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May 22, 2020
It’s a grim day for business. It is also their first day on the job.
The triumvirate occupies the corners of a triangle table, sat like pillars, their faces carved out of stone.
Above them, a jet carving of Lucifer stands, a beautiful man wrapped in bat wings occupying the center of the slab.
The fresh-spoken remark still dances among his feet like mischief born from his evil.
“You’re suggesting that we’re broke?” The voice had risen from around them, though none else would hear it if they stood in the room. Soft, feminine, with a hint of steel under the manicured diction, she delivers the words with incredulity. “How does the financial load look?”
The three lock eyes across the triangle. None of them want to be the first to speak. Kirk Sundita breaks the silence and carries the conversation on his wide shoulders. “Expensive.” Papers shuffle on the desk in front of them. He draws a thick intake of breath and releases it in an explosive sigh. “The rest of Metentis Generation did us dirty. We’ve bought their contracts out as required, but that’s drained the Legion coffers.”
“How do we reconstitute our solvency?”
“Normal pathways will pay for . . . 39.4% of the recruits?” Jithu Chan speaks in soft tones, as always. “If we liquidate investment funds, we wouldn’t have an issue covering more. Fifty-four percent?”
Jenna Damico picks up where he left off. “But that leads to other problems for us.”
“Some of those investments are long-held. They are the sole guarantee of our longevity.” The bodiless voice does not seem pleased by the suggestion.
Kirk spreads his hands. “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. We’re just not used to having a classroom that’s so deep.”
“We still possess the storage wards. Metentis Generation was busy.”
“We do.” Around the table, nods of affirmation follow.
“Are they processed?”
Jenna, flipping to the noted page of the report, studies the words. “Temperance has been through roughly half, which accounts for the North and West wards. We’ve earmarked the materials that are useful. The rest is still a mystery until they finish the audit.”
“I will speak with Lana about her expediency, though Temperance has more than they might handle at present.” A pause before the voice continues. “How quickly can you sell the materiel?”
The trio were waiting for this question, preparing their responses with meticulous care.
“We don’t hold authorization to move some of those to the marketplace,” Jenna says, a glimmer to her eye of a salesman making her pitch.
“I will speak with the Council,” the voice responds.
Kirk is eager too. “Though rare, we’ve made sales like this before. And we’ll be discreet. Temperance gave us a resource list for the elements that our materials match up to. They’re close approximations, minus the small magic properties.”
“Always we have been able to obscure our existence. I am uncertain we can maintain our secrecy in this enterprise. Are you?”
The pause is lengthy before that voice makes response. “Prepare a list of additional manufacturing facilities that will take initial orders. Spread the shipments out if you please, Mr. Sundita, and begin work on doping the certificates. We will need this to produce results with no one being the wiser.”
“How expansive do you want the list to be?” Jenna adds, almost as an afterthought. “I know some less-than-savory contacts that would pay a premium. I just can’t guarantee the materials will be used for normal, lawful application.”
The two other members of Devil conroi swivel their heads, one ponderous, the other shocked. Silence reigns. “I will not hold you responsible for the actions of others,” the voice says after long moments. “I do not believe that what we hand them will make much difference. Whatever it takes, get this done. We must rebuild.”
And Fate watches on. Laughs, knowing that it will be ruinous.
Return to the Timeline
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