November 11, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Taikie was looking shocked. Enrie didn’t blame her; she felt as if she’d fallen off the side of a mountain and she had, in one way or another, been watching this fall coming for quite a while.
Saydrie looked like he’d pushed them both. Enrie took his hand carefully. “Saydrie, I’m going to remind you that I’m the one who decided to go digging into a missing treaty, Taikie’s the one that put up a goat urinating on the Philosophy Professor, Riensin’s the one that –”
“Riensin!” Taikie sat straight up. “We just left him there talking to Instructor Dainanan.”
“It’s not as if we left him being tortured or hanging off the side of a building, Taikie. Besides, I think this is really team business, don’t you?”
“Yes?” Taikie slouched. “Yes, I mean, and yet – he helped us find the information. He helped us arrange the prank on Instructor Pelnyen.”
“He did,” Enrie agreed carefully. “But this could be a lot more serious. As angry as Pelnyen got, we were well within rules and laws and everything else with that prank. This…” She shook her head. “Anyway. Saydrie.” She turned her attention back to him. “Saydrie, this isn’t your fault. Any of it. And I won’t let you get in trouble for it.”
He tilted his head at her, more of a bow than a nod. “I appreciate the sentiment.”
“Appreciate that it is true, as well.” She squeezed his hand and released it. “We can do this. We can do anything together. That’s what the team is all about, and it’s what we’re going to do with it, as a team. Okay?”
“Okay,” Taikie whispered. Saydrie just nodded.
“You said you thought you might be able to figure something out, Saydrie?” It was as if Enrie was watching herself. She was being calm and in-charge, as if she did this sort of thing every day, even while another part of her sat in a corner and gibbered. They could be changing their entire world.
“Yeah. Yes. But we’re going to be late for class.” He pointed out the window, where they could see the blur of students moving between buildings. “I wonder what’s going to happen about Pelnyen.”
“We’ll find out when they want to tell us.” Enrie winced at her own tone. “Which is not nearly as helpful as it ought to be. All right, into the breach.”
History class was strange. They sat through it, taking notes on what seemed like the wrong era of history, discussing matters that had happened hundreds of years before the Coffee Treaty. None of it seemed to matter, even though all of it would eventually lead up to the Oonezhoonet Era.
“…There’s some debate among the more radical of scholars, including many in the far north, that the original terms of incorporation for Calenta are not, indeed, actually terms or incorporation. Think of three reasons why by class tomorrow. That’s all.”
Enrie gaped at Instructor Iebenna but their history teacher was already turning back to the board. Neither terms nor incorporation. This could either make everything better, or make it all so much worse.