01.22.3013: A New Conspiracy
Summary: Rozlyn is shadowed to her labs for a conversation. A fragile alliance blosssoms.
Date: Nov 13, 2013
Related: Schism
Nitrim Rozlyn 

Rozlyn's Lab - The Ring
This is not one of the larger, sprawling labs within The Ring. There's no requirement for decontamination, but there is an additional level of security one must pass. Tucked into the curve of the station, the lab is largely dominated by a large, domed screen. This screen often displays numerous feeds and reports in a collage across the surface, but it can also render in a three-dimensional hologram to the broad floor before it anything required (most often models of space).

There are a number of work stations; some are merely terminals, while others hold specialized equipment. Tucked to the side near the raised dais of the display, is an office partially enclosed for the lead scientist. Said office, in this case, is very neatly appointed with very few personal belongings on display. The only prominent ones, in fact, are an Orelle family photo and a painting of a large, jungle tree with an orange-pink sky behind it.

January 22, 3013

The lights on The Ring are dimmed to the night-time levels. While there’s still enough to see by, in the less-populated sections it lends an almost eerie calm. The labs are one such place. The usual hustle and bustle of day time is gone and instead, the long corridors almost echo every movement. Red lights shine at the keypads for the majority of the labs, for while one can gain access to this level with little difficulty, getting beyond into the laboratories themselves is a measure more difficult.

From the lift steps a woman who manages to make sleeplessness look classy. Rozlyn Orelle walks, with head held high. She wears a grey blouse tucked into loose, black slacks. A flowing black coat is worn over and there’s little sound from the light-weight shoes she wears. Somehow, she has blended elegance and martial into one. Attire both fitting a board room and the sparring mats. Her hair is perhaps the only thing that does not imply wholly strict rules as it flows in subtle waves against her back.

Her lab is tucked into a corner of The Ring, making use of the curvature of the station to host the broad stage for the holographic projections used in her research. From a distance, sensing the woman — and likely some piece of equipment she wears — approaching, the doors to the lab whisper open.

When the doors hiss open, something out of place becomes apparent in the form of a darkly clad man in a coat that is one part concealing black with long hem and sleeves, and one part cowled hood. To the clever, or those who know the tabloids well, the rather visible copper-colored rings and toggles to the coat are a tell. To those who don't know otherwise, he is a dark figure, lingering nearly the now opened door to Roz's labs.

"A moment of your time?" The scratchy voice drawls, hands unfolding to reveal a distinct lack of knives and tools of the mugging trade. To his credit, he doesn't move to take her personal space away either. "I think you and I have much to discuss."

If Rozlyn recognizes the man, she gives no sign. In fact, if anything, the figure haunting the door to her laboratory is regarded with a sense of boredom, colored by mild annoyance. Like one might view a smudge on their glasses. Not overly important, but something you will have to tend to eventually either way.

There is the barest of nods as she passes through the door. “I believe you have fourty-five seconds remaining.”

"Allow me to add a few minutes to that count, then." Pressing off of the wall, Nitrim turns to follow her into the labs, waiting for the telltale hiss of the doors closing behind him before speaking again. Unlike her, his boots trample on the metal plating beneath them. Serious boots.

"I am Lord Nitrim Khournas, the Young Drake of Volkan. I couldn't help but notice your meeting with Sarah 113 of 158, and you don't particularly have the bearing and stink of someone trying to pry information for assistance in the war effort." The cowl is pulled down to reveal his too-aged face and the scars that line his neck. "Fascinating, isn't she?"

“One-One-Three of One-Six-Four,” Rozlyn corrects. This is all that she provides as she crosses into the lab. It is not a lab that is impressive in size. This is not a vast, echoing space. What makes it impressive is the large, domed screen upon a stage. It sits black right now, but the advanced machinery surrounding it implies that it is a very state-of-the-art holographic display. The rest of the space is primarily occupied by terminals and workspaces. The study here is more of the mind, rather than experimentation run with samples or devices.

The eldest Orelle daughter passes these and instead heads for a raised platform to the side, surrounded on three sides by glass. It is a simple office, bearing a family portrait and a painting of a large, jungle tree with a sunset behind it. She settles into the desk and taps a display aimed towards her. There are two chairs opposite and it’s clear she’s expecting Nitrim to select one of them.

“It is not just our captive Cantosan who is fascinating, but the whole of her people and culture.”

One foot after the other, Nitrim slowly walks the path that lines the side of the desk and crosses into Rozlyn's peripheral vision. Arms clasped behind his back and his brows lowered into a state of conspiracy, he turns at the edge of the desk and lowers his body into one of the chairs. Like the tabloids would expect, he doesn't sit straight-backed, but at a casual lean with one elbow propped to tap his gauntleted rings against his brow.

"I am inclined to agree, Doctor." Nitrim replies, brows lifting as his neck stretches to watch her work and the screen that separates them. "And how our culture has affected theirs. An entire culture built around the militarization of punishment to Haven for abandonment and a death sentence that forced them to mutate into what they are now, and not a hint in our history books as to why. Has it yet occurred to you that digging into all of this is as dangerous as it is vital to understanding?"

Though her eyes are on the display, hands gesturing as she works, it’s obvious that Rozlyn is paying heed to Nitrim’s words. Her expression remains neutral, but there are those vague reactions within the flicker of her eyes that imply she is taking in what he’s providing.

“There is a danger in all that we do regarding our supposed enemy, Lord Nitrim.”

Lowering her hands, Rozlyn looks across the desk that separates Orelle from Khournas, regarding the man in his dark attire. “Were you aware that in their regard, it is not just the supposed abandonment that began the war?”

"The ships and the mystery about what they did to Cantos." Nitrim nods, a resolute answer to her dangled question. The thread of conversation urges him to pull up from his lean to rest forward, elbows on his knees to level his dark, green eyes on Rozlyn. "And were you aware that the records of those ships have been sealed to even high-ranking personnel?" Nitrim cants his head to the side. "Strange that someone knows the truth yet our history that we covet so greatly as a society lists the Cantosans as merely…lost."

With a shake of his head from side to side, Nitrim pulls out a hematite-colored case of cigarettes, cracks it open, and offers one to the Orelle. "This is where I tell you that I've been digging for months and have a good idea as to where these threads can start, who on our side of the war front is double-dealing, and that my reputation has been an excellent smoke-screen for not being watched carefully. I have evidence." Nitrim pauses. "It isn't good. These secrets have already claimed lives; bodies I've seen personally."

“Do not light that in here.”

While the flicker in Rozlyn’s gaze indicates that she may otherwise be tempted to partake, she certainly isn’t about to allow it within her lab.

“You have been speaking to my brother, I would gather. Or our captive friend has revealed the dark secret of the scouting ships to others.”

The Orelle has been open, thus far, to only one with the whole of it. Though that perhaps may be due to the fact that others have been less inclined to care. She gestures at her display and turns slightly as the large painting on the wall behind her shifts instead to show Sarah. It’s a recording and Rozlyn’s voice clearly emanates from behind the device. It’s of her first meeting. The volume is kept low, but it’s a clear indicator that the woman is very much unlike the officials that keep the Cantosan. She has no qualms with sharing.

“If you have spoken with my brother, perhaps he has shared these already. You are correct, someone is keeping information from us. Such is, unfortunately, common within a corrupt government body. I suspect that they feel their own secrets being revealed is worth the deaths upon their hands. It is my hope to get Sarah to understand that in working together, we can allow both of our people to survive. Unfortunately, she is still firmly of the opinion that we should all surrender to the slaughter.”

The last statement shows a slip in Rozlyn’s grasp upon her emotions; it is spoken darkly.

"Perhaps, perhaps not." Nitrim replies on the topic of sources as his cigarette case closes with a rather final, abrupt clap. "Like any war the valuable commodity is information, and I like to keep multiple threads to keep my sources honest." It's a lie, however, meant to keep Rozlyn from being comfortable with telling her brother that they've spoken. The doctor is right about the source, but where information is a weapon, anonymity and mystery are a shield.

"Doctor," Nitrim continues, leaning back to slide the case into his inner-coat pocket. "I am of the belief that if Sarah 113 of 164 is a baseline for her culture, she believes in justice. We bear the mark of the Abandoner, and she believes we deserve punishment for our treachery. Where there is hatred comes a capacity for love, and in true justice we would need to understand our crime. The trick is convincing her that our sympathies and willing to learn and understand aren't the deception and lies they expect from us. The problem is that she may be running out of time, and earning her trust will be difficult and possibly require putting ourselves on the line."

Nitrim pauses to level a hard look on the woman across from him. "I have no interest in using her trust to slaughter her people with the information gained. Are we in agreement on this?"

Anyone who believes Rozlyn can be cowed with cryptic words into not doing something has a long way to go in understanding the woman. Especially in regards as to what she may or may not share with the one person she trusts most implicitly. The video continues to play as she turns back to face the Khournas, hands folding lightly on the desk before her. Her posture, unlike his, is impeccable. There’s a ramrod straightness to it that speaks more of a physical control than an inability to relax.

Though that may be the case as well.

“Of course we are in agreement. Our conversation would not have reached this point if I felt you were intending to use any knowledge gained to harm the Cantosans further.”

The woman looks to her tablet’s display, fingers untwining so a hand may lift. She gestures and a new feed pops up. This one, from her helmet cam on the fallen ship.

“Nubilus. I was on a team, a scientific representation, to investigate a Cantosan ship that crash-landed.” This, as the feed displays their progress towards the ship itself, across the inhospitable landscape.

“We encountered two things…” A gesture and a still of the Skitterers in the shower room appears. “These devices. Wholly machine in nature. They are, from what I witnessed, not difficult to take down, but their swarm abilities…”

There is another gesture and in this one, instead, there is Penelope. “This is…” Her voice falters slightly and she draws in a slow breath. “Was Penelope Three of Six. Sarah called her an… Embedded. She was found in an otherwise unknown section of the ship. I believe she wished for us to find her. I was able,” and here the feed begins again… no sound, but visuals. Soon enough, the Pilot is out of view and the others come in; complete with Nikomachos and his spear aimed towards her.

“to keep the rest of my team from threatening her and she, in turn, did not harm us. She allowed us to remove her, but she soon died. It would appear that we, unknowingly, assisted her in completing her destruction protocols. Suicide. I do not know if knowledge of this has softened Sarah towards me or not. I only recently showed her the footage.”

It is then that Rozlyn sits back, watching Nitrim. Using this information to see his reaction.

Nitrim's eyes are sharp, his gaze wavering over the screen to take in every detail. Penelope of chief interest, the young man's lip quirks at the corner at the mention of her assisted suicide.

“Clever, or she didn't know." Nitrim comments, reaching into his pocket for his datapad. "Which would be interesting if she did not, because Cantosans are effectively a human offshoot, and I doubt they've lost their capacity for lies as well." Nitrim's eyebrows quirk as he looks down to his screen tapping away. "But.. more than likely she knew."

The datapad in Nitrim's hand glows and unveils two images, which he turns the data pad to allow Rozlyn to see, but not touch. The first is of a recently murdered Chantry member in an ancient slab at one of the Necropoli. His body lays upon the desecrated remains of a dead noble, his throat slit and long since bled dry. The second picture is of red-robed Chantry members meeting with Cantosans, taken from a hidden angle, and the faces of the Chantry members are hidden with hoods.

"Thomas Sextus reached out to me, concerned about movements within the Chantry. The other picture is what he died for, but had the sense to hide before he was murdered." Nitrim, just like the woman across from him, watches her face to weigh her reactions in their little game of nuclear-bomb-show-and-tell. "I believe the Chantry Elders are pulling some very influential strings. Do we know if the Cantosans, if inclined, could clone a dead Havenite in a reasonable amount of time?"

“Considering Sarah’s own comments upon the matter and Penelope’s final words, I am of the mind that she was fully aware. She did as she should, based upon their own beliefs that I have learned from Sarah. She did not, however, destroy the ship.”

This is a very vital piece of information; one which has not gone beyond the military or the group that investigated (save anyone they may have told).

“I believe Penelope saw that I truly meant her no harm and she provided what small gift she could, in return. Sarah is of no mind, still, to share. I have been attempting to learn more of Cantosan culture, but she is very reticent in that regard. Moreso than she is regarding their military outlook. I think, perhaps, she fears me.”

This is stated very simply. Not with a sense of pride, but with the finality of fact.

As for the images shown and the discussion of the corruption within the Chantry, there is only a mild twitch of Rozlyn’s lips. “You know, even from a young age, I was convinced that religion served merely to control and blind the people.”
In a fluid movement, she stands, considering that last question. There’s a swift gesture at her screen and the painting returns once more. Clasping hands behind her back, Rozlyn begins to pace behind her chair.

“In my last visit with Sarah, we began to discuss Cantosan genetics. I learned that all Cantosans are given ocular and brain enhancements at a very young age, before the skeletal structure has finalized. Beyond that, their enhancements are their own. Sarah had two of her limbs replaced after a training accident left them weakened. The other two were, according to her, for a desire of symmetry.”

Something Rozlyn and the Cantosan have in common - that desire.

“She would not go into further detail of the training. Only that hers began at five. I did, however, inquire what leads an individual to be selected. Such as Sarah or Penelope. It is a matter of genetics that leads them to be selected for their role. Those most suited to the task, the genetics considered superior, and a response to cybernetic enhancements. Something we Havenites have witnessed, in those that may reject such and our efforts to overcome that genetic rejection.”

She stops in her pacing and turns to face Nitrim. “I believe they could clone a Havenite swiftly. However, a Cantosan is not cloned as an adult. They grow, as children, same as we. Do I believe they would clone any Havenite? No. They have no like for Awakened, for example. And I am certain that any health concerns that tie into genetics would also disqualify an individual from being selected.”

Nitrim turns off his datapad, sliding it back to a safe pocket right next to the case of cigarettes, where light doesn't travel and its existence is hard to trace. He listens to the doctor, quietly nodding at points as his body slinks once again into his trademark, carefree lean.

"If I could get Sarah to allow me to share my memories with her, through telepathy, then I believe the diplomacy can begin. For now, though, she views my attempts to establish communication as an intrusion." Nitrim replies with a wave of his ringed hand that comes to a stop at his neck to rub gently at his scar tissue. "Until then, unless I set a zone of silence, she has no privacy. I really wish she would agree to telepathy."

Nitrim's head turns to Roz, eyes falling onto hers as he takes in the backdrop of the lab behind her. His eyes trail over her shoulder and down to the side, inspecting each piece of equipment in turn.

"Elders Sabine and Remis, Remis being the Elder of the Conclave, write interestingly. Where most would say salvation for all of Haven, they say for all of Humanity." Nitrim says quietly, staring down a new rabbit hole. "They also covered up, or may not have been open about, the murders within the Chantry and have been strangely not questioned about Chantry members being found aboard Cantosan vessels. Chief conspiracy in my mind number one…" Nitrim quiets, looking back to Rozlyn's face. "…is if these Elders are corrupt, does this explain strange behavior coming out of Landing? The penalty for being wrong about this is…astronomical."

"It was said to me a few days ago…what if the Cantosans could cure our King Regnant of his grief through cloning?" Nitrim adds quietly, another gentle nail hammered into the equation and conspiracy of it all.

The Orelle is quiet, turning to stare out of one of those glass windows over the darkened lab. Even at its height, in mid-day, the lab is bustling. It is there, as she stands, that her weariness is evident. The lights serve to show just how dark the circles beneath her eyes are. To show the slight slope in her shoulders that develops when she isn’t mindful.

This is a woman working two full-time jobs at once. It is no wonder she has had no time to discuss these details with any other than her brother.

“Have you inquired of Sarah about the Chantry? I do not know if they hold any religion, for she will not discuss culture with me. While she understands I do not do so seeking to harm them, she does not wish to take the risk. I can understand and I am seeking methods to be able to speak with her privately or to at least assure her that I have no desire to place anything I learn into the hands of those that may destroy her people.”

Turning, Rozlyn regards Nitrim as he speaks of the last. Her brow furrows somewhat in contemplation.

“For one, I believe the King would have to be blind to the fact that they could not clone an adult. At least, I do not believe so. He would pass on long before his new wife would be grown. In addition, cloning is merely a physical copy. I have gathered, from what Sarah has said and how she behaves, that she is her own person, just as you or I. She is not the same as any other Sarah, or even the original.”

There is a brief, very brief pause. “However, I do not think that would be the case, unless Sarah herself is unaware of machinations within her own people. They will stop attacking us as soon as we surrender… provided we surrender to the slaughter.”

"Despite what I believe Sarah is capable of, I also believe she has no current reason to play nice. I haven't asked her about religion or cloning because to question her as a source of information would undo everything I am working on with her. I was trust. An emotional understanding." Nitrim leans forward, hand rubbing from his scar tissue to peel at his face in a downward, exhausted manner. "And she could be lying. We have no reason to trust her yet, either."

"But the fact remains, Doctor," Nitrim rises to his feet and turns to face her, hands brushing down the front of his coat. "The Elders covered that murder and I believe they are Emund's chief counsel. The Chantry has private dealings with the Cantosans, and once that cat is out of the bag it can never be out back in. A small handful of people investigating the inside right now leaves the conspiracy theorists like myself the benefit of the initiative. Lies were told in history. Lies are being told now. If lies are being told to Cantosans like Sarah…then therein we have a chance to open the dialogue and vie for our survival. It has to be done perfectly."

“Your Awakened powers will be of no help, Lord Nitrim.” Rozlyn turns away from the view over the darkened room beyond, looking back to the man. The lights she’s cast in, in her monochrome attire, give her the element of drama she would never personally seek. A darkened figure within a mysterious place, locked away within the depths of The Ring’s scientific endeavors.

“One of those upon the mission on the ship, a Lord Keanen, attempted to force his mind upon Penelope. It nearly lost me the ability to keep up a diplomacy. They seem to find their inner thoughts and feelings to be a very personal matter. I believe, with the age of training beginning at five — at least for soliders — that they are in a very militaristic complex. It is logical, therefor, to infer that a Cantosan operating within the military is not meant to openly have thoughts or feelings beyond that their superiors allow. To have someone privy to those matters would put them at a risk they have been taught since an age when most Havenites are still let free to play in their small clothes.”

There are a few steps and Rozlyn closes the distance, regarding Nitrim closely. Taking in those scars, as well as what may lie beyond his gaze. “What leads you to believe that I will not go to the Chantry or the Sauveurs and tell them all you have shared with me?”

"What leads you to believe that I'm operating alone?" Nitrim's eyes pierce into Rozlyn's. He turns to face her, brows lowering to offset the playful curl to the edge of his lip. "And that I do not have allies in all reaches of Haven that aren't fully aware of who I am telling what? I'm no fool, Doctor…" Nitrim trails off, the edge to his voice dying out softly like a candle extinguishing at the end of its wax. "…but I know how to read. You reek of passion for this project. Your choice of words, the way you hesitate before certain personal references. You and I are not so different. You want to know the truth, aye?"

Nitrim straightens before her, his hands clamped behind his back, presenting himself as the tall, powerful-in-stature drake that he earned genetically from his father's bearing and instruction. "Besides. They believe I am a fool, a lecher, and a mindless child. Would they believe you? The moment you play a hand the trail closes up cold, you may find yourself no longer to access Sarah, and what happens then? You lose an ally, and I assure you I am breaking ground with her."

"Contrary to your belief," Nitrim begins to walk around Rozlyn, his eyes trailing her from the corner of his sockets as he strolls. "I believe that Cantosans are very personal, yes, but I aim to one day have Sarah invite me in. Once there, we can speak in private. She can show me her memories and I could show her mind. She could feel any deceit, and I could feel hers. Imagine that, a truly naked negotiating table." His head shakes softly. "I believe it can be done, and not because I am ambitious, but because I seek to save lives. You and I are allies in this."

“I do not believe you are working alone, Lord Nitrim. I am merely curious as to what led you to seek me out and share your secrets. Despite your earlier avoidance of the inquiry, I have to believe my initial assumption was correct. You have spoken with my brother. Only he is aware of how far I have looked into these matters.”

Rozlyn leans back on her heels slightly as he begins to circle. Depending on how intimately familiar Nitrim is with hand-to-hand combat, it is a readied pose… and yet, it is not borne of a wariness, but of a skill so deep that she does it without thinking. This is a woman capable beyond just her mental capacity.

“I did not say they are not personal beings, Lord Nitrim. I said they are trained not to be. Sarah still believes strongly in her military complex.”

The woman shifts slightly, bringing the Khournas into view again. She studies him for a moment.

“Do you know of Lord Brigham Peake?”

"Yes. I do." Nitrim replies, coming to a stop in Rozlyn's field of vision. "He is of Khar-Mordune, where I followed you from." So subtle the delivery, as with a perched brow Nitrim attempts to sow misdirection as to where he's learned about Rozlyn from. "He's quite the machinist isn't he? Was he involved in the initial Cantosan autopsies?"

"He can be held directly accountable for Sarah's personal distrust and hatred of Havenites." Rozlyn offers nothing to the revelation of where he trailed her from, save the slight flicker of eyelids to indicate the information was heard and stored away.

"Her statement indicated his murder and dissection of her brother."

Stepping to her desk once again, Rozlyn begins inputting something on her display. "I have not yet been able to distance myself enough from my own feelings on the matter to seek him out. Perhaps you can learn more."

There is a pause before she reveals the true reason for sharing this: "It may give her grief an outlet to know even on Haven, there is justice to be found for a Cantosan wronged."

"Her brother?" Nitrim's eyes nearly pop out of his head at his surprised expression. "Fuck, I was not aware of that. This is news to me, but with the Peakes at Khar-Mordune and the war effort, to approach Lord Brigham about this may result in us being denied access to Sarah." Nitrim points out, his arms folding across his chest to tap gently against his lip. Eyebrow quirking, he brings a closed fist to his mouth and clears his throat.

"I can do it." Nitrim murmurs quietly, looking to Rozlyn with a look bearing a certain gravitas to it. "Give me time. Where are the remains?"

There is something that speaks of satisfaction in Rozlyn's expression at Nitrim’s reaction and resolve. She even offers the slightest of nods in acknowledgement.

"I believe the remains are still in his possession. I am glad you understand the importance of the situation and the care that must be taken."

She retrieves a small data chip from her desk, inserting it into the display. Seconds later, it is removed and extended towards the Khournas. "Records of my visits with Sarah. I will know if you spread this information without my permission.”

"I wouldn't expect you not to." Nitrim replies as his claw-ringed fingertips take up the chip between two ornate drake claws. Turning the chip over, he palms it with a little bit of prestidigitation and it seemingly disappears into an inner sleeve pocket. "But this information getting out would only cause chaos. Tell me…"

Nitrim looks up, offering his hand to Rozlyn for a shake as be leans in, muttering something quietly to her. "…do you think you could get Brigham Peake to sign off on a transfer of the remains?" Nitrim steps in closer. "And then you arrange the transfer through the WayGates to be…lesser guarded?"

Yes. Nitrim Khournas is that degree of schemer.

There is a slight shift of the noblewoman’s jaw. Rozlyn Orelle is not one for matters of shadow and intrigue. She understands them, yes. They are not, however, something she is prone to engage in. Her dark gaze takes in Nitrim, studying his expression.

“What do you intend to do with them?”

“What would you do with someone’s remains after robbing it from a Lady-Doctor such as yourself, when such remains are being desecrated by the enemy?” Nitrim asks in turn, with a sly tilt of his head and a smile that seems to scream trust me. “What do you think Sarah One-One-Three of One-Six-Four would say?”

“I do not think she would say anything,” Rozlyn states blandly. “At least to either of us.”

“I am going to ask her when I see her next what her wishes are.” Nitrim pauses, turning to look at the door that leads to the Ring proper. “I’m going to do it very carefully, and she’ll have one chance to get her brother’s remains out of the hands of the Abandoner and risk having them delivered to her people. Risky, but this diplomacy is going to be like lion taming, right? A bit of risk for the reward.”

“Do not give her hope, Lord Nitrim,” Rozlyn states simply. “The only knowledge I have of his ownership of the remains is from Sarah herself. Whether he still has them, I do not know, though I would assume a man of his ilk would be inclined to keep them. My family has a body as well…”

She draws in a breath, looking thoughtful with eyes slightly lidded. “Find out, if you can, what her people do with their dead. Perhaps we can do so for all bodies that we can get control of.” Dark eyes lift, watching the man. “Do be careful. I have a particular dislike for when important instruments are handled improperly.”

Nitrim turns, his green eyes sliding from right to left in their sockets to come to a stop on Rozlyn’s face. The look he gives her isn’t a sly, challenging one, for a change. Instead, he turns back to face her and offers her his hand for a shake. “I will be careful, and I hope that this one chance Sarah has to give us her wishes or risk not having them fulfilled will take us somewhere. The…hard part is that I intend to do honor her wishes. It could put me in view of the Cantosans. It could get me killed.” Nitrim’s brows lower, a frustrated sigh crossing his lips.

“Sarah could be the key to saving thousands, if not millions of lives. Havenite and Cantosan, Doctor. All I ask is that this conversation, this plan, remain between us.” Nitrim pauses, a pregnant silence filling between them. “And do practice your acting skills for these evil brigands, aye?”

Lifting a hand, perhaps to forestall the Khournas, Rozlyn gives a slight tilt of her head. “Do not do anything that would put you at a direct risk. Anything is risky, yes, but nothing direct. I would not have that upon my conscience. You are taking action on my behalf in this specific regard. We would find another way.”

There is a slight tensing of her jaw; the woman is thinking. “I have not been keeping any information from my brother, but I will keep this to myself.” The last, however, makes Rozlyn blink. “My acting skills?”

"You don't want to look like you were expecting it and just gave it up, do you?" Nitrim leans in to whisper quietly to her, as if afraid their conversation will be recorded. "I will have an alibi, be noted as being someplace else. I wouldn't tell you how it was happening and, if it is done right you'll worry for just a second that it may not be me and your life is actually in danger." Nitrim pauses, allowing his point to come clear. "Otherwise, you'd be implicated, too. The risk is on me."

With that said…Nitrim leaves through the door.

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