Dictatorship class let out early.
Lagos left the classroom and saw his friend Inumæn the Cruel strolling across the campus and ran to catch up with his friend.
“Hey, bud,” he greeted.
Lagos spied a book clutched tightly in the crook of his friend’s arm and asked about it. Inumæn held up a worn copy of Despotism for Dummies.
Lagos shook his head, chucking mirthlessly, “The Idiot’s Guide is better, but neither is an effective treatise. Having trouble in class?”
“Yeah,” his friend sighed.
“You wanna talk about it? Everyone needs allies; and second doesn’t start for another fifteen minutes.”
“Um,” he glanced at his watch, “Sure. We can get something at the coffee place around the corner.”
“Sounds good to me.”
They walked together in silence until the edifice loomed before them, a drab building baring an ornate plaque emblazoned with “The Conqueror’s Café.”
They went in, the bell on the door singing happily as it was jangled. The place was empty as it almost always was before second period, and they were able to saunter up to the counter, place their orders and retire to one of the back tables in a few minutes.
Lagos looked around, “This is what I like about the early morning. There’s no one here. It’s so quiet. Anyway,” he talked between sips, “What seems to be the trouble?”
“I don’t know. Lately I’ve just felt inconsequential, inadequate. I mean, you remember that short guy with the red hair? The dude that was wider than he was tall?”
He grunted an acknowledgment through a mouthful of coffee.
“Well recall he dropped out at the beginning of this semester.”
“I found out today from the Last Free Press that he’s already subjugated most of Southeast Asia, and the rumors are saying that he’s the unseen ruler of the remaining portion of the continent.”
Lagos licked foam off his lips, “Don’t feel bad. You’ll find your niche.”
“It’s just that, if someone else can do it, so can I.”
“Like I said, don’t use the accomplishments of others as a basis for your own worth or achievements. That’s unfair. I’m sure that when your time comes, you’ll make a superb
totalitarian. You’ve got the strongest will on campus. And let’s not forget that suffix of yours.”
“Yeah,” he said, a smile blooming across his face, “I could be great couldn’t I?”
“That’s what I’ve been saying. Just relax and let the world realize it.”
“I will,” he nodded sharply, “Thanks Lagos.”
“Not a problem. Anything else bothering you?”
“The idea of conquest without contribution, maybe, but I think I’ll delegate that to one of my trusted lieutenants.”
“Always an excellent idea.”
“Well,” Inumæn glanced at his watch, “It’s almost time for second; I need to get going or I’ll be late.”
“You have math next don’t you?”
“Yeah. I hate Mr. Esken. He’s a tyrant!”
“First to go upon your succession, eh?”
They laughed as they pulled out their chairs.