Mehnaz turns as the chamber door opens and Faisal steps in, quickly followed by Majid. The warrior’s robe is spattered with blood, as are his hands. Disturbing questions jump to mind, but the young woman decides that patience is the better choice. The feda-sayyid, on the other hand, is much less subtle.
<What has transpired? Faisal, what have you done?>
The young man does not answer, crossing the room and slumping into a chair. A single, strangled noise emanates from his mouth as his sits forward, cradling his head in bloody hands. The older man steps forward and raises his voice.
<Answer me, feda-ghazi!>
<Get. Out.>, replies the warrior, not lifting his head.
The holy leader steps forward again, asserting his authority as leader of the Order.
<You forget your place, feda-ghazi! I demand that you answer me!>
Mehnaz tenses as Faisal stands suddenly, his blood-smeared face a mask of rage and pain. Majid limps forward, looking alarmed.
<YOU WISH TO KNOW WHAT I HAVE DONE!?>, screams the young warrior. <I HAVE MURDERED THE ORACLE OF TUSKANY WHILE SHE CROUCHED DEFENSELESS AND CRYING ON THE FLOOR! THAT IS WHAT I HAVE DONE, OLD MAN! I HAVE PROVEN MYSELF NO BETTER THAN MY THRICE-DAMNED SISTER!>
The holy leader’s face darkens, anger blossoming to match that of the younger man. His hand drops to the hilt of his scimitar. Majid steps in front of his friend as tempers continue to escalate.
<One child a servant of the Dark One, and the second a murderer?!> growls Faisal, trying move around the crippled man to get closer. <Your competence as feda-sayyid and a parent is questionable, father!>
The older man roars in outrage and draws his weapon from its sheath and starts forward. Mehnaz moves to intercept him, placing a hand gently on his arm.
<He seeks to enrage you, feda-sayyid>, she whispers, attempting to calm his anger. <He wishes to assuage his guilt by giving you reason to slay him.>
The rage fades from the holy leader’s countenance and he nods in understanding. <Yes, isha-ghazi, I believe you are correct.>
Faisal presses forward and Majid works to hold him back. <You fail to deal with a murderer and apostate?!>, he exclaims. <Perform your duty, ibn kelb!>
The older man looks at the young warrior, sadness replacing the anger.
<The accusations of apostasy are clearly false, and I will advise retraction of the Tetheyr upon this land. Your actions against the supposed Oracle are the jurisdiction of the Dawnbrethren. It shall be the Dawnsister’s interpretation of The Eternal Light’s judgment that will determine your fate. May The Sarenrae have mercy upon your soul… Son.>
As the Qadiran leader turns and walks from the room, Faisal shoves Majid away and collapses back into the chair, again cradling his blood-streaked face in his hands.