This site will close October 25, 2018.  
To keep up with EG and the Twelve Systems Chronicles, follow EG at
Amazon * Nook * Kobo * Apple

After several delays, The Apprentice Volume 3: Transgressions  is moving forward.  Jim O'Connor Photography ( is hard at work on the cover, Razor Sharp Editing ( is lined up for proofreading in November and our Commonmarket Films is hard at work on the story edits.   We may manage a 2015 release after all.  

In the meantime - a sneak peek:


This is ill.  I am the sum of my ancestors.

Milord, monsignors Sebastian and Elenora, Seigneur Trevelyan, and Seigneur Damocles are all seated at the judgment panel.  Master Straus is at the podium and Archive Master Liger is seated at the techno console. 

I am the the foundation of my family.  Milord and Seigneur Trevelyan are angry, although it is well controlled.  Monsignor Sebastian is as dyspeptic as ever and Seigneur Damocles, still bearing the marks of his failed challenge to Trevelyan, appears … hungry?  Monsignor Elenora is annoyed.  

Honor is my blade and shield.  It is a formal Cartel judgment and Lilian is the accused.  Tabitha?  Lilian knew when she began her conspiracy to free Tabitha that it could be deemed ‘effrontery,’ a transgression against Grey Spear sovereignty.  For such effrontery, Monsignor Sebastian could demand to see her belted or even caned.  This day.  Do not volunteer.

At a gesture from milord, Lilian addresses the author of her summons, “Associate Master, what is your wish of me?”

Straus’ stern expression is all the warning Lilian receives, “Monsignor Sebastian indicts you for interference in the bond of Mistress Tabitha.”

Adelaide defend me!  Bond interference?  This is completely unanticipated.  Honor knows not fear.  This is a far greater charge than effrontery.  If Lilian is found guilty, the lightest penalty will be caning.  The severest will be time added to Lilian’s bond to be served with Monsignor Sebastian.

“How do you respond to this indictment, Mistress Lilian?”  Master Straus presses.

Honor endures.  This day.  Carefully feeling her way, uncertain of the protocol, Lilian relies on formality, “If you please, Associate Master, I most vehemently deny having behaved in such an egregious manner.” 

Acknowledge it is a terrible crime and deny having committed it. 

“Very well, you will answer to the evidence against you,” Straus accepts Lilian’s plea of innocence.  His almost imperceptible nod of approval reduces Lilian’s fear and increases her confidence.  She has done well. 

Referring to his slate, the Associate Master cites.  “It is charged that you willfully and knowingly assisted Mistress Tabitha in flouting her lord’s will and serving her own ambitions in defiance of Monsignor Sebastian’s requirements.  In evidence, we have this record from the Archives monitors.”

With the summation of the charge, the reviewer presents a visual of Lilian explaining to Tabitha how to access and interpret a series of commerce analytics. 

Five Warriors take it!  There was naught in those interactions to trigger a monitor review.  Someone went searching.  Seigneur Damocles!  The Security-Privilege Seigneur’s smug smile is all the confirmation Lilian needs.

“There are several other recordings of a similar nature,” concludes Straus.

Honor acts as duty commands.  Seigneur Trevelyan assured her their actions were within stricture.  Openly confused, Lilian confirms, “Yes Associate Master, I deny it not.”

At Lilian’s response Damocles and Sebastian radiate excitement. 

Mitigation.  Lilian was careful to make certain that were her actions discovered, there would be sufficient mitigation that milord could extract a minimal penalty.  I will not fall.  I will not fail.  Without prompting, Lilian continues her confession, “Should Master Straus review any sevenday in the past year, there will be similar recordings.  Apprentice requests are the lowest priority for Archive Master Liger and his associates.  The apprentice staff often seeks my assistance when I am present and at liberty to respond.”

The Archive Master is nodding, “It is true.  I witness it often.  It is useful.  The questions are basic and her assistance leaves my associates free to address more complex and higher priority requirements.”

Sebastian scowls, “You would have me believe that this doxy has sufficient knowledge of analytical archives to routinely act as an archivist?” 

Ignoring the governor’s rising choler, Liger calmly responds, “Indeed monsignor, more than sufficient knowledge.  Mistress Lilian has refined two of our standard analytical models and I am reviewing another.” 

The Shades be praised.  At Master Liger’s testimony, Lilian’s fear dissolves.  She may yet be belted for effrontery, they cannot prove bond interference.

“Lilian, I knew naught of this,” milord’s harsh tones snap Lilian from her relief.

Milord is angered.  By her Archives efforts?  Minor revisions to what she considers routine algorithms barely registered in her workload.  Lackwit.  Milord has been surprised by his apprentice in front of Grey Spear.  Lilian has erred, “I beg pardon, milord.  I did not consider the effort worthy of milord’s notice.” 

“Effrontery!”  Monsignor Sebastian is almost purple with outrage as he glares at Lucius.  “Your doxy has no business making such suggestions and Master Liger should be chastising her, not encouraging such behavior.  I will see her caned for that alone.”


Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)