Knight Road: Storybook Lane (Part 4)

By R. J. Miller and Dora Furlong


Date: Monday, May 20, 2002 11:31 PM

Several hours passed before Lyzoun will came back to 
wake her.

Kaliandra took a deep breath and opened her eyes. 
"Are we there yet?" she asked, knowing full well, 
they were.

"We are."

She sat up and ran her hands through her hair, being 
careful not to pull loose her Padawan braid pulled 
back in with the rest of her hair to conceal it.  
"How long until we make planet fall?"

"15 parsecs."

"You ready?"

She nodded, pulling on the crash webbing. "Ready when 
you are."

Lyz nodded and went back up to the cockpit and strapped 
herself in. 

"Atmospheric contact in 5.....4.....3.....2....1."

The ship shuddered as they sliced through atmosphere.
Kali held one, gritting her teeth as the g forces 
increased. The ship bounced and is tossed.  Not one of 
the smoother landings Kali had ever experienced, but 
Lyzoun landed them in the specified area Alida had 
requested. 

Once they had landed, Lyz came back to check on Kali.

"Well, that was smooth," the Padawan said dryly.

Lyzoun snorted, "Good as its going to get around here."

Kaliandra pulled herself out the webbing. "How far 
are we from the city?"

"A few hours walk. I'll have to go in to get supplies 
and make contacts." She slung a pack around her shoulders 
and handed one to Kali, "We can go in together."

She nodded and took a deep breath.  She was here.  
Now just to find out about this Prince Humpervelle and 
if his 'secret weapon' really existed and get the 
information back to the New Republic.  Sure, piece of 
densati.

Lyz waited for Kali to gather her things before opening 
the hatch onto the world they were about to traverse. 

Kali slung her bag over her shoulder and followed Lyz 
out.  Low grasslands met her gaze as they walked down 
the ramp.

"Hospitable at least." Lyz remarked, turning to lock 
the ship. 

Kali nodded.  "I've seen worse."

Lyz chuckled, "As have I." She looked in the direction 
of the town and holds up her hand, revealing a small 
scanner.  Kaliandra assumed she is looking for people, 
threats, whatever.

Kali stretched out with her own senses. Clear, for now.

Once the scanners let out a small serious of beeps,  
Lyz started walking again toward the town. 

Kali kept in step with her easily. "So you're going to 
look for work?"

"Yes."

"Anything in particular or just what brings the highest 
profit?"

Lyz smiled, "I'm a soldier, I get paid to fight." She 
cocked her head and looked over at Kali, "Why?"

The young woman smiled. "I was just thinking if you'd 
be willing to wait, I could make it worth your while to 
ferry me back off this planet after doing a little work 
for me."

Lyz raised an eyebrow, "What kind of work?"

"Reconnaissance, mostly. Some more covert things if 
needed," she said.

Lyz considered it, she had definitely been trained 
in reconnaissance, generally didn't do covert work, 
but it was not beyond her, "Normally its not my first 
line of work, but I am capable." She eyed Kaliandra. 

"I could make it very worth your while," she said, 
pulling out a small pouch and tossing it to her.

Lyz catches it easily, "You really do work for a well 
off mistress." She shook her head, "Better be careful 
others less respectable than me wouldn't killed you at 
the first mention of this on the ship."

The girl smiled. "That was a bit of a test," she said.  
"If you and tried anything, I would have killed you."

Lyz raised an eyebrow, looking the frail creature 
in front of her up and down, Obvious she doubted Kali's 
ability to take her, "Well you did fight good enough," 
she replied simply with a smile on her face. 

Kaliandra just smiled. "You'll find I'm just full 
of surprises."

Lyz nodded, "I wouldn't doubt that somehow."

"Well, what do you say?" she asked.

"Alright then, you've just hired me on, usual guild 
contract with privacy clause?"

She nodded.

"What first then?"

"We need to get into the city undetected."

Lyz got a thoughtful look on her face and then pulls out 
a couple of ident chips.  "This will help."

Kali took the chip from her. "What's this?"

"False ID."

She nodded and smiled. "I should have said 'Who is this?'"

Lyz chuckled, "Female courier name of Drayshna Rileur."

She nodded. "And yourself?"

Lyz selected another chip, "Nadira Seng, performer."

Kali nodded. This could be interesting.

"Does it meet your needs?" Lyz inquired.

Kali glanced over the details of the new identity and 
nodded. "This will work."

Lyz nodded, "Next?"

"We get in to the city and then we look around. There have 
been rumors that Prince Humpervelle has a 'secret weapon'.  I 
need to find out if it exists and if it does, what it is."
"Do you have any other information?"

"Not much more than anyone who had found out about the 
weapon, hasn't lived to share that secret."

"Then that is a good place to start, where did they last 
disappear from," Lyz mused aloud. 

"Somewhere in the city. I have a list of their name, but 
that's about all I have," she said.

Lyz nodded, "What is your timeline?"

She dug to pull out a data pad. "This is what I have," she 
said. "They landed, spent a couple days looking around, 
delivered their preliminary reports and then vanished."

"Then it confirms these communications are all monitored." 
Lyz shook her head, 

"We will have to use out of band communications." She 
frowned uncertain just how they were going to accomplish that easily.

"Or just something they wouldn't' look for," Kali said, 
pulling out a small black box and handing it to Lyz.  "Old 
fashioned short wave transmission."

Lyz accepted it, unsure, "Are you certain they wont think 
to look for this?"

"It's on a scrambled frequency," she said. "No one uses 
these any more."

"You're the boss." She replied easily, accepting the answer, 
after all this woman had proven herself resourceful and to 
work for a mistress so well off she certainly must know what 
she was talking about. Lyz exhaled slowly, fighting was much 
easier. 

Kali nodded and smiled. "Let's go."

Lyz nodded and followed behind Kali. 

Kali took a deep breath and tried to look like she knew what 
she was doing and they headed for the city.

Lyz was relaxed, falling into persona humming as they walked on. 

Kali read over the details of her persona as they walked, 
memorizing them quickly.  She nodded as she read. This would 
work just fine.

The city gate loomed ahead of them, "Figures an actual gate 
to go through." Lyzoun murmured under her breath. 

"For every gate, there is always a window," Kali said, with 
a sidelong smile at Lyz.

"True, very true."

"Shall we look for the window?" the girl asked, glancing to 
a small grove trees that grew close to the wall.

'Hrmmm it might work," she paused, her eyes followed Kali's 
to the grove, "or we could try our personae and go through 
the gate?"

"Direct route first and if that doesn't work discreetly," 
she said.

The mercenary nodded in agreement, "Separately or together?"

"Separately," she said. "A courier and an entertainer wouldn't 
exactly make for usual traveling companions."

Lyz grinned in agreement, "After you boss." She indicated 
for Kali to go ahead. 

Kali would have rather let Lyz go first, but to back down 
now would bad for the game now. "See you on the inside."

Lyz nodded and fell back to a slower pace. 

Kali shortened her stride and quickened her steps.  She was 
a courier and she was on a routine drop.  Nothing interesting.  
Just work.

Lyz casually looked around her, sure to keep an eye on her 
employer, wouldn't do for this one to get herself killed like 
her last one did. 

She saw the young woman talking with the guard and abruptly 
he let her in.

After a few time the young mercenary followed suit. She was 
impressed with the speed of which Kaliandra was able to pass 
through. She presented her own ID with a smile. 

The guard looked at it with a slightly glazed, bored expression. 
"Everything is in order," he stated dully.

Lyz peered closely at the guard, surprised by his dull 
appearance. She entered the city and headed for a nearby 
lodging, passing Kali on the way. 

The young woman gave her a small smile, before falling into 
step beside her, feigning interest in her surroundings. "We'll 
meet tonight at the tavern on the corner over there," she said 
with a subtle nod of her head.

Lyz gave a flip of her hair in acknowledgement, pretending to 
brush it aside, then curved off to the small establishment she 
intended to make her home for the next few days. 

She caught a glimpse of Kaliandra heading to a slightly higher 
class inn and heading inside.

Lyz wandered in and obtains a room and a lead about finding a 
position to perhaps sing or dance for the castle if they were in need of entertainment. She found out that the Prince is getting married to a local girl, one of the peasant class, but not a peasant any longer.   She asked around a bit under the guise of trying to find out the Prince's tastes in order to prepare a suitable bit for the audition.

Meanwhile, Kali found a small room for herself and set to work 
on forging papers to look like letters of congratulations from 
the neighboring system of Gilden. A courier had to coury something.

She listened intently to the small bug she panted in the kitchen 
below.  The kitchen help was turning out to be a font of knowledge 
of the reign and especially about the Prince's new bride to be.

Rosebud, was a beautiful scullery maid who was swept up by the 
Prince to be his bride.  They were set to wed in three days time.

Just like a fairy tale the girl mused.  Only this fairy tale was 
about to be crashed.

She finished up her final letter and slipped it into a courier's 
pouch she fashioned from her things and headed out toward the 
castle. She would "deliver" them and then meet up with Lyz that 
evening with an idea of where to go from there.



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