The two were soon married and spent a honeymoon and a little more in Egypt, where Ashdon was schooled and learned more about the ways of potentatedom. After returning and finishing schooling, Ashdon sought his dream career and began the process of gaining employment.
As tropical countries are in short supply and the ranks of those desiring to absolutely govern them are long, the process would take a long time. And so, in order to feed his growing family, Ashdon took a job at the nearby lasagna mine. Hours were long, and work unpleasant, but Ashdon was fueled by love for his family, a dream of his future rule, and a great fondness for having food to eat.
The time passed. Branley bore Ashdon his first child, a girl called Kathia. The interviews continued. Time passed. Branley and Ashdon moved from the family manor to a larger place of their own, where Branley conceived a second child. All was well, even if Ashdon vehemently disliked his job and smelled of tomato upon his return home.
And then one fateful day, disaster struck. A letter came in the mail from the powers-that-be. After many months (eighteen), the powers-that-be had decided that Ashdon lacked the qualities of a future potentate - namely mental stability, or rather the lack of it. Everyone knows that absolute rulers of tropical countries must be inherently unstable, and Ashdon had shown by holding down his lasagna job that he was just too stable.
What was the poor family to do? After all, there is only one power-that-be, and they had shut the door on Ashdon's dream. Ashdon and his wife began thinking of other careers. Perhaps the army - one can always achieve absolute power by a military coup. Or maybe teaching - one can always gain a post teaching a future potentate and still inhabit a tropical country, even if one does not rule it. As one last attempt, Ashdon applied to join the Foreign Service, reasoning that diplomacy is the art of letting others have it your way, and thought not being able to rule a tropical country, he could at least live in one. But his hopes were small.
Eventually Ashdon turned his back on his dream and sought another career - nursing. He and Branley prepared to go back to school following the birth of their second daughter, Sopheen. Shortly following Sopheen's birthday, the happy couple received news of their acceptance to the Oral Asessment, the final step before being cleared for a job with the Foreign Service.
There was great rejoicing, but great trepidation, also. Most did not pass this step, and who was Ashdon to think himself better than others? Nevertheless Ashdon did pass and began waiting anew for another dream. Meanwhile he worked on his Mathematics and continued to prepare for nursing school.
After being placed on the waiting list following security and medical clearances, Ashdon waited, as he had done for two and a half years. Would he achieve his dream? Would he avoid returning to school? Would he be abble to meddle in world politics and work under Hilary Clinton? Only God knew, for Ashdon did not.
And then one day, January 22 to be exact, one year after beginning the process with the State Department, he received an email (parchment having gone out of style while he was waiting) inviting him to join the next Foreign Service Officer class on March 2.
And there was great rejoicing, and the lasagna mine was told to take their job and stuff it, and many suits were bought, and much luggage, and dreams of living abroad were once again allowed to flourish.
And they lived crazily ever after.