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Dead Man's Hand - Family Values (Chapter Cover Art) 1

Chapter 24[]

Dead Man's Hand: Family Values[]

Ngo Family Estate
Hue, Kowloon
Bucklands Province
Lyran Alliance
21st April, 3058

"Holy shit!" Liz read, then re-read the hand delivered HPG message, holding it at arms length as if it was a hissing snake, "Holy shit!"

"You already said that." Nathan Roshak commented from the office doorway, "What has you so... agitated?"

"You wouldn't understand." Liz shook her head, but offered the message up for him to read.

"From, New Avalon Institute of Science. To, Elizabeth Ngo, Duchess of Kowloon." He read the message aloud, "Dr Bartholomew Banzai Esq. requests permission to tour Nha Tranh University at your earliest convenience."

"You have absolutely no idea who that is, do you?" Liz asked, completely deadpan.

"I confess I do not." Her lover shrugged, "A scientist, I presume?"

"Calling Doc Banzai a 'scientist' is like calling Katherine Steiner-Davion 'slightly ambitious'." the Duchess snatched the paper back, "He's effectively the scientist, certainly for my parents generation. He spearheaded the development of bionic replacement limbs, especially those suitable for soldiers. But he's also an award winning physicist, acclaimed musician and a highly decorated MechWarrior."

"He sounds impressive. Should I be concerned?"

"If he was thirty years younger, yes, very much so!" Liz admitted, "I had... quite the crush on him during my younger days. He was one who few people in the Inner Sphere who actually seemed to give a damn about improving the quality of life for everyone, and not just the nobles. And now he is on the way to my world, to visit my university!"

"So, we should. I believe that the phrase is, 'break out the good china'?"

Liz looked at him with a warm expression.

"You know, if not for the fact that you're from a society of genetically enhanced ******, you'd make a damn good husband."

Nathan Roshak looked stunned for a moment, then started to say something, but Liz silenced him with a finger to his lips.

"You know the rules. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. Spending time dreaming about what can never be is time not spent living in the now. Carpe Diem. Now, help me get this dress off so we can properly celebrate the good news."

"Only so long as you promise not to call me 'Bartholomew'."

"I make no such promises..."

Note From Author[]

For those whom are unfamiliar with Elizabeth Ngo's previous stories done by Cannonshop.

One of Lizzie's biggest 'things'/projects/minor obsessions, is University Nha Tranh.  She turned the former governor's complex in the planetary capital into a university, and has dumped billions into locating, publishing, and spreading science, mathematics, literature and everything else she could scrape, buy, steal, or salvage into books and classes, and unlike other universities, she'll take anyone with a pulse as a student.

The Endowment plaque over the main entrance says:

"We have lost so much knowledge we don't even have names for what's been forgotten.  This has to stop."

Doctor Banazi showing up is like having your favorite rock-star want to watch your garage band play at the prom.  It's a big deal for her.

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