She led him to the lower rooms in the Academy. Lucas followed her closly as she decended into the dark. Cold stone surrounded them when she stopped at last, a single candle illuminated the room in which they stood. "As I'm sure you have already guessed I'm a Southerner." Lucas nodded waiting for her to continue. "I was a top ranking government official, all their secrets went through me. One of the most trusted. Well I defected." Lucas groaned, "Are you telling me that all those rumors were true? That's all you are?"

She huffed obviously offended that he didn't take her confession seriously. "Well we figured it would be a good way to discourage the moral of any spying for the South here." Lucas nodded understandingly, though mentally he was berating himself for expecting some kind of interesting story like a child. "Are you to fight for the North then?" She frowned, "I want to, but to be a foot soldier would be a waste of talent. And the North does not trust me enough to bestow upon me Guardianship." Surprised Lucas asked, "Wait you aren't a Guardian?"

"Not a Northern one, it's different from those in the South."

Lucas nodded, it made sense. "Well I know how you can help the North."


"I've been assigned to create a team of elves to attack the South. We won't be part of any section of the army. Simply a scalpal."

"I accept."

Lucas stared at her, "I didn't even finish explaining."

"You are attacking the South, I'll be usefull. What more is there?" Lucas shrugged. "I guess that settles it then."

He turned to begin walking upstairs again but a hand on his shoulder stopped him. "Wait. What are you?" Lucas stared at her surprised. "What am I? An elf . . ." She shook her head. "You had to use magic to control yourself . . . You used magic. . . silently. . . you are no mere elf." Lucas shrugged her hand off.

"I am an elf, that's all I've ever been."

She watched him with her slitted green eyes. "You have been touched by something dark." An eerie feeling filled Lucas as she stared at him. Her low words resonating in his mind. Without another word he turned and fled. Thoughs of X and Istrali floating through him mind.


He realized he didn't even know her name when Lucas went to report to Hoffman. So he said that he wanted the Southener. It didn't matter, Hoffman knew exactly who he was talking about. "WHAT????" The bellow was so loud Lucas almost had to take a step back. "I said I want the Southener as my number thirteen." The huge elf shook his head, "No, no way." Lucas persisted "Yes, she's skilled. She knows the enemy. She's willing."

"What? You've spoken to her?" Lucas nodded impatiently. "Yes and she wantes to do this." Hoffman threw his hands in the air. "When did you speak to her?" Lucas calculated mentally, "About ten minutes ago." Hoffman muttered unintelligably turning away. "No guarentees," he said at last, "I have to confirm it with the council." Lucas grinned triumphantly. "Thank you." He turned to leave but Hoffman stopped him with a singl phrase.

"Now, you have a briefing to get to."

"What?" Lucas rounded on the huge elf. "What briefing?"

Hoffman chortled, "You don't think we are going to make you part of a tacticle unit then send you in completely blind do you?" Lucas grumbled but Hoffman paid him no heed, "Good, now, its in the Councilroom in five minutes go."

Lucas raced through the halls, dodging pages and gripping the pommel of his sword to keep it from swinging out and hitting people. Faint shouts echoed around him as his passage stirred papers and forced people against the wall to avoid him. But Lucas focused on speed, as much as he'd like to he couldn't be late to the meeting. Especially if he wanted the woman on his team.

Three minutes later he was knocking on the council door and was admitted. Panting he nodded at the members and went to sit at the table, ignoring the glares directed at him. Apparently some of the council members had been hoping he wouldn't show up. Vaguely he wondered if recruiting him was a unanimous decision.

He tuned out most of the buisness, politics held no interest for him. However once they began to speak regarding the tactics themselves Lucas looked up. He listened carefully as they detailed their plans, memorizing where they would go and thus plotting his own movements. The conversation gradually turned to his tactical unit, the woman warrior he had noticed the first time Lucas was in this room turned to him. "Now you have one moth to make your decision on team members, Hoffman reports you are one short." Lucas smiled, "Oh I have chosen every member."

There was brief muttering around the council but the woman hushed them, "Names?" Lucas rattled off the first names, pausing before he voiced the final one. "And the Southener." Briefly Lucas wondered if he should have waited for Hoffman to inform the group of elves sitting at the table around him, but it was too late now.

"What?" The dead voice froze Lucas, slowly he traced it back to the mouth that had uttered the single word. Blood fell from his face, leaving him ashen. There sitting amongst the Council Members was none other than Megan.

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