On the Wrong Foot
Last time, our protagonist found herself tied up and wondering where she was and how she got there. If you haven’t read that one, here is the link: Chapter One
Longbow paced as he dialed Laura’s number for the sixth time in the past 24 hours. She knows to answer. She needs to pick up her comm.
The voicemail answered instead, “Hoi, this is Laura. If you don’t know what to do at the beep you’ve been living under a rock.”
He hit the button and stuffed his phone in his blazer’s inner pocket. Sipping his morning coffee as he booted his ‘trix deck and started sending out messages.
Mr. White paced, “It’s a simple job for one of your skills.”
Flashpoint watched the troll glide across the floor with only the clicking of the shoes for noise. He stopped when he stood in front of her and used a finger to lift her chin, “One must look at their prospective employer. It’s common courtesy.”
Flashpoint sneered, “Like having a prospective employee drugged and kidnapped is common courtesy?”
The troll’s top lip quivered, “Touché.”
He retracted his finger and took a step back. Flashpoint lifted her head and met his gaze, “You can talk to me all you want about the job you wish for me to perform for you. It doesn’t mean that I will do it. You can’t kidnap someone and expect them to be open to taking a job from you.”
A slight growl emanated from the troll’s throat, “Point taken. What would it take for you to listen to the job and proposition?”
She tilted her head to one side, “Nothing. I am not open to anything you have to say.”
Mr. White’s fist flew in an arc and hit the wall behind him. He cleared his throat, straightened his coat and tie, and re-affixed a smile on his face, “You certainly know how to try someone’s patience.”
Flashpoint smirked, “It’s a gift.”
“More like a curse,” Grim huffed in the corner.
Mr. White stepped toward Flashpoint, “We’re going to try this again, and this time we’re going to be more civil.”
The left corner of Flashpoint’s mouth turned up, “Civil, right.”
“Grim, if you would loosen the rest of the restraints, we may be able to start over and be more amicable to one another.”
Grim mumbled, “I don’t think that’s a good idea, chief. She could try something.”
Mr. White rolled his eyes and sighed, “Try what? Overpower you or me? She’s human, you’re an orc, and I am a troll. Who is she going to overpower?”
Grim looked at his boss, “She’s a caster. She’s trouble.”
“Grim, we’ve been over this. She can encant without hand gestures and vocalizations. So, there is no way to stop her from casting, and a gag would not help with communication.”
Grunting, Grim unfastened the rest of the restraints allowing Flashpoint to move. Her legs were the same as her arms, unresponsive.
“Are you sure this isn’t going to mess with my magical ability?” She glared at White as Grim freed her.
Mr. White shook his head, “I made sure of it. What point would it make to go through all this trouble to find and hire someone of your talents only to give medications that curtail or lessen their magical power?”
“How much longer is this going to last?”
Mr. White looked at Grim, “When did you give her the injection?”
Grim tapped his chin with his finger, “20:00 last night.”
White looked at his pocket secretary, “It should wain in another hour and a half.”
Blinking she looked at White, “Can you come back then? Being shot-up has me fluff-brained.”
White tilted his head down and back up as he turned toward the door, “Fair enough. Grim, let us leave her for a couple of hours. Is there anything you wish to eat or drink when we return?”
“Crypto-burger with lettuce and mayo and a beer cola to wash it down.”
Grim looked at White, “Really, she has a request?”
White held up his hand as Grim opened the door, “We are the ones who brought her here in an unorthodox way. It’s only fair we accommodate her.”
“Fine, I will place the order.”
As they turned to leave, Flashpoint noticed the jack and incision on the back of White’s neck. Her eyes went from that to the ceiling as she let her head fall backwards.
Longbow is going to kill me. I need to find a way to check in with him.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and let her body slump. The world took on a different view. The walls were black with a slight green glow between the cracks. She floated toward the wall the tried to reach through it. Her astral hand met resistance.
Shit, bio-gel. Well so much for getting out this way.
She came of her astral self and began to concentrate. Everywhere she tried to reach for a connection to the spirit world failed.
Wards. Son of a slit.
She opened her eyes and started counting the cracks in the ceiling.
I wonder what Longbow is doing right now.
Mr. White sat at his desk clicking keys as he flipped through his computer. The executive chair in which he sat was no longer cushioned and the arm used to adjust the height had broken a few days ago. He was looking through a floor plan to a corp building a city away. He then reached into the middle drawer of his desk, pulled out a chip and placed it in the computer. After a few more clicks, there was an overlay of the security detail and camera placements.
His phone rang.
“This is Mr. White.”
“How much longer do I have to wait for the prototype? You said you would have it soon.”
Mr. White stood as he sighed, “As I have told you. There are certain steps that must be taken to ensure the success of the endeavor. First, I must secure the right talent for the job. Second, I must prepare them for the job. Soon can be early as next week or the week after.”
There was a pause on the other end of the line, “If we are to do business in the future, you must clearly define your timelines. A week has already passed. What is your progress.”
“I am interviewing the talent now.”
“How many are you hiring for the job?”
There was incredulous coughing on the other end, “The corporation is known for its tight security, and you’re only hiring ONE runner? I thought you were the troll with augmented intelligence. You sound one plate short of a picnic to me.”
It took everything Mr. White had not to crush the phone. His response was through gritted teeth, “I have looked over the blueprints and security detail of the building. This calls for a scalpel, not a battering ram. One will suffice.”
“You had better be right.” There was a click on the other end.
Mr. White slammed down the receiver causing the corner of the desk to break. Now, I need a new desk.
Grim walked into the burger place and stood in line. I can’t believe I’m doing this. That pink skin has been nothing but trouble since she woke up. I didn’t even know you COULD cast without saying anything. How do you do that anyway?
The clerk cleared their throat, “Excuse me, sir, are you going to place an order?”
“Um, yeah, sorry. One Crypto-burger with lettuce and mayo and a beer cola to go.”
“That’ll be twenty-five credits.”
Grim’s eye flew open, “Twenty-five? What’s the food made of, platinum?”
“No, sir, Crypto’s prides itself on serving 100% organic real food. Nothing we sell is soy-based.”
That little shit of a caster. I’m gonna sock her one when I get back. He slid his cred stick into the slot and waited for the order to be finished.