These chapters might seem a little long, but I didn't feel like altering them at all. I have the story entirely finished already, so I'm just going to update it all at once. This is the first full length story I've writtne, so please be nice with your reviews.

I also haven't had the time to edit all the chapters, so I know that there are grammatical errors.

An Impossible Alliance


Death and Duty

The hunter nocked and sighted his arrow. A flash of brown, the deer jumped into the boy's path where he had been anticipating it would. The tension in the deer echoed the tension in his slightly trembling arm. He released the arrow and the strain drained from his muscles. Air whistled over the arrow and it struck the doe audibly behind her ear. Her animation ceased, her knees buckled, and she fell over dead.

When he was hunting he had freedom, it was the only time he was free to do what he wanted. He hunted or rode nearly every day. Policy and tradition, that seems to be all anyone, including Father, ever worries about.

He had trained with the bow and the sword as long as he could remember and was excellent in both. Though better with the sword, he preferred the bow for its range. To his teachers' delight he had expressed interest in every fighting style and had worked to perfect them. It was important for him to be competent in every type of situation.

After checking the deer, an old female past bearing, he hauled it over to his horse that was tethered nearby. Tying the final the knot, he swung onto his horse's back and with a shrill whistle, called his gyrfalcon back to his glove. The stallion, trained for battle, didn't even flinch as it flew in.

It was unique from any other bird, because it required no gear. It was the tamest bird he had ever met. He ran a loving finger over the falcon's head. He had to rest his hand on his knee after a short time because of the weight of the bird. Though it was approximately the same size as the other falcons of its kind, the raptor seemed to be heavier.

Sighing, the young hunter headed back towards civilization. At the edge of the forest spotted a man in clothing of crimson and black that marked one of the officials in the castle. Hesitantly, he headed urged his horse towards the edge of the dense trees. Instead of brushing the branches aside like he normally did he went around them, desperately stalling for time. His fleet hound glanced up at her master and he gestured for the dog to go meet his visitor.

Emerging from the forest the boy spotted his father's Seneschal and most junior advisor, though still many years older than himself. He shouldn't be out here, he never leaves the castle.

He could tell something was wrong, for all of a sudden a pleasant summer day turned cold and inhospitable. The fleet hound's light, silvered brown coat seemed to fade and the advisor's face was lined and strained. He spurred his war stallion; a dapple grey named Lancelet, and closed the gaps in moments.

"Prince Derian…" The Seneschal paused in his sentence, taking gasping breaths.

Derian clenched his jaw and stared at the advisor. Since he was a crown prince and the king's only son he had been treated as if he was made of glass his entire life. This treatment belied his physical attributes. He was tall, with a thin, but muscular build. Blue eyes were typical on the coast, so his were not unusual. His dark brown hair was always, to the annoyance of his servants, ruffled. Derian's ailing mother, Queen Miranda, had died when he was born, leaving him as an only child.

Derian had an extremely independent personality. Although his father was always busy, he had never needed a governess. He had been lonely however, and was given a dog on his eighteenth birthday. The dog was still a puppy, but she went everywhere with Derian. He had named her Morgaine, and she became his ever constant companion.

Derian had never really considered that he might be shirking his responsibilities as a prince. Some of his tutors had told him that his biggest fault was his hatred of confrontation. Instead of solving a situation, he generally avoided it when one materialized, though he handled crisis well when forced to. That was why his freedom was so important to him.

His guards had learned early that Derian would lose them in the woods if they insisted upon accompanying him. In fact whenever he was assigned another guardian the older guards would send the newbie out with the prince. He would lose the guard so quickly that the young man wouldn't know which way was what. Luckily for the guards, he was kind-hearted enough to find them after he was done hunting. The guards allowed this because the prince never hunted anything truly dangerous; even so, it was a breach in policy.

This day in particular he had especially wanted to be alone. It was the Celebration of Modgnik's Independence and there was to be a huge feast in honor of the day. Before the feast the king walked amongst the Low Born and greeted them. Derian as crown prince was supposed to be in attendance, but he had managed to avoid that duty.

When the advisor had recovered Derian spoke, "What's wrong Thorian?"

The young advisor was still bent over with his hands on his knees, but managed to pant, "It's your father. Assassins have shot him with a poisonous dart. I was the only one available to come. He was out in the courtyard greeting some of the peasants for Celebration of Independence. He…"

"I must go," Derian cut him off with a gesture to Morgaine and galloped off towards the castle. He tossed the gyrfalcon back into the sky. It immediately turned back towards the falconry. The tranquil summer day seemed to have turned into a time of great tribulation for Modgnik.

Derian reached the castle in Kingdom Cove as fast as he could. Dismounting while the stallion was still moving, he left him in the groom's hands, instead of taking care of the horse himself like he normally did. He and Morgaine burst through the door and rushed to his father's side.

King Edmond was in a horrible state. His usually firm skin had loosened giving the middle age man an elderly appearance and it was a wrinkled as a dried fruit. Bones that had been concealed before showed and his eyes had sunken. His left eye drooped and the corresponding faces muscles were slack. Even from the doorway Derian could see that the sheets were soaked with sweat.

King Edmond spied his son. "Derian I'm so glad you've come in time. It was fortunate you were not with me, or else you may have been poisoned too," when he spoke his voice wavered and his words were punctuated with coughing. He lisped, since half of his mouth didn't seem to work properly.

"Come in time for what Father?" The king and his physician grimaced. He can't mean what I think he does.

"Listen to me. My time has come, you must take the throne. Guide the people well." King Edmond was forced to stopped as he coughed violently, spitting up blood. Then he continued, "Derian, you mustn't worry when you make mistakes. I certainly have had my share of them." Morgaine whimpered and King Edmond dropped his hand down own her back.

He can't leave me; he just seriously started grooming me to be heir.

Derian tried to rationalize it and be optimistic, but when he looked at his father's face he knew the situation was grave indeed. He had always admired his father and had looked forward to being like him in the future. He never had really thought about what would happen when he was king. Though he had trained to take over his father's position, he had not truly planned for it.

"Prince Derian I'm afraid that what King Edmond says is true. There is nothing I can do for him, but relieve his pain. The poison is like nothing I've ever seen before. His lungs are disintegrating and he experienced a stroke." The king's physician somberly informed Derian as the king nodded slightly. Derian was startled at the physician's words, but not surprised.

"Please take care. I love you…" His father managed to whisper.

"I love you too father! Please don't leave!" The king smiled a sad smile and his pale blue eyes filled with tears. Derian clutched his father's hand, but his grip gradually grew weaker and eventually went completely limp.

Derian's own blue eyes began to fill with tears, but he gulped them down. Carefully, he cultivated an impassive mask. Morgaine whimpered and Derian absently stroked her head. The puppy turned her head and licked his face. Shaking himself, he set his jaw and stood up. Healer Jamison, the physician in attendance, handed him a cup of a steaming liquid. He downed it without even noting the taste.

He must thing I'm a hard man to not even show emotion at my father's death, but right now I'm too numb to even feel anything.

Dazedly, Derian returned to his chambers and changed out of his hunting clothes and into the black robe appropriate for mourning. Since his house colors were black and white, this was easily done. Its weight settled over him, weighing on his physical form like the grief that weighed on his soul.

He didn't feel like addressing the public, but he knew they deserved to know what had happened to their king. After tying a black scarf around Morgaine's neck, he glanced briefly at his precious glass mirror, but immediately looked away. It only served to remind him that he still survived while his father did not.

He informed his servant that the heralds should announce he would brief the public over their king's death. The meeting would occur in a three marks. The servant nodded sharply and scuttled off to find the correct people who needed to hear Derian's message.

He and Morgaine started slowly down the hallway, heading for the Council chamber. Derian had no doubt that the Council had called a special, emergency session. Opening the door, he walked into a charged atmosphere. Chairs scraped against the stone floor as the officials hastily rose. Every member of the Council, including the honorary ones were present. Without looking at any of the officials, he headed for the chair that was rightfully his as prince. With a jolt, he realized that the chair was not his anymore and walked instead to the head of the table and took his seat.

Derian kept his words flat. "I am here to inform you the King Edmond has now officially passed on. I wish to discuss what will know be down regarding the situation."

He winced inwardly as he heard his own words, I sound absolutely heartless.

The Council members seemed to be affected in a similar manner, though none of them displayed their discomfort blatantly. It was eventually Thorian, the Seneschal who had originally delivered the news to the prince, who spoke. "Thank you of informing us of this devastating news…your Majesty. This is truly a tragedy, especially since your father was still young and healthy."

Hearing Thorian use the title used to address a king startled Derian. He had not thought people would recognize his authority so quickly. Nor hadn't he wanted to assume the position so soon after his father's death.

"How will the regular people be informed?" Asked Guildmistress Nin, always concerned for the masses, even in crisis.

"I plan to make a formal announcement in three marks and have already informed the appropriate people." He replied crisply.

"What of the funeral?" One of the Council shouted.

"What about the Coronation?" Another voice called.

Before Derian could say anything Thorian intervened. "We will address those issues at a later meeting. In the mean time I believe we should let the king leave."

Derian nodded in thanks to the advisor and then nodded to the Council. There was a rush of condolences and then silence. Saying a formal goodbye, he left the room in relief. He then took to wandering the castle aimlessly with Morgaine plastered to his leg. There were still over two marks until the assembly. The Council meeting had been kept short. As he was walking he determined on a location. Ironically, on his way to the guardhouse he passed an older member of the guard.

Derian called to him, "What happened to the assassin you apprehended? I am assuming he is now located in the castle's prison."

The guard stuttered; startled out of his normal composed self. "We did apprehend King Edmund's assassin, but he killed himself by poisoning before we could get information out of him."

"Then the body is at the mortuary?" His voice was tight with anxiety.

"Yes, we sent it there." The poor man looked truly confused.

"Can you send a message to the morgue to do nothing to the body? It's of utmost importance." Derian managed to keep his voice level.

"Yes I will inform them myself. I am terribly sorry about your loss Prince Derian…err…your Majesty."

As Derian walked, Morgaine butted her head up against Derian and he rested his hand on top of her head. Morgaine was always a comfort to him. Deciding just to walk the secret passages of the castle until the address, he headed towards the nearest entrance.

The people at the mortuary should be able to confirm where both the poison and the assassin originated.

The tunnels were dark, but not damp. He had been traveling them since he was young and knew where each one led to; the boy didn't even stumble when he enter the lightless corridor. Morgaine followed fearlessly and together they walked as ghost through the castle walls.

Finally, looking out one of the many spy holes, he noticed that the activity had picked up exponentially. The assembly must be getting close; I guess I should make my entrance.

Waiting for an opportune moment Derian exited the tunnel nearest the balcony overlooking the courtyard. He made sure no one saw him as he closed the passage. He then began walking at a clipped pace towards the ominous balcony.

When Derian reached the terrace, what looked to be the whole population of Kingdom Cove stood crowded in the Town Center. The High Born were grouped in the front, while the Low Born had been forced to the back. The crowd extended far out into the streets. Everyone had donned some scrap of mourning clothing. This was even more than could be expected considering the short time in which they had to attend the announcement. In contrast to the crowd's black, Morgaine's silver-brown coat shone like a type of beacon.

The tumult in the crowd began to unnerve Derian, but Morgaine gave him a reassuring woof. Derian rubbed her head again and began his speech, which had been improvised while he had been walking. "Citizens of Kingdom Cove it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that your king, my father, has passed away.

"No doubt many of you have realized that by now, because he was out greeting you when an assassin shot him with a poisoned dart. If any of you have information about the assassin please contact any of the palace guard.

"From this day forward I am the king of Modgnik though I will maintain the Council and utilize their advice. New advisors also may be appointed. The official coronation and the funeral, will take place in a fortnight.

"All are invited to the funereal, though by necessity of space, the Ball is by invitation only. Due to these ghastly circumstances the Celebration of Independence feast tonight is cancelled. I urge all of you to continue your lives, which will help restore the security of Modgnik." When Derian finished his speech the crowd was silent.

Derian nodded to the crowd, then turned and left. With servants dogging his heels, he made his way to the morgue. He was so tired that when he reached the door he leaned against it for a moment before opening it. Tuck, the head mortician, bowed and greeted him.

"An Eripmean?" Derian asked when he saw the body, only slightly surprised.

"Yes, that is what his looks indicate. I will also identify the poison he killed himself with." Tuck informed him solemnly.

"Did he kill himself with the same poison that killed my father?"

"Yes, he did. In fact, he also had another dose of poison in his cloak, which seems to be of the same substance as the other two."

"That would confirm my theory that I was meant to also die in the attack." Derian sighed and gave Tuck a small sad smile that lasted so briefly that Tuck wondered if he had really seen it.

Before leaving, he turned to his father's body lying on the marble table. He pulled back the top of the shroud covering him and put a hand on his cold shoulder. Bending to kiss his father's forehead, the first tear of grief fell from his eyes. "Goodbye," he whispered.

Turning around, Derian saw that Tuck had left him alone and not witnessed his grief. Feeling for the spring in the wall of the morgue, he entered the secret passageway. The system of tunnels had most likely originally served two purposes. The first was escape during a siege. The second was for servants to traverse the castle invisibly.

Presumably, Queen Rebekah had failed to tell anyone besides servants of their existence before her prolonged illness. Derian assumed that eventually the servants who knew of the tunnels left or died. It was only when he had stumbled upon them as a young boy, that they had come into rediscovery and even then, as far as he knew only he had knowledge of them.

After wandering awhile, he finally returned to his new chambers. No people were in them when he entered. Servants had already moved all his possessions to the royal suite. He spotted the crown of the king situated on his inherited dresser. It was at the sight of the crown, that he began to sob silently.

Physically and emotionally spent, he collapsed on the bed. Then he wept, his tears coming in torrents. Morgaine jumped up onto the bed and laid her head on Derian's back. Normally Derian would have ordered her off, but instead he turned and embraced his dog. She licked his face and gradually they fell asleep.


Ambassador Caroline had been called from her home town of Ironton to Desert Stronghold, the capital of Eripme. Eripme bordered Modgnik, Tydasyn, and Alemr. It also bordered the mysterious land of Nevah, but there were no ambassadors to that country. It was considered The Great Wilderness.

Caroline, or Carlin as most everyone called her, was the ambassador to Modgnik. She had taken the position at the age of sixteen and became the youngest ambassador in Eripme's history, and also the only woman to ever serve in a political position. It had been almost a year since then.

Her father had been the ambassador to Modgnik for over thirty years before her, but on his last assignment he had been killed by raiders. That had made the already poor relations with Modgnik worse.

Trotting up to the gated city, she hailed the guards. They glanced down and made rude gestures to each other that they thought she couldn't see. She nodded to them as the ornate doors creaked open. No one could possible know that inwardly she cringed at the commonplace treatment by looking at her cool, outward façade.

Her mare, Borrowed Trouble, stepped forward eagerly. She had been a gift from her youngest older brother. He had taken to training horses as a hobby. She was by no means pretty, though not ugly either. Despite flawless conformation, with her dull, coarse black coat and too large eyes she would never have been desirable. The only thing that changed this fact was that Trouble was not some cull or palfrey, but a full-blooded war horse. This was at times problematic and caused the mare to live up to her name.

Trouble had been one of her brother, Astin's first horses that he had bred himself. Their eldest brothers had about ready to shoot her as a foal when she took a chunk out of one of the draft horse's necks. A much younger Carlin had intervened and her father had indulgently let the foal live.

In the beginning Trouble had not obeyed her better than anyone else. Only when she broke her wrist trying to break the mare to saddle did Astin force her to accept his help. He had taught her how to get Trouble's attention without resorting to force to control the willful battle mare. The result was a tame, but no less mischievous companion, who obeyed only herself and her brother.

The crowd in the streets was thinner than normal, but that was because it was slightly after sunrise. She had been to Desert Stronghold countless times, but she still enjoyed the architecture. When people live in the desert, miles away from "civilized lands", they tend to cultivate their lives with artwork. The capital was originally built in a desert exactly because of the fact that the weather made it nearly impregnable. Nevertheless, that did not prevent people from wanting to be near the biggest powers in Eripme.

Bah Relief was a favorite form of artwork for the buildings themselves. Lacking a unified religion, they depicted historical events rather than religious doings. Another common theme featured magical animals, which had been systematically eradicated during and after the Revolution.

Despite that many people were indoors due to the early hour, she avoided the market streets. They were busy regardless of the time day. Seeing a person on horseback in uniform parted the crowd. Seeing a woman on horseback in uniform made them positively recoil.

"Isn't that the new ambassador?" She heard a man's voice ask.

"Yes, yes, her name is Karen or Kathy or some such thing. She took over her father's position. Poor thing," A female voice responded.

"'Poor thing?' She should never have taken a man's job." The male's voice scoffed, "But then again, no one else would take a job to Modgnik."

Carlin urged Trouble slightly faster and away from the speakers. There would always be people who held her in contempt for what she was doing. It was true though, the only reason she had gotten the job was because no man had wanted to put himself in that kind of danger.

She had taken it for various reasons, none of which anyone else seemed to understand. Mainly, she wanted to continue her father's work. He had wanted to mediate between Modgnikians and Eripmeans to end pointless conflicts. She also wanted to help those who needed aid; even as a young girl she had loved being the arbitrator.

What could the king want? She silently asked herself. Though she had been ambassador for nearly a year she had not yet received a formal assignment. She suspected that she had been kept waiting because she was a woman. Hopefully, this would be her first job.

Mentally, she reviewed all she knew about Modgnik. The land had once been a part of Eripme, but around seventy-five years before, the tenants had rebelled. The current king of Modgnik, King Edmond, had only been five when the revolt had ended. Eripme had lost many brave men in that revolution and had eventually been forced to let the land west of the Impenetrable Mountains (now the land of Modgnik) go.

King Edmond had one child, a son named Derian. They had met when they were younger at a formal outing, which their fathers had attended. Then he had seemed like a typical eight year old boy, though he lacked the normal arrogance of most High Born. No other direct relatives existed. The only other bloodline with a legitimate claim to the throne was Duke Kennith and his son Lord Jerome. They were obscurely related through Derian's mother, and not even technically of royal lineage.

She smiled with satisfaction that she remembered everything. She probably could have listed every major High Born within Kingdom Cove and the nearby merchant cities as well. She could do the same thing for every High Born in Eripme. Her memory was impeccable. She loved making people slightly uncomfortable with how much she knew about them.

After her father, Jonathan's, death no one had been willing to be the ambassador to Modgnik, which had been when Carlin stepped forward. Though her mother, Marian, strongly objected when she had applied for the position.

Carlin was known far and wide for her ability to negotiate and was said to be better at it than even her father had been. She seemed to affect both humans and animals with this unnatural ability and people noted that her negotiations were always made with a smile. Even when dealing with her difficult horse, who acted more like a stallion than a mare, she had a firm smile on her face. In reality Carlin just thoroughly enjoyed dealing with the social aspect of life and had made herself good at it.

While she was contemplating she reached the stables. The castle was at the top of a manmade hill. It had been created to give a view for miles all around the city. The stables had grown to the point where they had to expand past the walls surrounding the castle. It was the stables for all High Borns who cared to use it.

Dismounting, she led Trouble into the building where the stable master immediately headed directly for her. "I was informed that you would be arriving. Allow me to take your horse personally Ambassador."

As he reached for the reins her yelped and jumped away from Trouble, who had decided to take a bite out of his hand. He looked contemptuously at the horse and then at Carlin. He snorted, "She acts like a warhorse, not an ambassador's palfrey."

Carlin smothered a growl and a piqued retort. Stupid man, he can't even tell the difference between a horse bred for riding and one for fighting. How did he get his job?

"It is no problem. I will take her myself." She retorted.

Finding an empty stall reserved for guests, she settled her mare into it. "Don't make any more mischief." She admonished with a twinkle in her eye.

At the door a servant spotted her and conducted her to a parlor outside the king's private receiving room. It had two windows, both of which were closed. She looked longingly at them, willing them to open. Incredibly, the castle was even hotter than outdoor. It's only a few marks after sunrise and it is already stifling. I am glad I live near mountains.

Fortunately it was not long before an aide conducted her into the adjoining room. Gracefully she rose, her sweat-slicked ambassador uniform clinging to her, making the clingy clothes even more revealing. She had chosen the cooler version of the uniform that consisted of a sleeveless navy blue tunic over a light, white linen shirt and tan breeches. Nevertheless, she was incredibly hot. She nodded at the guards who nodded slightly back and walked through the door.

King Olean sat on his throne looking much younger than he was. He was in his thirties. Unlike his father, King Hector, he had already proven to be rash and selfish. She privately disliked the king immensely. It was said that he took after his grandfather, the tyrant who Modgnik had rebelled against. He was much heavier-set than Carlin, as were most citizens. He had dark eyes and a strong jaw. Many consider him to be handsome, but she had always preferred the way Modgnikians looked over Eripmeans.

She bowed before him. "I'm glad you were able to come so swiftly Ambassador Caroline. I will speak plainly, so you will understand me." Carlin silently bristled at the condescension.

"The reason I have summoned you is that I have an assignment for you." The king paused briefly and smiled at Carlin like she was a particularly promising toddler. "I'm not sure if you have heard or not, but King Edmond, the king of Modgnik, met a…untimely demise yesterday. His son and heir, Derian has taken over ruling the kingdom. How ironic that the king would be killed on the very day of Modgnik's Celebration of Independence." The king sound vaguely disappointed during the entire speech.

She quickly covered her surprise and suspicion. This is news to me, but how could the king already know? Not even the fastest messenger bird alive could have reached him already.

"I wish you to go to Modgnik and try to establish friendly terms. Get as close to the king as you possibly can. He will be susceptible to certain charms since he is grieving and needs comfort. I also want you to inform me if they plan to attack us for any various reasons.

"Why would they want to attack us?" She asked, playing the lack wit he thought she was.

"You must not concern yourself. Politics are complicated matters," He replied kindly. "Once you make friendly terms with Modgnik you must report back to me personally. The former king and his mother before that have been too firm in their power to attack, but an unsure young King will make mistakes and not be ready for an attack."

She would not cover her shock at this declaration and dropped her mask. "You wish me to seduce the king, spy on him, and then attack them based on information that I have collected?"

"I believe that is essentially what I said." The king replied with distain.

"This does not seem to me to be a job an ambassador should perform. I am not a spy," Carlin stated hesitantly. "Besides, why would we wish to attack Modgnik? I am in charge of managing relations and I must say that this will destroy them."

King Olean's face contorted with rage. "Modgnik is our land. Your father never would have questioned me like this."

Yes, he would have. You're just saying that to make me feel guilty. You know that you could never have gotten away with this plot while my father and King Edmund had been alive.

Looking to put him at ease again, she quickly gave him her famous smile. "Of course I cannot question your good judgment King Olean. I will perform whatever job to set me to." Like all the other brainless twits who serve you without question. She added mentally.

"Excellent, this job will go smoothly if you follow my instructions. You are dismissed Ambassador."

Carlin left knowing that there was some ulterior motive for her king's orders and more than just a little confused. It was more complex than simply desiring Modgnik. And how had the king known about the assassination. If she thought about it she knew how, but that didn't mean she liked it.

She went to fetch Trouble wanting to leave as soon as possible. She would be able to make nearly a half days journey before she would have to stop. Prior to saddling the mare she gave her a good grooming. She was fairly passive considering the heat and that she had already had exercise. Swinging up onto her mare's back she tossed a tip to the groom, who nodded his thanks.

Carlin had expected that she would have to travel to Modgnik, so when she had left Ironton she had packed heavily. She had everything she would need for the trip. When they ran out of food they could live of the land. Then she could avoid her mother completely.

As she guided her mare through the now crowded streets she laughed silently at the looks on peoples faces. Men sneered in disgust, while women paled. No woman ever rode a horse; noblewomen took palanquins and peasant women walked.

Well, before me no woman had held a political office either, but I changed that. However, if we had a more resolute king I would never have been allowed to be ambassador.

Though Carlin's family was noble, they were well removed from the capital. Long ago they had been granted a land holding in Ironton. Now, they ruled over the town and even other noble families.

When she was little, Carlin should have been kept away from horses and even books. Fortunately for her, she had been the only girl in a family with four boys. It also helped that she was the youngest, so her father had spoiled her. Even her two younger brothers, seven and eight years older than her, coddled her.

Astin had always been her favorite brother because he taught her physical skills like riding, archery, and sword work. She was more than proficient with all three. Dameon, her second youngest brother, had taught her to write and read. It was her father who had taught her politics and negotiation, and that was why she had wanted to be an ambassador.

She had learned to play music herself. It was Carlin's only interest that truly pleased her mother. Horseback riding, reading, writing, and especially politics were far too unladylike. She was moderate on the lute, but excelled at the harp. She brought it with her everywhere, and was much a part of her life as Trouble was. Sighing over her high-strung family, her thoughts turned to her task at hand. She had to live up to her father's memory, which would be a true challenge.

I will make father proud of me in my new job. I will not disappoint his memory.