|A Skeleton Duet
Author: Confectionery Rodent PM
The Authorities hide magic wielders from the human population with a brutal integrity. Hades is a fresh-faced agent, and his determination for promotion will result in meeting an incredibly dangerous wielder who takes a disturbing interest in him.Rated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,486 - Updated: 06-12-11 - Published: 06-02-11 - id: 2920142
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Here it is, the big one, the fateful meeting. Enjoy.
In an apartment in central Daer, sat at a laptop, Talon Blackburn was busy at work. He hadn't taken a break all day, and midnight was long since gone. He just tapped away with a mechanical fervour, his eyes not moving from the screen. He was so engrossed with his work that he hadn't even got up to turn on the light, and his modern, deluxe apartment was plunged in darkness.
Behind him was a bed unmade, a white carved wardrobe left open, filled with suits, shirts and ties, and to his left, French windows with curtains left closed from the morning. The desk he sat at was made of a chocolate dark wood, simple yet elegant in its craftwork. And Talon, sat in his office chair, was dressed in a loose, un-tucked shirt and black trousers. One thing that could be told from his room and his appearance was that he certainly wasn't expecting any visitors.
Around him, he could feel the life of the apartment block. Mostly people were sleeping, but some were still lounging, watching TV. There was a couple lost in the acts of passion roughly four floors below him, some rats rustling through the rubbish bins in the alleyway behind the fourteen story building, and a spider making its web in his bathroom.
Talon hadn't achieved his reputation, as the Authorities' most notorious enemy for no reason after all - there was virtually no way for an agent to approach him without him knowing about it. They'd tried all sorts of methods in the past, and the only one that had come remotely close was the teleport device.
However, magic was all just a part of the life essence Talon felt around him, and even though they'd trapped it in a digital form, the magic still had a signature, which started writing itself before the agent ever appeared. It was a secret he liked to keep to himself, because it meant he could feel an agent before they appeared, and prepare accordingly.
This time, he didn't have the patience to feign surprise. When he felt the new life's colour drift to his senses, he immediately reached out with his power, and froze the agent where he stood.
Talon didn't even have to turn around to know that the shocked agent had a gun held to the back of his head, he'd felt it when he'd paralyzed every motor muscle in the man's body. He smiled maliciously; the agent couldn't even move his mouth to cry out.
"My my, the Authorities have sent me a present? But it's not even my birthday." He chuckled. "They are good to me."
He resumed tapping away at the keypad. "I'm afraid you've caught me at a bad time, however, but please give me a moment, I'm nearly finished. I'll be able to play with you soon." The light of the laptop emphasized his predatory grin.
He felt the agent's initial resolve flicker, as he flared with fear. Talon could almost smell it. No doubt it had dawned on him that there was no way out of this situation, not without Talon's mercy at least.
As he continued working, the agent let out waves of hatred, humiliation, and anger. Kept in a tortuous silence, he started to lose his fear in a swirling of frustration and loathing. By the time Talon finally put his laptop to rest, his mouth was watering with excitement. It had been so long since he'd toyed with someone's mind.
He braced his hands on the desktop, and pushed himself up. Slowly, he turned to face the agent, savouring the rush of adrenaline he could feel pumping through the man's bloodstream.
The room was almost pitch-black now, and nothing more than a vague silhouette could be seen, stood at the foot of the bed. Talon's eyes saw more than the physical form of a person, but it certainly didn't compensate for the dark, and he wanted to see the agent, and more importantly, he wanted the agent to see him. So he moved lazily over to the bedside table, and flicked the lamp switch on.
Light exploded into the room. Both tormentor and captor squinted in its intensity, but then their eyes met. Talon had entrancing black eyes, with mauve irises and plum-coloured pupils. They held the agent's scowling grey eyes with effortless charisma.
Languidly, Talon stepped towards the agent, his long black hair burning like dark fire with the lamp's backlight. The man's eyes, the only part of his face Talon hadn't bothered to freeze, followed him.
Talon came to stop opposite the agent, taking in his full appearance. Dressed in black, wild raven hair falling over his eyes, intensifying the dark look on his face. It was a young face too; he could only be in his early twenties. Well, of course that made sense. Quite often new recruits came after him, desperate to make a name for themselves. This one seemed no different.
Although, Talon couldn't help but notice, as he had from the start, there was something about this man that he found… enthralling. There was a quality to his colour, which for lack of a better description seemed to sparkle. He couldn't hide his excitement.
"What's your name?" He asked, smiling as he effortlessly removed the hold he had on the man's mouth.
The agent gasped, as if taking his first breaths after a long dive. Panting, he replied. "Go to hell."
Talon couldn't help himself, he laughed in delight.
"I do believe I asked your name, and I sincerely hope that's not your answer. So would you care to tell me, or shall I have to take it by force?" He smirked, hand twitching in anticipation.
The agent noticed the movement, and spiked with panic, but he stood fast, fixed Talon with a rebel glare, and said forcefully, "Go. To. Hell."
"Ha! You've got a serious attitude there. I like it. I like you." Talon flashed a mocking amorous look. "Most other fledgling agents would be spilling their guts to me by now. How long did I keep you waiting? Half an hour? An hour? And yet you won't even tell me your name. That, I'm impressed by."
"What makes you think I'm a 'fledgling agent'?" The man snarled.
Talon gave the agent a smile that one might to an ignorant child.
"Because, only the newest recruits are foolhardy enough to stumble into me without considerable backup, or a near-decent strategy."
The agent gave him a very annoyed look.
"Despite the use of my power, no one has appeared to intervene on your behalf. That suggests you're operating alone. It also suggests you're conceited enough to ensure no one interrupts you in your supposed triumph over the Authorities' prize catch. Either that, or someone set you up for this, presuming a meeting with me would evaporate their competition." Talon continued, as if unaware of the hatred radiating from the agent, but he was obviously hitting a mark somewhere.
The man remained silent, glaring up at him.
"You were made aware of my abilities before you came on this suicide mission, I hope?" He said, quite clearly faking concern.
"Of course, I read your profile!" The man snapped.
"Then what exactly did you read? Please tell me, because I've read it myself, and I'm intrigued to know exactly how suddenly appearing in my bedroom with a single handgun was meant to achieve success."
The agent continued to glare silently. This time, Talon waited to see if he could outstare the man. It had to be a full minute before he grew bored.
"Well, you force my hand." He said, with a nonchalant wave. "Tell me, what did you read in my profile?"
The agent gasped as Talon's invisible power rushed over him, and dragged through his mind for the information the wielder sought, pulling it to his lips.
"I read you had the ability to control all life-forms, and that you were immortal, and if anyone killed you, you'd just wake up a couple of hours later. It's the way the Authorities try to move you between locations, because you're too dangerous alive, and it's the way I hoped to detain you." The Agent gasped helplessly.
"Ah, I see. Something that simple, eh? Well," He said, raising his hand to hover next to the horrified Agent's temple, "That account isn't quite accurate, as you see, I don't 'control all life-forms', as you said. I in fact, control life as a force in general. Life that I see in the air, as well as life concentrated in living forms. I see the universe for what it really is, and I see you, my friend, in more ways than you could imagine. And, with a simple touch, I could see everything you ever were – including your name."
Gently, Talon tapped the man's temple. A waterfall of information gushed forth, childhood memories, deepest secrets, and darkest desires. The agent cried out but he was defenseless. Talon swam through the pool now settled in his own mind, and found what he was looking for. Withdrawing his hand, he gave a satisfied grin.
"Hades MacKenzie." He purred. "What a lovely name."
The agent stood gasping in shock. There was no way that in a mere second someone could know everything about him so intimately. That he could be robbed so easily of his identity.
"Bastard." He gasped.
"Ah, come now, what would your parents say if they heard you talking like that?" Talon crowed. "Although, they haven't heard your voice in quite a while, have they?"
"Shutup." Hades muttered.
"You don't get on too well with your parents, it's got something to do with your unborn sister, doesn't it?"
"Shut up." Hades snapped, louder this time.
"She was killed in a car accident, how very tragic. And, oh dear, since becoming an agent you've realized it was probably a wielder that caused her death."
"Shut up!" Hades roared.
Talon fell silent, although not out of guilt, he just wanted to make the agent feel ridiculous for his outburst.
Smiling, he continued. "But, what did you find? The case report on the accident is classified – now why on earth would it be classified? Of course there's only one way to find out, and that is to be promoted, so what plan do you concoct? You decide to bring in me, the Authorities' most wanted, and get some attention. Instant promotion. How very shortsighted of you." Talon smirked.
"SHUT UP!" Hades shouted.
Talon gave him a piercing look, and leant in close so his face was inches from the agent's.
"Silly little human, do you know how ridiculous you look shouting orders at a god?" He sneered.
Hades' lip shook, his tongue stilled by fear. The wielder was right, because for all his shouting, the agent was still in the hold of a creature that had power over everything he did, and could exterminate him with a single thought.
"Did you really think turning up on HQ's doorstep with me slumped over your shoulder would get you a promotion, and on no charges? Wake up Hades, before they eat you alive."
The agent's eyes stared at the ground, not in shame or humiliation, but frustration. Talon had to admit, this one had an incredible fighting spirit. He knew an excellent specimen when he saw one, and there was no way he was letting this one go.
He pulled back to take in the agent once more. "Still," He said, "You've come to the right gentleman if you want information that the Authorities would rather you lived without. You may have noticed when perusing my profile, I am a talented hacker, and the Authorities' system is just another toy to amuse me. So what do you say to a once in a lifetime offer for my assistance on this case of yours?"
"You really think I'd trust you?" Hades scoffed.
Talon chuckled. "Ah, a man of integrity, you see that so little these days. But will you trust the Authorities? An organization, that despite its secret identity, still sees fit to hide information from its hard-working employees?"
Hades didn't reply he just stared stonily at the wielder.
"Well, trust who you will. You obviously require time to consider my offer, and I imagine you'd quite like to leave now." Talon gestured with his hand, and as if on invisible puppet-strings, Hades' wrist was drawn up.
He looked at it, quite startled, as if indignant that it dared move under anyone's orders but his own. Strapped to the wrist still supporting his handgun was the teleport device. Unbidden, Hades' hand hovered over the device, and his puppeteer paused.
"I won't take any more attempts on disrupting my busy schedule lightly, just so you're aware." Talon said in mock scorn. "That said I look forward to seeing you again soon, Hades MacKenzie. Give my regards to the Authorities."
And with a grin, he released the man from his hold. Before he even knew what he was doing, Hades' digits punched the screen, and the unholy creature before him disintegrated. The next thing he knew, he was in an alleyway far from the apartment, and the sky was a lot lighter than when he went in.
He staggered, his legs were weak, and he slammed into the brick wall. He leant there for a while, his head feeling light and dizzy. How could that have just happened? How could he have just let that happen? His insides were a mess, and before he could stop himself, he brought on further shame by bending over and emptying his stomach.
The damned bastard! He thought he'd had everything figured out, right down to the exact latitudinal coordinates of the wielder's bedroom. But no, he'd been shown for a fool, and now the accursed wielder appeared to know everything about him, it was too humiliating to even consider.
And what of the Authorities? If they found out what had just happened, dismissal was probably the last of his worries.
He shifted to a slightly more upright position and stared, unfocused, at the end of the alley. It had to be about four in the morning now, and the occasional car zipped past on the main road.
He had to get away from here. How far, he wasn't sure, but considering that monster he'd just somehow escaped, it wasn't far enough.