The CAP: The Chancellors Arrive in Lost Wages
I cant believe this place! Astraea breathed, looking around at the
spectacular sights of Lost Wages.
Pretty lights, Nan said dreamily, munching on a cookie. They all swirled
around so nicely. She wondered how they managed to do that.
Lets get down to business, Hebea said, rubbing her hands together.
Business? Are you nuts? Astraea said. I wanna hit some blackjack
Thats exactly what I meant. Hebea was impatient. Autolycus and I
will scope the place and find the weakest dealers. They ran off to do their job.
I must check into my room, said O.M.A.R. It is imperative that I
unpack. His big trunk was silent and immobile, and he looked worried.
You do that. Get us all checked in and well pick up the keys later. Lets
go, Nan. Astraea took the chancellor by the arm and towed her off to the slot
Are we going to play now? Nanaea asked.
Yes, dear. Well get lots of shiny coins to put in the pretty machines.
Coins! Nan said happily, tears in her dilated eyes. I like it
O.M.A.R. took his luggage up to his room and immediately undid the trunks latches.
Rose came out, gasping. I thought Id never be out of there! she said,
Are you all right? he asked.
I am now, she said. Give me a hand, wont you? As she put her
hand in his, their eyes locked and they stood frozen for a moment. Thank you,
she said quietly.
At that point O.M.A.R.s secondary programming protocol kicked in and he grabbed her
for a long kiss. Rose was surprised at first, but tried to remember all her friends had
taught her, and responded as best as she could.
I need to freshen up, she said, breaking away and taking some clothes into the
bathroom to change. She looked at herself in the mirror. Careful, Ladybug, she
said to her reflection. Youre here to do a job. Keep them distracted until
this whole thing is over, and the scrolls are yours. Stay focused.
They all met for dinner that night at the all-you-can-eat crab legs buffet in the hotel
I hate to go to all these conference sessions tomorrow, Nanaea said. So
many shiny coins, so little time.
Im having fun too. You know, its too bad there isnt somebody who
can go for us and take notes, like we did when we took classes at Deb U.
Astraea then stopped, deep in thought. Wait a minute. Are you guys thinking what
I think so. Hebea glanced down the table, where Rose and O.M.A.R. were sitting
close together and feeding crab to each other.
Ladybug dear, Astraea called. Now that youve smuggled your way
into our trip, weve decided what must be your penance.
Yes, Chancellor, said the CA penitently.
Astraea frowned. That was a little too easy. Ladybug was always more uppity than that. But
oh well, take a good thing while youve got it. Weve decided that you
must attend the sessions for us and take notes, summarize and present us with the
condensed information at our leisure. Is that understood?
But I was--
Youre not supposed to be here.
I know, but we had plans to--
You have to do this or well send you straight home! She was firm.
I guess I dont have a choice. Rose gulped. If she got sent home, there
would be no one to distract the chancellors from the business that was going on at home.
She would fail her mission.
Good, its settled then. Astraea smiled.
I propose a toast! Nan declared, waving her big drink around so much that the
little umbrella fell out of it. Heres to the chancellors!
To the chancellors! they all echoed, clinking glasses.
To Ernestus Hemlock, Rose murmured, sipping her drink. And to your
Posted on Aug 27 1999, 11:05 AM
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