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.
  " 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 racing.
  "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..

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