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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 20:53 
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The wind nymph moaned at Warburton's stopping of the flowers before grabbed as greedily as she could at their hitting their ground, draining every last bit of severed energy from their stems, the leaves and petals turning black and falling off. Ayala looked dead-eyed at Warburton before pulling herself up to sit somewhat upright and pushing herself toward a side desk an away from both men and the two other Dukes behind them. Their Queen still stood with a studying eye not far from the door, which had been closed, the fire reflecting in her eyes but her mouth quiet. For now. Ayala pulled her now all-too-corporeal legs closer to her chest.

"He knows," She indicated with her head Caius, "He would have told you already if you mattered to him. But maybe he was too ready to blame a Viceroy for my presence to bother."



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 20:59 
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Caius nodded at the others with a knowing expression of "I told you so". Walking to his desk, he pulled the key out of his pocket, opened up the safe under his desk, and pull out it's only contents. Standing back up, he revealed the, as far as they knew, only written copy of the Nymph's history ever made to everyone in the room.

"She came here to retrieve this, a tome of history on the Nymph race, an ultimate and definitive compendium of history, strengths, weaknesses and abilities and written by one of their own."

Cunaris and the others were obviously trying very hard to digest this, but it was the old soldier, who had seen war and politics change so many times over his life, who got over it and responded with the question which everyone had wanted to ask.

"So what Wulfram said about the tree, it's true?"



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:04 
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Warburton resisted a snort. "Seems obvious."

Ayala just rested her head against the desk, glazed eyes looking about the room, eventually coming to a rest on the queen again but talking to everyone in the room. "You only really need to convince one, don't you?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:09 
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Isobel returned Ayala's look with a gaze of case-hardened steel.

"Hardly, your recalcitrance has convinced us, all of us. Is that not correct Cunaris?"

The old man nodded, slowly and reluctantly.

"Indeed, no matter how begrudgingly."

The queen then did something which made every man in the room reach for their swords, an action which any witness would later admit was worthy of the most brave, or perhaps even suicidal human being. She walked up, kneeled next to the stricken nymph and, placing the tip of her finger under Ayala's chin, gracefully lifted the would-be thief's gaze to meet her's.

"How many more of you has Viceroy Cassius sent to infiltrate my kingdom?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:20 
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Ayala's mouth was slack, making her mumble the words out. If fearing for her life was one thing, and fearing for the tree was another, then fearing for her life in the hands of a Tierran bitch queen while fearing for the tree in the hands of an mentally handicapped Takaran viceroy broke the fear barrier clean through and led to that errie sort of calm one finds in the centre of a hurricane.

"The Viceroy? I said already you were too eager to blame him. Sending Serenity to visit her good friend Kat," Ayala's eyes darted to Caius briefly before returning lazily to the queen, "was the last straw for him. William wouldn't have let him send any of us. William might be stupid, but he's still got Cassius by the collar as long as he can plop Adlar into Cassius' comfy little rock hut in Bi. If it makes you feel any better, Cass didn't even want to tell William about us, let alone send someone that would let this happen so easily." She rolled her said to the side out of the queen's hold and plead instead to Caius. "Another? Please?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:37 
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"So that idiot William knows. This seems to be shaping up in a manner suspiciously close to your speculations Wulfram."

Isobel was not an idiot. She understood Caius' tactics as well as any of the military men in the room. If William knew, then he would be compelled to act as well, and if he through his army along, no matter how incompetently led, it would lead to their center of mass becoming even heavier.

Caius understood this as well. As far as he knew, Neither Katrina nor Warburton had received word that William had been informed. Nonetheless, if the Queen believed that the entire Takaran government could be suckered by Caius' bunker shot, he was not going to disagree. He decided very quickly to draw attention to the first lie as to divert attention from the second one.

"You're lying."

Warburton had beaten him to it. Giving the flat accusation before Caius could even open his mouth. Isobel's hand went for the square tipped sword of state buckled to her waist (crystal-cloaked, as Warburton's sword was) as the other easily hoisted the nymph's still skeletal body up by the neck.

"Is she now? Are you sure you aren't forgetting something my dear?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:45 
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Ayala eyed the swords with wider eyes, pupils still absent. "Forgetting?" She coughed at the gentle stranglehold, "Forgetting? I gave you the information so this wouldn't happen," she pulled her hands up, one to shield her face and the other at the queen's wrist weakly. "Please don't, please don't! I'm not lying! Why would I?" Cloudy-looking tears formed at the edges of Ayala's pure white eyes, "You humans and elves are all the same, reading too far into things!" Another choke up as a sob was cut back by the firm grip at the nymph's neck.



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:50 
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Caius stepped forward, extending one white rose in front of Ayala's face.

"I suppose the Viceroy didn't send the others we've detected. What is Cassius von Holt up to then?"



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:55 
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Ayala's face melted into relief at the flower, taking it in slower this time as it was held before her, one weak hand gingerly reaching to the petals.

"How should I know? He spends all day either locked up paranoid in his studies, or out gallivanting around with those awful gun-toters to the west. And if he isn't doing that he's whining over finances or looking in mirrors. Please, please let me go now, I was only doing what I was forced to!"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 21:57 
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Isobel slowly dropped Ayala to the ground, giving a look of disapproval to Caius as the nymph managed to find her feet and stand properly once more.

"Forced to? Do go on."



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:04 
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Ayala staggered crookedly to her feet, completely unused to ever using them in her natural form and using the nearby desk for support. Had she still been in human form she would have swallowed hard at that point. "you don't think I would have come here, knowing full well this could have happened, because I wanted to, do you? I don't know what happened. I don't know what happened!" Her pleads actually accompanied by the tears this time, "It was...he, that is, William, he knows things, maybe he spoke with the elders, maybe was threatening them with something else? But it was either I come and get that," she pointed at the book with a shudder racking her petite frame, "or they, all of them would have had the tree shun me! I can't live with that! What was I supposed to do? Just curl up and die? If I wanted to do that I would have come here on my own."



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:12 
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"Blatant lies."

Warburton couldn't resist replying to Isobel's words with a hint of snark.

"What tipped you off sister? The part about William having some sort of higher brain function, or the melodramatic overacting that would get anyone laughed out of a grammar school mystery play rehearsal? They are a part of this. Shall we try this again? What could Viceroy Cassius have possibly done to force you to come here?"



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:19 
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Ayala broke into full sobs now, again retreating to a foetal position on the floor. I'm going to die, I'm going to die... "Why would I lie? You have everything and I have nothing but a life that you can easily take." She tucked her chin in to her chest and her forehead to her knees, arms wrapped about her legs. The ashy-grey smoke floating about her had cleared somewhat, but darkened again, a tiny spark imitating a miniature thunderstorm. "Please stop, please..."



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:27 
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Cunaris stepped forward, an anguished look on his face.

"Your majesty! Must we resort to such methods? Surely we can find some other way-"

Izzy nodded as she took a step back.

"Very well. Caius?"

To the surprise of almost everyone in the room, the Duke of Wulfram agreed.

"Indeed, we'll get nothing out of her now. Nothing short of ramming puresteel spikes into the tree itself would produce answers."



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:34 
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Ayala looked up with a shriek, "No! You can't!" She stretched out to meet the Duke's booted feet. "You can't! You know things, Caius of Xen!" She looked at Cunaris, "And Johann of Cunaris. I don't know about your others but you two know you can't If there's a single mortal coil that anchors life to this world it is the tree!"

Ayala lay prostrate at Caius feet. "You can't tell me Will and Cass were right, surely there is some compassion in you?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:38 
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Caius' eyebrows went flat and his lips curled into a grin which most of the occupants in the room were far too used to seeing. Caius had her now, and everything made sense; why Ayala was so intent on protecting Cassius and all the other things, even her over-desperate response to his latest question, especially that in fact. With a single sentence, he changed the entire game.

"You realize, of course, that Viceroy Cassius has no access to Wulframite whatsoever right?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:47 
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Ayala's face was towards the floor luckily, as it showed a sharp interest before she hid it and wiped away some of the tears with her hand. "What difference does that make?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 22:49 
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Caius didn't press. The seed of doubt was there, and as the politician which he had been forced to become, he understood subtlety's uses. There was only one thing left, one final message to deliver. He took the book in one hand and held it up.

"Now, you came here for this, correct?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 23:06 
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Ayala craned her neck up to see the book, weathered bark cover now cut into by a puresteel lock and spine. She didn't know if she believed the Duke's last statement or not. Someone with that much confidence either had every reason to be or absolutely no reason at all to be. So either he spoke the truth, and she had been played far worse than she could imagine by Cassius, or Cassius had in fact played Caius of Xen far worse then anybody in the room could imagine.

"Yes...What are you going to do with it?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 23:19 
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Caius deftly look his key, inserting into into the lock around the puresteel braced spine, turning it and removing the thing from the book itself, but leaving the lock. Very carefully, he let the thing, spine-first of course, fall into Ayala's hands.

"Its purpose is completed, as is yours. Go, flee. Return this book to its rightful owner, return to your people, but tell them that Tierra will brook no interference from your kind in the affairs of man or elf. Tell them that Cassius von Holt has played you for a fool, but most of all, warn them, that the next time one of your kind works against Tierra, nothing will be left of your precious tree but a miserable pile of ashes."



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings


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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 15 Feb 2010, 23:48 
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Ayala pulled herself up to her knees to accept the lock-weighted book with almost reverential awe, and certainly a dose of shock. "T-thank you." her vice was shaken from the recent sobs, and her spare hand quickly reached to her face to wipe away some more tears before quickly gripping the book again. Caius' other comments resounded in her ears but were a pittance compared to the fact that she was actually going to walk out of that room, and off of Wulfram, alive.

"I-I just walk out now? Just like that?"



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2010, 00:04 
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Caius gave Ayala a hard look, perhaps to remind her that having a naked woman walking through a formal gathering would be a bad idea. With one hand, he swung the window behind him wide open.

"Actually, I suggest you fly. You can do that of course?"



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-Tyrion Lannister, A Clash of Kings


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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2010, 02:48 
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"I suppose that this is where I should clear my throat and say something shocking." commented a Red haired man at the door. "I mean, Sirs, your grace." Richard added, bowing.

"Would you like my report now, or after the spy leaves, sir." He motioned towards Warbuton still bowed. "I imagine she aught to be informed that she should file her report to the viceroy in Antar, rather than Butea."



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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2010, 13:50 
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Warburton nodded.

"I think it might be best to-"

The royal intelligencier turned to gesture to where Ayala was, stopping in mid-turn. The nymph - and the book, were gone, leaving only an open window and the scent of the woods behind them. Warburton shrugged.

"In that case, if someone would be so good as to close the window, go ahead and give your report Lethain. The only people in this room are your boss, your boss' boss, two other dukes and the former Director of Irregular Forces. I'm pretty sure everyone here has clearance."



"Those are brave men," he told Ser Balon in admiration. "Let's go kill them."
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 Post subject: Infinity's Blades
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2010, 16:49 
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Richard resumed a more upright stance. "I believe my last report detailed the current status of the Takaran military, roughly put, Cassius is attempting to keep up with us on a technical level, though he appears to enjoy certain side interests outside military endevours, such as his somewhat notorious female support garment. Their greatest flaw, however, is that they lack the man power to both maintain a military and keep up to Tierra's modern production. Which would be a good thing if it didn't send them running to whom we both know to possess such man power. Approximately a month ago envoys were sent to Antar with the intent of an alliance. For what happened there you'll have to ask your spies up north, but two weeks ago the viceroy himself left on a journey north.

"Unfortunately shortly after confirming this, it would appear that my operation had been discovered. I determined that it was important to relay this information and made my return."



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