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Chapter 29

Yalun né Siana

June 2008

Jolene LeDuc sat in the foyer of her father’s office. It was an open plaza on the third level, behind a kiva. So his office was the in the most secure location in the Cliff Palace at Yalun né Siana, also known as Mesa Verde.

She sat and gazed upward at the strata of the stone alcove carved by nature and she admired the handiwork of the ancient Anasazis who had felt the need to build such magnificent stone structures here. She often wondered what stress their society must have had to endure to want such a desolate location. The remoteness alone showed her that they must have had tremendous internal strife. That thought led her to her own society’s current dispute.

“How appropriate!” she said out loud, her voice echoing against the stone cavern walls and ceiling. How appropriate that her father and his small faction should follow the footsteps of those Anasazi rebels so long ago. Their faction had won their civil war and we will too.

An obsequious underling approached. His footsteps clacking on the stone plaza. “Yes, it is appropriate, Jolene. Your father will see you now.”

“Thank you, Jason,” she said as she stood and strode to her father’s doorway. She turned her back figuratively and literally on the servant. He was a nobody.

She pushed the curtains away from the opening and entered the sanctum sanctorum. Yes, daddy dearest actually calls his office that.

The internal lighting was wholly inadequate to dispel the shadows of the small council room stuffed to over-crowding with modern furniture. “So, Johnson has met with Junior again,” came the androgynous voice.

“Yes, Father,” said Jolene.

“He was probably counseling Junior to not ‘give in’ to his desire for revenge!” The aide, Jason, joined the Director as he laughed at the mockery. It was not a mirth filled laughter. “What mission has Solomon planned?” LeDuc’s slender hand moved a crystal. The amber display shifted to exhibit a file picture with the name Solomon across the bottom border. He was not a very good looking man. Nothing remarkable about him at all. He had no warmth in his expression either. But, there was an intensity about the eyes that was a bit unnerving.

“Solomon wants to rig a traffic signal at the intersection leading to the High Grove of the Dianic Coven of Anaheim,” she replied.

“For what purpose?”

“Mayhem, causing traffic accidents right near one of Johnson’s allies... ”

“No, no. We’re way beyond that. I want the high priestess herself killed. None of this silly-assed shadowy nonsense.”

“So, we’re taking the gloves off, then?”

“Yes, but tell me first of your visit to Pennsylvania.”

She smiled. “My spy in Johnson’s school has managed to worm her way into Ian Buxton’s graces. Ian, of course, is...”

“Graduating class, expert on Mana spikes and discoverer of the relationship between fossilized mana nodes and the lunar cycle. Brilliant kid.”

“Yes, and friend of Davic McKay, similar records, protégé of Johnson. Solomon and I and a few of our graduating class have been shadowing Buxton for weeks. We found out that he would be accompanying McKay to his brother’s wedding and crashed the party. You should have seen his face when I took his mother aside for a conversation.”

Again he laughed. “Scaring the kiddies must have been most fun. But we have a war to plan.”

“Yes, Solomon has formulated the plans for the raid on the Samoan islet...”

“The mana reservoir under the island of Ta’u. Continue.”

“There are only a few mages in Samoan government, some from the American part and some from the independent nation. They work together most of the time. Solomon has determined when they don’t. Usually, they trade Sundays, but like I said one Sunday in seven both sides will take the afternoon off. It’s been consistent for the last three years we’ve been observing them. And he’s found the key to unlocking the mana-gate to the interior.”

“Has he?” asked LeDuc, with more openness than Jolene had seen in her father since her mother had died. “We’ve been working on that for years.”

She transferred a mana image to the central crystal on the conference table and expanded it to show those in the room. “This is a picture of the border around the edge of the mana-gate. It looks like a hand painted tapa cloth. You see there are three rows of blocks and a repeating pattern of these four here.”

“Yes,” said her father. “I see it repeats, so?”

“You see the lines here, in this particular block? There is a reduction in the space between the sienna colored lines that does not repeat anywhere else. We have examined the 800 feet plus of this pattern. It only shows up here,” She pointed to the panel beside the gate itself.

“Alright,” he said again. “This means?”

“We have observed the guard touching this spot and saying ”Ou te manao e tatala, faitotoa!” in Samoan. “Which means “Open door!”

“Excellent,” he smiled, though it wasn’t a smile that would make anyone happy to see.

“Also, Father,” she said. “I believe Davic McKay has discovered how to move the moon.”

“We have heard report of this rongorongo tablet and it’s translation.” He moved his hand as if to dismiss the train of conversation.

“That is not the direction I was taking this conversation. I believe he knows how to do it himself. If we were to kidnap him, we could use his knowledge to our advantage.”

“Yes,” he nodded seeing how it could help them. “Good job Jolene, set up plans and pass them by me.” He turned to Jason. “Send in Solomon we’re about to raid Ta’u.”

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