The Legacies of Lyrei, Chapter 61-62

The war goes on. The Project starts to realize some things.

Chapter 61.

The South Republic

Thaetmaeg looked at the map, turned to the others and said, “We seem to be on top of this. Dan, tell Richard thank you for being so open with how he did things.”

“I will, Thaetmaeg. We kept the Blight from spreading and contained.”

 Thadock looked at the map, the harvested fields and the Blighted fields and said, “The country owes Richard a huge debt.”

“Did he send all his combines down?” Geral asked. “That was expensive.”

“I don’t know. You would have to ask Osmond.”

“Osmond?”

“Not all of them. Most of what we came down with was Blight response teams. This way we get to test the things we come up with under real world conditions.”

“I’m surprised that you came down at all, Osmond,” Bill said. “Don’t you have a Seat at the Conclave?”

“I do, but my son and daughter took the Conclave this time, since with Luggergate and the expected launch of the Blight, I was going to be needed here.”

“We’re glad to have you again,” Thaddock said.

The Beinan Estate.

Iolas turned to the others and said, “We have a tap for the Portal Service.”

Wyrran grinned and turned to Adiun. “Should we start the portals up or let things ride?”

“I’ll tell Folmon and Tathaln and see what they say, but let’s leave things as they are. Wyrran, you need to drive down to Fayspire.”

“I’m on suppressor duty. I know. We won’t have Cornaith, but we should have everybody else. What if they don’t use them?”

“They will. They won’t feel safe unless they have control.”

“Then they will be at full power, right from the start. We never did any testing to see what that did.”

“You didn’t, but they did in Desert Howl,” Adiun said. “Late at night, so they didn’t mess up radio, and with volunteers. Of course, in Desert Howl, the problem was finding people susceptible to compulsions in the first place.” 

Desert Howl

Bill came into the kitchen and his mother said, “Bill, you didn’t send a message that you would be coming home late.”

“We stayed up for a five day to make some arrangements. Jorge and Nat have a project that I can’t talk about.”

“Not even to me and your father?”

“Not yet. Jimmy and I are taking Nat and Jorge out looking for a place near the Deadlands.”

“Why?”

“We’re having something shipped and we need a place to put things together. We talked to Harald and he had a place before he ported everything to the vault.”

“You’re not using the vault?”

“We think that doing that will be too obvious and if we are in and out, the other side could spring a surprise attack.”

“Where is this place you are looking for?”

“We’re not sure. Near the plant or Skychaser’s.”

Terrel came into the kitchen and said, “You have returned, Bill.”

“I just got here. I flew down with Jorge and Nat.”

“Flew?”

“Jorge recruited me for a project he and Nat started for his grandfather.”

“Bigger than your things?”

“Yes. I can’t say very much about it right now. I’m involved because I have title to the things involved.”

“They came from the vault, didn’t they? Feno and I will want to be involved. We were hoping to have you for another project.”

“Yes. Nat was working up at the estate and Jorge’s grandfather wanted him down in the Republic to continue the work.”

“Where is Harald?”

“I have him. I think that we will need him to speed things up. The Project has taken over the estate.”

“That’s not good,” Terrel said.

Feno looked at the objects on the bench and grinned. The idea had been rather crazy, but it had turned out to work. Even the thinnest iron wire or sheet prevented the suppressor from compelling a subject. Testing with strainers and other such things had looked silly, but the testing had proven to be valuable. A screen over the top of the head and the suppressor was useless, at least the Amplifier was. Unfortunately they hadn’t been able to make radio work when the suppressor was activated.

Chapter 62.

The Umevan Estate

Py watched as the Jumper emerged and landed. So far, things had been peaceful and the estate was allowed to operate as it normally did. On the other hand, after taking the estate, the Project had essentially ignored it, probably because the Project was pursuing other things and taking over the estate had almost been an afterthought. So far, the Project had not attempted to penetrate the dam or do much else other than occupy the guard posts. Py hoped that the Jumper did not signal a change.

Dúhael and Mórsairon emerged from the Jumper with Arafiel and Ornthalus. Ornthalus looked around and said, “The Umevan work fast. There have been a lot of changes in the last few years.”

“This was just since they took over,” Mórsairon said.

“Is there any chance of manufacturing cores?”

“Stadlee said that the fuel rods had all been poisoned,” Arafiel replied. “The fissionable Plutonium has been mixed with too much nonfissionable Plutonium.”

“You believed him.”

“The process of extracting the fuel rods would be lengthy and dangerous in any case.”

“Nat did it to us again,” Dúhael snarled.

“Who is Nat?” Ornthalus asked.

“Nat was our chief technician. I thought of him as a liability, he managed to get his hands on the evacuation list for Lain Othrond, ensure that all the technical staff stayed behind, locked us in the assembly area, arranged for the staff to evacuate and then turned the entire thing over to the enemy.”

“Then he is very capable indeed.”

“Why don’t we show you the prize,” Mórsairon said.

They went to the building where the fusors were operating. Ornthalus and Arafiel looked at the panel. Rather mournfully, Arafiel said, “I have spent a very long life wanting this. I have wanted this since I heard that Harald was working on it. He refused me, even after he married my cousin. He refused us even after we blasted and Scourged his place in the wilds. He hid it in a vault on an island that was almost impossible to get to, the vault was almost impossible to open and protected. Now, here is not one, but two, operating. We must deal with this with extreme care. We must also look for this Nat and the rest that made these work.”

“We won’t find anything here,” Dúhael snarled. “The old elf will have made certain of that.”

Ornthalus frowned. “Could we obtain him?”

“We would need to be careful,” Mórsairon looked at the others. “The problem is that he is at the Conclave and abducting us would force the other Seats to turn against us directly.”

“Do they matter?”

“I don’t know. On the other hand, we will need the Empire at some point.”

Stadlee entered the room and said, “May I help you, milords?”

“Where is Tad?” Mórsairon asked. “I am surprised he isn’t here?”

“I am not sure where he is at present. He could be at the Conclave with my wife or any of a number of places.”

“Why would a slave woman be at the Conclave?”

“You would have to ask my wife or the mistress. I try to stay out of their schemes as much as I can.”

Ornthalus laughed. “That is a very interesting approach.”

“It has been difficult the last two years, when the estate was restored and the Lady let my wife loose on the unsuspecting world. She wasted no time finding some other ladies and indulging herself.”

“We are wasting time,” Arafiel snarled. “Slave, how do you control the devises?”

“There is a tablet that controls the devises. As I told Lords Dúhael and Mórsairon, I do not know where the tablet is.”

“Set the people to search for it.”

“That would do you no good, unless you had a key. The only ones who have a key are Lord Umevan and Nat. I do not have a key. We can conduct a search, but the tablet could be anywhere.”

“Open the doors to the devises?”

“As long as the devises are operating, the security locks are closed. The doors will not open, due to the radiation hazard.”

“So, without the tablet we cannot shut the devises down, and without shutting them down, they cannot be accessed.” Arafiel turned to Ornthalus. “This is the Sanctuary all over again.”

“Not completely. If necessary, we can take stronger actions here. Let us see if we can find Lord Umevan. He seems to be at the center of the problems here.”

“At least we can complete our primary mission. Let us have the suppressor in place and ready to go.”

The Junglelands

Jorge had arrived at the thin border of jungle that surrounded the Project’s base just as the shields had gone up. Between the pair of shields was a barrier of the same sort of material that had been used to construct the buildings in Ishendell, at least on this side of the base. The trick would be poking around the wall without being detected. That wasn’t going to be easy. After one last look at the wall, Jorge prepared to Jump back to the camp. He couldn’t sense his Jump anchors. The project had started a suppressor.

The Base

The Jumper landed and Ornthalus, Arafiel, Dúhael and Mórsairon got out. Tannator and the general joined them. “Are things ready for the next stage?”

“As well as they can be. We should proceed.”

“Yes, we should.”

Seriellia was taking her daily walk when a satchel dropped in front of her. A voice said, “Yralissa says hi. This is for you.”

“What is it?”

“A Jimmy pack.”

“What?”

“Look and you will see. Bye now.”

Seriellia looked around and there was nothing.

Ornthalus looked at the others around the table and said, “We will launch at 02:00. The suppressors will be delivered to the target locations. Mórsairon, are you sure that all the existing suppressors will not synchronize?”

“The existing suppressors that activated during my brother’s attempted takeover have been deactivated and dismantled. I will add that there is a good chance that the suppressors will be found and deactivated if they do not synchronize very quickly. All steps should be taken to ensure that they have a good access to mana to draw on. If the other side can close enough mana sources, the devises will shut down and be dismantled very quickly.”

“We could provide guards.”

“Not initially. Any guard would be destroyed very quickly. That will change when the suppressors are active, of course.”

“In any case, we will proceed.”

The Lower City

The various Silverin that lived in the Lower City joined to send one of their own to the fire on the plaza in front of the residence. Ilyithe stood and said, “I was the only one of us who spoke with him. He was a hero. He resisted the compulsions and insisted that I kill him to prevent more deaths. We do not know his name, but he was what our House should be. With this torch, I send one of our own to the gods. I pray that we remember his example if we are in the same position. We take strength from his death.”

Ilyithe set the torch to the pyre. Airdan joined her, put his arm around her and said, “He saved us all.”

 “He did. I hope that we can find out where he came from and how he came to be where he was.”

“We owe him that.”

Ilrune watched the gathering. He had been tasked with collecting intelligence for Lady Petris in the Lower City as Haladavar was handling the Conclave and the Cloud City. He took notes and then went to the booth set up next to the ruined telegraph office to send a message to the lady. The guard at night was light and the more or less abandoned warehouse was open. He had made sure of that.

The Jumper emerged from Jump and set down in the empty yard next to the warehouse. Dark shapes unloaded a crate and using a hand truck, pushed the crate into the warehouse. Putting the hand truck where they found it, they returned to the Jumper, which lifted off and disappeared. A Lower City guard was patrolling and saw the Jumper leave. When he finished his patrol, he added the fact that the Jumper had been there to his nightly report. Then he went home and bed.

The Palen Estate.

No one saw the Jumper land or the suppressor being placed, since the estate was still restricted. The suppressor set up, the crew returned to the Jumper and it left.

The Fellowship, outside Zirgoccol.

The farm had been purchased by Ayre Eiljeon as a discreet place for tasks and then the fields leased. The Jumper set down and unloaded its cargo. Another suppressor was set up. The Jumper left again, leaving the farm as it had been when it arrived.

The Petris Estate.

Alerted by Ilyana, Isarrel had had the barn prepared and the slaves in the isolated part of the estate sent to other estates. So far, the rest of the family had not noticed. The Jumper emerged and landed. Quickly, the suppressor was set up and activated. Isarrel watched as it left and smiled. Returning to her sedan chair, she returned to the estate house and activated Ilyana. “The task is performed.”

Ilyana  displayed a picture. “I have another small task. If you can, see what you can find out about this man. He was last known to be living on the Umevan estate, but he is not there now.”

“Do you have his particulars?”

“Here they are.”

“Very well. With the portals down, it may take some time.”

The Empty Lands

The building had been restored long ago by the Darkmage, and then, except for the occasional crew sent to repair and maintain the ancient structure, ignored. The Jumper set down and the suppressor was placed in the space prepared for it. The task complete, the crew returned to the Jumper, which rose up and disappeared.

Fayspire

Guillas had been called in when the detector had shown suppressors activating. He looked at the screen and there was one in the Empty Lands and nine others in the Fellowship, the Empire, the Mortal Kingdoms and the Orcenlands. Fortunately for the Beinan Fayspire Plant, he had received a message from Desert Howl and quickly made a visit to the hardware store. The suppressor crew and the rest of the plant looked silly wearing strainers, but they were not affected by the compulsions. Terry came into the room and laughed. “What’s the joke?”

“Wire prevents the suppressors from compelling anyone. I could get the strainers fast.”

“How many suppressors are active and where?”

“Ten so far. You can see where on the panel. The devises we had here tried to synchronize, but they can’t activate in any case.”

“Let’s make a map showing where the devises are. I need to go on a hunt.”

“The devises are all synchronized and the Amplifiers are running. Find the people that make strainers and get as many screens as you can. We don’t need the handles.”

Terry laughed. “I’ll start making calls.”

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