2: Things

EIFFEL

Chapter 2,

In which Isaac does some things

Isaac woke up at about 4 o’ clock, pm. He didn’t remember getting into his bed. The sky was flickering again. Isaac figured it was powered by magic, but it clearly wasn’t maintained very well. It’d get like this, all dim and pixelated, every few weeks or so. The ‘sky’ was composed of millions of little lights; he’d been up there himself. Around the edges were weird cloud generators, which would produce rain. The rain would be cleared away by the humidity removal unit in France’s sky’s dead centre. This puzzled Isaac. Why go to such lengths to make the country’s entrapment comfortable? It was odd.

Isaac decided that today was an escape planning day rather than a hunting day. He got out of bed, and despite wearing only his shirt and underwear, opened the curtains. There was a girl outside.

*

Harmony had gotten up off the bench in the park on the other side of the country as soon as Isaac, on the other other side of the country got back to his apartment. She had sensed his fight with the demon swordsman. He could definitely help her. Although the scale of his magical power was a little scary. She’d find him then. 211,209 square miles. France was about that big, right? Harmony could do that in what, a minute? She set off at a leisurely pace.

Underneath the black glove, her hand shivered.

Underneath the white glove, her hand trembled.

*

Isaac stared at Harmony through his window. She stared back. This continued for a length of time, albeit a rather short one. Isaac seemed to reach a decision. ‘Aargh.’ He said. Then he shut his curtains and went back to bed.

His brow furrowing, Isaac remembered he was on the second floor. Yet the girl was stood right outside. Must have been last week’s vodka that he’d found in the police evidence room he was passing through. His Russian moods often had this kind of side effect. But...

‘Hmm,’ he hmmed. There was a gentle tapping at the window. Choosing to ignore this, Isaac decided it was time to get up. He put on his pants and retrieved his List from his coat, which was currently on a hook on the door. On the back of the List was the Plan. Whereas the List was people Isaac needed to... inhume, the Plan was what he was gonna do afterwards. Originally the Plan was entitled ‘The List 2: this time it’s personal’, but Isaac didn’t have a wide enough sheet of paper.

The tapping stopped, and was replaced by a meek little voice, saying, ‘Um... Hello? Mr. Raven?’

Isaac looked at the plan. It read:

1. Kill everybody

2. Get prize

3. Figure out what prize is

4. Reimburse collateral damage

5. Make hole

6. Escape through hole

Isaac wasn’t unintelligent, far from it; he was something of a genius. The Plan just wasn’t particularly serious. Step 5 was where it fell down; Isaac couldn’t make a hole in the sky. There were magical wards, or something. The same underground. And in the walls.

‘Um... Quoth?’ said the voice, almost pleading now. ‘Are you still there?’

That settled it then. Isaac went up to the window, and reopened the curtains. He blinked at the girl stood on the air outside. Hope filled her face, and she began to speak. Isaac picked up a pencil from the windowsill. He knew he’d left it somewhere. The light was hurting his eyes, so he shut the curtains again.

‘Um, um... Isaac Nevermor? That is you, right?’ said the girl. ‘...Please?’

Isaac stopped. This girl was no illusion. He knew that from the start really, but... well, he pretended that he didn’t. This girl scared him. He could feel magical power coming from her, but... it wasn’t seeping from her core like a normal spellcaster. There was a source in each shoulder; one was weak and small, with this feeling of sickness, and one felt huge, and oddly... malevolent. The combined effect was that of wanting to hug her, wrap her in a blanket and feed her soup until she felt better whilst at the same time wanting to run, run far away, as far as possible, until she couldn’t possibly know where you were, and just cower in a ditch in the vain hope that you’d live.

Of course, Isaac often felt like this after his vodka sessions.

*

The girl sat on Isaac’s bed with him sat on the floor listening to her story. Her name was Harmony. Isaac laughed at this; Harmony didn’t seem too harmonious. He’d noticed her eyes. One was red, one was blue. They corresponded to Harmony’ magical cores; blue on the right, red on the left. Her left hand was covered in a black glove, her right was covered in a white one. This matched up too.

‘Hmm,’ said Isaac.

‘Hmm?’ said Harmony.

‘What? Oh! Sorry,’ said Isaac, grinning. ‘It’s a habit. Carry on.’

Harmony explained that she’d been entered in The Tournament by mistake. Her brother was to enter, but he was killed by one of the other entrants a day before the start date. She’d come to France to retrieve his corpse, and whoever organised the damn thing entered her instead. She’d received a note saying ‘Take Your Revenge’. Apparently Harmony couldn’t fight to save her life, quite literally, and after several occurrences of near-death related japery, she’d become quite adept at running away. So her revenge was probably floating around somewhere.

Isaac frowned. ‘Were you given a namestone?’ he asked.

‘Uhh... this?’ she said, and Isaac couldn’t help but notice that she pulled it from out of her top. Isaac didn’t have a perverted mind, so he wasn’t thinking of anything rude. Instead, he stopped listening and went on a brief mental journey involving pockets and how the lack of them would make him suicidal.

The End

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