The young man slunk back, reaching for his deck of cards and grasping the end of the first card. His deck was in perfect condition, intricate patterns of red against a white background swirled and decorated the back of each card. The pattern seemed to dance, as if alive, but it was so hard to tell that anyone would declare his eyes were playing tricks. The young man knew the reality, it was, in fact, fluidic and living. At his touch, the swirls and patterns coiled around his thumb, outlining it with beautiful art.
“We will not tell you again!” came the soldier’s voice a second time.
“What’s the matter, fellas?” the gentleman asked. “You don’t like illusion?”
With that his hand, which had been deep within his hat, flew out, revealing a black stalk and barrel staring down the two soldiers. It was a 9mm submachine gun.
“Shit-” one cursed before the gentleman opened fire, gunning down the two men in a matter of seconds.
He was sure to be careful of the crowd; the now fleeing crowd. With a laugh he emptied countless rounds, the soldiers collapsing in a pool of scarlet. A few moments passed before both magicians noticed the approaching grim-faced soldiers; bullets flying in their direction. The young man acted quickly, tossing his first card into the air. It exploded into bright light, acting as a flash bang to the approaching soldiers. The gentleman opened fire again, draining his gun of all ammunition. The reinforcements followed suit with their dead friends. He then dropped the weapon, placing his hat back on his head and taking off, cane in hand. His assistant took off after him.
They ran for some time, a massive gunship dogging them as they ran; like a hawk homing in on its prey, it stalked. They skirted through the bright, sparkling city, the light of midday reflecting off the towers of glass that made up the tallest buildings.
Soon, they came across an impasse. A door, locked, and otherwise a dead end. The young man drew another card, the picture showing an intricately drawn key with a skull making up it’s end. A skeleton key. He tossed the card toward the door, it slicing right into the metal that made up the door until about half the card was submerged in steel; the material was like melting butter, seemingly soft. The card glowed bright white, forming cracks all along the door. These cracks met with each other until the door blew apart with a flash of light, the pieces vapourizing. They continued running, the gunship now opening fire. It was too late; however, they were already within the relative safety of the building.
They ran through the building, racing up a staircase and shattering another door with another card.
Inside, a woman screamed as the two of them were put in view of her, clotheless.
“Our apologies, miss.” the gentleman said, averting his eyes and giving a bow while tipping his hat.
His assistant tossed a card that showed the image of a lock toward the shattered door. It ripped apart in mid air to form a metal gate in the place of the door, chains and padlocks covering it almost entirely. The young man, glancing out a window, only had a moment to react. He leapt forward, tackling the woman to the ground as bullets ripped through the apartment suite they had wandered into. The woman only screamed as the gunship’s turret ripped metal apart and decimated the environment. After several moments, the bullets stopped flying.
The assistant had a moment to realize the person he had pinned to the ground, and how she appeared; stunningly beautiful, she was. She slapped him, his head tipping in the direction of the blow as he half-winced, giving a sly smile nonetheless. She then shoved him off and into another sprint.
They took off for a window, leaping out as if caring little about their lives. In mid air, he drew a card, the front showing a picture of an hour glass. Time slowed as the card faded away into sand. He drew three cards, one of which showed a pillow; he tossed it toward the direction they fell. The other two cards showed pictures of guided missiles, he proceeded to toss both of them toward the gunship. Both cards traveled through the air before each erupted into the exhaust of a missile, metal, mechanism, and all forming in in front of it. Both missiles then planted themselves into the gunship, exploding into a cacophony of destruction to rip the aircraft apart. Time then returned to normal speed, both the gentleman and his assistant landing onto a pile of pillows. They struggled to get up, feeling like children gleefully attempting to retreat from a foam pit.
Once free, both men took off running, now inside a different apartment complex. They found their way to a balcony courtyard, several stories still below them. Soldiers ran in from all sides.
Thinking fast, the assistant slammed one of his cards onto the ground. What seemed like a soap bubble appeared around them, catching bullets and bouncing them back. While bullets reapped havoc, the soldiers taking care of themselves, the gentleman reached into his hat. He seemingly gave a great heave, lifting the end of something metal from the endless void that was his tophat. A few moments went by in this same fashion before a pristine, fully loaded RPG was now in the possession of the gentleman. Strange, his assistant had thought, that such an object could even fit in his hat, much less be pulled from it. With a grin and a wink he fired the weapon, the concrete before him shattering into thousands of pieces, fire and shockwave sending soldiers screaming off the balcony. The assistant drew four cards, bright flame on the cover of each, and levitated them above his left hand. With his right he, without so much as a touch, drew one forward. It set itself ablaze, crumpling into a ball then erupting into a miniature inferno. He launched the ball of fire into the remaining soldiers with a wave of his right hand, one after the other. He too sent soldiers screaming to their doom with fire and shockwave.
Before they knew it, they were on the run again, racing out of the building and toward the old city. The old city was the decrepit remains of what once was a beautiful place; it was also the only place a magician could be safe. They raced along the back alleys and darker pathways, nearly reaching the old city, when two figures blocked their path. The figures wore suits, modern ones, finely pressed and black with a white shirt beneath, black tie to match. Both seemed to be male, their faces blank and made of the glass of a mirror. They reflected both magicians expressions; they were ones of dread. For they knew what they had just encountered: a magician’s only weakness. Mirrors; they had the power to reflect magic. They were mirror-men, the prime agents of the bureau. The assistant drew his cards, the gentleman drew a 12 gauge from his hat; the mirror-men raised their palms…. and struck.