Millicent Hedges had spent rather more time with Terrencian policemen than anyone would have envisaged likely when she’d boarded the airship from the Cadleran capital to the Terrencian one. Certainly killing an assassin with one of his own minions’ handguns hadn’t crossed her mind as something you might do while on your way to a pair of family weddings. In retrospect, the whole episode seemed highly improbable, except that it had happened.
Overall, the Terrencian authorities seemed rather pleased that the man in question was dead but there were, apparently, political issues. The assassain had been an agent of the new Russkian ruling body, the Russkian Revolutionary Party, and they apparently saw nothing wrong with executing their enemies while they were in other people’s countries, and punishing those who got in their way. It was the view of some very senior Terrencian officials, and her father, that Millie was now herself a target for Russkian assassins.
They were sitting in an office with a view of the main gate of the Imperial Palace when Mr Hedges commented quietly, “And they won’t give up while you’re alive. They’ll want to make an example of you, you see.”
“So, what do I do?” Millie looked around the room in confusion. Her father and the Terrencian gentlemen present all looked very sympathetic, but she couldn’t see that sympathy was going to be much help.
“I’m afraid, Fraulein Millicent,” said Herr Schtabler, who was dressed in a neat, dark suit, “that shortly after your Cousin Evelyn’s wedding and before your family returns home, you are going to have a fatal accident. However, by the time your remains have been interred among the Schtulvayers another young lady, probably a Baroness although I cannot be certain of that at this point, will arrive in one of our western provincial cities to take up her inheritance.”
“We won’t be able to have contact with you,” pointed out her father quietly, “nor you with us or any other part of the extended family. Not as yourself, and it would be unwise to seek out the acquaintance for your new identity in case you were recognised.”
“I see,” said Millie quietly. “Would this new identity have a guardian or a family?”
Herr Schtabler smiled kindly and answered, “Because of your age and gender, a guardian and probably a chaperone. Matters will be arranged so that you have an adequate income to support your new identity and to make you an eligible and equal participant in your likely new social circle. It time you might marry, study, travel a little or a combination of those things.”
“It might be lonely at first,” offered her father, “but you could build a very good life.”
“If everyone else in the family is going to be safe, I don’t have a choice, do I?” Millie was looking straight across the square to where the guard was changing in front of the Emperor’s residence.
The most senior policeman in the room answered for them all, “No, Fraulein Hedges, you do not.”
This now continues at Zip One's Lip 2.