Hack the Future Part 11 ( Steven Schaufler & J Dark )

He flung himself towards his gun skidding along the linoleum floor into the kitchen. He looked back trying to determine which target he needed to focus on first. His hand stopped mere millimeters from Blade’s revolver. The sorceress’s runes blazed in white light, as she gazed at her two companions. The missile mages froze solid, wands half drawn from the holding sleeves on their belts. Except for the glow of the runes, he hadn’t even seen her hand or lips move at all. How the fuck did she pull that off? These elves just keep getting weirder every time I meet one. Irelle looked at the two then glared at Blade with eyes that blazed like golden fire. Turning to face TJ, her gaze seemed to say ‘This is all her fault!’. Her shoulders tensed, much like he’d seen the mages do just before they’d tried to draw their weapons.

Eventually, she blinked her eyes, as if to clear away what just happened. Her hand stretched out again, as she floated her glass to her. After taking several long draughts, she let her eyes travel back and forth between the two mercenaries. Taking a deep breath, her eyes moved to linger speculatively on Blade before she intoned, „It seems the job has just become a tad more complicated.“

Blade listened intently. Irelle had not yet released the two mages. Glancing back over to them, both men still wore the snarls that were on their faces when They started pulling their wands. Their bodies weren’t straining at the spell. They knew that they would be released eventually. They’d reacted to Irelle’s reaction. She’d stopped them. That should be the end of the problem. But, Blade knew it wasn’t. Being healed by Irelle had laid bare everything that she was trying to hide. Her heritage, the magic. Irelle had felt it all.

Healing is so intimate. Whether you want to or not, you always get a sense of the real person. What they are. Everything of what they are. She covered it as she always had, with attitude and a hard reserve that said ‘don’t mess with me’. Her gaze hardened as she looked at the two paralyzed mages, and her eyes narrowed further as they shifted to Irelle. You want to condemn my blood? Bring it, bitch. I’m badder than you, I’m meaner. Tattoos don’t mean a thing. Not against a gun, and a brain. So come on, throw down and see who loses. Big hint, it won’t be me.

Her heart raced. She felt that thrill of fear and anticipation just before a fight. She watched Irelle, who stared back at her with a razor-edged smile that promised ‘game on’ any time she wanted. Blade broke the stare down first. She was way too keyed up after the healing. Irelle chuckled softly, rankling Blade’s nerves further. She looked back over at TJ, who was staring at the sorceress. “Going to explain the complications, or are we done here?” He folded his arms across his chest and straightened up, squaring his body at Irelle. He’s decided things aren’t going to change as we are right now. He’s going to force it. Irelle beat him to it.

Her runes flashed, and both mages finished their draw, pointing the rune-carved sticks at Blade. “The complication is that your half-breed pet would get you both condemned and killed where I’m going to send you. TJ blinked. “Half? Blade? She could see things click in place behind his eyes. The lucky coincidences. The strange times she chose to hesitate or rush headlong. He knows I could sense them. Dammit, why now!? He’ll never trust me again! She gritted her teeth and glared frustrated anger and shame at Irelle.

She outed me. If she tells the Purists, I’m going to be a walking target. Hell, she could tell Humanity First and forget the Purists. Elves have nothing on humans. They shoot their own kind without a second thought. Elves prefer banishment. They’ll kill too, but that’s usually not vindictive enough. They like to make their targets suffer. It makes for nastier psychology.

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