Another day, pouring rain. I take shelter under a bus stop to light a cigarette. I sit down and wait for the agent to show up with the details on my next assignment. As I take a deep draw, a homeless man slowly shuffles toward me.
"Spare change, bud?"
"No, but I've got this."
I hand him my insignia.
"So you're the new post for this region, eh? I'm Urb."
I'm used to getting odd names from the boss's underlings.
"Why the get up?"
"Ha-ha, you must be new to a city posting. What's the best way to stay completely invisible in plain sight of humans? You gotta look like something they don't wanna see. Screw the effort to make a fancy spell, this takes way less effort, and you get to see who's worthwhile in this miserable realm."
I make a noise somewhere between laugh and a snort, "Your insight into human behaviour is far deeper than most humans will ever have." I take one more draw of my smoke and flick it into the gutter, "What's coming through this time?"
"What you humans call a dragon."
"I'm dead you moron, and besides, you're not my type."
I give Urb a strange look. He just grins back, "What? You offered."
"How many dragons am I going to have to deal with on this job?"
"There was a whole realm of the creatures, and even after death they remain stubborn for as long as they are able. Some manage to break free.
"Are the spells in place?"
"I've been doing this since before your Christ was born, of course the spells are in place."
"The last agent I dealt with recently discovered booze. He had to be reminded of everything."
"Don't worry. The road is blocked off so no one's getting though. Be careful though, I don't have as many Lowers as I'd like. There's a chance this thing could break loose."
That's the last thing I want to hear. The possibility of a dragon running lose in downtown Victoria, "Let me in."
Urb waves a hand wrapped in a tattered glove and I'm in the Cage. I see at both ends of the Cage are Lowers disguised as road crews. I'm sure in the middle of it there's the image of a truck with a few guys working on a section of the road or something.
I draw my sword as I see the rift appear. I look over it as a formality. A weapon I designed but made by a god to be indestructible. It's a Japanese styled sword except the blade is proportioned to be five feet long instead of the usual three or so. In my hand it has a nice weight, but to any other human it's impossible to lift. The rift opens wider as I see a familiar looking head and body pull its way through a gap between worlds.
"You really are a stubborn species."
A voice echoes through my skull, "To be free of such a wretched world provides more incentive that a mere mortal can understand."
"There's a reason I work for its master."
"Another of his legion, except you are but a morsel."
"You ain't the first dragon to call me that."
The rumbling laughter of the beast shakes my skull.
The dragon's chest swells as it gather's its power. I check to make sure my fingernails are trimmed properly. A deluge of energy pours from maw of the creature. I let it wash over me. It regards me with what I assume is curiosity as I glance up at it.
"Your master has granted you power, mortal."
"One of the benefits of the job."
It chuckles, "Well then, let's see the extent of your power."
I roll my eyes, "Your kind speak with such formality," I point my sword at it, "Bring it on you over grown lizard."
I launch myself at its bulk, but it bats me out of the air like a fly. I manage to stop claws as long as my forearm from latching onto me as I slash it across the middle of its hand. I use the force of the blow to flip myself onto its arm. As I run past the wrist, I have to leap out of the way of its tail trying to impale me. I manage to grab one of the spines on its back, but the tail still has me targeted. I barely manoeuvre around the attack and flip myself up to one of the spines on its neck. As the tail comes around for another strike, I flatten myself against its neck and dodge just enough to keep the spine at the end of the tail from killing me. I grab the tail as it buries itself in my shoulder and push it deeper through myself, into the dragon’s neck. I chop off the end of the tail and pull it out of my shoulder as the beast collapses. I take no chances. I leap into the air and drive my sword deep into its skull. With my good arm I pull it out my blade and fling it toward the edge of the Cage. I fall off the skull of the dead dragon and feel the life draining out of my arm.
"Death," I yell
Another rift opens, though this one much smaller and more precise. The smell of rot and decay cling to the figure that appears. A dark robe with a hood too deep to see inside sleeves ending in cracking leather gloves, with no feet visible beneath the long hem glides toward me.
"Keep this up," a voice of dust says, sounding nearly impressed, "and you'll be my top rank in no time."
"I'm dying here."
"Not on my watch, you're not."
The figure creaks and groans as an arm is waved above my body. I get up, better than I was before the fight. I light another cigarette.
"Why do you insist on smoking those things?" the god asks me, "It won't bring you to my realm any faster."
I shrug, "I like the taste, makes me look 'cool'."
I hear a sound like someone walking over dead leaves, and I realize that the god of Death is laughing.