...while the Gelert wrote a letter of his own.
He has agreed, my dearest, to venture with me. To be the scapegoat, but he doesn't know that yet... and if all goes to plan he'll never know, at least not until we've made our escape. We'll be free at last, free to live as we please and do what we please, and this poor fellow will take all of the blame for the atrocities The Sway knows we've committed.
At least he is an ex-member. They will go easier on him than us. Let that be your comfort if you desire comfort at all.
Of utmost sincerity,
Rochefort finished placing his provisions. He walked up to the Gelert, the latter waiting for the postal Weewoo to come to the window of the suite.
"Shall we be off, friend?" Rochefort inquired with a smile. He then frowned as he noted what was in the Gelert's hand. "Is that a letter?"
"I--" Leopold stammered before hesitating. "It is, yes," he confirmed, "but neither to Aramos nor Hilda. To my own colleague."
His counterpart narrowed his eyes. "You, too, are working with another behind my back?" His voice was rigid and possessed a cool fury.
"Er... not working with, per se," the Gelert started with a sheepish grin. The Weewoo then arrived. Hurriedly, he placed his letter around its foot and sent it off. "Just... someone else who will benefit from our actions, another who is being blackmailed against." He nodded.
The Eyrie didn't nod back but only stared at him, through him. "My original query remains. Shall we be off?" he asked, though newfound skepticism prevented him from being more congenial.
Leopold nodded. "Yes," he said quickly. "Er... yes, we shall be."
The pair arrived at the dilapidated complex known as 134 Leakage Lane as the clock struck eight.
"Remember," the Gelert reminded, "I shall lurk in the shadows. Find out the details of their plan and then I will emerge and do the rest." He nodded.
Rochefort ventured inside.
Aramos and Hilda were waiting for him. "Why, hello there," the Moehog greeted him.
The Eyrie feigned cordiality. "Hello, my friend," he replied, attempting not to put added emphasis on the last word in the sentence. "So, what is the plan here?"
Hilda navigated toward the entrance and locked it with magic. "The plan... is for your capture."
Rochefort gaped. "Oh my!" he started; he was not the best actor. He unsheathed his sword in an attempt of bravado. "Why, though? I thought we were friends, Aramos."
"Money and friendship don't mix, I'm afraid," the Moehog rebutted cryptically, not flinching. "However, I suppose I can tell you the plan, considering you are about to--"
"Wait!" Hilda shouted, cutting him off. "My magic detects that he has been followed." She did a quick scan of the perimeter while the others waited in silence. "Though there appears to be no one here..." the witch trailed.
Aramos knocked the sword out of Rochefort's hand and grabbed his "friend" by the collar. "Is this true?"
The Eyrie just stared up at him with wide eyes, the life being choked from him.
Aramos released him; he was valuable alive. "He or she could be a Cloaker, like me," the Moehog said to Hilda as he pointed to the tattoo on his hoof. "There are only three members of our society left, but we're undetectable when in hiding."
The Bruce spat on the ground. "The secret societies of a secret society, Orders within the Order... your sort makes me sick."
The Moehog released the Eyrie and focused his furious attention on his colleague. "Our skills of espionage got the Order out of thousands of potentially lethal situations, especially considering we once had hundreds of members... we became the lethal ones. That's more than you and your simple magic ever did."
Hilda raised her staff with a vengeance. "After we deliver Rochefort to Rasala so that she can magically extract his knowledge that is valuable to taking down The Sway, then I'll come after you and there'll only be two left in your society!" She spoke frenzied and without breath.
That was all that the Gelert needed to hear.
He appeared from the shadows and, before Hilda could fire a bolt of something in his direction, he had taken her out, with Aramos then following in quick succession. Both lay still on the ground.
Rochefort picked up his sword and examined the fallen; before he could tell if they were breathing, Leopold grabbed the Eyrie's hand and, using his own magic to override Hilda's, the two escaped from 134 Leakage Lane.
"Come with me," the Gelert started. "It is time to see the Duchess."
The suspicions Rochefort had before had not subsided. "No," he replied curtly...
How will this week's story end?