The Return of The Silverin, Chapter 1-2

Here we go again. Jorge visits Bill. The Societies plan a party.

Chapter 1.

Seagate.

Shael put her bag under her shoulder, reached over and kissed Jorge. “Rilldia and I will see you later. There’s Bill. Have a good class.”

Bill walked up and said, “Hi Lord Umevan.”
Jorge grinned and said, “You can call me Jorge, Bill. This is Nat, my chief technician. I don’t think that you have met, but he was other end of some of your questions sent through the Eiljeon’s small portal.”

“We haven’t met. I’m glad to see your face at last. Is Jorge getting you your parts?”
“Yes he is. At least he isn’t interfering with me getting my parts. How did your furnace work out?”
“I can’t talk about that. There are other things involved and someone else has taken over the furnace.”

“So, you are making microdevises?”

Bill grinned. “What do you know about them?”
“Quite a bit, and Jorge here hired my team, so I have people that know even more.”

“Then we really need to talk. I’m just starting and my dad’s boss will want to talk with you.”

“Jorge’s grandfather made a better offer than Adiun Beinan did.”
Jorge grinned. “I have a class to give, so we need to get to the portal house. Bill, I want to ask you what you know about some people.”

“Who?”

“The termite mound types. They are going to Ishendell for their Society graduation party. I suspect that they came down here before the plane service to Ishendell started.”

“Yes they did. What do you want to know?”

“They probably have some sort of big celebration to end things. My friends weren’t sure about the details and I want to know what is really special that they do.”

Bill smiled. “We can talk to my brother and some other people later.”

“What are you up to, Milord?” Nat growled.

Jorge laughed. “Me? I’m not up to doing anything. I’m a firstie. On the other hand, some people have annoyed my fellow students and I have been asked to provide ideas.”

“Gilders and his friends are going to Ishendell?”

“They apparently have been doing that for the last few years. They went south last year because of the unpleasantness.”

“You do know that your grandfather bought a villa there?”

“I hadn’t. Why?
“Because the family is going to be going back and forth and it will be easier to have get togethers and meetings. He also wants a place for the kids to go and have some fun on the beach.”
Jorge grinned. “My friends will be glad to know about that. Both the Beinans and the Qinvaris also bought places for the same reasons.”  

“Are they renting the places out?” Bill asked.

“I doubt it. Why do you ask?”

“Considering your family and the others, they all bought the big houses. The Societies all rent the biggest places they can for their parties. If they can’t rent the big places, they will be upset.”

“Thank you, Bill. My friends said that the Societies had rented places. I didn’t think to ask if the Societies managed to get the places they really wanted. Between the embassy, the various houses buying places and the siege damage, the really good places are probably not available.”

Chapter 2.

Beltain.

The Societies graduate committee planning session met once every two five days to coordinate the annual Societies Graduation party. Derry walked in and Harald Tinker said, “How is going with that firstie? Is he squashed yet?”
“Not yet, but the thing seems to have died down.”

“He did a number on your parents’ thing, I hear.”
Derry grimaced. “Somebody pulled something. The FSA is on it, but they can’t find anything and Smoky Hill has drawn off a lot of resources.”

“Chasing the Stewards. The dragons probably lit the thing off by accident. It was probably something that the Beinans were doing anyway. The FSA should be looking into that rather chasing activists protesting.”

“I can’t agree more. We should also be looking into the navy. They are probably making the whole secret war and the Scourge devise thing up.”

“What about the Five Cities?”

“What about them? All we know is what the people there tell us. There were probably ancient devises there and when the first one went boom, it set the others off.”

“Something happened anyway. Did you get the place you had the last time?”
“It wasn’t available for rent. How about you?”

“The Umevan bought the place. Apparently the old elf wanted a place there, so the company bought it. Donal and the others had the same problem.”

“Are Imperials involved in all of them?”

“What are you getting at?”

“Let’s just say that there is an old law about property on the Peninsula and the Empire.”

“How did you know?”
“I had a paper published about it. That was a paper where I did the work, so I have the details if we need them.”

Harald grinned. “Have you talked to your dad about it?”
“Not as yet. I wanted to see what was going on with the rentals.”

“Even if the law forces them out, the rentals are going to be tricky.”

“It will be easier dealing with brokers looking to sell than people not planning to.”   

“Good point. We can talk about this in the meeting.”    
 Eldar sat down with Lucian and Sal at lunch and said, “At least the Gilders flap has blown over somewhat.”

“I’m not sure that it has,” Sal said. “It has moved beyond academics in any case. What happened to Mrs. Gilders’ party?”
“I was not there, but from what I have heard from others that were, there was a crystal flower centerpiece that chastised the Gilders, then dissolved into dust and then the room was filled with foul smoke and animals appeared and disappeared.”
“No “Mud?” That would be a Jorge thing. He sent “mud” through a portal and ruined a meeting in Dolmon.”

“I haven’t heard about any. The Senator was rather upset about what happened already. I would have heard about mud if there had been any.”

“The big question is how do we keep ourselves from being covered in mud, metaphorically, that is?”
“Can’t the Committee come to a decision?”

“No,” Lucian said. “Sal and I have agreed on the fact that History Studies should be censured, since they were responsible for not vetting the paper properly, but Bill keeps harping on raids that didn’t happen and Selvert is maintaining that Beltain must be right because they wouldn’t actually allow a student to plagiarize a paper.”

“The audit was fairly clear” Eldar said. “Gilders was guilty of plagiarizing the paper and certainly never did any work to support the paper. The problem is that we now have a public precedent for allowing that to happen. That will be worse all around than the actual deed itself. I will write a letter to History Studies saying exactly that.”

“They may not print it,” Lucian said, sadly.

Sal grinned. “They may not, but if they do not, we can make sure that the word gets around. There was that piece in the paper, and while Mr. Dantas hasn’t come around to speak to me as yet, we can send the letter to the press service and he should see it.”

Chatsrey.

Bill grinned as his father was waiting in the airport terminal when he and the others went through the doors from the tarmac. “You came to pick us up, dad?”
“We thought that it would look better if I did it, since I am only picking up my son and his friends and not meeting with foreign officers who might be poking into somebody’s shop. Let’s get to the cars.”
Bob joined Bill and Syllia and as the car pulled away, Bill said, “You are rather annoyed, dad.”

“I hate it when the people in the Justice Department start to play fast and loose with the rules.”

“Whose doing that?”
“Your old boss.”

“The Director.”
“Yes. The FSA has always had a certain degree of autonomy, but recent events have demonstrated that the FSA has been acting on its own and worse, has been sloppy about procedures and following the law.”

“What’s going on?”
“Jorge had an interesting first term at college. In the process, he loaned Major Tollings his class paper for his testimony on the grill. The paper’s topic was Paeris’ raids and he obtained material from my office and Tom’s. Then he went to Desert Howl and talked to Paeris about the raids. A scholar student named Gilders saw the paper as he was preparing things for the Congressional Record and submitted it for publication to History Studies. Meanwhile, your grandmother insisted that Jorge submit his paper to Imperial Studies,  who also published.”
“Oops. Who was first?”
“Imperial Studies.”

“Did History Studies retract?”
“They accused Jorge of plagiarizing Gilders’ work.”

“Wouldn’t that be rather difficult if Jorge could show that he had access to the material and Paeris?”
“There was a bit of a classification flap with the material that Tom’s office provided. Nobody has said anything about the things that my office sent yet. In any case, Gilders is accusing Tom of handing classified documents to a foreign spy, Jorge.”
‘How does that involve the FSA?”
“Because Sunbeam has been toadying up to Senator Gilders and Gilders set the FSA on Jorge. There’s more going on, but we can talk about it when we get you, Syllia and the others settled.”

“Ostensibly, we are tracking down things related to the five cities. Our real mission is to assist Major Tollings and Sarya’s people in tracking down the Steward and his booms. This is an exchange for Gander getting Jorge and Durlan in Bubil Kil so that they could extract Dúhael.”

“I hate to use backdoors, but with the Stewards still having five booms, we have to.”

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