Tracking Targets and Making Plans
Evelyn hauled herself to her feat. Damn. Damn. Damn. I really need a medic now. Looking strong despite the crippling pain in her side had taken a lot out of her. Damn spell didn't even work properly. She took a look at the body of the unfortunate henchman that she’d decided to make an example of. Got what he deserved. If I wasn't so tired I might have... The low rumble of the van containing the rest of the henchman interrupted her thoughts. The van pulled out onto the street as fast as they could and disappeared in a squeal of tires. Good riddance to bad rubbish. They better learn to use at least a couple of brain cells.
“Clean this up!!!” she ordered and her men scrambled to do her bidding,” I don’t want any sign that anyone was here. Erase the lighting runes. Restore the cobblestones and wipe down those walls. No signs of spellfire. If there is even a tiny bit left when I get back....” After a few seconds to let that hang in the air, she walked to the center of the destroyed courtyard.
Giving them all one last withering glare to further emphasize her point, she concentrated. Headquarters. Headquarters. Picturing the moss covered walls and dilapidated door, she imagined herself moving there. There was a bright flash of green light and she vanished, reappearing in front of the old shack that served as an entrance point. The teleportation sent a fresh wave of pain through her side as she landed roughly on the sickly yellow grass outside. When I get my hands on her. She made her way slowly to the worn wooden door.
She put her palm on the center of the door. An almost imperceptible flash of red light later, the door swung open. It moved with a smoothness that betrayed the glamour placed on it to make it look abandoned. The young woman made her way into the house. It was bare of any furniture and the walls were covered in dust and grime. The only thing that looked remotely new was the large black door frame right in the center. A retinal scanner popped out at eye level on the side of the door frame and Evelyn presented her eye to the scanner. Once it confirmed who she was, a brilliant white light began emanating as the portal powered up. Without hesitation, she walked straight into it, involuntarily shuddering, as she felt the familiar cold tingle of portal travel. I’m never going to get used to that damn feeling.
She appeared in a bare hallway. It was lit in sporadic intervals by old and worn lighting runes. The concrete walls were chipped and bore the scars of several battles. Bullet holes and scorch marks from wayward spells had left their marks over the years. Making her down the well-worn concrete, she headed for the office at the very end. At the end of the hallway the last few feet had been patched up and repaired to be in pristine condition. It ended in a wallpaper covered wall with a large reinforced steel door set into the concrete. She knocked on the door and waited for Stevenson to notice her and open it. I hope he doesn't take too long. My lung won't last much longer.
As she waited, her eyes roamed over the imposing door. It was inscribed with a very familiar symbol. A circle containing a book wrapped up by a snake-like monster. The creature still gave her the chills. It looked like an anaconda except with a head very reminiscent of a dragon. Its body contained several sets of large scaly wings. Its tail branched off into two tentacles that were covered in spikes and ended in two large fang filled mouths to give it three very dangerous mouths. Her study of the creature was interrupted as the door swung open with a mechanical whir. Steven must be anxious to hear the news. He normally takes much longer to notice anyone standing outside the door. Well I'm not complaining.
She strode in, her feet making no sound on the thick carpet of Steven’s office. It was decorated with several paintings and maps mounted on the wallpaper covered walls. It was the only taste of luxury in an otherwise rundown compound. If this idiot funneled at least a little bit of our profits into anything other than his own comforts... She walked up to his heavy oak desk covered in intricate carvings of various mythical creatures and waited for him to look up from the yellowed and frayed scroll he was poring over.
“Status,” he asked in his usual quiet whisper after letting her squirm for a bit.
Evelyn, emotionless mask in full effect, answered flatly,” Fail, sir. We could not acquire the case and we managed to lose our own.”
“Pray tell me exactly how that came to be,” he continued, his voice getting quieter, as he pronounced each word slowly and deliberately, like he was explaining something to a five year old.
“We were interrupted sir, by three individuals, two males and a female,” she answered, maintaining as level a tone as she could manage while white hot knives continued to shoot through her side. I really need to get this over with.
“That's not possible. There is no way anyone could have discovered that location. It was hidden much too well to be discovered.”
Yes, there is a way, you lunatic. If you had actually listened to what any of us said you would have realized that.
“Describe them to me,” he continued.
“The female was fairly short around 5 4”. Looked a bit like a professional gymnast. Red hair. The males were both around 5 10”, black hair. I could not get a very good look at them so I can’t be sure of any other features.”
“I do not recall anyone matching those descriptions but, since the lie detector has not gone off, I can’t deny you are telling the truth. So for the moment your failure will be excused. However, you must activate the trackers on our case. I expect you to get at least that case back before the day is out…”
Evelyn's face remained impassive even though she knew she had basically been handed a death threat.
“I understand. I will go after it. I will need a more competent crew this time. The lapdogs you provided for this mission were completely useless. They were knocked out before the fight even began.”
“You may take two of them. The others cannot be distracted from our other mission. The door must be found as soon as possible. It would do no good to have a key without a door now would it?” he asked.
“No, sir, I will take only the two.” said Evelyn striding out as quickly as she could. This is going to be a long day.
The long hallway had several passageways leading off from it, each one leading to a different section. She made her way to the passageway leading to the medical section. Arriving at the sorry excuse for an emergency room they had she made her way towards the cubicle where the “doctor” usually stayed. The fool better not be gone for breakfast.
Luckily for her, the man was inside and heard her come in. Dull brown eyes, peeking out from under a mop of messy blonde hair, fixed on her own.
“I got hit by an organ rupture curse. The generalized spell didn’t quite patch it up,” she said quickly.
“You were actually hit?” asked the man shocked,” How? By who?”
“None of your business,” she hissed. The nerve of this fool. She glared at the man, her emerald green eyes boring into him and causing him to wilt under her stare.
The man gulped and immediately began waving his hands. A weak golden filtered around Evelyn indicating a few injuries in her arms, legs and a bright red glow right over the left side of her chest.
“I can fix the lung but I will probably not have the energy to fix the other ones,” he said.
“Fine, I'll do the rest myself. Now do it, you pathetic…” she snapped but stopped as her sudden movement sent a fresh wave of pain washed over her.
He muttered a complex set of spells and a silver glow appeared around her for a second before it sank into her chest. The nagging pain in her side vanished. The man, sweating profusely and looking like he’d just run two marathons in a row, slumped into a seat.
She stalked out, not bothering to even glance at the man. Evelyn made her way back to the main hallway where she took another turn and made her way to the ground zero for the ongoing operation. People were buzzing around like flies at a supermarket, poring over scrolls and staring at computer screens. Some were running around carrying files. Okay, which of these idiots am I going to take? Henson...bit of a gorilla but at least he has a few brain cells. Who else? Maybe Sharpe. Good with trackers that one. Or maybe Stephanie...Naa...she’s too fanatic about this. She’d never agree to come. She called out to her two intended targets.
“Henson, Sharpe, get over here!!!” Everyone in the room went silent at her authoritative tone. Two of the largest standing at a good 6 10” walked over to her while the others went back to work.
“Taylor,” Henson began,” Where are the cases?”
“Elsewhere. Due to the sorry idiots who were sent to the exchange and some...outside interference...we were compromised and both cases were lost.”
“And you’re still alive?” asked Sharpe.
“I had a valid excuse,” she shot back.
“Then why are you not out looking for them already?,” said Sharpe.
"That is where the two of you come in,” Evelyn said.
“The boss has told us to stay on this,” replied Sharpe,” he was very clear that none of us could do anything else. Your the one in charge. Do it yourself.”
“He ordered it himself. I was to take two of you and we have till sundown to reacquire the cases.”
“Sorry but I am not going to trust you Taylor,” said Henson,” Come on Sharpe. This will only bring trouble..”
‘Are you going to make me go tell him about your refusal to follow orders?”
“Not interested. And I think I said it already. I don't trust you.,” shot back Henson.
“I will not ask you again,” she said injecting some venom into her voice.
“Look. You were stationed specifically for the possibility of the deal going wrong” said Henson mockingly, “ and I thought you were supposed to be one of the…oh how did you put it… ‘Most powerful sorcerers in history’...Do it yourself”
“I was not lying,” said Evelyn, her voice deadly quiet. She allowed a light green glow to envelop her. “Do you really want to question my words?” The nerve of these fools. Henson quailed under her glare but Sharpe still did not look totally convinced.
“I’ll come,” said Henson quickly.
“Count me out,” said Sharpe, beginning to walk off. Really Sharpe? She lifted her hands and the burly man was flung across the room slamming into the nearest wall. Immediately, a wave of exhaustion washed over her. I'm still not recharged. Damn. Guess that fight took more out of me than I thought.
She stalked over to the man, held out her hand and made a grabbing motion, causing the man to cough and splutter.
Sharpe spluttered even louder, trying to speak, and Evelyn released her grip.
“I...will….co...come,” he managed in between large gulps of air.
“Good choice,” she said before turning to leave. No one even looked at the man struggling to get up. Henson helped him up and the two of them scrambled after Evelyn.
They made their way to the rudimentary tracking center. The tiny room was home to one beat up computer with a scratched screen and a barely functional mouse. She turned on the tiny locator that could only process three trackers at once, hoping that it was not out of charge. She fired up the computer wincing as a cut on her arm brushed against the desk. Stupid idiot we have as a doctor. I have to heal those soon. She proceeded to input the relevant code and a window popped up showing the location of the target.
“Looks like an apartment building out near the Zarate,” she said finally as the program processed the coordinates and spat out an address. “Near Gogoduy Lane. Not too far from here. Only a few blocks away. The cases are likely to be under heavy wards and all three of our gatecrashers were not your run of the mill henchmen. So caution should be exercised. However, we don't have much time to prepare. If we are not back with the case by sundown the boss is likely to get unhappy.”
Both men gulped at the thought. They nodded, identical looks of determination on their faces.
"So how do we do this?” said Sharpe.
“Last time I was in the mindset of overpowering those useless goons that were delivering the other case. And I was only expecting more mindless henchmen to possibly interrupt the us. This time I won’t be underestimating anyone. They will fall.” No one gets away with defeating me lady. I’m going to end you. Slowly…