The Legacies of Lyrei, Chapter 3-4

Tigerlilly has a little panic over Faghig. The Project sets up a meeting.

Chapter 3.

Bighagh.

Dumag looked at the pair and grinned. His great aunt had been pleased with the way that they had helped resolve the spider. Even better, they had developed a legitimate cover and connections to the other side. They stood and saluted as he entered the room. “Jreghug reporting, Champion!”

“Faghig reporting, Champion!”

“Sit down and tell me how it went. My aunt was pleased with your work.”

“We decided that, rather than going straight to Ironton, we act the part of the typical orcs exiled by their clan for behaviors unmentioned. We started to take jobs that were more than a little illegal. Apparently we were more notorious than we knew, as one of the jobs we were involved in was busted and we had an interview with Mrs. Steelmaker, who asked us about the jungle at home. We answered her questions and were let go. We did some more jobs and finally, it was suggested that we go to this bar named Gradal’s and they would pay very well for a task.”

“The bar that the old spider uses as a proxy. What was the task?”

“Move some crates to a portal and port them through. We went to Ironton and talked to Jorge about getting a portal tracer. Rather than hire additional trucks, we used one truck and made five trips. We kept things tight and the boxes got to where they were supposed to on our end.”

“What was in the boxes?”

“The material from the Mage Queen’s vault, though officially, we didn’t know that.”

“Why did you complete the job?”

“We knew that the material had been in the hands of the Qinvaris once already and that it had been essentially handed to the Project people. So we were just moving things along and we were sure that the crates and anything inside were carrying microportals. Delivering the loads also established our cover.”

“Good. I trust you would have handled things differently if the material had actually been hot.”

“We actually had to talk to Jorge and have him reset the portal or the stuff would have ended up in Ishendell again and we would have had to do the thing all over again.”

“Then what did you do?”

“We took a job in Ironton with an entertainment manager who tried to get us to bust up a lady and her boyfriend. The blackmail scheme blew up in his face and we were out of a job, so we headed back to Chatsrey where the Lady’s proxy arranged for us to get a job from Barry Steelslash, who, after we did the job, tried to stiff us and arrange our deaths. We spotted the spider in Westerville while doing the job and told the Ironaxes that we had seen her and assisted in the spider’s end.”

“Very good. I hope that you have a report.”

“Several. Ours isn’t finished yet, but we got everyone else’s after Marian ran into her niece’s shotgun.”

“Finish up the report and go down to your uncle Suhghan’s place. I want you two to handle my end there and act as clan representatives as well as liaison with Major Tollings and the Umevan.”

“We’ll get there and send the report back. This is about the Scourging in the jungle, isn’t it?”

“Yes it is, and I should have pulled you earlier, but getting the spider information was important as well.”

“We had a good chance to see how the old spider operated, which we thought was something that you needed more than just dealing with Marian.”

“You are correct in that and that was your contract. You have fulfilled it and the client was pleased.”

“We also put some of Mrs. Steelmaker’s people in connection with the old spider. Since they are new to the Republic, the spider won’t pick up who they are really working for.”

“I imagine that you made Sarya happy as well.”

“We did and that was important to our success.”

“How so?”

“We were tasked to burn a warehouse. Doing that without cover could have been bad if things messed up.”

“Why did you have to burn the warehouse?”

“The client wanted some documents destroyed. The robbery was a cover.”

“Did you actually destroy the documents?”

“Since the material was related to the navy, the documents were ported to navy intelligence and the chief of staff’s office.”

“So the client thinks that the material has been destroyed and it was not. Very well done. Peble and Greldug might be annoyed.”

“We don’t think so, just from the glance that we got. The Plateau might be. One little accident that happened in the spider chase was that Senator Steelslash’s fixer had an encounter with a very hungry spider. He was sort of wrapped up and his guts sucked out.”

“That would be his nephew Barry. Don’t tell me that he was the one responsible for hiring you for the clean up.” Dumag started to laugh. “He was, wasn’t he?”

“Directly, if you can believe it. He was rather upset when we weren’t his perfect patsies for the warehouse fire. The boxes of banknote paper were not in our truck. They were in the warehouse that we were supposed to leave them in. So, Barry ended up looking rather suspicious. Of course he didn’t pay and sent some rough types to harass truckers.”

“Not you?”

“They were waiting by the wrong truck.”
 

 Clan Ironhead’s Domain
Tigerlilly found Derry at the camp the special section and the recovery team had set up and said, “You had stories about Faghig. The payloads have been recovered for the most part, so, tell them to me.”

“Ok. This goes back a couple of years. Do you know who the Protector is?”

“Yes. He’s Uncle Suhghan evil brother.”

“I would not have put things quite that way. But that is more or less correct.”

“So what did Faghig do to him?”

“Ok, a while back the Protector went to a meeting. Your Uncle Suhghan’s other brother called in some people to remove the Scourge devises that the Protector and some other members of the family had been hiding for a very long time. Among those people was a young half elf from the Portal Service named Jorge. After they ported the Scourge devise that was live to the Deadlands to go boom where it could not hurt anyone and entertain my neighborhood with a large boom, Faghig and his brother talked to Jorge about the meeting and some creative uses for a portal. Since the material was ready to hand, Jorge, Faghig, Jreghug and another man set up a devise to fling mud, as they call it, at the meeting with one way ports.”

“A little mud wouldn’t hurt very much.”

“Mud in the case was the more or less solid expulsion from farm animals, specifically cows.”

Tigerlilly gasped, put her hands to her cheeks and then started to laugh. “Cow poo! Faghig and the others dumped cow poo all over the Protector and his friends.”

“Yes. All over a very fancy palace where they were all having dinner. Even better, they were at the Clanchief’s house with most of the high status orcs and others when it happened. What they did was make a machine that flung the poo through the portal and could be started with a timer, so they did not have to be there when it went off.”

“That was a masterful prank. Of course the Protector deserves it. Are there more stories like that?”

“Not that I know. I haven’t even met Faghig or Jreghug yet. I have more Jorge stories, but I doubt that they would interest you. Of course, the four were punished for dumping the cow poo. ”

“How?”

“The Justiciar boys and their fae friends had all infiltrated the meeting, as cats. When the poo started, they were caught in it. They were not happy, and neither were their mothers, because they had to wash the cats. So the boys were able to get writs that allowed them half a twentieth to dump cow poo on all four of them.”

Tigerlilly laughed. She looked over Derry’s shoulder, screeched “Oh, no, he’s here!” and disappeared. Derry turned around and Major Tollings was coming with a pair of orcs. “Derry this is Jreghug and Faghig from the Champion’s office. I wanted them to coordinate with you when Skychaser returns and launches another set of payloads. Clanmembers, this is Derry Skychaser of Skychaser  Development, who is responsible for payload recovery.”

Derry laughed and Faghig said, “What is so funny?”

“I think that someone will be annoyed if I tell you. I think that she wants to introduce herself properly. She has been waiting here for you to come back for a long time.”

“Who?”

Miriam appeared and said, “There you are, Derry. Where is Tigerlilly? She was with you and I wanted to have her take me to see her brother.”

“Miriam, this is Faghig and Jreghug from the Champion’s office,” Jorge said. “Tigerlilly seems to have disappeared.”

 Miriam looked at the pair and laughed. Faghig looked at her and said, “Just what is going on? I just got here.”

“You went into the jungle a long time ago and got sick. You probably thought that some of what you experienced was a hallucination.”

“That happens. When I recovered, I was sent to military school in the Fellowship, the Academy and a commission. This is the first time that I have been this near home in eight years.”

“Why don’t you two come with me when I pull the last payload,” Derry said. “We pulled the film canister, but getting to it has been difficult and we needed to get a crane. We should be finishing up tomorrow. We can meet at your uncle’s in the morning”

“We’ll be there,” Jreghug said.

They left with Jorge and Tigerlilly reappeared. Derry grinned. “We’re going to be at the last payload in the morning, Tigerlilly. You can be ready to introduce yourself properly.”

Tigerlilly pouted. “Now I owe you a favor.”

Miriam laughed. “Let’s go see if we can get your brother out of his cave, Tigerlilly.”

“You’ve been trying to help.”

“He’s hardly the only fae struck by radiation recently. The fae healers and some doctors in the Republic have been trying to deal with the issues. You should know that your brother is lucky and going lost child is not exactly unique. Also, being a landdragon is not a bad thing.”

“Some landdragons that I know may think differently,” Derry said with a grin, “at least after they are mobbed by kids. On the other hand, your brother is in very good company and if he really wants to hide, I know an island he might like to visit.”

“An island might suit him. But I don’t think that it is a good idea. Make sure that you bring Faghig. Miriam, we need to talk to a cranky landdragon.”

Chapter 4.

The base.

Blackfire looked at the gathered Project leaders and said, “Ornthalus and I have made some changes to the plan. The Lower city portion of the plan is far riskier if detected, but will require fewer resources. What we propose is to send a compelled slave into the Mana Service with a mana battery that he will cause to spontaneously drain, causing an explosion that will destroy the Mana Service. There will be similar attacks at the Conclave and other targets in the Lower City. We will occupy Semmont, which should be empty and conduct operations from there. Another strike will assault the estate and take over. We should be able to cover all objectives and still cover the Base. We will also use Animators to create Inanimates in Semmont, Vesticour and Clerves. They will be used to deflect Mortal Kingdom and Qinvaris forces from Semmont long enough to take over the mana sources. At the point, the suppressors will be deployed.”

“That seems to be straightforward,” Arafiel said. “Once the suppressors are deployed, we will have control.”

“That was what we believed the first time. The problem is that far too many people are of high potential and resistant to compulsion. That will be exacerbated by the fact that suppressors were already deployed in the Empire. We can deploy them in the Orcenlands and the Fellowship and will, but subverting the Fellowship army will be difficult and the Qinvaris militia will probably be immune to a large degree.”

“What about the Sanctuary?” Amaris asked. “Recovering the folly could be crucial.”

“Pushing forward in the northlands will be part of the second phase. We will use Jumpers to transport troops to hold the tunnel and then the main body will move from the estate and additional Protectors and enhanced will be woken from stasis as things move forward.”

“You haven’t mentioned the Projector mirror. Was it destroyed?”

“It might as well be. Somebody on the other side tied a Projector to the mirror and then never fired the Projector, so they have control and haven’t given it up. So, no heavy Projector bombardment.”

“Haciathra, who has the seemings at present?” Jastira asked.

“Haciathra, Usunaar and Ornthalus are here. Móreliante has Jastira, Isarrel, Ilyana, Ayre Eiljeon, Arafiel. Tannator is in the custody of a Ravathyra slave, Caifiel is asleep and was last in the hands of the Stewards, Amaris is in the Broadaxe bank, but hasn’t been activated for some time.”

“That says that a lot of our allies no longer exist. Can a meeting be arranged with those that are left?”

“That may have difficulties,” Blackfire said. “The allies are known and those of us who were outside have very large bounties on our heads as a result of the Scourging of the five Cities. I would say that it is better off to initiate contact when things have begun. There is also the problem of where to hold the meeting. If the location is discovered, we would find ourselves in difficulties rather rapidly.”

“Why not here? We use the portals to bring them, controlling the ports from here. Then we can meet here in comfort.”

“The portals are not secure. On the other hand, nothing else is. Set it up that way.”

“Excellent. Arafiel, set the portals up. Haciathra, contact the allies, tell them the portal instructions and to come in a five day. I don’t think that waiting is in our best interest.”

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