The Great Dance, Chapter 93.

Filia can remain a slave, that is if the Umevan don’t emancipate her.

Chapter 93.

Chatsrey.

Justice Greenwillow sat down with the other six judges of the high court and said, “On the docket today is the Republican Immigration Service VS Filia Fallingwater. The court having voted in private, the decision goes to the defendant. Three judges dissented and their opinions as well as the majority decision are in the record. Mrs. Fallingwater, you may remain a slave if that is what you so wish.”

Filia held up a document. “I just received this today, judge. This is my emancipation. Somebody knew how the case was going to be decided and did this behind my back, since tomorrow is my birthday. So I will not have one day to enjoy my hard won status. Thank you for understanding the principles that the founders established. In any case, thanks to a sneaky elf and my husband, your efforts are wasted. On the other hand, I suspect that the folk who will have to come here will be less anxious about prowling Immigration Officers, obnoxious persecutors and greedy emancipators. Thank you again.”

Gradal blinked as the two orcs sat down and ordered beers. He walked over and said, “Looking for work?”

Faghig held up an airline ticket. “Going back home. For moons it’s “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” and “You are cut off, we won’t send you a copper.” Then, when there are clan issues, it’s “Get up back here as fast as possible and help me.” So, we have to go back.”

“Is your dad paying for the tickets?”

“Yes. We sent back that if he didn’t, we would take the slow boat and trains back the same way we left. We had a draft for the tickets the next day.”

“You did good work here and you will be missed.”

“Not by everybody,” Jreghug grinned.”On the other hand, the idiot is gone.”

“Did you have anything to do with that?”

“Not a bit, other than helping the Ironaxes and making the Champion happy.”

“Why did helping the Ironaxes make the Champion happy?”

“Because he’s family with the Ironaxes. He isn’t even full orc, since apparently the stupid Orcenmoot couldn’t find one with experience that wasn’t a mercenary. So when he heard that we were coming down here, it’s, “I would be pleased if you would help my family with a problem.” So we were trapped into participating in a giant bug hunt, of all things. At least they got the bug this time and we have new rifles coming.”

“I also have your bonus check and an apology from my principle. We will not be doing business with the client again.”

“I doubt it, since he was the spider’s snack. Ugh, what a mess. The hunt was fun, though.”

“Did you shoot the spider?”

“We had our shots, but so did everyone else. That lady was tough as a monster.”

Gradal handed Jreghug the check. “Thank you for your work.”

“About that. We don’t want to leave you in the lurch and we found some exiles that we told that they can get work here. Here they come now.”

 Two elves came in and sat down with the orcs. Jreghug said, “Gradal, meet Durlan and Keiran Fox. They are up to the odd extra work and helped us a bit with the warehouse caper.”

“How did you pull that off?”

“Planning, misdirection and knowing that the idiot was going to turn on us. The idiot made things too complicated. Lifting the paper would have been ok, if that was what he wanted. The warehouse had gas. A gas fire was easy. Lifting the paper and then causing the fire was tricky and just plain stupid. Also, the cops look at registrations and not at the trucks themselves and when you work for a dispatch outfit there is more than one truck available. A quick switch of the plates and drivers and we are driving a truck with a crate in it while the lifted stuff goes someplace else. We drove slow and Durlan drove fast, got to the warehouse and dropped the goods off. Drop the crate off, go back to the yard and switch the plates again. Then we show up when we were supposed to with the empty truck.”

Gradal laughed. “What about the crate in the warehouse?”

“It went up in the fire. I doubt that anyone will pay attention to a busted empty crate, do you?”

“I doubt it. As for your friends here, there may be the odd job if you take them. What can you do?”

“We were exiled because we were in acquisitions.”

“What did you acquire?”

“People that others wanted.”

“Slaves?”

“Some were, in the beginning. They all were, in the end.”

“Very interesting. How were you caught?”

“We messed with the wrong House and got caught up in something that we shouldn’t have. The mistake was my mother’s. She offered to help deal with an inappropriate girl for a friend. What the friend didn’t tell her was that the girl was dating a High Elf that no one would mess with and we didn’t find that out until the middle of the acquisition with big guards chasing us.”

“Can you operate vehicles?”

“We’ve been doing it. The loads go where they are supposed to.”

“Come in from time to time and there may be work for you.”

“We can use some. The work we have now is pretty boring and frankly we are used to a better lifestyle. Roughing it is ok for a job, but as a life, it gets rather uncomfortable.”

“We need to go,” Jreghug said. “We have a flight to catch.”

Swifty looked at the assignment and grinned. He could just use the boat article again. Then he thought about it. Unlike Mrs. Fishcutter, Mr. Silversmith probably read the sports pages. Mr. Silversmith probably also knew that Swifty had already used the article for an assignment and he couldn’t use that article again. On the other hand, Gordy’s trial had started, Swifty knew everyone involved in the case, had been involved himself and he could start right at lunch. When they sat down, Swifty said, “Suzy, I want to interview you.”

“What for?”

“I have an assignment to write something that we were involved with as a news article. I was going to write about Gordy and his operation.”

Suzy smiled. “Then we can start with me. Ask away, my hero.”

Sharog sat down next to Jon as the staff meeting began and Silversmith said, “Is it that time again, Sharog?”

“It is. The combined class papers concerning the Mage Wars.”

“The agony. The slog, the tedium. The endless papers about the Mage Queen and Harald.”

“Yes. Are you prepared?”

“I am. My blue pencil is sharpened.”

“Are there any students you think will be a surprise?”

“Mr. Cutflame.”

“The Dragonkin. Why do you think that he will surprise us?”

“He did with his midsession paper on the evacuation. I had expected that he would write about being in the camps. But he hadn’t been in the camps, he remained in the city. He wrote about that and an encounter with a Scourge devise.”

“There was a Scourge devise in the city? There was nothing in the paper about that.”

“The Office of Inanimates wanted it kept quiet while the Darkmage was active. The devise was inert and the Office did not want to start a panic. Swifty and his friends did model as the Scourged dead for a fake newspaper that office arranged to send to the Darkmage.”

“That all sound rather fanciful.”

“I thought so too, but he had the Office of Inanimates report. I’m waiting to see what his next paper is.”

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