|Chapter One||Chapter One: Public Display
Even in the last moments before dawn, the flow of mourners did not slacken. The colonnaded rotunda echoed with the soft rustle of formal Householding capes, their bright colors picked out by the newscamera lights. The public filed by the open coffin to bid goodbye to an era in Sime~Gen history and to rededicate themselves to an idealistic dream.
Now, Laneff dared to hope she was about to make her own dream a part of the new era. At the private, guarded entrance to the rotundra, she presented her pass to the armed honor guard. "Laneff Farris ambrov Sat'htine," she said crisply. "Mairis Farris wishes to see me."
"He is standing vigil. He is not to be disturbed," claimed the Sime woman.
Chapter Two: Funeral
From her fantage in the visitor's box, Laneff wtched Simes and Gens throng into Householding Square. Most of them, men and women both, wore formal capes displaying the Householding colors. all around the edges of thesquare, the banners of the Houses were on display, flapping in the brisk spring wind, illumined by the rising sun.
The riotous splashes of colors divided around the granite statue of the legendary Rimon Farris, mounted on his horse. For this occasion, a Zeor blue cloak had been draped around his shoulders and over the flanks of the horse. Rimon, as father of the first Householdings, was claimed as member by all Houses, so no one was offended by the blue today.
|Chapter Three||Chapter Three: Stigma
Laneff regarded the unconscious Gen pilot. He was wearing dark gray coverals over tough charcoal work clothes. There was a massive ring on his right hand and a wristband on his left bearing a watch. Perhaps twenty-five yers old, he showed well developed muscles. His nager, dimmed with unconsciousness and disorganized around the head injury, was still strong for a nondonor of selyn.
"I don't suppose it would do him any harm," she shouted over the noise, "if I tie him up."
The Donor turned grimming. "Ambrov Sat'htine!"
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