The Blade of The Investigator

The Investigator produces a blade from somewhere in her enveloping cloak, a stilletto, long and sharp as a needle, flat and serrated on one slim edge. She moves it in the air, sweeps it and the blade catches the light, echoing it and catching it, blossoming into its own internal fire, crackling and flickering.

"There was another here, is that not so?"

"Only the boy," the fortune teller says.

"And where is this boy now? Only a boy you might call him, but he is our killer. See here!"

Impassive, her head bent, tall and thin as death might be, she indicates the fallen duke. The fortune teller quivers as she calls the necromantic magic she is attuned to. He feels her magic like pins in his flesh, stabbing into his chest in fire and ice as the duke's body writhes and shivers, slowly rises.

Held up, the corpse hangs, limp feet scraping the floor, head-lolling, loose tongued as its bloody mouth opens in a groan. A groan that dies away under the commanding voice of the Investigator.

"You will speak truly," she says.

"Let me go!" The duke wails and his voice is more pain, more pins and ice and aching.

"Answer me this and I will let you go," the Investigator says. "Why was the glass broken? Where is the boy? What did you plan here?"

"Revolution. The boy is gone where none can follow. It was he who broke the glass and he who killed me."

"Enough, you can go." The Investigator slices the air with her blade, corpse dropping as a puppet when its strings are cut. The body describes a new, more grotesque parody of sleep than it did before, but the old man breathes again, with the threat and pain of magic passed.

"Revolution," the Investigator says and turns to him. "You will get me an Augur and bring him to the Palace. One hour, old man, that's all you have."




The End

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