The CAP (another part) *g* by Bt
 

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The CAP (another part) *g*
by Bt


A late afternoon hot summer breeze carried the laughter and squeals of several Debs playing beach volleyball down by the lake as well as the sometimes discordant notes from the open windows in Deb U band practice room. Bluetopaz and the ever faithful Lucky slowly walked across the courtyard from the new ADP building towards The Battlefield Pub. At the moment, after a strenuous day of dealing with one Deb U problem after another and then the long meeting, all that was on Bt’s mind was a cool drink and some quiet conversation with the other CAs who had attended the meeting and were even now carrying out the beginnings of their part in the plan. In one hand she carried the small ornate scroll which had figured so largely in the afternoon meeting. The other fingered a money pouch which hung from her belt. At the moment the pouch felt very empty.

“I really hate this, Lucky!” Bt directed at the old dog, who’s ears pricked up at the sound of her name. Lucky looked up at her companion as she continued her rather mincing walk across the hot cobblestones. Even her tail seemed to have wilted in the heat. Instead of carrying it at the normal rakish angle across her back it was almost dragging on the courtyard paving. “And, would you look at that,” Bt continued as she glanced into the courtyard area that served as a utility and service entrance for the Deb U kitchens. A large farm cart was parked at the kitchen entrances while several village men were unenthusiastically unloading provisions. “The Cafeteria kitchens get the potatoes, cabbages, and goat meat but the Chancellor’s private kitchen gets all the good stuff.” As she spoke they watched baskets of dates, melons, and other exotic fruits, as well as containers of other rare foods imported from far away places, as they were carried into the Chancellors kitchen entrance.

Of course as an assistant to Chancellor Nanaea, Bt took advantage of her position to skim off enough of the luxury items to keep herself well supplied. None the less, after spending most of the morning going over the receipts and disbursements columns of last month’s ledger, Bt couldn’t help but be more than a little angry about the growing trend among the chancellors to demand a larger and larger share of the income for personal use while contributing less and less
in the way of actual in recruiting of new students or even holding on to the ones already enrolled. The one time hard and fast rule that once a Deb was enrolled they stayed enrolled didn’t seem to hold anymore. In the past few months Bt had seen more than a few new students become disillusioned with the conditions at Deb U and quietly slip out one of the sally- ports to disappear into the night, never to be seen again. It was rumored that some even used their knowledge of Deb U to form other schools in imitation of Deb U. The chancellors, insulated in their mansion, did nothing about it.

“This has got to change, Lucky.” Bt murmured, finally coming back to the here and now from her ruminations on the plight of the school. “And, maybe with all of us working together on this we can do it. Of course if the chancellors get wind of this we’ll all end up in Sal’s Detox.

Let’s see, I’ve got to talk with Moira, Sal, and Autolycus, for sure. Zeus..... I don’t know if it’s wise or not to include him in this. I’ll have to go at it very carefully. I’ll talk to Moira about it first. She’ll know the best way.” Bt scooped up Lucky and tucked her under one arm as she walked quickly toward the main gates. She glanced longingly at The Battlefield’s cool dark interior as she passed the open doors but her errand came first. The cold drink and pleasant companionship would have to come later.

A few hundred yards down the road to the village a narrow track met the road. Turning onto the track, Bt set Lucky down and as they passed under the tall trees which pressed closely to the track both sighed in relief. The track wound deeper into the woods and quite suddenly reached an ending in a clearing. There, centered in the clearing was the strange house that Bt and her children called home. It was constructed mostly of native stone although the upper stories and some of the later dormers, copulas and other additions were of rich dark wood. A wide porch ran the length of the front of the house and wrapped around both sides. Flowering bushes screened the lower few feet of the porch from a viewer standing in the track. Bt bounded up the three steps to the porch deck with the anticipation she always felt when coming home. Reaching behind one of the blue painted shutters covering the window she found the key hanging, as always, on a brass hook.

Once in the door, she glanced around at the familiar furnishings now draped in white sheets to keep out the dust. They looked, she thought like a bunch of ghosts assembled for a convention. The word convention brought her back to her reason for this visit to the house and she hurried passed the central stair case leading to the children’s rooms on the second and third floors and, following the hall that ran next to the staircase, opened the door on the far left side of the
passageway.

This was truly Bt’s room. Everything in it reflected her personality, from the large comfortable bed to the desk set near a window to catch the light, to the walls lined with containers for books and scrolls. But, none of these things were her reason for coming home on this particular day.

She stood silently in the center of the room eyes closed, arms an her sides, trying to relax and send out her thoughts. “Moira?” she called silently. “I need to talk to you, now, lady.” And, almost as and after thought, “Please?”

“There’s no reason to shout, child,” Moria’s familiar voice replied, as an amorphous white cloud of mist gradually took on the shape and size of a small child.

Getting down on one knee, partially out of respect and partially to be eye to eye with the goddess, Bt sighed, and then repeated her most familiar complaint, “I haven’t been a child in almost 60 years. Why do you insist on calling me that?”

“Do you really want to get into comparing ages or should we move on to the real reason you called me here? You’d like my opinion as to if you can somehow cajole Zeus into participating in this little scheme of yours. Does that about cover it?”

“Sheesh, cajole? That sounds almost dishonest. I see it more like convincing him with logically thought out reasoning. Besides, if you know everything in advance why don’t you just send me an “e-scroll” and save me the trouble of bothering you? “

“Ah, child but you have to ask before the idea becomes more than some random thoughts floating around in your devious mind. Now that you’ve asked, I, the Goddess of Destiny and Ruler of Fate may give you an answer based on my instructions to the Fates.”

“Muahahaha! You really do enjoy throwing those titles around, don’t you? So what’s the verdict? Will Zeus return the favor he owes me even if he might have to act against his own children?”

“I doubt it very much, if you put it to him that way! You might do better to remind him that these same children have been hitting the Deb U vaults pretty hard in the last year or so and doing nothing to replenish the coinage in them. It couldn’t hurt to mention that at least part of that coinage came from Olympus as a loan which hasn’t been repaid as yet.”

“Hmmm, good angle.” Bt replied sitting down on the floor to ease the ache developing in her knees. “I don’t suppose you’d care to suggest some way to get rid of this arthritis in my knees? On days like this it gets pretty bad.”

“Muahahahaha!” the Goddess laughed, betraying the origin of what Bt. always called “the family laugh”, “I suppose you could try cutting them off. My dear, the pain you feel in those knees is to remind you not to bend them quite so often. Save that sort of thing for someone REALLY important!”

“Oh, do you mean like, you?”

“Muahahahaha! Do you really think I’m the most important entity around here?” Moira’s final words seemed to hang in the room as her childlike form dissolved into white mist and then disappeared.

“Why does she always leave me with more questions to answer on my own than I had when I started a conversation with her? Oh well Lucky, we’d better get back things cleaned up around here and get some preparations going for meeting with Zeus. Maybe inviting him to an intimate home cooked dinner would be the way to get a foot in the door, so to speak”


continued....

Posted on Aug 04 1999, 11:21 AM

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