Flavor Friday: Enhanced Surveillance

War is coming. The head of every guild knows it, but they don’t tell their members. The fools. The Conclave thinks they’re protecting their people. The League is too focused on other things. The Swarm is busy, always busy with something. And the Legion do not trust their people. Not like the House does. What is said of Dimir is little, but the one thing everyone on Ravnica knows is that Lazav is everyone. It’s the one truth the House has spread.

Half whispered, half thought, the Dimir agent pushed conscious idea towards the locket. “Quiet night.” He huddled under a bridge, out of the rain, and pulled his cloak tighter.

“The best kind.” An agent, two buildings away, on a rooftop, sent in reply. The second agent watched the city’s flow. Moving bodies, swaying arms, jostling each other out of the way. Some stop and look at wares being sold by merchants too stubborn to stay home on the dreary day.

“Still nothing?”

“I would have told you.”

He grunted, rolled his shoulders, and tried to find a more comfortable position against the curved brick arch. To keep busy he scanned the thoughts of those passing--there’s anything left to eat, I should probably...Why didn’t she tell me if she wanted...Every cent I make, how am I supposed to live when they--Pointless. Mundane. Not one concerned about anything of value.  “Eyes up.” The words of the rooftop agent, sent via locket, bloomed in his mind. He scanned the ever-shifting pattern of people. Ah-hah--there--with the hood pulled low, a Conclave elf. She moved up to a merchant’s stall and pretended to browse the wares. Her eyes darted this way and that.

What a joke. Did she truly think she was hidden from them? Maybe if she were trying to avoid one of the other guilds, but this was Dimir. She might as well have been an injured mouse in a room with a dozen hungry cats.

The agent drew his blade. She would come this way, she had to. This was where she was meant to go. This was the place where death would visit. Just as Lazav had said. She seemed to be aware of this. Taking her time, moving in half steps. The agent could almost feel her fear.

Perfect, she was putting on a splendid act. As she passed he would pretend to kill her and slip her a note with the location of the Dimir guildgate--one of them. And he, in time, would be paid an obscene price. The agent on the roof would be too far too see and, once the deed was done, would leave. Everything was going just as it’d been planned.

But something was wrong. That fear, it seemed to shift. There was fear, yes, and it was growing as the elf moved closer, eyes still shifting. But the agent was no longer so certain of where the emotion originated. “Do you see anything else?” He asked, sending the question to the agent on the roof. There was no response. Now he understood that the fear was his own. How? How could this have happened?

A moment later a blade--his own, turned against him with adroit and subtle ease--slid into his chest. His lungs filled with blood. The elf’s face began to change. Now an elf, now a face everyone on Ravnica would swear to having seen once...But where, or when, they couldn’t be sure.

“Lazav.” The agent gasped. “How?”

“I am everyone. You should have listened.”

“I-I thought...” the agent choked, blood filling his mouth. “I thought that was a lie.”

“No, no. Mix a few truths in with the lies and they’re so much harder to find. Now sleep.” Lazav’s face changed as they walked on. Becoming one of the city’s people, becoming them all.

Written by: Delio Pera @ deliopera.com @deliopera