Red Paper Book
By Kenneth Shumaker
September 13, 2017
In Kenneth Shumaker’s Eren’s Challenge, we enter the world of the robotics research technician, a mature human male, Eren. During Eren’s 5th Galaxy Palcard sector journey, he encounters hazards with his friend, Esmelda, the mature human female who is an ambassador’s administrator. The pair struggle with adventures and dramatic developments while in the metropolitan industrial trade city of Goral, on the planet of the Krenar. Here, they fight with bureaucrats and the Hean priestly hierarchy.
In the previous Eren’s Challenge episode 006, ‘Home Blue Fires’ …
Meeting Everest, the socialite journalist, Es and Eren work out a deal with Everest. Eren receives a secure datacard flash drive. Eren attempts to begin reading the files.
We continue with Eren’s Challenge episode 007, ‘Red Paper Book’ on …
Lezmor 2nd RD 78
Spending several minutes to carefully read through six files, I’m satisfied with their quality. I quickly skim through another dozen files. Then I transfer the entire set of folders and files into my Desmal pocket tablet data folders and lock in the data secure. Removing the datacard flash drive, I flip it a few times in my hand, muttering randomly to myself, letting the two women sweat longer. I slowly give the small one terabyte drive to Everest while saying to Es, “Can you afford another seven?”
I swear, I think Everest slightly peed herself in relief as they both sigh.
Chuckling, Es motions to Everest to move closer with her purse, as she transfers a final seven one-ounce solid bars of gold.
Eyeing me gleefully, Everest asks, “So I take it, this means we’re good, you and I?”
Slowly shaking my head, I say, “No! … the three of us are good, Everest, not just you and I. My contact number is on my web page. For future reference, send me your contact information through the contact form. Remember, my page is eee.challengechange.cor .”
She smiles enthusiastically as she rapidly stands and respectfully bows, and then says, “I’ll remember, and I’ll contact you Master Eren.”
I nod sagely and wave suavely.
After she walks away, I turn to Es, saying, “We have to get home. It’s ten in the evening now, and it will be two in the morning when we arrive at our … did I just say our? Anyway, when we get home, we have to write Angel’s report, and then contact the two boys to pick us up quickly. We’ll be just under the wire getting the Red Paper to Angel. But I think with these folders, we’re clear and good with Angel.”
Wiping her brow with a cloth napkin from off the table, Es then keys her smart com to summon another Quickie Cab. The instant notification replies there is one waiting out front.
Es reserves the cab, and we quickly rush out to board the cab.
Lezmor 3rd RD 78
We arrive at my house at precisely 1:57 am. Es volunteers to write and edit our Red Paper, and then I can print and bind the report as a Red Paper book for Angel.
We started three hours ago, and we are only half completed the first draft of the report – I think.
I motion to Es that I’ll return shortly. I leave my office running down to the living room house com, keying Angel’s Lieutenant Unhrah’s private line. I wait.
Within twenty seconds, the ugly old Pargon answers barking at her com, “What you want, Swill?”
I smartly salute the old warrior. Then, sitting rigidly in my cushioned arm chair I speak to her. “Pargon Unhrah, I am almost complete with preparing my report, and then we will edit, format, and print it for Pargon Angel.”
Barking in gnoll laughter, Unhrah takes awhile to calm. After Unhrah settles, she says, “Cut the crap, Swill. You’re going to be late. That’s why you called me … I appreciate the effort. You know that Angel allows no excuses for failure.”
Swallowing hard, I try. “Pargon Lieutenant Unhrah, I have the information. I’m making it into a Red Paper book readable by Angel. You know that humans have a difficult time with the New Goren type.”
Nodding in a human-like manner, Unhrah grins, showing all her pointy teeth, including the four three-inch canines that typically throws fear into most humans. Me – I find the gnoll grin comical and it takes great effort on my part not to break into laughter. In the past, Unhrah caught me laughing at a junior gnoll who I thought had grinned at an inopportune moment. We had one of our rare serious rude talks, and now she excuses me on those occasions when I burst out in a small chuckle at the sight of their grin.
Today, I do not laugh or chuckle. I am grim-faced as I state, “I’m serious, Pargon.”
Unhrah is great at reading human body and facial expressions. She detects my seriousness, and knowing my weakness to gnoll grins, she too shows seriousness as she replies, “Okay Eren, I’ll forgive. In four hours, I’ll send Rifus with Tairence to pick you up and bring you here. Be as quick as you can. My reputation hangs with yours if you’re too late, or don’t arrive.”
Standing in a brisk leap and bowing with a curt gnoll gesture to the screen, and then smartly gnoll saluting Unhrah, I reply, “My honour is in your paws, Pargon Unhrah.”
She nods curtly and kills the connection.
I breathe a huge sigh of relief and turn to march back upstairs, immediately bumping into Es.
She has a deathly grim expression, and she asks, “It’s that serious? You had to beg for extra time?”
I smartly nod to her, and say softly, “It’s our lives if we don’t deliver on time. We will die. That simple.”
She thinks a moment and then asks, “Do we have to give her all the information we own?”
I sincerely consider this, and then reply gently, “It would be healthiest for us if we did. But if only you and I were aware that she never received it all … then no … we don’t.”
Gently taking my hand, Es says, “Okay then, we have completed our report. Now, let’s make it pretty for the yellow dog.”
We made a lovely Red Paper book in the New Goren type for Angel. We’re dressed for battle when Rifus and Tairence arrive.
I discussed with Es, fetching her a designer fashioned synth-suit. My supplier makes the suits, though they cost at least thirty-thousand with the extra alterations and options.
Happy that we are ready when he arrives, Rifus then carefully and casually drives to the tower.
I note that Rifus has a new set of plates on his car today – in less than his usual two-week switch interval. When I ask him about this, he mutters something about the previous plates being Gov-Watch broad-reported and that all vehicles are being scanned for them.
We arrive at Angel’s tower and her penthouse iridium-glass office. Unhrah gladly takes the 11-mm Giourander from Es. We had planned for this, as Es is now officially my team partner.
We stand stiff and nervous, facing Angel with three minutes left before our target deadline. I spot sweat stains seeping down the back of Es’ bright red sleeveless dress, and I know I likely have equivalent sweat pooling inside my synth-suit.
Angel is carefully reading the forty-two pages of the New Goren type in the Red Paper book that we wrote on Gov Tax Audit manager Havar.
By, Kenneth Shumaker
To be continued in the next Eren’s Challenge episode 008, ‘Amber Calendar Heart’ …