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The Block – Chapter I Part 3: Old London, Aingland (End) October 14, 2009

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Quite as important as legislation
is vigilant oversight of administration.

–  Woodrow Wilson

The Block – Chapter I Part 3:  Old London, Aingland (End)

Debt and Indenture in the Empire of Uppsala

© D. Erick Emert

Subterfuge

The V-Box on Dorsey Smyth’s desk buzzed twice.

“Smyth.”

“Yes, sir.  Henry Pfister here.  I have a volunteer for our undercover mission to Lexington.”

“Excellent, Henry.  When well he leave?”

“Tomorrow morning, sir.  We’ve gained employment and rented a small village house for him.  We’ve also set up a direct V-Box line in the house so our volunteer can report directly to you without being traced through the Voice System.”

“Good work, Henry.  With that in mind, I’m going to release the Miklin complaint to Collections today.  Mr. Farmer should receive a notice from them in about a week.  Keep your man’s name under wraps, Henry.  Even I don’t want to know who he is.  When he calls, tell him to identify himself by using the number 13176.  Got that?”

“Yes, sir.  13176.  Very good, sir.  You should hear from our contact within two days.”

“Excellent, Henry.  Good work.  Thank you.”

Dorsey reached for an Investigations Office indictment form.  He filled it out in duplicate keeping the copy for his files and placing the original in an envelopment marked “District Court Service Office.”  He buzzed for a runner, who knocked on his office door within five minutes.

“Delivery, sir?”

“Yes, take this envelope over to Collection Services for me please.  Have someone sign for it.  Oh, and take this file jacket to Arnie Leddbetter in Standards, please.  Tell him, ‘Thank you,’ from me.”

“Yes, sir.  Immediately, sir.”

The runner saluted, turned and disappeared down the hallway.

*

“Mr. Cronkcroft, indictment to be served, sir.”

Stanly Cronkcroft looked up at the envelope in the runner’s hand.  He accepted it and zipped it open.  “Thank you.”

After the runner saluted and turned to leave, Stanly took the file from the envelope and read over its contents.  He then looked for the name of the next Summoner on his duty roster.  Based on the case, he skipped down a few names.  The Miklin indictment would be handled by Summoner First Class Russell Jones.  He buzzed once to get SFC Jones on the V-Box.

“Jones”

“Yes, Cronkcroft here.  I have an indictment summons for you to deliver.”

“Thank you, sir.  I’ll be right over to pick it up.”

A few minutes later, Cronkcroft responded to a knock on his office door.

“Come in.”

“Jones, sir.”

Cronkcroft fished a file folder off his desk and handed it to his subordinate.  “You’re in charge of this indictment, Jones.  Run it past me when you have it written up and before you take it to the Farmer residence.”

“Yes, sir.”  Jones took the paperwork.  “Thank you, sir.”  He saluted and left Cronkcroft to his duties.

Russell Jones was 36 years old and had been working as a District Court Summoner for the past 15 years.  His superiors saw him as a man who knew his job well and handled himself professionally.  ‘By the book’ as they say.  He grabbed two pieces of blank paper from a stack and fitted a blue piece of copy paper between them.  Everything he did must be done in duplicate – one copy for District Court files and one for his personal files.  Then he lifted the receiver on his V-Box and buzzed the Switch.

“Switch Box”

“Yes, Russell Jones here.  Connect me to the Postal Master in Lexington, please.”

“Thank you.  One moment.”

A short time passed and then another voice came through the receiver.

“Postal Master Clarke.”

“Yes, Russell Jones here.  Could you give me directions to the farm of Edsil and Remy Farmer, please?  I believe they live somewhere east of Lexington.”

“They do.  From the Central Circle in town, take the Westborough road for about twenty kilometers.  At the Meade/Bishopton crossroad, take a right turn onto Olde Meade Road.  The Farmer homestead will be about another five kilometers on the right.”

“Thank you.  Would you know the names and ages of their children by any chance?”

“I do.  They have a fourteen year old son called Thomas and a ten year old daughter who’s name is Elisabeth.  They’re not in any trouble are they?”

“Oh no, I have a package to deliver to them.  Thank you for your time and trouble, sir.”

“You’re welcome.  Have a nice day.”

Next, Jones rebuzzed the Switcher and had the girl connect him to Court Scheduling.

“Scheduling, Mosley Demeter.”

“Yes, Mosley.  Russell Jones here.  I need an open Debt Court date to schedule an indebtedness trial.”

“Russell Jones, of course.  Good to hear from you again, Russell.  Let me check the DC kalendae.  How much time do you think you’ll need?”

“Thank you Mosley.  About one month out should do fine.”

“Okay, let’s see.  We’re in Junonius, how does the sixteenth of Quintilis sound to you?  That’s a Monandaeg.  Give you plenty of time to get a decision by the end of the week, no?

“Sounds good Mosley.  I don’t foresee any problems at the moment.  I’ll send over the paperwork requesting that date and that should be that.  Any problems, let me know.  Hey, Mosley?”

“Of course Russell.  I’ve marked you in tentatively for the sixteenth and I’ll await your confirming paperwork.”

“Good show.”

“Ta.”

Now Russell had everything he needed to write up the official Indictment Summons, which he set to work on immediately.  He also wrote out a copy of the original complaint along with notes concerning the debt receipts.  He filled out, in duplicate, an official request for a Debt Court date noting the sixteenth of Quintilis.  He put all the originals, including his notes, in an envelope marked “Debt Court Action” and picked up the copies he’d made for his files.   He whistled a little tune as he headed for his superior’s office.

“Come In.”

“Jones, sir.”

“Ah, yes.  Jones.  Did you finish up that Farmer matter I gave you?”

“Yes, sir.  I have it with me, sir.”

“Excellent.  Sit down, Jones and let me have a look at it.  Any trouble getting service information?”

Jones sat down in a strong wood chair in front of Cronkcroft’s huge desk.  “No, sir.  The Lexington Postal Master was quite helpful, sir.”

“Good government training, that.  You can always tell who was trained in Uppsala and who was trained locally.”  He leaned forward.  “Let me see your work.”

Jones handed his superior the file.  After a few minutes looking it over, Cronkcroft gazed up at Jones again.

“I want you to serve this summons yourself, Jones.  You did notice the amount of debt incurred, didn’t you?”

“Yes, sir.  I did.”

Cronkcroft nodded.  “The family will be in a delicate situation.  I expect you to keep the peace between them.  Lay out all their options and try to get them to reach a decision on the direction they want to take this.  Be as helpful as you can, Jones.  This won’t be easy for these folks.  I don’t know how they got into this situation, but I know dealing with it will be very difficult.”

“Yes, sir.  I’ll do my best, sir.”

“I know you will, Jones.  That’s why I selected you for this job.  When will you be heading out to Lexington?”

“Day after tomorrow, sir.  It’s at least a six hour trip so I’ll leave in the morning.  I know there’s a hotel in Lexington so I’ll spend the night and return the next day.

Both men stood up and Jones saluted.

“Come see me when you get back, Jones.  I’d like an account of what transpires.”

“Yes, sir.”

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