Emissaries Of War
Hannah Duchamps closes the door with what she imagine to be a satisfied click. Or that is at the very least the sentiment she is experiencing. With Linnea Hexers agreement, she has now managed to convince two people of Rune’s plan. Hexer, and Amanda, although she doesn’t exactly consider Amanda Skog a hard sell.
That girl was raring to go, and if she hadn’t brough up the Plan, Skog would probably have taken the matter in her own hands.
She glances down at the printed copy, where two names have been crossed over. The next name however, is one she doesn’t expect. Indeed, she’d expect Rune himself to convince her.
Elena stares at Amina Pavov. “Could you”, she asks, careful to ensure the neutrality of her voice,”repeat that?”
Pavov wearing goggles, stops the grinder from grinding whatever material she is currently working on. It looks black, piecemeal. “My grandmother has forbidden me from acting against Tam Linn. In any way, form or shape. And”, now Pavov meets Elena’s eyes,” while Tam Linn might be immortal… he isn’t Baba Yaga.” Pavov swallows.
“Use your magic”, she croons,” and tell me what you see.”
Elena pauses, but it isn’t really a question of doing it, or not. Baba Yaga is a famous figure, one that even she has heard about. The old saying about the cat briefly goes through her head, before she silences that annoying voice. She summons her magic from inside; Rune once told her that he could see a court whenever she uses her magic; but to her, the sensation is like drinking mint-tea. Acrid, cleansing, powerful.
Pavov’s stocky form swims into focus, and she sees… a forest. But not like the one that encloses Fallofell. That forest has been pruned and tread on by humans for more than a millenia, give or take a few centuries. This forest is gloomy. Branches grasp for the sky, forming a green cathedral over her head. A symphony of dull rustles causes her to shiver, and she can feel eyes roving over her body with dark intent. Something malevolent is near.
She blinks, and just like that, she is back in the room that doubles as a garage/labratory for Amina. That sense, of being watched, still persists. She can feel something on her shoulder. A leaf, dark red, with brown veins. She just stares at it.
“That is my grandmother for you alright”, Amina muses, eyes on the leaf.
Hannah knocks on the door. She starts to count inside her head. On a mental tally of sixteen it swings open and Simona Stanislaw greets her with those unerring auburn eyes. “Is Nevena here? I need to talk to her.” “It’s important”, she adds.
“One thing though”, I say, stalling Kai in whatever it is he is about to say. /Rune, I would ask you to deal in this matter with a certain delicacy./ I can do that!
“Yes?” he asks, glancing amused at Sara, who sits some metres away, reading a fancy magazine. “I know that your magic has to do with blood, and because it roots are derived from blood, you smell like blood”, I mumble. /Yes, you are quite slick today with your words. Greased lightning./ Oh, shut up. “Well, yeah?” Kai asks, non-plussed.
“It’s just that lately… you have been smelling even more like blood…” “And you were wondering why?” Kai interjects. I nod. ” When I learned that Fallowfell would be facing Censure, I decided to get ahead”, Kai temporizes, green eyes lost in memories. “There are techniques available to members of the Blut family that are…” Kai searches for a word,” too dangerous to consider under normal circumstances.”
“But these aren’t normal circumstances”, I offer, implying the question, baiting him a little. “No, you’re right, these sure aren’t your average circumstances. And to answer… well yes, I have managed to start on some of the techniques.”
/Notice that he says he has not mastered any of these dangerous techniques?/ I pose that very same question to him. He shrugs. “The nature of some of those techniques ensure that you can never quite control them, while I have made a good start on others. But you haven’t come here to ask me about ‘secret techniques’ have you?”
“No I haven’t”, I reiterate. I take a breath. “We have made a plan to deal with Tam Linn. Me, Sara”, I nod to her,” Hannah, Elena, Amanda and Linnea Hexer so far are on it.” Kai’s eyes widen at my recitation. “I am not surprised you managed to convince Amanda or Hannah, but Elena?” He shakes his head. I open my mouth. “That’s not my answer,” he answers quickly.
I school my features into a neutral mien and I try to patient. “I am in”, he decided and I cheer internally,”but could we… could we try to minimize the potential risk for Chiyo?” Sara snorts; we both ignore that reaction.
Hmm. “I can’t promise you anything. I can certainly try. But no promises”, I respond, thinking on how Chiyo would react to Kai’s words.
Hannah slams the door to the Stanislaw residence shut with enough force to cause it to rattle on its hinges. That insufferable girl….! How Rune ever managed to stand in the same room as her, it defies Hannah’s considerable intellect. Although she did agree, it’s the way she did it. Ugh, Hannah thinks to herself.
Next person on the list will hopefully provide less of an ordeal; Stella, who is one of her best friends.
“Of course I am in, parole or not”, Erim says, slamming his fist down on the table, causing a couple at the table next to them jump. “I hate uppity bastards, and they don’t come no bigger than Tam Linn”, he adds. Elena nods; she had expected his assent.
That taken care of….
“There’s one thing though”, she demands, standing up. “What’s that?” Erim mirrors her movement. Her knees connects with his genitals and he makes a high-pitched sound. “When, in the future, and he will ask you in the future, abou some mad plan of his?” She waits for Erim to nod. “You come to me first, not fucking Merith, alright?”
Erim nods again, clutching his privates.