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Family Matters: The Society Book 4 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 12018

Updated: 2019-06-11 14:53

Chapter 13

With Jane's departure, the room was quiet. Hamilton looked lost in thought and she wasn't certain she ought to disturb him. Ivy looked to Russell who gave her a small shrug in response. After a time Hamilton seemed to shake himself and remember they were there. To Ivy's surprise, he smiled when he looked at her. Remembering how easily he could pull emotions over his face Ivy didn't trust the smile. The only facial expression she ever saw that she knew was real was the small mean looking smile he used when threatening her. It was too nasty to be faked. That she trusted, the jovial ones, she trusted less than the emotions the golems displayed.

"At least we know what is going on, " Hamilton said.

"We do?" Ivy asked.

"Of course. In the emergency Jane transferred to you. As she sees you as stronger than me, she did not transfer back after the emergency. Part of the programming is loyalty based. Loyalty can be transferred, such as at retirement from Theodore to Timothy. In other cases, loyalty is determined by strength. The golem will not abandon a strong mistress for a weaker master."

"But you are the clan head, " Ivy said. "Wouldn't that mean whoever holds the post has her loyalty?"

"Not necessarily, " Hamilton said. "To a golem's way of thinking, the strongest mage is the head of the mage clan regardless of who actually claims the title. And in her history, a mage grows old, passes ownership on to a younger and stronger mage and life goes on. She believes you are stronger and you are undoubtedly younger than I am. For her it would seem like a natural progression. To transfer back to me would seem, to her, unnatural."

"So she thinks I'm in charge of her?" Ivy asked.

"It would seem, " Hamilton mused. "It at least explains the changes to her behavior."

"It does?" Ivy asked.

"Yes, as you did not alter protocol when you left, she would have noted that you were a Chambers. She certainly knew your lineage. In all likelihood, she reverted to the protocols Theodore set into place working on the premise that as a Chambers it would be closer to what you wanted."

"Mr. Chambers likes green, " Russell said. He was nodding slowly.

"Excuse me?" Hamilton said.

"When we stopped by her desk on the way in she told Ivy that Mr. Chambers liked her in green, " Russell said.

"Yes, " Hamilton said nodding. "That fits. I think we have figured it out."

"But what about Emma?" Ivy asked.

"Emma?" Hamilton repeated.

"The receptionist on the archival floor, who now likes sunny dresses?" Ivy repeated.

"Perhaps maybe Mr. Chambers liked a sunny secretary on the archival level, " Russell said.

"But Theodore didn't create Emma, Mr. Bridges did, " Ivy replied. "Didn't you?"

"I did, " Hamilton said. "I didn't know you realized that."

Ivy sensed a wariness edging into his voice and remembered she wasn't supposed to know much about golems. "You told me so when I came for my hearing before the Shadow Council disbanded, " Ivy reminded him.

Hamilton's face cleared and he once again became jovial. "So I did."

"Then why is she changing into a sunny dress?" Ivy asked. "She doesn't have Theodore's protocols to fall back on."

"Ah, " Hamilton said. "It is clear you know little of golems and less so of how they operate here." He looked pleased with this statement and Ivy decided that if she did figure out anything about golems, she would keep the knowledge to herself.

"There is a hierarchy in place. It would be inconvenient for me to go to each and every golem to convey my wishes directly. T

clipboard and checked the clock to add the time she left to the sheet, and then passed the clipboard to Russell so he could do the same.

"Is there anything else you require before you leave Dr. Chambers?" Bert asked.

"No, everything seems to be in hand. Unless anyone tries to grab me off the sidewalk, then you can bash them on the head with the clip board for me if you like, " Ivy said. There was something about the guard's earnestness that made Ivy uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the guard wasn't programed to understand her admittedly bad humor.

"I am not programmed to operate outside of this building Dr. Chambers, however if you require assistance outside of the building's confines I can summon the auxiliary for you."

"Great, " Ivy said, reminding herself to keep her snarky comments to herself in the future. "It doesn't appear to be necessary tonight, but thank you anyway Bert."

"You are welcome Dr. Chambers. I look forward to your return in the morning."

Ivy nodded and decided it was more than time to leave.

"Goodnight Bert, " Ivy said as she walked quickly to the door and escape.

Russell lengthened his stride to keep up with her. Given his much longer legs, it wasn't much of an effort. His main effort seemed to be in not laughing if his gleaming eyes and twitching lips were any indication. When they stepped through the door and on to the sidewalk, Ivy noticed Bert craning forward to see if anyone did indeed grab her. No one did and as she moved around the corner, she saw him settled back down to his guard station.

"I wonder if he's disappointed he didn't get to call the auxiliary, whatever that is, " Ivy said as she continued walking around the building, Russell beside her. Several chuckles escaped his lips now that they were no longer with anyone else.

"To bash your attacker on the head with the clipboard, " Russell said. He laughed and shook his head.

Ivy thought the laughter was more due to the relief of having things settle down a bit than her attempt at humor.

"I need to remember to keep most of my comments locked inside my head when dealing with golems, " Ivy said. "But at least we know what malfunctioning means."

"And that they aren't actually malfunctioning, " Russell said. They walked into the garage and got into the Land Rover. Ivy clicked on her seatbelt and was happily quiet for the short ride home.

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