Causality and Consequences


Location: Various

The elevator dings. When the doors open, the Consul is at his desk, reading the newspaper. He sets it down to look at Nikki as she comes in, and stands. The paintings on the walls are gone, and the office is… bare.
“Jumping ship, are we?” Nikki glides forward smoothly, gracefully settling into one of the chairs; she slides the file folder onto the tabletop as the Consul sits back down.
“Nothing of the sort, my commission was… delayed.” The Consul picks up the report and thumbs through it. “Very thorough. What will you do with your asset on the inside?”
Nikki gracefully shrugs. “We haven’t decided yet. Whatever it is, we’ll be careful. The monkeys may not be aware that we’re… meddling just quite yet, but we’d like to keep it that way.”
He opens a drawer and pulls out two batteries. “One of them is half-dead, but I appreciate the… depth, of information you’ve brought me. Still no leads on our Father’s workings?”
“None that we can safely share. There’s some suspicions, but that dossier is no where near ready.”
“I see you’ve been getting close to Corvin Chambers.”
“A function of society, I promise, darling.”
“Either way, Corvin’s divided attention is helpful, we’ll need some maneuvering room in order to deal with Our Father, whenever he decides to make his move. I hear congratulations are in order.” The Consul lays down the paper, the front page of the Society section on top, old news by now, but fresh off the press: Nikki Swift Named Curator of Ember Hill.
In a café several buildings down the road. A woman sits, papers spread around her, clearly working. A paper lands on the desk, folded to the same article.
“Hello, Corvin.”
“Jeanine, would you be so kind as to explain why I’m finding out about this from the Society pages and not my trusted staff?”
The woman counters by pulling a piece of vellum from inside her jacket. When she speaks, she is clearly quoting. “‘So do I swear myself and my family to your service, until such a time as we can discover and use a weakness of character or personality, detrimental to your continued power and unknown to you.’” Finally she looks up at him. “You’ve lived so long in conflict Corvin, that your weakness is comfort. You focused on the fires so much recently that you forgot to attend to the normal, the average. All your doom-and-gloom prophesying… ‘And having seen I’ve now gone blind…”
Corvin looks down at the velum, the boundaries of a pact and promise holding tightly to him. He takes a deep breath, reaches forward and touches the velum. It disintegrates as the magic holding it together vanishes. “So be it. Now who will you work for?”
“That’s none of your business Corvin. But as a friend, I’m happy to tell you that my family and I intend to pull a Dina. I believe you. By the pricking of your thumbs and all that. Be careful, if I want to come back, I will. But now we have a choice.” She returns to his work, and feeling the Thread pulling him elsewhere, Corvin resumes his walk.



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