Eschalon Fan Fiction - by CrazyBernie
"There's not much point in remaining hidden - I'm well aware of your presence in my study." The recently appointed Colonel gestured toward the strange candle with its cool blue flame. "Fear not, this is a ward that blocks magickal scrying. It also prevents sound from leaving this chamber."
After a short period of silence, the air in a corner of the room began to shimmer. A small, lithe figure materialized - a female, he knew. She wore a cloak that constantly altered its color to match its surroundings, and it hurt Morgan's head to look at it for very long. Almost as bad as a hangover. She was clad in black leather armor from head to toe that appeared to absorb the light around it, including a mask that covered all but her eyes. Eyes that he could never forget.
"That's better. Oh, and I know you're not here to kill me, but if you wouldn't mind...?" He made another small gesture with his left hand.
A cold stare accompanied another period of silence. Finally, she removed the mask. So this is the face of my past... Keeping a bemused expression on his face, he walked toward a small bookshelf. "You know, it's not every day that a beautiful woman tries to sneak into my chambers. I realize that this is merely an office, but still..."
He picked up a bottle on the top shelf. "This is the finest vintage yambi wine this side of the Barrier Range, would you care for a glass?"
"I'd like to dispense with these trivial formalities, and discuss how you know who I am."
"Yes, I suppose you're right. I have been trying to cut back since this ridiculous promotion." He put the bottle back on the shelf. "Ever since my wife died in a goblin raid... my men were understanding, but I've admittedly been quite the burden on them these past few years." Idiot, that's not the best subject to create idle chatter about.
Morgan sighed, and returned to his chair. Clasping his hands together, he leaned back an threw a leg up on the desk. "I suppose it's only fair that since I called you out, I answer some questions of yours. This Order of Deceit that you work for, they have spies everywhere, yes? They've got their hands in everything - the Commonwealth, merchants, scholars, tradeskills - hell, even the thieves guild probably has some operatives in their midst. Is it so infeasible that the Order itself might be similarly compromised?"
She seemed to mull this over. "So how were you aware of my presence? There was no set time for my arrival."
He allowed himself a small chuckle. Reaching beneath his shirt, he pulled out a small, round medallion with a star-shaped symbol etched into it. "This little trinket alters between hot and cold depending on the type of magic being used in the vicinity. Those crazy coots from Shadowmirk can actually be useful from time to time. As far as knowing your identity, one of your colleagues - Deklar was his name, I believe - alerted me of your impending visit."
"I know of no such 'colleague,'" she responded with a quizzical look.
"Ah yes, you Order members usually don't know each other's names, with your three man- er, person- cells and all that. His agent name is 'Sinister' ... does that ring a bell?"
When confronted with another blank stare. Morgan held up hand. "About this tall, blue eyes, and short but spiky blond hair?"
The description sparked an odd reaction. "So, he works for you, then?"
"Not really. I'm not sure exactly where his loyalties lie, but he seems pretty content to assist wherever and whenever he pleases. We have some other operatives within the Order, but they've been unable to discern his origins ... he's like a ghost even amongst your people."
Lilith's eyebrow twitched. "They are not my 'people.' I'm merely working for an exchange of information."
"Yes, the location of your son. Deklar apprised me of that situation as well. You are of course aware that you're likely walking into some elaborate trap that ends with your death, are you not?" He pushed against the desk with this foot, tilting his chair back and forth.
"Would you not take the same chance if it meant that even for a moment, you could see your wife and child once again?"
He shot up straight in his chair, a stack of papers flying off the desk. "How did you-"
"You are not the only one who snoops around before engaging a target."
Damn! I never told anyone she was with child... she knows about that, but still doesn't seem to recognize me? He took a moment to recompose.
"Fair enough," he sighed. "In any case, they're going to keep you busy, likely for the next couple of years. In the meantime, I'd like to ask for your assistance in something." He opened a drawer, picked up some sealed parchments, and deposited them onto the desk. "Here are the papers that you'll be giving to Deklar."
Frowning, she stepped forward and picked up the papers. "Why should I help you, and for that matter, why should I trust you?"
Morgan grinned. "Well believe it or not, you've certainly earned my trust." He reached into his desk once again and placed something on top. "I'd like to think I could earn yours."
It was Lilith's turn to be shocked. She slowly picked up the small blade, turning it over and marvelling at its balance and still-familiar feel. From beneath her cloak she produced a small sheath, into which the blade slid with a perfect fit. Looking back at the now grizzled-looking soldier, recognition finally shone within those almond-shaped eyes.
"Well if all goes well, we'll finally have some information about this strange adventurer. I just hope she doesn't get herself killed with this Order business in the meantime." Morgan paced around his office, voicing his thoughts to the empty room. The candle's blue flame began to flicker as the wick burned near the end of its length.
"Of course, if all goes well, I'll also get down to the bottom of this bogus promotion. Usually a mistake of this caliber isn't rewarded, and I know they're aware of the situation. Running away isn't an option; I'll not live my life like some common criminal. Better to be thrown in jail and rot the rest of my days. At least as a former soldier I'll get three meals a day." He stopped in front of his bookshelf.
"Screw it, might as well enjoy it while I can." He grabbed the bottle of wine, popped the cork, and took a long swig. Don't fail me, Lilith.
"Apparently, getting your ass kicked is now part of this complete breakfast." - Roy Greenhilt