Merlin: On the Run
The paltry trick with light did not so much involve insinuating new light into the ceiling as it did taking light that was already there and spreading out a bit, like buttering bread. The boy seemed impressed enough though, and I was certainly not going to explain my parlor tricks, lest I found myself in an outcome where he chose to run.
I couldn’t have that, now could I? I have to guide him, lead him. Train him.
Unfortunately, I still had no idea what he looked like. First, I met him in the dark, then I turned my back on him and led him out. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this, and it would be terrible if I turned around to study his face in mid-stride. So there we were, him plodding along behind me like the pup he is, and me, well, shuffling. I would say I have a decent shuffle. I knew it was him though. I could smell excalibur’s power, a raw musk of Avalos’ gift stretching out and away from us in every direction, raising hairs on the back of my neck and skull. I could sense its destiny slowly take hold of its master, the boy, and shape his world forever into the night.
I led him out of the building where our means of conveyance awaited.
“What is that? Is that a…That,” noted the boy, “is a taxi-bike.”
I replied, “They are called rickshaws, Arthur.” I would have given him a pointed stare, but that is when one of my runes, placed several blocks out, tripped. It told me that someone was coming, someone with the intention of killing the once and future king.
This perturbed me. I had been making the part about assassin’s coming up to coax him into the bleeding rickshaw. I breathed out a sigh.
“Get in, boy.”
“Oh, now it’s boy again, is it?”
“Yes, now get in the cart or you will, in all likelihood, get shot while you tarry,” I remarked, climbing myself into the back. It only took one gunshot to convince him to get in. He put himself beside me, looking frightened. It was still too black for me to see him, which annoyed me. Then, the second shot blasted out and a moaning engine led by headlights came into view.
“Go! Onward, you junk heap!” I shouted at the rickshaw. The rickshaw hurtled forward, my magic pounding away at its peddles faster than any pair of legs could hope to match.
“After they’re done, you want me to kill him?” Rodimer asked.
“After you are done, there should not be a scrap of the hit-man, Boris Gant, left for anyone to find,” he replied.
Vivian Bracht (a.k.a. Waitress)
I dislike the english, but I loathe their countryside. Some random spot on one of their roads is not much better. I have no idea why I agreed to this, but at that salary - how could I say no? I will never have to work again if all goes well. For me, all always goes well.
I waded into the disgusting foliage of the roadside. My contact, who I was told would be here twenty minutes ago, had not even showed a glimmer of arriving. I doubt she was lost. If someone else showed up, there was no way I was going to be caught standing around.
Another twenty minutes passed, then a car pulled up.
I could tell it was not some passer-by needing to use the bushes; her headlights were off. If she had not been intercepted, this could only be her. The door opened and closed so fast that I only got a quick look at who it was, the vehicle’s lights flashing on and off. He killed the engine. Looked like a man.
It was too dark to see anything, and that’s what he must have been counting on. Sometimes, I am so foolish.
He must have left the window open, but I realized it too late. He managed blind me - presumably by reaching through aforementioned window - flaring on the brights and charging to where I was hiding. I lifted my arms to defend myself, but he darted to the side just before impact, grabbed me, and used his momentum to hurl me to the ground, pinning me under him.
“And who the bloody hell are you,” asked the man. From his voice, he sounded like an idiot, but he had spotted me and taken me down. This guy was a pro, or just lucky.
“A nice german lady with a knife to your neck.” I had managed to slip it out of my pocket when we went down and now I had the blade inches from his throat.
“I doubt it,” he replied, so I pricked him. He muffled a curse. “Are you the one they sent me here to meet?”
“That’s sharp you know!” I put the flat of the blade against his skin. “And cold. What’s that then, japanese make?” Actually, it was korean. I was frustrated that he hadn’t answered me, but impressed. It takes a lot to make a joke in this situation. I pricked him again. He just laughed. I wondered if he was demented after all. “Alright, I’ll let you up, just stop poking me with that little stinger of yours.” He got off of me, slowly, clearly trying not to startle me into doing something fatal. I nearly did anyway.
We both got up and brushed ourselves off. I had thought about wearing a skirt; I was glad I had picked the jeans instead. Back to business. “Where do they put the dossier?” He was walking over to the car.
“Usually under the brown rock, few feet from where your standing toward the road,” he shouted over his shoulder. My eyes had adjusted by then and I searched the rock out while he turned the car back on. I felt around under it until my fingers touched something plastic and I picked it up. I did not replace the rock. This was his drop off after all, and after what he had done to me he could fix it himself.
The man was a mountain, chubby. “What are you waiting for, get in!” he shouted. Quite the change of heart, from murdering to befriending me in under a minute, but if he had killed me his life was over anyway. Nobody would tolerate that…would they? I remembered the payoff on this job and it inspired me to feel safe enough. I hopped in the other side of car. He gave me a wide smile.
“Hi, the names B., but you can call me hubby.” I still might kill him, if the job offered me a chance.
“Why would I call you hubby?” I asked. I figured that it would not do to get off on the wrong foot so quickly, or had we already.
“You’re a woman, right? German girl isn’t some slang for transexual now, is it?” he asked. What the hell was he talking about. Could we not just read the dossier.
“No shit, I’m a girl. I am a girl from Germany. Waitress, hit-woman of more than three-hundred targets.” I was exaggerating. It was three, but he did not have to know that. B. looked at me, strangely.
“You don’t get it, do you.” Get what?
“Why do you think they would go to all the effort of bringing in a girl to work with me. From germany.” Because I am incredible.
“Because I am incredible,” I said. He nodded.
“Yes, that,” B. conceded, “and they needed someone to play the role of my wife to get close to the target, my love.” Okay, he is an idiot. A monstrously strong idiot, but still an idiot. He probably just forgot to turn his headlights on and close the window. He was still looking at me with this stupid grin, as if I had missed some great joke.
“I am ignoring you now, B.” I pulled the papers out of the plastic sheath. If he was going to act crazy, I would just read up on the dossier. I scanned the first two lines.
Operation: Lady of the Lake
Mission Parameters: Pose as married couple in order to…
I stopped reading. “Well, what does it say,” came B.’s nagging voice. I felt almost childish.
“Shut the hell up and drive, hubby.” And he did.