Nothing to Report

by Jessie

‘Dear Sir,’ Miranda wrote, ‘Regarding my travels in the south…’

And then she was stuck. She didn’t quite know how to go about reporting this one.

She thought over the men she had travelled with, the men who’s behaviour she had watched so carefully. The noble. ‘Enrico Cristofori is adventuring to try and regain the favour of his family after an incident with some diplomat’s daughter.’ She didn’t write the words down. It wasn’t like he’d tried to seduce the Bodach or anything. There was nothing of interest there. Nothing about family intrigue or trade politics. No visible drug addiction, no desperately compromising behaviour. Nothing to suggest he’d changed his roguish ways, either, but then a young noble who’d made such a gaff would be watched at any important social gathering however well he held account of himself while on a diplomatic mission in the South – that sort of assignment was more what Miranda was used to, but she supposed she could see the point of diversifying.

No, nothing the noble had done was worth bothering anyone further up the chain of command with. What of the mages then? Two ash mages trying to regain the favour of the Temple of Ash. Bracket, the Bodach had mistrusted. There was something there, something he was hiding. But what could she say? The man was depressed – but then his god was dead.

Azuma, the Easterner, now he was perhaps more interesting. That he spoke the language fluently would not come as a surprise to anyone who had spent long in his company. His reasons for doing so were oblique – to judge people’s character unhindered, he claimed. To get away with saying the outrageous, also, she surmised. She had listened with interest when he had mentioned that practicing magic unordained was a custom only of the noble classes in his land. Dante had claimed that he was an actor. A man to be watched out for, perhaps, especially given his carelessness with a blade.

It had been Dante who had noticed the discrepancy in his spoken language. A perceptive man, that one, and not badly spoken. But she could not note that in her report without explaining that it had been him and not her who had uncovered the Easterner’s secret, and the thought of that made her cringe.

And as for Anaxamanda…

‘I surmise that his Black Flame magic will be no threat. He was principled, disciplined, and also…’

She couldn’t even imagine writing the phrase ‘killed by bluebells’. She screwed up yet another piece of paper, and tossed it away across the floor. Later, she would burn them all. What of conditions in the Gardens, then? Surely she could make something of that.

‘The flora is, as has been established, somewhat dangerous. The fauna is little better. The party was forced to…’

No, there was no way she could make running away from butterflies sound like anything other than cowardice and incompetence. And the presence of the Obsidian Guard would be no surprise to the Low Guard, though they had taken the party unawares.

There really was no way to come out of this looking good.

She picked up yet another piece of paper, and started again.

‘Dear Sir,

Regarding my travels in the south,

Nothing to report.’

It was the best she could do.

misc/fiction/nottoreport.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/03 22:37 by osj01
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