Kageseji… Rann… Mallory… Trisahna. There was a pattern forming. The list of targets Kageseji's kidnapper had shared was disturbing indeed. All women, all templars — or friend or relative of a templar, in Trisahna's case. That last name added a new dimension of oddity to the activity. This target list transcended boundaries of Horde and Alliance, focusing very tightly on a small group of individuals who either resided at Fort Kickass or had visited recently.

What had Trisahna done to get on that list? Doradrassil racked her mind, tapping her forehead with her knuckle as she paced and thought. She watched the traffic below as she walked the battlements, asking herself question after question and getting nowhere. The gates were shut, guards everywhere. Even a Warden couldn't escape from this place right now. There went Robin, into the inn to aid in Rann's healing… The garrison was quiet and grim on this night. There went Charles Thackery, a Gilnean laborer, heading for the dwarven bunker where he filled a number of small, odd jobs. To Doradrassil's understanding, Charles and Peter were friends of a sort. When the attack on Kageseji had first taken place, Charles had drawn Doradrassil's suspicion — she was suspicious of everyone, admittedly — by denying involvement a bit too quickly. But he had an alibi, an airtight one — he had been in Stormwind. Besides, they found out quickly that it had been a night elf.

Warden Stillsong — "Silvergear" was her alias — had been the one to kidnap Kageseji. She had revealed to the Wardens — and Koryander — that her task had been to assassinate the mage, not kidnap her. She hadn't been told that the target was a child. Her assignment had been to infiltrate the organization of the one who wanted Kageseji dead, to earn their trust and fit in as one of them, to sting them from within. But who had given her that assignment to begin with? And how did Trisahna get on the list?

She took a deep breath. How were they connected? Kageseji was Rann's student, and Mallory and Trisahna were friends of Rann's. Was someone trying to get at Rann? No — there were other targets listed after Rann herself. If the dose had killed the mage, targeting Mallory and Trisahna would be pointless. It couldn't be a vendetta against the templars, per se, either. Trisahna's presence on the list ruled that out.

Doradrassil gritted her teeth as a man approached her from behind. She was just getting somewhere — now was not the time for an interruption! She turned to look, and saw Peter walking slowly toward her, his hands in his pockets and a grave look in his eyes.

"Why aren't you with Mallory?" Doradrassil asked.

Peter looked her in the eyes for a moment before answering. "I can hardly help her if I don't know what's coming," he murmured. A beat, and then, "What did you know?"

"I'm sorry?" Doradrassil asked.

Peter took a slow step forward. "I was listening to the guildstone. Rann gets attacked. Your response? You tell Mallory to stay away."

"I wanted to protect her," Doradrassil insisted.

"From what? We all want to protect all of our fellow templars. But you knew something specific." His eyes had narrowed at her coldly.

She didn't want to break protocol. Operational security and all of that. How easy it would be for the perpetrator to listen in from below and, knowing she knew the order of the targets, switch them. How many ways could this go wrong.

"What did you know?" Peter repeated, his voice a little louder. One of his hands made a fist, and his chest heaved in an attempt to remain calm.

"I — " Doradrassil wanted to tell him, but had to think it through. Too many strategic blunders possible right now… "I know that one mistake or false word right now could throw all of our hard work down the drain."

"Answer me!" Peter yelled, his fist striking the battlement's wall. He grew taller in that instant and white fur began to emerge from his skin as he gritted — no, bared — his teeth.

This wouldn't do. She couldn't have a scene attracting attention right now. Doradrassil leapt at Peter, her arm striking his throat and pulling him back into a stranglehold. Before his hands could turn into claws and bore into her, she whispered in his ear.

"Peter, listen to me. Kage, Rann, Mallory, Trisahna. That's all I know. Do not repeat that to a single soul. The assassin is caught between a rock and a hard place, and there's a lot of security we can't compromise. It may be hard to believe, but she's on our side. Kage was supposed to be dead. I'm certain Rann was supposed to be too. The assassin is coming as close as she can to killing the targets without finishing them — the closest she can get that will appease her master. You want to help? Keep Mallory safe, and find out who this assassin is working for. If they're watching right now, they have to believe I'm -not- giving you information. Now fall limp. I'm choking you 'til you pass out. Wait a short while, then get back to Mallory."

Peter's eyes flashed at her, then rolled back in his head as his hands fell limply to his sides.

"I'm sorry," the warden muttered, laying him down before scurrying to another part of the wall.

Author Rann
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