Saturday, September 26th [Second day of the Festival of Nations], around noon
Walking along the green
Elise had just finished a shift at the student council booth and was going to get some lunch when she heard her last name called. “Miss Shevariet!” The voice was familiar, but not quite so familiar to place it.
She turned to see where she where the voice came from, and a middle-aged man and younger woman were walking up to her. As she approached, she recognized them as the two people she’d met from Magnus Trading.
The older one was Paul Jekanis. “Ah, excellent! It is good to see you again, Miss Shevariet. You have already met my niece, Brinna, yes?”
“Yes.” Elise nodded. “It’s good to see you both again.”
“Thank you,” he said, “it’s good to be back for this year’s festival. Your students have done a very nice job with it this year.”
“Thank you,” said Elise. “Have you found anything of particular interest today?” She had gotten them information in the past; the trading firm they worked for kept an eye on the school because so many VIPs children went there.
Paul shook his head. “We’re just here to enjoy the festival. Although Brinna did have a very interesting conversation. What do you know about these Americans?”
“Americans? You mean the cultural club some students revived?” asked Elise.
“Yes, that one,” said Brinna.
“There’s not much to know,” said Elise. “Something like half the students here are descended from Newcomers, and an awful lot of them were Americans.”
“I don’t think that’s all it is. I talked briefly with a diplomat the club had brought in,” said Brinna, “and he was from the other side of the gate. He implied that there were students who had come from there, as well. Oddly, there were no students at the booth when I visited.”
“Interesting! I guess that’s why they were so insistent on setting the club up,” said Elise.
“You know them, then?”
“I’ve seen two of them. I don’t know them personally,” said Elise.
“It’s an interesting thing,” said Paul. “I’ve heard that the amount of trade through the Gate was insignificant, and we’ve never given it much thought, but what Brinna heard from the diplomat – Mr. Hull, I believe his name was? – made it sound like that may be changing.”
Then Brinna said, “If you find anything out, we would appreciate it.”
“About the students?” asked Elise. “I can’t find much about trade through the gate.”
“The students, yes,” said Brinna.
“I’ll see what I can find out,” said Elise. She’d had misgivings when she had learned about Alvar Leto’s disappearance but seeing the two of them at the festival with all the security around left her a little more at ease. She couldn’t see them being so comfortable here if they’d had anything to do with it.
“Thank you, Miss,” said Paul. “We’ve appreciated your past help. I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the festival.” And with a slightly awkward wave, he and Brinna left.
Elise thought for a minute; she could remember roughly what the two boys had looked like but she had been so distracted by Neil’s objections that she had no memory of their names. She shrugged to herself. It couldn’t be that hard to find them again.