The real "test"

"What is your name?"

Light flashed for a moment, a single candle burned. Her dark, wavy hair fell in front of her face. An hour glass stood on a small table to one side, the only decoration, with sand falling slowly from the top to the bottom.

"What is your name?"


A sensation of pain that she had come to know only recently washed over her. Arowyn shook, letting only a moan escape her.

"You choose to answer with only one name. What is your title?"

"Heir to the houses of Gascon and Bennett."

The sand kept falling. Her entire body shook from pain, lack of food, lack of glucose, and lack of sleep. Her eyes were wide with anger, concentration on staying awake, and fear for her friends.

"Who are your parents?"

"Lord Joren Bennett, living forty years and five weeks to this day, and Lady Annastaisia Gascon Cluere, living thirty-five years and six months so this day."

"Who are your siblings?"

"Joshua, living thirteen years and two weeks to this day. Arya, living twelve years and eight days to this day. Kathryna, living eleven years, nine months, and one week to this day."

"What is the Protection Council?"

They had extracted something called glucose from her body. They said if they took too much, she could die. Her hair was matted in places. Her friends could be dead. No way was she speaking, killing for certain.

Sand still fell from the hourglass. A single candle flickered.

She did not answer. . .

The sand in the hourglass was becoming a slowly building mound. She leaned over the wooden table she sat at, struggling to stay awake. With diffuculty, she glared defiantly at her torturer

Pain flooded through her body once more.

"Is James Trey Virden the Second alive and breathing?" her torturer demanded.


"What is the Protection Council?"

"Why am I speaking of it when your master knows what it is?" Arowyn hissed, her voice hoarse and hollow, she still struggled to hide her pain.

"Who is on the Protection Council?" he rephrased.

Arowyn was silent.


Elysia Martell watched in horror as her best friend was tortured. Tears formed, but she forced them back. Brendan was slumped up against the window, sleeping restlessly.

Elysia watched as they shocked her again, unable to turn away. 

"Why?" she demanded, her voice whispered, cracking.  A man came to stand beside her.

She knew who it was.

"There are four needles in each shackle, carefully made to send Mycelium extract into her body. When it enters, it is like lightning is sent into the bloodstream."

"She will not talk." Elysia told him confidently.

"We have extracted glucose from her body, Miss Elysia."

Elysia stiffened, but said nothing.

"Oh," he said, his tone sarcastic."You know it is? What can you tell me?" 

Now Elysia had aspirations of becoming a doctor, studying as hard as she could.

"Glucose is an insulin which controls the levels of sugar in the body. When there is too much or too little in the body, it can result in unconsciousness. Insulin shock can sometimes result in death." Elysia recited, remembering what she had memorized the day before. 

"Have you done anything else besides food, water, and sleep deprivation?" She asked.

"No. I will tell you when we try our next tactic. But perhaps you can help me." Lord Bennett put this arm around Elysia, who stiffened even more. "If you give me names on the people of the Protection Council, their families, and how you have evaded me so long, then we could let her go."

He glanced down at his daughter, whom he was torturing, with contempt. Then he walked away.

Brendan had found a way to communicate. He had questioned Arowyn the moment Elysia and Korman had figured out this "plan."

As it turned out, Lord Bennett was willing to go far over the edge.

Too far.

Brendan marched straight up to Lord Bennett, and told him his idea.

"Sir, If I could send word of our situation? It would benefit you more then us." 

"How so?" Bennett did not even look at him.

"If you sent a messenger, then they would want to discuss a trade, perhaps form a group of trusted members. You would, I assume, know your ex-wife's ways well enough. She would not go alone, especially if she were with child. You might be able to see some council members." 

With child? "Hmm." he grunted, pretending to ignore Brendan.

"I know exactly who she would take that you havent' seen."  Brendan added, trying to tempt the High Lord Dictator.

"Whom might that be?" Bennett asked in an amused voice.

"Your replacement, sir."

Bennett looked at him in surprise. He had been replaced? By who?

 This was promising.

"Alright." he said, glancing down at his daughter once again. "I will send Janus myself."

Brendan walked away, a smile on his face as he went to speak with Elysia.

The End

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