At the end of my trail on Attee (Tobia 3116), when the judge announced my sentence, I called out “But I’ll miss my ten-year reunion”. It was a throw-away line, a fuck-you to the court. I never really expected it to have any effect. It turned out that the Judge was an Old Dunkletonian and thought that my 10-year reunion was something I definitely shouldn’t miss. I was on my honour to return for sentencing (where ‘my honour’ meant an electronic bracelet and a huge man named ‘Pete’ who accompanied me everywhere.)
If not for the judge, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the reunion. It was always going to be tough. I knew that. Even after the judge’s offer, I thought about not going. However, it was probably my best chance to find some help to stay out of jail.
Almost everyone was there. I didn’t see Jase and I didn’t see Raw, but the others were there. Rao was there. Even the ‘filthy Lucernes’ from Lucerne House were there, having their own reunion in another part of the building. I probably should have joined them.
It was weird. When we were with other people, we talked about the usual stuff. When we were alone, we talked about the twins. We had to because Calli wanted to do a story on it. Calli wanted to interview as many of us as she could. She always loved a good gossip, and this was the biggest gossip of all, it seemed. She had footage of everything at school, including the Poston House end of school bash. In the background, Kaz saw one of the twins landing and setting up their tent.
During the interviews, she let slip that there were security tapes at the lodge, and they were probably still there. We should have twigged. People went to the hunting lodge to let their hair down, to do business that couldn’t be done anywhere else, to have affairs. Why would there be security tapes? Especially ten years later.
We didn’t want to take the risk, I guess. We headed out to the lodge and Kaz and I broke in. Calli was waiting for us. Well, not us exactly – she was waiting to see who turned up. We probably could have brazened it out if we hadn’t been wearing balaclavas. As it was, I took Calli’s phone while Kaz loaded a revolver. I swear, for a minute I thought she was going to shoot her. That’s just what I needed – concurrent sentences on two different worlds.
Calli didn’t seem to think about what might happen when she discovered us. She took off and we raced back to school. We grabbed her computer and we deleted what we needed to. On the last day of the reunion we gave her back her computer and someone bought her a new phone. Kaz even wangled her a job at a newspaper or something. Not sure how she did that.
It was funny, you know. I didn’t really find any real help amongst my school mates, but I did find something else. Calli’s theory was that the twins had been killed as part of a plot by Rao’s father in his battle against their mother. Not a lover’s tiff – they were king and queen of somewhere out there. It was political. Rao never denied it.
As I went to pack my bags, I found an envelope on my pillow. Inside was a new identity, a mining contract and passage to Torpol (Tlaiowaha 2221). My boys had come through! They owed me a share in a ship for my part in the great escape. They’d given me something better – a new life awaits me in the Reft-world colonies. For a split second I thought about setting it aside, going back to Attee and doing my time. Yeah, right! Like that’s going to happen.