Ntaro Challenge: A House L'u-cif-er Story (ch. 4) by Acton Bell

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The dwelling was one of several identical two-room stick-and-daubs crowded onto the block. On Byshen it would be considered a poverty row. On Ntaro it was upper-middle class.
Viir double-checked the number against the baub-reader in his hand. He was looking at the home of cheeck Seeyeer, the surviving parent of Overseer dzeert Seeyeer.
He knew Genji would be upset with him for coming alone, but even with their new link, Genji hadn't felt half of the pain, fear, and loathing Viir had. The Ntaro was suffering and Viir couldn't ignore it.
It had been easy enough to discover Seeyeer's family. The shuttle's master computer had access to all but the most confidential of L'u-cif-er's records. Seeyeer's file had shown it was one of the first students through the training program supported by Byshen's Seven Houses. It had graduated with highest marks and been snapped up by L'u-cif-er Da'anil Kaen, who had an eye for talent. Seeyeer had risen fairly quickly to a position of authority.
It had not had a consort, having only just passed its first mew. Its one parent dying soon after its birth, it had been alone save for its one surviving parent. That was somewhat unusual as Ntaro's tended towards large families. A quick scan of the records had shown Seeyeer's deceased parent had been somewhat elderly upon its first mating. The surviving parent, cheeck, had, on the other hand, not passed its first mew when Seeyeer was born. Reading between the lines, Viir suspected it was a marriage made to get cheeck off its parents' hands and was never meant to produce children. From the pscyh eval, he gathered Seeyeer had in some ways acted as the parent. No doubt cheeck's precarious mental state had made that necessary. It would have also made Seeyeer's death harder for cheeck to accept.
As Viir walked up the stone inset path he noticed how quiet the neighborhood was. Checking his chrono, he realized the Ntaro, children and parents alike, would be at work. For the first time since making his decision to meet cheeck Seeyeer, Viir hesitated. He had hoped to catch it alone, to talk, to heal if possible, but he had not realized how isolated they would be.
Bone deep tiredness suddenly hit him. He staggered, catching hold of a porch post to keep his balance. He blinked several times to bring the swimming scene into focus. The shower and change of clothes of clothes he had taken time for aboard the shuttle had revived him only temporarily; already the affect was wearing off.
"Who's there?" Who's there? "What is it?" What do you want? Why are you here? Is it you? Where are you? "Go away!" Go away! Go away!
Viir shook his head to clear if of the actual and mental voices that pounded at him. It required intense effort to hold his shields in the face of the intense sendings. The Ntaro was more unstable than he had anticipated.
"Talupan Seeyeer," he said. "I wish to speak to you about dzeert."
The sudden cessation of the mental force he was pushing against caused Viir to stumble.

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