I looked around at my fellow cloaked friends, surprised at just how quickly we had gotten here. I wondered if the day we returned would arrive with the same speed--I hoped so. My mother and little sister could go only so long on their own. I hugged myself tightly against a chilly breeze that seemed to blow my thoughts back to a few hours ago.

"Who are you?"

I came out from our room, my cloak folded over my arm, and slightly pushed my mother from the doorway with the short explanation of, "Friends."

"Now where are you going young lady?" she frowned.

The brave composure I had been working up ever since I heard the knock on the door fell and I took my mother's quivering hands in my own, "I'm going to find William." That wasn't what I at first intended to say, but it was all I could think of to comfort her, "I might not be back soon, but I promise I will be back."

She begn to cry. No, anything but crying.

"Mother, I'll be fine," I forced a reasuring smile and pulled her into a hug, "Now promise me you will too."

I felt her nod against my shoulder and held her closer, "Give Susie my love." She nodded again and surprised me by pulling away. She gazed up at me as if to say something, but turned and fled to her room instead. I sighed and watched her go for a moment before regaining my composure, "Let's go."

So here we were, tramping on through the darkness as unsure of what lie a few feet in front of us as we were days ahead of us. Which made me wonder--

"Are you alright Nellie?" Katrina whispered.

I turned to give her weary smile, "Yes, I'm fine, thanks. Just a little tired."

There was at least a whole two minutes of silence again before I finally decided to mention something, something I was afraid might hinder even our basest of plans


"So we have a way to get in, but I was just wondering," I slightly ducked my head, debating if I should bother worrying everyones mind more than they already were, "How do we get out?"

She pursed her lips thoughtfully. Maybe Eliza and Moria, being on their own for now, could find a way, but I wasn't so sure if us servants and maids were as lucky. Most kept not one but two eyes on their workers and kept them more than busy with lengthy schedules. I didn't know many who simply let them go and if one were to rebel in order to get fired or mysteriously disapear, suspicion would reign.

And not just servants, but how many times would they let the same ambassador get away with a quick visit, especially during this war where you could trust just about no one? Ladies also weren't quite the type to just up and leave.

If we finished this mission or there was an emergency was it possible to escape without leaving a footprint for our curious enemies to find?

"We should tell Jon," Katrina concluded. I almost protested, knowing he'd already solved so much for us, but Alexandra had overheard and was already tapping him on the shoulder. She whispered something to him and, for the first time,  I saw his mind draw a blank.

The End

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