« Data Note: A recently recovered Principalian stasis object | Main | In Human Resources »

The Old Switcheroo

by Jonathan Wood

According to the pulps, when you want to raid a wizard's tower you just strap on a broadsword and a loincloth and go at it. Truth is you need a permit with fifteen signatures. Still the government spooks give me enough talismans I make Mr T look restrained. Hopefully they'll get me further than the permit, which only buys me a stunned doorman and a ride in the penthouse elevator.

Now a tower wouldn't be complete without a damsel in distress--April Wilcox, heiress of the Wilcox sock empire. Vesu Telquist made all six feet five of her disappear at his show tonight and has yet to make her reappear.

Mundane security's at the door. So I drop them with rubber bullets. The permit might have worked but this feels more satisfying. There's so many talisman's round my neck I don't which one defeats locks, so in the end I just kick in the door.

I clear the living room and the kitchen, then I open the bedroom door and almost gag--blood and shit spread over the room. The body's in the bed. What's left of it. Head's gone. Belly's open and the guts lie in circles on crimson sheets. Sick bastard.

I'm right on top of it when I realize it's too short. April Wilcox is an Amazon with a brunette dye job. This is a shrimp with excessive leg hair.

She comes out of the wardrobe with a knife and goes for the talisman's at my throat. Apparently her scrying let her know what was being sent to get her back. Vesu didn't see it coming. Neither did I. We tustle and break. Just in case I'm still thinking of rescuing her, she opens her mouth a breathes fire at me. Some joke about a hot date occurs to me and I'm so ashamed I almost let her roast me. As it is my jacket's on fire before I find the right talisman. We go at it then, she flinging elemental forces at me, me getting pummeled and my hands caught in ancient chains.

Eventually she and I both get sick of it. She tries fire again and I take the hit. That gives me time to line up the shot, and her blood mixes with Vesu's. I have the talisman ready in my pocket from the first attack but most of my clothes are ash by the time I summon the water to douse me.

I leave the mess for the spooks to clean up and ride down the elevator pulling off the remains of my shirt. I look at what's left in the mirrored walls. And on top of it all it turns out a loin cloth isn't a good look for me anyway.

Post a comment