>>159231 Oh, there are things more worthy of commemoration. Things more basic, and more fundamental. Things that have been around long before the Grimclaw Dynasty, and will be around long after their last, unworthy heir is no more.
The group quickly walks along towards the hedge row that forms the outer perimeter of the immediate palace grounds, It stretches along quite a distance, in a half circle pattern away from the palace. The wide stone-pathed walking paths have since in some places been converted into parking spaces. The group passes a number of such cars. The griffins are not the only ones on the palace grounds, and both Erich and Helder look over their shoulders at the griffins who pass further away.
They come across a silver and black automobile, albeit one much more basic and angular than Amber is familiar with.
>>159483 Helder: "It seemed lie a nice feature, until you have to carry several loaded suitcases across it."
There is no one else at the vehicle when they come up to it and all three start to load their possessions
Erich is silent, moving faster than Helder. He looks back, and becomes frightened. "That group over there. Do you see them? They are headed for the crew quarters." Amber can look back and see that there is indeed a small group of five headed towards the South wing. They are not in marked police uniform. Nevertheless, both Erich and Helder are spooked, and place their larger items in the car.
>>159484 Silver may then drop off Blue Skies, and go about his night.
>>159496 Amber is the last to have all of her equipment in the vehicle, mostly because of the viol, which needs special care. Erich looks over his shoulder and says “come on.” The one group of plain-clothed griffins continues its way to the servants’ quarters, while a separate small group nearer the entry to the palace has evidently turned heads and seen them. Both Erich and Helder are spooked. They get into the car, and start it after a sputter and one failed attempt.The car is cold, like the sounding crisp air, and vibrates with the engine. He places the car into gear, and starts to drive, driving right past the front security gate and onto the road.
>>159499 Helder does not stop, or even slow down, as the vehicle passes by the guard post and out of the palace grounds. Moving away from the baroque-style palace, the car passes a number of what are presumably homes in the gothic, style, though the constructions seem more recent. These are timber-framed constructions with high sloped roofs, mostly two or more stories, with naked timber frames in-filled with what appears to be white-washed wattle and daub. These buildings often have windows of opening the size of full doors, sometimes rectangular, more often circular, with a wooden beam perched in the area within the triangle formed by the roof, and the roofs are tiled with red ceramic. The deciduous trees that predominate, presumably mostly oak and birch, are losing their brown leaves, with some limbs largely bare and piles of leaves beginning to appear on the ground. Elsewhere, spruce trees remain bright and green, and more than a few fruit trees are covered in apples and pears in the gardens and yards.
>>159500 Stucco houses? Are they really so common? Amber wonders to herself.
Amber wouldn't mind having one of those succulent apples. Although the inhabitants of these houses are quite well-to-do, it wasn't long ago that a court musician would have been far above their station, and it would have been easy enough to befriend them and gain access to bountiful gifts of fruit. Now though, Amber is a fugitive and has essentially dropped in status to the lowest of the low.
>>159514 "Yes. I pointed him out to you in the bar. He was a grey stallion, late 20s or thirties, with a white mane, and a heavy jacket. I pointed out that I thought he had a gun or some other weapon. When the shooting started, he got up and went to the back, while you got up and went to the front. He went to the right, up a set of stairs. I followed him closely behind. I think he was reaching for a gun, I don't know. There was another shot just down the hall. Before he turned, I took my pistol out, and shot him right where the spine connects to the back of the skull, once."
>>159502 As they drive further, the buildings change. They pass grand stone temples with green colored metal domes and brass spires, and then rows of connected brick buildings five stories tall in a baroque style that form the center of a town. They pass an open square and a market, and then the concrete pillars of a neoclassical government building. Not every building is occupied or recently used.