09 September 2010

Hell Week All Over

Between interviewing the staff that were having sleep problems, tracking down trace evidence for the Quester, and trying to keep the staff from forming an angry mob, I’ve been distracted from a situation I can feel but can’t help. Not that I could leave my duties here, but there is something going on... later.

What with the Gallifreyans occasionally dropping by for a cryptic bit of interrogation over tea now and again, I figure I eventually figure out how to time-shift between planes, or they have me confused with my sister. You don’t know her yet, so don’t worry. The one that dropped by this week was mercifully brief, and I dropped a bug in her ear about checking on my brother in a few decades. I can’t get more specific than that from this angle.

I got a quick visit from Great Uncle Ibiz, after I sent him a note with questions about shielding others from psychic attacks. His lessons came just in time, what with Hâjdău fretting over her beau, and others on staff worrying about their families. Aunt Kitla has been setting wards along many of the residential streets, focusing on protecting the Managers and Council first, as they are going to have to take the lead against... whatever is coming.

That was an interesting interview, going to Manager Lunar and asking his permission for the equations to be formed. His main worry was that it would make us seem unfriendly to all. Aunt Kitla reassured him that the wards would only work on those with intent to harm. I quietly had a word with one of the owls later, asking if they could keep an eye out for us. I got a cryptic, sort of feeling, sort of “If we have time” from them. I may fly, but I still don’t understand birds.

Another cryptic one is the watcher for Antfarm. I managed to snag a salmon over the falls before dropping in yesterday morning, and the tomcat was waiting on the front porch. [he sleeps now, and not so many nightmares from the other place] he said before tearing into the salmon I had field-dressed. While he ate, I checked the wards I had put on the house. Still there, and this one was a bit hinky, since I set them up without Mr Antfarm’s permission. Not that he could see them. I think. But they were to protect him, and unlike the personal protections I did for the staff, I was able to link these wards to the ley lines on the property. The tomcat spoke up suddenly, [watch your head - the one coming is old - very old - likes sneaking up on the sleeping ones]. I nodded, [Thank you, cousin, I will].

Normally, my next stop would be Dr Beck’s office, but I was too tired for another argument-that-was-only-a-discussion-about-his-health, and headed for the Consulate office. The clerk’s den was buzzing, much like any industrious hive, but there was an undertone to the murmurs, one that did not bode well for the perpetrator of the dreams. There is fear, but a lot of the staff are transmuting that into anger. The ones from the Old Country don't take well to being manipulated like that. Aunt Kitla’s report has already made the rounds of the desks here, and they seem to understand her conjecture that there is a pawn being used, one that is not well educated enough to be a sorcerer calling up an Elder God. This is the benefit of having an educated populace, at least they have a proper discussion before voting to take up pitchforks and torches.

Hâjdău greeted me with a cup of tea and a pastry from the galley, and generally fussed over me until Mama was done with the courier in her office. Mama has one rule about going into her office - if the door is closed, you don’t go in unless the building is on fire. The kid looked much more rested than the last time I saw her, and miles better than when I first saw her for her nightmares. While I ate, she gathered the reports on the Quester’s needs for me, and typed up my rough notes on my last patrol for Vater. We finished up about the time the courier left Mama’s office, and as I was putting my plates at the galley, I heard someone sneeze. Hâjdău muttered, “sănătate,” as a few others absently said “bless you,” and Mama responded, “mersi”.

When a few heads popped up at that exchange, I grabbed my bag out of the aether and went to her office. Considering the last time Mama was ill, it was from that expedition into the Mines, and that was almost two years ago. “What have you been doing, other than too much?” I asked as I began the examination. She waved at me irritably, “I am fine, just tired.” Her shields were fairly thin, though. “How many are you shielding, now?” I asked, knowing her technique was to spin out additional shields from her personal ones.

She shrugged, “Family, students and some of the staff... maybe fifteen, all told. No, I added Miss Blackheart to the network after the meeting, sixteen.” Then she sneezed again.

“Hâjdău, could you go get the captain, and Messenger, please let the Baron know Mama is on sick leave.” Mama’s assistant dashed off and Messenger nodded, asking “How long do you estimate she will be unavailable?”

“Normally, I’d say two weeks, but it will be a fight to keep her in bed more than a few days.” He nodded and began drafting a note for Vater. Mama was not at all happy about it, “Why are you bringing Captain Veles in on this?” I was still checking her over, and not liking what I saw. “Because the only way to get you to rest properly is to set your bodyguard on the detail, and Aunt Birdie is still at Bunică’s house.” She started winding up for a debate, but as soon as Papa showed up with Hâjdău trailing behind, she probably saw it was not an argument she would win.

“Fine, but I am still expecting reports...” she muttered, until Papa shook his head, and led her from the office to the house. Hâjdău asked as they left, “Is she really cut off from the daily reports? We really should have something for her, or she’ll worry.”

“And worrying will not help her get better, true. Send a copy of the morning reports, and I’ll make sure she sleeps through the afternoon dispatch.” I nodded, “Good thing you’re here - you’d be wasted in the schloss.” With that, I closed the door to Mama’s office and left on foot, following my own advice to get some rest.