As Ereal disappeared behind a large warehouse near the Steps the woman smiled. She ducked behind a building making sure no one could see her and pulled a polished bronze mask from her backpack. Placing the mask about her face and making sure the leather strap was fastened she stepped out of the shadows.
She darted from doorway to doorway until she reached the meeting place. A young man whom she recognized was standing near the warehouse door. He nodded and allowed her to pass into the warehouse. Once inside she found a flight of stairs and climbed up to the next floor. After following a winding hallway she reached a small room.
Inside was the man she had come to meet. He stood nearly seven feet tall, wore flowing black robes and his skin was a dark olive. She bowed to him and he returned the bow as she entered.
ìI was beginning to think you werenít going to show.î he said in bass voice.
She smiled behind her mask, ìI arrived at the appointed time. Have no fear, Thameus. All is well and everything proceedes according to the Adjustment.î
The dark man arched an eyebrow, ìI trust my people have been cooperative in the matter?î
She laughed gently, ìOf course, they have. They are some of the finest at what they do.î
ìExcellent. Here this cypher will allow you to pass into the Third chamber.î he moved to hand a small parchment with an intricate design stenciled onto it.
As the robed man moved into armslength a blade flashed from the masked womanís sleeve and into her hand. She stepped even closer and slashed the dark man from his lower torso to his left shoulder. He stumbled and fell backwards but the woman moved swiftly to prevent his body from coliding with the floor.
She lowered him gently to the wooden floor and removed her mask. The surprise in the robed manís face was great.
ìI am sorry, Thameus. But rest assured this is whatís best for the Movement right now. Your name will be inscribed in the Scrolls of the Order and you will not be forgotten,î the woman told him.
Thameus groaned and pressed his hand to his wound, ìI should have known this would come and it would be youÖî
ìThe poison works quickly. Know you have died in the service of your people and the Movement,î she stood and bowed once to the now still form.
She replaced the mask over her face as she closed the door behind her. Patiently and without haste she climbed down the stairway.
On her way out of the warehouse she turned to the young man at the door and said, ìYour master asked to be left alone for awhile, he has much to think on. Be sure that you do not disturbe him.î
ìOf course, my lady,î the young man bowed to the masked woman.
Once she was safely hidden in the many shadows of the Steps she smiled.