Cards of Queen E

Cards of Queen E

Rivergirl's Beloved Employer strides confidently into the room. "Ah, it's good to have you back, Old Girl," he says, smiling benevolently. "I think we need another adventure, don't you?"

Rivergirl frowns. She is concerned that her Beloved Employer is suffering from undue amounts of stress. After his emotional outburst when she left for her vacation, she is not at all sure that Himself is ready for another adventure. She suspects that he needs a more sedentary avocation. [Readers may wonder why Rivergirl does not recommend her own favorite cure for stress to her Beloved Employer. Well, frankly,
she strongly doubts that "lunch" with Self d'Cait would offer him any rest at all. Self is a dear friend, but even a friendship such as theirs has its bounds.]

"Sir," says Rivergirl, climbing up on a chair to look her Beloved Employer in the eye, "we have decided that we need a stand-alone adventure. You're not coming with us."

"Why not? Why can't I come with you? How can there be any real adventure without me? " Himself asks, his sad, puppy dog eyes clouded with hurt - a hurt that would
not be eased by brownies. " Whatever it is, I am your best resource."

"Not this time, Sir. Not now. But, Sir, I will tell you this," says Rivergirl, "not because you need to know, but because you deserve to know. This mission will require a measure of sartorial sacrifice on our part. We will have to blend in to a decidedly formal setting, and it's the suit, Sir. You just don't fit the suit."

As gracious as her Beloved Employer is, his inclination, as always, is to question authority. However, he remembers a warning he had received from the small purple one. "Believe me," she had said, "out of everyone in these Chronicles, Rivergirl is the one you want to mess with least."

And so, discretion being the better part of valor, he asks instead, "But what will I do while you're gone?" Then, of course, he hears the plaintive cry from the small purple one, "Come Out And Plaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!" and he remembers that there is an entire
MB waiting to hear from him. He realizes that the SPO is right, and he leaves the scene singing, "Maria, I must find a girl named Maria."

"You're going after the Cards of QueenE, aren't you?" demands a previously silent Osiris. "The only complete set of autographed Andromeda trading cards known to exist -- rumored to be kept somewhere in the bottom of the Queen's handbag. Are you crazy? Do you realize that she is Head of the Commonwealth? I've had to deal
with more than enough attacks lately, and now you want to risk being attacked by the combined forces of the British Commonwealth of Nations?"

"Captain D assures me that her team can handle it," says Rivergirl. "She says she did all the necessary reconnaissance work while tea sipping and biscuit munching. Besides, you know she'd never commit a crime. And if she does, it's usually for a very good reason. I think."

Osiris is, as always, doubtful that Rivergirl thinks at all. He leaves to prepare to defend the secret office located in a deserted post office box in Ansonia Stationagainst the might of the British Empire.

Rivergirl looks up as Raeven and #1Son enter and salute Captain D. They are wearing their wellies and are equipped with assorted picks, trowels, and brushes -- all the things they'll need for a dig through the old, dead things believed to inhabit the bottom of E2R's handbag. Raeven smiles bravely at Captain D. "We'll do our best Ma'am, but I'm a little concerned about the alarm system. It's those pesky corgis that scare me."

"Oh, I've already thought of that," says Rivergirl, and the assembled conspirators are surprised to hear a frighteningly low and loud bark. "Betsy," she says, "it's so good of you to bring Thor-dog along. I'm sure he'll have no trouble keeping the corgis in line."

Suddenly, the conspirators hear a strange sound, both delicate and ominous. "Hem, hem, hem..." says the voice. "We are not amused. We feel we should warn you that any further attempts at monarchy mocking will be met with the most severe of penalties. Should this story line continue, a certain February evening will be at risk."
This shocking pronouncement was followed by a regally stern look from the unnamed personage.

Raeven and Betsy are appalled. Thor-dog immediately sets up a piteous howl.
Captain D is horrified at the thought of robbing so many UK MBers of their cherished opportunity to spend an evening with Himself, and she instantly surrenders the plan.
The personage is pleased and presents Captain D with a medal.

"Wow!" says Captain D. "Does this mean I can tell Rivergirl what to do?"

"You can try," responds the personage.


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