Shakti lay awake on the couch for hours. She'd intended to sleep. At least a little. A token effort at least. No luck. There was a cricket outside the window. Down the street someone had a frog in his garden. A cat walked past the window at towards midnight.
She couldn't take it anymore. She changed into clothing more suitable for public wear and refolded the blankets on the couch. She set them next to the pillows so that her brother wouldn't have to deal with a mess the next morning. She went to the door as quietly as she could, carrying her backpack so she could be sure to have her field notes on hand.
She walked down the street a ways, searching the surrounding areas for Guards on patrol. Eventually she found one. He was probably in his late twenties, very tall and well-muscled. "Well, you'll do," she said to herself. She waved him down and waited until he was within speaking range. "Hi. Been looking for a Guard and I was hoping you could help me with something. You have a moment? It's about that murder a short while ago. The Gilleyin case?"
Shakti had his attention. "Yes, ma'am? Do you know something?" he asked.
"You bet I do," she said with a smile. "In fact, I bet I know more than anyone investigating it. I hear you have a few suspects, but top of the list is a horrible old bitch named Shakti." She waved. "That's me. Now here's why I need you, my good representative of the official authorities."
He tensed a little, unsure of where she could be going with this, but willing to hear her out for now. "You're aware I'm under obligation to apprehend you, ma'am."
"Oh, yes, yes. I'm actually already under arrest. Highguard Cardinal has me under house arrest, and I promise you I've been very good up until now. Haven't left the premises once since he took me there. Here's the tricky thing. I think I should be more arrested
than I already am."
Now the man was just confused. "So you're turning yourself in, then. Why didn't you just do that from the start?"
She waved her hands dismissively, as if his question was so irrelevant as to be utterly beneath her consideration. "The problem is... Highguard Cardinal... isn't thinking. If you were him, would you let a suspected murderer into your home with such a young wife? She is young. And in such
a vulnerable position, just having given birth to his baby boy today. Ask yourself if you really
think I can be trusted with their safety."
At his hesitation she smiled encouragingly. "Go on. If I'm capable of murdering a man in cold blood, imagine what could happen if a murderer were left with a frail, exhausted woman and her newborn baby." Her tone turned icy and cruel. "Think about it. I won't be held responsible for their safety."
The Guard scowled. "Are you threatening the Highguard's family?"
"I'm not threatening anyone. I'd never dream of it. Merely pointing out possibilities the good-hearted Highguard hadn't considered. But you take me seriously. Don't you."
What else could he do? Something was obviously wrong with this situation, but based on the information he had, there was no option but to deal with the suspect as he'd been taught. His scowl deepened. "If you wanted 'more arrested,' you've got it. At least until we can assess the threat, if any, that you pose to Cardinal."
Shakti grinned coldly. "Good." She held out her hands so that he could restrain her in whatever way seemed appropriate to him. "Give a lady an escort?"
The Guard bound her wrists and walked behind her to the guard station. All the while he was made visibly uncomfortable by the casual chatter his charge continued to toss over her shoulder to him. Most of it he didn't bother to answer. He found her a cell in the Guards' station, but the magic-shielded cells were currently either occupied or having their wards renewed. He settled for a pair of magic-suppressing bracers that often served as a substitute.
So, Shakti was left in her prison cell with only her field notes. "Excuse me, sir?" She called out. "A quill, please? I need to write." The guard walked back with a quill and ink, since there was little enough damage she could do to herself or anyone else with those. "Thank you," she said. She set up a corner of her cell for the purposes of writing.
Then, she finally managed to fall asleep.
Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kai@rpgww60462>Kai</A] at: 5/29/06 3:08