Nodding, I said, “Then what do you need?”
“Not much more than this,” she held up the vial between us. “I’ve got the rest on me.”
Then she pulled out a knife from her backpack along with several clear, plastic bags filled with different colored powders. “Sometime I should ask you if you have spare space down here. I’ve got more equipment that I can’t keep out in my dorm room. I keep what I can in my backpack.”
Eyeing the bags, I thought about HQ. “We can make space. We’ve got some rooms we’re mostly using for storage. Back during the original League’s time, everyone had their own separate space. Right now, I’m the only one who cares.”
She let out a breath. “Good. I’ve been keeping bags of blood in one of those little fridges in my dorm room. You know someone’s going to ask for a Coke and I’m going to forget about what else is in there.”
“And ask if you’re a vampire.” I grinned at her.
“And tell the entire floor and the RA that I’m a weirdo who keeps bags of blood in her fridge. No, thanks.” She poured some pink powder into her left hand. Then she picked up her knife from the table.
“You can look away if you don’t want to see me cut myself.”
She cut into the skin of her palm next to the powder and angled her hand so that the blood ran sideways. When it met the powder, she picked up a small spoon and mixed the blood and powder until they turned into a paste.
As she did, the combination took on a dim, red glow. Putting down the spoon, she opened the vial with one hand and pulled out the bloody swab inside.
It looked difficult, I said, “I could have done that—”
She only said, “Shhh,” and held the swab above the paste. Then she said a few words in a language I didn’t understand. My implant didn’t either, sending up an error message about it.
To me, the language sounded a little like German, but maybe a version of German that came from another world.
The blood on the swab changed from a stain to a wet drop of blood, one that fell from the swab, leaving no trace. In the moment that it hit the paste, the paste reformed into a dark, red gem. At the same time, the cut on Amy’s hand healed, changing from a bloody slice to a thin, pink line.
“What would you like it to be?” She asked. “A necklace? A ring?”
I thought about it. I didn’t wear jewelry. “A twenty-sided die? I can show you an example. I’ve got a few in my backpack.”
I got off the stool I’d been sitting on and dug around in my backpack until I found my bag of dice, eventually finding a twenty-sider. Because of the number of sides, it was nearly, but not quite round. Made of translucent, blue plastic, it matched the other dice in the set.
As I put it on the counter in front of her, she asked, “What do you use it for?”
“Games. Specifically, role-playing games. I don’t have a lot of time for them right now, but they’re games where you play a character—usually a hero in a fantasy world. The dice help determine if you’re successful in what you try to do.”
She looked up from the die and met my eyes. “A fantasy world? If I understand that right, you’re meaning a place where magic works, nobles rule the nations, and a place where nonhuman races also live. Basically, places like my home.”
“I don’t know. Does your home have dragons?” I smiled at her.
She didn’t smile back. “Here and there. Not anywhere civilized.”
Shaking her head, she said, “It doesn’t really matter. I can make it look like a twenty-sided die. It will glow when you get close to the woman whose blood it came from. You’ll want to have it somewhere you can see it.”
She covered the gem with her right hand and when she uncovered it, it looked like a twenty-sided die. The red glow faded as I watched.
“How close do I have to get before it glows?”
She frowned. “Maybe ten feet. I didn’t want to put a lot of energy into something that you’ll only use once. And it won’t continue to work forever. You’ve got about two weeks. After that the magic will fade away. You don’t need something that will last longer than that, right?”