Looking back on that week (Was it just months ago? It seems to have been ages gone, now) I found myself pondering theoretical issues. For instance: someone, somewhere MUST have done a study on the intimidation factor of a nun in full habit. That was my first thought on seeing her. I had no idea who she was, and yet, I felt myself stand at attention when she entered the building where the customs and containment circle was placed. Why did I have a sense of *eep, straighten up and hope she does not have a ruler*, I have no idea, as none of my parents attended parochial schools, but then again, in Steelhead, the nuns are only outgunned by Manager Madame Tensai.
The sergeant in charge apparently knew her on sight, and accorded her deference. Now that they were no longer in shadow, I was surprised to note the sergeant was younger than I had supposed, as his aura was one of a multiple-war veteran. But of course, the history here is not the same, and I suspect that he had scars unseen to others. Armsman Git, on the other hand, fit my mental image of him, based on his voice and presence. If he had been of legal age to vote, I would be surprised. He wavered between guarding the Sister and running for reinforcements. I think the Sister was not impressed by him either.
The sergeant spoke, "Sister, thank you for coming quickly, I know the Master Sorceress by sight but not Sight."
I eyebrowed a question to Auntie, and was unsettled to find she was surprised by the statement as well. The Sister smiled, and asked, "Lady Kitlalmina, what was the third course of the last dinner party you hosted at the country house?"
Auntie frowned and muttered, "She would poke at that one." Then she answered in a clear voice, "I served Robalito al Pastor con Salsa Verde Aspic."
I translated the title silently, and then responded, "Fish tacos and salsa gelatine? Auntie, euu."
She rolled her eyes at me, and muttered, "I expect that sort of response from Wolfgang, not someone who knows better, Ama."
The sister was taken aback, "...wait, 'Auntie'? I have met your brothers, and none of them have children of this age... or appearance."
"Ah..." Auntie Kitla shrugged, "I was adopted by one of the soldiers as a little sister when my initial transport dropped me in the midst of their patrol. I was lucky that the initial equation was only off by one-one-thousandth, and put the landing point amongst friendly forces."
She made no move to dismiss the circle, and gave no outward sign of impatience, but there was an undercurrent to reel us in or cut us loose quickly. "Yes, I had heard about the leftenant, but not that he had children."
Well, of course they have intelligence dossiers on us, same as we do on them! I took a chance that I was reading her correctly and answered in the stilted version of the Aztecque language I knew, "I am a recent development, one that would require several hours of metaphysical theoretical discussion and/or much alcohol to explain." I did not mention that Papa had been promoted to Captain, that could wait.
"One generally requires the other," the Sister answered in a reasonable approximation of Lingua Europa. She continued in the English of the locale, "Though she is a puzzle, there are no malign influences here. I will begin the process, Sergeant."
The door behind her opened again before she could do more than raise her hand, and two more figures arrived. By the sergeant's reaction and change of posture, they were upper management, and ones that he respected. Once they were past the dazzle of the doorway, I recognized the younger one from the miniature Auntie kept on her desk - though I had not been introduced, and had not been given permission to call him "Uncle" yet. As for the other, I caught the shift in Auntie's posture and managed to bow at the same time she curtsied to the Elder.
"It is an honor Grand Master," Auntie Kitla said, and continued, "May I present the daughter of my adopted brother of Europa, Amarantis of Clan Belfire?"
I bowed again, saying it was an honor to meet him. It was, actually - Grand Master Sir Lyon Gandolphus Grey was noted to be an intelligent man, and a very organized practitioner, both qualities that would appeal to the members of my clan. The fact that he was a tall, elegantly handsome man with a few scars to show he was not afraid of hard travel only made him more appealing. Grandmother had also categorized him as "delicious", a description I REALLY DID NOT NEED TO REMEMBER right this moment.
Back in the swing
5 months ago