Thursday, March 31, 2011

"You will forgive me, Rider, but you will understand that we cannot take this at face value, even from such a source, sent in such a way. These are serious charges; they must be verified. Thea," - he speaks without turning - "make arrangements for us to visit this 'Exton'. I leave all travel arrangements in your hands. In our absence, Erasmus will administer the estate."

"Our absence, my Lord?"

"Of course. You are coming with me."

He beckons a man forward, one whose erect carriage and bearing proclaim him a soldier, at least once. His right hand has been replaced by a prosthetic hook. "Erasmus, old friend - you will take care of things for me, yes? My trust in you and your ability is complete, so do what you think needful while I am gone."

"My Lord," the grizzled veteran returns. "You will find all prospering when you return, exactly as you left it."

"I know that to be so." He raises his voice to take in the entire hall. "Hear me, people of Deimos. I go to the United States on a matter of honor and justice, one that concerns our House. While I am gone, Erasmus Ironhand has my voice. He is your liege lord until my return."

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