Soarers Choice

Soarers Choice by L. E. Modesitt Read Free Book Online

Book: Soarers Choice by L. E. Modesitt Read Free Book Online
Authors: L. E. Modesitt
stipend.
    “Marshal,
sir... congratulations.”
    “Thank
you, Tregaryt. Have you had any problems on this watch?”
    “No,
sir. Had a wild translation yesterday. Vrityst had to cut down a fellow with a
Myrmidon guard blade on Duadi.”
    Dainyl
shook his head. “I’ll be back later today. I’d appreciate your being a bit
careful.” Never before in the history of Acorus had guards been stationed — or
necessary — inside a Table chamber. Even before now, Dainyl had not taken Table
travel casually, not when some of the Recorders of Deeds had backed Brekylt and
tried to create fatal “accidents” for Dainyl when he had been translating. Now
he also had to worry about emerging from a translation and being “accidentally”
shot if he did not maintain Talent shields every moment.
    With
a smile at the guards, Dainyl stepped up onto the Table, immediately
concentrating through his Talent on the darkness beneath and within the Table.
He dropped through the silvered surface and into ...
    ...the
intense chill of purplish blackness that permeated every span of his body,
despite his uniform and flying jacket. Although he saw, not with his eyes, but
his Talent, he extended his senses toward the dark gray locator, bordered in
purple, that identified Alustre. He ignored the stronger and closer locators of
Tempre, bright blue, and the crimson-gold of Dereka, instead pressing himself
toward the more distant wedge of dark gray.
    Other
locators swirled by — wedges of amber, brilliant yellow, green, gray ... Well
beyond stretched a distant purple-black wedge — the long translation tube back
to Ifryn, the tube that all too many Ifrits were bribing and forcing their way
into, knowing that Ifryn was dying and that there was too little time
remaining.
    With
the usual suddenness that ended all translations, the silver barrier seemed to
flash toward Dainyl, hurling him through it.
    Dainyl
stood on yet another Table in another windowless chamber. He had made the
translation so swiftly that only the slightest hint of frost had appeared on
his flying jacket and uniform, before vanishing.
    Dainyl
held his Talent shields, but the pair of guards in black and silver uniforms
waiting and watching did not even move as he descended from the Table. Unlike
the Table chamber in Elcien, a set of black-and-silver-bordered hangings
adorned the walls, and each hanging contained a scene featuring an alector. A
long black chest stood against the wall opposite the single entrance — a square
arch, in which a solid oak door was set, and on each side of which sat a guard.
    A
younger alector in the purple-trimmed green of a Recorder of Deeds stepped
forward. “Marshal Dainyl, welcome to Alustre. We had not expected you, but you
are more than welcome anytime. I am Retyl, Zorater’s successor.” Behind Retyl’s
modest shields lay apprehension.
    “Thank
you, Retyl.” Dainyl smiled politely. “I appreciate your thoughtfulness. As a
dutiful recorder, I’m more than certain that you will do your best to maintain
the stability of the grid, unlike the late recorder in Hyalt.”
    “Absolutely,
sir.”
    Dainyl
could read the consternation behind the calm expression on Retyl’s face, but
only continued to smile as he walked to the chamber door.
    On
each side of the arch in the hallway outside were another pair of alectors, also
wearing black and silver uniforms. They did not speak as Dainyl departed,
walking to the end of the corridor and up the stairs to the main level.
    From
there, he took the main corridor leading to the west portico. The passageway
was floored in a shimmering silver-gray marble, the octagonal tiles outlined
with thin strips of black marble. Silver-and-black-bordered hangings decorated
the walls. The portico was not paved in marble, but white granite, and the
columns were smooth circular white granite pillars.
    Dainyl
had not expected a duty coach to be waiting, and indeed, one was not. While he
waited, he occasionally looked at the residence

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