Those Who Would Be Gods, Chapter 43-44

Two girls drop off a basket at the Carayarus Estate. Things happen in Clikitat.

Chapter 43.

The Carayarus Estate

“He’s gone.”

“Yes he is, Daisy. You heard things at same time that I did. We knew that the boys were leaving again.”

“The tiger was a mistake.”

“For the tiger it was. It was supposed to eat that Silverin girl so that the big meanie would be scared. Now it’s dead and the Silverin girl is with the Lord.”

“That has been so romantic.”

Hibiscus laughed. “All mushy and everything.”

“But Filvy is gone.”

“You knew he was going to go and you didn’t introduce yourself.”

“I was trying to be mysterious and he was busy.”

“Yes they were. Naevys didn’t have any problems.”

“She was fun, wasn’t she?”

“Yes she was. Now grab Pyria’s basket so that we can fill it for her.”

“Why?”

“Because we owe her for that stupid tiger.”

Pyria grinned as she picked up the rather full basket that had been left there next to the back door. She wasn’t sure who was filling it every morning, but almost since she had come to the house, the basket had been filled and left. Waving her thanks, she went inside, where the four nephews were planning their day. They had taken the workroom behind the kitchen as their plotting space and putting maps they made from the pictures, and some pictures themselves on the walls, they were clearing roads and paths and investigating the family’s legacy. After some persuasion from Dan, and a visit by Derry Gilders, who had come with a lot of material from the State Department, the four had decided to abandon their drug running scheme. Instead, with the fall and Winterfaire approaching, they had started to send things to the Republic to be sold in the House’s stores in the Republic, guided by Roshia and her friends. Pyria passed through the workroom into the kitchen where Cook’s wife saw the basket and said, “The fae folk have gifted you again, milady?”

“Is that who is doing it?”

“It must be. Your lout brother would hardly get up that early and go into the woods and the boys are gone.”

“Do you think that somebody misses the boys?”

“Who knows. The faery folk, with some exceptions, are mysterious.”

The bell for the door went off and Cook said, “Milady, we have a guest. The lord should find someone for that.”

“I will get it, since the louts are occupied with their plotting.”

Pyria walked through the house to the front door and opened it to two men in strange uniforms. The one on the right said, “Milady Carayarus, I am Captain Bronzerock and this is Chief Meadows. We understand that you have some unusual devises that could go boom.”

“I am Pyria and am not the lady of the house, though I have had to take on the tasks. Come, and I will take you to the Lord.

Renynn looked at the four billets still in their wrapping and grinned. He had expected to use the wrought iron trade bars lined up along the forge wall, the crucibles in the melt shop across the way and some scrap to make bars of crucible steel. That would have been a worthy effort, but time consuming. Then Tom had sent these, from Umevan Steel and they had been as good as stock he would have expected from the Republic or the Fellowship. Horal was looking at the bars and said, “Lord Harper likes you, milord. This is fine stock, the same as I would get from the Fellowship. The dwarves’ stock is not so fine.”

“The Umevan must have an electric arc furnace someplace on the continent. They had that project in the Orcenlands years ago, but that went bust in clan infighting. They must have taken it over and started things up. Pyria, who is this?”\

“Milord, this is Captain Bronzerock and Chief Meadows from the Republic. They are here to look at the things that the louts found.”

“Pyria, you shouldn’t call them that.”

“Do you disagree?”

“Not at all, and you know that. But we shouldn’t say it out loud. Your fae friends might hear.”

“I’m sure that they know all about them already.”\

“Go and get Dan. We are going to need him for this. Captain, Chompers must have told you what we found. I am Renynn Carayarus, by the way.”

“He did tell me. He also said that Dan had been in Ordnance with army for his Service and had disarmed the bombs.”

“He did. We’ve ignored the place since.”

“I have my lieutenant, Tim Brownlow, on the way with some trucks. When he arrives, we will take the things and send them to the Retreat to be dismantled.”

“Why there?”

“Because the navy shares a facility with the Imperial Navy there and the devises are not Scourge devises. I can use the facilities there, the retreat has portals and I can get things from Ishendell, Fayspire and the Sanctuary without a great deal of difficulty.”

Pyria returned with Dan who said, “Captain, you probably don’t remember me, but I took your course about three years ago. I was in the army and you had an exchange program.”

“That was just before I left for the Empire and Scourge devises.”

“Yes it was. I missed that fun. How big an idiot was that fool in Luggergate?”

“As bad as it gets. You know my rules about perimeters.”

“Only the personnel actually working on the devises inside the perimeter.”

“The senior agent was the reason I had that rule. Milord, Dan and I could probably talk shop for a long time, so we will get out of your hair and on to the site.”

“Horal and I will go with you, captain.”

“No, you will not, milord!” Pyria said. “Willow is coming this morning to look you over for the final time with Miriam. So you are not to be gallivanting in the woods even on GPs. Now let’s all return to the house and Dan and the captain can share stories until the lieutenant gets here, Willow and the doctor can look you over and then you all can go out to the devises after lunch.”

Willow turned to Amrynn and said, “You can poke around while I look at Lord Carayarus.”

“There’s Miriam, so you two can double team the poor sod. Triple team him, as you have Pyria as an ally.”

Pyria had pushed Renynn to his bedroom and forced him to wait until she brought Willow and Miriam in. Grinning, she left Renynn in the room with the two fae who went over him and pronounced him more or less healed. Leaving him to get dressed, they found Pyria and Willow said, “Is there a horse here?”

“No, why?”

“I will have some sent from the estate. Have the lord ride at least four times a week and ride with him. You can ride, can you not?”

“Yes.”

“Can you swim?”

“Yes.”

“I saw the remains of a pool in a greenhouse. Harvest is ongoing so getting people to do the work is going to be difficult so getting that repaired will have to wait. The important thing is to get him to stretch and not just work in the forge. Miriam apparently had difficulty the last time. If you can get him on a couch, that would be even better.”

“What are you saying?”

“You are Silverin. It would almost certainly not be the first time for you and you were attending the Prophet. I am a crude sort, so you know what I am saying. Bounce him silly. You want to anyway.”

Pyria blushed. “I want it to mean something.”

“It will. I can see that. I don’t think that what you have is just a dalliance.”

“He hasn’t pushed.”

“He has been injured in more than one way. I can heal his physical wounds, but he needs somebody to deal with his other wounds.”

“It will take time.”

“It will, but that is life.”

 Using a guide he spelled up, Amrynn followed almost hidden paths through the woods heading more or less toward the grove. He was fairly sure that he was close when a fae appeared and said, “I can’t figure you out.”

“What do you mean?”

“You are a mage, I can sense that and that guide you are using proves that. Yet you feel fae as well.”

“I have a bond and that brought some changes to my life.”

“I am Tiger. What is your name?”

“I am Amrynn some of the time, but I prefer Oak. You hide very well. My bonded did not sense you at all.”

“The hiding was necessary as there were bad folk doing things here. Are you of the Carayarus? There were mages in the family long ago.”

“No. My House was Ranan, but I left them long ago. I am House Qinvaris now.”

“The House that surrounds us. The House with the Ghost as lord.”

Amrynn laughed. “Obviously you have never met him.”

“You have?”

“I really shouldn’t be here today, as the harvest is ongoing and my bonded is a senior healer for the House.”

“What do you do?”

“I am a teacher for the House.”

“The Carayarus have returned. Do you know why?”

“You probably are annoyed by the others that have been squatting. So was Richard. So he looked for the Carayarus and found them.”

Tiger laughed. “That is the Ghost’s subtlety. He never chooses a direct path when he can hide his hand.”

“Yes. I can arrange for you to meet him.”

“There were some boys here from the Carayarus. They left and my daughter was disappointed.”

“She was trying to drag one of them into the woods.”

“Yes. The girls were rather foolish and set that tiger on the girl that was sent to pick berries. That has ended well, but the girls found the boys afterwards and were a bit too nervous to show themselves.”

“The boys returned home for college. Should I encourage Lord Renynn to bring them back?”

“I think that we should let things go along as they will. This has been interesting conversation, mage.”

“Yes it has.”

Rob looked at the thing on its cart and said, “This is not a Scourge devise, but this is set up to launch them the same way.”

“What do you think that these did?” Renynn asked.

“We should talk to Richard’s people, especially Roger, but I think that these empty spaces are for Blight canisters. I think that these are Blight bombs.”

“The things that were sent to the Mage Queen’s lands during the Mage Wars?”

“You did your classwork.”

“A college project.”

“Richard and his sons will want to see that.”

“I’m not sure if I still have it. Mother may.”

“We’ll take these with us. There is Delion to sign off on the removal.”

“Inquisitor Delion? He has a reputation even in the Republic.”

Rob grinned. “He does, which is why I called him in. This isn’t some Scourge devises where the procedures are set and certain idiots might meddle. If they see Delion handling it, it’s probably nonsense.”

Delion arrived and with a crystal, started to take pictures. He turned to Rob and said, “That should be adequate for my wild eyed report. What do you think that these did?”

“My best guess is that they are Blight bombs.”

“I will have to raise some panic then. We stopped looking for places like this when we found all the Scourge devises. Let me stamp the order and you can get a better look at them. I would set my boys and their friends to looking for more of these places, but some girls disappeared and the boys are looking for them.”

“Tell the boys that the cult is here.”

“I think that they know. They are looking for the ones that are hidden.”

Chapter 44.
RNS Ironaxe

“Message for you from fleet, sir.”

Del took the message, opened it and grinned. “Thank you, seaman.”

He turned to Dalag. “Progress and Diligent sank another of those super subs. I think that I will take this to the major.”

Dalag smiled. “Another one not sinking Republican ships.”

Del went forward where the major and Terrel were watching the installation of a catapult for the unpiloted aircraft and joined them. After exchanging salutes, Del handed the message to Jorge and said, “Sub spotted, sub sunk.”

Jorge handed the message to Terrel who grinned. “Diligent gets another one. If they keep this up, the enemy will start to take the survey ships seriously.”

“They should. Of course the question they should be asking is if Diligent and Progress are there, what else can show up.”

Clikitat

Ahba had watched the boy and the crews of the ships as they had come ashore for trading and possibly spying. The smaller ship had been in the bay, not making contact ashore for a five day. Then the battle with the demon had occurred as the second ship had arrived. Now both ships had stayed for the five days since the battle. Ahba’s spies had told him that the crew of the smaller ship had taken advantage of the boy to trade interesting things for various things in the bazaars and markets. Now, a five day after the battle, in full regalia, the vizier stepped out to greet the captains. With the boy translating he asked for a tour of the vessels.

The captains had acceded and he had been taken by boat to Progress, the larger vessel. After several twentieths of touring the vessels, Ahba had returned to the palace and the Pasha. The Pasha grinned as he entered and said, “Was that productive?”

“It was, mahid.”

“Did they suspect that you spoke common?”

“If they did, they were very careful to not show it. They also did not test me where that was concerned. On the other hand, I suspect that they know.”

“Did you discover their true reasons for being here?”

“They are very concerned about the demon’s hide. That has been obvious since they arrived. They have seafolk as crew and were quite open about asking what had happened to the seafolk here.”

“So they know what is below the bay.”

“They do. I suspect that Diligent has had seafolk exploring the ruins below and searching out the entrance to the demon’s hide. I am also sure that they laid a trap for the demon and the assault was planned.”

“Did you see the demon’s crew?”

“I did not. They were probably kept in the part of the ship that was off limits.”

“The hidden will want them back.”

“Should I tell the captains that the Pasha demands the crew?”

 The Pasha sighed “We are caught in the middle. Wait until I am contacted by the hidden. So far they have been silent.”

“I think that there are more ships coming. There is more going on than just mapping the coast and trading. Otherwise the demon would not have been sunk. I think that the Republic is hunting the hidden.”

“They are either very powerful or very foolish.”

“I suspect that they are very powerful.”

“Then we shall see what how the hidden respond.” 

RNS Progress

Vince looked across at Clikitat in the darkness and grinned. Hal and Nebula had found both the hidden portals and someone was going to get a surprise when they tried to use either one. The portals would operate properly, as destination portals. As transmitting portals, they would send anyone who used them to the Justiciar’s cell block and a chat. Vince looked on as a boat motored from Diligent and turned toward Progress.  The boat came alongside and Vince could see Lieutenant Seachaser and Chief Wavechaser expertly climb up the accommodation ladder and head up to the bridge. When they reached the bridge, they saluted and Vince said, “What brings you here?”

“We were digging in Scylla and found some things, including a map of their hidden base. The captain wants you to hand the material over when you rendezvous with Ironaxe after you leave here tomorrow.”

Vince smiled. “I can do that. Anything else?”

“Not now, but we have a bunch of stuff from the bower that was wrecked below. We’ll deal with that after the major gets here.” 

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