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“Hyna, Liana wishes to speak to you,” she said as she struggled to catch her breath. I sighed and put the cloaks back in the basket and got up to head to headquarters. We had taken over the joint we called home a few years back. It was an old factory of sorts and it provided enough cover and room for our group. Most of the downstairs was workstations while the upper level was separated into living quarters. On the very top level we had a shooting range set up for our bows and Liana’s office was up there, too.

“Liana, you wanted to speak to me?” I asked in her doorway. She nodded her head but didn’t even look up from her work. She had papers spread out all over her desk; some discarded on the floor or crumpled into a ball. Her facial expression tipped me off that she was most likely not in a good mood. Something had happened and it couldn’t be good.

“Hyna, you know the details on our mission, correct?” She asked me when she finally looked up from her papers. I saw that the papers were actually maps, hand-drawn by the looks of them, but they were of the town we were about to save. Some had red marks on them; others had crisscrossing lines over certain spots. From where I was I couldn’t tell what they meant.

“Yes ma’am,” I answered automatically. I had been assigned to lead one of the teams we would be sending in on this mission. Three teams of six, while the rest stayed at headquarters in case we didn’t return. Liana would stay behind but only because we were sending all the experienced out on this run, so we needed our leader behind. My team would be the one to eventually kill the ruler, but that’s only if everything went according to plan.

“Good, now I want you to pack up tonight. The teams will leave in the morning,” she said mechanically. My body stiffened with anxiety and a little bit of excitement. This wasn’t my first time leading a team, in fact I’d done it several times before, but I always had the same rush. Nodding, I got up from the chair to go down and break the news. The captains were the only ones who knew about the assignment until the night before. Then the captains called off their teams.

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