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Tales of the Telcontars (PG-13) Print

Written by Susana

19 September 2011 | 56124 words | Work in Progress

Captain Dervorin of the Silent Service Takes a New Recruit

The new recruit’s heart fluttered anxiously, as the teenager fought to give away no hint of uncertainty. The spymaster of Gondor took very few recruits. You had to be the best of the best, smart and savvy, and even then there was no assurance. The quiet man’s spies had to be able to fight like front-lines-men, track like rangers, ride like Rohirrim, dance and flatter like courtiers, and speak Haradrim and Sindarin (at least) like natives. What to do if all the hard work had been for nothing… become a merchant trader? One could eventually build up one’s own network that way… that was how Gondor’s current spymaster, and his secret patron, had gotten their beginning. But to be able to have these resources at one’s back… to have the benefit of being trained by legends, and of maybe having the chance to teach them something in turn someday…

Dervorin eyed the young person before him. When he finally spoke, his voice was very quiet, free of the laughter the young applicant was more accustomed to, from this man. “Your examination results were perfect. Knowing how well you were educated, that did not surprise me. But your practical exam was nearly flawless. You lost my watchers, and that does not happen. You gathered news that passed even the notice of my most experienced snitches. I’d hire you in a second, if my patron approves. But considering the political ramifications of who you are, I can’t take you without it. I’m sorry.”

“I do approve.” Came the quiet affirmation, in a deep, musical voice. The same voice that had once sung lullabies, and banished night-time monsters, some very real. “But you’ll have to go through the same training all the other recruits do, Haley-love. You know, there are.. “

“No shortcuts at the top.” Eighteen year old Lady Haleth finished at the same time as her father. She had thought he would be furious, but he was calm. As one who has faced his worst fears, and is now quiet, having come to what he feels is the best decision, though it was clear he feared for her still.

Faramir nodded, pride as well as fear in his eyes. “You start tomorrow, and you’ll be home for Yule. Join your old Ada for dinner?”

Haleth nodded, trying a tentative smile. “You’re not angry?” She asked, hardly able to believe her good fortune. Her Ada didn’t rage, but he did not willingly let his children go into danger. She had been completely unsure of how he would take this news, well though she knew him.

Faramir sighed. “I love you for who you are, Haleth-nin. Being angry with you for finding work which suits you seems… foolish. And I try not to be a fool.”

Haleth grinned at her father, pleased there was to be no yelling, no anger. Pleased to be accepted, to be a source of pride, and yet be able to have the chance to become what she was meant to be.

Her father grinned back, but then more sternly admonished. “You’ll listen to Dev and your instructors like any other recruit, Haley-girl. If you get in trouble with them, you’ll be in trouble with me, too. Just like Elboron in his training, and Thea when she rides with the White Company.”

“I know, Ada.” Haleth agreed with a nod. She didn’t intend to get into trouble; or at least not to get caught.

Dev looked at his new recruit with ill-concealed glee; there was nothing he’d like better than to work with a younger version of Faramir again. Faramir sighed again and made a face at his old friend, and Dev assumed a more sympathetic, serious expression. It didn’t take much effort, even if he hadn’t been a master of disguise. Dev’s sympathy for his friend was very real. He didn’t know if he’d ever be able to let his own daughter spy. Bad enough his wife still joined him in the field on the odd occasion, which was the one reason Dev truly did not regret that the time of his retirement from active service was approaching. But his lady could train Haleth better than anyone he knew, except perhaps himself. Or a version of Faramir with fewer scruples. Haleth wasn’t that, but she was at least as creative and observant as her Ada. The Silent Service was lucky to have her.

“Can we tell Nana?” Haleth asked softly, picking up on the silent conversation between her father and his old friend, but not all of the subtext.

Faramir and Dev exchanged a telling look. “Its not procedure, but I think we’d better.” Dev said at last.

Faramir nodded, but cautioned “No one else though, Haley. Not even your brothers or sisters, and especially not Daerada.”

“He’s going to find out eventually.” Haleth commented. “Even if he does buy whatever story you are cooking up to explain where I am for awhile.” Haleth smiled at her father to soften the implied criticism. She would have to think of some way to thank him for his confidence and faith in her; not every father would have said yes.

“Yes, well, let’s make this temporary reprieve last as long as possible.” Her father said with a sigh. “Just because I can take on the King of Men and win doesn’t mean I relish the conflict. Let’s wait until you’re trained and posted, and then let him discover it, and I can offer to go fetch you for him, if he really wants a diplomatic and personal crisis on his hands.”

“That’ll fetch him.” Dev joked gently. “Personally, I’ve always thought he was just jealous Magordan and Lord Elrond didn’t let him train for Ethiron’s job.”

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6 Comment(s)

Oh these are wonderful. Eldarion is such an astute child :)

— Maria    Thursday 14 October 2010, 1:28    #

A very interesting beginning. I look forward to reading more!

— Ria    Thursday 14 October 2010, 3:05    #

I love these father-son moments, they’re so perfect and heartwarming.

— Anna    Monday 20 December 2010, 17:55    #

Just lovely!

— Linda    Tuesday 11 January 2011, 9:58    #

This is so lovely to read! It’s light and bright and makes me smile or chuckle during reading. Very enjoyable, I hope you update soon.


— Aneyrin    Wednesday 2 February 2011, 15:56    #

Cute, cute, cute story.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

— lille mermeid    Monday 16 May 2011, 15:50    #

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