Wednesday, 12 September 2012

To Meet the Head?

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive, Wanda thought. What would her mother say, seeing her standing here attempting to bargain with a criminal, her life and the lives of others all hanging in the balance?

Wanda brought her hands together slowly, holding them together in a prayer like fashion under her chin, as she considered the situation.

Could it be that easy?

A titanic struggle raged within her. All of her instincts screamed that death lay through that door.

But, what if it was true? Would they really just hand over the gem? They could, if they understood. Aren't they just simple criminals, after all? Flashes of a hot bath and a warm breakfast flashed through her mind. Her body almost willed the situation to be true - it would be so easy...

"...Someone we can afford to lose."

Kirsten's warning sliced through the silence, her intent almost palpable against Wanda's neck. Her hair stood on end as the whisper was followed by nervous rustling of the various occupants in the room, readjusting uncomfortable arms and racing hearts.

Wanda breathed deeply, slowly released the air in her lungs.

"Okay. It sounds like you're willing to talk - that's a good thing," she looked around the room. "For all of us here."

"As much as I would like to believe that I could go through to speak to the boss, explain the situation and recover the stone, I have to consider the reality that this is a room full of killers. Remember, the stone has come to be in your possession through the violation of trust. The trust you expect of me, therefore, is harder to come by. I think we both understand that there is some level of trust that must be found, as the stone is indiscriminate with its victims, but I have no faith that my required outcome will result if I were to simply go through that door alone.

"So I propose this: I will go with you to speak to the boss. But, all of your men here relinquish their weapons to my colleagues. That way, each of us holds a token of trust of the other. You will have me, and the ability to dispose of the stone." Wanda looked at the crossbow armed Tileans and the various carts, crates and sacks. "We will have your men and the fruits of your labour."

Wanda fixed her gaze on the leader. "We can negotiate our safe exit with the stone and your return to business as usual when I return safely."

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