The Freelance Traveller (freetrav) wrote,
The Freelance Traveller

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First Scene, Revised

As I indicated in this entry, I'm looking for honest and constructive comment/criticism.

In sketching out the scene following this, I discovered that I'd left too many questions unanswered, and that as a result, there was a disconnect between this scene and the next. This is an attempt to clean up the scene to smooth the transition.

Gaamila Corribant stood and stretched as the final chords of the symphony died into silence. It was clear to him that Eneri Managudeli really didn't understand Terran musical forms, no matter how much he was praised for his mastery of them - all he was doing was mechanically working his way through the textbook changes to the basic theme, with no real emotional coherence, and little more imagination in the accompaniment. "Even after six of the forsaken things, he still can't get it right," Corribant thought. Nevertheless, the composer would be the guest of honor at the club next Sixday, and since Corribant was to be the senior officer of club present, some familiarity with Managudeli's Terran Symphonies was advisable.

He touched a control on the console, selecting office mode instead of library mode. The room lights brightened, and the console displays changed, showing the locations of his ships and an index of current contracts. There was also an indicator that the majordomo wished to speak to him, but that the matter did not appear to be of sufficient importance to disturb him while he had the library set for 'do not disturb'. He acknowledged the majordomo's request, and stepped out into the hall to meet the majordomo coming toward the office, a puzzled expression on his face.

"Sir, a messenger brought this card and message, and indicated that he was not instructed to wait for a response." The majordomo handed Corribant what looked like a calling card, and a message crystal. "I do not recognize the name on this card, and the name does not appear in any of my usual research sources."

Corribant took both items, looked at the card, and spoke to his majordomo, "Don't worry; I recognize the name, and already know the usual information you bring me." He slipped the card into the inside pocket of his vest. "Am I correct in recalling that there are no appointments for the next hour?"

The majordomo nodded. "You are, sir; but Sir Kaarin Douglas-Tukera is expected in ninety minutes, and he is known to arrive early for his appointments."

"Indeed. I don't expect that he'll need to be kept waiting; thank you." He stepped back into his office and closed the door, removing the card from his pocket as he did so. There was no question but that he would recognize the name; it was his own, although the name on the card was not "Gaamila Corribant," nor anything even vaguely close. More important was the date and symbol written in one corner of the back; it told him when he had given someone that card, and to whom. Still more important would be the accompanying message; Corribant inserted the crystal into the reader and watched as the message played.

An image of a tall, young woman appeared. Her Daryen heritage was immediately visible in her white hair, bronze skin, and the distinctly pointed pinnae of her ears. Corribant immediately recognized her as Malem ye-Pazet, the woman to whom he had given the card. She spoke: "Please see the Starport Commandant of Security as soon as possible; identify yourself only as my representative. He will explain how this has reached you, and if you do as he asks, I will accept it as honoring the promise of your card." The display went dark.

Corribant leaned back in his chair, thinking. The message posed several problems, the most important of which was the fact that it had reached him at all - while he was not one to run out on debts, especially not debts of honor, it had been necessary to abandon the identity that had incurred that particular debt, and he knew that his tracks had been well-covered - it should have been impossible for anyone to connect him with ... himself ... except for the people who had set him up as Gaamila Corribant. ye-Pazet may not have been what she had seemed those many years ago, or...

The message had said that the Commandant would explain. She was asking him to honor his debt by allowing her to transfer it to the Commandant. Therefore, he would see the Commandant. He contacted the Starport. "Security, please... I would like to make an appointment to see the Commandant, as the representative of Malem ye-Pazet... Is there anything sooner than that? She has asked me to see him as soon as possible... I see. That will be satisfactory, then; thank you."

He disconnected from the Starport, and signalled the majordomo. "Show Sir Kaarin into the office as soon as he arrives, and clear my calendar for tomorrow. I have unexpected business at the Starport; please book me onto the first shuttle up, and have a car and driver ready first thing to take me to the shuttleport."

Tags: writing
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