The Kraken and The Dark Sea, Chapter 15-16

Diligent wins the beer. Tad makes a discovery.

Chapter 15.

RNS Diligent 

Roger grinned as Teonag and Brilbrun walked up with Swifty. What they wanted was fairly obvious as they walked up to the quarterdeck without wearing any clothing. Teonag and Brilbrun had been taking Swifty up every day of the voyage since they had been far enough from Cleadsgate and were able to transform. They were doing it again, as Teonag saluted and said, “Request permission for flight training, Sir!”

“Permission granted.”

The three transformed and Teonag led the other two off the deck and into the air. Roger called out, “Cookie wants fish for dinner!”

Teonag’s wings waggled as they climbed. Roger watched them as they became spots in the air and then disappeared into the distance. The captain joined Roger on the quarterdeck and said, “Our three dragons up again?”
“Yes, sir. I think that Teonag and Brilbrun want to make sure that Swifty’s flying is up to snuff.”

“I don’t have a problem with that. Did you tell them to bring back something for Cookie?”
“I did, sir.”

Bill Wavechaser came up with a camera in his hands and said, “I missed them, didn’t I?”

“You did,” Roger said. Why?”

Gatherer is trying to sneak up on us and I wanted a picture so that dad knows that he didn’t get away with it.”

“How do you know, Mr. Wavechaser,” the captain asked.

“I’ve jiggered our Mark III RDR and the RDF. I know what Gatherer’s sweeps look like and either Collector or Gatherer is snooping on us right now. I wanted a picture for dad.”

Roger and the captain started to laugh. The captain looked at Bill and said, “Does Sparky know what you did to the RDF?”
“He and I worked on it together. I really shouldn’t be handing out diodes, but they are mine and as far as I’m concerned, if the ship is safer, I am safer. I also get a better shot at dad.”

“Roger probably shouldn’t hear this and lose the innocence of being first in class, but that wouldn’t be the first bits of esoteric hardware that we have picked up in the past. We lost most of it to the yard in refit. We didn’t get the time to strip it out before we were all sent on leave and the ship was in the yard hands.”

“I can help get some of that back,” Bill said. “I have connections at Beinan’s”

“I didn’t hear that, Mr. Wavechaser,” Roger said. “As first in my class, I have the navy’s reputation to uphold and violating regulations and out of regulation equipment is out of the question. Just what are we talking about and how soon can we get it?”

“A bunch of things and we can probably make an exchange with Major Tollings in Ishendell for it. He owns the Ishendell shop and Beinan’s runs it. We were building Scourge suppressors but there were parts for other things there as well. We can talk to Jimmy and go through him.”

“Why?” The captain asked.

“If the termite mound characters get wind of me doing something shady, they will come at me again. They want to get me to give up some things I did to their friends and were making accusations already. So anything shady goes through Jimmy and the major. After all he is already Jorge the Pirate.”

The captain and Roger laughed.
 RNS Gatherer

Terrel turned to the commander and said, “Jim, I think that my son has us.”

The commander laughed as a dragon made a dive for a fish and came up with a large one in his talons. “He sent the dragons.”
“I know of those two. They sent themselves.”

“Who is the third dragon? His flying is a bit rough.”
“I don’t know. He seems younger than the other two.”

“I will miss you.”

“The first command is always the roughest.”

“I don’t deserve this ship.”
“I wouldn’t have recommended you if I didn’t think that you did. I need to get back to what I’m supposed to be doing and dealing with some people.”

“Rather nasty people.”

“Yes, they are. The problem is that they don’t understand that they are not the only ones that can be nasty if they have to be.”

Chapter 16.


Edlrin turned to Rob and Jorge and said, “Thank you for showing me the things here. My father never saw this place before he was taken from us.”
“Your father was an amazing man,” Jorge said. “His death over that arming key was a terrible tragedy for the world.”
“This was what he was trying to prevent.”

“That is my job. I understand that the Grand Master could not accept that one of his own was not retrievable, but we needed him more than we needed the Darkmage to not have access to an arming key for three live devises and twenty more where I had pulled the Primaries, especially since he found a key in the end.”

“Redemption was a big part of what my father was. I do not disagree with your points, major, but my father would not turn away from attempting to redeem the Darkmage. The key was only the spark for the argument.” 

“Lissia and Willia will be upset with me, so we must get to the villa.”

“What are you planning to do with the city, since you have it.”
“I would like to have a team put together to find some things that I have hints about, but don’t have time to deal with myself. I will discuss that with the Grand Master soon. I know that there are still more hidden things here. After that, I want to start to make the city viable again, even if that means letting Elmar knock the ancient towers down, at least some of them, that is.”

“Why knock the towers down?”
“Because there isn’t much else we can do with them, since we don’t know how they were erected in the first place, they require tools and materials that no longer exist and most of them have been through intense fires in any case.”

“You are concerned as to their ability to maintain their integrity.”
“Yes. Why don’t we get to dinner before my wife gets annoyed at us.”

The Umevan estate

Immianthe was going through the pictures for the navy when she noticed that Tad had made a mistake. She turned to Tad and said, “Tad, you printed two prints of a picture.”

Tad turned from the screen and said, “What?”

“This picture and this one are the same.”

Tad looked at them, blinked and said, “You’re right. Let me check. Maybe I pulled the same picture from different times by mistake.”

Tad pulled up the pictures of the northeast coast and they all checked. He looked at one of the pictures, put the number in and then went up the coast one step and the next picture was the same. He turned to Immianthe and said, “The next picture was copied. Let me check the older pictures.” He tapped the next set back in time, and then further back. “They’re all like that all the way back. Someone did this deliberately.”

“So the pictures are not accurate?”

“Somebody coded in some squares and told the machine to put these pictures over the real image. Somebody was trying to hide certain places from me and whoever else was using the eyes.”

“Why did they think that they would get away with it?”

“The place isn’t one that Varitan and the others would be interested in. It’s not near antything else.”

“They didn’t do that with Lain Othrond and the other places. Why not?”
“All the other places had other ways of looking at them. People knew about them. So there was no point in hiding them. I’m going to look at something.”
“The raw feeds from the eyes. This machine keeps them for the last three passes. The tricky thing will be to find this place in the raw images, but we can use the Timbertown as a guide.”

“I’ll help.”

Jorge came in with Major Tollings and said, “I see, princess, that you are helping Tad again.”

“Yes. This helps me do better with my geography studies. What does the major want?”
The major grinned and said, “Princess, Jimmy is taking the cruise that you are probably collecting pictures for. He asked his ship’s captain to send a report about some cannibals that Diligent ran into on its last voyage.”

“Where is this, Major?” Tad asked.

The major told him where and Tad said, “That’s another one I need to check.”
“Another what?” Jorge asked.

“Milord, just before you came in, I was doing the pictures for Diligent’s survey. I found one that had the picture next to it copied and covering over a certain place. I was thinking that if there were Protectors, there might be the same sort of thing going on, so I checked and there was. The next picture to the south was copied and is covering something.”

“How do you think that they did it?”

“I think that somebody in the Sanctuary set the code up to do that. It could have been the Darkmage.”

“They were hiding even from other Project members?” The major asked.

“I don’t know yet. All I know is that a place or places in the north was hidden and now there is this place. If you give me a five day, I will go through the raw images and pull what is really there, talk to somebody at the Sanctuary about the code, find the places covered and patch the code so that they aren’t covered anymore.”
“Do it, Tad,” Jorge said. “Get together with Hal and get the locations of the double portals they were using and check them against this. We’ve all been wondering if there were things we weren’t seeing all along and now there is this.”

“Ok, milord. I will start with the pictures for Diligent and work from there.”

“Very good catch, Tad,” the major said.

“Immianthe noticed that the pictures were copied. I just realized what it meant.”

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