Alissa and all her horrors has been a charming distraction, I’m sure, Haraklez thought to herself. It doesn’t change the fact that we have less than two weeks to get into orbit, subvert Station, and get our message out to what Mom calls ‘The Advisory Board Lawyers’. I have no idea what an Advisory Board Lawyer IS. Much less a ‘Company of Company Marines’. Mom assures me that the so-called Marines are the teeth that will make Prime stop trying to kill us.
Apparently Prime does have to answer to someone else… a ‘Board’. A group of businesses who keep each other in check. They… the board members… are the rulers of what Mom calls ‘Corporate Space’. Prime is violating their rules here. In fact, Stepapa and Pa, and Head and even Alissa, are Board members, because they’re descendants of planetary owners. Apparently they have the right of appeal, if only they can get a message out.
I suppose that means I will be a Board Member one day. Is the criterion for that membership merely my blood and bone? Does that mean that Terence will not be? Do we have to accept that culture? I mean Prime set up this horrible culture, where everyone has their place and everyone has limits on their knowledge. His horrid ideas about women… as if they are insensate incubators. Or fleshly statues to be venerated, controlled, and placed here and there to beautify the landscape.
She shook her head as she closed the office door behind her, leaving the think tank building variation models of ‘parachute’ or ‘balloon’ sandsheets. Agador, Mom and One were in there helping. Terry wasn’t. He was sulking again and Agador had made clear that he wasn’t coming out any time soon.
I just have to fix that if I have to drag him out by the ear and shake him.
“Terence…” The whisper in his head was very quiet, and he turned his head, covering it with a heavy cushion as if he could block it out physically. He’d found a pocket in the canyon rock that he’d lined with cushions and rugs because he found himself wanting to actually remove himself from M.O.M.’s presence sometimes. It was part of his depression that he was looking for solitude, however spurious it was because he had Agador and Mom and One all lurking in his head.
“Terence… I’m sorry to interrupt your privacy…” He buried himself deeper in the nest of cushions. The Lainz were treating him like a prince and just gave him the materials… the rugs and the tapestries and the bolsters and pillows
“Go away, Agador.”
“Mom informs me that Haraklez is on her way to speak to you.” Terry popped his head out from under his cushions, sweaty and dishevelled.
“Oh, no! Agador, tell her I’m busy!”
“She inquired of Mom where you were and confirmed with me, but she is still on her way despite us telling her you wanted privacy..”
For a moment all he did was stare before he scrambled out, flinging soft furnishings in every direction. “Shit on the First Page!” he bellowed and began rooting through the jumbled mountain for his clothing. “Ink and sand and paper and blank screen!” He jammed one foot into his trousers, hopped on the unstable surface before falling onto his back, fighting to pull his trousers up from that position, ankle flapping as his foot caught and stuck somewhere around the knee.
The linen shirt slid over his head, all askew, laces hanging and he fumbled with the cuffs, forelock falling in his eyes when a solid clap sounded outside in lieu of knocking. “Terence? I’m sorry to interrupt your solitude, but we need you.?”
He froze where he lay. “Go away…” he drew a deep breath. Not only was she a woman, with no keeper, she was the local equivalent of a princess. “Please.”
“Terence. I’m not your mother come to call you down for your behaviour. We need to talk.”