Three Ladies and a Stone (Part 5)

OFF: This is NOT a challenge post, but a continuation of the series to give the reader some background. This takes him from after the meeting with the Queen back to his office and what awaits therein.

ON: After the meeting with the Queen and Dr. Bovari has been settled, Avakhon is finding his way back to his office/home, via another cab, one more discreet as it was provided by Her Majesty. Although more private, it couldn't have been more obvious. Seldom has the Royal Carriage been in this section of town and his departing from its interior has many eyebrows raised in wonder, if not pure awe.

"Stop here is fine Master at Arms, I will be fine with the walk to my home from here," he tells the Boardman hoping to divert attention from his own dwellings.
"MY orders were to take you straightaway to your residence and I never disappoint her majesty. So unless you live in the sewers, I'm about taking you there and leaving you to it from there. YOU of all people should understand that Sargent."
"I meant no disrespect, Master, merely that the meeting with her majesty has left me
parched and I am wont to find a drink, thinking that mayhaps you would join me unless you feel it untoward of me to invite a fellow soldier to a drink?" he asks hoping to get some positive response from him.
"Well, now that you put it that way, me and the lads could use with a sip perhaps. As long
as you understand YOUR buyin' mate!" with that they pull out in front of the Lady's Grace tavern and dismount.
"I did invite you, so it's only fair I pay the tab for you gentlemen. Especially since it's
ON the Crown's money. her majesty gave me an account to draw from for my needs and 'services' if I had the need as well. Taking care of her footmen would certainly qualify as a need don't you agree?"
"RIGHT YOU ARE Guv'ner! So let's be at it afore she wants to know why it took so long to get you back here and return. Course we'll have to have a bite, less we smell of the brew and she offs the lot of us." and he looks to Avakhon for some sign that he may yet treat them to something more.
"Keep it under a tenner and we're good, Master. More than that and I'd have to explain why." and Avakhon opens the door to the tavern and shows the footmen into the place. They are all dressed in their finery and as Royal Guardsmen, they stand out like sore appendages. All eyes are upon them. Some try to slink into the shadows hoping not to be seen.
"It's allright everyone, they aren't here to arrest anyone, merely taking lunch and found it to be the closest place around. NO worries here," he says hoping to assuage any fears that he's brought in the Crown for his own to take over or worse, clean up this place.
"Master at Arms, if you and the lads would be so kind, they have a drink here that it just heavenly has little to no smell to be noticed and is delightful. It's called TRANYA and is of a very rare and exquisite far away land. I may be able to procure a case for her majesty, should she be so inclined. BUT that would depend upon her hearing of it from a trusted servant as to its taste and powers to enlighten the mood." and he points to a barmaid to bring him three bottles of Tranya.
"Where is the proprietor this day Wanda?" Avakhon asks as he doesn't see Bolak in his usual place behind the bar.
"He has business elsewhere sir, and I am not at liberty to discuss his goings-on outside of this place" as she looks down at the floor, hoping he won't ask more of her.
"Indeed, well I merely wondered as it's always a good time when he's here and I wanted to show my guests that hospitality isn't just for Kings and Queens. Have you any meat and bread that's fresh and could serve them for a meal? There's a good tip if you can."
"RIGHT AWAY SIR!" she says and heads swiftly to the back and the kitchen area to find something worthy of the promised tip. A few moments later she returns with a tray, containing a joint of beef, three loaves of bread, a round of cheese and some fresh cream with chives for dipping. Seeing this bounty, the footmen smile and begin to dig in hoping it won't be their last meal as they are in service now, and it would be considered derelict in their duties to allow themselves to indulge in such things. Each smiles as they look from one to the other realizing that if one goes, they all do.
"Maybe not a meal fit for a King, but hearty enough for the lads.Thank you Mister
Khinsharri, for your consideration of the troops in this time. An officer and a gentleman no doubt." the Master at Arms says.
"I am neither Master. I am but a fellow soldier whose times have seen him in need and want, yet am now able to do for his fellow as possible by her majesty's grace." seeing this he lifts his glass in a toast."TO VICTORIA! LONG MAY SHE LIVE and LONG MAY SHE REIGN!"
All in the tavern raise their glasses,"TO VICTORIA!" and they all look towards the Tower of London. Suddenly theres a rush at the dors, and a young man bursts forth and screams,"FIRE!"

OFF: This ends the background portions of the stories and allows the main characters to resume their portions of it. What follows next is the actions of Vanaaras and Bolak on the ship.

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