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Short Story Submission: A Hope for Freedom

Atradia October 6, 2011 User blog:Atradia

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Aleta expertly picked open a locked side entrance, and stepped into the kitchen. She crept in, looking for the stairwell up to the bedchambers. She had broken in to the de Launcet mansion once before to steal a particular sword of Qunari origins. She remembered that mission well, for the room containing the sword had been heavily trapped.

As she tip-toed towards the bedrooms, Aleta heard raised voices from the master bedchambers of the Comte. She pressed a curious ear to the door.

“We can't let him stay here, Dulci!”

“Do not worry, my dear. He is my uncle. Why would anyone question his presence?”

“To the Void with that! Everyone knows he's not family. How long until he brings destruction down on our house? Kirkwall is the worst place for his kind!”

“Kirkwall is where we need him most, Guillaume! He can help get dear Emile back! Don't you miss our son?!”

“Of course I miss him, but this is not some helpful soul who wants to bring Emile back. He's a bloody Resolutionist! I refuse to have a terrorist under my roof! Do you know what the Knight-Commander will do to us if he is discovered?”

Aleta pulled away from the door, regretting her urge to eavesdrop. She could still hear the arguing couple, though the words were now indistinct. Aleta knew of the Resolutionsts infiltration of the mage resistance here in Kirkwall, and their “terrorist” activities.

Aleta tried not to let that fact bother her as she continued on. Finding the guest bedroom, she slipped in and came upon the sleeping man. Aleta paused abruptly.

She closed her eyes, her mind showing her the reason for her hesitation. The memory of her sister being dragged away by the Templars haunted her. Aleta had never forgiven herself for letting her sister be caged.

Aleta reopened her eyes and looked again at her target, her mind whispering with possibilities. Could this man, this Resolutionist, help free her sister?

The assassin drew her blade and leaned over. Covering his mouth and holding the dagger to his neck, Aleta watched the man awaken, eyes bright with alarm.

“Make a single move and I'll kill you, do you understand?” He nodded. “Good. Are you here to free Emile de Launcet from the Circle?” Again, after a slight pause, the man nodded. Aleta's eyes narrowed.

“I'm going to let go of you. Make any wrong moves and Maker help me I'll kill you before you can blink. Understand?” He nodded again, hope in his eyes. Aleta released him.

“I'll be frank. I was sent by the Coterie to kill you. Now that I know you are a Resolutionist, I'd rather seek a partnership with you.” Aleta let him process the information before continuing. “I hate the Templars as much as any mage. They destroy families and terrorize innocents. You and I could work together, do some real work to assist the mage resistance.”

“What makes you think I need your help?” The man finally spoke, Orlesian accent carried on an angry tone.

“I know the secret places of this city, and I have a contact inside the Circle itself. My knowledge with your resources could go a long way.” The Orlesian seemed to consider this.

“Perhaps we can work together, though surely you will need protection from the Coterie now.” The Orlesian picked up a pen and parchment that lay on the bedside table, scribbling quickly. He handed the note to Aleta. “Go to this location. Tell them Joseph sent you. They will determine what to do about you.” Aleta accepted the note.

“Thank you. I'll go there now.” Joseph watched Aleta leave, a curious expression on his face.

Aleta was anxious. It was only a matter of time before the Coterie realized what happened. As she made her way downstairs, the assassin thought briefly that she should steal something, make this venture profitable. Looking around, she ducked into the same room she once stole the Qunari sword from, seeking more treasures. Sure enough, a new weapon was displayed prominently. This one was a dagger of fine make, the edges gleaming even in the dim light. Aleta slowly approached, watchful of the traps that lay useless before a rogue of her training. Lifting the valuable dagger, she placed it on her belt with care, noticing the faint scent of poison it gave off. A precious blade indeed. Stepping to the window, Aleta silently made her escape, heading to a secret place in Darktown to begin the fight to free her sister.

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