The Empress pays a visit to Fayspire. The Justiciars have a wedding rather rudely interrupted.
Villiya Woodbasher grinned as the two High Guard soldiers emerged from the portal. Princess Immianthe had become a frequent visitor for things like drafting pencils and paper that she couldn’t get at the palace and needed for her project. Since the visits had been okayed by the House, and the princess and the slave she dragged along had brought pictures of the Bieinan plant buildings and other interesting places, the visits were always fun. When the second pair of High guard soldiers emerged, along with a Justiciar and Lord Beinan, who stood waiting for somebody, Villiya reached for the phone, dialed and said, Mr. Steelsmasher, I think that you better come to the desk.”
“What is it?”
“I’m not sure, but four high guard soldiers, a Justiciar and Lord Beinan just emerged from the portal.”
“I will be right there.”
Villiya had just put the phone down when a vision of elvish elegance emerged from the portal followed by a servant and a maid. Lord Beinan bowed and said, “Welcome to the Beinan Fayspire plant, your majesty.”
“Thank you for having me on such short notice, Lord Beinan. Shall we proceed on the tour?”
A rather flabbergasted Steelsmasher appeared and said, “I’m sorry, Lord Beinan, no one told me that you were coming today.”
“That is my fault,” the Empress said. “I wanted to visit here, since my granddaughter was so frequently here. I also wanted to review the progress of some things being fabricated here.”
The maid winked at Villiya as the tour moved off.
As the tour started, Folmon said to Jon, “the Empress wants to thank you for being so friendly with her granddaughter, but that wasn’t the real reason we are here.”
“While Princess Immianthe and Tad are fun to have here, I can understand that the Scourge suppressors are more important.”
“How are things going with them?”
“Not as fast as we would like. We have five that are complete, but we are running out of parts to pillage, the Sanctuary is attempting to make them from scratch with a lot of trial and error, with a lot of error in the process. We’re moving ahead, but I need people with skills that just don’t exist and we are working through the difficulties slowly.”
“What you are doing is important,” Itireae said. “The Lower City and many other places need to be protected. Lararallin here is Justiciar of the mages and he and the Grand Master have been tasked with searching for any more of the parts that we can find.”
“Are you concerned that some places may be Scourged, your majesty?” Steelsmasher asked.
“You can make the list the same way I did, Mr. Steelsmasher. Fayspire and Innshys will be on the list, as will Elysahone, Eryding, Allaneas, Selnalion, Eribelle, the Ylannan estate, Kugrim, Dolmas, Freywik, the Faerie kindgoms and other places. We need to protect those places discreetly if we can. They already tried to Scourge the Lower City and we can thank the gods for two girls who wanted to use a portal and an excellent portal board operator who was clever enough to send the devise to the Mage Academy where it couldn’t hurt anyone. When Jorge struck back, they were trying to figure out how to perform one way ports. What frightens me is that there are probably able people aready capable of setting up one way ports and willing to send Scourge devises.”
“We will do what we can, your majesty. As I said, the problem is that the skills we need no longer exist.”
“I know, and sadly, there isn’t much we can do about that. I think that if the other side waits long enough, that will change, but they probably know that too. I don’t expect miracles. Let us continue the tour.”
After the tour was over, Folmon stayed behind and said, “I apologize for handing that to you unannounced, but she showed up at the House and things were off.”
“I don’t disagree with her. She happens to be right about the target list and we know that there are still more devises out there. We’ll do what we can with what we have.”
“I will go up to the Sanctuary and see what I can do.”
“I’ll go with you. They have a Scourge suppressor already and I’ve spoken with Taegen about this already, but it’s a case of not having things to make things that we need to make our parts and not having a map to show us how to do the things.”
“You may want to talk to Feno in Desert Howl and see if he has people that can help. I’ll authorize you to poach anybody you need from throughout the House.”
“I’ll take that. I can have Terry recruit. He’s good at finding people.”
“Do that. I need to go.”
“The Empress is welcome any time. I think that she was a boost to morale here.”
“She’s worried about this.”
“We all are.”
Yrvien looked at the aircraft designers, engineers, her youngest brother, cousins and the two shapes sitting the hanger and said, “Now comes the hard part. You all have to figure out how these things were made and how they work. I doubt that any of us have seen anything like these before. Have fun.”
There were smiles all around as Ballfrod said, “We will, sis, we will.”
Yrvien left the hanger as the others started to poke and pry at the aircraft.
Ayre walked up the path to his house. Rather than calling for the car, he had taken the taxi from the airport. His daughter, Vistilla, rushed out and cried, “Daddy! Daddy, you have come home!”
Tillia followed their daughter out and said, “Things must have gone well.”
“They did, actually. I’m not sure why, but things went smoothly and I went and saw the most incedible thing, a rocket putting a satellite into orbit.”
“That was on the radio. Delly will want pictures.”
“I have lots. Where is Delly?”
“Out with his friends over where the Axebrews used to live.”
“They moved? Why?”
“Jammy Axebrew went digging in the Ironcutter’s new garage foundation and found an ancient Imperial camera. The camera had a slip of Harald’s last hundredths, including the fact that he lit a Scourge devise.”
“Scourgezero isn’t where the park is?”
“No it is not. In any case, the Axebrews and the Ironcutters sold their properties to the city in exchange for some better plots near the river and the university types are digging away with the help of most of the boys in the neighborhood.”
Ayre started to laugh. “That sounds like fun, actually. How are Kammik and Roberd holding up?”
“Kammik is sort of ecstatic, since he can build his new house and use it to show off his family connections. Roberd is more or less resigned. On the other hand, he is building as well.”
“I would ask why they sold, but I imagine that having Harald’s known grave on your property would not be something that would let you have any privacy.”
“That was what Kethrykllia said.”
“Daddy, what did you bring us?” Vistilla looked at her father in expectation.
“What makes you think that I brought you anything?”
“You’re right, but let’s wait until your brother gets home and cleaned up and then we can all go out and I can tell all about what I did.”
Qambois grinned as Yrvien and Nathan came into the office. “How do you plan to return the pilotless airplanes? That is part of the deal when you pull off capers.”
“I put a letter saying that the bearer can receive two new airplanes when we can make the things. That might take longer than I thought, but considering that the Tollings made off with the entire ship, that’s fine.”
“Coming out flying no flag was foolish and I imagine that opportunities for acts of piracy are low on the ground these days, at least for the Tollings.”
“Frankly, some people probably wish that the Tollings would go back to mere piracy.”
“I assume you have a report on the ship and its mission.”
“A preliminary report. As far as we could tell, the ship was mostly concerned with the Republic. Once I heard that my brother Torelek had had an accident with one of them, I decided to go after one of the others. I ended up with both of them.”
“With strings attached.”
“That was inevitable, since non family resources were involved. The Pug navy was a big help and dad may have to open a plant in the Republic.”
“How did they help?”
“The Albatross has a net for catching airplanes with broken tailhooks. I just flew the second pilotless plane into the net and it was captured intact.”
“Who has the ship now?”
“The Collector is at Ishendell and is the property of the South Seas Bower. The various electronics and documents are in the custody of my cousin Gracie. I don’t know what deals Jorge and Gracie are cutting.”
“Since my nephew found a lady, I need you and Nathan to go down to Ishendell and see if you can pry some documents from Admiral Tollings. The admiral conducted an expedition to a city that was Scourged by our adversaries as a test. There was one lady who was out of the city and survived. In any case, I want you and Nathan to run errands here for the admiral.”
Nathan started to laugh under his breath. Qambois looked at him and said, “What is so funny?”
“I was telling an old classmate of mine, who was serving on the Albatross, that you wanted at least four levels of command between you and Admiral Harper. As far as that old Admiral Tollings goes, you want five levels of command between you and him and that includes Jorge and any other members of his family serving in the navy right now.”
Qambois started to laugh.
The Bryneiros Estate.
Radalarc was checking the guard posts when Kelvahn caught up with him. “Do we have any visitors?”
“None so far. Our strangers have been staying away for the last few days.”
“If they want the people in the cell block, they will have to strike soon. The executions take place in a five day.”
“The council made its decision.”
“On the date. I had to report that the people we had probably didn’t have very much that we didn’t already know. In any case, the axe falls next five day.”
“I doubt that the Emperor is all that happy about it, but these clowns did it to themselves.”
“He’s not. There has not been an execution of the High in a very long time. On the other hand, the people here attempted to kill thousands with devises that even knowing that you had the things risked the death penalty and dissolution of their Houses.”
“If they do strike, today would be a very bad day to do that.”
“I would have thought that the wedding would be a distraction.”
“It would be, except that all the Justicars and their families are here, we have Tom’s family and a bunch of the friends that Tom and Naexi have made the last few years.”
“Do you think that the guests will come to a wedding armed?”
“Not blatantly, but you can bet that the Steelmakers and the Dawkins will be. Then we have the Grand Master and some others.”
“Have they coordinated with you?”
“Yes they have. Not surprisingly, considering the lady’s reputation, Tom’s family were rather up front and forward about certain things.”
“You seem to have a handle on things and Tom’s family is due to arrive, so Kenia is going to want me.”
Ulairekamba was watching the portal as people started to emerge. He had known about the wedding, but since the groom was apparently a slave, Blackfire had not been concerned, since the thing would be a small thing in the chapel of the estate and a distaction. In fact, one of the diversionary teams was to assault the chapel and the wedding. Emerging from the portal and meandering through the open garden gate or taking the small vehicles going back and forth was a stream of strangely dressed people, some of them in uniforms. Unfortunately the mission was committed and Ulairekamba had no way to send a message back and tell the rest to abort.
Halueve Bryneiros caught a glimpse of something as his wife was preparing for the wedding. He went to the window and there was nothing. He returned to the lady that had saved him from the scandal that had almost ruined him and the family at the hands of the Dowager Empress and said, “Dear, put a little extra in your purse.”
“I doubt that Sayra is going to go after you.”
“Not the Steelmakers. Those strangers that have been visiting the estate are back.”
Lidia Bryneiros said, “Let me tell the children.” She went to the little cabinet, drew a pistol out and said, “Is this sylish?”
“Perfect, my dear.”
“Let me put a robe on and tell the children. When do you think that they will strike?”
“That depends on their targets and how they are coordinating with the wedding.”
“Ok, I will let the kids know.”
Ulairesicil and Ulairehendi watched silently from the roof as people assembled in the courtyard below. Ulairesicil signed, “Soft.” and Ulairehendi grinned. They were ready and the nursery was just below them. The rest of their team would be arriving soon.
Tom brought his parents to where Kelvahn and Kenia were greeting guests and said, “Milord, here are Robarld and Alura Dawkins, my parents.”
“We are glad to meet you at last,” Kenia said. “We appreciate that it was as difficult for you to come here as it was for us to go to the Republic. Tom and Gander have been competant and able parts of the Justiciars and our little family.”
“We missed Tom, but he volunteered to come up here and he was needed. Naexi is a wonderful lady,” Alura said. “Not what you expect at all.”
“She tried to play the elvish princess on you, didn’t she?” Kelvahn said.
“Not at all, with us. She was rather nervous the first time she visited with Tom. She did play some of those games with others in the family, but by that point, we all knew that it was a game. She and Tom did have a lot of fun with the movie people.We will have to have a chat later.”
“By the way, are those people creeping around, yours?” Robarld asked.
“No. They have been poking around and I was hoping that they would stay away today.”
“Ok, I will let the rest of the family know.”
“How did you spot them?”
“I think that they counted on being camouflaged and it wasn’t perfect. Left overs from my Service days and my time on the Peninsula. My sergeant would have ripped me a new one for being so sloppy.”
Kelvahn laughed as the pair moved on into the crowd. Sarya walked up and hugged Kenia. “Our victory at last.”
“Yes it is. Who would have thought that we could have something like this?”
“We may have some party crashers,” Kelvahn said quietly.
“If they make too big a splash, would you join me in a guild contract, Kenia?”
“I certainly will. If they just go after what they want, that is one thing, but to go after my daughter’s wedding is something else.”
Al joined them and said, “I see you two plotting. Sarya, this is Tom’s wedding, not the time to conduct business. Let us do the circulating so that Kelvahn and Kenia can greet guests.”
Byddri and Kythaela walked up with Bydrri carrying a sleeping Lyari. Kenia said, “The nursery is in the house, Kythaela. Lettie, show Kythaela where the nursery is.”
Byddri handed Lyari to Kythaela and said, “We are shopping for prams, so I shouldn’t have to carry him much longer.”
“You seem to have adjusted, Byddri,” Kenia said. ‘Fatherhood agrees with you.”
“It does. Now that Lyari is taken care of, I need to circulate. Congratulations to you both. Is it just one more?”
“Yes, but the girl is rather headstrong.”
Radalarc slipped into the armory to have some RS2s ready, looked at the magazines and cursed. They were all stored empty. He piled some rifle ammunition in clips for the carbines in a box, but the RS2s were going to be useless without ammunition and he couldn’t load the magazines all by himself. Once he had the carbines ready, he left the armory and quietly found Eddie, acting as a server. “Eddie, if you and some of the other boys would go to the armory and load some RS2 magazines, there will be a silver for every loaded magazine.”
Eddie looked around and said, “Will do. My girlfriend is here and is going to be annoyed at me. We have visitors, don’t we?”
“Yes we do, so get going.”
Eddie and his tray disappeared, seemingly wandering through the crowd aimlessly as he quietly tapped the shoulders of his fellow Justiciar slaves and discreetly pointed them in the direction of the armory. Radalarc hoped that they had time to load the magazines, but having the boys in the armory was a good thing and a nasty surprise if somebody went after the armory.
Ailwin Faefir, the head priest of the Seven Gods for the Cloud City beamed as the the ceremony started. He had presided over far too few weddings of late in some families. The one child rule had had some unfortunate consequences for those families that had adhered to it. Fortunately some families had not, and Ailwin was looking forward to some more weddings like this one. He grinned at the rather uncomfortable groom and watched the vision of an elf lady approach on her father’s arm in her red gown.
Major Jhaan Ualiar emerged from the one way port as part of the second platoon. Rolling in behind him was the portal that would be their way back to the Plant. The first section should probably be preparing to set up for the assault and the diversions and other actions should be in place. Second section’s job was to cover the others as they made their way to the portal.
Tom watched the vision of his life approach as he waited. The ritual devise came out, they exchange blood and vows, and the bands were given. Tom kissed Naexi and the ceremony was over. The wedding party headed to the tables receiving congratulations and smiles as they went. Tom was kissing Naexi for Byddri to take a picture when the first shot went off. They separated, reached for guns, only to realize that they were not carrying. Kelvahn called, “You two are out of this! Stay here!”
A surprising number of guns, projectors, elvenmetal swords and forcestaffs had already appeared as Kelvahn started to give orders. The various Justiciars organized things as Radalarc started to point people at the armory. Al Steelmaker came up to Kelvahn holding a rifle and said, “Do you have ammunition?”
“Where did you get that?”
“It’s going to be Tom’s. It’s a wedding present. There were two clips in the case, but I’m hoping that you have more.”
“We do, but wait until Radalarc clears the armory.”
“Ok. What’s going on?”
“We’ve had people poking in and looking at things. We’re fairly sure that they are going to retrieve some people that the Justiciars were holding here, pending execution.”
“Got it. We won’t get involved unless they hit the wedding party here.”
“I’ll leave that to you, then. Major Tollings, have you sent for people?”
“I sent Tim when the first shot went off. The other boys Jumped down to get their suits, so they should be back shortly. It might take ten hundredths or so before one of my platoons shows up.”
Bill, Jonny and Greg arrived carrying rifles and Bill said, “The rapid response force is here milord. Where do you want us?”
Kelvahn grinned. “Start from here and head to that building over there.That is the cell block. They should be trying to get in.”
Lieutenant Horith Ravahana looked around as the two combat mechanitianars set up the disassociatator. There had been exchanges of fire and casualties already. The mechanitiars finished applying the coil and one of them called out, “GO?”
The disassociator activated and a section of the wall disappeared. Horith turned to his assault troops and said, GO!”
The assault moved in through the hole.
Rog Petwarin had taken the jailor’s desk as Almon Bryna took a brief break to grab a lunch for them both at the wedding party. The desk faced the portal and the door to the outside was not all that sturdy, since there was a high wall surrounding the cell block and a gate that could be seen from the desk. He had pulled the shotgun out from under the desk and was going to the window when the door smashed open and as he turned, a Projector went off, striking him. He was dead before he hit the floor. Horith looked at the body, turned to the mechanitiars and said, “Get the cells open.” He turned to the people in the cells and called out, “This is your ticket out! Line up and come with us!”
The various inmates lined up and Horith started his retreat. Feredir spotted Biter, picked it up and said, “I will rejoin you shortly.”
“There won’t be time to wait.”
“I will not keep you waiting.”
Eddie and the boys had a stack of magazines loaded when the wall of the armory started to glow. Eddie quickly slapped a magazine in an RS2 and worked the bolt. Rod and Jim did the same thing and Jim watched the door as the wall suddenly had a hole in it and Eddie could see some Transformed that he had never seen before start to come through the hole. He fired a burst and the leader dropped as the others jumped back beside the hole. Eddie and Rod covered the hole and exchanged fire with some projectors as the other boys grabbed boxes of cartridges, carbines, magazines and clips of rifle ammunition and kept loading magazines in amongst the cabinets and shelves in the armory. After some more exchanges, Rod crawled up with a box of what appeared to be small pineapples, “Should I toss one, Eddie?”
Eddie grinned and grabbed a grenade. “Let’s do that.”
They both jumped up again and tossed grenades through the hole, with screams on the other side. Rod and Eddie approached the hole and Eddie tossed another grenade through for good measure before they both looked through the hole and only saw some blood trails and three bodies. They ducked back through the hole as Radalarc came in with two of the house guards and grinned. “Good job, boys. We’ll cover for you as you load magazines. Joll, tell milord that the amory is secure.”
Kythaela went to the nusery to give Lyari his lunch before joining Byddri at the party. The head nurse grinned and said, “Welcome, milady. Here to see to your little one?”
“Yes. He isn’t crying, but I imagine that he will be soon.”
“Would you stay with me and let these girls get some lunch at the party?”
“I will. I am Kythaela.”
“I am Matillia, head nurse for the estate. You two go and get something to eat and come back with mine.”
The girls giggled and left, leaving Kaythaela and the nurse.
“Then you brought up all the children here.”
“Yes I did, milady.”
Elyon Iarcyne, manager of the household pulled out his pistol when the doors suddenly slammed open, but couldn’t see to shoot, even though he could feel ememies approaching. A cook was pushing a cart to the outside past Elyon and Elyon said, “perfect” and tipped the cart and its load down the hall. Legs appeared and he started shooting, striking two before he was cut from behind.
There were screams in the hall and shots. Matilla calmly opened a small cabinet and pulled a shotgun out of the cabinet. She poked the door open slowly and then tripped a lever in the cabinet. Kythaela could see the hallway fill with dust, including hacking figures, who suddenly charged. She drew the pistol that Byddri insisted she carry from her satchel since transforming in the nursery could cause the children to get hurt or killed. The head nurse fired and then fired again, expertly breaking open the shotgun after the second shot. As she pulled shells from the cabinet to reload, she was struck by a knife and Kythaela was not able to get to her before an apparition charged and clawed the nurse’s throat out. Kythaela fired, dropping the apparition and charged to cover the door.The windows broke and two more shadows swung through the windows, only to receive bullets from Kythaela’s gun. Turning back to the hall Kytheala could see more of the things charging and fired, dropping another one. That was her last cartridge and she tossed the gun and stepped out into the hall. One of the apparitions grinned and said, “We’ll make this quick, milady.”
“I don’t think so,” Kythaela said, rapidly shucking her dress as she started to expand and reached out with a clawed hand. “I don’t think so at all.”
“I know that you’re there. Why don’t you show yourself?”
Ulairekamba wasn’t sure if the girl knew that he was there. On the one hand, she was seemingly unable to see him. On the other hand, she seemed to sense where he was. In any case, the rest of his team should be arriving with the hostages. Of course there was always room for another, and the way the elf girl was dressed said that she was high elf. With a grin he reached out for her, only to miss her. Rather than screaming, the girl said, “You want to dance, do you? I love dancing. Ulairekamba wasn’t sure why that suddenly put a chill up his spine as the girl spun around as her dress hit the ground and she seemingly disappeared. Suddenly he felt the wind from a knife blade that he barely dodged and realized that he was in real trouble. The girl laughed and said, “This is going to be fun.”
The major could feel the operation going poorly. The flare for the cell block being secured had been fired, but the flares for the securing of the hostages and the armory had not gone off and his sentries were already receiving fire and probes. The Justiciars had reacted faster than planned and things were on a knife edge. The headquarters squad all drew their weapons as a voice, unseen said, “Jimmy, We’re lost!”
“Princess, you insisted that we run down this path.”
“There those men chasing us!”
“Quiet, princess, they may hear us.”
“Jimmy, if they do, you can always eat them.”
“Princess, I’m in enough trouble over that.”
The headquarters squad moved to secure the prisoners when two landdragons appeared. In a frightening girl’s voice the slightly smaller one said, looking at the major, “That one looks tasty.”
The major waved retreat, and covering each other, the headquarters squad beat a hasty retreat. The landdragons could be heard arguing as they wandered on through the estate. Sergeant Cutter looked at the major and said, “That was a close one, sir.”
Lieutenant Ravahana appeared and said, “We have the prisoners, sir.”
Jhaan turned to the sergeant and said, “Send the flare for evacuation.
We’re retreating to the portal. Anyone not there in five hundredths isn’t coming.”
The sergeant launched the flare and the major, the first section, the prisoners and the retreating second section all reatreated to the portal. The second section leap frogged as they engaged and took fire from a growing number of opponents. One of the prisoners joined them as they reached the portal, the portal was activated and the various groups ported through. After waiting almost the five hundredths that the portal would be active, the major went through.
Kelvahn looked at the row of bodies, some of whom had been friends for a very long time. The nurse, Matillia, who had been almost a mother to his children and the soul of the estate, Elyon, who had been running the estate for as long as Kelvahn had been alive, had both unflinchingly given of themselves to protect the House’s greatest treasure and its future, the youngest of the estate’s children. The two girls, working as nurses today and both looking to get married all too soon. Rog and Alwin, doing their duty to the last. All told, twenty of the estate’s people had fallen, most in the rush at the cell block. They had taken a hundred of the enemy with them all told, by the time things were over, when the actions of Eddie and the boys at the armory and some other enagements were counted. The enemy had also been rushed and left equipment and ten of their people behind as prisoners, half wounded.
Staff from the Office of Investigations were collecting the evidence as healers tended the wounded and Byddri took pictures. Kythaela was still occupying the hall, transformed and nobody wanted argue with her for the time being as she was surrounded by cribs, cradles and toddlers clinging to her. The toddlers would not let her transform or leave and so she sat there over Lyari’s cradle, rocking it. Byddri had looked at her, turned to Kelvahn and said, “If necessary, I will have mother come down.”
“Frankly, I am happy that she stays there until we clean this up. You can see that the kids feel safer with her there.”
Jorge joined them and said, “They had their portal set for a five hundredth activation and then it shut down and wiped itself. I’ll have it taken to the Beinan estate, but we won’t get much from it, milord.”
“Thank you anyway, Jorge.”
“I’m going to expedite getting the ancient portal board up and running again. That way they shouldn’t be able to pull this again.”
“I knew that I was pressing my luck having the cell block here for as long as I did. I made a mistake with that.”
Chief Marshall Diamondmoon came up with a grin and said, “You just gave us some business. Why did they want that bunch of losers, Kelvahn?”
“I have no idea, Storm. Since they ported out, you can take it for granted that they are probably no longer in the Empire. So, yes, you have some business.”
Phinara Omayarus looked at Orrian and said, “What?”
“Remove all your clothing.”
“Why would you want something like that, worm?”
“If you do not remove all your clothing, you are staying here. The enemy almost certainly will discover this place and you will end up where you were. All of you that were in the cell block must remove all your clothing. Fresh clothing will be provided on the other side of the portal, but all your clothing is going to be destroyed.”
“They can explain on the other side of the portal, milady. Right now, we all need to be moving and that means that you all need to undress and let me scan you.”
“Major, just what is going on?”
“Ma’am, just do what he says. The portal here activates for only five hundredths and once it activates, that’s it, we go. If Orrian says that you stay, you stay here.”
All the inmates of the Justiciars removed all their clothes and subjected themselves to Orrian’s scan. Orrian scanned Phinara and said, “Your hairpiece, hand it to me.”
“This was my mothers’s”
“And I will show you why we are doing things this way.”
Phinara handed the hair piece to Orrian, he took a knife out and pried something out. He handed it to the lady and said, “Microportal. I modified this scanner to force activation and there it was.”
“What good is a microportal.”
“They can be used to trace where something is, and the person connected to that something. Milord, that elf slicer you are holding, where did that come from?”
Feredir looked at Slicer, at Orrian and handed it over. Orrian scanned it and tossed it on the pile.
Feredir looked at him and said, “Why did you not try to extract the devise?”
“Milord, by the time I dug into that tool looking for the microportal, the thing would be ruined anyway. You can guarantee that they were depending on you not being willing to destroy or give the thing up, so they buried the microportal deep, using tools I do not have here and expertise I do not have. In any case the time to deal with the thing properly does not exist at present.”
Orrian scanned all the people there and then activated the portal. The various people passed through. The portal deactivated leaving an empty ruin.