"Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies."-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Back to the aftermath of Bunny's wild ride. Will: "I've been unconscious and you want me to do an autopsy?" Cop A: "Well, not right away..." They explain about the stolen limo, and the "bursting into flames" and all. (Yeah, right.) Cop A: "The body's going to have to cool down before you can look at it any way." Will: "That's what refrigeration's for, oh primitive ones." Cop B: "Not like you'll have much to look at - he's pretty well barbecued." Will: "I would think you'd be a bit sensitive to the smell of cooked pork." Bunny: <to Will> "Is this a good example of a coverup?" Will: "Bunny, I think you need to get me an auto-cab to the hospital." Bunny: "Yeah, I think we're going to have to get a car." Will: "Why?" Bunny: "So we don't have to wait for a cab all the time. You've got your official car, of course." Will: "Which I use for hauling around dead bodies, not for pleasure. Besides, we don't really have any place to park a car, do we?" Bunny: "Oh. Well, I guess you're right."
Back to Regina Trauma. Again. Dr. Auschlander is very disappointed. Dr. Auschlander: <to Will> "You're a doctor, you're not supposed to be out there getting into trouble." Will: "I wasn't getting into trouble, I was helping people in danger - including Bunny." Dr. Auschlander: "But they have those slope-headed, one-eyebrowed policemen for that." Will: "They were on the way. They had to find psi-shields." Dr. Auschlander: "It's also your responsibility to set a good example to others as a physician. What about the children out there?" Will: "I think I set a good example." This could go on for some time.
Will is going to be kept in the hospital over night, and many tests will be run. Maybe some painful ones if Dr. Auschlander can arrange it.
The next morning Will is sent home with instructions to stay home and rest. Dr. Auschlander: "Besides that, I have some fascinating articles for you to read. I'll just shoot them over. I want to make sure you keep up on the neurological articles in particular. You should keep up your skills, for when you get tired of this coroner job of yours." Will: "I was trying to keep up my skills, but there were some awkward feelings with the staff, what with my wife owning the hospital."
Home for Will. Bunny tucks him in and makes sure he rests. He's looking haggard, and Dr. Auschlander gave her instructions to make sure he rests. She reads him new passages from the next book she's working on: Rex Ruskin - Murder at the Speed of Thought. Oh-oh. There's a Mr. Brown, and... Will: "No, no, no. Mr. Black has to stay out of this. Remember our deal? We'd guess about the people at the next table, as long as they didn't end up in the book..." Bunny: "Oh, all right." Rex is his usual, rakish self. It's a wonder the man doesn't die of exhaustion.
On board the Ruby, Robert has expressed a desire to learn about robots. A delighted Ariana stacks his arms full of data-crystals to read, but Robert would prefer to start with A Dummy's Guide to Robots. She'll bludgeon him with robot knowledge until he absorbs some of it. Robert will get it eventually, it's just sort of a foreign language right now. He'll have to learn the argot, and how to give explicit instructions. He's doing this so he can share the robot thing with Ariana. And besides, it will be handy in the future, what with the other crew being robots. He can hand her tools while she's working on the new robots. Mostly. Ariana: "No, not that one!"
Kaeth eventually drifts downstairs for brunch. He'll shower at home, later; he doesn't want to lose that scent just yet. Or maybe he just wants to brag to the other Vargrs in the area. "Well, we know what he's been up to!" He leaves the Ambassadore with a full tummy and a smile on his face.
On a slightly less advanced timeline... Back to Kiffin's apartment. Sturvigant is just standing there looking very business-like, in an expensive suit. He has his hands in his pockets, and looks very relaxed, and non-threatening. All casual-like. Kiffin: "I'm sorry, do I know you?" Sturvigant: "Not directly, no. I'm no one important. But as I say, I believe you can help me. I've been tasked by my employer to find a certain object." Kiffin: "And?" Sturvigant: "And you're going to help me." Kiffin: "I am?" Sturvigant: "Yes you are. You see, I know you. I know who you really are. I know what really happened after that car accident. And if certain people were to find out who you were, and where you were, well...Let's just say things could get awkward." Kiffin: "I don't understand." Sturvigant: "If it were to become known about Mr. Black's plan to get you a new body, for example." Kiffin: <confused> "Are you sure you're in the right apartment?" Sturvigant: "Besides, I'm sure you wouldn't want anything to happen to Mr. Sykes, or any of your friends at the Jasmine Club." Kiffin: <quietly> "What do you want?" Sturvigant: "Well, my employer was originally supposed to take delivery of an item that has ended up in Regina Security, in the directors vault. And you're going to go get it for me. I understand that you have the directors confidence, at least to a certain extent, especially now that he's not himself these days, what with his sister in the happy home." Kiffin: "What exactly are you looking for?" Sturvigant: "I believe you picked up a certain device." Kiffin: "A device?" Sturvigant: "I believe it's been referred to as the Mind Sifter. You did deliver it into the hands of Mr. Black, did you not?" Kiffin: "Is everyone looking for this thing?" Sturvigant: "I don't know. My employer wants his property back. He'd be very grateful for your assistance as well." Kiffin: "His property?" Sturvigant: "Exactly. As I said, you would earn my employers gratitude. Shall we say, 5 megacredits of my employers gratitude. I mean Mr. Black is just going to lock it away in the vault. I'm sure a smart girl like you would be able to procure it. With my help." Kiffin: "With your help?" Sturvigant: "Yes, this <showing a small orb> is a crystal with Black's retinal pattern imprinted on it. This will get you past the first lock, and I'm sure a woman of your talents won't have any trouble getting past the keylock on the drawer." Kiffin: "What do I do if I get it? What then?" Sturvigant: "You call me at this number. <takes out card> You won't have to say anything. If this number rings, I'll know you have it and I'll make contact. Do we have a deal?" He extends his hand, which Kiffin takes reflexively. She pulls her hand back quickly when she feels a sharp jab on her palm. Sturvigant: "I suggest you say yes, as I assume you'll want the antidote to the nano-toxin I just gave you. I wouldn't be concerned. You should have about 72 hours before onset. It's quite unpleasant, I'm told. Your mind is the last thing to go, so you feel your body dying around you. <pause> Oh, don't worry, I have access to the antidote." Kiffin: "I don't appear to have much of a choice." Sturvigant: "No, you don't. And I hope you won't try to get help elsewhere. Your friends wouldn't be able to help you any way, so why involve them? This is a rather exotic witch's brew. Without the antidote, well, let's say your end would be unpleasant. It's nothing personal, it's just business." He sets down the card and the round crystal. Sturvigant: "I'll let my self out. I know the way." He leaves.
Kiffin has a small red dot, like an insect bite, on the palm of her hand. She flips the eyeball thing into her purse, without touching it, waits about an hour, then leaves through the private park out front. To the slidewalks, which are particularly smooth and quiet on this level. She's in trouble, and needs help, and the man said not to tell her friends.
As she approaches the big grey building with no windows, she sees Sturvigant chatting with several men in suits. They're Regina Security people, one of them is Phil. Sturvigant smiles at Kiffin as she passes. She keeps going into the building. The receptionist (who's desk is not in the guard's line of fire) greets her. Kiffin: "I'd like to see Mr. Black, if he's in." Receptionist: "Do you have an appointment?" Kiffin: "No, but it's important." Receptionist: "Pass your ID over the scanner please." Kiffin complies, the appropriate checks are run. The receptionist talks to some one over her com unit, after turning off the exterior sound so Kiffin can't hear. Receptionist: "Mr. Black will see you." Kiffin is escorted past all the nondescript doors and cubes. The door says only Mr. Black.
Kiffin is let inside. Black looks strangely...disheveled. His collar is eschew, his hair is just a bit mussed, and he seems distracted. Black: "Yes?" There's something wrong here, but if Kiffin didn't know him it probably wouldn't be noticeable. It is pretty late at night (or early in the morning). Kiffin: "I'm sorry to bother you, but something's happened." Black: "What? I'm sorry. Something happened?" She dumps the crystal thing onto his desk. Kiffin: "It's supposed to have your retinal pattern on it." Now she has his attention.
Black raises an eyebrow and picks up the sphere. Black: "This certainly merits an explanation. Sit down over here." He indicates the non-unbalanced chair beside the desk. Kiffin sits down, and tells Black what transpired in the apartment with Sturvigant. Black: "Well, that's interesting. We'll have to see about this." Kiffin: "Is he unbalanced? I don't understand what he was talking about." Black: "No doubt. He was confused or something. I shouldn't worry about it if I were you." Kiffin: "He was out front when I came in; he saw me." Black: "Who was outside?" Kiffin: "Sturvigant." Black: "Well, that's interesting. We'll have to see about this." He gets on the terminal at his desk. Black: "Well, well. This will have to be dealt with delicately. It seems our Mr. Sturvigant has some interesting friends. Why don't you leave this to me. Go home and don't worry about it. I'm sure this is nothing of any real import, but I'll make sure it's handled." He keeps picking up and setting down a picture on his desk, of Christine. He's very distracted.
Kiffin leaves the building. Once she's a couple of blocks away, Sturvigant catches up with her. Mr. Sturvigant: "Well, have a nice chat? You realize that going to Mr. Black is going to make your job more difficult. Do you really think he cares about you? Oh sure, you're a lovely bit of distraction, but that's all. The second you're inconvenient he'll drop you. Now me, I don't have anything against you. I'm certainly more in touch with my humanity than Black is. And my employer has taken an interest in you." Kiffin: "You keep talking about your employer. How do I know you even have one?" Sturvigant: "You'll just have to trust me." Kiffin: "I don't think that's likely." Sturvigant: "It's completely up to you. If I were you though, I'd be more concerned about getting me what I want rather than depending on Black to help you out. You really shouldn't have told him about me." Kiffin: "How was I supposed to get in there without him knowing?" Sturvigant: "Oh, I was expecting him to know. I expected you to get in with him there." Kiffin: "And then what? How could I do anything without him seeing me - knock him out?" Sturvigant: "Possibly. Or do something else to get him in a distracted mood. There are benefits to being the presumed mistress of the director. No one would interrupt. He is pining away for his sister, and I'm sure others have assumed that he's taken solace elsewhere, say, in you." Kiffin slaps him across the face. Sturvigant grabs her wrist with snakelike speed, pulling her hand down hard. Sturvigant: "That. Hurt." He tightens his grip until it feels like bones are going to snap. Sturvigant: "If I didn't require your services, and if I didn't know you were going to die a horrible and lingering death, you'd be dead right now. Fortunately for you, my employer has an interest in you for the future." He releases her wrist. It's already starting to bruise. Sturvigant: "However, if you try something like that again, I may have to go to my employer and plead self-defense. Is that clear, Miss Brevette?" Kiffin: "Yes." Sturvigant: "The next time you misbehave, I think I'm going to have to maim one of your friends. What's that new girl's name? Oh yes, Heather. <smiles> Well, you now have seventy hours left. Plus or minus. Ta-ta." He saunters off, whistling a jaunty tune.
Kiffin goes back to her apartment, where there is a replacement retinal crystal. Sturvigant must buy them like eggs. The phone rings. It's Sturvigant again. Sturvigant: "Oh, I forgot to mention. Feel free to use whatever resources you require. I don't care, as long as I receive a phone call from you soon. Bye for now." The terminal goes weird and then reboots. Okay, very strange. After it restarts, a message come up stating that the caller ID file has been damaged and is being rebuilt. Kiffin goes to shower and change, not feeling like sleeping.
After hours and hours and flipping hours with Ariana and the robots, Robert's eyes have glazed over. Ariana's communications have deteriorated to the occasional grunt, and Robert goes to clean up and get a late lunch. He leaves a note for Ariana (not that she'll get it), and informs the Marine guards he's going to the Escargot d'Or.
Kiffin eventually figures out that she hasn't had any breakfast and it's past lunchtime. She's not hungry, but coffee might help. And chocolate - there's no problem that can't be made better by chocolate. Time for a large mocha. She's just getting handed her coffee at the Bread and Bean when she sees that damned Mr. Sturvigant over at another table. He smiles, raises his cup in salute, then taps his watch. Then he ignores her. She walks out, resisting the counterproductive urge to pour hot coffee onto that horrible mans head.
Kaeth has gone home, showered, and dressed. He's at loose ends, not being needed at the clinic for now. It is cool to have electricity again, and all the amenities. Yes, Planet X had rolling hills, and fresh air, and huge houses and all. But it wasn't civilized. He surfs the channels for a bit, and finds the entertainment program with "here's Krusher Vrrugue and his companion." It's Vrrefra, on the arm of this huge, dire-Vargr. He's been arrested and fined for possessing the scalp of a sophont, cleared of murder charges recently (Regina suicide), and the like. He's being interviewed at a sports show, and Krusher is about as articulate as Kaeth would expect from someone that far down on the evolutionary Vargr chain. Ick. Shots from last night's exhibition game, showing slow motion footage of Krusher twisting and snapping another player's arm. His stats are fairly good, but he's had a lot of fines for unnecessary roughness (in Grav-ball??). Time to click over to another channel. Then another, then.... What is this? Five hundred and fifty-seven channels and they're all crappy! The fireplace channel is starting to look good, so it's time to hit the streets. He's got that post-bouncy let-down thing to walk off.
Robert is walking to the Escargot, contemplating buying rollerblades for some reason. Kaeth sees him enter, alone. He gives Robert time to get a table and get settled. Robert is seated at a booth. After lunch, he's going to go fill out a police report about his stolen watch, since it's the one he bought on Planet X, and it would be hard to replace.
Kaeth comes in and does not join Robert. He sees him studying the menu intently. The female Aslan waitress takes an interest in him, and the fact that he's alone. Robert hears a familiar Vargr voice in the next booth, and the waitress tell him she'll "be right back with your coffee and snails, hon." Robert takes the Zendan ducat and drops it over the seat into Kaeth's booth. It lands on the table next to Kaeth. He picks it up and takes a look. Hmm, Grand Duchy of Zenda. A man turns his head suddenly, almost owl-like. Weseli: "Is that real gold?" He's looking worse for wear, even for a Weseli, but the bulgy eyes and the bobbing Adam's apple are a dead giveaway. Weseli: "Yeah, real gold...Say! Are you new to Regina? Need someone to show you around? I know all the right spots, and I mean all of them." He sits down beside Kaeth.
The tawny-furred waitress returns with Kaeth's snails. The Weseli grabs a hunk of Kaeth's bread and a snail, takes a bite then spits it out in disgust. Weseli: "Ach! What the hell is this? It tastes like, like snails or something. Okay, now he's messing with Kaeth's food! Waitress: "Is this man bothering you?" Kaeth: "Yes, he is." Waitress: "Sir, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave." Weseli: "Yeah, I was going to leave any way." Kaeth checks his wallet, and it's still there, but the gold coin is gone. Oh well, maybe he'll get mugged or something.
Judging from the laughter in the next booth, Robert is at least having a good time. Kaeth: "Like the floor show, did you?" Robert: "Oh yes, I enjoyed it immensely." Waitress: "Did you two want to sit together?" Robert: "Yeah, sure. Come on over." She moves the remains of Kaeth's meal over, gets him more bread, and a new beer. Robert doesn't order snails, but you can get really good other food here. The steak is great.
Robert: "So, how are things going, Kaeth?" Kaeth: "I'm sort of at loose ends. For the first time, I'm flush, and no one's shooting at me. It's weird." Robert: "Would you be happier if someone were shooting at you?" At that moment, a gentleman in black breeches, tall black boots, a black, thigh-length coat, and silver dragons embroidered on his vest walks in, looks around, then walks over to Kaeth. Slinger: "I'm callin' you out." Kaeth: "What???" Slinger: "We might want to take this outside" A short haired, odd-looking Vargr in a lovely purple suit leans out from his seat at the counter and looks. He takes brief notice of this then goes back to his fine meal. He sniffs his wine, and savors his steak. Slinger: "We can go outside so we don't disturb all these nice folks having their lunch, Ringo." Robert: "Who's Ringo?" Kaeth: "I don't know." Slinger: "Don't give me that. You killed my brother Jeb. It's time to pay the piper." Robert: "When did you see this Ringo last?" Slinger: "Shut your mouth." Oh, now he's being rude. Kaeth's hand goes under the table, but the slinger doesn't seem to notice, not very bright.
The other Vargr leans back again. Vargr: "Excuse me, I think you may have this gentleman confused with someone else. Did you say your brother's name was Jeb?" Slinger: "What's it to you?" Vargr: "I believe you may have mistaken that gentleman for someone. I recall your brother. He cried like a little girl." Slinger: "You're Ringo." Ravang: "That's Mr. Ravang, to you." He stands, smooths his suit. Ravang: <to waitress> "Excuse me, miss. Could you keep that warm?" He indicates his steak dinner, then he walks outside. Literally a couple of minutes later (no more than that), there's a brief noise, and Ravang comes back inside, sits, smooths his napkin over his lap, and signals the waitress to bring back his steak.
Robert: "Was that a Regina suicide?" Kaeth: "Pretty much." Robert: "I was going to fill out a report on my stolen watch. Want to come with?" Kaeth: "Sure." Robert: "I need to stop by the ship first, to get something out of the ship's locker." They finish lunch before they go.
Meanwhile, Kiffin sits down on a bench along the park to drink her coffee, hoping for inspiration. People keep assuming she knows what to do, it's very frustrating. "Excuse me, is this seat taken?" Kiffin looks up and sees a young man of about 25, with dark hair and smoldering dark eyes. Kiffin: "Um, no." He sits down next to her. He's wearing dark clothes and a slightly rumpled coat, and carrying a real book. Stone: "Do you believe in fate?" He starts talking about all sorts of philosophical things, and eventually gets to the point. Stone: "You look like you have something that's troubling you to your very soul. Sometimes it helps if you tell someone. Someone you don't know." He goes and gets her a new cup of coffee. Stone: "Here, drink this, and tell me what's wrong." Well, maybe talking it out might help get her thoughts organized, so - leaving out things like names - Kiffin tells him.
The young man listens intently. Stone: "So, you're saying you have 72 hours before this neuro-toxin kills you?" Kiffin: "Yes, if he was telling me the truth. I'm not sure that he was." Stone: "We should go back and talk to the Book. See what he has to say. He's wired into things. Besides, you look like you could use some rest, somewhere safe. You need someone to take care of you. Come on." He stands and offers her his arm, the old-fashioned way. Kiffin goes with him.
They go into Old Port, into an older apartment complex. There are a number of very, uh, relaxed looking people sort of strewn around. Dude: "Hey, yo. what's on, man?" Stone: "I'm looking for the Book." Dude: "He's in the back room." Complicated, secret handshakes follow.
Stone takes Kiffin into the back room, where there's a roundish bed and printed, non-volatile storage media everywhere else. The Book is in his 40's to 50's, mostly bald, with greying hair. He's peering, nearsightedly, at four books while listening to odd zither music and smoking an obnoxious flavored cigar. Stone: "Hey, Book man." Book: "Hey, Stone, what's up?" Stone: "I've got a friend who's in trouble. I was hoping you could help." Book: "Sit, sister. Tell me. Here, have some of this." He passes over the end of a hookah pipe. Seeing her confused look, Stone takes it first, taking a couple of slow draws, then passes it to Kiffin. She's not sure what it is, but it's very, very smooth, like honey-flavored silk. A couple of puffs on that, and the problems become very far away. Everything becomes very clear. Book: "So, what do they call you?" Kiffin: "Kiffin." Book: "Kiffin. Right on. Tell me what's disturbing your soul..."
All those horrible pressures just lift away, taking a lot of inhibitions with them. Stone is very attractive, in a dark brooding sort of way. Things are going on here - pheromones, colors.... And there's that convenient bed. Hands are going to interesting places, and getting very nice, when the Book interrupts.
Book: "I don't know if this helps, but there's this woman. Hunter Banks. Apparently she's the interim governor of Jenghe. Any way, she's some kind of relation to Osbourne Banks. Every heard of Osbourne Banks?" Kiffin: "No." Book: "He's Ministery of Justice. Any way, this Sturvigant guy you mentioned, he's a majorly bad dude, used to work for SuSAG, now he works for this Hunter babe. Who's not bad. Any way, that's who this guy works for." Kiffin: "Is she on Jenghe, or here?" Book: "Don't know. Couldn't tell you that, but she's the acting governor. Any way, here's her picture." He scans a photo and prints out the picture. Not unpleasant looking in a stern, austere sort of way. Dark hair, pale skin, aquiline nose, pale blue eyes. If you like the Ice Queen type. She'd look better if she smiled. Probably in her 40's, but aging very well. Now, about those pheromones.
Sometime later, Kiffin is sitting in the park on a bench, with vague memories. She's not at all sure, but she thinks she had very laid back and mellow, but very good sex with Stone. Oh. Clutched in her left hand is a picture of Hunter Banks, so it can't be entirely a hashish-induced hallucination.
Robert picks up his special card at the Ruby, waves to Ariana, who grunts something without looking at him, and leaves. He and Kaeth go to the nearest precinct house for the STA, and asks to fill in a form about his stolen watch. He ignores the on-line form, and turns in a printed out one. This confuses the desk clerk, who recommends the on-line form. Robert: "My friend said that you could help me out with this." Clerk: "Your friend?" Robert hands him the card from Globber. Clerk: "Ah, I see. Just a moment." Robert: "Can I have the card please?" Clerk: "I need to show it to my sergeant." Robert watches the card flow through the office, then a man in a suit comes out, invites Robert into his office, and is very pleasant. This would be Captain Melberne.
When prompted, Robert fills in the details of events surrounding the disappearance of his watch. Melberne looks it up on his terminal. Melberne: "Let's see. Delancy and Hobbins filed the report. Is there a number you can be reached at?" Robert: "Of course. I would also like to offer a reward for the return of the watch. Could you suggest an amount?" Melberne: "It depends on the value of the watch, sir. I would hesitate to suggest how much." Robert: "Well, I acquired it off-planet, and it's value is more sentimental than intrinsic. Say $1,000, $1,500?" The captain puts his eyeballs back into his head. Robert leaves with Captain Melberne's card, and Globber's. Hands are shaken, polite departures are taken. Kaeth is impressed. They leave the station. That was fun.
Robert: "So, what now?" Kaeth: "I was going to head over to the job boards." Robert goes with him. They check out the boards, and the bazaar in the area around it with the transients, and other interesting people. Always people selling interesting stuff. Robert: "Oh! I know what we need to do. We need to get your wallet back. I gave that guy $50 credits and he still took your wallet." Kaeth: "Sometimes the art calls to you."
They end up cutting through the park, watching the small children being mauled by the bear they'd been poking with sticks. Claws and effect. Then they notice Kiffin sitting on the bench, looking a tad, well, darted? She's looking off into space, with something clutched in her hand.
Robert: "She looks stoned." Kaeth: "She does. She smells stoned." They go over to render aid, and notice that not only is the blonde stoned, she also has a handprint bruise on her right wrist. Robert: "How did you hurt your wrist?" Kiffin: "I didn't hurt it." Kaeth checks her wrist, and there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage, but at the points of the bones there are blood blisters. Someone applied a lot of pressure, more than should have been possible with a human hand, but the handprint is unmistakable.
Pretty, blonde, stoned... The men must be helpful! Kiffin can't remember her address, since it's new, just where the apartment is. Kaeth checks her purse for a key. Robert: "Ooh, is that a glass eyeball? Why don't they just regrow those?" He takes a look and there's a holographic image on it. Robert: "It doesn't look like her eyes." Certainly not, her eyes are a dark violet-blue. Kiffin: "It's not mine. Well, I guess it's sort of mine..it's from...that man." Kaeth: "What man?" She has a business card in her purse too, with a handwritten number on it. It looks familiar to Kaeth, the distinctive, angular printing. Great. Robert looks at the key - it's very high tech. Robert: "Shall we take her back to her apartment?" Kaeth: "Yeah, so she doesn't get eaten."
They take Kiffin back to the incredibly high-rent district. The guard raises an eyebrow at Kaeth and Robert, but allows them inside. Wow. Nice place. Very nice, and expensive-looking. Art on the wall, natural fibre carpets, 1500 square feet. Kiffin: "You should see the bathroom, it's really big." They go take a look. She wasn't kidding. Cobalt blue tile, Italian marble, sunken bathtub apparently carved out of a single piece of lapis lazuli with gold fittings. The bathroom alone is probably 150 square feet by itself. The shower has room for about a dozen people, and the faucets are not set for dribbling out water, but shooting it out promiscuously.
They take the tour, then they'll go. Robert remembers at the last minute that he has the eyeball. Robert: "I should leave this, I guess." Kiffin: "I need that." Robert: "Why? You have two." Kiffin: "Not for that..." Kaeth: "Robert, it's not your eyeball. Now put it down." They leave it on the table and on the way out notice the security person outside. They've probably been photographed. They walk past a newsfax box with the headline: Interim Governor of Jenghe on planet to pay call on Duchess. Pity they didn't see the picture Kiffin is smoothing out on the coffee table right now, or they'd really be curious.