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Continuing a chapter from Ghosts of Innocence, Shayla has stolen the identity of a new high-ranking Imperial appointee, Brynwyn bin Covin. She’s been met by a soldier (Kurt) from the Imperial Palace Guard, who’s escorting her to the Palace. They have just stepped outside while Shayla’s baggage is loaded into the car. Kurt spotted a row of punishment stalls across the square, and was busily dropping a coin into each slot until he ran out of coins. Shayla threw him a handful of small change.
He looked surprised, then delighted. "Eternal thanks, Magister Summis," he spluttered.
"Tribute to the Emperor, vengeance to the Almighty," Shayla intoned, showing that she felt it to be nothing more than her duty to help him.
By now, the onlookers had closed in behind Shayla. Talk stilled, as if in anticipation of sport beyond run-of-the-mill torture. She felt eyes burning into the back of her head as she approached the line of prisoners. She felt alone. Exposed. It was not like an assassin to be the center of attention like this.