It’s the last day of NaBloPoMo, and this is the final bit of my tangent into rpg fiction.
Following that…at some point…will be a return to our irregular and unscheduled reality.
This is a continuing (and concluding) excerpt from the play-by-email game Austin After Dark.
The beginning can be found here:
She would have liked to snoop through his brain a little before she put him out, but Mardmor might return at any moment; she couldn’t take time for intelligence-gathering now. With an uncomfortable sense of déjà vu, she frowned at the silver band in the Sidhe’s slack fingers. Crushed it into an unusable shape — it crumpled with little effort on her part — then returned her attention to the metal restraints. Her bindings flew away from her.
Casey rose, glancing down at Burton with a twinge of regret. She had nothing personal against the unfortunate Fae; he seemed like a nice enough fellow, just misled by the Goblin King as so many others had been. Mardmor would probably kill him in some horrific manner when he returned to find Casey gone.
The kindest thing might be to give him a quick death right now, while he lay blissfully unaware of his fate.
It would be the *smartest* thing, for sure. If she and Mardmor both allowed Burton to live, the Sidhe would be a bitter enemy of hers from the moment he awakened. She really didn’t need more enemies hunting her down.
Sighing, she stepped over Burton and moved to the selection of surgical equipment, unable to seriously entertain the idea of slaying a man in his sleep. Finding the heavy surgical blade again, she slid it carefully between her belt and pants: a much simpler task now that she had fingers to work with.
Still trying to shake the ominous sense of déjà vu, and half-expecting history to repeat itself, she walked over to Houseman’s head. “Thanks for the help. So, unless this is another of Mardmor’s tricks I’ll be going now. Anything I can do for you first?”
“Take me with you,” he answered softly. “I may yet be of help.”
“I’m sorry, but no,” she replied without hesitation. “When Mardmor finds out I’m not here he’s going to send stuff after me, and I won’t be able to fight and run and carry you at the same time. Besides, for all I know he can track me through that piece of magic you’re impaled on.” She shifted impatiently, glancing toward the door. “Pick something else.”
He appeared stunned by this. “Then end me.”
“Fair enough.” In his place that would have been her first request. Still, the brusque note in her own voice struck her as a bit harsh, even under the circumstances. Making an effort to soften her tone she added, “I really am sorry that all of this happened to you. I’ll do everything in my power to see that Mardmor pays for everything he’s done.”
“And Bronwen. Kill him slow.”
“Kill Bronwen slow,” she nodded. “Will do.” Lifting the head gently off of the spike, she set it on the tabletop.
The head came off the spike with a wet SCHLURP. No longer did it show any sign of life. It was just a dead thing.
She incinerated the lifeless remains down to ash. Inky black tendrils of smoke rose from the consumed head.
Then she headed for the exit.
Paused, hand on the door, attempting to read through to see who may be standing guard beyond.
She sensed no thoughts on the other side of the door. She could feel her mind move through the door and into the corridor beyond. She felt none of the sensory limitations she felt earlier in Sanctuary or beneath it.
That was unexpected….
She hesitated a moment longer, suddenly apprehensive now that the time had come to venture out alone.
For whatever good it might do, she utilized the gift of “invisibility” that Falco had given her. It wouldn’t work on the black phantoms, probably wouldn’t work on the green sconces — heck, it probably wouldn’t even work on Mardmor. But the regular rank and file like poor Burton…she should be able to pass unseen amongst them now.
She drew the heavy blade from her belt, gripped it tightly at her side.
Then, taking a deep breath, she opened the door and stepped cautiously through.