“Indeed,” Hellsing said, keeping a careful eye on Idalla as she spoke. She was not going to let her guard down now. “Lying is not a shooting offense. That is why I have not shot her. But I do believe she is a potential danger to us. She is no harmless maid or even an aasimar.”
She shot Idalla a piercing look, deep and discerning.
“You said you were a woman from another plane. Then you asked us if we had heard of the aasimiar. But you didn’t actually say you were an aasimar, did you? We inferred that was your meaning, which I believe was your intent; to mislead without actually uttering an untruth. Just as when you said you were not an illusion, and not wearing a disguise. All technically true, but not mentioning other possibilities.”
“Morrolan, Orekk, I say again. Withdraw your steps from her whilst keeping up your guard. I am not sure why you are unwilling to see her as a threat when we have run into several things down here that were not as they appeared and were dangerous because of it, but as you two are standing closest to her, I fear for your safety.”
She continued to look at Idalla as she spoke, though she addressed Morrolan and Orekk now.
“You ask what cause I have to distrust her. I feel she is being dishonest with us, and it started from the moment we opened that door and she leapt up. Do you recall? Her first words to us were ‘oh, I am saved’. Now think for a moment about the hypothetical mindset of a prisoner, especially one that has been captured for a long time, and has not seen her captor very often. Would she automatically know who a stranger at her door was? Would she feel hope or trepidation? Even if she wanted to feel hope, would she feel uncertainty? How does she know that these strangers are not cohorts of the wizard’s?”
Hellsing’s lips compressed, thinly.
“I will answer you: she does not. So that is why I find Idalla’s immediate reaction to our approach very strange, and not fitting with the mindset of a prisoner.” Her eyes narrowed. “I will also say that I feel that it is almost as if she knew we were coming, though I do not know how that could be. Nevertheless, I initially dismissed this attitude as naivete on her part. But in observing her further, I now feel that assessment was incorrect. Her moods have shifted this way and that, like the changing of seasons overnight. One moment, in tears, the next playful, the next complaining about how boring books are.”
She looked archly at Idalla.
“Again, this is not the mindset of a prisoner. A woman who is so desperate to be moved to tears of despair does not recover from that turmoil so quickly. That was an act on her part, though she is quite the accomplished actress. I cannot see any signs of falsehood, even though I know it must be so, from the sheer amount of inconsistency in her behavior.”
Hellsing spoke calmly, still holding her shot, though she was ready to loose it in a moment. No one else looked as if they would be moved to violence, though both Vlad and Araella seemed on their guards. That was good, but it would be better to see more.
“Another thing, amongst several things, that you said that I found very interesting, Idalla, was, ‘I will not try to harm you’. These are not the words of a person who feels like she is a victim, as a person who has been cruelly imprisoned for a ‘very long time’ would be. That person would feel small and probably quite helpless, and it would never occur to them to say such a thing, because they do not feel they are capable of having any agency in the world at all. A person who does feel they need to assure others that they will not harm them is a person who feels powerful.”
She stared hard at Idalla.
“Do you feel powerful, Idalla? Are you a powerful creature from another plane? Do you mean us harm?”
Hellsing did not pause to let Idalla answer.
“We have given you what you stated you wanted, namely release from the prison. Yet now that you have it, you have not left us. Why is that? Do you want something else? Something from my companions or myself?”
Hellsing stepped forward then, boldly and all at once.
“I am telling you that you will not have it. Go now, or I will fire.”
Move Action: to I62.
Standard Action: To be clear: Hellsing is telling Morrolan and Vlad to take a Withdraw action to get out of Idalla’s reach without taking an AoO.
Ready an action to fire if Idalla approaches anyone, for any reason, or appears to start to do anything other than simply leave (take out an item, cast a spell, etc.)
Free Action: None.
Current AC: 21 AC (20 AC +1 Skirmish AC) (17 Flatfooted, 16 Touch)
Current HP: 50/50 remaining
Current Weapon in Hand: Composite Longbow.