This is just an experiment. I've had this idea for awhile, but I never did anything with it. I have a little free time, so I thought I'd give this a shot.

Disclaimer: I do not own any Tamora Pierce characters or anything else of hers. All I own are my own characters and crazy ideas.


Five people occupied a small room. There was scarcely enough space for them all to stand, let alone sit comfortably. The only figure that was seated had coal black hair and a beard to match. On his head he wore a gold crown that marked him as the ruler of Tortall. He looked up into the green eyes of the young man standing in front of him. His bright blue eyes were unreadable.

"It's official. They're demanding your life," King Jonathan of Conte said calmly as if the meeting was about a normal diplomatic affair, instead of the life of one of the realms knights. The man he was addressing swept his hand through his long brown hair, sighed, and looked at his wife. The young woman met his stare with her own almond-shaped brown eyes. Her ebony hair hung loose, she had not had time to put it up in the rush to get to the meeting. She wore a lavender Tortallan style gown, but anyone who saw her would know she was a Yamani. In her arms she carried a small baby girl. Her husband knew she was worried despite the expressionless face she showed everyone.

"Your Highness, what will you do?" asked Sir Nealan of Queenscove looking back into the face of his King. He knew that the letter regarding the demand for his life and the lives of his wife and daughter were from the ruler in Tyra. No more than a month ago, he had fired a servant who he caught stealing money from his family as well as the families living on the Queenscove lands. The servant was forced to leave the fief and somehow managed to reach the capital of Tyra. He then proceeded to try and steal the royal jewels and was caught. The Tyran king traced the servant back to Sir Nealan and held the knight responsible, claiming nobles were responsible for the commoners who served them, disregarding the fact that the thief had been fired.

"Do? What will I do? He's threatening to go to war with Tortall if you aren't killed. I've no other choice."

"Jon, that's not fair. Neal didn't do anything wrong. You know it as well as I do. King Lasten is just being pig headed. Would you hand me over if it was my life he wanted?" Outsiders would have been startled by the way the other knight in the room had spoken to the King. Instead, Jonathan sighed and turned to face the violet eyed, red headed warrior.

"You're right, Alanna. I just don't know what else to do." He looked into the eyes of his Champion and Sir Nealan's former knight master, Lady Alanna of Pirates Swoop and Olau.

Alanna fixed her sight on the younger knight who had moved to place an arm around his wife, Yukimi noh Daiomoru. He looked back at her, knowing that despite her brave words, Alanna was as clueless for answer as her king.

"I believe I have an answer," the fifth member of their "little" gathering said. He was a tall man with coal black hair swept into a horse tall. Numair Salmalin, the realms best sorcerer, looked at the young knight and his small family. "We'll "kill" them," he said as the other four adults stared at him with wide eyes, and the baby stirred slightly. Wasn't that what they were just talking about? "Not really kill them. The letter states that Jonathan can have Sir Nealan killed within Tortall as long as King Lasten's mages can examine the body. Tyra's most powerful mage has power nowhere near equal to mine. I can create false images of Nealan, Lady Yukimi and their daughter and they'll seem reall to the Tyran mages. Once the mages are satisfied and leave, I'll disguise the Nealan's family and your Majesty can give them new titles and lands. Tyra will be none the wiser."

"Do you think it would work?" Sir Nealan asked. He had been silent while the other Tortallans had discussed the fate of his family and himself. He could no longer be quiet. "What about my friends, my family, and my people?"

"I'm sorry Sir, but if this is to work, only the five of us should know that you remain alive."

"But, at least let me tell my father, or...."

"Neal, you heard Numair. He said it is best that this be kept a secret. Do you want to protect your family? Think of Yuki, and the baby. What's best for them?" Neal looked again at his wife as he listened to Alanna's words. Tears rolled down Yuki's cheeks, leaving streaks in her face paint. Yamani's normally didn't show emotion, it was thought to be shameful; but who wouldn't cry if their only two choices in life were death or hiding. Lady Alanna was right. He had his wife and child to think of. How could his daughter grow up if her family was being hunted? Yuki saw the questioning look in her husbands eye and nodded. She knew what he wanted to know, and she agreed. They had to do it.

"What do we do first, Master Numair?"


I know that was rather short, but its just an idea. Please review and tell me what you think. I need to know if I should continue this futile attempt at putting a crazy idea into words.