tea, and sketched a bow as he went to the map. He sorted out where things were and nodded again. “I was here, looking at cattle in a pasture near Sunset Creek, at the edge of the broken land here.” The area lay well south and west of Muskava, north and slightly west of the Landers’ “ghost city” on the big river that flowed out of the west and into the Sweetwater Sea. “I saw smoke, or thought I saw smoke south and east, maybe here?” He looked up. “It’s time for the grass fires and some controlled burns, but we always warn the people around us if we’re going to do that, so no one worries and so they are ready to help if we get surprised. We do the same for them. Lord Savin and the new manager for Tabor-Kirov’s lands had not sent a message that I’d heard about, so after checking the cattle and making sure the herders had what they needed, I rode back to the home farm.”
He counted on his fingers. “This was two weeks and three days before the Feast of Godown’s Mercy, Imperial Mistress, my lords. No messages there, so Father and I rode toward the smoke. About an hour out we met farmers and farm workers with wagons and livestock racing toward us. Father asked if it was a Harrier raid, and they said no, the service-slaves and birth-slaves and a few others had burned everything down and were killing all the wage workers. Father decided to send me on south, because he says I look harmless.” Pawl Arkmandii didn’t sound too pleased to admit that, but Kiara could see why his father believed it. “To shorten an already long tale, I met a group of armed men, some mounted and some on foot, with bows and arrows, muskets, and farm tools, anything that could be found. I pretended to be worried about a Harrier raid and acted as if I was a service-slave.
“They told me no, and not to be afraid of the Harriers because they could stop them, and that the Harriers only attack greedy lords and those who don’t follow the true emperor.”
Gretchanii stopped Arkmandii. “The true emperor?”
“Yes, my lord. They say that their leader is the real Emperor Pawl and that he escaped her Imperial Mistress’s attempt to hold him prisoner and that he is freeing all the service and birth slaves who support him and who will help him regain his throne. My lord, I remember my grandfather telling stories about his grandfather’s time, and whispers the Emperor Isaac had not died but lived on and that Pjtor was a usurper, or was not the real Pjtor, or that Princess Sonja had ordered both majesties killed and that Pjtor was the son of her lover and other tales.” He gulped. “Whoever is leading the uprising knows the stories and has convinced people to follow him.
“I acted relieved and thanked the men for the good news, and rode off. Then I hid and followed them back to Tabor-Kirov later, at sunset. That was just before an earth shake. I heard them talking about burning the main house and saw women wearing fancy clothes like the noble women wear. They destroyed all the records and books and anything that could be used to confirm a contract, and were going to attack Savin next. That’s when I heard them say that the emperor had hidden among them as Alexander Dimitrioff. After full dark I snuck away and told father. That night we heard a strange sound like thunder, but couldn’t see any storm clouds. As soon as it was near dawn he sent me to the closest mirror tower on our good horse, but the sun had dimmed and the mirror couldn’t get through. I rode to the next station and same problem, and word came that Savin needed help and that service-slaves were leaving their farms and going to Tabor-Kirov.”
Arkmandii stopped and began coughing. Kiara gestured and Andre eased out of the room, returning with more tea. As the messenger drank, Kiara frowned at the map. From where he’d begun to the first mirror tower was not far, at least on the page. The next tower was on the southern wall, the dirt barrier with defensive positions designed to make it harder for the Harriers to attack the new lands in the south. So he’d been sixty kilometers from Sweet City, the new city on the Sweetwater Sea founded by Pjtor to replace the Lander city. From Sweet City to Dawnton was two hundred kilometers, and a further hundred to Muskava. The road was . . . Kiara tried to recall. It’s a good road but good road in NovRodi is different from good road in the eastern lands. There was that port on the coast, ah, she peered down. Yes, NewPort, just north of Broislav’s holdings. “General, would it be faster to land here?”
Maldovo Peered over her shoulder. “Yes and no, Imperial Majesty. It would be faster to that point, but there are no good ways through the marshes here.” He pointed to a swath of green that extended twenty kilometers north south and five or so across. “And there are the miasmas to worry about as well here. Sailing upriver as far as we can toward Muskava is probably still faster, and we can meet the Muskava troops and go south from there. The east-west roads in the south still need work.”
Still need work means that there are none and that the swamps, rocks, and Godown-only-knows are quite bad. “Thank you.” Add a road to the list of things needed in the south.
Arkmandii seemed to have recovered so she straightened up and gestured for him to continue. “Thank you, Imperial Mistress. As I was at the second tower, the lieutenant there asked me if I could take the message on to a courier post, since the tower was clouded. I agreed and he promised to tell my father where I was going.” Pawl shrugged a little. “I’m the spare anyway. So I went on to Blackland, here. The couriers were gone, either farming or on message runs. As I waited for one to come back, word came in from General Pushkin that he was coming south for spring inspection, so the Major sent me north to meet him.
“With all respect, my lord Pushkin, he looks nothing like you.”
Andre chuckled, not taking offense. “No, he looks like our father and great-great-grandfather. I’m the pretty one. So what did my scapegrace brother say?”
Arkmandii blinked, then got his thoughts organized. “Imperial Mistress, my lords, he said that he’d take care of the matter. But he also gave me a faster, fresh horse and sent me to Muskava. They sent me here.”
“You may have done the impossible, young man,” Lord Gretchanii said. Broislav nodded as well. “Eight hundred kilometers in four weeks, on your own? Godown was with you and your horse.”
“Ameen, my lord. Ah, if I might ask a question?”
“Yes.” Kiara gestured her assent.
“What went boom in the west just before the Feast of Godown’s Mercy? I was here,” he pointed to a place in the forest to the west and south of the main route from Muskava, “diverted because of bad roads and a flood, and was riding when I heard a distant booming sound. The tops of the trees swayed as if the wind moved them. There was an earth shake not long after, a weak one, and then the next day the sky went strange.”
Kiara and the others exchanged looks ranging from intrigued to worried to puzzled. “You heard a wol-kane-oo having an ee-rupf-tink. There is a mountain in the far west and north that does that and scatters dust.”
Arkmandii’s eyes went wide and he smiled! “Oh, Imperial Mistress, like the fire mountain grandfather said he saw once while he was young and exploring to the far west, looking for more land. Instead he found too many beesolows and Harriers, and the Split Sea, and he said all kinds of strange things happen around the Split Sea.”
Poliko the younger winced. “If he tangled with a beesolow he has my sympathy. Those beasts are mean.”
“That’s what grandfather said, my lord. And they don’t taste too good in late spring.”
“No, too tough and lean. If you have to eat them, do it in the fall and early winter, when they are fatter.” He realized where he was and blushed a little. “Your pardon Imperial Mistress, my lords, general.”
Now I want to see one of those things for myself. But not today. “Thank you, Arkmandii. I will have a mirror message sent to your father saying only that you are safe and nothing more.” Maldovo nodded, eyes narrow. You thought of that too. “A servant is waiting outside to take you to steam and then to a guest chamber. Thank you, young man, the empire is in your debt.”
He bowed very low and staggered. Andre and Broislav caught him. “Thank you, most gracious and wise Imperial Mistress.”
Your father just got Savin’s land and Tabor-Kirov, assuming he’s still alive when this ends. She looked at the map and wanted to shriek, or crouch down in a corner and throw her skirt over her head and wail like that one old maid had done in her father’s first posting, or maybe race down south and try to kill something herself.
Andre had eased beside her while studying the map and murmured under his breath, “My lady, you cannot have Tabor-Kirov dug up and hung for stupidity.”
“Pity.” Or was this what Godown was warning us about? Thanks be the army and navy are starting to prepare. Once Arkmandii departed, Kiara looked at the nobles and Maldovo. “Given what is already in place, what should be changed, if anything? Military for the moment. We’ll deal with the other matters next.”
Maldovo had his arms crossed. “Imperial Majesty, we assume there is no longer an army in the south. With the greatest of respect to General Pushkin, many of the men in the south were service-slaves at one point and were freed for army service, or had or have family members under contract. They should hold to their vows, but,” he made a gesture with one hand.
Broislav nodded, frowning, looking as if he were about to break death news. “Has anyone told Alicorn and Mandrovic and the others? I know Alicorn was taking a different route, more to the west of Muskava.”
Shrugs answered the question. “Alicorn can take care of himself, I believe. He’s half Harrier or so you’d think, the way he rides and fights.” Maldovo looked a touch envious.
“A quarter,” the elder Poliko corrected. “Maternal side. She converted, married his grand-father as second wife, and went into a convent when grandfather died. Is considered a blessed soul by local people.”
“Ah. So we’re not the only ones,” Pushkin said in a thoughtful way. “I cannot think of anything to change, other than the men must be ready to fight known enemies rather than assuming they are going down to scare off raiders.”
“More ammunition and powder.” Maldovo said. “Order more powder from the east, buy whatever you can, Imperial Majesty, especially cannon powder. We’re going to be using a lot of scatter ball shells.”
Young Poliko had been making notes. Kiara thought and decided that she’d settled that problem for the moment. “Thank you, General. You and young Poliko are dismissed to your duties.” They bowed and left, the general taking the younger man’s notes as they went out the door. After they’d left, Kiara went to her desk and sat in the chair, facing the lords. “The other problem.”
“Kill every one of the monsters so no one tries this ever again.” That came from Gretchanii.
Kiara raised one finger. “I’m inclined to agree but,” she raised her whole hand. “But we still have the Harriers and Turklavi to consider, and what is going on with people signing on for service contracts in exchange for cash?” Andre looked down at the floor and Poliko coughed into his hand, neither willing to meet her eyes. “Would you care to enlighten me or do I have to ride south and look at estate records myself?”
Pushkin spoke first. “Imperial Mistress, Archpriest Tamar of Sweet City issued a letter of understanding at the beginning of Empress Molly Olga’s reign concerning service-contracts. Instead of being for survival charity only as they are in the north, the church agreed that they could be extended to allow work in exchange for a land grant or for cash rather than food and shelter and bodily needs. Abuse, false-contracting, and extended contracts without consent were still banned, Imperial Mistress, but young men and some women signed five and eight year contracts in exchange for cretits to pay debts or to assist their families with dowries and land purchases, especially in the southwest.”
“And did these, I will call them special contracts, did they include the same provisions for care and shelter for the serving party, or were those trimmed to balance the coin paid in the beginning?” Because I know damn well what Tabor-Kirov and Savin have been doing and I wager some of the others have been as well and not just in the southwest and I am going to whip you myself for putting me and my empire in this hole! No wonder Godown is angry with us!
Shuffling of feet answered her question.
Kiara took a long moment to be certain that she would not scream like an angry woman. “It stops now. I do not care who loses funds on the rest of the contracts but it stops now,” she hissed. In a normal but quiet tone she continued, “What does the church and the Holy Writ say about what Godown does to those who abuse their positions? Nothing kind, flattering, or cheerful. The current contracts will finish, but no more of these cash contracts. No more shorting, starving, or enslaving people with what is supposed to be an act of mercy, a way to share what Godown has given to us,” she rested one hand on her chest. “I shudder to think what Godown has prepared for us if we do not change our ways, gentlemen. A wol-kane-oo may be just the beginning. Was this what the survivors of the Great Fires did to so anger Godown that He sent the Harriers?”
She heard at least one gulp in the stillness after her words. Kiara stood and stalked to the map. “You have heard my words. I will repeat them to the entire court. I will tell the church as well and they too have been derelict. I suspect the false emperor will not make the current archpriest of Sweet City very happy.” She thought before adding, “And I will make it known in the entire empire that cash contracts of this sort are no longer permitted, and will remind the service-slaves that they have the right to appeal to the church and to the crown for redress. This must not happen again.”
She met each of the lords eyes in turn. None of them seemed pleased, although Gretchanii appeared the least guilty-acting. “Do you question the justice of my words?”
They exchanged looks. “No, Imperial Mistress,” Andre said.
“Then go. I expect you will need to start plans to return to your lands, because this is going to take time to sort out, and the rebels have the advantage. You are dismissed, and go with Godown.”
They bowed and departed, even Andre. Kiara paced her office, then gave in. “Damn them to the depths of Godown’s deepest hells!” She did not scream. She shouted. “Damn them all for being such greedy fools!” She waved her arms in the air, made claws of her fingers, and imagined strangling several of the less-useful lords with her bare hands. Kiara gave herself that much, imagining the face growing blue and choking sounds emerging from it, then jumping up and down on the body. She felt better afterwards. Then she took a calming breath, settled her skirts and jacket, and collected her riding stick. She still wanted to ride.
Kiara’s meeting with Archpriest Boris left her wishing for the first time that she’d been born a man. “It is not a woman’s place to worry about such matters,” he informed her when she asked about the southern archpriest’s interpretation of service contracts.
“What about the ruler of NovRodi, who is sworn and anointed to serve as Godown’s hand, caring for the physical welfare of Godown’s children?” She kept her tone light and calm, as befitted a proper woman.
“He, of course, has a duty to prevent such abuses. But church teachings are not matters for women to involve themselves in. Godown made women and men separate and different, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, each equally worthy in His sight, but women are for the home and spirit, while men must serve in the world.”
“If Elizabeth von Sarmas had believed that, the eastern lands would speak Turklavi,” Kiara muttered just loud enough for everyone to hear. A few of the junior priests winced and Boris Pawlson twitched.
Archpriest Boris glared at her. “What do you mean?”
Kiara tipped her head to the side. “I mean, Father, if Godown’s chosen had taken the vocation into which she was almost forced by Lawrence V, she would not have led the armies of the Eastern Empire to defeat the Turklavi. She was a woman, fully woman, a daughter of the church, and graced by Godown Himself to lead His people into battle. Her story is well known.”
“And that abomination is why we are threatened by the Harriers and Turklavi today. If the church had not been so corrupt and arrogant as to ignore Godown’s teachings and to permit such an abomination to take place, the Turklavi would not be moving against us. How many men died and others suffered because of the Turklavi in the east? How many would have been spared if He had not been forced to send them against the Eastern Empire to humble them for such gross disobedience to the Writ and Rule?” His words came faster and faster and louder and louder as his eyes bulged and the veins in his forehead stood out. “Women are for the homefold and prayer, men for the world! So Godown wills it and so it must be!” The old man panted, then gasped, hunching over as he tried to catch his breath. Kiara gestured to the junior priests and one of them rushed to assist the senior priest of New Rodi and the north.
He tried to wave the young man away but staggered instead and clawed at his collar. “Tight. Can’t, can’t breathe. Air, chest hurts, air.”
“I’ll get a churigon.” The youngest priest gathered up the end of his robe and darted from the room.
“You and you, help his reverence lie down, please.” The two remaining priests stared at her, blinking. “In the name of Godown the Healer, help Archpriest Boris.” They moved and the three eased the grey-faced prelate over to a half-couch, opening his collar and rubbing his hands to keep the blood flowing. He’d closed his eyes and his lips moved as if he were praying.
Holy Godown, bring healing to your faithful servant and ease his heart and mind. Forgive him for his anger and forgive me for not thinking of his age. With his round face and bald head, he looked any age between maturity and a hundred.
“Most honored Mother, what happened,” Boris Pawlson whispered as they left the cleric’s office. “Did Godown strike him down?”
Kiara thought about how to answer. “I do not want to speak for the Most High, but his reverence has suffered bouts of difficulty breathing. It is said he was a sickly child and that he vowed service to Godown if the Most High would help him grow up. At times outbursts of emotion and strain can affect older people, and he did fast very strictly this spring.”
Beside her her son nodded. “And no doubt he is very concerned about the accusations of injustice and the welfare of Godown’s people in the south.”
“I’m certain he is.” Just not the way I wanted him to be. I cannot have any doubt about my acting as ruler right now, and I need the church’s support, blast it across the White Sea and back. What else was Godown going to dump on them?
To her great relief and mild surprise, Kiara’s decree about service-contracts caused only a small murmur in court. “Imperial Majesty, none of us knew about such an allowance, and none of us have done similar.”
A voice from behind Lord Korbin muttered, “Who has that kind of cretits laying around to waste?”
Kiara ignored the muttered comment. “I am relieved to hear that. You will be relieved to hear that Archpriest Boris has recovered from his spell and at the urging of his churigon and the council of priests, has retired to St. Boris of the Wood to recover his strength in a calmer setting. Prayers for his continued recovery would not be amiss.” As much as she hated his words, Kiara could not hate Archpriest Boris for doing what he thought was in the best interests of NovRodi. And he’d been a very good leader of Godown’s flock, slow to anger and quick to forgive, wise and calm in troubled times, and generous to those in need of spiritual assistance.
“Ameen” several voices replied.
Should I tell them? Yes. Stop rumors before they grow. If only the army could travel as fast as a whisper does! That’s one Lander technology I would give my jewels and half my dresses for at this instant. “Lord Korbin knows already, because the foresters told his people, but the earth shake and yellow sky, then red at sunrise and sunset? They seem to be from the wol-kane-oo ee-rupf-tink. Three of the foresters were in the far western area looking for gold in the streams and checking a few trap lines when they saw an enormous cloud of dust and the ground shook and they heard a loud boom and then the trees danced as if a storm wind swept through. The foresters had already seen many animals moving east, and think that Godown gave the beasts warning before the ee-rupf-tink. Dust fell and the air stank the next day, then got better. The men fled the forest as soon as they could.”
Korbin nodded. “Imperial Majesty, might it be possible to send people to see this wol-kane-oo?”
“You mean scholars? Perhaps later. I suspect that the last winter storm has not yet graced the western mountains, and clerks do not do well in meters of snow.” A few men chuckled and Korbin gave a rueful little smile, acknowledging the problem. “It is hoped that this will be the end of the stinking water and shaking ground in the west, like a fever breaking during illness.
“While we are discussing things boiling over. I am going to Muskava in two weeks, then traveling south once Generals Maldovo and Pushkin and others assure me that it is safe to do so. His highness Boris Pawlson will remain here to see to matters of regional concern.” He was not quite the age of authority, but his tutors vouched for his good sense if lack of experience, and this would help with experience. Colonel De Jong and a few other men, as well as Lord Korbin and other northern lords, would remain as a regional court. Them she trusted. The foresters she trusted. The army she trusted. The commoners and southern lords? Godown be with us all.
It lacked a month to midsummer before she reached Muskava and remembered why she detested summers there. Miasma, meez, mobs, the closed-in feeling of walls around walls around walls, all of it itched her like an ill-fitting bodice or boots. I see why Great Pjtor built New Rodi, and why he wrote of dreaming of taking a torch to the palace district, she thought as she rode in, accepting the honors of the people. Did they seem wary? They looked better fed than she’d seen in recent years, but then the harsh winter had not affected the southern areas as badly as in the north.
Barely had she arrived, visited the chapel, steamed the road dust off, and sat down to a light dinner when a messenger arrived from Gen. Pushkin. “Mirror message, Imperial Mistress. The Harriers and Turklavi are attacking and the Turklavi have cannon guns.”
Holy Godown what do I do now?
(C) 2017 Alma T. C. Boykin All Rights Reserved.