A pair of blue shadows stood flickering and edged towards me. The hooded man stood up and let the cold of his eyes glint in the dark. Beneath him the girl lay still. Her eyes burned unholy and neon green. Vapor trailed from her mouth- I had caught this schmuck in the middle of a hasty resurrection ritual. His poor timing and lack of situational awareness painted him as an apprentice. Someone new to town. This fuck didn’t know the rules yet.
“She’s mine. My kill and I claim her.”
“You know I’m just walking home.”
“You look weak, are those spiders your familiars? You look very weak.” He said.
“I’m broke. You try fielding an arcane study on this budget.”
“The kill is mine.” He said again.
I wasn’t about to take it either. I never did have much traffic with murder. As I said before it ruins the magic for me.
Next door I heard a ruckus in the bar. It wouldn’t pay to be caught next to some murdering mind magicked death sworn Mage, not outside of this bar at least. I did my best to defuse the situation. I could probably take this one creep and his weird blue shadows, but I couldn’t handle a bar full of Irish mer canneries and their friends. That would go downhill fast. It would be a storm of knives, the crack of a shotgun and then silence.
“Keep the kill, let me pass.”
“Tribute.” He demanded.
I rolled my eyes,
“I just said I was broke asshole.”
Fucking tourists think they can to town and start conjuring the dead like its nothing. I wondered if this guy even knew how hot this alleyway was.
“Pay it or I will take it.”
“You don’t want to dance here.” I said
“I think I do.” He replied.
The blue flickering shadows soared towards me reaching out with bubbling ghost flesh that hardened into talons. A pair of bird spirits maybe, or something he’d built in his free time. Either way they stopped short and drew back before me. The twin Geisha ghosts I’d been given by my old mentor rose from the slick, black concrete and growled beneath the pouring rain. They appeared fierce and ethereal- choosing in this moment to bare rows of sharp diamond teeth.
“I’ve seen those.” He said.
His shadows buckled and vanished. My geists stalked around him snarling.
“I did say you didn’t want to dance here.” My voice was a soft whisper. “You should leave.” I told him.
His eyes shone bitter blue- mind magic, cold though and tempered with death as well as something that felt and smelled older.
“This is my kill.” He repeated.
Some people you lead to water and they’ll still die of thirst.
He sent a barrage of memory damaging magic towards me. It flickered blue and swift like silent lightning in the dark. It caught the rain and echoed off of it. Now it was all around me but I just grinned.
“Every old lady in Boyle Heights knows that trick schmuck.” I held up a charm of the world tree- a surprisingly potent investment from Tibet. “Your cheap spells won’t work on me.”
“Aye but I hear bullets do.”
I didn’t bother turning. It was the Irish. Now we were proper fucked.
The hooded murder Mage turned to face them though and that was his last mistake. A red dot found his forehead and sniper found his shot. The bullet flew wordless and left him brainless. He fell like so many potatoes tumbling in a sack and collapsed across his kill. It was his kill. Her eyes still glowed- halfway through the conjuring and still she burned undeath across her brow. Perhaps she hadn’t been ready to be dead. I knew I wasn’t.
Rough hands seized me and put a bag over my head. My hands were bound and my geishas slunk through the shadows frightened and embarrassed. They were a fine gift but as my teacher had warned, only as strong as they’re weilder. Right now they were as blind as I was. I felt those same hands drag me up stairs, across floor and then down stairs once more. I was tied to down and left wiggling on the floor, my eyes still covered. The geists nuzzeled me from the shadows but could do no more.
“Keep a watch on that one while we fetch them corpses from the street.” Someone said. And then I was alone in the darkness.
Slow and full of steady caution I heard the scurry of my spiders. The young came and whispered to me. I knew their tongue. They told me the mercs were outside and that something had their attention. Vampires I hoped. The spiders said they weren’t sure. A larger one began nibbling at my ropes. I promised him the sweetest blood I could fetch from flies if he’d hurry. Then they began to lift the veil from over my eyes. The guard wasn’t looking- I set my geisha geists upon him. He went down the scraping crunch of stone upon stone- rows of sharp diamond teeth grating against each other. There was no body left. The spiders lead me through an exit where everybody just so happened to be preoccupied with a ruckus in the alleyway I had come from. I didn’t bother finding out what, I slipped through the front and winked at the bouncer stationed there. I started running and was gone before displeasure and recognition played across his ugly face. Behind me trailed spiders and before ran those the spectral dogs- the geisha ghosts. Free for the time being.