WHEREIN Offers Are Made, And Refusal Is Not Up For Consideration
“Captain Vindh!” Yidoc Messhik, crime lord of the Tyrelos Barony and other principalities, beamed through the video link at Grif’s scowling face. More accurately, he appeared to beam, strictly by human standards, though his facial spines—an integral emotive component for every Invagi Grif had ever met—hardly so much as twitched in place. “I confess I didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. On the other hand, I didn’t expect someone to try to assassinate our Baron, either.”
His smile faded slightly. “If you had any dealings in that, Captain, I’m afraid we have no business worth discussing. The Baron was very good for business, and I’ve no interest in rewarding either her brother or Lord Sonim for foolish ambition.”
Special Agent Philip Henry has a reputation for coolness under fire. This reputation has sometimes been described in semi-flattering terms, like when one of his superiors compared him to Joe Friday from the old Dragnet radio programs. Sometimes the description is less flattering, like when one of his colleagues accused him of being a soulless, cold-hearted son of a bitch.
At the moment his reputation is being tested. As Sergeant Alishia Webb glowers at him from across the table of the sole booth in Elliot’s Diner, he fights back the urge to flinch away from her gaze.
The silver-shrouded man hangs in the air, suspended by a power that existed before time.
Granite walls and floors gleam dully in the soft light filling the otherwise empty room. The light doesn’t come from the room, but from the power: the circle that surrounds him, the symbols inscribed within the circle, all glowing with enough strength to reach the very end of the long room, to reveal the door—plain, almost shabby compared to the room—that sits, closed, at the far end.