[this journal takes place after an IC event in GW2 on 5/14/2018. This has no effect on the remaining story, only a result of a choice. This meeting happens before Season 3 of the personal story]

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A word with you please.”

Those words always tend to strike fear in those who work inside the Reach. The difference with Gallant is instead of fear, it’s annoyance. They give her grievance for the smallest things, from notes to her words to expeditions. Each meeting like this end the same way: disappointment, a flash of a smile, then leaving to do it again months later. When Minister Estelle called to her again from her table in the gardens, she could only sigh and turn with a raised eyebrow and a smile with hands clasped.

“Yes Minister, what is it?”

The Minister carefully picked up her cup from its saucer and brought it to her lips for a sip before proceeding. “We are an open group, I believe. We allow many to walk through our doors, our portals, with no issue of coming through. We don’t worry of any threats.”

“That’s correct. We are open to many.”

“We only ask about one thing as a precaution. correct?”

Gal’s eyebrows furrow slightly and her eyes dart about as she thinks of the question offered. Yes, they were usually welcoming to most who come into the Reach. The only requirement she can think of she is hinting is about groups and how they_

The eyes close tight and she swears under her breath. No, it wasn’t a question of appearance, or her writings, but of the group she was with that day. To hunt for that man that she barely knows. She couldn’t be asking a worse question at a worse time.

“Yes?”

The eyes open and Gallant looks to Estelle. “It was sudden, we were wanting answe_”

“What is it.”

“… Tell the Ministers of groups and their reasons of why while in the inner Reach.”

An assistant drops off a treat, then disappears past Estelle without a word. There is no acknowledgment to them as the Minister takes the treat and picks at it as if she sees the imaginary lint on its surface. When she looks to Gallant, her eyes and expression is cold. “Correct. You are our messenger, you are here to tell us things. Yet we hear of you doing things involving a large group with beasts_”

“To correct you, ma’am, they aren’t just simple beasts.”

“And I’m sure there are specific bugs to each plant, but I can care less. You show up with a many of people, strangers, and their creatures, and talk with members of our Reach. No notice, no apologies, nothing. You cause concern and panic. Do you know how bad that looks that our messenger lets the unknown in and harasses our people?”

With each word Gallant’s body leans away, and her eyes shift to look straight to the ground. She wants to correct her, that some are well-known and highly praised compared to herself, but she doubts the Minister will listen from her limestone tower. She opens her mouth to give a response, something to hopefully lighten the load of guilt, but Estelle cuts her off before even an inhale of air.

“Foolish. You made us look foolish just to do… What exactly. Ask for an extra nook at a proper bar?”

“No… They lost a colleague. Barely knew him but realized I could help them. They wanted to know where to find him, and so a small few of us got the others inside since we had permission. An answer was given, and now we find him.”

“Where.”

“Maguuma. I was busy to hear where.”

Estelle’s eyebrow lifts, and she reaches to her cup after tossing the treat back down on its plate with barely a bite out of it. “Oh, I heard of that. The place where the Pact fell apart. Almost lost your husband there, along with your mind. Thought you disliked that place, why are you stupid enough to follow these peop_”

“They were upset, I offered my help. I don’t like Maguuma, I never will, but I said I would help. I never go back on my word, you know that much of me.”

She keeps her eyes down, even as her heart and emotions swell inside her chest and acid pools on her tongue. She knew which buttons to hit to bring up every worst emotion and every memory attached to that hellscape, didn’t she? It was cruel to do so, but then again this was Estelle. She was the embodiment of cruel and heinous. A harpy is considered kinder, she wagers.

The cup stops midway to her lips and the Minister watches as Gallant struggle , clearly unsettled by the words, but not concerning herself enough to pause. “Let’s hope he’s worth it just to disobey this one request Vindleton. I’d hate to hear he was just a criminal.”

 “He’s worth it, ma’am. That I can say.”

A pause sits heavy between them, then Estelle sighs. “Remember this for next time. We’d hate to have you thrown in for attempts of threatening the Ministry. I‘d hate for that to happen when you’re such a favorite to us.”

With her comment she waves a hand then turns back to her delights, letting Gal finally slip away. She doesn’t hesitate, turning on her heels and taking long strides to get a distance between them. It takes a solid ten before the Minister is gone, and Gal can hiss out curses and throw her hands up in obscene gestures. To hell with that woman, she didn’t care for helping and her tongue was a dagger to anyone’s heart. She was foul, and she hated her.

It takes a long moment of partially private venting before she’s able to return to her calm state and begin to make her way to the Salma gateway. Yes, she was not fond of this trip, but this was a large place, and everyone would be needed just to help. She needed to prepare for the worst. 

But first drinks were in order. 

Many drinks. 

Author MaddAce
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