Welcome to the beginning of Season 2 of The Wizard Killer.
Note that this is posted RAW, meaning it has not been edited nor revised.
Special Note: The Wizard Killer – Season 2 will be officially released in eBook and print in April!
Season 2 – Episode 11
“We don’t have much time,” says a gruff, accented woman’s voice behind me.
I’m gazing out at smoke rising from the far side of the city. The wind’s bringing the smell of burnt flesh wrapped devastation. Flames are still raging, though it looks surgically contained.
Narrowing my eyes, I wrench a memory loose. I’ve seen this before. “That the western district?” I ask over my shoulder.
“Yeah,” replies a man’s voice. “Supposedly they sealed it with wards yesterday morning, then sent Oners in. This morning, they sent in three Scourge patrols and laid waste to everyone else.”
“Oners don’t work that way,” I mutter.
“And how would you know?” says another man’s voice. He sounds old, irritated, but more than anything, nervous.
“Maybe they sent in those flaming things. They kill and burn,” says the woman.
“Could be,” I reply. “Is there any official word?”
“What’s going on? One second you’re able to put sentences together, and now you’re some tactical commander?” says the younger guy.
Glancing down, I see that I’m wearing a dusty black long-coat. My fingers are gloved, and I’ve got a hood. I’m tempted to take my gloves off, see if there’s a mana-residue on the coat, but I already know the answer.
Lifting my head up and sighing, I realize that those behind me are dressed the same way. I look over my shoulder and confirm it. While I can see them, I feel like I’m completely alone. There’s no sense of presence.
The guy on the left of the trio’s muscular and shorter than the guy in the middle, whose got some beard showing. The woman’s on the right side, her long dark hair showing.
I think of pointing out that they shouldn’t have anything outside of the protection of the hoods, but they either know better or are going to freak out on me even more.
Licking my lips, I watch a stream of shiny objects flowing up and into the underbelly of the floating city. There’s a steady flow of traffic going up and coming down, meaning the official story about torching the district’s probably already playing well with the general population of the under-city.
Rolling my shoulders, I turn around to face the trio. We’re on the roof of the tallest building around, and it looks just as bad as I’m sure the western district will look tomorrow.
A levi-car honks somewhere down below, giving a hint of normalcy.
“There’s been word in the circles of the Wizard about an effort to upset the natural order,” says the muscular man.
“You mean our rebellion,” says the woman.
The man’s head moves to the side, and he steps away.
“Call it whatever you will, they sense something, and they are after it with all the vengeful disdain of an angry god,” says the bearded man.
Putting my hands in my pocket, I’m surprised to find something. Removing it, I turn the maroon orb over in my hands.
“So what was the message? That’s why we’re here, right? Do we have support?” asks the woman, leaning in.
I stare at the silver streak. This reminds me of something, but I can’t place it. Holding it up close to my eyes, I feel like I should know what to do.
Then it occurs to me, what if I’ve already got the information. I break out into a sweat, as nothing, in particular, is coming to mind.
“We’ve got support,” I say, my voice heavy with false confidence. “The…” A memory of a silhouette that was like staring at the night sky jumps out at me. “The librarian is with us.”
“Librarian?” yells the bearded man, his gnarled hands coming out of his pockets and gesturing wildly. “Who said anything about involving a librarian? You’ve already killed us.”
“No,” I say, putting out a steadying hand. “This is a free librarian.”
“There are no free librarians,” says the muscular man, shifting his weight back and forth nervously.
“There’s said to be one,” says the woman, slowly. There’s something in her voice that makes me anxious.
“The high acolyte started this, and we can’t let him get killed,” I say.
“They have him?” asks the bearded man, his voice going up and his head going back.
I catch the muscular man turning his body a touch, his gaze likely now over my shoulder. “This is falling apart.”
“Did…” I squint, my fingers twiddle back and forth. There’s something there.
I narrow my eyes and stare at these three forms. I’ve met with them before. No, with two of them, separately. The beard guy’s new.
“Did you find a maker who can handle the sword?” I ask, not sure to whom.
The woman nods. “She’ll need a month.”
“A month? What do we even need it for?” asks the muscular man stepping forward aggressively. “You’re not giving me the whole story, mister suddenly coherent.”
I raise a finger at him. “My mind was muddled from the orb, but it’s clear now.” I wipe the sweat off the rim of my month. Yig, what am I doing?
I make a fist, stopping myself from pulling up a sleeve to see if I’ve got tattoos or not, as that could be misconstrued ten different ways.
Raising my chin, I put my hands back in my pockets. “We need to get the old man out of the Wizard’s lab, and the only way we’re going to do that’s with him not being alive. That way, we can slip him passed all the protective wards.”
“You want to kill him?” says the muscular man, shaking his head, his hands out and a hand right in my face. “You’re insaneYou’re… I’m done.” He waves the hand in my face. “I’m not getting burned inside out, or whatever twisted torture the new high acolyte’s going to do before finally killing me.”
“They’re trying to turn him into a weapon,” says the woman. “They’re trying to make a mana-bomb, something that can ignite all of the life in an area.” She gestures at the floating city. “We all know that the Wizard of Banareal is the lead in all magical experimentation and research. She’s got the most powerful weslaks. She made cards… But she’s got this idea that’s been eating her soul, and she’s going to make it happen if we don’t stop her.”
I feel sick to my stomach and pull out the orb. For the first time, I notice that it’s dented and scratched. The weird, dim afternoon light reveals that where it’s maroon is gone. There’s often caked blood.
The sound of a levi-car crashing pulls all of our attention.
“It’s in the middle of the road, what did it smash into?” The beard man’s leaning over the edge with me.
“A magical barrier,” I answer. Glancing over my shoulder, I see the muscular guy taking off. I try to leap forward, but my body forces my gaze up. “The sky. They come from the sky,” I mutter, a memory flashing before me.
“What?” The bearded man follows my lead.
“There’s a barrier going up,” says the woman, her voice laced with defeat.
A dozen shiny objects are descending towards us. “Scourges, they’re cordoning off the area.”
Swallowing hard, I glance back and forth. “We don’t make it.”
“Where’s the other one?” asks the bearded man.
“He betrayed us, hope for mercy,” I mutter.
The beard man and woman take off.
I turn around. The orb’s nearly impossible to hold on to in my sweaty hand. “Think. How does this go down?”
Holding the orb up to my mouth, I hear myself speak words and then feel the thoughts being pulled from my mind.
A lightning weapon crackles down below. I don’t need to see it, to know that the muscular man just received his payment for his treachery.
I jerk forward for a moment and stare at the orb. It shimmers for a moment, and I realize it’s full.
I’m about to throw it when I blank on who the yig I’m going to send it to.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a form land on the far end of the rooftop. It’s wearing a red hooded rob with glowing yellow detailing.
“Yig, that’s no rookie acolyte.” I can’t swallow.
Soldiers surface from the stairs, weapons drawn.
“This is where I’m supposed to die.”
In a desperate move, I throw the orb.
“Not this time.”
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