What could he have meant by that? Eudora wondered of Mayor Carrolton’s apparent recognition in the lounge. Did we meet at one of Mother’s Society events? Some ball or fundraiser I’ve forgotten? She combed her memory, but nothing stuck out.
Then she thought over Michael and Christopher’s announcement. They said business as usual…but that doesn’t mean it has to be Albert’s business as usual. Maybe I can work my way into a real mission. It still irked her to be—
“It must really irk you,” Gideon said, joining her in the hall.
Eudora blinked, genuinely caught off-guard. “Beg your pardon?”
“Being assigned with me like this. I mean, I’m the low man on the totem pole here. I’m sorry that you had to be appointed my nanny, but I can be such a naughty boy when left to my own devices.” He winked and smiled.
Eudora laughed. “I don’t think that “nanny” is part of my mission brief.”
“Fortunately so. I’d rather get into mischief unencumbered if it’s all the same to you.” His dark eyes flashed merrily as if to underscore his point.
“You’ll hear no objection from my quarter,” Eudora replied.
“Excellent,” Gideon said. “In that case, I’d best prepare for the experience. I don’t suppose you could be so kind as to direct me to the tea carts? Surely some sandwiches or biscuits are to be had close by?”
Eudora chuckled. “I do believe I can manage to show you to the dining hall from here.”
“Lead on, fair maiden! For surely without your aid, I will be lost to famine!”
Eudora was glad of his gaiety after the distressing events of that afternoon. Most likely he trusts Michael and Christopher to tend to things. I suppose I ought to as well.
“Very well, Mr. Simmons. You’ll find sustenance in this direction,” Eudora said playfully, showing Gideon to the dining hall.
* * *
Mary, Charles, Michael, and Christopher were left in the lounge.
“Alright then,” Mary said, “let’s have it. What are these secret orders Albert entrusted you with, and not his family?”
“I’m sure it has nothing to do with that,” Christopher said. “Michael and I are just well-suited to governing SPOT.”
“And the other members of the Board aren’t suited to that task?” Mary asked.
“Mary, hear them out. Right now it’s more important to discover what Albert intended,” Charles said gently.
“You know how important SPOT is to your brother,” Michael said. “To all of us, really. There isn’t a person in this room who hasn’t made courageous sacrifices for our Cause. Albert wants us to continue to work together to end the tentaclebeast conflict once and for all, and that must be our foremost mission.”
“You said that he made provisions for his rescue,” Mary said.
“Yes. In the event of his capture, he bade us contact Governor Clark,” Michael explained. “I do not know what form the Governor’s assistance will take, only that it is Albert’s express wish that we reach out to him, discreetly. So that is what will be done. We’ll just have to wait patiently for the results.”
“I can’t believe we never planned for this eventuality,” Charles said.
“But we have—or rather Albert has,” Christopher said.
“Even still,” Charles replied, “it would be best if the Board had procedures in place for such occurrences.”
“We can worry about that later,” Christopher said. “Right now the important thing is to focus on continuing SPOT’s mission.”
“And rescuing Albert,” Mary added.
“And rescuing Albert,” Michael agreed, “according to his plan.”
“Agreed,” Charles said.
“I’ll be in my workshop,” Mary said, departing.
“I would say that my wife has the right idea,” Charles said. “And I’m sure you gentlemen have your own tasks to attend to. See you at supper?”
“With the rest of the team,” Christopher answered.
“If duty permits,” Michael said.
Charles took his leave, and Christopher turned to Michael. “So. They believe in us, for now.”
“For now is all we’ll need,” Michael said.
“How can you be so sure about this?”
“Because really, it’s all we have, Christopher.”