Fonts of Magic: Part 10

“If Urin can tell us where Magnus is, that would solve a lot of problems,” I said, unsure of how we’d handle him, but knowing where would be a good first step.

Ruthie smiled, but it didn’t strike me as a happy smile, “I’ll try. I can’t make any promises, but at this point I’ll try anything to get that man off my back.”

“If you do find him,” Amy said, “ask him if he’s got any of Magnus’ possessions. I can do a lot with the right connection.”

“I’ll remember that,” Ruthie said, flicking her hand in our direction. “I’ll contact you if I find him, but for now, you have to go. Don’t expect to find me here again anytime soon.”

Below us, the lines in the floor flared again, not recreating the force field, but throwing us back into the in-between space where we merged with the flames all over again.

Moments later, the three of us stood back in the League’s public office, crimson carpet, concrete pillars, League memorabilia, and coffee machines. I looked over at a line of old articles on the wall, wondering if Grandpa and the others ever encountered Ruthie. If they had, it was all in the archives somewhere.

Amy, Haley, and I looked at each other.

Haley didn’t wait for anyone else to speak, “She hates him. Ruthie hates Magnus. She controlled her voice and how she looked, but she couldn’t control her smell. She was angry every time she talked about him. It’s not easy to tell exactly how angry because people don’t smell the same, but if I had to guess, I think she’d murder him if she had the chance.”

“Oh,” I said, thinking back to the conversation. I hadn’t seen any sign of that. “On the bright side, I guess that means that she’s extra motivated to help.”

Amy shook her head, “It’s not all good. Believe me, I’ve got a lot of experience to draw on. When someone hates another person more than they like you, a lot of them don’t care how they win as long as they win.”

“Huh,” I said, “so as long as Magnus goes down, she doesn’t care what happens to us. Is that a reason not to use what she tells us?”

Amy took a deep breath and shook her head, “No. The other Bloodmaidens are telling me that they’d trust her to get us to him. They think that if there’s any reason letting us die would hurt Magnus more than helping us survive, we should expect betrayal.”

“That’s worse than I’d thought,” I looked over at Haley who nodded, “but we’re going to have to let her help us and maybe just not keep her in the loop about our exact plans.”

Haley pursed her lips, “I think that’s the only option we have.”

Another thought passed through my mind, “Half the time I hear the name Urin, I’m tempted to make a joke about urine. With Urin, there’s more emphasis on the ‘ur’ part of it—like the city—but it’s still close enough.”

“Gross,” Haley looked up at me.

Amy laughed, “A princess doesn’t make jokes like that—in public. Did you notice she didn’t pronounce it either way? It almost sounded like ‘ir’.”

I asked, “Do you suppose she might know Sumerian?”

She shrugged, “The Bloodmaidens don’t go back that far, but we knew her three thousand years ago. So, maybe.”

Crossing her arms over her chest, Haley asked, “How did you know her? Was she trustworthy then?”

Amy frowned, “They haven’t told me the whole story, but what she’s said is that they were chasing a creature that escaped to this world. She helped them fight it. What they remember is that she was a competent warrior. She did her job. I don’t have a lot of details. They won’t always tell me everything. Sometimes, they don’t think I’m ready for it. Sometimes, I think they just want privacy. I hope it’s not important because if it is, they’re putting me and themselves in completely pointless danger.”

“Talking to yourself?” I asked.

She laughed, “You could say that. I wish it were that easy.”

Haley looked over at Amy, “Are you still tired? We don’t have a car on this side and we’re going to have to walk for a mile in the tunnel to get back to HQ.”

Amy shook her head, “I’m fine. The magical construct is tired, but it’s a little better. I don’t want to fly back, but I can walk.”

Haley frowned, “Okay. I just hope you don’t need to do any more than that.”

“I’m not worried,” Amy said. “You don’t have to be worried.”

Haley watched her, but then said, “Okay.”

We walked down the stairs to the lower level and then down the concrete tunnel that replaced a  sewer line that the original League had claimed for their own purposes. I wasn’t sure how they’d arranged it so that the city never even tried to reuse it or authorize cutting through it, but the city hadn’t.

We walked together down the tunnel, slowing the Rocket suit down so that I wouldn’t leave Amy behind. Haley may have had the same problem, but she had it even when she wasn’t wearing a costume.

Midway down the tunnel, Kayla called us, lighting up Haley and my HUDs along with Amy’s phone. We all answered.

Kayla said, “We just got a communication from the man you fought earlier today—the Cabal soldier. He said that if you don’t stop protecting his target, he’ll kill a new person everyday until you do. He also says that you won’t like the targets.”

5 thoughts on “Fonts of Magic: Part 10”

  1. Rachel’s out in space getting trained by Space Ghosts, right? Seems like protecting someone without the bad guys knowing about it would be right up her alley.

  2. “Oh, well, if I don’t like them, then I guess I don’t mind if they get killed…. Hey! Tell him I REALLY don’t like Magnus — maybe he’ll take of him for us?”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *