Leafiara (prime)/Tales/Margin of Error

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Original Story: Lormesta 30, 5121

The glow of the fireplace's flickering flames cast a wavering light over the sketches and names pinned up for reference on Leafiara's wall as she considered the margins between "almost" and "all." Dilemmas, dilemmas, forever another, and the latest one came from the figure named Mother--the now-standing leader of the Brotherhood of Rooks, who'd extended a deal with some risks and some hooks.

Things started so simple they needed no thought: offer aid with finding the statue they'd lost--and what in return? Help with a strike on the Knave, hardly even a cost! ...and then, as per usual, Mother twisted the plot. Casualties of war, that's what she'd warned--but if all went well, they'd be the right ones, she assured.

Just what does she mean? I don't want to guess. Knowing is the battle. Knowing is the key. The answer's elusive, but if I focus and press, I'm sure I can think through the logic and see. If there's anything I've learned, it's that almost all of her moves would have also been mine were I in her shoes. That's just it, though--there's a difference between "almost" and "all," and the lingering catch of who'll take a fall.

A week to think it over, yet I can't go to bed 'til at least a dozen theories run through my head.

And she stood there an hour, maybe two--for she didn't care and she hardly knew--pondering the question, in dark and light, what fate they'd be facing next weekend's night.