The Tower Mystery - Episode 6
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Luna Sedai walking quickly, yet still managed to preserve her Aes Sedai calm as she went to alert the Tower guards.
She knocked rapidly on the heavy door, and was about to knock again when it opened.
“Kyla Sedai, the Amyrlin is in danger.”
Kyla Sterling raised an eyebrow, “If you’re just realizing-“
“One of the saboteurs is free,” Leora interrupted, “and three others are already in place. I don’t know if there are any more.”
Kyla stood still for a moment, then turned and nodded to someone in her room. In a moment, Nymala and Morgana Sedai were at her shoulder.
“Who are the saboteurs?” Morgana asked.
“They were last wearing the faces of Willin, Samarasin, and Cahalan. I don’t know what the fourth looks like.” Leora paused. “The other three might have removed their ter’angreal as well, to hide.”
Nodding, Kyla stepped out of her room, stopping Miliham Rastoubel as he was passing. “Inform the Gaidin that at least four saboteurs threaten the Amyrlin’s life.”
The Gaidin gave a sharp bow before running down the hallway in the direction he had come.
Leora put a hand on Kyla’s elbow. “I have an idea.”
Leora walked down the hallway, near the Amyrlin’s study. A mixture of Gaidin, Aes Sedai, and Tower guards stood in front of the door.
“Elanda?” Avendaella Tikvah, an Aes Sedai of the White Ajah, put a hand on Leora’s shoulder. The silver ter’angreal was cold against the Accepted’s skin. “I didn’t know you were well enough to go back to your quarters.”
“Luna Sedai just released me,” Leora said, speaking with Elanda’s voice. She cut the chat with the Aes Sedai short, claiming she was on an errand.
Leora continued her way through the Tower, keeping watch for anyone she didn’t recognize. After walking through half the Tower, she came to the Red quarters.
Her knock on one of the doors was answered, and Samarasin peeked out. The saboteur’s eyes grew wide at the sight of Elanda’s face.
“I was able to recover the ter’angreal,” Leora whispered. She pulled the chain around her neck, showing the triangular pendent.
Samarasin opened the door wider, pulling Leora into the room. “Fool,” she spat, closing the door behind them.
Cahalan Sedai sat in one of the room’s chairs, reading a slip of parchment. When she looked up, Leora saw a coldness in the woman’s eyes that made the Accepted certain that she was not Cahalan.
“And the real Elanda? Tell me you didn’t leave her alive.” The saboteur with Samarasin’s face said.
“She is taken care of.” Leora murmured. The real Elanda was hidden in the sickrooms, with only one Yellow Sister to care for her. “Are the others secure?”
Cahalan sniffed, “I’d like to see them try to escape that warehouse any time soon.”
“Anyway, I thought you were coming back through the window,” Samarasin said.
Leora shrugged. “The Gaidin are watching every hand-hold like hawks.” She moved towards the window.
When she reached it, she saw a young woman in tight trousers and coat travelling along the narrow ridge. Their eyes met, and the other woman opened her mouth to shout but Leora shoved a wad of Air into her mouth. The woman’s grip tightened on the wall, and Leora glanced at the two false Aes Sedai.
Samarasin didn’t seem to notice the use of the One Power, but Cahalan’s head jerked up. She stood up as if to approach Leora, but there was a short rap at the door before Willin entered.
“The charges are set, I just saw Trill off down the side. She’ll be here…”
Willin trailed off as he saw Leora, still wearing the face of Elanda Tonil.
At that moment, the woman on the side of the Tower made it through the window, jaws still wide around the gag of Air. She tackled Leora, driving the Accepted to the ground. Trill tore off the ter’angreal necklace with a jerk, and Leora knew her disguise melted away. A shield slammed between her and the Power.
“Well if it isn’t the little Accepted who’s been giving us so much grief.” Cahalan murmured.
The room’s door was ripped off its hinges by a powerful wrench of Air, and Kyla, Nymala, Roheryn Sedai, and Padron Kerenmosa burst through with several other Aes Sedai and Gaidin at their back.
The Aes Sedai wrapped the would-be saboteurs in air, Roheryn Sedai going to each to remove their ter’angreal. Four faces utterly unknown struggled against the weaves.
Leora felt the shield between herself and the Power dissolve. When she extricated herself from the one saboteur she walked towards the door. “They’ve set charges somewhere to hurt the Amyrlin.”
“We can encourage them to tell us where they are,” Kyla Sedai murmured, staring icy daggers at the woman who had been posing as Cahalan.
“Too slow,” Leora said. She ran out of the door, and soon several of the Aes Sedai and Gaidin broke off from the main group to follow her. Bryher al’Venna, Relinya Ryviarra, Marivea al’Corriyl, and Ixialdor Lanthanril kept pace with the Accepted as they ran towards the Amyrlin’s study.
They burst in without knocking, catching the Amyrlin in the midst of pacing the length of her room.
Leora did her best to ignore the Amyrlin. The charges would be set here, she was sure of it. Samarasin’s room was two floors down and only one window over, easy for the wall-climbing saboteur to return.
She leaned out of one window, and then another. Finally she found them.
Four lumps of explosives framed the window, wrapped in white cloth to camouflage against the white stones of the Tower. Leora followed the fuses with a trained eye. Her years with the Illuminators had given her an appreciation for the beauty of explosives, but she had also learned of their dangers.
“When I detach these, someone will need to push them up and away from the Tower,” she said, steadying herself on the windowsill with one hand and removing the bundle of explosives with another. “Get the Amyrlin out.”
There was shuffling in the room, but Leora didn’t lose her concentration. One bundle released. She threw it out of the window as far as she could.
Bryher Sedai wove a stream of Air to push the bundle away, but as soon as the weaves touched it the bundle exploded. Leora shielded her eyes and ducked, but could still feel the heat from the mid-air blast.
She studied the remaining bundles with new eyes. They were triggered by the One Power. If she had tried to remove them with the Power they all would have detonated into the room.
Leora released the other three quickly. Each time she threw them out as far as she could, then ducked as Bryher, Relinya, or Marivea gave it a push of Air.
Soon they were all gone. Leora and several Gaidin all went over the study, searching for any other bombs. When they declared the room safe, the Amyrlin reentered. The saboteurs were brought as well, Kyla and her entourage dragging them with bonds of Air.
“You did well, Leora Maltana,” The Amyrlin said. There was a slight grin lurking around her lips as she glanced at Kyla. “I believe you have proven my faith in you.”
Leora dipped into a deep curtsey. She felt tired, the last few days catching up to her.
“Take these criminals to the cells, and find out where Cahalan, Samarasin, and Willin are being kept,” the Amrylin ordered. Kyla nodded, escorting the saboteurs out of the room.
“They said something about a warehouse,” Leora said. The rush of adrenaline from dislodging the explosives left her weak and shaky.
The Amyrlin nodded, gesturing towards the door. “Get some rest Leora. And study for the test for Aes Sedai. I would be surprised if you remained an Accepted much longer.”
Leora nodded, curtseying and taking her leave. She had solved it. She had won.
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