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 in which amadhay annoys essie



Amadhay fluffed her hair up, having taken the time to take the shower she had promised herself, though it wasn’t nearly as long as she would have liked.

It had doubled as getting ready to pretend to be her sister. She had needed to wash her hair to remove all of her special hair products and towel dry it to reveal the natural, wild curls so she could simulate the practically unbrushed style the new Amaya had. It was irritating, to say the least, to have the curls bouncing around in all directions, to have her face so asymmetrical with bangs hanging low and obscuring her left eye. She didn’t even actually have bangs cut in, which she doubted anyone would notice, but made things rather hard for her in copying Amaya. Instead of using a glamour, she chose to use concealer to hide enough of her own swirling spoors to duplicate Amaya’s three dots on either cheek. Also instead of glamour, she used the same blue contacts that she used when dealing with her family. That she used to use, before she had faked her death, that is.

Taking one last, long, look at herself in the mirror, she wiped away the last of her lipstick, knowing that her sister rarely used makeup—or at least she hadn’t nearly half a year ago when she had last seen her. Checking herself from the back to see if she had forgotten anything, she was irked to see how similar she really did look like her sister. All it took was neglecting her hair, putting in contacts, changing her spoors a little, and voila, there was Amaya instead of Amadhay. They had the same dark olive complexion, the same black hair, the same almond-shaped eyes with long eyelashes, they even had the same long fingers and puffy heart-shaped mouths. True, Amaya had been a little taller and a bit less curvy the last time she had seen her, but those were minor details.

She shrugged a hoodie on, not sure how to dress to look like her sister, but vaguely remembering that the other girl wore more jackets than was strictly necessary. Changing from her ankle boots to a pair of looser, heel-less boots with straps, she took a deep breath. She was going deep into enemy territory. Byrd’s Pub, Essebelle had told her, was owned by a Jymothie Byrd, who was rather friendly with Amaya and her friends. Three of the heralds worked for the tavern, with the other four of Amaya’s friend group regularly visiting. At any moment, things could go very badly. She could be put face-to-face with Amaya, Croy-li or Hynnkel, any of whom would recognize her instantly. One of them could have seen Amaya earlier and known that she was wearing something different. Amaya could have changed her entire style or cut her hair or been seriously, visibly injured.

Amadhay took a deep breath, steeling herself. There was nothing to worry about. Even if they recognized her, she could just teleport out before anything could happen. She was faster than they were and while she was going to be wary of them, none of them had any reason to believe that she was going to be there, pretending to be Amaya, especially since she was supposed to be dead. All she had to do was go in, try not to have to talk to anyone, grab Hunnigan, and get out with as little confrontation as possible.

An idea hit her suddenly and she grabbed her DS up from Essebelle’s desk. The other girl had offered her room up when Amadhay had explained that she needed a room with mirrors, but she was still in the Communications sector of the Information Department, working. She needed her help.

“Essie,” she began the moment the girl answered her call, “I need your help.”

“What, is my mirror too small for you to see your ass?” the arachin joked drily, chewing loudly on something. Amadhay wished she would stop doing that. It was irritating.

“No, this is about the mission—”

“Okay, no. Amadhay. You need to get over your thing with Maria. She is your Information Relay, not me. You can’t keep calling me for information that I have to call her to get. That is not my job and if you don’t stop, I’m going to report you.”

Amadhay sighed, playing with a curl as she leaned against the doorframe to Essie’s room. “That was a waste of both of our time, Essebelle. I need you to get a message through to Amaya Hakinato that she is needed urgently at the Hakinato homestead within the zoot and that if she is not present at precisely 2:13, then her permission to live outside of the homestead will be rescinded until further notice.”

“Why?” Essebelle asked after a moment, sounding a bit perturbed.

“It’s above your pay grade,” Amadhay replied blandly. “So are you going to do it, or am I going to have to report you?”

Essie was silent for a moment. “As you command, Agent Hakinato,” she finally responded with venom in her voice.

“Thank you, Operative Crone. I’d like it to be done now so that I may continue with my mission.”


Essie hung up before Amadhay could say anything more.

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