Sometimes payday falls on a Tuesday, or a Wednesday, or when you’re done getting blackmailed into doing things that you don’t really want to do, but have nothing better to do so you might as well.
Guess which one is for Anya?
Side note: my Character Hub has been updated to reflect new characters and changes in the current line up. Hopefully more characters will be added soon!
“This is a dangerous game!” her mother said shrilly, trying to keep her voice low. “How do you think Vriss got to be a General? He swindled his way up the ladder, like every other officer!” The floor outside of the parlor room creaked as Abbas nonchalantly stepped into the doorway. Anya immediately tensed up, glaring at him.
“Whatcha doin?” he asked casually. He was still riding high after the dinner party from last night.
“This isn’t a conversation for you,” Anya snapped back, “so leave.”
“You can’t make me,” he sneered, “you’re not the boss of me.”
“Abbas,” Lady Anya’s voice was calm and even tempered, “leave the room immediately.” Abbas tempted fate, stepping further into the parlor. In a flurry of pastel colored cloth, Lady Anya physically removed her son from the room, closing the door behind him.
“That’s a first,” Anya pointed out.
“He doesn’t need any more doting,” her mother said quietly, sitting down on one of the loveseats. “He’s had enough attention this weekend, and I am more concerned about you.”
“I don’t understand why,” Anya said, sitting opposite her, “I’ve been doing fine for most of my life with out you worrying about me.”
“That is completely false!” she snapped angrily.
“Really? Because that’s not how it felt.” Anya shot back.
It took the elder Anya a few moments before she could speak again. “What’s in the past is in the past,” she said diplomatically, “I can’t change that, but I can help you from making a very poor decision.” The younger Anya decided to keep her mouth closed. “Do not get mixed in with a General, at all possible costs.” she continued. “They are the worse than snakes and would sell their own family if it meant achieving higher political status.”
“Can they just kill their way to the top?” she asked.
“Colonel is the highest rank an officer can take; after that, its strictly promotional.” her mother explained. “It’s politics at its worst; everything is for sale, its just a matter of price.”
“Then I guess I just have to play his game,” Anya said, standing back up and collecting her hat from a nearby chair, “Colonel Albrecht answers to him, and he has my pay.”
“Let your father get it for you,” her mother pleaded, “or let your step-father talk to him.”
“I have to see him regardless,” Anya pointed out, opening the door to the hallway, “I might as well get it over with.” Abbas, hiding almost at the top of the stairs, quickly scampered down and disappeared into a nearby room. “Dick,” Anya growled, calmly walking down the stairs.
“Anya, please don’t do this,” her mother begged, following quickly behind her, “stay with us until the whole thing blows over.” Ignoring her mother, Anya collected her jacket from the coat rack just before the door.
“You’ll hear from me again in a few days when I reach Cloudcroft,” Anya continued, putting her coat on as the doorman happily opened the front door for her. “I’ll keep in touch periodically.” Outside, Hidalgo switched out of his dog form, nickering anxiously.
“You don’t plan on riding the whole way there do you?” Her mother demanded from the front steps.
“Of course not!” Anya said, hopping into the saddle. “We’ll fly of course.”
“How convenient,” General Vriss said loudly, “that you just happen to be in Cloudcroft a few days after I arrive back.”
“It’s quite convenient,” Anya said calmly, “must be the way the trade winds are blowing.” There was a sly smile on Vriss’ face.
“I know what you’ve come for,” he said.
“And I know you won’t give it up without a fight.” Anya pointed out.
“More like an even trade,” Vriss corrected her. “I am an officer and a gentlemen; I would never compromise a lady of your standing.”
“I want my pay,” Anya said, cutting the chase short, “what do you want in return?”
“I want a little bit of that Kerran magic.” Vriss said. “Colonel Albrecht is very good at keeping your father quite busy with his own heard. I want you to train mine.”
“I don’t train for free,” Anya said, trying to hide her nervousness. “It’s going to cost you.”
“Name your price.” Vriss countered. Anya was not prepared to hear that right away.
“Triple what Albrecht paid me,” she said, “plus room and board for free.”
The General didn’t bat an eyelash. “Done.” he said with a broad smile. She must not have done this right if he accepted this quickly.
“And I get my pay from Albrecht first.” She added. Vriss pulled a small rectangle book, signed one of the pages, tore it out, and handed it to her.
“Take it to the bank across the way,” he said, nodding towards the building directly across the road from his office. “They’ll get you set up with an account.”