Sunday, 14 September 2014

House of the Autumn Breeze

The old man watched the sun go down over the great shallow sea of Durobrivae. Already there were several women throwing wood from the shore onto the fire, the crackling flames sending sparks high up into the darkening sky to dance with the trails of the ships landing and taking off from the moon. He sighed and fell back into the large chair and held out his hand, a glass was placed within it almost instantly.
"Carmilla, I won't say I don't miss it, but I can't go back out there."
"I know father."
"But I get the call.... the lure of the frontier is out there."
"I know father."
The ice cubes in his glass jingled as he swirled the liquid.
"It will be up to you. When I was out there I had legions at my command, fleets. But no more, the disgrace, being banished here... I can't do it. I won't."
The woman standing beside him knelt infront of him and took his hands, the sleeves of the long kimono she wore covering both their hands. She smiled at him and squeezed gently.
"Father, I know. I'll be going out there with just the resources I have at my command, my closest friends."
"Yes, your Autumn Breeze girls."
Was that distaste in his voice? Or simply the bitterness of the old veteran.
"Yes, we will go out and carve out a slice of territory and make ourselves known. You know what we do, pleasure at any cost. For any who can afford our services."
"There was a day when I would have called you wh...."
She cut him off, standing up and straightening her kimono, her face a vicious scowl for a moment.
"I told you before, if you call me or my girls that again I would cut you. I don't care who you are, father, or who you were. I will cut you."
The low chuckling laugh from him softened her face, again, another of his tests.
"You are my daughter, Carmilla, but that may not be enough. Here, take this. It's the secure com-codes for an old friend of mine. I hope he is still alive. If anyone can give you that help that you need, it will be him."
He slipped a datadisc to her and then gestured her away.
"Now leave me be, but come back every now and then to visit. You want to go to the Yank System, you can get there through the wormhole. Goodbye, Carmilla, my daughter."
She kissed his cheek and walked down to the beach gesturing to her girls, who all fell in behind her.

The small fleet of ships took off, eight ships, a motley mixture of freighters, explorers and warships. From the bridge of the small scout ship she slipped the datadisc into the commstation and sat back. The details of the person flashed across the screen. Zuvoro Norozov, the Kumicho of the FET Cartel. She smiled, she had heard of him, was this the will of the True One? A lot of her plans could be moved forward with the Cartel, they were her kind of people. And they were the kind of people to expand the horizons of her Associates. Maybe her fathers adherence to the religion of the True One, which had rubbed off onto her, would put her in good stead as well. With a smile she put a call through to Zuvoro.

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