Between a Sword and a Hot Place

[Mission Inquiry:  all known information on Agent Lexi Dellgato]

Inquiry Results as follows:
Location: Meztie Three, Sector 12
Sector Date:  Not Found
Segment 12 of 15

“Santeez, another Nemoinian ale!”  He hadn’t meant it to sound like a demand, but once he saw the look that Santeez was giving him, he realized that it had.  “Sorry,” he said with a wide smile.  “You know how I get when I’m in the middle of telling a story.”

“Yeah, I know,” Santeez said.  Then she poured the ale into a taller glass than his previous one and slid it across the bar.  “Am I gonna have to cut you off?  You know how you get when your telling stories,” she added.

He laughed and raised the glass, nodding his head as he did.  Carlaza, the Bruaquatti sitting at the other end of the bar, got the joke.  Nemoinian ale didn’t contain any alcohol and wasn’t intoxicating.  It was a child’s drink, fruity flavor with bubbles in it.  Santeez was telling the storyteller that it wasn’t the story or the ale that was making him unbearable; it was just his personality.  Carlaza laughed again and raised his glass to the storyteller.

After a few minutes, the storyteller, Meekeye Voul, a card-carrying member of the Sword Hunters Guild, resumed his story.

“So, where was I?” Voul asked.

“You made it to the roof of the building,” someone sitting at another table said as the room settled in, anxious to hear more of Voul’s tale.

“Yes, yes, that’s right,” he said.  “I had just made it to the roof.  I figured, by the time I got there, the assassin would be clear to the other side of the building.  After all, they had a pretty good head start.  To my surprise, when I got there, she was waiting for me.  I stepped out of the access door, and she jumped from the ledge above, landed right in front of me, grabbed my arm, and threw me across the rooftop.  Before I knew what was going on, I was sailing through the air.”

“She vas dat strong?” someone with a Slobbovian accent asked.

“She was that strong,” Voul replied.  He took a sip of his ale before jumping back into the story.  “Of course, I landed on my feet and slid to a stop, but she was fast.  When I looked up, she was almost right in front of me.  She jumped and kicked, but I’d had enough.  I shifted my weight to the left, grabbed her leg, and turned as hard as I could.  Sent her flying toward the edge of the roof,” he said, nodding his head and smiling as if he had just added a few points to the battle’s scoreboard.  “But I’ve gotta say, what I saw after that kind of surprised me.  She hit the ground and just rolled to her feet.  In the middle of all that, she did some kind of acrobatic twisting and turning.  Like she was putting on a show.  My job in the show being to help her get from one place to another.”  Voul shrugged his shoulders and sighed.  “The good thing was, she wasn’t attacking.  At least I thought it was a good thing at the time.”

“So that gave you a chance to get a good look at her then?” a very old yet very small being with a high-pitched voice asked.

Voul sighed a little.  As his body relaxed and he sat back, the look on his face changed from storyteller to admirer.  “Yeah, I got a good look at her.  We stared at each other for a few moments.  She was wearing a black combat uniform, tight-fitting, with a red shirt, covered by a black combat vest with buckles down the front.  She had red straps, presumably for weapons, on her legs.  Boots matched the rest of her outfit.”  Then, as if his soul had jumped back into his body, he sat forward and switched back into story mode.  “She was wearing a scarlet mask and had long silver hair, probably died that color.  To be honest, I’ve never seen anyone that looked like her.”  He could see that the rest of the room was busy forming an image of the assassin in their mind.  He used the time to take another sip of his ale, then leaned in, put a little intrigue into his storytelling voice, and said, “But it was her eyes that told me everything I needed to know.  So, I activated my sword, and that’s when everything went crazy!”

He noticed that he not only had everyone’s attention, but they were frozen, some with mugs halfway between the table and their mouths, in anticipation of his next words, “There was this ear-piercing sonic boom, and the entire building shook, taking both of us off our feet.  Suddenly there was smoke and fire pluming up from all sides of the roof.  We both made it back to our feet, and I yelled, ‘Don’t move, I’m taking you into custody!'”

“It took a moment for her to respond.  I think she was waiting for an interpretation or something.  Probably a universal translator device of some kind.  She said, “Look, I was just minding my own business when an alien with a huge sword just walks up and starts making trouble, then you show up right after.  I thought you were with him!”

Voul paused for a moment as if reexamining the words that had been said on the rooftop.  “Then I looked at her and said, ‘Yet, here we are, standing on a burning building, about to have an epic battle.'”  In his mind, he recalled the black smoke turning gray in the sunlight, the reddish-orange flames clawing their way through the cloud of gray.  The wind seemed to draw an invisible line between the female and the flame’s heat, while her right arm was slowly being consumed by the darkness.  Her silver hair was covering half her face, leaving only one eye visible.  In his mind, he pictured her.  He had never seen any being with eyes that shade of pink.  She was beautiful, he thought but did not say.

“Then what happened,” a voice came from his left.

Voul brought himself back to the moment, looked around for a second, and said, “Then the fire literally roared.  Now I know you’re thinking he meant figuratively, and you’re probably just too polite to offer to correct me, but I actually mean literally.  The fire roared!  Then that silver-haired female with the beautiful pink eyes held up two fingers, shook them at me, turned, and walked right off the roof and into the flames.”  And with that, Voul sat back, lifted his ale, and smiled.

“Woah!” someone said.

“Wow!” said another.

“You mean she chose the fire instead of coming in peacefully? Come on, this is a bunch of Billta pellets,” the small being with the high-pitched voice said.

“I’m telling ya, it’s true,” Voul said with a smile.

All images rendered by Jarrod L. Edge using Daz3d Studio