Friday, May 10, 2013

Tooth and Claw: One Damn Thing After Another

Monday, July 9th, 2012

                Jones Kelly awakens to the sound of her phone buzzing.  It’s a text message from headquarters, instructing her to check her email.  She rolls blearily out of bed and stumbles across the hotel room to where her laptop sits open on the table.  Jiggling the tiny mouse to rouse the machine from its own slumber, she enters her password and brings up her inbox.  Sure enough, one new message awaits:
                Agent Kelly,
                Excellent work.  Postpone follow-up until resolution of next case.
                Terse and to the point, with a congratulatory flourish.  Some dozen attachments lurk beneath – she clicks “Download All” and heads for the shower.
                The hot jets both relax and invigorate.  She breathes deep of the steamy air and works the stiffness out of her joints.  Yesterday had been her recovery day, her time to rest and eat while composing and filing her report.  Her grafts were marvelous things, improving her performance in nearly every area – but damn if they didn’t work up an appetite.  Whether running, healing, or simply perceiving beyond the bounds of her mundane senses, everything had a calorie count attached, and the price was steep.  Yesterday’s dull ache had faded to a languorous stiffness by the time she bedded down, belly full at last.  As always, the stiffness seemed to have tightened its grip on her overnight, but it would be gone in a couple hours as long as she stretched.
                She turns off the shower, dries off, brushes her teeth, and performs her stretching ritual to work out the last few kinks.  She then dresses and heads to the lobby for coffee – whatever it is, it can wait until she’s fully awake.  She checks the time as she heads down the hallway:  a quarter past noon.  At least she’d been able to sleep in.
                Two cups of decent-for-free coffee later, a third in hand, Jones is back in her room and perusing the attachments:  dossiers on five hunters in Las Vegas, just like she’d received for her current case, as well as some intercepted network chatter and a load of photos.  She sets up a new case file and starts working her way through the mass of information.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tooth and Claw: Into the Bramble, part five

Whew!  Finally finished this part.  For whatever reason, Blogger is giving all my text this white background.  Not quite sure what I have to do to fix it, but for now, you get "slightly off-color text background that was as close as I could match it to how it's supposed to look."  Of course, if I ever change my background, it'll be totally screwed up... but that's something I'm willing to ignore for now.

Sunday, July 8th, 2012


                “All right,” Samantha says as they close the last dozen yards, “here we are.  This could be anywhere, but it’s where the Sandstorm Hourglass was first made.  Well, and between two doors, and at night.  Probably more low-key than our last few dealings.  But pay attention, and you might learn a thing or two.”  She smiles and pushes at the handle – the door budges, but does not open.  Sam looks to the door’s edge at her left and sees hinges, then pulls, and it opens as she chuckles at herself.
                On the other side, a man in a black robe sits at a large desk, writing with a quill pen upon a broad sheet of parchment.  He pays no mind to the women entering his quarters.  On a simple table to her right, Della spots the Sandstorm Hourglass:  its wood is a little brighter, its glass is a little clearer, but it looks otherwise identical to the magical timepiece she remembers.
                The door shuts behind them, and Della sees another to her right, past the hourglass.  They are in a corner room of some apparently circular building, perhaps a large tower, the wall to Della’s left curving around to join the straight wall to her right with the straight wall at her back.  A floor-to-ceiling window gives a view of the night sky, resplendent with stars in the dim candlelight from the man’s desk, clouds billowing just beneath them and a gibbous moon shining brightly above.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tooth and Claw: Into the Bramble, part four

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

                “Whew,” Samantha says, pausing to calm her nerves.  Della is more overcome by confusion than anything else, but the fear is visible on the bramblekin’s face.
                “The Hell was that about,” Della asks.
                “Those were gods,” Samantha says.  “Or at least extremely powerful fae.  Either way, bad news.”
                “Why’s that,” Della asks as they forge on down the path.
                “Gods,” Samantha begins, “or fae in general, are really only interested in two things:  their domain, which is the part of the world they have power over, and garnering worship from mortals, which is how they get power aside from the influence their domain has in the world.”
                “Is that why the seven seals are there,” Della asks.
                Samantha looks sidelong at Della and says, “My, you have been doing your homework.  In a word, yes.  The gods, from what I understand, proved to be more trouble than they were worth.  So they were banished to another side of the Coil behind seven seals.  And yeah, from the looks of things, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that la mujerta succeeds in breaking them.  So now we just have to figure out how she does it.”
                “So we talk to whoever made it,” Della says, “and see if they can shed any light on how it’s done.”
                “That’s the plan,” Samantha confirms.  “I’m not quite sure what good it will do, though.  Que será, será, or whatever.”