The following afternoon at lunch Tanta asked Free and Cory to stay behind and help clean up. Relieved dancers whose turn it actually was took the hint and swiftly fled the room. Once it was just the three of them Tanta set out tea and sat, watching them wash, dry, and put away. Cory seldom had to open more than one cupboard, he had already learned how the kitchen was laid out. She was more surprised that Free also knew there things went . . . then she remembered Free had spent time with Mike.
When they were done she nodded approval and gestured for them to sit. “I has a question for the pair of yas, a question.” she smoothed her dress and met both their eyes in turn. “Do you want to leave who you work for and join this family, work here, instead?”
Free and Cory looked at each other. “Madam, we are not allowed to ever . . . ”
“Oh that is what they say. I asks you before I talks to them. Iffen you wants I will ask them, nicely.” Tanta smiled. “Then if I have to I will be less nice.” Again she smoothed her dress. “But I need to know . . . will you come to me and mine if you can?”
Free smiled almost shyly. “I will not speak for him but I would like nothing more. But Tanta, nobody ever leaves . . . ”
“That is for Tanta to worry about. How about you, young man?”
“I am just a tech, Madam. Not a skilled Operative like Free. People like me are a dime a dozen.”
“NO.” Free and Tanta said in unison. Tanta nodded and Free continued. “We are a team.”
Tanta nodded. “I read your after action report of the hotel where you thought Eme was. You were not a just a tech. Boro noticed you and he tends to think of most people as semi sentient furniture. It will not be all ‘making tea and cookies’ but we will find things for you to do.”
“Madam, it would be an honour to work with you and yours.” Cory bowed his head. “But . . . ”
“No buts, it be settled. I will make the call in an hour. Come back here, then, please.” The manners were there but they both knew an order when they heard it.
Boro was also giving orders but there was no mistaking his imperious tone and the words were not so polite. “You, call and find me the best female dancers ages 6, 12, and 18 who are proficient in Mendre. Planetary champion level at the least. Bring me a list in an hour. You? Call the Countess Beatrice Batteuse and tell her I need her to do a favour for me and Madam. You there, in the back. A composer, Roc if you can find him, otherwise someone lesser. Well? Why are you all still standing there? Go, go!
She pulled down a ledger and flicked on a light. Running her finger down the columns she made a few notes and nodded to herself.
“She read our after action reports? But those are . . . ”
“I do not doubt that Tanta did if she days she did. The reach of that woman is more than just impressive, it is frightening. This will not be a step down in operations, it will be a step up.” Free looked out the window. “It will not be just kill this one, erase that one, though. Has it occurred to you that we do not actually KNOW what she does?”
“Yes.” Cory hesitated then went on. “Doesn’t matter, though. I will still sign on if she will have me. But the timing is what bothers me.”
Free nodded. “Me, too.”
Ever see a large Eve corp change management? Undergo a sea change? It is unsettling for all concerned but very much so for the rank and file and most of all for anybody new, just coming in.
Businesses, Governmental changes, always questions of what will be different and what will stay, will I fit in to the new plan or is that door opening for more than just the boss? Some corp/alliance leaderships border on cult status and perhaps with good reason.
As a teacher the change in admin teams is always stressful because you had to find out where the new boundaries were. I usually found out by blithely crossing them at high speed.
Back to Eve for a moment, I saw a tweet about someone seeing more and more of Pearl Abysses hand in CCPs day to day. I have not noticed it but then I am old and tend to barely notice when my wife gets a haircut.
fly it like you won it