Harcourt blinked. “It was effective, wasn’t it?”
Reliquary nodded. “Remarkably so. It’s a pity that the magical establishment is too stuck in their ways to appreciate the options that new approaches offer us. Am I right in guessing that you’re not from this universe?”
Harcourt froze for a moment. Amy could see well enough in the darkness to know that his eyes widened. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 20
Ignoring how tired she felt, Amy walked toward the front door, spear in hand. The door stood open and she stopped just short of walking through, waiting off to the side. In the background of her mind, the voices murmured about different ways to strengthen herself. She didn’t have time for any of them.
Phil lay on the porch, neck at a strange angle, but beginning to push himself off the concrete. William Harcourt stood over him, seemingly unafraid, possibly unaware of how powerful these creatures could be.
Phil’s head twisted, his neck straightening, teeth out, ready to attack. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 19
After a period of time, she walked back into the house, going straight to the kitchen where she heated water in the microwave and dipped a tea bag into it.
She’d heard of tea bags back home, but not good things.
Sipping the tea, she didn’t think it was so bad, and they certainly had more flavors here. It was strange, though, to make her own tea, but they didn’t have servants. So far as she could tell, no one had servants. The cleaning woman, the men who cared for the lawn, and the security guards were all employees.
That wasn’t the end of the odd little differences about this place–their need to combine rooms for example. This house combined the dining room, kitchen and room for entertaining guests into one big room. They had many other rooms besides, most with no obvious purpose.
That didn’t even touch the big differences–horseless carriages everywhere, airplanes (no airships), and the constant notifications from her phone. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 16
As the bright light faded, the first men entered the room, pistols drawn. They were dressed in black suits, none of them unusual, but seen all together, they were obviously the same design.
She didn’t see them for long.
A bolt of reddish tinged lightning surged forward from Giles Hardwick’s hands, and the men fell forward, unconscious, or dead.
“Careful with that,” Joe turned away from the dimensional gateway’s control panel to give Giles a look. “They’re not going anywhere if you short out the system.”
The next man stepped over the bodies, pistol in hand, and a web of red floating in front of him. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 15
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. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 14
Amy gave a small smile. “I’ll see you and your grandfather both then. Maybe I’ll send your greetings.”
Nick grinned. “Yeah, that would be neat. ‘Another you told me to say hello?’ I’d want to know how much he was like me, and how. Of course, whoever that Nick is, he wouldn’t be me. It’s anyone’s guess what he’d think.”
She raised an eyebrow. “How different could he be?” Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 13
The women in her head agreed. He wasn’t descended from the Elders. He’d existed before they’d come through the portal to Earth. The first Bloodmaiden knew him then. Her voice echoed in Amy’s mind. “We only thought he was a mercenary, but when the gilfangs of Korandur’s Deep crawled up to the surface, it became obvious that he was more than simply a man. He didn’t wear his current shape then, but he liked those swords.”
The other Bloodmaidens whispered, and Amy caught glimpses of their memories. Whatever he was, he was dangerous and so powerfully magical that he didn’t even appear to be connected to magic.
In his favor, he terrified the Harcourts. This was someone she needed to know better. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 11
They walked back to the gyrocopter landing area hand in hand. She wasn’t precisely sure how that had happened. Their hands had bumped a couple times, and then, if she was honest with herself, she had to admit that she’d taken his hand. On the other hand, he didn’t have to walk next to her, and she was fairly sure that he’d bumped her hand first. So, they’d had the same mutually bad idea.
And it was a bad idea. She was literally leaving tomorrow, possibly for ten years. Plus, if everything went well, and her parents brought her home next year… Well, if any hint of this reached the tabloids, it would be the royal scandal of the season. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 10
Flame burst from the twin rockets on the boy’s backpack, and the boy flew upward toward the mooring mast. Then, lowering himself to the building and landing next to the mast, he stepped behind a metal cabinet.
The airship moved closer to the mast, and when it was close enough that Amy wondered if the nose would hit, the mooring mast bent and extended toward the nose of the airship.
Amy didn’t see it, but she heard a metallic clank, and felt the airship stop moving forward. It hadn’t been moving much. She barely felt it, but she felt something. Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 4
Amy smiled as her father laughed at the man’s joke, and hoped he meant what he’d implied–that this was as much for them as for her, and that it was a stroke of luck that left her with protection, and them with a good hiding place.
Except her father ran the empire’s intelligence as well as the military, and he’d taught her and all of her siblings about politics. If she’d retained anything from that, she’d learned not to let the details distract her from the big picture. As much as the Harcourts might say that they were her bodyguards, the possibility that they were her assassins fit just as well.
“Well,” Mr. Harcourt said, “I’m sure you’ll want to say your goodbyes privately. We’ll see you inside.” Continue reading Bloodmaiden: Part 3