53.7 \ 235

“That’s…” King Vario paused and sighed, “…quite the development. We’ll take your report, plus any data you have Hayze, and that’s all we need from you for now. Other matters follow closely, and now I need to speak exclusively with General Claymore. Thank you for bringing your local and procedural expertise to this office.” Responding to the tense urgency in the proxem’s voice, the two officials got up and made bowed salutes, then hastened through the hatches to summon their awaiting transports.

The remaining two shuffled around a little to adjust their momentary comforts. Water cups were refilled, communications connected or closed. Recent days had them accustomed to each other’s presence, an evolution of longtime family friend status – managing wartime together. Not that they were calling it war, exactly. They again sat, angled toward each other at the bell of the curved desk.

King Proxem Vario opened without ceremony. “We need to start uncovering hidden information directly from sources. I’ve already looked into reserving rooms for questionings in strategic locations, and restaffing an unused complex.”

“How long unused?” It seemed like trivial errata, but Claymore knew enough history, including that of his family.

Thinking about security and scope of possible involvement, the King informed the General, “Since about a couple generations ago.” Then that was probably one of those, from that time. Draig held his peace and let the King continue. “You’re already in charge of a heavy campaign. I only require your assistance in staffing, and possible emergency supervision. It’s a scattered operation.”

Draig Claymore sank into his chair, continuing to sit strong. “I understand, sir.” This was something he said to register receipt when he might not necessarily agree, but it didn’t matter.

“I’ll get you into the communication. You may go.” Draig drifted through his exit, glancing at Vario’s seat back silhouetted against the view, just before the hatches shut – getting onto his transport – feeling himself in motion before releasing the last of some long-held breath.

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