As I contemplated Metricarisenikai’s prevarications, the water in the glass by my foot suddenly rippled.
Needless to say, it wasn’t anything to do with my flipping through Metria’s report, nor was it due to a sudden draft, or minor earthquake. I had once more made use of my Lord’s gift, and dissolved a bit of necrotic energy in the water. I had then influenced the cursed water to disperse itself a bit, and sent it drifting through the corridors leading to my comfortable cell.
Something had disturbed that unseen mist and, through the connection maintained by my magic, stirred the water in the glass. In other words, someone was coming towards my cell. I would have to prepare myself to receive them.
I closed Metria’s report, and stowed it away inside my long coat. I had been searched upon arrival, both this time and during my last short incarceration, but my coat was more than able to conceal the few secrets I still carried with me. The necrotic cores, for example. I had quite the collection; although I had wasted one simply to intimidate Metria. I judged the loss to be of little importance, as there wasn’t much call for the wretched things given the current state of the world. I had stockpiled them against a future need, but I suppose emergency repairs would be a decent use for them.
Ah, well. One day, the gods will draw nearer, the mortal humans will grow bold again, and once more will raise those things that they cannot put down. At which point, it will no doubt be trivial to replace any necrotic cores I waste in these quiet days. Not something I’m looking forward to, admittedly.
As I reached down to pick up my glass of water, I heard the door in the outer hallway open, and three sets of footsteps echoed as they marched up to my cell. All three had varying levels of fear and nervousness, according to my helpful glass, and one also radiated hate and contempt. Someone glanced quickly into my cell, before the clicks of locks being thrown back rang out. The door itself opened silently; I suspected the spells imbued on the cell maintained the hinges, rather than any specific efforts of the current owners.
A large man in uniform stepped through the door, with one hand holding up a large flashlight, and the other hand on his sidearm. He immediately stepped to one side, allowing another uniformed man to enter. I recognized this second man as the one who had been accompanying Captain Jack Cross earlier. He looked at me with a grim expression and even grimmer emotions, and said, “Mr. Zagadactalus. Captain Cross would like a word with you.”
-Very well,- I responded immediately. -I will see the captain now, and then I will leave.-
The man flushed, and snapped back, “You’ll leave when we say you can, mister!”
-I will leave when I intend to, officer of human law. Or do you believe this product of the gods is actually sufficient to contain me?- I tried to make my fake voice stern, but lacking vocal cords, it’s difficult to modulate my tone.
“Yeah, I kinda think it would be,” said the officer with a sneer. “And even if it couldn’t, you wouldn’t get far.”
-Hubris. Take me to your captain, officer. I believe he wishes to speak with me.- I idly swirled the glass of water in my hand. They seem to be misunderstanding their own power, huh? No doubt they have those dangerous bullets, like the assassin early, but… I sighed, internally.
“You don’t give orders around here, you walking corpse,” snapped the talkative officer. “If those bastards on the City Council weren’t covering for you, you’d be–”
-Enough. You are wasting my time.- The water in the glass suddenly swirled the other direction, although I doubt the men glaring at me noticed. Their loss. -I remember well enough the path to Captain Cross’ office. Therefore, there is no need for you to accompany me.-
The officer in front of me, the one who had been accompanying Cross earlier, narrowed his eyes, and I felt a surge of rage and bloodthirst through my water-enhanced senses. His hand whipped to his side, grabbing for his gun; but of course, it was already too late
The necro-infused water, which had already invaded their bodies, pulsed according to my will. Both men dropped as though they were puppets which just had their strings cut; at the same time, the sound of a third body falling could be heard from the hall. The flashlight that the officer by the door had been holding skittered across the floor, and I mentally shook my head. Really, the uses for a simple cup of water were without end. And to think they actually drink this stuff, I thought to myself.
Carefully setting my cup full of tricks on the floor, I walked to the bodies of the two officers and reached down to lay them out in a more comfortable position than the jumbled heaps they landed in. They would wake in a couple hours, and would be relatively well-rested in body, although my technique often had the unfortunate side effect of causing terrible nightmares. Well, it’s unlikely to leave any lasting scars, and it might teach them to be a bit less arrogant in the future. Seriously, if they were going to take that tone with me, they probably should have just shot me as they walked in. It wouldn’t have done any good, this time, but still…
I walked out into the corridor to check on the third man. To my mild surprise, the officer in question was actually a young woman. She had been carrying a shotgun of an unfamiliar design, in addition to her sidearm, so no doubt she, and the other officers, thought they had brought enough firepower to intimidate me into obedience. Poor suckers. I moved the unfortunate young lady over to lean against the wall, and in a moment of curiosity I picked up her shotgun. I looked it over for a few moments, but I couldn’t immediately work out how it was loaded. I’ve been wanting to have a look at those bullets, too… Well, I’ll ask Metria about it next time I see him. He should know how to work this thing. With a (mental) shrug, I tucked the weapon into my coat, which absorbed it quickly.
Well, enough fooling around. I returned to my comfy cell, and retrieved my glass of water. The necrotic infusion had spent itself in my spiritual attack on my would-be captors, but it only took a few moments to renew my Lord’s blessing. Using the cup as a warning device, I could certainly avoid being seen as I made my way to Cross’ office. Alternately, I could simply leave the building, and get on with my own investigation. It was tempting; I wasn’t really interested in discussing matters with Cross a second time, after all.
After a few moments contemplating, I decided that I wasn’t quite ready to start a war with the city’s police force. Not until I dealt with Caiaphas Bellvaunt, in any case. Thus resolved, I agitated the necrotic energy in my coat, and generated an aura that would cause all but the sharpest mortals to overlook my passage. It wasn’t nearly as effective as Metria’s subtle servant, but it would do. Thus bolstered, I headed up towards Cross’ office.
- It’s short. It’s short, because it wasn’t a scene at all originally, it was just supposed to be a transition. But then they had to provoke him… Bad Nameless Characters!
- Oh, in case you were wondering if Zedda was all bluff, the answer is no. He’s actually very, very dangerous, for a number of reasons. Well, maybe that’s just a worry I have, since he says a lot of things…
- “Glass of water” is too OP, plz nerf. But I intend for Zedda to use the cores more, in the future, so look forward to it.
- I was this close to making the next chapter from Jack Cross’ point of view, but in the end, I decided to keep the POVs to the main three. So the next chapter will still be Zedda, and the chapter after that will be… 😉
- Thanks for reading!