Bloodmaiden: Part 14

Moments later, three more people came through the door. The first two were teenagers—a boy and a girl, holding hands.  The boy wore a sporty blue jacket made of wyvern leather in a style that had been popular at Court last year. He was short—only a little taller than the girl who came in with him—and his brown hair went down to his shoulders, a style that was still popular.

His eyes darted from one spot to another in the room, and he grinned as he took it all in.

A low murmuring came from the voices in her head when she saw the girl. Blonde, blue eyed and pale skinned, the girl wore a brown leather coat and pants—the kind Amy had seen in illustrations of colonists and frontiersmen. From her clothes alone, it was obvious to Amy that this person didn’t care about fashion at all, but that was the least of it.

The girl’s ears had a slight point, and her walk hinted at a physical strength that didn’t fit with her slim frame.

Based on a steady stream of memories, Amy guessed that whoever this girl was, she was more Elder than human.

Nick knew both of them, looking up from the wire he’d been checking to shout, “Vaughn! Cassie!” He waved his right hand. “Vaughn, you’ll need to go over to the corner. Cassie, you’ll need to stand next to the door, and be ready to uh…”

“Fight,” said the third person to enter. Nearly bald with a ring of white hair around his head, he wore a black suit with a silver lightning shaped pin on his tie. He carried a black, wooden cane, accented with silver metal, but didn’t walk with the weakness she would have expected.

To her surprise, she recognized him as Giles Hardwick. He’d been introduced to her last year at Court as an ambassador from the Summerlands.

Amy sensed powerful magic around him (and his grandson) without even trying.

At the sound of Giles’ voice, Joe looked up from the podium. “Up for a fight, Giles?”

“As ever,” Giles said. “But remember when we arranged defenses for this building? We were assuming at most ten people sneaking in. It appears that several times that will be attacking tonight.”

Joe frowned. “Then I suppose we’ll be redesigning again tomorrow.”

Outside, someone screamed and fell past one of the front windows. He was followed by a head and a hand. The hand was on fire.

Giles raised an eyebrow and crossed the room to stand a few feet behind Joe. “Captain Lee’s on the roof?”

Joe chuckled. The end of the chuckle was overwhelmed by a solid sounding thump, followed by a flash of lightning and the crack of thunder.

“I’m going to guess,” Joe said, “that they tried to batter down the front door. They’ll know that only works once soon enough. Cassandra, please be ready.”

Cassie grinned and pulled a curved dagger off her belt. Made of a black metal, it was spiderwebbed with veins of dark red running down the blade. “I am ready.”

The voices in Amy’s head wasted no time in pointing out that it was one of the Elder’s weapons, an old one that originated wherever they came from.

“Dammit,” Harcourt muttered. “What did I say, Vander Sloot? Give me a moment and I’ll join the defense.”

Joe narrowed his eyes and stared. “Stay where you are unless you plan to stay. The fight will end when you’re gone, and we can hold them till then.”

Harcourt clenched his fists. Then, pulling a revolver from inside his jacket, Harcourt said, “I’ll assist from here then.”

Nodding, Joe said, “Don’t shoot the batteries.”

From below came the hum of a big engine followed by a crash, and the sounds of shattering, splintering, and tearing.

Joe turned away from the noise. “Nicholas, have all the connections been checked?”

Nick looked up from staring at the floor. “Two more to go.”

In a low voice, Joe said, “Quickly.” Turning toward Vaughn’s corner of the room, he said, “Are you ready? Charge up now, and let it go when Nicholas gives the word.”

Vaughn saluted, grinning. Joe ignored it.

From below came the sound of shouting, and boots hitting tile on the stairway. The noise echoed in the stairwell past Cassie’s doorway, and then a man stepped through.

Cassie’s knife arm whipped out, and she cut his neck. The red veins in her knife glowed brighter, and for a moment, the man’s blood flowed upward toward it.

Punching the next man, she ducked, avoiding a shot from his pistol, and cut the inside of his leg. Blood spurted out, and he fell over. Cassie, in turn, blurred with speed, stepping over him and into the stairwell.

Screams came from inside, and then gunshots, one after the other.

Over the noise, Nick shouted, “Connections checked!” He ran toward the middle of the room and the podium where his grandfather stood, jumping over the clusters of wires on the wooden floor.

From the corner, Vaughn shouted, “Charging!”

Amy shielded her eyes as bright, white lightning illuminated the room. Meanwhile, more gunshots came from the stairwell. This time, Cassie screamed.

13 thoughts on “Bloodmaiden: Part 14”

  1. Well, I don’t know if you wanted them, but you’ve got more alternate League members appearing this time, some of them similar to what you’ve seen before, and others uh… not.

    In other news, I did not get the job I interviewed for. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand it would have been convenient. On the other it definitely would have been a job I would only have been doing to earn money, and not something I wanted for a job.

    So, back to filling out applications. That and contacting friends to see if they have connections that can help me.

    That line about it not being “what you know, but who you know?” That’s even true in IT.

    In any case, here’s the Top Web Fiction link: http://topwebfiction.com/vote.php?for=the-legion-of-nothing

    1. Good luck on the job hunt. I’m IT also and was out of work for 5 months, got called back for a position that really sucked but only had it a few months before landing my current job which I love. So don’t lose hope man!

    2. It’s nice to see the alternate versions of the same characters that we love . Plus it is the first time we are meeting an alternate nick who is not desperate or a bit evil makes me wonder what the main Universe Nick could learn from their technology. On the talk of technology I love the idea of the main character of this super team does not feel like another Iron Man. I can tell you that when I look at Nick there is no association at all with Tony Stark which is critical

      1. It’s critical for me too. The funny thing is that I started writing Legion before I knew that Iron Man (the movie) was coming. Thus I made no attempt to make him especially different.

  2. Who you know is everywhere, even in most unions.

    —–

    I’d have Chris for a POV chapter, but this works a backstory; I suspect they might take a dimension hop to gather information on the Devourer,

  3. Some employers don’t care about the languages you know, but want your area of expertise, while others care about your technical skill set.
    Good luck with the job search.
    Also, Turing is test for AI’s that emulate human thinking.

  4. El minor de correctos:

    “Moments later, three more people came through the door. The first two were [] teenagers—a boy and a girl, holding hands.”

    “[, a style t]hat was still popular.”

    “A low murmuring came from the voices [in] her head when she saw the girl.”

    “At the sound [of] Giles’ voice, Joe looked up from the podium. “Up for a fight, Giles?”

    Who would have pictured Other Cassie and AlterVaughn as a couple? Amy and AlterNick, sure. But, Other Cassie would probably knife AlterVaughn.

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