Anglic Union

“Who didn’t?” she asked.

“Our friend had part of the path, but did not happen to know the front end. “ Hughes sadly shook his head. “Mogado Bank of the Stars and Mogado Investment Trust are both fronts for the Stellar Republic’s intelligence services. From there money travelled through a few hands to Bulger, to pay for that missing asteroid ore at an absurdly inflated rate, to be used to pay for ‘legal services’ to a shell corporation, and thence to Cedric’s external campaign group. One of Cedric’s letters to Parker asks him to thank two Jinjurians for their investments in Bulger. The two Jinjurians named are the nominal Presidents of the two Mogado financial houses. He mentions dates and amounts that match the other transfers. There can be no doubt…he knew where the money was coming from.”

“That’s, that’s…” Elektra tried to choose the right word.

“Treason,” Hughes said. “Here is a chip with all the data.” He slid it across the table. “Now I have a modest favor to ask. Tomorrow morning, the pro forma Senate session, you will presumably be telling D’Angelo that you will have the responder ready for the start of the afternoon session.” Elektra nodded. “As a favor to me, not that it will save my party from catastrophe, I would like to introduce the needed charges as an Independent Addendum to your motion.”

Elektra thought carefully. “Yes,” she answered. “I have no idea many members of your party you will bring along when you spring this on them, but it will be for the good of the Union. I’ll advise Ariel that a member –I won’t name you – has an addendum, and I wish to defer to him before answering Ariel’s question.”

“Thank you. I am most grateful.” Hughes looked wanly out the window. “And if something happens to me before tomorrow, please be ready to introduce the motion yourself.”

“Can we arrange for you not to be seen leaving?” she asked.

“Already arranged,” he answered. “I’m nominally in an upstairs room at the New Washington Grand Restaurant and City Ballet, seemingly for the usual reason. She is a very attractive young woman, though I did not ask how many weapons lurked under her clothing. It helps that I’m not married. From here to there is a need to know. And if watchers think I took a very long time, well, some old men still have endurance.”

“I was truly sorry about Anna,” DeWItt said. “Someday Union medicine will be able to treat that issue.”

Hughes shrugged, his face momentarily downcast, waved good-by, and stepped out through a side door.

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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