[Please read the Instructions before jumping in]
Lucien only hesitates one brief moment over his decision. He truly doesn’t want to miss the chance to have one of the Lords speak with him, and knows it might be a once in a lifetime opportunity…
But he wants to know what Katarin was talking about more than that. He just has no idea about any of the things she’s been saying, and the information might be important later, given that it’s tied to the dreams. Important for Lord Crow, for himself, even for Shuni. After all, he’s decided to talk to Shuni honestly later, and shouldn’t he get as much information as he can for that?
He sighs, flexing his arms now that the costumers have finished cramming him back into Shuni’s shirt and taking Logos’s costume away for cleaning. “I’ll go drinking with you, of course,” he says. “I agree, we should talk.”
They finish up, and she smiles at him, tossing her hair back over her shoulder and offering him her arm. “Shall we, then?”
“Let’s,” he drawls, and takes it.
They head out into the night and he tries not to look around for anyone—anything—who might be watching from the shadows, concerned that he’d make eye contact with one of the Lords and then everything would go topsy-turvy from there. Katarin doesn’t start talking right away, and he himself waits until they’re well away from the theatre before clearing his throat. “You asked before if I was the… person you were looking for, or if it was Lucien.”
“Right,” she says softly. “Do you have more of an answer now?”
“Well, that’s complicated,” he says. “You see, I’m Lucien.”
He felt her tense, and she slowly turns her head to look at him. She squints, searching his features more closely. “What the fuck,” she says indelicately. “How in the world above and below—”
“It wasn’t easy,” he admits. “But we look so much alike and we’ve studied each other’s roles. I caught Lord Crow’s attention last night, and Shuni wanted to… defer extra attention from me.”
She lets out a breath between her teeth. “And you’re still sane? Never mind, I don’t want to know.” With her free hand, she rubs her face. “So is it you?”
“It’s not me. It might be Shuni, but if it is, I don’t know, because I don’t know what it is,” he says, trying to rein in his impatience. “Listen, though, you’ve revealed enough that you might as well come out with it. Please, Katarin, please. Explain.”
“…Let’s drink,” she says softly.
They get a private booth in the Fox’s Den, and Katarin orders a pitcher of beer, and the two of them pour. Katarin sighs, runs her hands through her hair, and says, “According to the symptoms given in the prophecy, I believe the play is being hijacked into a ritual to create a new Lord, and it may destroy the existing Lords in the process,” she says flatly. “Maybe even the world. The potentials are people marked for or by change, and the dreams, I think, are showing what the world may be like after this one person gains the power. They’re showing that it’s impending. I thought it might be Shuni who was doing it.”
He sat back in his seat, stunned. “Wait, what? How are Shuni or I marked for change?”
“It’s in your names,” she says. “Io-morphe. Shuni.”
“Shuni means ‘change’?”
“Changed, but yes,” she says gloomily.
“What about you?”
“I’m a changeling,” she says bluntly. “I was switched at birth. That’s why I know about the prophecy. The folks underneath told it to me.”
“What the fuck, Kat.” He doesn’t know what else to even say to that.
“It is what it is,” she says, like that wasn’t a strange revelation even for an actor. “So the three of us are involved in change, in our names and in what we are. So if the one who’s started things in motion isn’t me, and if it isn’t you, it must be Shuni.”
Lucien stares at his mug, stomach clenched. “Wait, you think someone’s doing it deliberately? It’s not just …happening? Not just… the prophecy happening to us?”
“It can’t happen accidentally. Someone’s set it on this course,” Katarin says. She takes a long drink. “We’re caught up in it by our nature because we all have the potential, but someone has triggered this, and that someone will try to reap the benefits in the finale. So I guess it’s Shuni, like I thought.”
Lucien hesitates. Shuni obviously does have something going on, but… this? Why would he be so hungry for an existing Lord if so? Yet Lucien can’t disprove it, either, he doesn’t think.
His mind is whirling. He needs more information, and has no idea what questions to even ask.
[Please leave suggestions for Lucien in the comments.]