Saturday, February 20, 2010

Artist Contest

I am announcing a contest for the Characters and a second for the cover art for this book and it's series.

I am preparing descriptions of the main characters for all of those interested and for the month of March you'll be able to submit entries for the contest. All artists will have their fan work posted to the Facebook page and linked back to any medium they chose, but the winners of the contest will be posted here to the blog.

I'm excited to see what everyone will do.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pride before the fall...

The week passed quickly, one day blended into the next before anyone realized it, it was time for the exit calls and the dignitaries to begin their departure. Parin was relieved the week passed without incident, but remained skeptical until the last one left. He then spoke to Anazlyn and they both went to the shipyard to speak with Sarket Stikle. Anazlyn’s temporary guard, a woman, stayed close to her through the walk to the Sarket’s office, so close that Parin thought she might have tried to join herself to his sister. “You and Jep can wait outside when we go in.” The young guard fell back a step until she was in line with Jep. She acknowledged Parin and proceeded to watch the area as they walked. After they exited the lift and walked to the Sarket’s office the guards stood outside at post.

The Sarket was waiting when they entered. He greeted them and encouraged them ot sit. Parin walked next to and stood with his sister until she sat. Once Anazlyn was seated, he also took a seat. “We need to get some information Sarket.”

“Of course Konair. What can I do to assist you both?”

“We require the complete schematics to the new ship as well as the one the Konair was on.” Parin looked over at the Sarket calmly, speaking in every serious and even tones. “We require this so we can address some specific issues.”

“Certainly Konair.” He nods and contacts the assistant and request he deliver the schematics for both ships. Then he looked at the Sonteria. “It is nice to see you visit your highness.”

“Thank you Sarket.” She waited patiently not wanting to speak much, considering the information they have received thus far, some of the data she was uncertain of. It was the hope that the schematics would clarify details and make the information more clear to everyone.

“Sonteria, you do not visit as often any longer.”

“No Sarket, I have other responsibilities, my brother handles the ship yard resources now.”

Parin looks over his shoulder as the junior walks in with the schematics. “Thank you.” The man bows slightly, makes eye contact with the Sonteria, bowing slightly lower before he departed without a word. “Sarket thank you for meeting with us and providing the requested.” He then lifted the data tablet indicating what he spoke of.  He stands and turns to his sister who does the same.

“Certainly Konair. It is my pleasure to serve our people.” The Sarket stands and walks with them as they exited the room, and entered the lift to depart with their guards. He stands watching it move a moment then he returned to his office.

Parin turned to his sister and handed her the data tablet. “You know this stuff better than I do.” He chuckled as he said it. “I didn’t study ship construction…doesn’t really interest me either.”

Anazlyn smiled, accepted the data tablet and started to review the data held within. “No that was both an assignment and a hobby for me. The ships fascinate me.” She becomes engrossed in what she is looking at and the guards walk with them, leading the way. As they cross the open area of the building, she took a quick look up at the construction of the new ship and design, impressed by how well everyone worked together.  Suddenly she hears a noise, and then is pushed hard to the floor as the sound of a directed energy weapon is heard above her head. She looked back to see that Jep was hit, her guard kept her low and started to move her. The crouched low through the room, hiding behind different locations, boxes and shielded spots along the way.

Analyzn and Parin crawled through the room and area with her guard looking for the opportunity to return fire and draw the attention of the assailant, who remained under cover and unseen. They moved behind one box which appeared to be a safe distance from where the current barrage was coming from. This box ignited, throwing the Sonteria and Konair across the room, hitting against the far wall, she slumped to the ground, looks at her little brother who was obviously not conscience, she rubbed her head, then realized she was bleeding from the head. She looked over to see her guard firing at the assailant, and the Sarket’s assistant rushed to her side with the medic. The two of them started to work on her, and tend to Parin. She waited until they stopped the bleeding, then she looked right into the eyes of the medic. “Give me your weapon.”

“Sonteria, you can’t be considering going out there. You’re badly injured and you’re brother is not responding to very quickly.”

“Give me your weapon.”

The medic stared at her a moment longer than realized the futility of his arguments, and relented the weapon to her. He administered a pain reliever and moved to Parin’s side while he was prepped and moved onto the mobile bed.

Anazlyn stood, slowly, ignoring the pain, as she muttered. “I’ll be damned if this person is going to take my brothers from me and not pay for it. “ She moved to the side of her guard still in the fight. She took a quick look around realizing that the security response teams were involved on various levels trying to get the assailant to move, but he was ignoring their efforts and avoiding them as they got close. She knew this approach wasn’t going to work as he continued to fire on the location she and Parin were thrown. “Jesinka…I’ll move around to the side and draw fire you, move in toward him once I do. He’s ignoring the other guards who are firing from the higher levels. He has an obvious target.”

Jesinka spoke in a hushed voice. “Your highness that obvious target is you and Parin. It is my job to protect you. You can’t be allowed to change that.”

“That’s fine, then follow my instructions and let’s catch this person so he can’t repeat.” Before Jesinka could protest further,  Anazlyn moved into the open and fired directly at the location the energy blasts were coming from. She set her weapon on a steady stream not letting the assailant get an easy shot. Her accuracy was flawless and she moved quickly behind cover in a new direction. When she had to shut down the beam to avoid over load, she slid behind a steel drum, heart in her throat. She listened intently as footsteps from above started to move faster, and several moments later many of the security guards were at her side. “No back off. I need to deal with this. I am the target, I’ll keep him busy you catch him. “

The ranking officer turned to her in a serious tone. “Don’t ever go out in front of someone like that again. Sonteria or not that was just stupid.”

Anazlyn stared at him in disbelief a moment. “I did what had to be done to draw fire from them moving my brother to safety. “

“No. You did something stupid. “ He ducked up and fired at the incoming assault, then dropped back down and gave his team orders. Once they moved out, he turned to the Sonteria. “I will remain to keep you from doing that again.”

Analyzn rolled her eyes, and stood, aimed and fired clearly at the assailant, and could hear the weapon drop to the ground and a man cry out from a distance. She smirked, turned to the security officer. “One step down, now we need to catch him.”

“You may be a good shot Sonteria, you just don’t have experience fighting. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way.” As he spoke he moved with her in a crouched manner around the outside of the room, toward where they heard the scream and last saw the weapons fire come from.

“I will do what seems to make the most sense in the moment it makes sense.” She followed him, mimicking his movements which enabled her to avoid being seen.

As they arrived under the level the assailant was last at, she could hear the movements of his team above them. “What did you order them to do?”

“Capture and take him to the brig. Then to tell the medic we’d require his assistance there in.”

Just then they both heard the worst sound they could have. One guard screamed. “He’s gone and so is his weapon.”

The commanding officer barrels up the nearby stairs. “What do you mean he’s gone?!?”

Anazlyn follows closely but can’t nearly keep up with him. When she arrived to the same location, the team was informing their commander about what had occurred. She listened to them, then looked at the commander, calmly she said “I need to go to the med bay. Now would be good.” Then she simply fell unconscious. When she woke hours later in the med bay, Parin was on the bed next to her.  She did what she could manage to get the attention of a nurse, and then she asked what happened. The nurse mentioned to her that her injuries had caught up with her and she could no longer continue to overexert herself.  She then laid back on the bed and asked how she arrived. The nurse told her that Commander Lak brought her in and that he waited until she was stable before he left.  “Thank you. How is my brother and have you notified betrothed? “ The nurse said that notifications have been made and then she left to get the doctor.

“Sonteria.” The doctor began when he arrived. “ I am surprised you are awake so quickly.”

Anazlyn turned her head to look at him. “I do that kinda thing. How is he?”

“The Konair has a rather serious concussion…as do you Sonteria.” The Doctor’s tone was cautious and carefully selected. “He may be out of it for several days, and you should also rest.”

She moved to sit up again, and he encouraged her not to. “But Doctor, I can’t just lay here. “

“You will not Sonteria. You are being moved shortly, to the palace where you will be safe.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A frightening Discovery

Anazlyn found herself in a room, cold and exhausted.  She was almost angry.  Anyone would press the power to the point of shutdown after so many warnings.  She stood from her desk chair and walked to collect more data tablets.  Then she walked across the room and sat in front of the old fireplace instead of her office.

Sitting in the large she sat in one of the old large chairs in the darkness.  Just a few moments before her thoughts were disturbed by a knock at the door. “Come.”

Jerrik and Jackson walk in with grim expressions on their faces.  Jerrik began “I, no we hope you are well.” She nods, he looks over to Jackson who walks out of the room briefly.  “We have news, Sonteria.”

“What is going on?” Anazlyn moved her hands around the data tablets absently clutching them, concerned by what is about to be shared.

“Jackson and I have reason to believe the engineer of the war….works in the Palace.”

Jackson walks back in carrying wood from the fallen trees, and puts it into the fireplace. As he worked to  get the fire started he spoke to her. “The ship had a cascade failure caused by an intermittent interruption in the plasma stream on the ship. “

“Alright, but gentlemen, as my limited understanding goes, that could be caused by anything.”

Jerrik pulled out the guard’s medallion and dangled it before her. “This is the correct size to have created the exact pattern of feedback in the plasma field.”

She looked at it curiously, trying to recall how many positions used that medallion. “Jerrik there are only….a hundred people in the palace given that medallion or one like it. You did tests and simulations to confirm this is the exact item?”

As the fire started, Jackson stood and walked to her. “Sonteria, there has been numerous variations on the testing and simulations, this is the only thing that could have interrupted the stream and caused the damage that was done.”

She looked at Jerrik’s medallion as he put it back in. “Mr. Jackson, the majority of the people who carry that medallion are personal guard, and personal staff. That means someone close betrayed my brother."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Investiation begins....

Jackson enters the arboretum on the space vessel, looking around for the structural differences mentioned in some reports he was given while still on Cordelia. “Jerrik, this is very different from what we were told the Konair would be on. Are you sure he was on this kind of ship?”

“Yes. This was the design of the flag ship. The only difference between this ship and the Konair’s was the shielding.”

“The shields were dual level shielding, correct? Outter and lower?” Jackson walks around the room, comparing what he is looking at to what he has on his schematics.

“Yes. Added for his ship alone, at the time. We have since upgraded that to a standard for all of our ships.” Jerrik stands, nearly at attention, waiting for Jackson to complete his comparison.

“Would the shielding codes have been encrypted?”

“Yes, they would have had to be. Everything on board the Konair’s vessel is uniquely encoded. The Captain, Executive officer and a trusted member of the senior staff are the only ones who know this coding system, at least the only ones on the ship. Why do you ask?”

Still looking over his data tablet and back at the materials in the arboretum, “We only forced down one shield that day.” Jackson, then turns to Jerrik wondering if this even bothers him. Doesn’t notice a reaction, Jackson walks across the room, hoping to get a view of the shields up from inside.

“One set of shields are up at all times. The second would only come into place once an attack started against the outer shields.”

“Yes…well, the second level shields never came online. We were sure you only had one, and very light weight one at that. We broke through easily enough. “

“Jackson you speak as if you were on the initial assault team. “

“I was.”

Jerrik frowns “You are responsible for the death of the konair?”

Jackson pauses what he is doing, looks over at Jerrik “I was part of the team that took the shields out, yes, and I took out or helped to, weapons and power. Some kind of chain reaction occurred inside to cause the explosion. Our goal was to obtain the ship for research and counter actions, not destroy it.”

Jerrik raises an eye brow looking at Jackson. “That does not sound promising.”

Jackson walks back to where Jerrik stands, turns so they are both facing out the window. “Well, now you understand why this war did not feel right to me, from the start. My people were convinced to attack a ship of exploration, by the look of things. This would not make sense. We did nothing to cause the chain reaction I saw, another reason why I’d like to know who is behind this.”

“I suppose under those circumstances I would desire very much the same.” Jerrik hands him a data tablet from his pocket. “This has one interview that was not in public record.”

“Who would that be?” Jackson begins to read the interview, eyes wide. “She saw this? She saw the events leading to the explosion?”

“Not all. Just those around her brother.”

Jackson starts to read the interview carefully. “She said someone pushed the Konair back into his room before it exploded. She doesn’t know what the person looked like or who it could have been, right?”
Jerrik nods “Yes, that is what was in the report.”

Jackson frowns. “Alright, when we are done here our next stop is to talk to the Sonteria.”

“I provided you with a highly classified document that does not mean she has more to add to it.”

“Yes, Jerrik, I realize this; however that does not mean she doesn’t either. She is the only living eye witness among your people.”

After considering his point a moment, “Yes…you are correct. She is the only living eye witness, on Zarrok.”
Jackson starts to review his options. Going over a list in his head of stops they should make, he realizes the Sonteria could be put off until another day. He knows that there was another ship in the area that should be available to enter and research more details about the battle that started it all. He also knows that with the effort of reconstructing from the various vantage points they may see something that was not seen before. His only regret is that the Konair’s ship was destroyed completely and that the computer core was never recovered from it, knowing it would have held the recorded events on the ship that day.

Jerrik indicates he should walk with him. “Jackson, you have much to see and learn of the Zarrokian people.”

“Yes, I understand that much.” Walks looking over the data tablets and his notes, hardly paying attention elsewhere. “What I’m not understanding is why both of our people were givin the impression they were under attack.”

Jerrik nods, continues to walk, realizing he’s not paying attention, takes the arm of his shirt and directs him into a small room. “Jackson you need to pay attention. I’m walking you through some very sensitive areas. If you are going to learn the answers you want, you have to watch what is going on.”

Jackson looks up from his notes. “hu?” looks around. “ yea..I just…” lifts data tablet. “need to keep this in mind. Sorry. You’re correct. I need to be watching.”

“Good.” Jerrik walks out of the room, Jackson next to him.

As they walk through the ship Jerrik bring Jackson to the engineering section of the ship. He walks Jackson through the offices then the propulsion system. The chief engineer showed him to a simulation room, where they run several different options for a ship of this form to explode. Several options show something similar to what Jackson recalled from the night they boarded the Konair’s ship. Then the engineer runs a simulation that starts in the propulsion drive section of the ship. The chain reaction leads to explosions in four different locations leading up to the bridge, before it also explodes into the darkness. Jackson’s eyes  go wide, staring at the exact duplication of events. He explains how his teams were pulled quickly back to their ship, and explains how he was almost caught in the third explosion because of how quickly one lead to the next. The engineer agreed that his assessment fit this model.

Jerrik frowns as they go over the possible triggers, then offers one of his own. “Would an interruption to the antimatter stream cause this?”

The engineer looks at the guard, nods “yes, depending on what it was, it could. What did you think of?”
Galk looks at the simulation, then holds up a small medallion, roughly the size of his fist. “Something like this, not obviously this item.” The engineer takes it from him, looks at it carefully, scowls a moment until he figures out what it’s made of, then nods in agreement with Jerrik. “So it could be something small thrown into the stream?”

“Yep. All it has to do is interrupt it in several places, which would occur in the effort of throwing it into a stream.”

Jackson looks at the exchange, makes several notes, then turns to leave. “Jerrik we need to get back.” He walks out toward the transportation room, nose in his data padd, again not paying attention to where he is going.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

History that haunts some...surfaces for all

Once they are on their way, Galk speaks up “I am glad that you are no longer neglecting betrothed.”

Anazlyn continues to walk to her meeting, clearly distracted and missing what was said. “Have you spoken with Jackson recently?”

Galk smiles slightly, but speaks evenly. “No. He has been occupied with the Dolk Wilton, for several weeks.”

“Weeks?” Anazlyn pauses her steps. “How does that work? Should he not be…?” She shakes her head and resumes walking. “Please advise him that I require a meeting later today. We have some areas to cover.”
Galk makes a note on the data tablet he is holding, then “Sonteria you also have an appointment with Slarc and Dopath.”

Galk stays silent for a long while before asking “When will you be addressing the council again?”

“I will later. I cannot bring myself to stand in front of that many people so often and get the same anxiety results. There must be some other way to handle that address…although someone could stand in for me, I am thinking maybe something remote, what do you think?”

“Tradition says that the address must be given before the council of families at least twice a session. It does not say that it cannot be done by satellite feed or other method. Is knowing that you will be speaking before so many diplomats at once what makes you uncomfortable? If it is, there are many options to address that.”

“I have not ever been a fan of public speaking, well not for myself anyway. I know I can deliver a speech, and I know I can entertain as needed, but to speak before a crowd that vast…I just find it...uncomfortable. Parin however enjoys that kind of focus and attention. “

As they walk Galk notices two of the advisor’s office doors open, just slightly. “Yes, that does seem more of his area; however that is not his responsibility at this time.” He opens her office door, surprised by the person sitting in a chair, facing the Sonteria’s desk. “Why are you here Jackson?”

Without acknowledging Galk’s statement Jackson begins “Sonteria, we have a problem.”

Anazlyn walks in, as if oblivious to the interaction, walks around her desk noticing the pile of data tablets in the center. “What kind of problem, Mr. Jackson?”

“Not one I like to consider, however the evidence is there to indicate our worlds may have been intentionally manipulated into the war. “ Jackson indicates the data tablets on the table. “Each one of them has some piece of the puzzle and I still have not put it all together.”

Holding the first tablet she sits down, begins to read it. As she does she finds much of the information disturbing and she becomes obviously uncomfortable about it. “What makes you certain these are accurate?”
“I’ve taken the time to fine the right sources.”

“Jackson what makes you think you have?” Galk walks to the Sonteria’s desk, and picks up another tablet, then begins to read it, scowling over the details.

Jackson leans forward on his knees. “The information comes from sources on both planets, I can’t promise that all of the sources are the most ideal, however I can tell you that all of them seem to have some of the same highlights. A Zarrokian business man, indicates he is the council representative, he has intelligence indicating a plan to attack or be attacked, depending on who he’s talking to. He’s convincing enough that he gets to the Cordelian President, and that leads us into the pre-emptive attack.” His tone is matter of fact but his posture is unhappy.

“I have a hard time believing a Zarrokian would want the loss of life we have experienced, on either planet.” Galk continues to review the tablet he is holding, still not convinced.

“I would have the same position, however it appears Sarket Jackson has been very thorough with his investigation thus far.” Anazlyn frowns while she continues to read, after several moments of silence, she looks over the desk. “I want you to finish this. Find out who would want to create this upon our peoples.  You’ll work with Galk on this project.”

“Sonteria, I must object. My job is to protect and assist you.”

“Galk, you will retain your post, while you are working with Sarket Jackson. When you are unable to attend another can take your assignment until you return.”

Galk looks as if to say something, not looking forward to the idea of being assigned to work with Jackson, thinks better of mentioning it. “Yes, Sonteria. As you wish.”

Jackson looks up at Galk, unphased by his attitude, then back to the Sonteria. “I can handle this one.”

“Galk has information you do not, and cannot access, even as a Sarket. You require his assistance, even if you do not yet realize it.” Her tone was very calm, but her expression was anything but. Reading through the data tablet and listening as Jackson spoke turned her state of mind, less than pleasant and she reflected this in her face and position. “Is there something specific you’d like from me Mr Jackson?”

“Access to the records on the station near where the first attack occurred.”

She look up over the data tablet and evenly tells him “it’s classified.”

Jackson frowns “With out that information I will be unable to put the next piece of the puzzle in place.”

“Galk can get it for you.”

Jackson speaks calmly. “I understand Sonteria.”

Anazlyn looks between them for a long moment before speaking again “Make sure you two keep me apprised of the progress on this. I do not want to be caught by surprise on any part of the investigation. You report only to me about these things.”

Galk stands at attention, nods “Yes, Sonteria.”

“Yes, we will keep you appraised.” Jackson sits up a little straighter. He looks at Galk realizing he should be doing much the same, but doesn't.

“Good. I look forward to your first report.” As Jackson stands and they both leave, Anazlyn continues to review the pile of research he left for her. “I don’t understand why anyone would bid their own people ill will.”

Galk and Jackson walk into the office, Jackson puts down his tablet, sits frustrated in the office chair. “Galk, I know you don’t like us working together, but the Sonteria seems to think we should. “ He tosses the tablet in Galk’s direction. “That should show you what I’ve been up to.”

Galk scowls, grabbing the tablet, gruffly “Why you looking over this anyway?”

“Because, nothing about the start of the war felt right. Then I was not ranking enough to make a difference, now I can at least figure out what happened.”

Galk looks over the tablet, glances in Jackson’s direction. “You have been doing a lot of research, and have made some hefty contacts.” Jackson nods, stretches out on the chair, which annoys Galk. “Why are you so relaxed, you have work to accomplish.”

“Because Galk, I have accomplished my goal thus far today, and I’m taking a break.”

Galk focuses on catching up on the research done thus far.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Lesson in Tradition is not always clear

Walking into the grand hall, Anazlyn notices that the room becomes uncomfortably quiet. She leans over to Parin “What is this?”

“Tradition big sister.”

“I don’t understand.” Anazlyn looks around the crowded room, realizing all of the Zarrokian families are represented in the room. Notices the banquet has been served, but no one is eating. “What tradition?”
Parin grins, then whispers “I guess you’ll have your memory refreshed in a moment.” He nods toward the front of the room, where Kareth stands with a sword in hand. Parin stands a little straighter, stares Kareth in the eyes from the other side of the room, he nods, then takes his sister by the hand and walks her toward him.
“Parin, why wasn’t I included in this?”

Parin whispers never leave his gaze from Kareth. “Because you’ve been avoiding betrothed since they arrived. This was the time, so we planned it for you. Thank you for dressing for the occasion.” Parin fights a smile.

Anazlyn walks down the aisle, holding her brother’s hand, knowing shortly she will be given to her husband to be. Uncomfortable, but not showing it, she maintains the most elegant posture and behavior she can manage. As they arrive to Kareth, he pulls the sword of his family to his face, holding the blade flat against his nose, and then he speaks the words of the ceremony, requesting the hand of his bride. Parin offers it, in exchange for the fee to be paid. Kareth hands Parin the sword, bows slightly and takes the hand of his bride to be. Anazlyn stands watchful through the entire exchange, then holding Kareth’s arm, she walks with him to the head of the table, sitting together, the crowd begins to cheer, the couple smiles and take the first bites of food. Once both have begun to eat, the room follows, and the ceremony is concluded.

As they eat Anazlyn looks at her betrothed, trying to find the most appealing qualities. “Kareth, I must apologize for not being a part of this preparation.”

“It is fine Sonteria. I do not expect you to have much involvement with such trivial matters.” Kareth continues to eat, not looking toward her, but toward the rest of the table.

Hurt by his remark, she puts her fork down, seeing she has neglected a portion of her duties. “Kareth, I am sorry.”

“I am sure you are. I will not debate that with you.”

“Kareth, you are rightfully upset at me. I should be more interactive with you and your team. It has been six months of council and I have been neglectful of my family duties. This is not what I wish to start our future off as.”

Kareth softens his demeanor slightly. “Anazlyn, I know you are busy, and I know the traditions of our people can at times, be difficult to abide by. I have my own reservations at becoming Kolnair in this manner. However, we both agreed to do what is best for our people. That may mean personal sacrifice. I know my duty. Are you willing to do yours?”

She looks at him, then across the room at the plethora of people who attended this very simple, but important ceremony. Then she looks back at her betrothed, Kareth, realizing now why her family selected him. “Yes, like you, duty to our people is crucial. You are correct; I will do what is best for our people as well. My reservations for the process come because I was not groomed or trained to take this role, this was to be my bothers. The war changed that, and …I just haven’t come to terms with it I suppose.”  Anazlyn picks up her utensils again and begins to eat. “It feels like accepting this part of the duties finalizes his death, and I guess…I’m just not ready for that yet. I will change my efforts.”

Kareth, puts down his food, and then looks at his wife to be, surprised by her confession. “I am sorry you lost your brother in this. We can’t go back and change things. We move forward, and we do it both for ourselves and our people.” His normal stoic look, relaxes into a calm, tender and thoughtful expression. “We will be married just after your coronation. We will face this together.”

Surprised by the power and kindness behind his words, Anazlyn smiles and says “Thank you, for your kindness and patience. I will make more time to do what is right for our future as it involves our people as well.”

He takes her hand a moment, giving it a gentle squeeze. “We will discuss all of this tomorrow. Perhaps breakfast on the balcony?” She nods and then starts to eat again. “Good, tonight we enjoy the betrothal ceremony and reception. It is always better to celebrate than mourn.” He smiles.

“You are correct.” Anazlyn spends the rest of her evening bragging about how wonderful the night is, and how the surprise was appreciated. Everyone enjoys themselves and as the betrothal party stands to depart for the evening together, the room stands in applause.

Breakfast was lovely the next morning, as they both spoke of things of their past and plans for the future of Zarrok and Cordelia. By the end of breakfast the two are speaking on familiar terms like old friends. The attendants clear the table, and show in his personal assistant. The well cloaked figure enters. She says nothing until spoken to.  Kareth continues to talk to Anazlyn as though it were just the two of them.
Anazlyn looks at the cloaked woman. “I know you, don’t I?”


“Is it time?”

“It is not time yet. No.”

“Is that soon?”

“It will be. We will know when.”

“Yes, that I believe.”

Kareth watches the exchange, then looks at Anazlyn. “You understand her cryptic talk?”

“Yes, Kareth. Some things are left said simply.”

“Agreed.” The cloaked figure then smiles under the hood.

A moment later Galk enters to fetch the Sonteria for a meeting. “Kareth, I look forward to breakfast tomorrow.” Anazlyn smiles and follows Galk out the door.