September 9, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Enrie stared at Dozhodo. “…What?” She glanced up at Gianci, who was looking every bit as confused as she was. She looked at Kivsi, who was looking determined. She glanced over at Lovdyo, who was trying to look invisible.
“We’re not going to let that… that…”
“Old vulture,” Pieped offered in a stage whisper.
“…That old vulture walk all over one of ours — two of ours. Estyaa House sticks together.”
“Guys,” Enrie protested, “you don’t even know what I’m getting into. Associate Governor Ilonilarrona isn’t working alone, and she is, well, you saw, she’s quite interested in getting back at someone if she falls. I hear the woman she’s working with is even worse. This isn’t going to be easy.”
“We’re Diplomats, or we will be,” Dozhodo offered. Kotke nodded her agreement.
“We’re supposed to be training for difficult situations,” Ledryie offered. “And you’re really good at getting into them, aren’t you? I mean, if you’re going to get into trouble with an Associate Governor and her more scary friend, that would definitely count as a difficult situation.”
Enrie looked at Gianci. He looked back at her thoughtfully. Enrie swallowed.
“You’re all very kind. But… Associate Governor Ilonilarrona’s friend… it’s Lirnilalie. And I don’t want any of you to get into this not knowing — well, not knowing what you’re getting into. Because it might be complicated.”
“Lirnilalie?” Lovdyo turned ashen. “The Associate Governor is working with Lirnilalie? That’s who she wanted me to talk to if I didn’t talk? That’s…”
“She threatened you with Lirnilalie?” Kivsi frowned. “She actually threatened you?”
“She said I was going to tell her, and if I didn’t tell her, I was going to talk to her friend, and if that didn’t work, her other friend would find a way of making me talk.” Lovdyo blurted the confession out with his hands over his face.
Enrie set her jaw. “If I hadn’t already been planning on foiling this woman,” she snarled, “I would be dedicated to ruining her life now.”
Someone clapped. She didn’t see who, but she wasn’t sure she cared, either. She looked back at Dozhodo, at Kivsi and Pieped, at her roommates. “So,” she said quietly, “that’s the problem. We’re up against Lirnilalie as well as her Associate Governorship and whoever she has hiding in the background. I don’t know if what I’m doing is legal or ever possible, and I don’t know where it will end up, but I know Lady Ilonilarrona doesn’t want me to do it. And I know she was mean to Lovdyo.” The last was unnecessary, she knew, but it seemed important. “So, if you’re interested in helping, I’m pretty sure I could use the help, even if it’s just annoying the Associate Governor until she goes mad.”
“You know.” Pieped spoke slowly, thinking it out. “That’s not a bad idea, actually. Like what your group did with professor Pelnyen — a very polite annoyance initiative can go a long way. And, if nothing else, it leaves your team free to do whatever they need to do.”
Enrie considered that for a moment. “If you guys are willing to do that, I think that would be very useful.”
“In the morning,” Dozhodo declared. “Some of us didn’t get to spend time kissing, and we’re all quite tired.”
“In the morning,” Enrie agreed. She gave Gianci one last brief kiss and headed off to bed.