Saturday, May 8, 2010
As you have no doubt noticed I was unable to meet with you, things have gotten complicated. Shortly after our goodbye I was summoned by the Shadow Judges, they are less than pleased. We knew that something like this would happen, that attack on me was proof enough, but I never imagined this.
My legion is gone. I was dragged into the Shadow Court and questioned about us, about everything. I denied nothing; a man should not have to hide his love, not ever. I was imprisoned and then questioned more. They wanted names, places, anything they could use against you. I gave them nothing, they would have tortured me were it not for my status and the mental training I had received.
As a result of my "treason" I was stripped of rank and title, my legion was disbanded, and my home taken from me. But I am not without friends; Dark has given me refuge in an old residence of his. Dark, such a friend I am blessed to have. It is he who has delivered this message to you, as my actions are being closely watched.
On a lighter note I have been accepted into a new legion, Daemon Proxy is my home for now. They are nice but wary of me, news is spreading of my actions and for the moment I must watch my back. I do not think that my life is in danger, but there are those who are zealous and would relish the chance to curry favor with the Shadow Court.
I will try and see you at the next set date, for now be careful and remember that I love you. Keep a cautious eye to the shadows as well; they have many spies at their disposal.
With all my love,
Dark had waited patiently for me to pen a missive in reply, the one I had written prior discarded in the bottom of my cube. I had given it to him along with my love to take to Elethor before taking wing back to Teminon.
It saddens me that I cannot see you, I have good news after a fashion though... I have been accepted into the rank of Legionary with Ascendance one of Elysea's top legions. I will be leaving next month for some missions against the Lepharist revolutionaries in a part of my world known as Theobomos. It is a part of our world as yet untouched by the rifts between our lands so I believe it to be safe from problems from Asmodae. This also means I may miss our rendezvous again but I promise you there will be another letter if it is so.
To my point of now, I need to know you are safe my love, did they do you any harm? I am so very sorry to hear of your Legion, who has betrayed you? I have so many questions and Dark will not answer, I believe he is doing what he can to preserve my sanity though I admit I am terrified for you. Please tell me you are all right. I cannot bear this separation any longer and so I pray for the strength to endure, someday I hope we can end this rift between our worlds and come to a peaceable solution. Someday I pray that I can be with you and that we would not have to hurt anymore... I think of you every waking moment, I cannot help it. This news has distressed me so I hardly know what to write.
I don't want to keep Dark waiting, it is dangerous for him, so I leave you with this: I love you, please, please, please be safe...
Forever in my thoughts and dreams,
A month later I returned, a day ago now, quickly to leave a letter of my own detailing my new position in a new legion and to tell Elethor I was leaving on a mission later that day. I was saddened to find, not my beloved but another letter beneath our rock. I hadn’t had the chance to read it until now…
It was penned in Olde Daevic and so I had no fear of my legion mates being able to read it, as compared to me I knew them all to be relatively young, having ascended after The Fall, and the oldest among them only five hundred years or so ago. Well after the language had begun its change into what it is now.
It gives me a measure of peace to know that you are out of harm's way. Were you to be in any land reachable by rifts, or in the Abyss the danger to you would be great. The Shadow Court's minions are merciless and relentless. As for myself I am unharmed, they had been debating using truth serums and mind probing at my "trial" however enough spoke on my behalf that it was decided…
“What ‘cha reading girly girl?” a Gladiator from my Legion asked, grabbing the page from my fingers… He furrowed his brow at Elethor’s elegant script holding the parchment just out of my grasp as I desperately tried to grab it back.
“Jexius! It’s personal… give it back!” I shouted.
“What’s this happy Brax shit?” he asked when he realized he couldn’t read it. I got to my feet and grabbed the paper out of his hand and shoved it into my hauberk messily.
“None of your Aion damned business. That’s what!” I snapped.
“Whoa! No need to get all bitchy about it. Damn girl you need to…”
“Jexius, leave Sirona alone.” Chiiro didn’t even look up from her spell book as she said it, but her voice held strength and command. “Besides, everyone knows you can’t read.” She added snidely. I sat back down.
“You can’t read it either.” I said quietly and she looked at me and held out her hand. I pulled out the letter and handed it to her.
“What is this? Some kind of code or cipher?” she asked.
“No, it’s just old.” I took the letter back from her and smoothed it over my knee.
“Old?” our Templar for this mission asked.
“Before the tower fell it’s the language we all read, wrote and spoke.” I told him. All eyes were suddenly fixed on me.
“Sirona,” Leogetz the assassin said my name and when I looked at him he asked the question burning in all their eyes. “How old are you?” For a daeva it was a very personal question. None of us liked to admit our age, because to say it out loud usually brought in rush all those long years, with lovers, wives and husbands… with children, lost to the ravages of time. I had never had any children of my own. I could not bear to watch them grow old and die… I chewed my lower lip and contemplated a moment before answering.
“I was a new daeva, and in my twenties when the tower fell.” I answered finally. Back then there was an academy for new daeva’s to learn their powers and things were much more organized. I was in my final year of the academy and a good portion of the friends I had there didn’t make it through the collapse.”
Finally Jexius began to laugh, full throated and deep.
“Brax shit. You aren’t over a thousand years old!” He paused for a long breath and as all of our Legion mates sat in silence he finally asked, “Are you?”
I got up and dusted myself off. Chiiro had warned that her magic had foreseen a sandstorm coming and it was almost time by her reckoning for us to seal ourselves in our tents.
“I’m that old and then some Jex.” And with that I went to my tent, lighting the lantern that hung from the ridgepole. I took off my boots and sat on my cot. When the time came Chiiro would come around from tent to tent and seal each with a spell making the canvas seamless so that the sand wouldn’t come in during the night.
Leo called after me, “Who do you know that is that old too Sirona? That you can write to or that writes to you in that old language?” their curiosity was insatiable tonight. I called back more tersely than I had meant it to be…
“None of your business! Goodnight.”
Finally when their quiet conversation resumed I took out the letter, reading by the dim lantern light.
It gives me a measure of peace to know that you are out of harm's way. Were you to be in any land reachable by rifts, or in the Abyss the danger to you would be great. The Shadow Court's minions are merciless and relentless. As for myself I am unharmed, they had been debating using truth serums and mind probing at my "trial" however enough spoke on my behalf that it was decided not to subject me to them.
I too, long for the day when we can be together without fearing for the other's safety. It saddens me to think that so many would have such hatred for the love we share. I hope to see you again soon and hold you close. Be careful, keairrah and know that I miss you dearly. I love you.
“Hey Sirona,” I heard from outside my tent, the flap peeling back.
“What is it Jex?” I asked.
“Sorry if, well… yeah just sorry.” I nodded at him and he let the canvas go, Chiiro peeled it back and looked in at me.
“You ready?” she asked, and I nodded, she let go the fabric and uttered simple words of command and I was sealed in, the tent a seamless triangle of safety, the rasping scale of the sand against its protective shell already beginning. Before long the wind would howl and the scouring of the sand would be deafening but for now I could try to sleep. I blew out the lantern and peeled out of mu hauberk and greaves. I lay down beneath my regulation issue fess blanket in my breeches and shirt and closed my eyes the sound of the sand against my tent a regular drone and soon I was asleep…
Posted by A.J. Downey at 11:47 AM