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Subject: Mission

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Date Posted: 21:47:29 09/25/03 Thu

She raised an eyebrow sceptically.
“If you say so” she answered before turning to tidy the tankards on the shelf.
“This gold...” he continued, she could hear a clinking noise. She was staring at his hand before she could stop herself. Her eyes almost as round as the gold pieces that
clinked out onto his palm.
“What do I have to do?” she asked, trying not to sound too interested.
“Just deliver a message” he croaked calmly.
“A message?” she checked in disbelief. “Why can’t you do it? what’s the catch?”
“Ahhh.. well, I’m not exactly on speaking terms with the recipient” the old man chuckled.
“In other words, he wants you dead?” she asked calmly, taking up a cloth to polish some glasses.
“But he wouldn’t harm a pretty little thing like you.” the man replied. He clinked the gold once more. “Easy money.”
“If I don’t get killed” Noryn replied
“5 pieces” the man said and waited.

She kept her face down as she polished the glass thoughtfully. 5 gold pieces was a lot of money. More than she’d earn in several sessions in the bedroom. If this man was so willing to give it away, then it was probably stolen anyway. And the message? If the recipient wanted this old man dead - what would stop him from killing her? All
common sense told her to drop the offer and leave the man well alone.
But she was bored... and frustrated. It would be great to leave the tavern for a while. Strole somewhere, innocently deliver a message and return to 5 pieces of gold. A
tempting deal. Besides, as Savinia always said, she could talk her way out of anything - she could probably handle delivering a message.
Her mind made up, she leant forward on her folded arms on the counter.
“Give me the message” she said casually “who do I deliver it to?”
The old man reached inside his cloak and brought out a piece of rolled parchment.
“It’s written down?” Noryn asked in amazement. This was going to be even easier than she expected. She could just thrust the parchment in his hands and run.

The old man took out two gold coins and placed them in her palm.
“You’ll get the others when you return” he said simply. “I’ll be waiting here. By the way...” his hand shot out from under his cloak and twisted her wrist painfully.
“I’ll know if the message has been safely delivered. Don’t think you can cheat me girl. Remember - I visit this tavern often. I know exactly where you live. He pulled a sharp knife slightly out of its sheaf so that she could see it glitter in the dim light.
“Don’t fail me” he muttered menacingly, then he dropped her wrist and turned back to his ale. Noryn rubbed her wrist angrily, furious that he was threatening her. She glared at him through narrowed eyes, tempted to throw the message and his ale back in his face. But then he’d just think she was scared, and it took a lot more than a threat to frighten her. With a sudden burst of determination, she swept her cloak from a hook at the entrance to the kitchen and headed straight out off the door - abandonning the bar to its drunken occupants.

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