The Return of The Silverin, Chapter 39-40

Allisa talks to some royal guardsmen. George Bronzerock hand some briefs out.

Chapter 39.

The Lower City.

Alissa looked at the pair in front of her and said, “You are Veral and Heral?”
Heral grinned and said, “Yes Ma’am.”

“Have you been told where you are going?”
“Ma’am, we did a tour at the consulate in the Republic. That was why the king chose us.”

“What has he told you?”

“Only that you would tell us what is going on and that we would be the prince’s detail when he takes a trip to the Republic.”
“Actually my daughter has been requested and Vindy suggested that he make the kind of trips that princes do. I sent to his mother for clothing more appropriate for a princess and she sent you. You look like you will do fine and you will not be the only ones available for the detail. I’m sending two new Justiciar adjuncts and Eddie with you as well.”

“Eddie is a good choice.”

“Ok, why don’t you come inside and I will explain.”

Alissa sat the pair at the kitchen table and said, “You don’t look like parlor types, so I thought that this would work better. Some Justiciar adjuncts were sent to the Republic as part of an exchange that collected a rather important fujitive.”
“Dúhael,” Veral said. “Unfortunately, the family wanted him back.”

“They did. This is not directly related, but Tom Dawkins and Bill Harper want to borrow my daughter for a case. Normally I would say no, but this is an opportunity to expose some things and perhaps shake Dúhael’s relatives up a bit. In any case, we owe the Umevan a favor and this is the sort of thing that Sarya trained for.”

“What is going on?”
“A girl from the Plateau ran away and a procurer was chasing her. A boy covering Jorge Umevan spotted the procurer and grabbed the girl. They joined Jorge and his lady and as Jorge and another man took the boy home, there was the FSA, looking to arrest the boy.”
“What happened to the girl?”
“Jorge’s lady took her home and after a discussion with the girl’s mother, decided that making the girl disappear for a while would be a good thing. So she is on her way here with the boy.”

“Taking a Plateau girl would be stupid for a small timer if he wasn’t covered.” Haral said. “For that matter how did the procurer know about the girl in the first place and that she could be grabbed.”

“That is the question, apparently.”
“How did the Justiciars get involved?”

“Some of the Justiciars, my husband included, come from the Republic and were trained and had served in the FSA. So they can still function as such. Bill Harper and Tom Dawkins are in the Republic right now chasing some documents and testimony as well as being part of the exchange for Dúhael. Bob Harper recruited them for this case when it became evident that there was something fishy in the FSA. Tom asked for my daughter. I think you know why.”

“He wants her to parade through the nasty operation so that they go after her, the idiots.”

“Yes. I don’t have the details, but Tom and Bob want the connections on the Plateau and want to get the Procurer before someone decides to clean it up.”

“The chief prosecutor is taking this seriously.” Haral said. “He doesn’t usually recruit outside channels.”

“You seem to know a lot already.”
“The consulate in the Republic is small, so we all had side jobs poking around.”
“You were spies.”

“Not really. We talked to people and looked into things, but we weren’t looking for military details or government secrets. If we did get some things, that was fine, but mostly it was sending trade reports and crop reports, along with stuff from magazines.”

“Will that cause you any trouble?”
“The king would not have sent us if we would. Mrs. Steelmaker’s people will pick up on us, but since we may be working with them anyway, that is a good thing.”

“I think that my daughter and Vindy are in good hands.”

Charlie grinned as Vesstan came into the shop. He handed him a pair of well made boxes and said, “Here are these, as promised.”

“I heard rumbles that the Justiciars are looking into you.”
“Lady Petris and some others want to make what we are doing illegal because the weapons can be used for assassination. At least they want to claim they are illegal. The problem they have is that other than an Inquisitor’s say so, back in the Regency, there was nothing passed in the Conclave to make that the case.”

“You checked.”

“We checked before we put this together. Otherwise we would be handling this differently. Haladavar doesn’t seem to understand that other than Fire, the rest of us grew up doing business in the Lower City and we are not idiots.”

“You didn’t make these as your first.”

“This was Fire’s deal, and we wanted to have experience before doing yours. We know Aien and Kavrala too and wanted theirs to be special. Also, most of our other customers are Justiciars and adjuncts.”

“You are here yourself, today.”

“I knew that you were making pickup and there is the other reason. Hello, Justiciar.”

“Are you in charge here, young Lord Beinan?” Llag bellowed.

“I am one of the principles, yes.”
“I would be careful about who you sell your things to. There is no law against manufacture and sale, but if you insist on selling to the guild, there may be writs coming your way.”
“Justiciar, unless you know of someone using our devises who is not a Justiciar, you have nothing on us. So either make a purchase or leave.”

Somebody cursed as something clattered outside and Llag said, “He’s gone.”
“Who, Justiciar?” Vesstan said.

“A pest, milord. He used to work for the Dowager Empress, looking to corral women like my wife into the Dowager Empress’s service and doing other nasty little jobs.”

“I do not believe that we have met, since I would remember someone as distinctive as you if we had.”

“We have not met, milord. I am the adjunct who mostly handles tax and property cases, so I spend my time in the palace and exchange Street.”

“So why did you play that game with the pest?”

“The pest has been watching this place, my son and his gang of disreputables have been hired by the pest’s boss for things and I saw you come into this place while Charles was here. I wanted to make some noise that made it clear that I had done what the pest’s boss wanted and that the pest’s boss was not going to be able to harass the Beinans over a small business.”

“Was this my fault?”
“Not at all, milord. The pest’s boss is fishing because his lady is confused after the downfall of her patron. Charlie, Dugal will pick his toy up himself.”

“Sure thing, Llag. It’s ready.”

“Then I will take my leave.”

Llag left and Vesstan said, “That was interesting. Should I be concerned about the pest?”
“It’s handled. As Llag said, his boss is fishing. He’s been trying to find out what my family is doing that he can use to create a scandal and looking into some ladies meeting at bakery. There are some other things he’s trying to look into, but he doesn’t even have a clue about the big stuff and he’s been known to miss stuff under his nose.”

“Then he is not a large concern.”

“He hired Dugal to drag in Dugal’s dad to have him look into this.”
Vesstan laughed. “That was why you had the legal status of what you were doing at hand.”

“As I said, we looked into it before we set things up when we knew that Fire and Alinis were going to be in the Republic going to college. Once Fire’s back, we’ll use him as the front, but between you, the committee, the Justiciars, the high guard, and some other people wanting things for their wives and whatnot, things got bigger faster than we expected.”

“When do you start college?”
“This fall. Ayen and I are going to Irongrinder in the Fellowship.”

“Since we are done, I will take my leave.”

Chapter 40.

The Arsenal, Cleadsgate. 

Peble marched into Rod’s office and said, “Captain, I have orders for you.”

“This department is rather busy. What does the admiral want?”
“Some loose ordnance made a splash and one of your brother’s barges sank off of  Billingston. The admiral wants Defuser to do a clean up.”

“Ok, I’ll put Lieutenant Commander Tillings on it.”

“The admiral wants you to take it personally.”

“I’m rather busy.”
“The thing was in the papers and there all sorts of noises about the navy neglecting things and risking lives. The admiral wants to be able to say that he put his top people on the job.”
“Ok, I’ll take the tub up the river. I’m going to draw some people from the Academy for the experience. You better hope that a Scourge devise doesn’t show up.”

“I just deliver the orders, captain.”

Luggergate.

George looked across the smoke filled room at his long term adversary, Hold Steelpounder and grinned. George had called this discreet meeting of the shippers, bargeowners and waterside labor bosses and Hold was looking at him with a credulous look as he said, “George, you want me to mess things up on the quay?”

“Hold, my brother took me to lunch with some people you would not believe and told me that there is a very good possibility that there is a very big boom here in town.”

“How big?”

“Five cities.”

“Won’t messing up the quay hurt you?”

“First of all, I want a workstoppage through the city and to push transfers past the city onto the river. Second, I want people evacuating quietly and if there is noise on the waterfront, that can cover the people leaving. I recommend that you send your families and anyone you can spare out of town until my brother gives the all clear.”

“We could look for the thing.”

“My brother thinks that is a bad idea. If the Stewards think that we know it’s in town, they might set it off before we can find it. My brother has tools to find the thing quickly and when he does look, the thing will be suppressed anyway. I tried to convince the mayor to put in for a suppressor, but he doesn’t believe that the threat is real and the president can’t get emergency funding unless the mayor asks for the devise.”

“Rilly is useless. Is there a Scourge suppressor we can tear loose?”
“I looked and not easily. As you can imagine, they go special shipment and diverting one without making too big a splash is not going to be possible. All Rilly had to do was say he wanted it and this would have been over. I told him that if necessary I would cover the thing so that it wouldn’t appear on his budget. I handed him the request form, with the fact that the city has priority. The stubborn fool would not do it.”

“Is it certain that the thing is here?”
“No. Rob is going to be coming up the river in the tub because of that boom recently and look for the devises as he comes. We’ll know if the hunch is correct if a devise turns up where he thinks it will.”

“Why doesn’t he come straight up and find it?”
“Because he doesn’t want to trip the Steward into setting the thing off because he thinks that he’s cornered. We went over all of this and the mayor not getting Scourge suppressor took a lot of options off the table.”

Ham Gillings said, “What about the FSA. If we see something, should we report it in?”

“Bring it to me. My brother has a second team ready to go just for that situation.What he doesn’t want is the FSA playing with the thing like a regular bomb. Rob learned not to do that the hard way even before he had to handle the first devise that was discovered. If you see the thing, don’t even think of messing with it.Because if it goes off, the city will be killed.”

“The boom in Smoky Hill didn’t kill Chatsrey.”

“The devise in Smoky Hill did not have the Scourge element. I’m handing the brief around the table. My brother gave it to me, and if this appears somewhere it shouldn’t, not, only will the person that leaked it be up on a classified matters charge, so will I and my brother. On the other hand, you all need to know the stakes here. The part of the devise that creates the Scourge was discovered in a stash that the stewards had in Freiberg. Rob is fairly certain that the devise here will have the Scourge element.”

“What if the thing isn’t here?”
“Then we look like fools and idiots. We’ve all been there before.”

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