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Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles
Shady Affair
Thu Oct 26, 2006 08:20 (XFF:

She slipped the ter'angreal over her wrist and looked at her two Warders. "Stop that." She ordered them as their expressions were identical to one another. They were worried. Disappointed. Angry. She could feel their emotions as well as her own and it was beginning to distract her. If they were to describe what she was feeling, there wouldn't be anything but determination. She'd become embroiled in this affair and on some level she didn't blame Kyran for what he was doing. He didn't believe in his M'Hael, he was worried about the files that Ronan had kept, and so he was going to do what he could to preserve them.

Yet it still didn't help that she was going to have to go back to the Black Tower with the intention of breaking into Ronan's office for her files.

"So what will you do?" Daigonyt finally asked.

She drew in a deep sigh. "Well, the only thing that I can do. Follow Kyran's 'orders' and get the files for him." Both of them looked at her again with those same expressions. "Stop looking at me like that. I'm not going to reveal who I am and risk war with the Black Tower over a small stack of papers. I have a plan." Holding up the bracelet, she rolled it around on her slender wrist before taking a deep breath. "Kyran thinks that Ronan's still alive, which means that somewhere in the back of the M'Hael's head is some seed of doubt as well, hence he called off the search for her."

"Among other things," Laurian responded dryly. "Nevermind the shadiness of that whole balefire thing. You know, her possibly getting away when there was no trace of her or anything."

She pinned him with a flat stare that told him she wasn't amused. Even pushed it along the bond a little to make her point and he flushed slightly at the cheeks. "A seed of doubt is all that's needed, Laurian. And if anything it may help Kyran in the long run if a glimpse of her is seen there." Again her fingers twisted the bracelet on her arm and with a final deep breath, she focused her thoughts, embracing the Source through the ter'angreal, the strands began to form almost of their own accord. It was a ter'angreal that allowed the channeler to create weaves of Illusion when they might not otherwise have the Talent for doing so, and for Demetri she only needed to embrace, not even channel certain threads, to make it work.

In the space of about five heartbeats, the gossamer threads had wrapped around her and when she looked into the mirror, a woman with deep auburn hair, golden hazel eyes and an olive complexion stared back at her without surprise. Demetri's nose had shortened slightly, her eyes had become a little wide, but they shared much of the same height and bone structure, even the high cheekbones, so that instead of the Keeper of the Chronicles staring at her in a dress of green silk, Ronan stared at her, a look of surprise on her pretty features. The woman was certainly far prettier than Demetri would ever be and if she had turned to wearing clothes of a brighter hue—such as green—she might have led the Black Tower by sheer glamour alone.

She felt a pinch on her bottom and spun around to see Laurian grinning from ear to ear. "I've always wanted to do that but I figured she'd kill me—literally, if I tried."

She stepped forward with a deadly calm look on her face, though it was difficult not to break out into a grin the moment his face whitened a little. "And what makes you think I won't?"

"Oh, stop playing with him, Demetri, even I can feel that you're just teasing him." Dai laughed, shaking his head. "Burn me, but that really is an excellent disguise. You put on some of her clothes, walk around like you belong there and people will think the whole balefire thing was a rumor." He got a speculative look on his face. "That might not be a bad idea, though."

"What?" She asked, turning to him. "Go around the Westlands, parading around as Ronan? Making appearances here and there and everywhere to confuse the issue? What good would that do? It would only make things worse if she really is dead."

"Kyran doesn’t think she is."

"And Kyran's in love with her." She shot back. "Would you, Laurian, be able to accept my death, even if it were the rumor of balefire and you heard a whisper of another identity of mine making an appearance?" He shook his head. "Neither would I. He's in denial, is what he is, and me masquerading as Ronan for any longer than I need to would only make things worse. It would put the Black Tower in chaos—or at least those sent out to search for her, and believe me, the first time I forgot to unweave one of my Traveling gates, they'd be led right to me and that's the last thing I want or need."

Dai shrugged and grinned. "It was only a fun suggestion, you weren't supposed to take it so seriously."

Her shoulders dropped and she laughed. "Light, I'm taking everything far too seriously anymore. But I can't help it. Every tiny action I do is a representation of the Tower now. If I cough at the wrong time, it could be misconstrued and bring down an entire peace talk." Standing up straight again, she threw back her shoulders. "All right, time to be Ronan Letifer for a little while and get those files. I won't get peace of mind until I'm finished with this whole thing."

Embracing saidar, the skeins of golden Spirit wound around one another into the complicated weave that would open a Gateway for her and lead her right into Ronan's quarters in the assassin's house. She needed to be dressed as the woman to be taken somewhat seriously as the woman, and that meant grabbing some of her clothes. She took a step forward and heard shuffling behind her. Turning, her two Warders had moved to follow her. "Where do you think you're going?"

"We're going with you."

"No, you're not. You need to stay here and make sure Kyran doesn't leave. Light knows he'll probably try." She countered with a shake of her head.

"But…but what if he—uh…" Laurian broke off as he tried to find the right words—make that excuse.

"Look, it's very simple. You stay here and make sure he doesn't leave." She took a deep breath. "Besides, you can't follow me in there. People know you two as my Warders and Dai, yours is a face not lightly forgotten by men or women. You could incite riots."

"Hey, that only happened once and it wasn't my fault!" He protested.

She sighed. "Anyway, Ronan didn't have Warders, she worked alone primarily. And I need to be in and out quickly, which means you stay here and I leave, got it?" There were glum looks all around and she leaned forward to kiss Laurian and pat Dai on the arm. "I'll be back by the end of the Festival, don't come looking for me, and if anyone asks—" she glanced to Dai. "You lie and tell them I went to sleep with a headache and make sure Laurian doesn't get asked any questions. Got it?" They nodded again and she stepped through the Gateway to the darkened room that was above the main floor of the assassin's offices.

Is it really called the assassin's offices? The question stuck in her mind and she wondered if there was even anyone she could ask. Not that the semantics of an assassin's headquarters was anything that anyone needed to know about, especially the Keeper of the White Tower. Ronan's room hadn't been untouched by her apparent death, most of her personal effects had been removed, but there was a trunk set in the corner that when opened revealed that her clothes had been placed in there, stuffed practically in a haphazard manner. Pulling out one of the myriad of dark wool dresses, she gave it a shake to remove some of the worst wrinkles then divested herself of the green silk she was wearing. After a few moments thought, standing in the middle of the room with only her shift, she channeled through her ter'angreal pair and wove threads of Fire throughout it, burning the green silk to ashes with much regret. It had been her favorite dress…

Get with it, da'Faile, there are more important things than a pretty dress!

The dark blue went on and she worked quickly to do up the buttons; Ronan was a little more endowed in the chest than she was, but it fit her in the waist and hips as well as length almost flawlessly. Shutting the trunk, Demetri opened the door and descended the steps that ran along the right side of the foyer and into the room she had just been in not even an hour or two before. It felt like Ages, not hours.

Working quickly, Demetri rifled through the files again, working around the Warding system so that it wouldn't be torn and then replacing it when she found a small stack of papers that had names, a list of aliases as well as what they did in the Black Tower in addition to their assassination skills. Not surprising, she found Alexa's name on the list. There was also a mark next to her name that Demetri didn't understand, but she didn't need to. All Kyran had asked was that she get the files, get out and that would be the end of it. And if he asked for more, she'd refuse and promise to make his life supremely uncomfortable with the new M'Hael. No negotiation.

She was just stepping out of the office when Demetri saw a young woman pass by, her deep reddish colored hair almost burnished in the lamplight, tilted eyes marking her as Saldaean. As she stepped down the stairs, the woman looked up at her and then gave a cry of what sounded like pain and relief. "Oh, Light, Ronan! Everyone said you were dead, but it was too convenient! Balefire! What an excuse!" Before Demetri could stop her, the Asha'man was dragging her down an alley and through the back door of another house. It was at least a comfort to know that her Illusion had been good enough to fool some woman who knew Ronan in the dark and that the weaves had inverted properly, but now she was stuck.

She was certain that the moment she was in the Light with this woman—whoever she was—her disguise would be blown, but as she flared with the glow of the Source and candles lit all around the room, the Saldaean Asha'man didn't notice anything out of the ordinary in Demetri's disguise because her eyes welled up with tears and she shook her head. "I'm so glad you're not dead, Ronan. When the announcement was given, I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't. I mea, an untrained wilder throwing balefire at you? You would have killed her in a minute. But why did you run? Lysander was about to call you traitor and order your head on the Traitor's Tree if you were found if it weren't for Renaud and myself, he probably would have."

"Why?" Demetri croaked out, her voice feeling raw with a little fear. If this woman was loyal to Ronan, she wondered if the Asha'man would kill her for posing as her friend.

The woman cast her a look, incredulous. "Are you kidding me? Ronan, please. We've been friends since we were Soldiers. I didn't want to believe Lysander's lies any more than Kyran did, and you can bet that when he ordered the search to be called off, citing that you were dead, it only made things more suspicious."

Demetri rubbed her forehead against her hand, brows drawn down in worry and thought. How in the Light was she going to get out of this?

The woman laughed and shook her head. "Light, Kyran even has done something desperate. Going to the White Tower to help, as if any of those idiots over there could do anything we couldn't."

"But you've been ordered to stop." She interjecting, trying to keep her voice low in order to disguise that she wasn't this woman's friend. "I'm sure he had little choice. And there are quite a few men and women there who aren't idiots. Believe me on that."

The woman drew back and inspected Demetri carefully, brilliantly hued eyes searching her face. "Who are you?"

Demetri felt sudden panic and readied herself to embrace and shield the woman. If this Asha'man suddenly suspected that she wasn't who she said she was—well, Demetiri wished she hadn't been so hasty as to tell Dai and Laurian to stay back at the Tower with Kyran.

  • Skimming the BoundariesDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Thu Oct 26 06:39
    By the time anyone could react, it was too late. Dai's sword had cut into Kyran's shoulder before any of them could shout or even before the Asha'man could put up any physical defenses. Demetri... more
    • Shady Affair — Demetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Thu Oct 26 08:20
      • AnticlimacticismDemetri Sedai, Keeper of the Chornicles, Thu Oct 26 10:00
        The woman laughed and shook her head. "Light, Ronan! To say something like that! I remember a time when you used to look at Aes Sedai with pity!" She looked to Demetri again, sobering. "But, I... more
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