The Kraken and The Dark Sea, Chapter 33-34

Enterprise and Kraken do not meet with each other. Gerald returns to being a civilian and gets a job.

Chapter 33.

RNS Enterprise

Borug came into the plotting room and said, “Any RDR signals?”
“No sir. Not even ours.”

“So they are either not coming, or are not using RDR. Keep looking for a scan.”

“They may not look for us, sir. After all they should know about the trick and Diligent did a number on them. The dragons may have taken out the RDR on the sub.”

“That is certainly possible. Our charges are almost to the Timbertown in any case.”

“Getting the ships to their destination is something to be proud of even if we don’t sink the sub.”

“I know. Let me know if you get a signal.”

Borug went forward to the bridge and said to Ironfist, “They may not take the bait, Devid.”

“That’s Diligent’s fault. They had first crack at them. Of course they could get lucky. Should I send the men to actions stations?”

“Do that, at level 2. Diligent may have done a number on their RDR.”

“We’re still sending our position out every twentieth.”
Redisinc is, you mean.”

“The rusty bucket is indeed.”

Kraken.

Captain Allaires turned to his first officer and said, “Take a look, Khatar.”

 Adrona looked through the periscope and said, “One Republican cruiser, right where a disabled sailing freighter should be. I think we have Redisinc. It is a good thing that we have that book. We owe Captain Ravathyra for that.”

“I started to dig into it when we were suddenly in the middle of the Republican Navy. Diligent has had a refit since the book was made. The cruiser has that gap where her foretopgallant is missing to allow for the RDR gear.”

“We head for the Citadel?”

“We head for the Citadel. Any traffic is going to be covered at this point.”

Chapter 34.

Billingston

George grinned as Gertald came into the office in a rather tired jacket and not in uniform. “Returning to civilian life, general?”
“I’ve been drawn down. So I am back to my truck and the road.”

“Why just one truck?”

“That’s what I can afford.”

“People do not want to trust a noncitizen. By the way the President has had your conviction assessed by the Attorney General’s office and the malfeasance was obvious. Your citizenship has been restored and your conviction overturned.”
“I didn’t ask for that. How did you all discover that?”
“When the President looked into your promotion and getting congressional approval, the thing came to light. I’m surprised the army kept you.”
“I am very good at my job. Consider, for instance, how General Harper had six divisions over the water in three five days and was able to keep them supplied on the Peninsula.”
“I thought that Dennis Harper handled logistics on the Peninsula.”

“Denny did, in the beginning. I was tied up, getting things on ship and over to the Peninsula, so I wasn’t there until things settled down. But that was my role. The fact that I was potentially Denny’s boss after he was promoted made things awkward, but we worked it out.”

“He didn’t offer you a job?”
“It didn’t come up. He was rather distracted at the end, with his kids doing things.”
“I have heard.”

“So, why did you want to talk to me?”

“I’m going to need someone to coordinate the independent truckers. Can you handle the job?”
“Are you offering it to me?”
“I am, actually, for a variety of reasons. The largest is that you are one of them, respected and well known. You also have the coordination skills I need. So I want you to take the job.”

“My wife will toast me if I don’t.”

“Your wife is a remarkable lady.”

“She puts up with me and has even in the bad times. She is very remarkable.”
Susan looked at the package sent through the small portal with Swifty’s letter and smiled. Swifty had been sending pictures all along from Diligent’s voyage. The pictures were of the various crew doing things and of things like Moonshine dancing for them over the water. There were also pictures of Bill launching things into the water and in a room listening to whales. There were also some pictures of Swifty and the other dragons flying as Swifty’s friend Teonag insisted that he fly every day. Lennie Ironforge appeared in some of the pictures and he was obviously not happy. After going through the pictures, she took them to her father. “I have more pictures from Swifty, daddy.”

Geral grinned and said, “Let me see.”
Susan handed the pictures to her father and said, “So far, Swifty seems to be having a good time. ‘Leonid’ Ironforge doesn’t.”
“He’s aboard to fill his Service requirement. He’s also looking for new plants to catalog. Being at sea is probably pretty boring for him.”

“Everyone else seems to be having a good time even if they work hard.”

Geral looked at the pictures and said, “I see what you mean. They are probably getting to where the work really starts.”
“Why does the navy have the survey ships anyway?”

“That is an interesting story, but the navy started that because the seafolk wanted the surveys so that things like fishing boundaries were settled. Then offshore trade became a bigger part of the economy and the navy may need good charts overseas. It also helps that since a survey ship is the first contact that folk have to the Republic, they don’t see the navy as an enemy.”

“The survey ships have sails.”
“That is practicality and tradition. Some in the navy want at least some vessels under sail and since a survey ship may be a long way from a fuel source, sails make sense.”

“I see your point. I’m off on my ride. If Swifty is exercising every day, I need to keep up.”

 North Howl.

In the Burnett family, the one hard and fast rule was that when Garal Burnett asked for you, you went and spoke with him in his pile of a house in North Howl. So, when Harl received the message, he drove over to the house. He walked into his uncle’s workshop where his uncle played with tools and held court and said “You want to speak with me, uncle?”
“When you had that boy up there in the Senate and were running your mouth off about private business, did you not for one thousandth think about who the boy’s mother was?”
“I don’t know who his mother is.”
“You should have. You are supposed to know who the people are that you don’t annoy in the state. Doesn’t your staff keep track of things like that? Meria Seafisher Wavechasher is one of those people, especially with her husband at sea. Is there something in the air up there on the Plateau that creates stupidity?”

“The boy represented an opportunity.”
“I’ve seen the transcript. You kept babbling on about things that were not relevant to the hearing and he kept telling you to shut up about that. He warned you that if you didn’t stop poking into his business, he was going to look into yours.”

“I didn’t take that very seriously.”

“The boy also got under your skin and then your brain shut down completely. You were goaded by a seventeen year old.”

“The family stood to lose money if the radio business had problems. I wanted to separate the boy from the Beinans.”

“After you knew that the boy had been involved in the ladies’ capers. You should have guessed that that meant that the Beinans trusted the boy to the point that they more or less considered him part of the family. A minor scandal wasn’t going to break that kind of relationship. You should have guessed that.”

“Is there a reason that I have to put up with this, uncle?”

“You better have some big contracts coming the state’s way, because your antics cost the family some heavy coin and a lot of lost respect and business.”

“How did that happen?”
“You didn’t send something to me about the boy looking into our business. He talked about that to his mother, who took that to mean that a little arrangement that we had with the seafolk was no longer in effect. So instead of turning a blind eye and providing help, the seafolk started to look into things and no longer work at our places. That almost put us out of the business and I never saw it coming. In less than a moon we would have been out of business and you would not be sitting in that seat up there on the Plateau unless you funded the election yourself. You certainly would not have had any money from the business, because there would not have been a business.”

“Wavechaser was messing around in our business? Did you take steps?”
“Captain Wavechaser was at sea helping to keep us safe. His wife, on the other hand, had her son come home all upset that you were poking into what he was doing and that annoyed her, so she took the hint and put the word out that she would appreciate anything that people would send her about anything shady that our family was involved in. In a five day, we couldn’t get help on the beach and our places were being raided by the cops. Fortunately, the captain came home, realized that something was wrong and arranged a deal with me. That deal was not cheap and I wanted you to know that the family took the hit because you were an idiot.”

 “What the boy was looking into is worth a lot of money. I was trying to get the family a piece of it.”
“He noticed. At least the boy’s grandfather did. He told the boy about it before they went up to the Plateau. So the whole time you were bullying the boy, he knew why you were doing it, you didn’t get the signals and back off.”

“Falug asked me to see what I could do.”

 “He was hoping that you would not be so obvious about it.”
“The radio thing is going to be big money for us.”

“Not any more. That was part of the arrangement. We sold our stock in CRC at value, to the Wavechasers.”

“CRC is going to pull their support from me.”
“That was happening anyway. The money that the Wavechasers are buying the stock with came from another deal the captain made with the consortium to keep them in business. Bill was apparently playing with something and you and the consortium didn’t even notice until the patents were approved and he had an assembled radio there in the school’s science faire. The captain made it clear that you playing with the consortium was not a good idea and I agreed to sell out.”

“That’s going to mess me up in the Senate. There were deals that depended on arrangements that I was making. I was using consortium support to make some other things work and now I won’t have it. You should have discussed this with me before making the deal.”

“The way you and Falug discussed the arrangement with CRC with me in the first place before you went after a bower queen’s son? You didn’t do that and so it got expensive, very fast. I did what I had to do to keep things viable. Your part is to make sure that some port improvement bills go through along with some other things that the seafolk want.”
“I have been opposing those bills.”
“The seafolk noticed. It was a minor issue until you broke the arrangement and it became part of the picture.”
“I will not be a stooge for the seafolk.”
“The seafolk are part of your constituency. A large part, even if they do not all vote in every election. You have just demonstrated that you are not concerned over injuring their interests. A few votes in support of the seafolk’s interests will demonstrate that what happened was a minor mistake and that you are not in general opposed to seafolk interests.

“Also, I had an arrangement with your father when he ran for the Senate for the first time. I would support him if he would make sure that nothing he did hurt the business here. If you are not willing to keep that arrangement, I will withdraw the family’s support.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s