This takes place some time (2 years or so) after The Year Cya Didn’t Keep Anyone.
She cleaned the dust of two years of hard labor off of herself before she went back to school; she re-dyed her hair the brilliant red it had been for most of her life and found clean, nice clothes. When she walked up to the wards and knocked, she didn’t look like the scruffy girl who had been pulling a city out of the earth by the force of her mind. She looked like a responsible adult.
She didn’t think it would help enough, but she thought that, considering the Administration, to not put on the facade would hurt too much.
She gained an audience with the Queen of Addergoole, Director Regine Avonmorea, by the simple expedient of asking. That was, Cynara had a feeling, the last easy part of this mission.
“Jae’Red Doomsday.” The Director nodded her head politely.
“Sa’Lady of the Lake.” Cya responded to the lack of inflection with an equally bland response.
“How can I help you today?” If Cya were to attempt to anthropomorphize, she would say the Director sounded tired.
“I came to offer you help.” Without further prelude – it was wasted on the Grigori Director – Cya laid out the carefully-chosen plans and diagrams, staff folios and curricula. “I’ve built a school.”
The Director almost looked surprised. A trick of the light, Cya assumed. She flipped through the pages, one at a time, either pretending to look through them or – more likely, considering that she had never showed any interest in pretense before – actually considering them. “This is a blueprint for something to be built?”
“This is the plan for something already built.” It was missing enough information, of course, to be no use in, say, an invasion, and suggested several things that were just not true, but it was a plan for the school.
“With suggestions for study plans and staff, I see.” She continued to flip the pages. “Heavily centered on your Crew.”
“As is Addergoole on yours.” She spoke levelly, calmly. Nothing explosive here. Nothing at all.
“I see you have a few spots left open.”
“If this project is to be part of the Addergoole system, then there will of course be room for other Addergoole graduates, or other teachers that you feel would be appropriate. Perhaps some of your core staff are looking for a little sunlight, and could be rotated out? I’m aware you have done that once or twice over the years.”
“You would be. Your grandsons are in school now?”
“One grandson, and a granddaughter, at the moment.” The threat was implicit, of course; Regine would never be so gauche as to spell it out.
“And this project of yours. You built it before making the offer?”
“I did.” She forbore any explanation or defense, although she had plenty of both.
“Very interesting.” The Director closed the notebook with a rather final-sounding thud. “You had in mind opening another branch, as with Addergoole East?”
“I did. Different students benefit from different learning environments.”
“They do. And your great-grandchildren…”
“Would have their school chosen by their mothers, of course, among the Addergoole options.”
“Of course. And, refresh me, how many of those mothers currently live on the Boom ranch?”
“Of course.” Regine brushed her hand over the book. “It’s a very good plan, Cynara, jae’Red Doomsday. But I’m afraid I am not interested with engaging in a partnership with Boom.”
Cya had not expected she would be, but she had allowed herself to hope. “May I ask why not?”
“Your crew has always been explosive. Revolutionary.”
“Explosive, I will grant. In our teens, we were very volatile.” We. It covered it well enough. “But revolutionary? There’s hardly anything left to revolt against.”
“A situation which I’m certain your crew could change, had they the desire.” It was a pat answer that didn’t actually answer anything. “No, jae’Doomsday, I do not think your Crew are the proper people for such an endeavor. I’m afraid you built your school in vain.”
“In vain?” Cya allowed herself a smile. “No, certainly not. There are fae who are not part of the Addergoole project, still. Less than there were, but they exist.” It was not a threat, not quite. Cynara was no more gauche (here and now) than her hostess.
“Your descendants are still promised to Addergoole.”
“Of course.” Cya smiled more broadly now. “All of the Addergoole-born descendants of Boom and their allies are promised to Addergoole, as it has always been.” She was un-threatened. She was un-offended. She had a lot of allies. And they all had children.
She watched the implication reach the Grigori’s computer that she used in place of a mind. All those grandchildren, all those great-grandchildren, raised by Boom.
Their kids had been impressive enough, en masse. Their grandkids…
“I wish you luck in your project, Cynara.”
“And I, you, in yours.”
She left before their threats could grow less civil.
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