“And this is the entry way. They do press releases here,” Human Friend Steve was saying as he waved his hand around the structured cavern of metamorphic rock. “And here is the rotunda. Supposedly the capstone was brought from Earth itself.”
“May I go inspect it?” Forty-seventh Click asked.
“Sure thing little guy,” Human Friend Steve said with a grin. “You have full run, ah flight of the place. No wasps on this planet.”
Forty-seventh Click shivered and smoothed his fur at the reminder and took off. The central block of metamorphic stone was a distinct color from the surrounding sections. He fluttered up and gently rubbed his sensory horns against the surface. It was artificially smoothed by a primitive machine process. It carried the scents of generations of collection of dust and moisture. It was an impressive central piece to center such an important building around.
“Yo! Forty-seven!” Human Friend Steve called out. “The senate is in recess so we have twenty minutes to see the hall.”
Forty-seventh Click abandoned his inspection of the central stone and landed on Human Friend Steve’s head.
“Those are the seats so the senate can rest. The media sits down there,” Steve was explaining.
“Why are the seats covered in fur-mimic?” Forty-seventh Click interrupted.
“Uh…fancy pants stuff?” Human Friend Steve said in the tone that suggested it was more of a guess. “It looks nice? Oh! And human skin doesn’t stick to velvet in the summer!”
“Velvet,” Forty-seventh Click muttered. “I’ll look it up later.”
“Great-“ Human Friend Steve went on, “now-”
“What is that shiny thing?” Forty-seventh Click asked.
“Lots of shiny things in the room,” Human Friend Steve pointed out.
“Over there,” Forty-seventh Click latched his winghook into the human’s ear and turned his head to the dais that displayed the item in question.
“Oh that!” Human Friend Steve’s face lit up with childish delight. “That’s the Mace of the Republic! It came all the way from Earth too. The House back on Earth gifted it to the House here on Centauri.”
“Isn’t a mace a heavy combat weapon?” Forty-seventh Click demanded. “Specifically isn’t it the kind that Great Warrior Eustace forged from the roots of the bronze trees to arm the botanical expedition in the Battle of the Fanged Horror?”
“Yup,” Human Friend Steve nodded eagerly. “Only this one is made of metal so it has way more heft.”
“Why is a heavy combat weapon kept in an easily accessible point in a legislative assembly?” Forty-seventh Click asked.
“For keeping order,” Human Friend Steve. “It represents the power and tradition of the state. It’s a tradition going back thousands and thousands of years; to the very first republics.”
“Oh,” Forty-seventh Click said, clicking in self depreciating amusement. “A representation of state power. Of course.”
“And then the Speaker of the House can use it to threaten unruly senators with a clubbing if they don’t listen,” Human Friend Steve stated.
“So you gather together the best and brightest, hopefully the most reasonable, humans to solve your problems,” Forty-seventh Click observed, “and when they become heated their elected leader beats them with a club.”
“Oh goodness no,” Human Friend Steve said with a laugh.
“I am glad I misunderstood,” Forty-seventh Click said in relief.
“No, no,” Human Friend Steve said as he pointed to the human guard standing in one corner. “She has the sergeant-at-arms do the actual threat and clubbing.”