Jeremy’s interlude enjoying “the good life” in The Ravine will soon end. The journey will be moving South in coming weeks. For now, let’s unpack.
I attempted to write this section as a series of flashbacks. As Walter prepares for their departure, Jeremy finds himself placed back on the periphery of events, which is something to which he’s no longer accustomed. The flashbacks not only allowed me to move through several days without having to create a different section for each conversation, it also allowed me to depict Jermey as swirling around a whirlwind.
To be honest, I’m not certain I’m entirely pleased with the results. I’ll need to practice this technique some more before I decide to use it again. The verb tenses get a little tricky, and I used “had [insert verb]” far too often. Even still, I felt the basic effect I was going for worked out all right.
Satal’s semi-tolerance of Jeremy has already been noted. Walter’s sudden announcement that he intended to accompany Jeremy into the unknown South has weakened that balance. Merkot has been using the opening of the new port to capture trade monopolies, which is creating new friction between Inner Valley and outer settlement politicians. Riverside, whose sailers are rapidly forming the population base for the new port, seem only too happy to allow Merkot have his way – which weakens her relationship with one of her only Inner Valley allies. It’s a tumultuous time, and Satal was counting on Walter to help her negotiate the official inclusion of the new port into the governance of Highcliff. His departure would mean this task would be left to Kaitlyn, who isn’t as skilled a negotiator.
If Satal could ship Jeremy off on his own, she would. In fact, she had a rare slip in her practiced facade as her interview with the youth concluded. She holds a deep prejudice against the Prismatics for “abandoning” The Valleys.
Michael’s conversation with Jeremy after his interview shows how close these two characters have become. Michael has taken on the role of an ever-present mentor for Jeremy whenever the youth has been out in “official capacity.” His gentle comment, “You’re frowning,” is a good example of the type of advice he’s been giving. Those who walk the halls of power can’t allow their emotions to bubble so easily to the surface.
As much as Jeremy believes he has a good measure of Satal, Michael actually has a better grasp of her character. She might be personally annoyed at Jeremy and Walter, but won’t allow those feelings to get in the way of her goal – the well-being of The Valleys. Michael, who spends much time with the President giving insights into Jeremy’s character 1, understands how Satal’s personal prejudices are in conflict with her personal convictions. She does believe Jeremy has come to help The Valleys.
There are several paths East of Woodhall which lead to some isolated estates high above the Eastern Ocean. These aren’t populated year-round, but in the warmer months serve as a retreat for Senators and others of societal influence. March is a bit earlier than the typical visit to these retreats, but it’s not an unheard of journey. Given the depth of Jeremy’s “on the job” training, it makes sense for Walter to take his protege aside in order to help school him up on proper etiquette for a Representative.
Walter’s using this isolated area as an ideal launching point for their journey South.
Where is Sheilak? Given the urgency of her message, it seems a bit unusual to have the Guardian abandon at such a crucial time.
Jeremy has assumed she’s been visiting her family, as she’s soon to depart on a long journey, but this isn’t the case. Sheilak has actually travelled to Woodhall to warn her fellow Guardians of their approach and ask them to keep watch for any trouble along the road. By the time Ama arrives in The Ravine, she’s almost returned herself.
Ama’s post in Water Gap is now officially resigned, and Ami has been installed as the new healer. She’s set to become a member of the Congress of Healers, and is looking forward to the new challenge. Because Walter doesn’t trust the communication channels out of The Ravine, she doesn’t know anything about Jeremy’s plans to move South.
- Jeremy is fully aware of this. ↩