“I’ve been wondering …” Star tightened her lips. “No … perhaps not.”
“What? Spit it out,” said Rosamund.
“It’s nothing … just that … I interpreted my remote view as New Zealand but perhaps it wasn’t New Zealand per se, and by that I mean perhaps it was a symbolic representation, a clue if you will, and i was too quick to rush in and give it meaning.”
Rosamund screwed up her face. “You lost me at Purse Eh.”
“Me too, dear!” said the middle aged lady. “Does she always go on like this?”
“Worse usually. Yabba yabba yabba them two. How about I swop you dental floss for some lippy?”
“Don’t yo mine those rudy poohs,” said Tara, who was starting to sound a little slurred. “What’d ya see, Star, eh?” Star’s remote viewing skills never failed to amaze her, and, to be honest, she’d been surprised when Star made such a horrendous hash of this latest attempt. Once she had sobered up she might feel compelled to apologise for her rude outburst. She snorted into her drink. Not bloody likely!
Before Star could answer, there was an excited scream from the waitress.
“Look, who’s here!” she shouted. “Look everybody! It’s only Vincentius come to join us!!”
“Why, thank you. What a welcome!” said Vincentius in a deep melodious voice. He sauntered casually over to the bar, seemingly oblivious to the effect he was having.
“Oh. My. God,” said Star.
Rosamund who was using the lipstick to write her number on the burly bouncer’s bicep gave him a shove. “Get lost, Loser!” she hissed.
“Over here, Vincentush! Whover yo are!” shouted Tara before falling off her bar stool.
“Did someone say drinks are on the house?” asked Rosamund, pushing past the burly bouncer as she entered the pub. “What’s your name, handsome?”
“Percival,” the bouncer replied with a wry grin. “Yeah I know, doesn’t fit the image.”
Rosamund looked him up and down while simultaneously flicking a bit of food from between her teeth with a credit card. “I keep forgetting to buy dental floss,” she said.
“Is that really necessary?” hissed Tara. “Is that moving the plot forward?”
“I’ll be away for a while on an important mission,” Rosamund said to Percival, “But give me your number and I’ll call you when I get back.”
“The trip is cancelled, you’re not going anywhere,” Star told her, “Except to the shop to buy dental floss.”
“I’m glad you mentioned it!” piped up a middle aged lady sitting at the corner table. “I have run out of dental floss too.”
“See?” said Rosamund. “You never can tell how helpful you are when you just act yourself and let it flow. Now tell me why I’m not going to New Zealand? I already packed my suitcase!”
“Because it seems that New Zealand has come to us,” replied Star, “Or should I say, the signs of the cult are everywhere. It’s not so much a case of finding the cult as a case of, well finding somewhere the cult hasn’t already infected. And as for April,” she continued, “She changes her story every five minutes, I think we should ignore everything she says from now on. Nothing but a distraction.”
“That’s it!” exclaimed Tara. “Exactly! Distraction tactics! A well known ruse, tried and tested. She has been sent to us to distract us from the case. She isn’t a new client. She’s a red herring for the old clients enemies.”
“Oh, good one, Tara,” Star was impressed. Tara could be an abusive drunk, but some of the things she blurted out were pure gold. Or had a grain of gold in them, it would be more accurate to say. A certain perspicacity shone through at times when she was well lubricated. “Perhaps we should lock her back in the wardrobe for the time being until we’ve worked out what to do with her.”
“You’re right, Star, we must restrain her….oy! oy! Percival, catch that fleeing aunt at once!” April had made a dash for it out of the pub door. The burly bouncer missed his chance. April legged it up the road and disappeared round the corner.
“Oh I say, that’s going a bit far,” interjected the middle aged lady sitting at the corner table.
“What’s it got to do with you?” Tara turned on her.
“This,” the woman replied with a smugly Trumpish smile. She pulled her trouser leg up to reveal a bell bird tattoo.
“Oh my fucking god,” Tara was close to tears again.
“Wait!” said Star. “Have we unwittingly stumbled upon a secret meeting of the bellbird cult?”
The bouncer laughed. “Not exactly a secret meeting. It’s more of our monthly get-together. We have drinks and what-not and a bit of a sing-song”
“Sound great! Where do I sign up?” asked Tara, mesmerised by the burly bouncer’s biceps.
Tara sneered at the obvious lie. “Then why did you run? Huh?”
“If you must know, and it appears you must, I believe I saw him.” She pointed to the entrance. “He was wearing a disguise of course. When he saw me, he ran, clearly fearing I would see through his disguise and reveal to the world that he is not in a coma.”
Star scratched her head. “I see,” she said.
“So much for New Zealand and your remote viewing skills,” sneered Tara.
April shook her head. “Those are questions only Vincent French can answer.”
“Going around in circles a bit, aren’t you?” said BB with a kindly smile. “Cheer up! Look around you! Beauty is everywhere and drinks are on the house!”
“I think you’ve forgotten something, Star.” Tara didn’t want to put a dampener on Star’s high spirits, but felt obliged to point out that New Zealand was still out of bounds with the quarantine restrictions.
“Not only that,” Tara continued, “Where exactly in New Zealand?”
This was unanswerable at this stage and was quickly forgotten.
“We can send Rosamund on a recce to find out more. That way if she gets arrested for breaking the lockdown rules it won’t matter much and we can carry on solving the case.”
“It will take two of us to keep an eye on Aunty April, anyway. And it would behoove us to have a thorough look at that wardrobe, and decipher those notes. And check the lining of the fur coats. I read a book once and spies used morse code in the hem stitches for sending messages.”
“Do you know morse code?”
“Of course not, why would I?”
“Well then how will you know..?”
The conversation went on in a similar vein for some time.
Star rolled her eyes. “Already done,” she said. “Based on what I saw, I believe Vincent French to be in New Zealand.”
“New Zealand!” exclaimed Tara. “That’s madness.”
Star took a slurp of her gin and tonic. “Also, the bellbird motif … that’s from over there, isn’t it?”
“Agent X? I thought you were in New Zealand,” gasped Veranassessee helping him up.
“Keep your mouth shut,” he hissed at her and then moaned in pain. “I’m working undercover. Where is my beannie with the wooden top?”JibParticipant
The note had troubled Maeve. It was different than the one Shawn Paul received, not only because it was handwritten and very long, but also because it implied someone, potentially even several groups, were after the dolls and the keys.
“You have to retrieve them,” the note eventually said, “and use the clues they hide to find the important people they protect.”
There was no signature, but it sounded so much like uncle Fergus, oddly wordy and mysterious. Was he still alive after all this time? Did he still ride his Harley?
Maeve’s first thought after the surprise was that she needed someone to take care of Fabio. The next thought felt like a brilliant idea. Lucinda. Maeve would go ask her to take care of Fabio during her vacation to Australia and would use that opportunity to spirit away the doll. She had the intuition she might need it afterwards.
So she prepared her luggage and cuddled Fabio who knew he wouldn’t be part of the trip.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I need you to keep that sad face of yours when we go see Lucinda.” In response, Fabio wiggled his tail happily and tried to lick Maeve’s face. “No! Keep the face,” she mimicked what she thought was a sad face.
After all was packed she went to Lucinda’s with Fabio and her luggage.
“I’m sorry, I’m going on a trip and I need someone to take care of Fabio,” Maeve said. As she had imagined Lucinda was moved by Fabio’s look and couldn’t refuse to take car of him.
“Of course! He’ll be well treated here with my new parrot.”
“Huhu,” said the colourful bird.
“I think it comes from New Zealand,” said Lucinda. “It flew in yesterday and had not left ever since despite me not putting it into a cage, so I’m buying it food. It seems particularly fond of that doll I told you about the other day.”
Indeed, the parrot was on the sofa, trying to open the doll’s head. That’s when Fabio jumped and tried to catch the bird. He clearly didn’t like it and the parrot flew away to a higher ground on an old grannies’ Welsh dresser, making a few glasses and china fall down in an awful breaking noise. Lucinda tried to catch the bird or the china or Fabio, but could do neither of the three.
Seizing that as an opportunity, Maeve put the doll in her messenger bag.
“I don’t want to bother you longer, I have a plane to catch. Bye,” she said, and she left with bags and luggage without checking if Lucinda had heard.
At the elevator, she met with Shawn Paul.
“Hi. I’m going to the airport,” the young man said. “Australia. Like you?”
She felt uncomfortable. The note hadn’t mention anything about him. Unless he was part of one of those groups who were after the dolls. Maeve grumbled something while holding her bag closer. She didn’t know if she could trust him.
Geoffroy du Limon had felt confident that he had the skills to act the new role, considering his notable career in the theatre in the old story. He liked his new name: Miles Fitzroy suited him perfectly; and he anticipated resonating with London (although he would have preferred New Zealand: he’d heard that his old friend Francette Fine had been assigned a new story there). He found himself floundering, however, in unexpected ways.
The most unsettling factor was the absence of a back story. Without associations or automatic habits, he was unsure how to play his personality. Without triggers, where was the humour? There was simply nothing dramatic, comedic or tragic, nothing to make the play thrilling, exciting, or enticing, if everyone was an innocuous beige blob. A present beige blob is still a blob and not very interesting.
Roll up! Roll up! Come and see the show! Watch the cast focusing on themselves and not reacting to triggers! Nothing to judge here, folks, Roll up!
Geoffroy had no idea that having so few limiting guidelines could be so difficult. One had always assumed that it was the limiting guidelines that boxed one in, held one back, he mused, not the other way round. It was indeed a challenge, and he found himself feeling nostalgic for the old story.
Gelly had noticed a slowdown in her sessions.
That, and a sense of desperation in the ludicrous stories put forth by her clients’ subconscious under trance.
Close to forty years ago, she had invented the whole protocol, and had sold successfully quite a lovely series of books on the topic. Of course, all the personal details were removed for the sake of her clients privacy. But the stories were all too good to not be shared with the world.
“Morepork, morepork!” Bathsheba, her pet owl gifted by one of her clients from New Zealand was calling her back to reality.
“You know vhat Bethsy,” she said to the owl while feeding it a small white mouse that she devoured ravenously, “I vonder how das ist going to develop… Not a month goes by now vithout some new extravagant story of ascension in die Fünfte Dimension, and the vorld is not going any better. Meine credibility ist not that gut…”
“Morepork, morepork!” came the answer.
“Bethsy, you know whass, du bist eine kleine Genius”. She had just remembered that her client used to channel a certain unknown in the lore, going by the name of Floverley a spirit quite tricky to get on the line, a bit finicky about cleaning but otherwise, a wise dispenser of snorting good advice and special diets. She surely could help her get her spiel back.
”And that’s another thing,” she continued. ”Why do all your characters have to be in some form of servitude to you?”
She looked accusingly at Elizabeth.
“I’m a lowly cleaner and Godfrey’s sole purpose in life seems to be to agree with everything you say and now poor old Norbert is a gardener! From New Zealand! Of all the godforsaken places you could have chosen.”
Finnley ignored him.
“You could have made the poor man anything and yet you made him another slave to carry out your every warped whim. Granted, that was rather an obscure comment I made about him liking smelly old fish. Perhaps that did narrow your options somewhat.”
Exhausted, Finnley lapsed into a thoughtful silence.
It was Mater who decided they needed to get some cleaning help. She commandeered Clove to do some research on the internet and eventually found a woman from New Zealand, Finly, who was offering her cleaning services in exchange for room and board.
“Bloody kiwis,” said Bert when he heard. “The place is riddled with them. Bloody come and take our jobs. Haven’t we got more than enough of them here already? I am having a hard enough time avoiding that Flora, going on about her spiritual bloody awakening.”
“If you can find anyone local who would be willing to do the cleaning in exchange for a place to stay, I will be glad to consider them,” retorted Mater sternly. “But in the meantime this place is fast becoming a pig-sty and Dido is too busy smoking and drinking to see it.”
“Now remember, the main thing is to be courteous. God only knows why she agreed to come to this backwater of a place, but we don’t want to put her off.”
”Don’t we indeed?” smirked Aunt Idle.
Aunt Idle, who had already been into the gin even though it wasn’t yet 10am, put her hand over her mouth and started to giggle.
Clove rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically. “Well as long as she doesn’t try and boss me around, it might be quite fun to have a slave to clean up after me.”
Prune had been keeping an eye on the window. “Shush, she’s here!” she shouted excitedly.
“One moment I was on my way to get coffee; the next I was up there on the ceiling. I looked down and saw a lady lying on the ground with blood oozing from her head and I was thinking ‘someone should help her!’ and then I realised with some surprise it was me laying down there on the ground. ‘How could that be?’ I asked myself. I realised that I must have died. And, do you know what? I didn’t care. I felt amazing. For the first time in my life I felt truly free. I felt no more attachment to the body on the ground than I do to this … “
Flora paused to look around and her gaze finally settled on one of the sofa cushions — a dirty looking thing which was decorated with an embroidered kangaroo.
“… this cushion here.”
She hit it to emphasise her point and a cascade of dust rose in the air. She looked at Mater sadly and continued softly:
“Then I heard a voice telling me it was not my time and next thing I knew I was back in my body with this pounding great headache.”
Flora paused reflectively for a moment while she sipped on the cup of tea Prune had bought her.
“Mater, this experience has changed me. I thought I had it all before: good looks, a fantastic figure—especially my butt—a successful career, but now I realise I was in penury. Trapped by my own brilliance into a shallow empty existence.”
“What’s that you say?” asked Mater, struggling to follow Flora’s very thick New Zealand accent. “And who the devil is Penny?”
She wondered where Bert had got to. One moment he was there and the next he just seemed to disappear.
Those maps got me remembering all kinds of things, not that I was fretting about the note because I wasn’t, but once I’d quit flapping about the note, all kinds of things started popping into my mind.
Odd little cameo memories, more often than not a mundane scene that somehow stuck in my head. Like that cafe with the mad hatter mural, mediocre little place, and I cant even remember where it was, but that number on the mural was just wrong, somehow. It’s as clear as a bell in my memory now, but not a thing before or after it, or when it was, other than somewhere in New Zealand.
I kept getting a whistling in my left ear as I was recalling things, like when I remembered that beach on the Costa del Sol, with a timebridgers sticker in the beach bar. I can still see that Italian man walking out of the sea with an octopus.
I can still see the breeze flapping the pages of a magazine lying on a bench in Balzac’s garden in Paris, something about a red suitcase, but I can’t recall what exactly.
A motel in a truckstop village in California…the sherry was making me drowsy. I almost felt like I was there again for a moment.
Conjure up a bowler hat, he said, while you’re out today. I forgot all about it (how often I thank my lucky stars for having a bad memory, I much prefer a surprise) and saw a delightful hurdy gurdy man wearing a bowler hat (In June! I do recall it was June). My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, he was playing. I’m sure to have forgotten that, but I made a video recording.
All these locations were holes in the maps, those ripped up maps the girls brought home from the Brundy place, just after I got that note. I was beginning to see a pattern to the connecting links between the letters ripped out of the map locations, and the wording in the note (which was made of ripped out letters from place names on a map, and glued onto the paper, as anyone who is reading this will no doubt recall). The pattern in the discovery of connecting links was that the pattern is constantly changing, rendering moot the need to decipher a plot in advance of the actual discovery of spontaneous development of the shifting patterns of discovery, and deliverance of the decipherable delegation of the delighted, promptly at noon.
After all the fuss had died down about the missing Mater, I lost interest in the map and the strange note. It was as if the distraction interrupted my train of thought (some might say another of Idle’s hamster wheels, or another ludicrous tangent), so I gave the maps back to the girls and the mysterious note was mostly forgotten. If it meant anything, well, sooner or later it would become clear.
Truth be told, it wasn’t just the fuss about Mater that distracted me, it was the phone call from my old friend in New Zealand. Flora Fenwick was making another of her arty party videos, wanted to come over to check out some of the empty properties for filming. I’d seen all her arty farty party videos online, and we’d been friends for years via Spacenook, but we’d never met in person.
The timing was perfect.
When Huhu arrived at his destination, Irina was sunbathing to the last rays of a big red gorgeous sunset that painted the waves in iridescent shades of purple.
At the same time, the sun’s course had already started a new day on the shores of New Zealand, where her sister was living, and she surely would be thrilled. Long had she waited for the 2222-2-22 marker.
Here, in Hawaii, they would still be in 2222-2-21, for a few more hours.
Irina started to shiver. 22°C her watch read. As if she needed to be any more quirky about this date…
“Good boy!” she said to the parrot, taking the key it was carrying. Huhu tittered in contentment, cracking some of the pistachios she fed him distractedly.
She’d just received additional information from the Management. Elusive as usual, and leaving a great deal to interpretation, including the interdiction.
They’d promised to get her her dream island as a retirement plan. Some said it was the original land of the mermaids (who used to have as much feathers as Rio Carnival’s samba dancers), right off Italy’s Amalfi’s coast. Among its perks, it boasted to incorporate 8 staff, and a private grotto — that, if anything else than her fine waist line, would surely entice Sanso into other steamy booty calls.
She’d seen the pictures of the properties, her first thought though was that she needed to shoot the interior decorator. In short, it was almost her moral duty to get it, and change the decor. On the whole, she was convinced the island would do her good.
So, when she looked back at the previous instructions to see how good she’d done on her mission’s objectives, she shrugged a little. She’d understood instinctively right when it was delivered that it was a clever cipher, especially given the late date shift. So she had reinterpreted the actual commands, and leisurely waited for the travellers to appear, and get comfy. By now, she was certain they trusted her telepathic commands well enough, so that solved the trust conundrum.
Basically, she was a major proponent of her own interpretation of old Ho’oponopono rituals. Instead of the usual mantra “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” hers was a bit more straightforward and was around the lines of “Green sickness to you. Peace be with you, and bugger off.”
Said a few times with proper intonation and inner work, and it was know to her to alter dramatically any block or resistance into a great flow of pure unfettered energy. So she had adamant faith that all she needed to do to complete her mission was to focus on herself and solve the resistance within by letting go.
The last message was short.
22 the code
* whale that *BO
It could only mean one thing. 22 was a clever cipher meaning conundrum as in a catch 22, but also an obvious reference to the temperature. So it could only mean one thing: tamper with the code on the 22nd, and send it on the way to the whales, with a bug on it.
“Mr R, please, fetch!”
The discrete, yet always present robot caught the key with grace, and on her careful instructions, proceeded to alter the code of the key.
Irina was enjoying herself immensely, and found it a pity nobody could witness her true genius. “The ones who’ll read that key later, well… they are in for such a wild goose chase!”
The second part of St Germain’s encoded hologram was now ripe with wonderful and bewildering information about blubbits and the magic kingdom of Peasland with obscure and arcane references of magic numbers like 57, that would have anybody sane turn mad as a hatter in no time. Hopefully the whales would be immune to the nonsense, but probably not humans.
Now was the final part of the plan.
“I hope you are ready for this delicate reinsertion mission. Do you still have that octopus suit of yours ready?”
“Of course, Madam. Right away Madam.”
The word flounder popped into Yolands head, and for want of the inspiration to do anything meaningful, or even useful, she googled flounder. She was astonished to find so many varieties of flounder, and recognized that she was counterparting with quite a number of them.
There was the Crosseyed flounder that she felt an affinity for, at the end of an evening of trying to sort out her photos; Alcock’s narrow-body righteye flounder, which was what she felt like in a bed full of male dogs every night, and she could relate to the Antarctic armless flounder when she couldn’t keep track of the Antarctic thread. Barfin flounder reminded her of the green icon and her friend Finn; Bigmouth flounder ~ Yoland sighed, she definitely felt a connection to that often enough. Blotched flounder, well that sounded a bit like botched ~ there were many occasions when Yoland felt that everything she did was botched, half done and messy. Chain-mail wide-eyed flounder when she dabbled a bit in past lives, and the Disc flounder when she got her music in a muddle. The Dark flounders were the worst, when everything seemed to take on the tone of a horror movie, but they were often followed by a Deep flounder, which sometimes contained a few insights, more often than not promptly forgotten.
Yoland sighed. Imagine counterparting with just about every flounder known to man! She decided she wasn’t the only one counterparting the European flounder, which was a releif, nor was she the only one counterparting the Fantail flounder, although at least it could be said that she wasn’t a complete fan of anyone in particular, dead or alive, she was a fantail of quite a number. There were long spells of resonating with the Finless flounder; Finn was always disappearing, or so it seemed to Yoland. Very rarely she felt an alignment with God’s flounder, thankfuly she wasn’t often prone to dwelling on God things.
Ah, the Gray flounder, yes she’d had a bit of a flounder when Gray sent all those photos of the Beltane Dance, she’d had a flounder for sure in amongst all those. Looking back though, she’d had fun with the mummy and Ella Tindale in the Gulf flounder…
Yoland had to laugh when she came across the Intermediate flounder. Yoland wondered if the majority of her foundering was counterparting with the Intermediate flounder and decided she was probably too intermediate to work it out objectively anyway. She often had a tussle with the Large tooth flounder, lordy, she was always floundering with dental issues. And the Largescale flounder, that really was the biggest ongoing flounder of them all, the sheer vastness of everything.
Every now and again, less than previously though, Yoland had a Melbourne flounder on Saturday nights, and rather enjoyed it, but not as much as she enjoyed a good old New Zealand flounder.
Another flounder Yoland always enjoyed was an Olive wide-eyed flounder, roaming around the ancient olive trees of Andalucia, wide eyed and awestruck with the beauty and history of the place. She also enjoyed a Peruvian flounder on occasion, too ~ she’d even had a dream recently about floundering around by the mysterious doorway of Amaru Muru. The next night she’d had a River flounder, dreaming of the river in the Grand Canyon.
Sand flounders were the best of all though, Yoland recalled many happy flounderings in the world of sand and all its Subulmantium configurations. The trouble with the sand flounder was that it often morphed into the largescale flounder, and got quite out of hand.
Yoland sighed, it had been ages since she’d felt connected to the Seven pelvic ray flounder, what with Dan working nights. She was beginning to feel like a Shelf flounder. However, at least thanks to her new diet of replacing meals with flans, chocolate mousses and ice cream, she was closely aligning now with the Slender flounder.
The ongoing slug issue with the cat food was obviously because she was still strongly aligned with the Slime flounder. Notwithstanding, Yoland was rather pleased to note that despite her morose and petulant mood this morning, it had to be said that she often counterparted with the Smooth flounder; although that was easy to forget in moments of quiet desperation when the floundering got out of proportion.
Smiling, Yoland remembered the dream of feet touching when she noticed there was a Sole flounder too. And how often the Spotted flounder popped up, she was always spotting clues. Well spotted! she would tell herself. Oh, and the Stone flounder, wasn’t that the truth! Yoland was aligning strongly with that lately, smoking more than ever, somehow striving for either inspiration, or perhaps oblivion.
Oh well, I guess this is just a Summer flounder, it will pass, Yoland decided (who was secretly glad that she was nearing the end of the list of flounder names). And sure enough, the next on the list was the Three spotted flounder, surely a good sign! A probability change perhaps! As if to validate Yolands impression, she noticed the Tile-colored righteye flounder. There was even a Warthog flounder, which seemed to ring a bell with a recent entry to the Reality Play.
Best of all was the Windowpane flounder, Yoland felt she would even go so far as to say that this was her new focus animal. Well, she thought, if I am making this all up, I can make that up too!
Thankfully Yoland reached the end of the flounder list, rather pleased that it had ended on such an amusing and encouraging note.
Being closely aligned with flounders wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
Becky was liking her dancing courses; there was this funny guy with an outrageously bright canary yellow shirt and a funny accent who taught them some Asian-based moves last time, and she’d been puzzled for awhile, frozen in her tracks and speechless for a moment (which didn’t often occur), as the guy was so weird and yet serious looking that she didn’t know if she should laugh hysterically at his preposterous wiggling butt moves, or keep serious like the others.
That’s where she noticed a girl in the class. Like her, she was lost in wonderment while all of the others where respectfully following the teacher’s movements with a polite straight face.
As she was feeling bubbles of hysterical laughter desperately struggling to burst at the surface, she quickly exited the classroom, only to find that the other girl was there too.
“Ahaha, is he some sort of wacko or what?” Becky couldn’t help but laugh even if the other one seemed affected somehow, yet not indifferent to the humour of the situation.
“Bloody oath, yeah… Madder than Almad this one”
“You’re not from here are you?” Becky asked, noticing a delicious variation of British accent in the girl’s voice.
“No, from New Zealand. Name’s Tina, Tina Prout. Well you can forget the last name anyway, I’m going to change that.”
“Delighted, I’m Becky Vane. Would you fancy some vegemite on toast?”
“Sure, let’s get out of here quickly.”
“Toot toot! School’s out!… Mmm, looks like it’s ‘pissing down’ outside… Is that how you say in Kiwi?”
a hotel room in Auckland, New Zealand
Veranassesee closed her report silently.
What a mess it all had been. Given the circumstances, she had acted with unbelievable self-possessed strength and wit.
She had little doubt she would be fired though. The Confregation wasn’t exactly known for their blanket acceptance of excuses for people’s short-failures —or worse, for their lack of accepting their own responsibility. Quite the contrary.
She would be expected to resign, and even the smoldering hot and sexy Agent Gabriele’s intercession wouldn’t be seen with a complaisant eye.
“No matter…” She had managed to keep everyone she could out of trouble or certain death, and for that she was quite proud of herself. Even if her job was most of the time to actually make sure they would meet their death more quickly. Perhaps she was getting too soft for that job.
The phone rang abruptly cutting her off her trail of thoughts.
“Yes?” (…) “Mmmhhh mmmh” (…) “Okay. Fine. Thank you.”
She would be presenting her report’s conclusions at the hearing tomorrow, and then would be free to go. Start a new life maybe; or get back to Mahiliki who was for now confined with the aircraft’s pilot in one of the Confregation’s detention centers for interrogation. They’d say it wouldn’t be long; they wanted to make sure no crucial information had leaked.
She couldn’t really pity Mahiliki; he was cute… harmless in many ways; she was sure he would be out in a matter of days,… and unsurprisingly get back to his peasant’s life on Fikitupi.
As for herself… that may be a whole other story.
on a Yukailli Airlines Flyboat, Cruise#557
Long Pong vicinity, International Waters, October 2008
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are sorry to tell you that for unexpected reason, the flight has been rerouted to Auckland, New Zealand. Our final destination, Tikfijikoo Island is under strict quarantine for an unknown…”
Then, after the voice of the captain faded out in an incomprehensible muddle, “Oh, great! Now, we didn’t get what’s happening…”
“Oh, as if we care for the reasons…” Dory said pragmatically. “Such a strange creating we did this time. I was so expecting to get to this island, and now it’s closed to tourists?”
“Don’t worry, we may get there later… At least, this time we got to board on this strange airline, even if just for a round trip.”
“Good point, Beck’!”
Then, as if a sudden idea had just stuck her she added with a gleam in her eyes “Hey, that’s a really nice creating actually; we may be back home just in time for Day of the Dead celebrations…”
Sometimes things seemed to work in cycles and round trips she thought to herself…JibParticipant
With the winter coming so fast (no more season you see), Dory was busy tidying her patio waiting for the next plane to Long Pong.
All the dusty trinkets and the artworks she had brought back from her different excavations; she had to put them into some shelter, just in case. Last week the temperature had plummeted so quickly. She had to take the warm clothes out of the closets and realized she also had to change some of them in the process. Some unfriendly moth had eaten the wool of her favorite sweater…
She was feeling dull and empty. Almost like she had no more purpose. Doing that cleaning and tidying was a way of distracting herself from that impression, she knew it would pass.
Since the departure of her friends, Yann and Yurick, she had felt a bit lonely, even with Dan being present.
She lacked a new excavation project, one that would fill in her blood with excitement and passion.
An odd thought made her shudder. For a moment she had considered the idea of having a baby.
Really, she should find something worthy of her unlimited energy and not something that would chain her in habits and force her attention outside of her. Though, she seemed quite short of energy lately… However, it was not the time, not the place… and merely not the life for it.
She wondered : what were her friends doing?
Yann and Yurick were most probably preparing their new book, and Finn had told her last time that she was on the verge of adopting a baby Orangatun… “she would need spare jungle in her garden”, she chuckled at the sudden vision of Finn gardening her jungle… Well at least it would give her a good distraction.
She stopped her tidying and came back inside the house. Where was the wireless phone again? Apparently everything was a mess… she’d have to rethink the “no” she had given Dan last time he had asked her if she needed a butler.
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