Staying relevant …

Another teaser from Elbert.

Novi Sad, Serbia

After a week visiting Serbia’s second-largest city, Adele was ready to move on. The Danube river valley was enchanting, but a movement to fold the province into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was showing signs of being more controversial than advertised.

 She told him twice, “Let’s leave before the shooting starts” — but he was on a mission, dispatched by the Prefect of the SagGha, and their brief stop on the way to Jivada was turning into something else entirely.

Stefan’s mother, Jivada-born, ostensibly Hungarian, didn’t think there’d be a fuss over Serbia’s shifting borders. “What you and I need to worry about is how to counsel our husbands when they start alienating friends and relatives over this conspiracy business.”

Adele was cautious. “Will AjJivadi here be divided over it?”

“Of course, they will.” She led them to a barn where Adele’s Bugatti coupe was soon to fly in from Zurich, unpiloted. “Guru Orsa is naïve to think we’ll smuggle in Star Forge phosphates, double our farm production, feed Europe and Jivada, and nobody will notice. We’ll be exposed, and if we aren’t of one mind about what to do then …” They gazed together at a sky full of stars and uncertainty. “All will be lost.”

Getting her car back turned out to less of a pleasure than Adele expected. My mother-in-law is on the wrong side.

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