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Offline Evie

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Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« on: August 28, 2015, 10:23:39 pm »
Previous chapter:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1567.0.html


Chapter Five


Early Morning
St. George Street Mission, Rhemuth
Father Devlin’s flat
December 17, 2021


Father Devlin stirred in his sleep as he phone trilled at him from his nightstand. As the insistent tone continued, he fumbled for it, opening bleary eyes to see who the caller was before answering.

“Hello, James.” He yawned. “Do you have any concept of time?” Devlin looked out the window at the dark sky. Any glimpses of impending dawn remained stubbornly hidden.

“Do you have any concept of returning calls?” James Arilan shot back.

“Returning . . . .” A brief flash of memory of the housekeeper’s recap of his messages earlier the previous afternoon came back to him. “Oh, sorry.  Busy day, as you can no doubt imagine, what with everything that’s going on right now. What’s up?”

“I have a lady here in great need of pastoral care, and as you happen to be a priest . . . .”

Father Devlin struggled to sit up. “Another one of your dates gone disastrously wrong, James?”

Lord Arilan gave a short laugh. “Stop being a git and get over here, would you? I’ll explain once you’re here.”




Shortly after dawn
Tre-Arilan
December 17, 2021


“I’m so very sorry to interrupt your sleep, Father. I hate to be a bother, it’s just . . . I’ve hardly been able to sleep at all either, what with the nightmares . . . .“

Father Devlin sat facing the young woman, still feeling a bit dazed to find himself in the presence of Gwynedd’s new Queen. At the moment, though, she looked far more vulnerable than queenly as she curled up in a corner of the sofa, looking more like a forlorn child than the head of state of a kingdom. It was that lost expression that tugged at Devlin’s heart, reminding him that regardless of her royal birthright she was just as human as he (Deryni traits notwithstanding), and with the same needs and fears as the rest of humanity.

“I suppose . . . “ he began hesitantly, “that you being a doctor, you’ve already tried the usual remedies for falling asleep? Warm milk, chamomile tea,  perhaps some melatonin? I’m sure Carbury has something of the sort on hand. Don’t know if he’s got anything stronger, or if anything of that sort would require a prescription.”

“Yes, I’ve tried the home remedies, and no, I don’t want to take anything that might make me groggy. I need to be able to think clearly. Just not non-stop at two in the morning.” Sophia gave him a tired smile.

“What sort of thoughts are keeping you awake?” Stupid question, under the circumstances! he thought to himself, but continued on. “Perhaps it would help to just talk about them.”

She closed her eyes, her arms hugging her knees to her chest. “I know my family probably never felt a thing, that it was just over in a second for them . . . well, except for Stefanie, but I’m told she was in a coma, so I doubt she ever knew what happened either, and I know they’re in a better place now--I know all that--but I don’t care, I just want them here . . . .”

The Queen burst into sobs. Father Devlin hesitated only briefly before getting up to join her on the sofa.




Morning
The Whitfield Residence
A suburb outside of Concaradine
December 17, 2021


The woman Tom had known as Caroline checked her victim’s vital signs.  Good. They were strong--his heartbeat regular, albeit a little rapid, and his breathing somewhat shallower than normal, although both symptoms were consistent with the anxiety he was probably feeling due to being trapped in a paralyzed body and unable to speak.  She tried a shallow mental probe to check his mind function. Yes, he was alert--she thought he was, but with his eyes frozen open in that transfixed look, it was hard to tell--and even attempting to fight her psychic intrusion to the best of his limited ability. That was not so good. She needed the information contained in that mind. She briefly considered just killing him and doing a Death-Reading, but his memories would begin to deteriorate the moment he died, and she did not want to risk running out of time before finding the information she had gone to so much trouble to obtain. And besides that, if Tom actually did belong to some top-secret Deryni organization as Malcolm believed that he did, then he might have some sort of Death-Trigger setup that would destroy that knowledge instantly if she were to kill him or started tampering with that second set of shields. Malcolm would be beyond pissed if she were to do something that careless.

She considered the pharmacological arsenal she had on hand. Merasha would not serve her purpose; the psychic disruption that would cause would affect her nearly as badly as it would affect him, were she to attempt to breach his shields while he was under the influence of a drug so powerful. No, she merely needed him unconscious and unresisting, his regular shields naturally vulnerable, and then perhaps she could introduce a little extra something to help her breach those adamantine interior shields that were being such a nuisance, if rendering him unconscious was not quite enough to do that trick. . . .

Ah, she found it! Slipping a small vial out of her bag of drugs and toxins, she unscrewed the stopper and inserted the tip of a medicine dropper between his lips, squeezing out a few drops of its contents onto what ought to be his tongue. Tilting his head up, she held him in that position until she felt a reflexive swallow. There, that should serve!  Waiting a few minutes for the drug to take effect, she contemplated her next stage of action.




Morning
The Camberian Council chamber
Somewhere in the Rhendall Mountains
December 17, 2021


“How’s your arm?” James Arilan asked the priest seated beside him.

Devlin rubbed the slightly numb appendage.  “Better. Feeling has started to return to it--that pins and needles feeling, at any rate.”

“I wasn’t expecting Her Majesty to literally fall asleep on you,” James teased, looking mildly envious. “I don’t imagine a conscientious priest like you finds himself in that position with a beautiful woman often.”

Dev gave a self-conscious laugh. “Not ones we’re not married to, at any rate. Her Majesty was exhausted. You can hardly blame her, with the kind of day she’s had. I just didn’t expect how quickly she slipped off. I’d figured she might need a sleep spell.”

“I just figured you were a boring conversationalist.”

The priest grinned. Seeking to deflect the conversation away from the awkward topic at hand, he gazed upward at the large crystal sphere above them. “Well, are you ready to summon the rest of the Council, or were you waiting for me to do it?”

“I figured we could both lend our energies to the task. That would be faster.”




Morning
The Whitfield Residence
A suburb outside of Concaradine
December 17, 2021


“So what did you discover? Will the plan work?”

The woman known to most people in Gwynedd as Caroline Whitfield tapped the speakerphone icon on her phone’s touch screen and set it onto a nearby desk.  “I think it will, although with a fair few alterations.  I’m still futzing around inside Tom’s head to see if I can find more concrete information about the physical location of the Camberian Council chamber, although it definitely does exist--that’s not just some archaic Deryni legend, more’s the pity, and you were quite right in your guess that he was on the Council--but I could easily get there via their Transfer Portal now.  The problem, of course, would not be in getting through their Portal so much as getting into the Council chamber itself without a member of the Council there to provide a safe escort through. I think I’ve figured out a work-around for that, though.”

“Good, good! Excellent work!” said the Camberian caller.

“I have some other interesting news to report that you might find almost equally excellent,” Not-Caroline informed him, her voice a bit smug.

“Oh?”

“Are you aware that the bulk of the Council’s informational data banks are not in the Council chambers at all, but in a private home somewhere near Rhemuth called Tre-Arilan?” She stroked Tom’s hair almost fondly. “I have the Portal signature for that location as well.  The Duke of Corwyn was apparently a guest there as of yesterday afternoon; perhaps he is still there. Would you like to see another Haldane dead, Your Grace?”

“I can think of little I’d like better than a dead Haldane, Alisandra, you know that.”

“Which location would you prefer to strike first, my lord? It seems Lord Arilan will not be home this morning. He is planning on calling a Council meeting. I very much doubt he plans on bringing Morgan Haldane with him. Tom didn’t seem to think it likely, at any rate; you apparently injured the Haldane whelp quite severely. It’s a pity the RHR had a Healer on staff in the Emergency Department.”

“Yes, well, we’ll deal with the Deryni population in Rhemuth soon enough. A full strike on the Council location might be a problem so soon; since we don’t know its physical location, we can’t get sufficient manpower there by this morning, certainly. Unless . . . .”  There was a long pause.

“Unless?”

“Do you know how to remotely control your husband’s mind while he’s in his present state? Enough to walk him a few feet in one direction, at least?’

Alisandra focused her will on making Tom stand. As his torso moved upwards, she waited for him to be on secure footing, stabilizing him with her mind before venturing to move him one step, then two, until like a sleepwalker he crossed to the other side of the room. “I believe I can manage that, love.”

“In that case, I believe I might have a plan.”




Morning
The Camberian Council chamber
Somewhere in the Rhendall Mountains
December 17, 2021


Lady Maureen McLain-Sheehan, looking somewhat tired, took her customary seat at the Council table. “Sorry I’m late,” she told everyone gathered. “Alicia rang me up just as I was about to step onto the Portal to ask me to let you all know she might not be able to make it, or at best she may be quite delayed. She is working on the lab results from the Rhemuth Castle bombing, and the Minister for Defense has asked for the preliminary report by noon today. But she’ll try to break free as soon as she can.” Looking around the table, she asked, “Where’s Tom?”

James Arilan frowned. “We don’t know. I last saw him yesterday evening and told him I’d be calling this meeting today, so I figured he would have shown up by now.”

Elspeth McIntyre snorted. “Probably just couldn’t pull himself off that hot young wife of his. Have you seen her? He’s, like, old enough to be her father!”

Peter Astari gave his watch a discreet glance.  “Well, we have a majority present, so that will have to suffice. James, I believe you Called us all here; I’m sure we’re all curious to hear why. I take it you and Tom managed to discover something in your data search that you think may be a possible lead, or is this about some other matter?”

“Bit of both, really,” James replied, “although I had really hoped Tom could be here today to share his part of the discovery. He did most of the data sifting, actually. I ended up being otherwise occupied.” He glanced at Father Devlin, who returned his wry smile with one of his own. “As it happened, I had an unexpected houseguest. Two, really, although one was even more of a surprise than the other.”

Lady Violet rolled her eyes. “Please, James dear, enough of the suspense. Just tell us already.”

“All right.” He took a deep breath, mentally preparing himself for the other Councillors’ reactions. “Since the night of the attack, I have had the privilege of providing safe shelter for Her Majesty Queen Sophia the Second of Gwynedd, and as of yesterday afternoon the Duke of Corwyn as well.” He smiled at the dumbfounded expressions reflected back at him from most of his colleagues.  “So, how soon can we arrange for that power assumption ritual, and might we use the ritual chamber here, or shall I just plan on us using my own ritual chamber at Tre-Arilan?”

“I should hardly think it would be necessary to bring Her Majesty here for her empowerment, is it?” Lady Violet Estridge objected once the initial hubbub of excitement over James’s unexpected news had died down. “I mean, certainly she is entitled to seek our help, but disclosing our secret Council Chambers to The Haldane is a different matter entirely!  Do remember, my dear boy, that our primary loyalty--no matter how dear our young Queen is to all our hearts, of course!--is to serve the best interests of all of Derynikind, not simply the desires of the House of Haldane.  We don’t know the mettle of this new Queen yet; how can we be sure that there will never be a conflict between those two interests?”

“Oh, come now, Violet!” Maureen retorted. “Do you seriously think that Her Majesty would ever wish to act against the best interests of Deryni in our kingdom?”

“Of course not, dear, and therein lies part of the problem.  She would naturally side with the Deryni of her own kingdom; one can hardly blame a Queen for that, after all!. But if we have an ancient charge to protect all Deryni, then what of the Deryni of Americia? Or even of Camberia? As much as I have to admit feeling no great sympathy for those upstart nations, we do have a responsibility towards Derynikind which extends even beyond our borders.”

“Americia and Camberia have their own Councils now, Violet,” Peter reminded her, “not to mention the smaller nations who send representatives to the annual Conclave. I hardly think we need to continue shouldering the burden of considering ourselves the watchful guardian angels over the entire world anymore.”

“Being a guardian angel would be a very uncomfortable role for you anyway, Peter,” Father Devlin quipped under his breath. Only a slight crinkle at the corners of Peter’s eyes betrayed that he’d overheard the comment.

Violet pursed her lips. “I still don’t like it. There is a reason that we have traditionally not allowed The Haldane to participate in Council matters.  You need only look back to history to recall the upset caused within our ranks when Kelson the First learned of the Council’s existence.”

“The same Kelson who was later invited to join our Council?” James Arilan added tartly.

“An invitation which he, in his greater wisdom, turned down, dear,” Violet said primly. “He understood that, as King of Gwynedd, he might well have occasions when he would need to put his whole kingdom’s interests over the interests of Derynikind, despite his personal Deryni sympathies. It was that sort of wisdom that led to him becoming known as Kelson the Great, after all.”

An interesting take on Kelson’s thinking, mused Maureen. I wonder what Jennifer’s opinion of Violet’s theory might be? I certainly know what Will would have said about it, especially given the admission of other sovereigns to the Council ranks!  She fought the urge to smirk at the thought of the acerbic comments her late husband would mostly likely have made about Violet’s particularly Derynicentric assessment. Has Violet completely forgotten about Queen Sofiana of Andelon’s two terms on the Council, or in more recent history the five decades of Council service from Princess Marguerite de Bremagne? Or that Saint Camber, for whom our Council was named, was also known as the Defender of Humankind, not simply of Deryni?

“All right, then the Tre-Arilan ritual chamber it shall be, unless Eirian House has a suitable location for the empowerment,” James said. “Which brings me to my second topic. With the destruction of much of Rhemuth Castle--and even once the reconstruction begins, I doubt we could make it habitable for quite some time--Her Majesty has need for a new residence, not to mention a functional seat of government. She still has the palace at Valoret, of course, but with all of our Ministries well ensconced in Rhemuth for most of the past millennium, it would hardly be feasible to relocate Gwynedd’s capital at this late date. However, there is also Eirian House, the Royal Family’s summer house just north of the Rhemuth city boundaries. It would be far enough outside of the City proper to make it easier to keep very tight security there, yet close enough to allow for an easy commute on those occasions when HM needs to actually be in Rhemuth rather than merely near it. Security there is already quite good; with the Duke of Corwyn’s assistance, we have started work on improving it in readiness for the Queen’s use when she is ready to relocate.”

“I would be glad to lend my assistance to that effort as well,” Peter told him.

“And I,” Violet chimed in. “I do believe we could manage to make the offer discreetly enough, without having to mention the Council’s involvement. After all, Mr Astari is one of Gwynedd’s wealthiest hoteliers--” She gave the coadjutor a simpering smile before continuing. “And I, of course, used to serve Her Majesty’s dear mother, so naturally I would wish to come to the aid of her daughter in this time of need.”

“So noted,” James said, ignoring the moue of distaste on Elspeth’s face.

Violet, however, noticed as well. “Is there a problem, Elspeth?”

“Not with Dr Formacek moving wherever she wants--it is her house, after all, and she can move to the Torenthi Federation or even Lower Byzantyun for all I care--but I just think all this kowtowing to the woman just because she was lucky enough to be born a royal is damn silly.”

“I’m not sure she’s feeling particularly lucky to be royal just at the moment,” Father Devlin said quietly.




Later Morning
The Whitfield Residence
A suburb outside of Concaradine
December 17, 2021


Alisandra rummaged through her bag of supplies, looking for items which would serve her purpose. A grenade would certainly have come in handy, she mused, but she could hardly just run out and pick one up.  At the thought, she stifled a chuckle. She imagined herself popping in to some local munitions store (not that she was aware of any such thing in her neighborhood, but it was a lovely fantasy nonetheless) to ask, “Where might I find your grenades? Am I in time for your BOGOF special? ” In the current state of emergency, that wouldn’t raise any red flags, no, not at all!

But no, there was no need for something so boring and conventional as a hand grenade after all. What she had here would serve her purpose well enough. Selecting a small bottle of acrinium powder from her supplies, she poured out half of the contents into another container, stoppering it well and putting it back in her bag. Replacing the lid on the bottle, she washed her hands thoroughly before pocketing it, then rummaged through the bag until she found another bottle and small vial. After carefully filling the vial with some of the second bottle’s contents, being very careful not to allow any of acidic solution contained within to come into contact with her skin, she also added a few drops of concentrated merasha to the vial, tightly sealed both containers, and put the small vial into another pocket. She definitely did not wish to risk combining the two substances before it was time. Combined, they would create a gas that was quite lethal. It was a little slower-acting than she might have preferred, but it would certainly be quick enough to incapacitate the entire Camberian Council at one go, with the merasha added being a special touch to keep their Deryni powers in check until they succumbed to the poisonous gas. Oh, they certainly wouldn’t be in any shape to fight back, let alone evacuate from a room with no means of escape besides a Transfer Portal, and with no one else even knowing about their secret location, they’d have no hope of rescue. Malcolm, she had to admit, was a diabolically clever man to have come up with the idea.

As for the other part of the plan (and this part was definitely her own twist on the mission, though surely Malcolm would be pleased once he found out about her little surprise--he had said there was little he would like better than a dead Haldane, hadn’t he?), she shouldered another weapon that was much more mechanical than chemical. There was a slight hitch to this second half of the plan; Tom had not been exactly sure of what sorts of security systems were in place at Tre-Arilan, and therefore neither was she. Nor did she know how many Deryni other than the despised loyalist Duke might be in the home despite its owner’s absence. No matter; last she checked, Deryni were far from bulletproof. All she needed to do was get through the Portal and into the residence itself, and she was certain things would come together swimmingly from there.

That all done, it was time to put on a gas mask and maneuver Tom towards the Transfer Portal. “Come on, darling. Let’s go visit your old friends, shall we?”




Later Morning
The Camberian Council chamber
Somewhere in the Rhendall Mountains
December 17, 2021


“Maureen, have you had a chance to speak to your daughter and son-in-law about possibly participating in the ritual?” James asked. “We may need your daughter’s help in particular just now; it would seem that Her Majesty has never even heard of the three Haldane artifacts traditionally used in the activation ritual. Your daughter still works at the Royal Library, yes? In the Historical Archives?”

“She does.”

“Then perhaps she might be able to bring Her Majesty up to speed with the more arcane aspects of her Haldane family history. Refresh my memory, those of you who can remember the late Queen’s Coronation more clearly than I can; she was wearing all three insignia at the time, was she not?” James searched the faces of the older members of the Council.

“You are referring to the Ring of Fire, the Eye of Rom, and the Crimson Lion, are you not?” Violet asked.  “If so, then yes, she certainly was.  I was Mistress of the Robes for the occasion.”

“Then can you recall what happened to those items after the Coronation ceremony?” James asked, suppressed excitement brightening his features.

Violet shrugged. “I have no idea. She handed them over to her husband Duke Henri for safekeeping, I imagine. They were kept in a box together, I remember that much, and the last time I saw it, she was handing the box to him to put up. Perhaps he put it back in her personal safe, or maybe sent it to one of the treasure rooms in the Keep.”

“The Keep is still intact,” Peter remarked. “That should be easy enough to check, especially if either Her Majesty or the Duke of Corwyn are willing to return to Rhemuth Castle long enough to get someone through the treasure room security wards, since I believe they’re encoded to Haldanes and very specific members of their staff only.”

“That might need to wait until the investigations on the Castle premises have been completed,” Peter said. “I realize the Queen needs to have full access to her powers sooner rather than later, but I can’t imagine that Anti-Terrorism would be too happy to have Her Majesty on site right now, both for safety reasons and because of the possibility of disturbing valuable evidence.”

“I don’t imagine she could disturb it much more than blowing half of the Castle partway to the Moon has done already,” Elspeth remarked, drawing a scandalized look from Violet. “But that reminds me, James. You mentioned something earlier about Tom finding something yesterday that might be relevant to the Castle attack. Since he’s not here to share what he found, perhaps you could elaborate?”

“Yes, gladly,” James replied, suppressing a start of surprise that for once the Councillor who most tended to rub him the wrong way had contributed something useful to the discussion at hand. “Tom did a thorough name and background check for individuals who most closely matched the criteria we outlined yesterday.” He reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a page of printed text. “Here is a short list of the Deryni or Empowered Humans who are our most likely suspects with both ability and motive to enter Rhemuth Castle via the Haldane Portal and assassinate the late Queen and other members of the Royal Household. Notice the name circled at the top.” He flattened the paper and pushed it to the center of the table.

“Sir Lloyd O’Malley,” Maureen read aloud. “Where do I know that name from?”

“Embezzlement scandal a couple of years back,” Peter Astari supplied. “And his son Colin has been in the news quite recently--a kidnapping, wasn’t it?” He looked up at James for confirmation.

“Colin O’Malley . . . .” A disturbed look crossed Maureen’s face as she traced a fingertip idly over the O’Malley surname on the printout. She turned to Peter. “I had the most horrible dream last ni--” She broke off, staring towards the room’s entrance.

Everyone else turned to see what she was staring at. A young woman wearing a gas mask stood just beyond the open chamber door, one arm linked around Tom Whitfield’s waist in ironic parody of a loving embrace. Tom stared blankly ahead, no recognition of his surroundings in his features. Before anyone could react, the intruder tossed an open bottle filled with a roiling substance onto the middle of the table. As the bottle cracked upon impact, rolling a short distance across the table’s surface, a noxious green gas filled the Council chamber. The woman stepped quickly back, dragging Tom onto the Portal square with her, and disappeared. No one attempted to intercept her, for suddenly it was nearly impossible to think or even breathe.



Next chapter:  http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php/topic,1571.0.html
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 08:58:51 pm by Evie »
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 11:20:58 pm »
*stands near Evie a la Wat, Roland, Geoffrey, and Kate from "A Knight's Tale" to protect her from the fanfic readers with tar and feathers for that cliffhanger*

Now, y'all, if you hurt her, she won't be able to publish the next chapter.

"God love you, Evie, so do I."  :P
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Offline drakensis

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2015, 02:19:42 am »
Don't make me break out the Furstans, Evie. Waiting more than a week for the next chapter will have consequences.

Things are definitely heating up.

Offline Demercia

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2015, 03:08:57 am »
Since not even Evie would kill off all the Camberian council in one go (surely), I am going to have a lot of fun this week trying to work out how they escape from this.  Thanks Evie, this just gets better.
The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

Offline revanne

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2015, 03:28:42 am »
I can somehow see you as Kate, DR.

And some voices from the past might be all too pleased to see the Cambrian Council get its come uppance at last. Did someone mention Furstans?

Unless  ordination training is one of the areas where Gwynedd differs radically from Britain I'm guessing Dev is thinking that comforting his Sovereign in her night wear was never covered in Seminary.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2015, 03:30:46 am by revanne »
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
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As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2015, 10:10:23 am »
DesertRose, I never knew I was going to get Geoffrey Chaucer as a bodyguard when I set out to write this chapter!  Maybe I should have posted it sooner? :D

Don't make me break out the Furstans, Evie.

LOL!  OK, so there's my new favorite threat!  ;D

Since not even Evie would kill off all the Camberian council in one go (surely), I am going to have a lot of fun this week trying to work out how they escape from this.  Thanks Evie, this just gets better.

I have to admit to a fair bit of trepidation  when I started this scene, because given readers' reactions to the CC in previous centuries, I wasn't sure whether the response would be "Oh no, the Camberian Council is about to die!" or "Huzzah, the Camberian Council is about to die!"  Bit of a toss-up, really, although I'll admit to being rather fond of a few members of this generation's CC (OK, I lied, I'm secretly fond of them all, even the more ornery ones!), so hopefully they'll manage to figure out some way out of this predicament. I left you a clue or two for how that might happen, I really did, if you go back and read carefully enough. Happy re-reading!   ;)

Unless  ordination training is one of the areas where Gwynedd differs radically from Britain I'm guessing Dev is thinking that comforting his Sovereign in her night wear was never covered in Seminary.

LOL!  Fortunately, even though it's just a short drive from Rhemuth to Tre-Arilan, there would have been sufficient time for James to warn HM of a priest's arrival, so on at least this occasion Devlin won't have to worry about custody of the eyes, unless he's inexplicably turned on by seeing his sovereign in a sweater and jeans, or whatever other comfortable clothing Carbury might have managed to scrounge together for her.
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2015, 01:28:11 pm »
"E-GADS! EVIE! You leave off there!

**breath** breath** i can wait 5 days** Breath** I can wait** OH DEAR***

Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2015, 01:35:39 pm »
The Camberian Council is not too thrilled about having to wait five more days either.   ;D
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2015, 01:37:43 pm »


Unless  ordination training is one of the areas where Gwynedd differs radically from Britain I'm guessing Dev is thinking that comforting his Sovereign in her night wear was never covered in Seminary.

LOL!  Fortunately, even though it's just a short drive from Rhemuth to Tre-Arilan, there would have been sufficient time for James to warn HM of a priest's arrival, so on at least this occasion Devlin won't have to worry about custody of the eyes, unless he's inexplicably turned on by seeing his sovereign in a sweater and jeans, or whatever other comfortable clothing Carbury might have managed to scrounge together for her.

Nice to see HM find a safe arm she could fall asleep on. An Awe moment. Let us hope she gets a least a three hour nape before the next horrifying event which is heading her way.
Did I say EEE GADS! before.  I hate repeating myself... but...

Offline NavaWazr

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2015, 04:46:36 pm »
No!!! this just keeps getting more awful!!!  No!! they can't be wiped out!!! No, something has to save them!! Isn't there an automatic air exhaust, like an automatic sprinkler system?
OK, I have less than week to get to Costco for a case of Kleenex to prepare for the rest of this marvelous story. Please keep writing.
I realized that I wanted to be Deryni, would have loved to be another niece of Uncle Azim, perhaps living on a Fianna vineyard.... but I'm a never wazzer

Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2015, 05:09:25 pm »
No!!! this just keeps getting more awful!!!  No!! they can't be wiped out!!! No, something has to save them!! Isn't there an automatic air exhaust, like an automatic sprinkler system?
OK, I have less than week to get to Costco for a case of Kleenex to prepare for the rest of this marvelous story. Please keep writing.

LOL!  If it helps ease your fears any, this is a 30 chapter story, and I promise it's not just six chapters of death and carnage followed by 24 single-sentence chapters of "And then there was silence...."   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Offline Shiral

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2015, 07:49:39 pm »
The length of the proposed tale is what kept me from completely panicking. And then the voice that says  "The Camberian Council MUST have an out when it comes to villainesses in gas masks....."
Maybe Tom will find a psychic way to free himself from his nasty wife's spell, or he'll have tripped an alarm, somehow. Or....
the conviction that even Evie wouldn't dare off the whole lot of them at one go in Chapter 5.....  8)

Melissa

*After a reread "AHAH!!! I think I've found the clue!" But being one of the original Zipper Sisters, I will now retreat to the corner and find my gas mask.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2015, 08:05:55 pm by Shiral »
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!

Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2015, 08:20:17 pm »

*After a reread "AHAH!!! I think I've found the clue!" But being one of the original Zipper Sisters, I will now retreat to the corner and find my gas mask.

LOL! You probably have. I wasn't actually trying to hide it. If you want to run what you've found by me via PM, I'd be glad to confirm or let you know if you're sniffing up a cold bunny trail.  Or you could just wait until very late next Wednesday or sometime Thursday to find out.  :)
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2015, 10:29:17 pm »
I think I caught the clue during the first read, but one never knows for sure with Evie telling the tale just how it will play out. Personally, I like the idea of an automatic air exhaust. Or a ward slamming up around every chair around the table at the first sign of "scary woman in gas mask". Eight little shinny bubbles with people smiling within them saying "Nice try, but you can't take us that easily." But this isn't 007 and the CC are not the Avengers (hmm... well... or are they?). Even if/when some/all get out of this, with Merasha in the mix, the survivors are going to be out for the count for the day. In this story a lot can happen in that day. Morgan and Sophia better be on their toes.

I feel for Tom; he is in one heck of straitjacket with his mind in the corning watching his whole existence destroyed by the evil B**** he thought he loved.

Speaking of Evil B***. Now, why oh why, would her fully stalked, lovely little bag of beauty tricks not have a hand grenade in it?  Obviously, the woman was not planning very well ahead?  :P  Just teasing, (I hope)

Offline Evie

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Re: Balance of Power--Chapter Five
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2015, 11:10:51 pm »
I think I caught the clue during the first read, but one never knows for sure with Evie telling the tale just how it will play out. Personally, I like the idea of an automatic air exhaust. Or a ward slamming up around every chair around the table at the first sign of "scary woman in gas mask". Eight little shinny bubbles with people smiling within them saying "Nice try, but you can't take us that easily." But this isn't 007 and the CC are not the Avengers (hmm... well... or are they?).

LOL! Unfortunately no, although Peter Arilan has an amazing resemblance to James Bond. One of them, anyway.  ;)

Quote
Even if/when some/all get out of this, with Merasha in the mix, the survivors are going to be out for the count for the day. In this story a lot can happen in that day. Morgan and Sophia better be on their toes.

Hm, yes, rather a lot does tend to happen in a single day in this story, at least in this stage of it. If you think this chapter is action-filled, just wait until the next one.... ;D

Quote
I feel for Tom; he is in one heck of straitjacket with his mind in the corning watching his whole existence destroyed by the evil B**** he thought he loved.

Yes, I hated seeing that happen to him. He seems like a really nice guy. You'd think a glowing purple crystal dome in the mountains would have the decency to show up on satellite imagery, but no, the CC did take adequate precautions against outside discovery of that sort. So the only good way to get an enemy into the Council chamber that I could think of--barring some disgruntled former Council member returning, but that would have been too obvious a threat for them to not take precautions against--was for some member to get psychically hijacked, and the more I thought the matter through, the more I figured that Tom was the most likely person on the Council to have some vulnerability that could be exploited for the purpose. Or perhaps just the one unlucky enough that I didn't have a pressing need to keep him fully functional a bit longer for the story's plot to unfold properly. Hard to say which was the more important consideration, really.

Quote
Speaking of Evil B***. Now, why oh why, would her fully stalked, lovely little bag of beauty tricks not have a hand grenade in it?  Obviously, the woman was not planning very well ahead?  :P  Just teasing, (I hope)

LOL! You should be grateful she prefers to dabble in chemicals and poisons rather than modern munitions. At least at the moment they're all just dying relatively slowly. It would be rather hard to put exploded Deryni back together, even if every Healer in the Kingdom miraculously showed up for Chapter Six!

If it helps, this was actually my assassin's Plan B.  Her Plan A was to put that open bottle of poison gas (a nice round bottle) in Tom's mouth before sending him into the Council chamber like a roast pig with an apple in his mouth and popping back out through the Portal again, leaving him there to die with his colleagues. But then she realized she still needed him for the second half of her scheme to work.  So yeah, Plan B is a little less picturesque, but at least Tom is still breathing fresh air at the moment.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!

 


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