STF

Earth - I'll Make 'Em An Offer They Can't Refuse

Posted July 12, 2021, 1:04 p.m. by Civilian Seamus McKenzie (Future Citizen) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Civilian Ragna Idun McKenzie (Future Citizen) in Earth - I’ll Make ‘Em An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Posted by Civilian Seamus McKenzie (Future Citizen) in Earth - I’ll Make ‘Em An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Posted by Civilian Ragna Idun McKenzie (Future Citizen) in Earth - I’ll Make ‘Em An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)
Tara nodded and smiled. “Most agreeable, I’m flippin’ starving.” and she pressed another button and staff began to arrive and soon the table was covered in food: venison steaks, boar meat, breads, fresh vegetables, homemade butter and jam, fresh fish, steamed mussels, pickled vegetables, and more. As the meal wore on, Tara encouraged the staff to come in and take some food back, making sure to introduce each person by name to everyone at the table. Of course everyone knew Seamus, and some knew Mike from his music. As they left at one point Tara said “And don’t worry about any of them. They have all served the clan for years. None of them will say a word about Michael being back.” Seamus nodded in agreement. “I grew up with most of ‘em. They’re solid as the day.”

The rest of the evening passed uneventfully with laughter and relaxing talk… even if the tense undercurrent was ever present. Soon, it was time for everyone to leave. They left as they came in so as not to be seen. As they walked into the basement, Tara handed Revna a copy of the files and whispered to her “Just between you and I. Look at Capall McKenzie.” and squeezed her hand.

Revna nodded taking the files and then hugged Tara. She pulled back searching Tara’s face. She pulled the personal comm off her belt and put it in Tara’s hands closing her fingers on it. “It’s not been tapped. Use it. I won’t take no for answer, seanmhair.” Then she was gone in a swirl of matter and energy.

As the entourage arrived back in Bømlo, Mike looked at Cuyler and held up a bottle of Napoleonic brandy. “To keep us warm while we talk?” and he gestured away from the village and towards the path to the shore.

McKenzies

Revna eyed the bottle, quite familiar with it. She led Mike a few feet away. She kissed him because she needed to and he needed it. Then eyes twinkling she tapped the bottle, “I know what’s in that bottle, Mike, you better save me some. You didn’t see me AFTER drinking it. Good think Gravel’s a gentleman.” She laughed the whole way back to her sisters.

Cuyler nodded to Mike as they started walking, “Sounds good, as long as it’s worth drinking.” The moon was almost full and there was not a cloud in the sky at the moment, so Cuyler didn’t bother with grabbing an artificial light. He glanced over Mike, for probably the 100th time that night. He liked what he saw, more he loved what he saw when he watched Revna with him. There was a lot Cuyler could say, and would eventually that had nothing to do with clan or reconciliation, and everything to do with his daughter. But Mike had a lot of his own to say and Cuyler was there to listen and help as he could. “Tell me of this idea of yours.”

Cuyler

Mike nodded as they walked, and broke the wax seal with a deftness born of years of practice. He handed the bottle to Cuyler for him to take the first drink. “So… my idea. Yeah… I’ve been thinking about how to cut this cancer out. I don’t want to do it in stages, and I don’t want to come down like a tyrannical fascist, either. This is my first move as head of the clan… I know it’ll set the tone for everything after this, right?”

Cuyler took the bottle and took a deep full pull of it. That was good stuff. “Aye it will. And you don’t want to trap yourself into a corner with starting out one way because it was necessary and feeling you have to stay in that corner.”

“So my thought is to get them blacklisted in society. I want everyone who ever supported them to turn their backs on ‘em. I want to leave them with nothing and no one. So once they’ve agreed that Argyle gets no protection from them in exchange for Reconciliation… then Tara surprises them with me… my first move is banishment from the Clan for all of them… but not forever; for three generations. And the stipulation that their descendants can return home if and only if their lines show they are people of character and decency to be determined by the Clan Chiefs of the McKenzies and the Edmans as well as a tribunal of thirteen of the clan members outside the head of the clan. Give the real Clan the right to decide who is and isn’t a McKenzie. What do you think?” He took the bottle and drew a long pull before handing it back.

Mike

“I think it’s a good plan, I adore the idea of the tribunal, very Viking of you. But it may be something you can’t live with. Now hear me out. First what exactly is 3 generations? You need to make that very clear. Is it the 3rd generation can come back or is it the 4th generation. And are you starting with your parents generation or your own? The part that will be hard to live with, is making the children, the grandchildren, pay for the sins of the parents. It’s exactly what happened to you. Your father committed a terrible crime and you were made to pay the consequences. You were, for all intents and purposes, banished from your clan. Now we see clearly that your aunts and uncles have poisoned most of your cousins. But we also see, with this mysterious information provider, that not everyone has totally fallen prey to it. Now we have a custom called Althing. It’s a court system, meets once a year where people tell their case and the clan at large decides. This is a way around for you. The adults would be útlagi, or outlaw, and would never be allowed a clan again. But their children could petition. They wouldn’t be on McKenzie rolls, but they could be Edmans. It won’t be easy for them though, the trials and proofs are convoluted and meant to test their resolve. You can also reserve the right to determine on a case by case basis. But you don’t want to make either of these options too readily known. You want them to live with this decisions, hard, you want it to eat at them and let it cleanse or destroy them. But you don’t want to abandon the good people caught in the cross fire.” He squeezed Mike’s shoulder, “It’s a difficult decision and I can see the logic and good sense of your plan and as one chief to another, I support you in it.”

Cuyler

Mike nodded and took a drink, handing the bottle back. “Three generations from those living now. Youngest one is I think seven. So their great-grandchildren could come back. I like the idea of a yearly ‘court’… but a lotta those cousins have made their kids, innocent or not in this, the kind that’ll be easy prey to whispers in the dark. I honestly think it’s best that we just cut ties with them till they prove they can be McKenzies to make us proud. Now what I could do is give special consideration to those who earn their way back in. Take the one that sent Gran the info… I don’t know what Revna thinks of it, but that was a ballsy move. And I don’t think it’s a trap… my gut tells me it’s not. And some of the things I saw just browsing on that screen? Clan politics aside… there’s adultery, child neglect, and I don’t know how many tax evasion admissions. You don’t need to make up all that for this situation. So whoever sent that? I’ll keep ‘em. And I’ll welcome back any of the kids that prove themselves… either with service to Clan above and beyond the pale… or through diligent service with no reward. They can give to the clan anything they want: time, money, information, legal help… whatever. But they get nothing for it in return except the hope that they can come back some day. So that’ll apply to the kids. But my cousins and their parents? Shit… they’re old enough to know better. They’re done. They get no chance. Not now, not ever. Banished. Permanently. Names removed from the rolls and all holdings distributed among the clan.” He said it as if trying to convince himself, not just Cuyler.

Mike

Cuyler nodded glad to see Mike thinking it through. What Mike was proposing was exactly what Cuyler himself was thinking. But it was easy to say to a young man looking for advice, ‘Do this’ it was harder, but a better teacher to provide an alternative view point and let them decide. “Absolutely, your cousins and their parents do know better. And the evidence against them is overwhelming. There is no redemption for them, their names will be added to the list of útlagi. And the children, well there may be no redemption for them either, but for those that DO there is a way. You just don’t tell them that. They can be watched, observed, and if it’s right then you can approach them.” Cuyler took another long pull of the bottle and passed it back to Mike. “Now as for Revna, I’ve never seen her be so…cautious. She’s always so forgiving and has this knack for seeing other points of view. But the only way you’re gonna know what she thinks about all of it, is to ask. You and Revna will need to be in agreement on this. Because whatever is done here, will apply to both clans now and in future. But if I know Revna, she’s more concerned with making sure this mystery person is treated fairly. That if he or she deserves leniency it’s given. I think you have a good plan, you’ve thought it through, I can’t think of anything that’s been missed. Now, what else is on your mind?”

They reached the part of the path that crested the rise and looked out over the ocean. Mike took a seat on a large log. Looking out over the ocean he said “I’ve never been good at stuff like this… but… um… I hope that I didn’t offend you or your wife marrying your daughter without asking. I know you guys are pretty open minded about that, but I just wanted you to know that I didn’t mean any offense. To you or your people. Especially if her last guy has family or anything… no offense was intended.”

Mike

Cuyler sat down on the log next to him, took the bottle and another pull from it and handed it back to Mike. “I’m going to tell you the same thing I told Seamus. You don’t need my permission and you have my blessing. You didn’t offend us. We raised our girls to speak their minds. Seamus came to me, threatened to take all my fighters out single handedly,” and he started laughing for a long minute. “I mean, I don’t wanna hurt Seamus or nothin’ but I would have liked to have seen it. But if Ragna hadn’t wanted to go with him, she didn’t need me to fight that battle for her. But he was worried I was upset how quickly he decided Ragna was his.” Cuyler shrugged, “Things happen that way. If you’re connected, if your meant to be it doesn’t matter what others think. I could object all I wanted, but I don’t want, and Revna would have listened, smiled, kissed my cheek, told me she loved me and then married you anyway.”

Cuyler looked out over the sea for a long moment. “No Mike, we aren’t offended. You brought her out of the darkness, breathed life back into her. Offended? No, son. As for Shauwn’s family, you already met him. Revna told me about it, when she called me after her surgery. Devlin gave you her mead. If he didn’t want her to find someone he wouldn’t have given that away. I’m sure he’ll be looking for you though come the morning. He’s a good man, does right by the clan, he’s over the moon happy for Revna. I see her with you, and I can tell you, Revna has never been as happy as she is now.”

Cuyler

Mike nodded and drank. “I just don’t wanna screw it up. She’s… she’s… she’s more than I’ve imagined. Like… ever. Still have NO clue how the hell this all came to be.” and he took a drink and handed the bottle to Cuyler. “But I ain’t gonna try an’ direct it, either. As long as it happened, that’s all that matters.” He looked at Cuyler for a long moment.

“How the hell did you manage to get three daughters of such epic caliber? I mean… seriously? You make a deal with the gods or something?” and he laughed.

Mike

Cuyler snorted, “Of course she’s more, Michael. We all tend to imagine what we want but they are more than what we want they are what we need. I feel the same way about my Helka. As for screwing things up.” Cuyler took another drink, passing the bottle and looked out at the sea. “Before she left for the Delta, Revna was in San Francisco. She came home for a day. Gods she was heart broken. Said she’d screwed every thing up. I asked her what she was going to do about it. Daft girl looked at me like I’d grown an extra eye in my forehead. Then an hour later she has me runnin’ her all over creation with this little black velvet bag and a letter attached to it so it could get added to a shipment of supplies going out for the Atlantis. It doesn’t matter if you screw up Mike, it’s what you do to fix it tha’ matters.”

“Seriously, how did I end up with my daughters? I think Helka’s a witch.” Cuyler grinned and then shook his head, “No, not really. She’d have my hide too if she heard me say that. Over the years I think the gods were playing a joke on me. Raising those girls has been no end of heart attacks for me. Wait…hang on.” Cuyler pulled a mini PaDD out of a pocket and flipped through it. “So when the girls were 12 we went to this resort for the high holiday. Gorgeous place. Anyway the girls went skiing. Didn’t think much of it until there was a small avalanche on the trail they were supposed to be on. We searched for hours and didn’t find them.” Cuyler takes a deep breath letting it out. “All of a sudden over the comm comes ‘We found ‘em!’ I have never felt so weak in my life, I swear. Found ‘em all right. Revna, Runa, and this boy they’d made friends with, grandson of the resort owners, in an unrented cabin, passed out drunk. They’d convinced the boy to sneak into his grandfather’s study and steal the mead I’d brought him as gift and then they snuck off, the 3 of them, and drank it all.” Cuyler passes over the PaDD and on it is a picture, Runa and the boy passed out, in a bad way, a much younger Revna, red rimmed wide eyes, sitting up, craning her neck way back to look up at someone. “I come storming in shouting their names. Revna sits up, far too steady for a drunk 12 year old, and goes ‘Da, shhhh....’ gets up, takes me by the hand and leads me out of the room, and goes, ‘Quiet, they don’t feel so good. Ohhhh…me either.’ and promptly passed out. I have never been so grateful and so pissed at my child. And that was just one incident.”

Cuyler

Mike chuckled. He looked at the holo for a while and said “I’m really glad she had all of you.” He looked at Cuyler directly. “I’m glad we both do, now. I’ve never had much in the way of family after my father did his thing. But now… now I think I can finally see the past being made the past. And Cuyler… Dad… Im really glad the future includes you.” He lifted the bottle and drank, then looked out to sea. A look of peaceful determination came about him, and it seemed like a puzzle piece slid into place.

Cuyler sent up a quiet prayer of thanks to whichever god was looking out for Mike, because anyone else put in his position wouldn’t be the man Mike was. Mike was about to discover he had more family than he knew what to do with. Cuyler smiled as Mike called him ‘Dad’. He loved his daughters and wouldn’t trade them for any thing, but he’d always wanted a son, and now he had two! And the best the universe had to offer if he was allowed his biased opinion.

“I’m gonna kick these traitors in the teeth, and then we are gonna have a party for the ages.”

Mike

“I can’t change what you’ve been through, Mike. But I’m going to give you my first piece of fatherly advice. They tossed you into the depths of Hell, thinking in their childishness that they control it. Now that your nearing the end of that path, you walk in there, in two days, and you show them why OWN that path. You leave them in the hell they created and you walk out the other side. And Revna and I and the rest of your family will be there with you.” He laid a hand on Mike’s shoulder, squeezed it once and then took a last pull off the bottle.

“You know our parties tend to last at least a week right?” Then he began to laugh, “Oh....Seamus is gonna kill us. A good chunk of the clan is camped on his door step. It would take days to move them anywhere else....that land is going to be....well his nice quiet secluded piece of paradise isn’t going to be so quiet for awhile. And at some point I’ve got to know what the bet between you and Revna was. There is ALWAYS a bet, and I’m a nosey old man.”

Cuyler

Mike laughed. “Yeah, there was a bet, actually. She had drug my best friend into my place on the Atlantis. He’d… well… he’d had a bad day. Anyways, they come in and start drinking. I asked her if she was single… because a gorgeous woman sits down at your bar, you ask. Not just for personal interest, mind you, which I was… but also to make sure you keep an eye on ‘em so the creeps don’t get ‘handsy’ and the like. Anyway, she says ‘Single? Yeah I’m single, but you couldn’t handle me, Mike.’ So I said ‘Oh, you think so? Care to put your money where your mouth is? Two dates. Dinners. I cook one, you the other. If you think after that I can’t handle you, I’ll go on my merry way. But if you don’t think that we can see where we go from there.’ ” Mike laughed as he remembered the look on her face. Shocked… but intrigued. “Me and my man Mardusk had to cajole her into taking the bet, but she did.” and he sighed. He looked at Cuyler. “Next day, I asked Mardusk… he’s the Security Chief… to let me read her personnel file. Just growing up and such. So I took that and programmed a holodeck program with a fjord, longship, cold weather, island in the middle of nowhere… and dinner in the forest on the island lit up by faeries. I guess she liked.” and he chuckled.

Mike


Posts on Oed V

In topic

Posted since


© 1991-2022 STF. Terms of Service

Version 1.12.5