The Meeting had come and gone and it was more or less what Kharia feared it would be: a bunch of power-hungry zealots who wanted to tear down the empire so they could take over and increase their own standings while paying no heed to the possible chaos and destruction such a group could unless. If utilized properly, a small group like the Ebony Order could be used to do some real damage to the Empire's infrastructure and potentially get civilians killed in the process. She couldn't allow such a group to exist, they had to be stopped, but she had one stop to make before her plans began.
Kharia stripped down after leaving the meeting, redressing in her own robes and leaving the black armor to be collected afterward. Noa and Ana were one of the main drivers behind the Ebony Order, she recognized their voices - a part of her couldn't believe the two children she had met being capable of such a thing. Still, Ana's pain and broken mind came from experiments done on her by the Empire, she could understand the lust for revenge, but it wasn't going to make anything better. If anything, it would just make things worse by bringing more attention to the pair.
Kharia sat silently, waiting for the twins to pass through the hall below her. This was one of the only exits to the outside from this broken-down ruin and, given where they came into the meeting from, this was likely their route out. Kharia racked her brains as she sat there, trying to think of what she could possibly say to get these two to abandon their cause, but it was difficult to say the least. She didn't know Noa well, only what he told her and that he loved his sister - Ana was someone she couldn't help but know on the other hand, given their shared mental state during their last meeting. Her train of thought was brought to a halt as echoing footstep began to approach her, with Kharia kneeling down and waiting, holding her breath. When they passed below her, she waited a moment before lightly stepping off the ledge and hitting the ground below, coming level with them as she adjusted her hat. "You made good use of those books I gave you, that illusion was pretty good...N, A, good to see you both again despite the...circumstances."
The meeting had been a success. Reese had expected to have some resistance from them, someone arguing some pointless babble about greed and their own lust for power. But he was glad that after some persuading they all came to the conclusion that the Empire needed to fall. Not just the man sitting on the throne, but everything. While Reese wasn't specifically trying to take out the Emperor, his main goal was somewhere along those lines. With scrutiny on the nobles, the eldest son of the Blankenship family knew their father would be forced to take precautions for his own safety. And in those plans, Reese could carry out his own desires to bring the man to justice.
His reasoning for targeting his father was that the man had used his resources to experiment on Reese's sister. The poor girl had not inherited the Blankenship powers which were so carefully bred into their bloodline. Their father suspected it was because his wife had had an affair. As such, he felt no despair treating her so harshly. But Reese would not be so understanding. He stole his sister out of his father's lab and fled to the Cathwa nation where after meeting with some powerful allies allowed him to come back to Rhisoka to carry out his plan.
They had entered into the meeting in disguise, choosing to hide every part of themselves. Wearing long black outfits that matched one another -though River's was more feminine in design- along with long black capes, they looked truly the part of the Ebony Order's movement. They had also taken to designing thick helmets which each respectively had alpha and omega symbols on the faceplates which was the alias they called themselves; Alpha for Reese, Omega for River.
With the sudden movement behind him, Reese quickly prepared himself to unleash a flurry of spells against their attacker. He expected someone to betray them or come after them after their grandiose performance inside the meeting place. Likewise, his sister grabbed for a pair of knives hidden on her person and turned to throw them. But hearing the girl's voice -along with actually seeing her- the girl quickly put them away and rushed her.
"Kiki!!" she shrieked in excitement, still calling her the incorrect name she'd come to love.
Turning around, Reese -or Noah as he preferred to be called- would take off his helmet and pull away the sleeve that came up past his nose to further disguise his appearance. "Miss Na'amra. A surprise to see you here. I didn't think your feelings for the Emperor were that strong. Nor did I figure you for a terrorist. Or, perhaps your quiet life on the oceanside had gotten too boring for your taste? Hmm?"
Kharia already had her arms open and waiting to receive Ana as the girl practically flew into her embrace, the Lightning Mage hugging her tightly and petting the helmet, wishing she could get to the locks of hair beneath. "Hiya there honey, I missed you!" She crooned happily, spinning the little one around in her arms before setting her back down and subtly giving her a bar of candy, putting a finger to her nose. Seeing Ana happy and healthy only made what she had to say more painful in her mind, mental images of her pained or angry expression sketching themselves into her thoughts and paranoid mind - but this had to be said.
She looked up at Noa, shrugging a little. "Well, when you hear through the grapevine about a secretive group forming to dismantle the Empire, it tends to attract curiosity, and worry." She said softly, her eyes already communicating what she was going to say. "What was that in there Noa? I...I didn't like what I heard." She moved up to a rock nearby the twins, sitting and crossing her legs. "I understand wanting the Emperor gone, he perpetuates a system that promotes inequality, dominance, the supposed superiority of the few over many, petty cruelties, and so much more, but not everyone in the Empire is like that, some genuinely want it to be better and just can't get there because of the opposition."
Kharia's thoughts drifted to Lilith and her family, her soon-to-be child, her husband, their struggle to get to where they were. They weren't perfect, but nobody was, and they, at least, tried to do good things. "I'm here to ask you to please not do this...you know as well as I do innocents will get caught up in this, and neither of us wants that."
Ana squealed happily as the woman picked her up and spun her, then would take the candy bar gleefully, "Thank you, Miss Kiki!" Taking off her helmet, she would then pull away the cloth wrapper and dig in.
As Ana reunited with her horse-owning friend, Noah would begin to work on a little security for them. His eyes took on a red hue as an illusion was cast around them. Ripples in the air around them in the shape of a dome pulsed for a moment before vanishing. Outside the bubble, the air now seemed less.....colorful. And likewise, everything inside was more vibrant. Ana's hair was far more green and brilliant. While Noah's purple eyes seemed like gems under a ray of sunshine.
What Noah had done was nothing of a surprise to Kharia. She could likely perform the same spell herself. Though probably not as easily as Noah had done, something in his bloodline that took no effort to do. He'd made an exclusionary bubble, hiding them from the world both in sight and sound. Now, no one who'd stuck around after the meeting would know where they were, and they'd have to cross the boundary to break through it. It was risky should someone coincidentally be heading in their path, for that would dispel the whole thing. But such a thing was not likely to happen. All the same, now they could talk with no fear of anyone listening in or discovering the twins true identities.
"I don't know what you mean," he would reply honestly. Kharia seemed surprised by Noah's comments in the meeting. Clearly she was in the mindset someone like him couldn't have done something so heinous.
Kharia explained what she meant, showing her thoughts about the Empire. And then, more brazenly, asked him not to follow with this path. The man would put his hand to his face and cover it while he started to shake. Then, slowly at first, before upright howling as loud as he could, the man would let out a hysterical and creepy laugh. "You think me for a fool, Kharia? I know full well this plan of theirs will fail. Innocent people will be hurt, sure, but this is war of course. A king must lose some of his troops if he is to secure the board. That's what pawns are for."
With another laugh he would then look to Ana and then back to Kharia. "My goal is not with their emperor. I could care less about the fat sack sitting on that throne. My goal is and forever will be my sister. So long as she is in danger I will sacrifice every pawn at my disposal. The Ebony Order will be my black knights, my loyal soldiers. With them playing the field I can get to the true opponent, my father. Nobles and the like will face scrutiny once they learn their own people have turned against them. And in doing so, I will spin a web my father will have no choice but to fall into."
"-And then we squish the spider!" Ana suddenly blurted out.
Noah turned to his sister and with a warm tone, correct her, "The spider eats the fly, my darling. We are the spider."
Looking to her candy bar with a gross face she would say quieter, "We eat...the fly...?"
Her comment was lost to Noah as he'd turned his attention back to Kharia to put one final word in, "My father will fall."
For a long moment, Kharia sat there in silence, visually trying to adjust to what had just been said to her. He didn't know what she meant? If he didn't know what she meant then that was extremely worrying, even more so considering the green-haired gem between them. Everything he was saying demonstrated a complete and utter callousness for the lives he was playing with, referring to them as if they were just chess pieces, things, and not living, breathing people. Flawed or evil though they were, they still didn't deserve to be executed or sacrificed so casually to the whims of a single man.
Kharia stood and looked Reese in the eye, her own deep-blue irises shimmering in the field and betraying the lightning that sparked beneath. "You don't know what I mean..." She began softly, her voice barely more than a whisper. She didn't want to lose it, River didn't need to see her like that. "The two of you forced a man to his knees, hurt him, and then you killed him in a very gruesome manner, ending his life. A man with hopes, dreams, people who cared for him, and your 11-year-old sister just pressed a foot on his neck until it broke...you see nothing wrong with that?" Kharia looked at River, sadness and fear in her eyes, then back at Noah, gesturing toward the Ebony Order uniforms.
"This isn't protecting your sister Noa, your Father is only one man, you can hide from him, run from him, and if you don't want to do that, then kill him or make him admit to the people what he did. There has to be a better way to seek justice, if you're willing to let all those disgruntled people out there die so you can entrap this one man, why not just kill him in the first place - I don't believe in killing, but seems much less wasteful." She paused, taking a breath for the next words as lightning rolled over the skies above. If he reacted badly, she wanted a fast exit. "This isn't justice, and this isn't protecting your sister Reese...this is revenge, and you know it is, and you know it's a fool's game."
To no surprise Kharia was upset at their actions. She tried to explain that they'd killed an innocent man only to have Noah turn and dismiss the thought with the wave of his hand. "The man was a traitor to the throne. He would have met a much harsher punishment."
She then tried to push harder, saying what they were doing wasn't about their father anymore. She tried to get him to see reason, that there had to be another way. But when he said his real name, he flinched and snapped his head back to her.
"Don't you call me that. My name means nothing anymore until my father is drowning in a pool of his own blood!"
With that he turned back around and motioned his head to his sister. He was done talking. Kharia didn't understand that he couldn't just approach his father. The man had plenty of security to keep him safe. That and with the power of the Illusion just as he had, there was no telling what was actually going on inside that home. He could walk right into the dungeon thinking it was the kitchen. Though Noah was confident in his own visual prowess, it didn't compare to his father's who'd had a lifetime to perfect it.
But therein also came with a flaw. Everyone knew about the Blankenship powers of illusion and persuasion (those in the higher courts at least). If their father randomly stepped up before them and admitted his wrong-doings, they'd accuse him of being blackmailed or under some spell. Especially if it was Noah standing behind him claiming to have been wronged. They'd trust the man they'd known for years, not his brat of a son. The same son who ran away and was publicly known to be a traitor. Noah had lost his chance to get back at his father. Him leaving with Ana ruined that chance to come back with welcome arms. Had he ignored his sister and gone right to the source at first, then perhaps he could have done something. But how could he ever leave his sister in that Hell?
"We're going. Don't let me see you again. You have no place in the Order. If you wear our colors again....I will kill you."