Lovelace, pt. 5/?

So I’m right fucked. A Queensguard. There’s a fast track to the gallows and no mistake. And then there’s some sort of calamity in the outer hall. All splintering and shouting, and then no shouting. As I’m rallying to ask for some sort of clarification from the good Sister, in comes another, and she’s frantic. Her face is spattered with what appears to be blood, could be clay, could be syrup, probably blood, what with the mace clenched in her fist dripping and all, and she shouts, “The riot has broken through, Reverend Mother,” (and there’s a surprise [there Reverend mother part {and the rioters, I’m supposing}]) “It is no longer safe here.”

The frantic Sister looks to me, then the Reverend Mother, “Is she the one from the Scrying Well?”

The Reverend Mother gives a curt nod and stands, drawing a flanged mace that matches the Sister’s from under her desk. “Escort this young woman to the catacombs. Do what you must to keep her safe.” And she’s out the door like an arrow, into the fray. I hear a cracking, like ice on a winter lake, and there’s not much by way of voices.

“Come,” says the Sister, and come I do, following her green robed self through a door I hadn’t noticed in the room before and down a cobwebby set of stairs that clearly hadn’t seen much use of late. “So,” she says, almost conversationally were it not for the lack of breath and smell of gore on her person, “You’re the one.”

I shrug, but she doesn’t notice, so I say, “The one what?”

“The one from the Scrying Well. You’re being framed. The whole thing is a setup.” She reaches the bottom and opens another door with some creaking effort. “There are forces at work here beyond your ken. This isn’t about you. This isn’t about the guardswoman.” Here she lights a torch with a flourish of her left hand, taking it and lifting it up to reveal a furtively lit chamber some distance high and wide that I can’t currently bother to fathom. “The Reverend Mother-” And here she cut off, a whistle through the air, her right hand to her throat. “Oh-” she sighs, and she falls, the torch rolling away. I can just make out a knife, long as my hand, stuck well into her right eye.

There’s another whistle and my shoulder aches and bleeds. I fall to the floor, scrambling for the torch. There is a killer here, and I’ve got to think of something fast, or end up minus my life.


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