The Eighth Scenario
Note: Due to a lack of foresight on my part with the color scheme, the links to mail the authors don't show up...they ARE there, so click around a bit and you should find them, if not, the addresses are on the characters' bio or I have them if you just email me.
The fire, striving valiantly to warm as much as it can from the confines of
a meagre grate, sends a wan glow dancing around the bare little room,
mercifully revealing little of its squalor. At some points in this mission,
more than a dozen Guilders have been assembled cramped and uncomfortable in
these unimpressive chambers, but at the moment it holds only you, trying in
vain to get some sleep on a stained couch in obedience to Lady Hastings'
orders, and the lady herself, working at something unidentified upon a
none-too-steady table by the dim blaze.
She appears absorbed in her occupation, and your own mind is deeply
involved in other reflections, and it is only when the pounding footsteps
come within a few feet of the door that both your heads jerk up and two
gazes seek the door. Lady Hastings, getting to her feet, draws a weapon
from somewhere in the shadows by the hearth and nods to you to rise also.
She approaches the door, calling out cautiously in French.
"Who is it?"
The reply is hoarse and strained, and even through the thick oak the pants
of the unknown are audible.
"Eliza, for heaven's sakes let me in!"
Recognizing the voice of one of those who has joined you in this
undertaking, you relax, and your leader likewise loses some of the tension
in her frame as she opens the door.
Soaked with rain and perspiration and pale with more than exhaustion, the
figure that staggers in is nothing reassuring. With a cry of alarm, Eliza,
with your assistance, hurries the disheveled Guilder to the narrow cot you
vacated. With a quick glance and wordless gesture, she gives you to
understand that the newcomer stands in dire need of a cup of tea, or
possibly even something stronger. Hurrying to prepare it, you are only dimly
aware of the murmured dialogue that ensues between your leader and the
friend slowly regaining breath on the bed, until a sudden cry from Eliza
yanks your gaze in that direction.
She has risen to her feet, staring in disbelief at the speaker.
"You..you must be mistaken."
"M'lady, there can be no mistake...I know what I know.."
Lady Hastings twists her hands in her skirt, her thoughts evidently
"My friend..if..if what you say is true.."
She shakes her head in frantic denial.
"You speak of.."
"Of treason," the other interrupts quietly, shoulders drooping in sudden
despair. "Believe me, I know..but there can be no other explanation. One of
the Guild has changed sides."
You are not even aware the glass/teacup in your nerveless fingers has
dropped until it shatters on the floor.
Responses! Lots of lovely stuff this time...
Lark Wingfield's story..intense!/a>
Lady Bartony's tale..
Laurel Dewhurst discovers the identity of the traitor..
A concise but nice story from Emilia Foxworthy..
Lady Whitsfield and Miss Ffoulkes team up for some lovely Chauvelin stuff (and some not-so-lovely mental torment for my poor husband..)
Miss Nolan's story, intriguing as always
Isabelle Fontana's story, a bit sobering..
A sweet story with a bit of a tragic ending from Lady Chauncey
An ominous bit from the Schwartzes..
- Return to the main Archives page