The Steward



  • It was just another day for Master Archivist Egon Henrik, until he received the Living Will of Avoldran Dehn, with instructions to seal it in the Duxburian Archives. Every Aelir was required to write a living will in case of situations like this, where Dehn had fallen gravely ill. Dehn's emergency instructions had already been enacted.

    There was nothing special about this request, as all documents of high importance ended up in the Archives, so Henrik agreed to seal it. The new Steward, Dante Maximilian, had handed the will to Henrik personally.

    Henrik was never particularly fond of Dehn's politics and their relationship could be best described as cold. Nevertheless, Henrik was very interested to read the will. He was not exactly supposed to open this kind of document, but a quick peak couldn't hurt.

    Back at his desk, Henrik looked around to make sure no one was looking, then opened the envelope containing the will. The will was definitely authentic, bearing the seal of the Aelir and a TDC cypher in the corner of the whitespace, undetectable to most people.

    Henrik skimmed the will and was going to put it back in the envelope, when something odd caught his eye:
    QUOTE

    _?18 Appointment of Emergency Steward

    18.1 If I should ever become physically unable to continue fulfilling the duties of the Office of Aelir, I appoint Grandmaster Brandeus Lir Devoy am Harrison (38th) as Steward of the Duxburian Union.

    18.2 If clause 18.1 is invoked, I hereby issue an Executive Order to restore the above named Steward's official existence, so that he may receive the Office._

    His heart skipped a beat. Dante Maximilian, Senior Advisor to the Aelir, had been the announced Steward. But, this document clearly said otherwise!

    What did this mean?

    It gradually dawned on him and he hastily locked his office door.

    "Maximilian is an illegitimate Steward! That's why he wanted the will sealed in the archives! Oh my god?"

    Cold sweat poured down Henrik's back, realizing what could happen to him if Maximilian knew that he knew. Henrik wasn't sure if Brandeus Devoy was would be in more danger knowing or not knowing about his status as true Steward. Problem was, he didn't know who Brandeus Devoy was. It had to be someone important and the most important Devoy family was obvious, so he could start there.

    Henrik decided that something had to be done, but hesitated. All his life, he had been a coward. His brothers were decorated soldiers in the army, his sister had started her own thriving business, his parents had rescued people from storms in the Coast Guard. But, he was too afraid to do anything noteworthy, always the biggest failure in the family. That's why he was an archivist, a no risk job that paid decently.

    It was time to take a stand, and perhaps taking the first brave action of his life, he fed the will through his fax machine. Henrik dialed the Duxburian Sentinel, the Laatzenian Observer, the Duxburian Broadcasting Corporation, the Varian Post, the Verington Reporter, the Alverian Courier, the Linbury Times, every news organization he could think of.

    Then, Henrik copied the document and placed the copy in the envelope instead of the original. Nobody would bother to check. The original went into a pre-paid, express mailer with a fake return name and address. He gathered a few precious belongings from the office and left. Keeping his cool, he sealed the copy in the archival vault and nobody suspected anything.

    But, instead of returning to his office, Henrik headed downstairs and luckily, a postal courier was in the building picking up the day's mail. He handed the flat to the courier, who drove away with it. With luck, it would arrive at the Office of Councillor Acwellan Devoy in Europolis, safely outside the country and someone who might be connected with Brandeus Devoy.

    Outside, Henrik planned how he would flee the country. As he approached his car, a white, unmarked van pulled up and men in suits with guns came out. Henrik recognized them as Federal guards, so they knew something was up. There was nowhere to run, so he did not resist as they grabbed him and pushed him into the van.

    "So, Maximilian was right not to trust you. Your attempt to spread that will to the world has failed, we already blocked all forms of communication from your office."

    Henrik faked shock, knowing that there was one thing they hadn't covered.


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