|The Happenings II|
|Series||The Happenings by Azaelia Silmarwen|
|Previous||So The Rebellion Begins: Mourningwood and The Resistance|
|Next||Return to Aurora and the Darkness|
|← So The Rebellion Begins: Mourningwood and The Resistance||Chapter Chronology||Return to Aurora and the Darkness →|
CHAPTER EIGHT: PARTIES, SPEECHES AND THE TRUTHEdit
At dusk that night, Cassie left Elliot and Gail - who were sitting in chair, by the fire, reading children's book - and went upstairs to get ready for Reaver's party. Upon opening the box Page had given her, Cassie pulled out her outfit and examined it. The dress was white, blue and gold with different frills, with a blue hat and a light baby pink mask that resembled a cat. She had given Cassie golden shoes too.
When Cassie was dressed, she went down stairs once more.
'Mummy, you look pretty! Hey Daddy, she looks pretty!' gasped Gail, catching sight of Cassie. Even though Elliot and Cassie were not married yet, Gail had taken it upon herself to call Elliot "Daddy", not that Elliot minded.
'I'd say that's an understatement,' muttered Elliot, ogling at Cassie.
'Thanks,' smiled Cassie. 'So you sure you are able to get dinner alright?'
'Cass, I might not be the best cook in Albion, but what I do cook is edible.' grinned Elliot reassuringly.
'Just making sure.' smiled Cassie. 'Right, I'm off. Not sure what time I'll be back though, but it will probably be late. Night sweetie, be good for Daddy.' she said, kissing Gail gently on the forehead, before kissing Elliot goodbye on the lips.
'I will, Mummy.' promised Gail.
With that, Cassie went to her mother's old Sanctuary to fast travel to Reaver's.
'There's a lady behind that mask, that's the only thing of which I can be certain,' greeted Jasper.
'Thanks Jasper,' smiled Cassie, going over to the map and fast travelling to Reaver's.
When she arrived, she saw Page waiting outside the front door for her.
'Hmm. That really does suit you.' said Page, catching sight of Cassie. 'Brings out the colour in your eyes.'
She was wearing a dark redy-pink dress with a high white wig and a mask that resembled a fox. She really did do a great job at picking out their costumes. After all, Page was cunning and intelligent like a fox while Cassie gave people the idea that she was a petty princess, when really she was a fearless warrior, just like a cat can come across all cute and cuddly before becoming a hunter.
'Shall we?' asked Page motioning to the front door.
'After you,' grinned Cassie, before following her to the door. Page just walked straight inside without knocking.
'Bit late, aren't cha?' said Reaver's door attendant rudely. 'You've missed half the rituals and all the drinking. All we've got left is fizzy pop.'
'We apologise,' said Page. Cassie thought it would be best if Page did most of the talking.
'Oh yeah? Well, just give me the password and we'll forget about it, all right?' he said.
'Err...the password?' repeated Page, glancing over at Cassie.
So much for this plan, thought Cassie, preparing herself unnoticeable for a fight.
'No, I'm just pulling your leg.' winked the door attendant. 'Come on in. Master Reaver'll be happy to have a few more conscious people around for the final ceremony.' he said, leading them up a flight of stairs and through the mansion. 'I wasn't kidding about the fizzy pop though. These lightweights drank the lot. There's probably some cooking sherry left in the kitchen if you're desperate.' he added to Cassie.
'No thank you,' she replied.
'No? Don't blame you.' continued the attendant. 'Never touched the stuff myself, except in the mornings. I can sort you out a nice orgy later on should the mood take you. What do you say?' he glanced at Cassie, and in replied she showed him her engagement ring while Page said, 'Just keep walking, you strangle little man.'
'Of course, of course,' he said. 'You'll have to pardon me, miss. I do have a habit of spouting the odd vulgarity. Master Reaver has often brought out his whip to rectify that very flaw in my character. It's just this way,' he added, motioning to a pair of doors ahead of us. 'Oh, you'll have such fun. Not "drinks and orgies" fun, you know, but it'll be a real laugh. I'm sure.'
Cassie hardly believed that for a moment.
'Now, there are some ground rules,' he continued. 'Master Reaver insists that nobody carries weapons into the ballroom. There have been some accidents.'
'I'm afraid I need to keep mine. I'm here to find some friends.' Page said firmly.
'Oh, you're the brave, noble rebels. Why didn't you say so? I'm an oppressed proletarian myself, you know. We're practically comrades.' he opened the door and motioned for them to continue to the next door, before closing it behind them.
Cassie and Page ender up in a ball room with a huge cage in the middle of the room with a man inside.
'There's one of my men!' exclaimed Page, hurrying over to the man in the cage. 'Kidd! Are you all right?'
'Get out! Now!' Kidd told them urgently.
'Where are the others?' Page asked ignoring him.
'All dead,' replied Kidd sadly. 'Reaver knew you'd come. He's been waiting for you!'
Next minute the cage began to move upwards, startling all three of them; Lightning was with Gail and Elliot.
'I'll get him out,' said Cassie, grabbing hold of the cage and trying to pull herself up to free Kidd.
As she did so, Reaver's voice floated out across the room. Again, Cassie was left with the annoying thoughts of trying to figure out why he sounded so familiar. Maybe it was as Walter said; maybe he was reminding her of her father's voice.
'My, my, my.' chuckled Reaver. 'More busy little bees here to steal Reaver's honey. So industrious. So committed. So bloody annoying.' he added, now sounding annoyed. 'When will you people learn to enjoy life?'
The cage came to a halt and Cassie struggled to hold on, due to her silk gloves. Glancing through the bars, she could see Reaver standing in the shadows with a bunch of people. All of them, including Reaver, were wearing masks.
'I'll enjoy killing you! Does that count?' snapped Page.
'Oh you're just full of spunk, aren't you? A true heroine. You must be lightning under the bed sheets.' Reaver said casually, before addressing his guests. 'And now, as promised, the evening's piece de la resistance. Another piece of the resistance. Voila!' he added, making the cage move even higher up.
Cassie finally had to admit defeat and let go of the cage and landing gracefully on her feet.
'Do try to put on a good show for my guests, won't you?' Reaver said mockingly to Cassie and Page from above.
'Show?' snapped Page again. 'You expect us to entertain you?'
'But of course. It's just a game, my little sweet.' Reaver sounded as though he was thoroughly enjoying himself.
The game turned out to be like the old Crucible. Page and Cassie had to first fight hobbes, then hollow men, followed by mercenaries, then Sand Furies from Aurora - Cassie didn't want to know how Reaver came by them -, and finally, he sent balverines on them, which turned out to be his guests. Fortunately, Page and Cassie were able to defeat every single creature and by the end, they were tired, but happy.
'Well, I must say, you've made me out to be a somewhat poor host,' said a slightly disappointed Reaver, drawing his gun and pointing it down at them. 'Rather rude of you to dispose of all my guests.'
'Now it's your turn, Reaver!' Page said coldly, aiming her gun at him and firing.
Then, before their eyes, Reaver raised his cane and held it in front of him, knocking the bullet back towards the girls' feet.
'You forget, Page. He's a Hero of Skill.' Cassie murmured to Page.
'More like an anti-Hero of Skill,' replied a bitter Page.
'You are wasting your time,' Reaver said coldly, his gun aimed directly at Page's heart.
'Do you have any idea who this is?' Page asked quickly, sensing danger.
'Who? Your friend?' asked a bored Reaver. 'Should I know her?'
'She's Logan's sister, Princess Cassandra.' said Page, taking off Cassie's mask and hat.
Reaver moved into the light, lowering his gun and removing his mask and hat. He stared down at Cassie with a peculiar look on his face, but Cassie couldn't help but stare back. She knew Reaver from somewhere, she knew it. He looked so familiar, but she just couldn't place where. Meanwhile, Reaver had removed his peculiar expression and replaced it with an indifferent one.
'The king's sister, a bona fide Hero...' he drawled, leaning against the railing. 'Well, I wouldn't dream of coming between siblings. Well, that's not strictly true...there was that time...Anyway,' he said, walking away, 'best of luck with this whole revolution lark. Perhaps we'll meet again one day. Tatty-bye.'
'Bloody coward,' muttered a bitter Page, before leaving to help Kidd. When they came back to find Cassie, they saw that she was still standing in the same place they had left her.
'Are you alright?' asked Page.
'Huh, yeah...well, no.' admitted Cassie. 'Reaver reminds me of someone, but I don't know who. Does he remind you of anyone?'
'Besides a block of ice? No.' said Page.
'He said "tatty-bye".' said Cassie.
'So?' asked Kidd.
'How many people do you know or have heard of that say that?'
'Except...my father. He use to say that all the time, plus he use to change between English and other languages like Reaver did.' said Cassie. They were the only things she could remember about her father.
'What's your point, Cassie? Are you trying to say that you think Reaver is King River?' asked Page.
'I don't know. My father was kind. Not heartless like Reaver. Besides, he died a long time ago.' sighed Cassie. 'Let's get out of here.'
Once outside and away from Reaver's mansion, Page turned to Cassie.
'I never thought I'd side with royal blood,' admitted Page. 'But you're nothing like your brother. The Bowerstone Resistance will follow you without question. So long as you promise to change things when you take the throne. Poverty, children forced to work, people living in fear...you have to make it stop.'
'I promise,' vowed Cassie.
'All right then.' Page said, sighing with relief. 'We should get back. We've got a revolution to plan.'
'Right, I'll meet -' Cassie was cut off as a town crier delivered a message for all to hear.
'All citizens gather at the castle for the king's message!' yelled the crier. 'The speech will commence tomorrow at noon!'
'This is never good,' said Kidd.
'You should find to what it's about,' Page told Cassie. 'I'd come with you, but there's a reason we stay underground. We'll see you at the base when it's over, all right?'
'Sure thing,' said Cassie, before disappearing to the Sanctuary to get changed into her original outfit.
Once changed, she went back to Millfields, formerly known as Bower Lake. True, she could have travelled to the castle using the Sanctuary map, but something told her not too. It was that something that made her walk through Millfields towards the Castle. Nothing particularly exciting happened, unless you count fighting mercenaries, until she was about to enter Bowerstone Market.
As Cassie was walking past a house, there was a woman out there yelling, 'Reaver rules! Reaver rocks! I love Reaver's smelly socks!'
Cassie stopped dead hearing that, and looked at the woman in disbelief wondering how anyone could love such a heartless man, before realising the woman probably just liked his looks.
The woman, catching sight of Cassie, hurried over to her, and said conversationally, 'I just love Reaver! I adore him! He's just so great, so...Ooooh, you know, just so...so scrummy and hot!'
Yep, definitely because of his looks, thought Cassie.
'I've got a great Reaver collection,' she continued, looking absolutely insane. 'Handkerchiefs, signed books, one of his breads, a hat, a pair of trousers - even a photograph! Anyway, I've got loads of Reaver stuff - except one thing. One special, special thing...his underpants. I know, I know it sounds weird,' she said, misreading Cassie's look of disgust, 'but I really want a pair of his undies! And they can't be too fresh either.'
'Let me guess, you want me to get you a pair?' sighed Cassie. 'All right, fine. I'll do this - er -peculiar request.'
'Really? I can't believe it! Thank you!' she exclaimed.
Cassie nodded and head back the way she had came.
As she headed back to Reaver's to find a pair of his underwear, she hoped that she wouldn't come across Reaver himself. If she did, it would be a very awkward meeting, for her anyway. Who in their right might would want a pair of someone's underwear? Reaver's especially. Anyway, Cassie arrived at Reaver's mansion in Millfields and knocked on the door, hoping that no one would answer it, she was in luck. After waiting five minutes, Cassie slowly eased opened the mansion's door and nervously looked around. She was not scared of Reaver, she just did not know what to make of him and he already had proved himself extremely talented with any sort of ranged weapon - since he was the Hero of Skill - and that he was extremely heartless.
After making sure that no one was in sight, Cassie headed up the stairs seeing as she figured that is where Reaver's bedroom would be. After walking along many corridors and trying many doors, she soon found his room and began to search all his draws and cupboards but found nothing. That was odd. What kind of person had a bedroom with no clothes in it?
Sighing and feeling as though she was being made a fool of, Cassie went over to a bookcase against the middle wall opposite the door and looked to see what kinds of books Reaver had. It was no surprise when she saw that they were all to do with sex and other things along those lines, but just as she was about to turn away when a certain book caught her eye. A book that was out of place among the rest. It was a battered history book of the region once known as Oakvale. Cassie of course knew all about Oakvale. She spend many days in the library reading and learning everything see could about it seeing as her father was born and grew up there, but what Cassie wanted to know was why Reaver had a book on it. He never came across as a historian and why would he have it in with books it was currently with? Curious as to why the book would be there, Cassie reached out to take the book, and it was then that she discovered its secret. When Cassie pulled on it she found out that it was in fact a hidden lever and when Cassie pulled on it, the bookcase next to it moved away to reveal a hidden passage way.
After a quick look around to double check that no one was watching her, Cassie headed down the secret chamber to see where it led.
Knowing my luck, it will lead to a room of hungry balverines. Cassie thought bitterly.
Man was she in for a shock when she arrived in the hidden room. Nothing could prepare her for what she was about to find out. The secret compartment turned out to be another bedroom, but what surprised Cassie most was there were pictures of Logan, her mother and herself, as a child, in the room. As you can imagine this sort of freaked Cassie out. Was Reaver some obsessed fan or something? Looking around she began to see many photos of her mum and Reaver. What was this? Was Reaver close to her mother? Did they date or something? Looking around the room, Cassie's attention was caught by the giant portrait hanging above the fireplace. In the portrait was her mother looking as beautiful as ever, beside her was Logan at the age of fifteen and none other than a smiling and loving Reaver, if the picture was anything to go by. In Reaver's arms was none other than Cassie at the age of five. How was this possible? Was Reaver not who he said he was?
Cassie was confused, but her confusion soon turned to horror when she began to read Reaver's journal for answers, though she only needed to read the most recent entry to learn the truth.
I saw Cassie for the first time today in years. Eleven years it has been since I last saw her. Eleven years of her life, I have missed. If only, there had been another way to protect her and our family. When I looked at her, I saw Amy. She looks just like my beloved. She even wore the same facial expression that Amy wore the first time we met. I miss Amy so much. So much that words cannot describe the pain in my heart. Not a day has gone by that I have not missed her. If she were here, everything would be all right. She would know what to do with the darkness approaching and I would not have to see Logan so stressed and tired. He would have been able to live a happy life and would not be hated by the people so much. One-day things will change. One day Cassie will know the truth. One day Albion will be happy and prosperous once more. One day Cassie will be queen with Logan there beside her for guidance. One day the three of us will be a family again and I will finally be River of Oakvale once more.
Cassie could not believe it. Reaver was really River of Oakvale, but that would make him her father and that just was not possible! King River was a kind and gentle man! True he was once a heartless thief but that all changed when he met and fell in love with Queen Amy.
'You know it's rude to be in someone's house without permission, but it's even ruder to read someone's private journal.' said a quiet voice from behind Cassie, scaring her out of her thoughts.
Whipping around Cassie saw none other than Reaver himself leaning against the doorframe watching her. How did he manage to move so quietly? He was neither angry nor was he annoyed. In fact, he was smiling gently at her.
'I thought that the time was coming for you to know the truth, but I never wanted you to find out this way.' continued Reaver. 'Logan and I were planning on sitting you down and explaining everything to you.'
'Explain what? Explain how you have been alive for years and slowly destroying Albion by making children work and slowly draining the people?' Cassie demanded furiously. 'Is that why you left us? Had you had enough of being the people's caring king? Was it to boring? Did you need some excitement? Did you miss being a cold heartless monster?'
'You have got it all wrong, sweet heart.' Reaver said sadly as he walked over to one of the cupboards and pulled out a hooded cloak. 'I suggest we go to see what Logan's announcement is, and then we'll sit down and have a very long conversation.'
'And if I refuse?' Cassie asked stubbornly.
'You and I both know that you won't,' replied Reaver. 'But before we do head out, I would like to know what you were doing here in the first place.'
'I was looking for one of your underpants.' Cassie said, before blushing when she caught sight of the look he was giving her. 'I didn't want them for myself or anything!' she added hurriedly. 'One of your fans asked me to get a pair for her and I agreed to help her.'
Reaver stared at his daughter for a while before going to one of his draws and pulled out a pair of his underwear before chucking it at her.
'Take these. That way you will be able to complete your - er - unusual and somewhat nerve racking quest.' he said as he led Cassie out of the mansion. 'I don't recall your mother ever having weird quests like that, even though weird things did seem to happen during the quests at some point.'
'Like that man that lived with Hobbes and dressed as a woman?'
'Yes, that was a weird one but if she had not have met him and had not have read his journal, she would have never of made peace with the Hobbes, though that all went down the drain when she died.' Reaver concluded sadly, and not because of the peace with Hobbes ending either.
Father and daughter were now outside the mansion and Reaver causally slipped his hood up over his head before speaking once more.
'I just realised where you got your bad habit from of reading other people's journals, your mother.' Reaver said conversationally. 'She use to do that to when she was on quests and whatnot. Another bad habit that I can see you picked up from her is wearing hats inside. It too was with a highwayman's hat, a hat that looked just like yours. In fact she wore the exact same outfit as you when she was out saving Albion.'
'That's because this is Mum's.' Cassie said, her voice thick with emotion. 'I found it in the Sanctuary. I miss her so much.'
'You and me both. And I know that Logan misses her too.' Reaver said gently as he led the way through Millfields.
They walked the rest of the way to the castle in silence. Cassie was even more unsure of Reaver now. For years see believed that her father was dead and now, unexpectedly, she discovers that he is alive and has made the people suffer. Reaver, for his part seemed to understand that she was still unsure of him, thus he remained quiet. However, when they came to Bowerstone she broke the silence.
'Just need to make a pit stop before heading to the castle.' Cassie told Reaver.
'That's alright with me. Where do you need to go?'
'I just need to give your underwear to your adoring fan.'
'Hmm, at least I'll get to see the face of the person I need to run away from in future.' Reaver said seriously. So seriously, in fact, that Cassie started laughing that hard she all most fell over.
When they arrived at the castle, Cassie noticed Ben standing outside the gates as if waiting for her.
'Ben?' Cassie asked as she walked over to him. 'What are you doing here?'
'Besides coming to listen to your brother's announcement? Well, I've been standing out here waiting for you. I was starting to think that I had missed you.'
'No I just had an - er - errand to perform.' Cassie muttered.
'Right,' said Ben. 'And who is this?' he added, catching sight of the hooded Reaver. 'Another friend that you believed your brother had sentenced to death?'
'No, this is just someone I met. No one of any importance.' Cassie lied. She did not know why she was lying to her friend, but she somehow knew this was the right thing to do...In addition, she also knew that she needed time to come to terms with Reaver's true identity herself.
'If you say so,' shrugged Ben. 'Come on, we better go and see what your big brother has to say.'
Nodding, Cassie followed Ben towards the castle grounds where Logan would be giving his announcement. They arrived just in time to hear what he had to say, though they had missed the beginning.
'Yes. Traitors walk amongst us,' said Logan. 'Traitors plot to end us. Traitors would have you believe their cause is noble. They wear many masks. They may look like your friends. They may even look like your most loyal servants,' he added as Swift was roughly pushed onto the platform where Cassie had seen many people publicly executed. 'This...this is the face of a traitor.'
'Swift,' gasped Ben, before looking over at Cassie, who had paled.
'Major Swift,' continued Logan, 'a respected member of the army and sworn servant of the kingdom has plotted against us all. He was apprehended attempting to turn loyal soldiers against us, and is thus charged with espionage, treason, and conspiracy. Yet there are still others darkening our land with their betrayal. We shall hunt these traitors down, wherever they may be. And they shall suffer the same fate as Major Swift. The fate of all enemies of the crown.' A soldier raised his gun at the end of Logan's words and began to slowly pull the trigger.
Without hesitation, Cassie hurried forward and knocked the gun out of the soldier's hands before he could shoot Swift.
'How dare you,' growled Logan's soldier, before shooting a glance at Logan for further instructions.
'Guards, arrest the traitor's companion. Disloyalty must be punished accordingly.' Logan said coldly.
'So will you have your own sister executed too, dear brother?' Cassie asked coldly as the guards started to advance on her.
Logan threw up his hand signalling for his soldiers to stop.
'Cass?' he breathed quietly. He frowned down at her as though trying to work out if it really was Cassie.
It was then that Cassie realised that she Logan could not see her face properly due to her hat casting a shadow over her face. She took off the hat and looked up at her older brother, eyes full of defiance.
Logan's face grew cold once more.
'Guards, please escort my sister to her chambers and make sure she doesn't leave -'
'You can't do that!' Cassie snapped.
'Just try me, Cassandra.' Logan said coldly. Cassie knew that he must be extremely angry with her to call her by her full name.
'I'd rather not,' growled Cassie, before demanding. 'What happened to you? You use to be a fair and gentle ruler like Mum and now you are nothing but a cold and selfish tyrant! How could you do that to your people? Mum would have died of shame if she could see what you have become and have done!'
Cassie knew that was low to bring their dead mother into it, but she could not stop the words from coming out of her mouth. Logan flinched at Cassie's words as though she had gone up there and slapped him. He just stared at her with hurt eyes before regain his composure and motioning to the guards to arrest them.
Once again, the guards started to advance, but Cassie was one-step ahead of them and so was Ben. He ran through the crowd and straight to Cassie's side, but that was his only plan. That was one of Ben's major flaws. He never looked at the big picture or long term effects.
'So, what's the plan, Cassie?' he asked cheerfully.
'The plans to get the two of you out of here alive.' Cassie replied as she looked around for an escape route. Logan had made it clear that she was not to be harmed, but Swift and Ben were another story. They were seen as traitors and would be killed without hesitation.
'You might as well surrender for we have got you surrounded.' One of the guards growled.
'Yeah, but we've got more talent and brains then all of you put together.' retorted Ben. 'What?' he added when he noticed the look Swift and Cassie were giving him.
Cassie shook her head and tried to think of a way out of this situation or for some sort of miracle to happen. Then, as though her prays had been answered, each of the advancing guards fell to the ground clutching their legs. At first, Cassie did not understand what had just happened but as she looked out through the crowd, she saw Reaver's hooded figure holding a recently fired gun. She now understood what had happened. Reaver had just saved them.
'Nobody of any importance, huh?' Ben said to Cassie with raised eyebrows.
Cassie ignored his comment and told him to help her get Swift out of the palace, stopping briefly to say a quick, yet quiet thanks to Reaver.
'Both of you head back to the resistance's quarters and I will meet you there.' Cassie said once they were safely in Bowerstone, well as safe as they could get.
'Why, where are you going?' asked Swift.
'I'll be a short distance behind making sure that we aren't followed.' Cassie answered, before heading back to the Bowerstone Castle to get a good idea of what was happening.
Once at the castle, Cassie snuck into the servant's quarters and stole some clothes so she could try to walk around the palace without fear of being chased by guards. At one point she thought that she had been recognised when a guard came up to her, but all he did was tell her to bring some food and wine to the war room for King Logan and Reaver. Cassie gladly did as he said for she thought it would be a good idea to find out what her brother was planning though she was worried that he would recognise her. She prayed that he would be too busy to pay any attention to a servant.
Once Cassie was outside the war room, she knocked on the door and waited to be told to come in. She did not have to wait long.
'Enter,' came Logan's tired voice.
Cassie hesitantly opened the door and walked inside. Reaver had taken off his hooded cloak and was calmly sitting in one of the comfortable armchairs, while Logan was bent of the map of Albion and Aurora, looking extremely tired. Neither of them paid much attention to Cassie, instead they just continued with their conversation as though she was not there.
'Again. How could you help them get away?' Logan demanded. 'Cassie should be here in the castle where it is safe helping me instead of helping those traitors!'
'Logan, she's not a child anymore. She deserves to know the truth.' Reaver replied reasonably.
'No, I will not tell her. She's safer not knowing.'
'How will she be safer not knowing? When it comes -'
'When it comes it shall meet its doom.'
'Logan, be reasonable. It cannot be killed! We saw that all those years ago. Your mother, Garth, Hammer and I all gave it the best we had and it still lives!'
'Nothing is immortal.' Logan replied stubbornly.
Reaver said nothing about his comment.
'You know you're probably not going to see your men again.' Reaver said conversationally. 'Cassie is a Hero, just like your mother. She will not come back without a fight.'
Logan said nothing and Cassie knew that she ought to leave. Normal servants just dropped the food off and left, but she had lingered a little too long and she ought to go after those soldiers Logan foolishly sent after her.
Silently, Cassie left the room and headed after Swift and Ben. On her journey back to the resistance's headquarters, Cassie pondered over what Logan had said. What was he trying to protect her from? And what was coming to Albion that even four Heroes couldn't defeat? All these questions spun around her head and she forced them to the back of her mind. Whatever it was she could not afford to worry about it now. She would worry about it once Logan's rule of tyranny was over.
When Cassie arrived back at headquarters, she found Walter, Page, Swift and Ben all standing around the map of Albion. They looked up as she entered.
'Ben and Swift told us what happened. I'm proud of you. Your mother would have done the same thing.' Walter told me.
'Yes, and you have my undying gratitude, Princess.' added Swift.
'Listen, I know this might be a bit off topic but why are you wearing servant garnets and why were you so late coming back here? I thought you said you would be only a short distance behind us.' said Ben.
'I had to make a out stop at the palace to see what Logan is up to, that's why I'm dressed as a servant, plus I had to take care of a handful of guards that were following you.' Cassie replied with a slight shrug as though it did not really matter why she was late.
'The boys also told us about your hooded friend. We could use a man like that on our side.' said Page.
'If you're thinking about trying to get him to join us you will be wasting your time.' Cassie replied bluntly. 'He doesn't take sides and when he does he has a good reason to.'
'So who is this man? Do I know him?' asked Walter.
'You could say that,' Cassie muttered mysteriously.
'You're as bad as your mother,' muttered Walter, shaking his head.
'Well, this has been a lovely conversation but I'm curious as to what Swift found out in the palace before he was caught. Did you manage to find any allies?' Cassie asked Swift, sounding a little like her father.
'There are some soldiers there that will fight for you but not enough for an army.' Swift replied sadly. 'Though I did find out that we can find allies in Aurora.'
'I still don't understand how anyone there could help us,' said Page. They had been discussing it before Cassie had arrived. 'Aurora is a dead land. There's nothing there.'
'Or at least, that's what we've been told,' said Walter. 'The royal family use to go there every year, I myself went a couple of times, and it had a beautiful civilisation.'
'Use to?' repeated Page.
'Cassie's parents got into an argument with their leaders and after that; they never went over again, though Logan continued to go there, until five years ago. Apparently, he too got into an intense argument. Which is why he might have told us that it was a dead land.' said Walter.
'Regardless, it is the only lead we have,' said Swift.
'Can we get on with the plan?' Ben asked impatiently. 'I have an overwhelming urge to shoot someone.'
'First thing, we'll need a ship.' said Walter. 'Cassie and Ben will get hold of one while Page and I make sure the rest of the fleet doesn't follow. Swift, it would be safer for you if you stay here.'
Swift nodded his understanding while Page said to Ben and Cassie, 'You'll need to go via the back alleys. And they'll be crawling with soldiers.'
'Not a problem,' said Ben confidently. 'I know my way around the place.'
'Right, I better go and tell Elliot what is happening.' said Cassie. 'Ben, where do you want to meet up?'
'The back of the sewers will do,' replied Ben.
Cassie nodded and went back to her and Elliot's new house. It took a while to explain what had happened - leaving out the part about Reaver being River - and after many tears later - from Gail - Cassie left, ready to return once more to Aurora.
Written: 1 December 2011