Saturday, 22 September 2012
A deal at what price?
She saw red as she wrestled with the bulky Tilean. Overpowering her, he pulled her face close to his, his eyes boring through hers.
"Now you will tell me all you know with no omissions. I will know if you speak the truth and I will make it uncomfortable if you lie to me."
In a final, furious tug, Wanda wrenched away from him.
"What the hell are you playing at, man!" she spat, her voice husky with rage. "this is absolutely unnecessary! Now is not the time to be cracking up! You need to get a grip - I can help you, but I'm not beholden to you and I expect some civility!" Wanda caught herself pounding her finger against the mans chest.
She stepped back, still gesticulating angrily. "Your men need a leader. Your foreman has a crossbow to his chest and your own leader is missing his head. The lives of your men rest on you right now. You don't hold the cards you think you do, so tread carefully!"
"Here's what I know: the stone is cursed. We only have this evening to recover the stone. I don't know the exact reason for it, but the time limit I have is six hours. As a sorceress, I infer that the problem is related to the fact that the stone has been removed from whatever protective container it was in, causing those to be in contact with the stone to suffer from whatever the curse does to them.
"I now also know that there is someone else who is looking for this stone. Given that you don't appear to know how it is that your boss had his head taken off in the very recent past, I would suggest that this someone else is someone you and I need to respect, which is why this truce you're so graciously offering me is as critical to you as it is to me.
"By my calculations, we probably only have about three or four hours left to find that damn stone. I'll reiterate this point - I'm not interested in your loot. I don't care where you got it from, how you got it, or why. I just want the stone. The chances of you and your men dying are seriously reduced if you help me."
Wanda looked at the implements on the table. "Finally, just so you get it, the reason a magician is even gracing this shit hole with her presence is simply this - only someone skilled in the use of magic can do something about that stone. No one else should even touch it! As it stands, I'm not even sure I want to do something about it, but I'm the only one that can.
"So, why don't you do us all a favour, and tell me what you were trying to do? Why did your men take the stone? Why did you arrange a truce and then kill those men? Do you know who is trying to get it now, besides me?"