The Intrigues of The Plateau, Chapter 29-30

Iezzen and Alinar find some squatters. The admiral decides to go to Desert Howl.

Chapter 29.

The Qinvaris Estate, Istrosia region.

Iezzen banked the plane as Alianar watched the estate that they were flying over. Looking at the smoke from the chimneys, Alinar put the camera to his eye and trapped the shutter. “I think we have them.”

“It could be some other squatters.”

“These five estates were all House Carayarus before the usual. They are near the fifty estates and should be empty.”

“What happened to the House?”

“As I said, the usual. The Hunter, exile, the family smashed and then the estates raided for the people until the places were empty. There was probably something here that the Project wanted and there is a library on the main estate someplace. Circle around again, so I can get some more pictures.”

Chapter 30.

The Lower City.

Llag must have been looking for Derry as he appeared in front of him while Derry was walking past the park. “Found you.”

“What did you need?”

“Is there a list of exile families in the Republic?”

“Why?”

“I’ve been tasked to find some exiles and I have the feeling that I have been taking the wrong approach. I could send to my family, but that could get problematic. On the other hand, you worked in Congress and probably know the right office to go to and keep it quiet.”

“You want to find people in the Republic, but not make it obvious that you are doing so.”

“This has to do with your gold star friends. They perpetrated some assaults down in Lord Qinvaris’s property and then up and disappeared. The Qinvaris are pretty sure that they have found the Prophet and his acolytes, but getting them out through the compelled would not be easy and would get a lot of people killed.”

“Why look for the family?”

“We think that there were reasons for the exile and that the cult taking up residence there on that estate isn’t an accident. Finding the family would be a big step forward. In any case, I thought that you would be a good person to help with this.”

“I am, actually, but not because of the reason that you might think. The government didn’t keep track of the exiles because there was an aversion to poking into people’s lives and keeping track of those things would be laborious and expensive. The exiles didn’t keep to a group like the dragonkin did, probably, because, like my grandmother, they came over singly or in small batches. On the other hand, my mother and her mother like to track the histories of the exiles and who they are. So they do have lists that they have compiled. That is by no means all of them, but it will be most of them.”

“That sounds like something that I can set my sister on, since she is going to want to be speaking with your mother all too soon, as will my mother. My sister will want to return to the Republic in any case. That will work well for this. Are you free? My wife would like to invite you to dinner.”

“I’m free. I will be there this evening. Uh oh.”

Llag looked. “They came back.”

“Yes they did. They found clubs someplace. They have also surrounded the kids.”

“Yes they have. There’s Willow, in the middle of things, as usual. Now they have done it.”

Willow had just dodged a club swung at her.

“Should we step in? They could hurt the kids.”

“Like the last time? That clown only got a fist on Willow because she let him. I should remind you that these are the kids that the Flight Instructor uses for the Program, the Dragonboys anyway, though the other kids get involved too. Ouch, that must have hurt. Slam, right into that rock. He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t lose any teeth. Willow is just leading the idiot on. There he goes again. There’s Garat acting the scared teenager, standing up to the bully. The idiot took a swing at him. As is if “Orc!” was insult. Garat, you shouldn’t have started that.” Garat had started the first moves of the Dance and the cultist suddenly looked very scared. Suddenly whistles blew and Alen arrived with a squad of the Lower City guard. The cultists were surrounded and Alen stepped forward. “I have contacted Lord Silverin about you, and he does not acknowledge that you all are beholden to him. So you have become my problem. You all have been warned about committing violent acts against the children and to stay out of the park. You apparently have not taken the warnings seriously. Very well, a fine of a hundred gold, payable in a five day. If the fine is not paid, you all will be collared and whoever pays the fine has you as their property. If no one else pays, the fine is transferred to Lord Silverin and you are his problem.”

Alen wrote the writ and stuffed it in the head cultist’s pocket. “You are also banned from the park. Guards. Take them to their quarters, if you would.”

Llag and Derry joined Alen and Derry asked, “Do you think that they will pay, milord? Do you think that they can afford to pay?”

“They can, if they have been saving that money they collect at their meetings. It shouldn’t be a problem unless they make a habit of going after the children, some of whom are Silverin, as they should have realized. The House is rather annoyed, which is compounded by the fact that my daughter’s wedding to Prince Airdan has been delayed and that is annoying my wife, mother and some other ladies greatly. Derry, Llag, I think I must be off.”

Wyrran grinned as the cage slipped around the devise. This and the devise on the Petris estate were the last two. Caging them should force all the devises into shutdown. The enemy had already tried to remove the cages on the first two devises, only to see them replaced almost immediately. There had been no other attempts to stop the shutdown and now, with the last two being shutdown today, the cages would shut them all down and Wyrran and his team could shut them down permanently. Some of the Lower city fae kids must have noticed him, because they came over as the team was closing things down. A fae girl said, “Mage Wyrran, what was in there? It was giving us headaches.”

“A suppressor. It won’t be able to do that anymore. You all should be able to Jump again too.”

The kids all cheered. One of them must have reached for a Jump point because he said, “I can sense some of my anchors.”

The boy disappeared and the others followed suit. They returned with caffee, fizzy drinks and sandwiches for the crew and the party started.

The Base.

The chief technician looked at the block of red squares and said, “That’s the lot. Whoever they were, they had replacement cages up even before we returned. No more suppressors.”

“We weren’t told about the first time,” the technician growled. “We tried to get the advantage and the other side of this was working on the problem right from the start and probably even before.”

“At least we haven’t lost any mana sources, yet.”

“Yet.”

Arafiel looked at Amaris and said, “I think that this is what we were looking for. This book has all sorts of information on how to setup the fusors as they are called here and other information, including coding a tablet.”

“Are there fabrication instructions?”

“No. This is what Harald would give a House that he sold a fusor to.”

“He wouldn’t sell one to us.”

“No, he would not. He said that the devise was not ready for sale.”

“He sold one to the Silverin.”

“There may have been reasons. We can hardly ask now.”

Amaris grinned. “We could ask the seeming.”

“We would have to obtain it first.”

“We can discuss that with Haciathra.”

Ishendell

Ben tapped a message out on the transmitter as he did every day. He waited and then the sounder sounded the return message. He turned to Lou and the others in the control center and said, “We have radio. We are back in business.”

The small room filled with the cheers of the various people inside.

The Arsenal, Cleadsgate

Peble came into Drannor’s office and said, “I have updated position reports from the fleet, sir.”

“We have radio again?”

“We do, sir.”
“Keep that quiet for the time being. If the Secretary doesn’t know that we can communicate with the fleet again, he won’t be looking to ask me to change dispositions that we don’t want changed right now.”

“On the one hand, I can’t argue with you. On the other, we are stepping over a line that Admiral Harper was careful never to step over.”

“I know. On the other hand, Tom never had to deal with an Administration that was possibly acting for an enemy.”

“I would look into things right before Admiral Fielding had his stroke. We were a lot closer to that than we should have been. Of course, we didn’t know as much about the enemy as we do now.”

“I doubt that you are talking about the Fellowship.”

“I am not. Tom and then Ambassador Cloudrunner were working to improve relations with the Fellowship and the naval limitations treaty was in the process of being negotiated. On the other hand, the Ravathyra raids were continuing.”

“Have my pilots, whoever has that duty, prep my plane. I want to fly down to Desert Howl after we get an update on the situation here and see what is going on now that I am not stuck here. We probably won’t make it out tomorrow, but I want us down there before the end of the five day. Then I want to move forward to Millport. Who is assigned as the High Admiral’s pilot, anyway?”

“I think I will let you meet them, sir. I think that they will surprise you.”

“More spies from my predecessor?”

“Not precisely. Let me send the messages. You are certainly not wasting any time.”

“There is a war, whether the Administration believes in it or not. Sitting around here isn’t going to get things done. I was stuck here too long, since I couldn’t afford to be out of communication. Now I can go places and see what I can do.”

“Yes sir!”

“Tell Captains Bronzerock and Willings to join us for lunch and we can prepare an agenda for Desert Howl.”
“Why Captain Bronzerock?”
“Because he knows more about Scourge devises than just about everyone else and if the FSA people are going to be using them to make their case, I want to have an expert who knows what he is talking about.

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 )

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