The Last Thing

Title: The Last Thing
Time Period: January 1, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Jørn and Bridget are tasked with the delivery of the ransom demands for Cordelia's safe return to her mother. Goneril reacts with the stoic façade people have come to expect.

While there is a part of him afraid to go back up to meet Bridget, Jorn has spent just a few minutes getting some things together for what he assumes to be a short expedition. It may be, it may not — you can never tell until you are in the process. When he is back to meet Bridget at one of the hall doors, it much more foreboding to him because of the fact that dusk has encroached through all of the windows. Jorn carries with him a rucksack which he is attempting to tie around his torso, under the white cloak. He gives Bridget an uncertain look at first, belting the leather tie and pressing his mouth into a fine line.

"As ready as I'll ever be." He tilts his chin down, brows knitting.

Bridget has her pack together as well, but it's sitting on the floor against the wall rather than being on and ready. However, she has plenty of weapons strapped to her person and a certain note in her hand. There's just this one stop to make before they head out on their little errand.

When Jorn walks up, she gives him a nod, takes a moment to breathe and then turns to knock on Goneril's door. Her posture's a little too straight, her expression a little too severe for it to be good news.

The packs might give it away, too.

Goneril has been pacing about the manor for some time now, restless and on edge. She's been attempting to sit at her desk and work on her correspondence to no real avail and is grateful for the distraction in the form of Bridget's knuckles against her door.

She's up and out of her chair swiftly, taking only the barest of moments to make sure her clothing is straight and that no hair is out of place. When she opens the door, Goneril is standing up straight and looking expectant at her visitors. While she's always in possession of good poise when it counts, like Bridget, her spine is too straight, too stiff. She doesn't ask any questions, she simply waits for their report.

Jorn is the one to break the circle of quiet, rigid postures, when he sidles inward to the front part of the room. If just so that they are not standing out in the hall, delivering news as if it were as simple as that. By his manner, it very much is not, or else he would be asking before he tries to close such distance; formality asides itself in times of need. His hand is halfway from his side, hovering palm up to offer a guide away from the door, even by just a couple of steps. Blue eyes glance up to Bridget to close her gap as well, though Jorn knows that she knows this is best not delivered cold.

Jorn casts his eyes down, though rather than meet his lady's eyes, he stares at the small space of her chin. Waiting for Bridget to speak first seems to take forever.

When the door opens, Bridget looks at Goneril for a moment before she steps in, too. She isn't shying away from meeting the woman's eyes, but she does take it upon herself to close the door before she reaches over to put a strong hand on the woman's shoulder. She may not be the best for gentle comfort, but she does her best with her rougher manner.

"We've had word about Cordy," she says, her voice quiet, for lack of being truly soft. The note is passed over her way, but Bridget explains anyway, "They want weapons in exchange for her. They want you and Edgar to go alone and they plan on making you walk back." In the best case scenario. "On the fifth. Jorn and I are going to run a scouting mission tonight, and we'll bring back what we find as soon as possible."

Clearly, she's edging into the loopholes in the demand letter.

Goneril takes the letter impatiently and starts to read over it, despite the explanation from Bridget. She's quiet for several seconds, eyes scanning over the words a second and third time without really reading them. "Whatever they want," she murmurs in a voice soft enough to betray how affected she is.

"I can kill them later."

And Jorn would gladly hand over his dagger for it — not that he lacks confidence she can wield her own. He imagines it as a gesture, rather. He stays quite focused on her chin, mouth still pressed into a line. Bridget's put out the main points, and Jorn is somewhat reluctant to follow up. It is less about fear, and more about reprimand.

"If we discover that we have the chance — and means — to take her back safely, tonight, know that we will." It is a tall order, but he makes the stipulations clear. It is unlikely that such a thing will happen, Jorn knows, but his words are far from empty ones.

"And that's all well and good," Bridget says, as far as killing them later, "But we're going to focus on making sure they don't kill all of you the moment you get there."

When Jorn speaks up, Bridget looks over his way and gives a firm nod to his words. "God willing, this can all be over by this time tomorrow. But if it isn't, we'll be keeping things as clean as we can on the fifth."

"Good," Goneril responds to Jorn icily. The frigid tone isn't meant for him, but for their enemies, and she trusts him to know this. Or she doesn't care if he doesn't. Bridget finds herself on the receiving end of a hard stare before Goneril nods her assent.

"Do what you have to do," is permission given. "If any harm comes to her…" The mother's voice stays far too level, betraying the depth of what she's feeling. "Is there anything else?"

Taking it personally is the order of the day, though chances are he will come to sort these things out later. Jorn nods once to her, only then meeting Goneril's eyes before she looks to Bridget. One hand finds the belt of his scabbard, and his fingers clutch over the sides of the hilt protruding there.

"If we do not return by dawn, send some of the militia. In the meantime this must be kept as quiet as possible." Prying ears, prying eyes, perhaps even prying birds. Jorn doesn't discount a thing, yet he keeps such attentions to himself, for now, dipping his chin and eyes in assent again, voice low. "Hvis noen skade kommer til henne, jeg vil sluke dem selv…" It sounds like a bitter promise, of some kind — and they know that Jorn is good with the promises that matter most.

"If they harm her, it'll be the last thing they do, I can promise you that," Bridget says, severe tone coming to match her expression. She turns to look at Jorn while he does the last bit of explaining before she turns to head for the door again.

It may not be the most polite of ways to end a conversation, but it makes clear two things: there was, indeed, nothing else and Bridget is keen to get this done as soon as possible. She must trust that Jorn will be following shortly, because she only pauses to grab her pack and sling it on her shoulders before heading for the doors out.

Polite has no place in situations like these, and Goneril doesn't expect politesse from Bridget. There is no proper way to extend cordial goodbyes, nor is there a requirement for it. Or any time to waste. Goneril doesn't even wait to see if Jorn is through - she takes it as a given that he is - and starts toward the door in the back of the room that leads toward the one adjoining. Perhaps to seek counsel from her husband.

Jorn hovers a few steps behind Bridget, watching as Goneril turns herself to move into the next room. As soon as she is gone, he takes a deep breath and heads determinedly into the hall after Bridget. He has to make this right, and by any means necessary within his mortal ability to do so.