Directly after Similar Features, with longer hair. Notes:
We finally named the town. It’s Cloverleaf. That makes a lot more things make sense.
The mention of Regine comes from I Have This School
Leofric’s Change is… antlers,etc.
Luke shifted uncomfortably. He was, he noted, doing a lot of that on this visit. It made him feel young again, like he was dealing with Mike, back before he’d hit his first century. “It seems,” he said, trying to sound dry instead of nervous, “like you’re going out of your way to let me know that this place is a threat.”
“A threat?” Cynara raised both her eyebrows. “No. Sir, if we’d wanted to threaten Addergoole, we would have threatened Addergoole. But, as Director Regine so kindly pointed out, our great-grandchildren, and theirs, and so on, are still promised to that place.”
“You’ve made it clear you have no fondness for the place.” He found himself sitting very still, pressing down on the balls of his feet.
“I’ve made it clear that there are people who would rather have children that weren’t promised before they were born to a place they didn’t particularly enjoy.” Cynara was still smiling. Luke found that particularly discomfiting. “Remember, every one of us who went there, our parents – or grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on – signed us up. Not one of us had a choice.”
Luke relaxed fractionally. “I’ve heard that before. It – well, there are reasons, and there are excuses.”
“And those don’t change the facts. There are a good number of students who had a particularly shitty time at Addergoole, and I’ve met a good number that had a pleasant time, even good. Many of your cy’ree, for one.”
HE felt as if he was being thrown a bone, and couldn’t bring himself to pick it up. “And yet you’re populating your school with the children of those who didn’t like Addergoole.”
“Partially, partially. And, really.” She smiled brightly at him. “The ones who did like it send all their kids to Addergoole, or to Addergoole East. Look.” She reached into her desk drawer. Luke tensed again. He could take Cynara Red Doomsday, he was certain of it. But the cost would likely be astronomical.
She pulled out a small piece of paper and slid it across the desk to him. It was blue, about the size of an old American dollar bill… it looked a lot like paper currency, actually, with a complex engraved border. The denomination, he noted, was 50. Fifty whats?
Cloverleaf, the bill read, fifty clovers.
And then he finally got to the picture in the center.
“I think our mint got a pretty good likeness, don’t you?”
Luke flipped the bill over. A lovely picture of a stack of clothing – shoes included – greeted him.
“We call it the jeans, or the pants. The one-clover is still a buck.” She was grinning so widely, she had to be near exploding from not laughing.
Luke turned the bill back to the obverse. There was no denying it was a portrait of him, wings and all. “You’re not hiding your fae blood at all, are you?”
“No. No we’re not.” She was suddenly serious. “Look. That’s you on the fifty. Here’s Drake on the five hundred. And here.” She passed him a rose-colored three-clover bill, from which Mike’s – Michelle’s – smiling face greeted him. “The thing is….” She waited politely while Luke stifled a chuckle at the Mike bill. “The thing is, we had some bad at Addergoole, some of us. But we get it, too. We survived the apocalypse in large part because of what you taught us. We were together because Addergoole put us together. And we want to teach others what we learned, everything that helped us get that far.”
She passed him a small stack of multi-colored bills. The gold-colored “buck,” he noticed, featured Leofric, complete with rack of antlers. “We’re just trying to avoid the rape and mind control, as much as possible. I’d say, building on what you taught us, not threatening it.”
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