The Conclave of Consequence, Chapter 1-2

Here’s the next book. Narbeth receives the notice for the next Conclave. Tom and naexi visit the movies.

The Conclave of Consequence

Chapter 1.

The Imperial Palace.

Galan came into Narbeth’s office and said, “The lever has been pulled.”

“Who did it?”
“Lord Palen. He sent the call here yesterday.”

“That isn’t that much of a surprise. If he or Lord Zlymenor had waited very long, they would no longer be eligible, thanks to their grievous losses and I imagine that they want to see things brought to light. Send the messages out. The Conclave will convene in three fivedays, at the first of Hlyda. I will waive any changes in eligibility requirements.”

“That was sneaky. Who do you think is going to take Nerihorn’s seat?”
“Alinar, probably. I doubt that we will see Filverel in the Seat.”

“Neither do I.”

“This is not going to be fun. Some will want to see if they can get me because I did not report the devises to the Inquisition. They will try to go after Alinar as well.”
“Alinar acted responsibly when Ayen discovered the things. He contacted Alwin, Lyari and Folmon Bienan and then you. As far as the Inquisition is concerned, I have been getting updates from Gander and they are not pretty.”

 

 

Chapter 2.

Glimmerhollow, Beltian Republic.

Tom turned to Naexi and said, “This is becoming too regular a thing.”

Naexi grinned. “That’s what you get for getting results. Our boss wants more results.”

“A movie director and screen writer?”
“He must have his reasons. This must be the place.”

Tom stopped the car at the studio gate, the guard looked at them and said, “Who are you and what business do you have here?”
Tom handed the guard the sheet from his grandmother’s office and showed his Justiciar’s and old Federal Service badges.

“I am Justiciar adjunct Tom Dawkins and I am here to see Gorre Ravamys.”

“Let me call and see if he will see you.”

The guard made a call and shortly afterwards a car drove up and a dwarf got out. He walked over the guard shack, looked at Tom and Naexi and said, “One of you looks like you could be a Justiciar clown, when she wasn’t in a high elf comedy. The other of you looks like he came right out of Chatsrey. I’m Gitrid Flatsword, Gorres’ production manager and what do you want?”

“I’m Tom Dawkins and I really am a Justicier Adjunct. My mistress said so. This is Naexi Bryneiros, my mistress.”

Gitrid laughed. “Either the Justiciars have gone even more clownish, or things have gone really strange in the Empire. Why are you looking for my boss?”
“Because our boss saw a movie your boss made a long time ago and remembered it.”

“How did a Justiciar see a movie?”
“Nowadays, we just go to Lord Waestoris’s estate for movie night. But our boss saw the movie here. The movie was The Inquisition’s Darkness.”

“That was the second picture that Gorre’s made for the studio. It was a flop, but the art houses like it, so the studio keeps some prints. Nobody was convinced that the Inquisition could be that bad. So your boss was from the Republic and probably taken by those Ravathrya bastards about thirty years ago. How did your boss become a Justiciar?”

“My mother bought him,” Naexi said. “Just like she bought Tom here for me.”

“Apparently you keep him from running away.”

“It’s hard, but yes I do. It’s easier here in the Republic since Tom is afraid that his mother and grandmother would be upset with him if he ran away.” Naexi kissed Tom. “I have to do this frequently and other things. They work very well. I didn’t quite manage to distract him from Paeris Zylvyre, but I have managed otherwise.”

“So your boss, an ex slave, saw that old flick about the Inquisition and sent you down to chase my boss down. Why?”

“Because the Inquisition is in a lot of trouble right now,” Tom said. “Your boss had a rougher time with them before he was exiled and our boss wants his testimony to clarify certain things. We are also supposed to bring a print of the movie back as well.”

“It’s about time that the set breaks for lunch, so I will take you to see Gorre for lunch. If he okays giving the testimony, we can do that after the shoot closes down. After lunch, you can watch the set. Be careful. Some people will be pumping you for stories. The movie is high elf comedy.”

“We can certainly contribute to that,” Naexi said. “Who was the screen writer?”
“The original sript came from a lady in the Empire named Eithriel Trislana.

Tom and Naexi started to laugh. Gitrid looked at them and said, “I take it you know the lady?”
“Very well,” Tom said. Lady Trislana is the Justiciar responsible for the Cloud City and there is a good chance that we may have actually been there for the things she wrote in the script. Her daughter works in the office with us.”

“Let’s get in the car then, and go to the canteen.”

Gitrid drove them to the canteen filled with actors, production staff and the studio staff and led them to a table where an elf was eating by himself, going over a script. He looked at Gitrid and said, “I’m surprised that you brought them, Gitrid. They must have really twisted your arm. On the other hand, the Justiciars must have gotten either really strange or even more clownish than they were. Gentlefolk, I am Gorre Ravamys and while you both wear the tunic of the Justiciars, I am mystified, young man, why you wear a collar, especially here in the Rebublic where you were emanicipated the hundredth you stepped off the boat.”

Tom grinned. “My mistress won’t let me take it off. She says that it looks good on me. She has an armband that I gave her.”

Gorre laughed. “I think that I see what is really going on. Have you shared blood yet?”
“Not as yet as our families would have a fit if we did that before they can get the wedding off in two moons,” Naexi said. “They want a formal ceremony and everything.”

“So why did you want to see me?”
“Elf Ravamys, our boss saw a movie that you made a long time ago about the Inquisition and remembered it when he started to shake the Inquisition from top to bottom.”
“How did that happen? The Inquisition was rather immune from the Justiciars and well protected.”
“Something went boom all over some estates and a lot of people were killed. The Inquisition was acting as a diversion for some friends that were stealing the booms, the Royal Council and the Emperor were rather annoyed and when the Inquisition pushed, they pushed back.”

“What happened to the Dowager Empress?”
“She’s dead. The Emperor, when he realized that she was pulling strings again, set our boss on her, he looked into some things and had us run around chasing leads as The Dowager Empress watched our boss sit in his Seat and vote on things.”

“I thought that the server of a writ had to be present for the service of the writ.”
“He didn’t serve any writs. He didn’t have to. We just took testimony and put evidence under seal. He issued some warrants, but most of that was to cover for various people. Since we weren’t actually arresting people or actually conducting searches without the permission of the owner, he didn’t have to be there. He only started to actually do anything after we had pretty much everything and he was trying to get the lady’s attention. That took a lot more work than it should have.”
“Are you going to be in the city for very long?”

“That depends on you,” Naexi said with a grin. “You are a busy man and I imagine that taking your testimony will take some time, since you are shooting a movie. I take it that you want the story of our boss and the Dowager Empress. We can do that. Lady Trislana may have sent parts down already, but we were there for all of it and she doesn’t know some details. There is a film crew documenting our boss right now, but that is just the Inquisition and I imagine that there is a shortage of really nasty people there, at least visibly criminal people. I think that an arrangement can be made. I will have to find somebody here in the Republic to talk money.”

The rest of the lunch was pleasant and Gorre already could see the next project developing as the afternoon shoot went on. As the shoot ended and after the pair took the first twentieth of what looked to be a long series of rememberances of things that Gorre would rather forget, Gitrid came in and said, “Somebody in the Empire knows more than I thought.”
“Why?”

“The person to talk money was Dormin.”

“The shark?”

“Yup. On the other hand, this story not only has the Dowager Empress, but the old Emperor, the Darkmage, airplanes and the Great Captain, as well as drug dealers and the Blight. I think that we have a hit.”

“It sounds over the top.”

“I know, but Tom said that it had all been in the papers. I’ll get some people working on that.”

“We will have to go big on the budget. The studio might not go for it.”

“There are Imperial Palace sets already, the airplane was a light scout plane and a lot of it is room shots or can be done with foggy port sets. I’ll know more when we have the whole story. My gut says that it will be big anyway.”

“Having those two here can’t hurt the current shoot anyway.”

“Are you kidding? They were actually there for the scene we shot today. Naexi had been in the room when it actually happened and Tom was talking to the servants. Tommorrow’s shoot is going to be fun.”
Republican Navy Yard, Cleadsgate.

The strange ship, now known as the RNS Skychaser left the drydock and proceeded to the fitting out dock for her final few bits and pieces and to receive the six rockets that were her primary function. The rockets fit easily into the magazine spaces meant for the ship’s shell storage. The magazines had been equipped with an elevator to bring the rockets in their cradles up to the pad. Roger turned to Larrel and said, “That elevator was handy. Where did it come from?”
“We’ve been looking at ideas to put a platform for airplanes on a ship. We’ve converted an old collier into a platform as an experiment and there was some thinking that Republic should have been finished as a landing strip ship, but the guns were available and the aircraft that would be effective wouldn’t work very well from the deck. We did fabricate some parts, though. The elevator was to raise aircraft from the hanger to the flight deck. It had been tested and then put away. So we could use it for this.”

“I think that you did a lot of testing.”

“There was a time when every ship we built was rendered obsolete by some new technology before it was commissioned. The Congress was rather annoyed at that, the waste involved and the fact that some ships actually did some rather bad things, such as roll over and sink, taking their crews and a lot of money to the bottom. So they demanded that the navy test and we don’t have a lot of money for real ships in any case, even if there are no treaties that come along and mess up some carefully laid plans.”

“What happened to the collier with the flight deck?”

“It’s sitting in reserve. We need to have an airplane program for it and that hasn’t happened.”

“I may want to talk to my cousin about using it. We don’t need new airplanes and our recoveries have strained the bower’s fishing boats more than anybody is happy with.”

“If you do, we in the design bureau will want reports.”

“I think that we can arrange that. We still have to make this work.”

“Do you think that it will?”

“I think that we are in good shape, even if we are patching things together and making things up as we go along.”

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