Disclaimer: Death Gate Cycle vol. 1 the characters of Alfred Montbank, Haplo, Hugh the Hand and all others are the creations of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, Ballantine Books, and TSR INC, and are not mine; written from Alfred's POV.

"Hidden in Plain Sight" by Karen

As I put pen to the crisp white pages of my journal and one that I often wonder if anyone will actually read once my journeys are over as the assassin, Hugh the Hand pointed out to me shortly after our first meeting: I can not go home again.

You see I have burned my bridges, and not content with that, I even went so far to drown the remainder pieces, metaphorically speaking of course, the world of Air has a very limited supply of water. What few supplies of the precious liquid exist are fiercely guarded and fought over-but I digress. After all, my duty and my charge, Prince Bane is now my only responsibility.

As I sit on the floor of the holding chamber that the Gegs, our hosts in the Low Realm have firmly but kindly escorted us into and I speculate if now I am expected to come up with a plan.

Hugh, called the Hand stares intently at the grille farther up on the ceiling meditatively sucking on his pipe, has been staring intently at the grille farther up on the ceiling; I should leave him to it. He is not the most patient of individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. He is angry at the loss of his dragon-ship, nor do I blame him. We are trapped down here.

I carry it around with because a soothing and perhaps relaxing past time, but given the circumstances one that I should not allow myself to indulge completely. After all, I do have a reputation to maintain.

My charge, Prince Bane, the only heir of Queen Anne and King Stphen of Uylandia of the Mid Realm is a full time responsibility and unusually perceptive and intelligent for his age. I have long since lost track of how long

I have been in service to the throne, I forget sometimes that I led a double life.

The distinct line between where the bumbling, subservient, proper, ever conscious of his duty Alfred Montbank begins and where my true identity lays has become a wee bit blurry over the years.

Centuries ago I was someone else, someone powerful; one of the legendary Sartan, a race of humans gifted with extraordinary magical abilities but all of them supposedly disappeared ages ago in a world upheaval known as the Sundering.

The Sartan, in a desperate bid to prevent their enemies, their counterpart in magical power, the Patyrns from taking over the world, separated that world into its four component and elemental parts. Phenomenal yes, but sadly the mensch; as we both Sartans and Patryns, refer to the lower races, humans, dwarves and elves, paid the price.

Shortly before the Sundering took place The Sartan made the decision to put their young people into a cryogenic sleep in the hope that within a couple of centuries things would return to normal. Somewhere along a miscalculation took place, and hundreds of years passed while we slept on, unaware. I woke up to a vastly altered world; I was the only survivor, the only member of my race. Face it, Alfred, would you rather go on living like this, terrified someone

will discover your secret, that you're one of the Sartan, or that when the races do, they might use your powers for destructive purposes. Either way, it's tearing you up inside. Now you're stuck at the bottom of a very large hole, with three people whose agendado not march within a mile of each other, nobody trusts each other, and you can not even get a decent night's rest because, curled up on the opposite of the room is a man that just may hold the answer to all of those questions that keep you up at night.

Now the fact that Haplo is aware of you or who were, this make his head hurt. As a Patryn he will be wary, on his guard.

You dared to use a small sleep spell on the man called Haplo, you unwrapped the bandages that cover his hands, and you find evidence that that Patryns survived.

Secrets, but that dammed insensate curiosity keeps tripping you up even more than your stubborn over-sized feet. "Damn it." Now what do I do?" 'Well, I feel like I am filling in a role for someone who has only momentarily stepped off the stage and is expected to return. What if that person never does come bac? So this is the path that has been laid out for me? I hope I do not trip over my over-sized feet.