July 2nd, 2021

_Bad Tölz_ part 7

“So she’d need a whole different ID. And to be two years older, so she was chipped. Umm, how about Heilwig Jana Hammermeister . . . and a number from 3720 that’s been deactivated . . .”

It was great fun. Poor other-Helly was a trouble maker, had been sold three times, and was now owned by a non-existent private insurance fraud investigation company.

Lorenz laughed uproariously. “I want to meet this young woman who has inspired such flights of fancy. But don’t frighten her off with dinner invitations, just drop by to pick up something you forgot.”

“Ooo, now I get tactics training?” Fynn moved on to the year 3685. “So what’s a good name for your fifty-four year old estranged son. He was an abolitionist and you threw him out of the house, haven’t spoken to him in years.”

“Nephew. Wolfram Pascal Rembold, after my two favorite relatives.” A sigh. “My brother and his wife died in a car crash . . . forty years ago, now. That makes it easier to slide in a false identity. An orphan, raised by his wicked uncle. Otherwise you’d have to find me a wife and kill her.” He reached across and tapped in ID numbers for his brother and sister-in-law.

Fynn nodded. “Right, and school records . . . can I just lift mine?”

“Yes, that would give him the randomness the records need, but change a couple just to get into the habit of being obsessive about your deep covers. And he’ll need to be Presented. Get him an ID card . . . then he drops out of college and disappears, for over thirty years. Not sure where . . .”

“Homestead a government lease in Nordamerika.” Fynn started tapping away.

“I’m almost afraid to ask how you know about them.”

“I thought about running. It wouldn’t have worked, but . . . I researched the possibility. The plane ticket was the biggest problem.”

His Vater squeezed his shoulder. “You could have come to me.”

Fynn blinked away tears.  That’s not the kind of help you ask of a friend of your father’s. He tapped away at the computer and found Wolfram a good claim, minimal income from lumbering and selling a tiny bit of gold. Less than the average for the local people panning the streams.

His Vater muttered something about Fynn having much too much fun, and had him buy Wolfram a used ATV.
“Actually I ought to buy you one, it’ll give you more mobility.”

Fynn swallowed. For what?

Then the spy pack got packed up and taken away.

But somehow Wolfram and the other-Heilwig didn’t get erased from the system, and the programmed chip got left out of the pack, along with Wolfram’s ID card.

He slipped them behind a loose baseboard and tried to forget them.

And with midterms coming up, he had other things to concentrate on. Like . . . how to invite Helly to dinner.
Car shopping took care of that. A used ATV, mechanically sound, the exterior clean enough to not stand out in the city. Just the front bench seat and lot of cargo space behind. Fynn fell in love with it and invited Helly and his college buddies to come and see it.

“Cause I’m not going to drive it and try to find a place to park around here, but you’ve got to see it!”

They all hopped on the E-line and walked the four blocks to the house. They were impressed with “The Beast” as Helly instantly named it, and got to work planning where they could camp next.

Jana came out with cookies and introductions circled.

“Helly . . . you’re the girl Fynn says wants to go to University. Who’s your father? Did I hear Fynn say you were House Hammermeister?”

Sieghard Emil.” Helly eyed her uncertainly.

“Uncle August’s son. Humph. A cousin of mine. I’ll speak to Vater, but it probably won’t help.” She sniffed. “Men, by-and-large, don’t understand, and certainly don’t listen. How about you Corinna?

Corinna hunched her shoulders. “My Vater’s hired a marriage broker. It will be a Wife Chip for me.”

“Is there anyone you want to marry?”

“Oh, I have several suitors but they’re all old and just want a bed warmer, and maybe a child to prove they’re still fertile.” She sighed. “It would be nice to marry someone young, who needs a wife to start a household and manage things . . . Not just sit around while a large established staff does it all for you.”

“Hmm . . . I shall have a talk with some friends, and see who has up-and-coming young men who’d like a wife who doesn’t want to sit around doing nothing.”

Helly just shrugged and looked away.

Jana ordered takeout and baked more cookies and they were pretty much having a garden . . . well, mostly driveway . . . party when Vater arrived and met them all.

They were all impressed with a Section Head in Intel, and Lorenz seemed to enjoy meeting all of them, talked about careers, and the balance between what they loved, and what they could get a job doing, and entry level jobs that would lead them the direction they wanted to go.

And sympathetic with Helly and Corina. “Getting your Vaters to spring for an Exec Chip is the best you can hope for. A Wife Chip second best. At least with an Exec Chip you could pursue a university degree.” An approving nod to Helly.

A week later Lorenz had rounded up three young men from his office, and two other young ladies on the marriage market and invited them all to dinner, with Helly and Corinna.

Throwing Jana into a panic. “I’m not a very good cook! Ten people to feed!”

Fynn subdued laughter. “Well since you’re the hostess, why don’t we borrow my Mutter for the afternoon and evening? And perhaps a maid to do the serving?”

Then a hunt through the attic for the leaves for the table, and extra chairs . . .

And Jana and Mutter got on well, and the maid borrowed from Lord Bastian’s household was a cheerful hard worker.

The party came off without a hitch. The young men tended to talk politics, and for a wonder Corinna turned out to be an avid follower of politics, and the other two women, Rebekka Ingman and Ariane Schweiger were no slouches. Helly kept quiet after she’d (very quickly) realized that matchmaking was the entire purpose of the dinner.

They all slept in Sunday, and then Monday, it was back to school, with Corinna all dreamy-eyed over Florentin Asch.

Lorenz came home from work chuckling. “Bernhard, Florentin, and Lutz were amazingly cheerful at work today and all three of their mothers called me, wanting names, pedigrees, and phone numbers. If I’m not careful, I’ll turn to matchmaking as a second career. I’ll have to extend my time on Bavaria, to escape becoming all social and finding wives for all the single men in Intel.”

Fynn felt a flutter of panic. Vater snickered. “Helly’s name somehow didn’t come up. And on the porch with cigars, we gentlemen all lamented the loss of glow with a wife chip and pondered the utility of a no show Exec chip. Thirty thousand, without all the training. But only ten thousand more than a wife chip. Worth putting off buying the fancy car, for the possibility of fantastic sex, and they all agreed.”

A snort inside, from Jana.

Lorenz grinned. “That orgy drug . . . we did give it a try and it has . . . I’m afraid to research it, but I swear it reduced the effect of the chip. Jana’s got more glow than even a really great grow-in usually allows.”

Fynn could feel his ears burning, and changed the subject quickly. “How long do you think you’ll be gone?”