Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Page 1623

((Triple Wednesday -- Page 2 of 3))
Samira seemed more than a little caught off guard when the Lord Elroy moved in close and hugged her, even lifting her off her feet like a sack of potatoes.

Hector stared, arguably even more shocked by what he was seeing than she was.

“Oi--! Hah--! Y-yes! It is good to see you, too, Lord Zeff!” Her Valgan accent was much thicker than Asad’s, and her gold-and-black robes dangled loosely over her whole body, covering everything but her face and hands.

Zeff let her back down, leaving the woman looking somewhat traumatized by the experience, and then went for Midhat, first shaking the young man’s hand vigorously, only to pull him and lift him off his feet, too. “Oh, I haven’t seen you in ages! You’re almost a grown man, already!”


Samira’s apparent reaper floated forward. ‘Lord Zeff, what are you doing? I am not sure this behavior is appropriate.

Ah, I apologize,’ said Axiolis. ‘Zeff and I have been through quite a lot, lately. We are genuinely overjoyed to see you.

The other reaper didn’t argue further.

Zeff let Midhat down. “I wish I could stay and talk more, but I must go and retrieve Asad.”

It was then that Mr. Easton approached Hector from the side and took his attention. His uniform was different than Hector remembered. The suit was even blacker than the man himself was. “Lord Goffe. There was no word of your return. We would have organized a welcome.”

“Ah, yeah. It was kind of sudden. I thought I’d be, uh--ah... well, it doesn’t matter now, I guess.” He took a breath and rethought his next words. “I haven’t actually ‘returned’ yet, though. I have to leave again for, like, a day or two. Then I’ll be back.”

“I see. I thought you might have returned after hearing the news.”

Hector paused at that. “What news?”

“So you haven’t heard. Two of Atreya’s four largest banks have collapsed. More than a million people have declared bankruptcy in the last two weeks alone.”

Holy fucking shit-grenades,’ said Garovel privately.

Hector just sighed and rubbed his forehead.

“They’re saying we’re about to see the greatest economic depression in the history of the country,” said Mr. Easton.

“Hoo boy.” Mr. Sheridan walked up behind Hector. “Sounds like a real pickle.” He offered Mr. Easton a handshake. “Good to meetcha. Name’s Robert Sheridan. West Intar Company.”

“Jamal Easton. Head of Security for Lord Goffe.”

“Oh! Head of Security, eh? You sure this kid needs anyone to protect him?! From what I’ve seen, he’s the one doing the protecting!”

“Ah. Well, yes...”

“Only teasing, of course,” said Mr. Sheridan. “Important fella, your lord here. Nothin’ but respect for him. Saved my life, y’know. Great guy. Just the best. I hope we can--”

“Mr. Sheridan,” said Hector. “I’m sure you’re tired. Mr. Easton will show you to a room where you can rest.”

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