The bumpy ride did little to comfort me. I keep my face in a bored mask, but it is like gossamer, fragile and transparent. Like my dress, which made me look like a classy prostitute. I thought of how Messala could deceive me like this. The matronly harpie rarely struck anyone as a former assassin, but if there was one thing she wasn't, it was fickle. I wondered what made her change her plan. It must've been something drastic. What if my brief had changed? Well, whatever it was, Messala is going to have it wormed out when I get into her head tonight. It was a secret we both shared; Messala and I would communicate through our minds and our minds alone, for the fear of our messages being intercepted. Telepathy was a rare ability of almost mythic reputation. When one's Gift showed itself during puberty, all telepaths were prosecuted in the name of the King, and when caught, taken away to never be seen again. Messala had always told me her guild barely got there in time before the king's guards set fire to my house. At least I got resurrected, but not without a price, one I could live with but many couldn't.
To be resurrected, you had to become Necromica, beings who used lab-grown bodies as vessels for their soul, which must be ripped away from the original flesh before they completely fade. Majority of Necromica were born from nothing; their souls a part of their creator, their bodies woven from magic, while some, like me, were resurrected with an original soul. Necromica bodies were made with disfigurations, to distinguish them from the natural folk. These disfigurations were mostly aesthetic, though some even served a unique purpose of their own. Some Necromica had extra arms to multitask, while others, the more extreme ones, had tools for hands, and etc. No one wanted these 'disfigurations', so many bribe the magi for a better vessel. They were also branded with the signature of their creators, like livestock. I myself, with gills on my neck in place of lungs and a triangular hollllow for a nose, was not of a special model and never really minded my flaws, though for some reason I have a ridiculously bony figure (which, considering the purpose for whic I'd been brought back, a disadvantage), and my limbs were tinged a dark shade of purple. Not that it mattered anyway. The Seas were incredibly diverse, so it would take a lot to truly stand out from the colorful crowd. I had suspected the main reason Messala chose me and not my senior, Nessie the lamia, because of my resemblance to a Deep Sea dweller. The more exotic you were, the more likely one was to be noticed by the King, who, according to the rumors, collected beautiful women and kept them in a zoo, and nothing in the exotic Upper Sea was more exotic than a Deep Sea girl.
They were extremely elusive and rarely seen by the inhabitants of the Mid and Upper Levels. Thus, their existense is shrouded in legends, and accounts of an encounter can never be trusted. However, the only Deep Sea dweller everyone knows to be real is the queen of them all; Lady Elyse of the Eternal Night. Ironic, considering how she has blonde hair and blue eyes common in high merfolk, but nevertheless the Lady has been known to wield authority with an iron fist. Instead of sending ambassadors to attend the Gathering (don't worry, I've often admired how original that name is), the Lady and her entourage come there herself, and fortunately, they'll be arriving in a few days.
Just in time for my mission.