Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 2:57:08 GMT -5
Locket idly fussed with her robe, worrying a couple frayed threads from the cuffs. She had eschewed her other clothing to wear her robe this day; something she generally only did when going to the temple, feeling particularly devout, or feeling particularly somber. It gave her comfort when her spirits were low.
And she needed something comforting at hand as she sought out Schuldig to discuss what she felt needed saying.
Last Edit: May 25, 2011 19:55:40 GMT -5 by Skittlebug
Schuldig had been in a grim mood since the few survivors had made it back to Khelek. He'd more or less expected Shyamal to die, though he had been surprised to hear that the boy had managed to kill both Bastion and Nissar. Well, good on him. A crazy triple Mind with a nation and army at his disposal wasn't a possibility he cared to think about. Now they just had to wait and see who would come out on top in Morilanta and what they would do now.
That one knight -- what had his name been? Ah, yes. Desmond. Schuldig felt very strongly that young girl or not, Desmond should have killed Fausta when he had the chance. She was a loose end. She knew who had been involved in the coup, and that could create problems. He'd been giving some thought to just seeing how far his range for a psiblast extended. She didn't have to die -- if she was rendered incapable of real thought, someone else would kill her soon enough anyway. Such was his "homeland."
Of course, he wasn't sure that even silencing a loose end was worth his own welfare. He hadn't actually managed to feel the negative effects of the White Swan's "blessing" yet, though he was probably at the closest he'd been to risking it in a while.
With such goings-on, he'd mostly left Filly to care for the injured while he stepped more fully into his old guard and informant role (his bedside manner still wasn't the best under normal conditions), keeping a careful eye on the palace guard, performing mind sweeps, and keeping an extra-close mental eye on Harmony and Nagi whenever he could. Of course, even he needed to rest sometime, and he was found in his rooms with the door open, a glass of clear liquid in one hand and a bottle close by.
Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 3:35:04 GMT -5
Locket shifted her weight, feeling very... conspicuous of all things. It felt like a million eyes were on her, though she couldn't fathom why. Either way, it was uncomfortable, and she found her mood repressed.
"I was wondering if I could talk to you," she said quietly. "To... apologize." She let the frayed threads of her cuff fall from her fingertips so it didn't seem as though she was being too casual about her words.
Schuldig blinked at Locket for a moment and took a swig of his drink before gesturing for her to come in. "Shut the door," he said, more out of consideration for himself than for Locket's sake. He wasn't sure what she was apologizing for, but he preferred not to be overheard when a conversation was serious.
Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 3:43:47 GMT -5
Locket nodded and stepped inside, shutting the door softly behind her and then leaning back against it. She kept her eyes on the floor and could already feel her cheeks start to burn with, if not shame, then something milder. Embarassment perhaps.
"I just want to say... that I'm sorry I disobeyed you and took F-fausta to play with Harmony like that. You were right about her and I was wrong." She shut her eyes tightly at that. "I never, ever meant to expose Harmony to any kind of danger, Schu. If I'd known..." She swallowed.
"I was in the palace in Anarlina with her for weeks. Months." Schuldig swirled the drink in his glass. "I never thought much of Shyamal, but you could tell where he stood. Fausta was...suspicious. Always spying, never friendly to a damn person. Not Dusk, not Zira, not even her own brother from what I saw. She seemed Morilantan." He paused.
"But I didn't tell you not to let Harmony near her because I suspected she'd do something violent. I was worried about subtleties. I thought she might try to manipulate her, either feed her some of Morilanta's shit philosophy or use her somehow."
Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 4:13:10 GMT -5
"Which it seems she did, even though I thought she was merely... misguided," Locket agreed. "I still feel horrible though. I should have trusted your judgment." She blinked rapidly a moment and in a strained voice, added, "Clearly my own isn't up to the task."
More quietly, almost a whisper, she murmured, "How did she fool me so completely? Why didn't I detect even a little that something was off?"
Schuldig shrugged. "You're not a suspicious, paranoid type like some of us. Like some of us were raised to be. It's not really your job to read people. It is mine and I dropped the ball myself; I should have peeked into that kid's head when she started acting friendly to you. That was as far from normal as you could get for her."
He gave her an odd sort of smile, not a particularly happy one. "Well, now you know how Brad felt when Delilah turned on him. We didn't see that one coming, and we were taught to catch shit like that. Fact is, some people are just naturals at that sort of thing. Fifteen years ago, Fausta would've probably made a good addition to the place that trained us."
Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 4:31:24 GMT -5
Somehow I doubt it's quite the same as Brad's case, she thought. It had hurt, but not so much because she had grown attached to Fausta in any way - she had felt terribly sorry for the child. She was mostly upset at herself.
It wasn't her job to read people; now. But someday it might be. And what if that had been her own child she had thrust willingly into the paths of what ultimately turned out to be a murderer?
Her face twisted at the thought and she didn't return Schuldig's smile. "I would give anything for a Mind sign so I could be more perceptive too," she said with fervid sincerity.
She shook her head slightly. "Are you still cross with me? I mean, in light of what we found out. I was worried hindsight would flare your temper again."
Yeah, 'cause being a Mind really helped Shyamal there.
"Not even I know what's going to piss me off at any given moment," he replied, "but at the moment, I'm not. After the first time and then talking with Harmony, I did tell her she could keep on as long as she told someone any strange things Fausta was telling her."
He'd probably have to talk to her at some point. Harmony might not think something to be important that he would.
Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 4:43:52 GMT -5
Locket nodded, feeling a little better that Schuldig wasn't mad at her. "Did anyone tell Harmony the news yet? Or do you suspect she's found out? I haven't seen much of her lately, but then, I've also been fairly engrossed in other things so I haven't been actively looking either."
Schuldig shook his head. "I don't know. I haven't said anything to her yet, at any rate. Filly's been taking care of the survivors and we've been tightening things up in case of a retaliatory strike from Morilanta." He set his glass down. "Until a definite leader emerges, there's little chance of a military strike and with all the chaos, nobody should be aware of Khelek's involvement."
Unless the little bitch rats.
"Still, it's best to be ready."
He sighed and ran a hand back through his hair. "Whether she knows or not, it's gonna be a shitty conversation. On the not-quite-bright side, it's not actually the chat I want to avoid the most."
Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 4:56:33 GMT -5
Locket looked surprised at that, a little. She wasn't sure if she would have been able to break the news to Harmony, and the thought was one she would have reeled from if their situations were reversed.
"What are you avoiding the most?" Locket asked, feeling more restored by this prick of her curiosity.
Schuldig made a face. "I'd rather tell Harmony that a kid she knew for a few weeks turned out to be a traitor than deal with Zira Wintersong right now. He's interesting and the sex is good -- really good -- but by the time we left Khelek, he'd gotten attached to Shyamal. I let them chat before the group left for Morilanta. The kid was calling him father and from the sound of things, Zira'd all but adopted him. And they were in my head, so I could feel them, too."
Well, Zira, anyway.
"Like I said, breaking this to Harmony is not going to be fun, but...." He shrugged.
Post by Kender Bard on Dec 18, 2009 5:14:04 GMT -5
"Oh, poor Lord Wintersong," Locket murmured, her heart giving a sympathetic wrench. "I understand now. I don't suppose you could let Emerald do it for you though? I mean, he's a noble and she's part of the royal family so maybe she knows him enough to break that kind of news? Nobody says you have to."