Hack the Future part 14 (Steven Schaufler & J Dark)

The little apartment was quiet, but for the sounds of five people breathing and, he thought, he could almost hear everybody thinking. The silence seemed to drag on for several seconds. He risked a quick glance towards his partner who looked at him as if he had lost his mind, but who was also covertly preparing herself in case their guests chose option one. His eyes snapped back to the pale, slender elf. Irelle rose to her feet. Slowly. Gracefully. She didn’t even look at him, as she crossed towards the shelf on the far side of the room. Her thin, alabaster-like fingers wrapped around the cube they’d ‘acquired’ from the Dayner vault and she nodded, as if to herself. Only then did she turn to face Blade and himself. She hefted the cube as if to gauge its weight, even as she continued speaking „But if you ever insult me again, I will not leave enough of you to fill something as small as this!“

Irelle drew back her arm before throwing the cube at him rather forcefully. Despite his reflexes he only barely managed to snatch it out of the air before it hit his head. He glared at her and she flashed him a cold smile. Coincidentally, the contents of that folder and the real Phylactery are related in ways even I do not fully understand…yet. So you see, we do have quite a bit to discuss.“

Blade let the breath she had been holding out slowly. She noticed the mages did also. We dodged a bullet. They don’t want to throw down, but there were ready to. I really don’t want to do that again. She shook her head, flipping her long hair back like a black fan. TJ smirked as if to say, was there any doubt, kid? Her hands clenched into fists as she visualized punching him in the mouth. She blinked as Irelle began to talk. Irelle had regained her poise, though Blade knew that TJ’s little power play had lessened her in the eyes of the mages. There’d be a very dangerous reckoning for that stunt after they were no longer useful.

Irelle strode back to the table, the cube still in hand. She stood there, a gash of white contrasted by the brown wood, the green mages, and the dark grey of the walls. She set the cube on the table. She started to lift her hand away from the cube when she stopped. Turning her full attention to the cube, and ignoring the puzzled looks of the other four in the room, she picked it up again, and concentrated. She turned to TJ. “Where did you find this.” It was obviously not a question.

Blade looked down as TJ answered the sorceress. “At Dayner Heavy Industries.” He didn’t try to bait or goad Irelle, for which Blade was thankful. Now that both sides had postured, they both agreed to at least be respectful, if not civil. “Dayner”, Irelle whispered to herself. She raised her head, and smiled. “They tend to have things others pay money for”, TJ smirked. “Indeed, and if this was the prize, I would expect you may have been in a race to procure it.”

Blade’s head snapped to stare at Irelle. TJ’s face became guarded. “I wouldn’t have been surprised by it either” he said in a careful tone. “When people want things, they tend to have rivals that want the same thing.” Irelle nodded, her eyes watching every twitch and movement of TJ’s face. TJ returned the stare. “It says how much stock a person puts in things, is represented by the people that they hire.” “Indeed it does” Irelle agreed. She stared a moment longer, then yawned, moving a hand in front of her mouth. She lowered it then shifted topics.

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