Part I – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082356.html
Part II – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1082751.html
Part III: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1091513.html
Cya was not smiling. It was very important for some reason that she was not smiling.
Regine had lived with Michael and Luke as her crew for quite some time, and she could predict with some accuracy what they might say in this situation.
“She’s not playing a game.” Luke had said that on more than one occasion. “Even when she is laughing, she is not playing, any more than you are. It’s important to remember that.”
Michael did not like to talk about Boom quite so much, although he seemed quite fond of Cloverleaf and several of their other projects. When he’d been advising Regine about this trip, he had said a few pertinent things, including “Remember you’re talking about her children and descendants. Remember how biased even you can be about your own blood.” and “If she smiles, she’s comfortable, confident. If she stops smiling, you might do well to be worried.”
The expression on Cya’s face right now was intense. She had leaned forward, she hand her hands on her lap, and she looked as if she would just as easily skin Regine as allow her access to her children.
Leofric’s expression, on the other hand, was carefully neutral. Regine was uncertain she had ever seen him looking quite that blank. It was more than a bit disturbing.
Regine was worried. Luke and Michael had both told her she should be worried and now — now she understood why. She cleared her throat.
“Your terms,” she repeated carefully. “You want a ‘get out of jail free’ pass for each one of your descendants?”
“Each one of the Addergoole descendants of Boom,” Cya clarified.
“Hrrmph.” Regine gave honest consideration to the data she wanted. Was she willing to give in this far to this particular woman, just for data?
Of course she was. The question truly was, could she do so in any sort of good grace? Regine cleared her throat. “And you’re looking for an agreed-upon staff intervention into any one situation that the student finds untenable?”
“Here.” Cya reached for a stack of paper and a pen on her side table. Regine noted that as Cya leaned over and began writing — with a fountain pen, no less — she kept in contact with Leofric, her side pressed against his leg. She wrote without hesitation, her handwriting crisp and legible even upside-down.
Regine took a moment to contemplate her crew’s responses. Luke would probably be glad. MIchael might be ambivalent — they were going through another cycle in which the Daeva’s Students were the most likely to cause problems for other students.
The others? Shira Pelletier would give Regine that tired, knowing look and say only the Boom children? How is that fair? and Regine would have to answer because Boom happened to hold on to a nasty negotiator who trained at the feet of Feu Drake, although the answer could be just as easily Because Boom is still a crew.
In her particularly self-aware moments, Regine wondered how much of what Boom had become, she had wrought. In morbidly thoughtful moments, she wondered if she had truly wrought her own destruction.
“There.” Cya glanced at Leo, waited for a nod, and then turned the paper around so that Regine could read it more easily. “As discussed.”
Regine read the paper twice. It was exactly as they had discussed, the language suitable for a lawyer.
This woman who had not gone to college had not only written the laws for three city-states, she’d founded a university, Regine remembered. She was not stupid. She read the paper a third time.
She found nothing she could argue with, nothing except the general premise of the agreement, which she was not, she believed, going to get Red Doomsday to budge from.
Epilogue – http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1097360.html
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