Alexandra: Whispers

After I had settled in I began to get restless.  It was at that time of day when most people were outside the castle walls, visiting people in the city or travelling around to one of the nearby villages and although I had a party later that evening and my chambers were lovely, far more luxurious than any room I had ever seen, I really wanted someone to speak to, besides Imara, and even she had disappeared to the servants quarters, leaving me well and truly alone.

It didn't take me long to grow bored of pacing round my room and decide to leave it.  Walking round the castle and getting to know its passages and secrets, should be useful later on when my spying became a full time job.  But for now there was no-one to spy on, the corridors were deserted except for the occasional servant, which left me to wander at my own pleasure.

Looking out of the windows as I walked, I realised how beautiful the gardens here were.  I made a resolution to go walking there every day.  I knew it wasn't part of the mission, but seeing as I was here I should at least enjoy my surroundings.

I didn't try to remember which way I had come, just letting my feet take me wherever they chose.  I realised later that this had probably been a bad idea.  I finally ended up in a stone corridor, much like any other in the castle, with no idea where I was or how I could get back.  People would soon be coming back from town and I needed to get ready for that party I was supposed to be attending.

Turning around to head back the way I had come, I heard voices coming towards me.  Good, I thought, someone will be able to tell me where to go.  But as they drew nearer I began to hear snatches of their conversation and hurriedly tried to find somewhere to hide.  I clearly wasn't meant to be here.

'They have no idea what is coming at them,' one voice, a mans, said gleefully.  I dived behind a tapestry that was covered in shadow.  Hopefully they wouldn't stop to admire the needlework.

'But my lord, we haven't perfected it yet.  It still needs testing-'  The second voice was more quiet and nervous, probably of lower rank than the man he was walking with.

'Testing?!  Why do we need to test it?  I thought we could just throw it at the enemy and be done with it.'

'It's not quite that simple my lord.  There needs to be some sort of spark to ignite it and even then we're not sure how violent the reaction might be.  We don't want to blow up our own troops.'

'Of course not you stupid oaf!'  I froze as their footsteps stopped right in front of the tapestry I was hiding behind.  'Look,' his voice was more threatening now, 'do your stupid tests if you must, but we need that powder.  The country is in a bad way.'

'How so my lord?'

'I'm not going to tell you that.  All you need to know is that it's not public knowledge, and their majesties would like to keep it that way, understood?'

'Yes my lord.'

'Good, now hurry up.'  Their footsteps disappeared down the corridor, but I didn't emerge until I was positive that they were gone.  I pulled back the tapestry and hurriedly smoothed myself over before almost running back down the corridor, away from the men.  This was going to make a very interesting letter for Jon.

The End

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