Sergeant Walker frowned at the young woman across his interrogation table. She raised her hands, displaying wrists lashed together by jagged links of iron and silver. “You’ll regret it if you don’t.” She said and looked at him, utterly serious.
“That’s not how this works.” Walker sat down across from her. She was very young; the limited file they’d developed guessed eighteen or nineteen. While her age might explain some of the misplaced confidence, he guessed most of the ego came from the spontaneous godlike powers she’d been granted.
Walker had never spoken to a crown mage before, but like everyone, he knew the individuals who warred in the lower city didn’t possess any respect for the city’s law. “If we’d caught one of your subjects, negotiation for release might have been an option. As it is, you should cooperate and answer the questions. No more threats.”
The girl dropped her wrists to the metal table with a thunk. A curtain of shiny black hair slipped in front of her face as she starred at him. “I am not threatening you.” She said earnestly and flipped her hair back with a twitch of her head. “Look, this is probably a really big day for you, and I am super sorry, but this isn’t going to turn out the way you think it is.”
“You’re that powerful?” He raised a brow. The manacles on her wrists were military grade, they’d quell an evoker. Even the temporary holding station they were in had impressive, if mundane, defenses that would make a crown mage pause. Walker felt bad for her, a girl so obviously out of her depth. No one ever chose a mage’s crown, they chose you, and the teenager seemed to have let the surge of importance go to her head.
“No.” She exhaled angrily through her nose. “But I have people, people you didn’t catch, who may overreact when they see a broadcast of being pulled into a police van. So it’s best to, you know, just let me go.”
“Who are these people? Do they have names?”
He received a heavy scowl in response.
“I can’t help you unless you help me.” He said evenly.
She leaned across the metal table. “I am trying to help you.” Once again she offered him her bound wrists. “Take these off, turn off your automatic guns, and tell your people to let me go.”
Walker leaned in too. “Or what? This place can hold off an evoker’s storm or a necromancer’s army. I’m sorry, young lady, that you’re caught up in the crowns’ conflict, but that’s not going to happen. Now, who exactly is coming for you?”
It looked for a moment, if she’d been able, like the girl might reach out and pat him on the shoulder pityingly. When she didn’t answer, he leaned back again. He’d bring someone who wouldn’t mind harsher methods of questioning if he needed to. Walker opened his mouth to tell her so but stopped as the room shook, shivers of dust falling over them.
A second shake, this one larger than the first, rattled the two way mirror. They both stood as the table between them buckled. Far off, Walker heard the crash and wrench of metal and stone. Then the sounds of gunfire.
Disbelieving, he looked at the young woman, who had turned her attention towards the door. She caught him looking at her. “I was really trying to help you out.” She said apologetically and tucked her hair behind her ear. The lights flickered and went out.
Walker reached for his gun, but his hand touched jagged metal instead. He yelped as living links of silver and iron curled around his wrist. Snake like, the mage cuffs tightened with impossible strength and jerked him towards the table. The links dove into the metal surface like a sea serpent, lashing him tight to the table as the metals melded.
The door’s hinges tore as if made from foil. The crown mage stepped back as the door fell with another crash, outside light flooding the interrogation room. From his awkward vantage point, Walker could see two men in the doorway, one tall, the other stocky. A mess of rubble and ruined station was visible behind them, sunlight streaming in through the obliterated roof.
“How…?” Walker stammered. Even if the defenses had failed, the mage cuffs, inanimate once more around his own wrists, should have held the crown mage. The tall man at the door moved into the room, two curved swords bare in his hands.
“Sorry about the station, I did try and warn you.” The young woman said. She smiled a little. “I’m an awakener.”
The stocky one, arms crossed and waiting in the ruined frame of the door looked at her. “We need to come up with a better name for it.” He commented.
The tall one spared one look at Walker, still secured helplessly to the table. “Later, we need to go.” He said. The crown mage sighed and the two fell into step, one guarding her front while the other followed them out.
Deplorable rogues! My first line was stolen by a nefarious band of thieves, see what they’ve done with their spoils at the Legal Theft Project and check back each week for a new heist.