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Flash Fiction – Auramancer February 5, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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This story is part of a weekly series, updated every friday. Click Here to read from the beginning.  

Nox walked through the city park with Loki, his arm around her shoulders, hers around his waist. The evening was mild for mid-winter, and all around them was the sound of melting snow dripping off of branches.  Street lamps cast a golden glow on the walking path, illuminating the pair as they strolled in and out of pools of shadow.  It was a perfect night to be out, neither too warm for Nox, nor too cold for Loki.  Fire and ice, their torrid affair was the talk of the season amongst the elemental courts.  If it had been a real affair, and not just a cover story, the evening might have gone very differently. 

As it was, her blushing glances downward were only a cover for checking the compass held in her hand.  It was made of brass and had a copper coin set below the needle.  The arrow held steady at south by south-east.

“You probably shouldn’t be out here.” Loki said. “Not so soon after that last attack.”

“Until we figure out who made these portal coins, and how, I don’t think anywhere is safe. Besides, Grimm is within earshot and I have you to protect me.”

Loki smiled, and there was a hint of flames in his eyes.  “Lady, my sword is yours…and the rest of me as well!”

 “You never give up, do you?” Nox said.

“Not while the stars shine in the heavens, or the sun rises in the east…”

Grimm’s rumbling voice echoed in their minds.  “Oh, brother.  Could you two focus, just a little bit?”

Nox laughed, and said, “We’re supposed to be in love, remember?  Have to keep up appearances.” She could just see the massive hound ghosting through the trees alongside them.   Curse or no curse, she always felt better knowing he was watching over her.

“I think Loki is more in lust than in love.” Grimm quipped. 

“Hey, I resemble that remark!” Loki fired back, with a smirk.

Nox checked the compass again.  The needle had begun sweeping slowly back and forth across the coin.  “Hold up a minute. I think we’re close.  Either our target is pacing, or going down stairs.” 

“We’re almost at the edge of the park.  He could be in one of the buildings up ahead.” Loki said. 

“It looks like we have a whole party coming out through the front door of that one.” she said.  

Loki steered them into the deeper shadows beneath a tree.  “See the way they walk, as if they’re used to wearing heavy robes? I’ll bet you anything those are New Dawn cultists.”

“No bet.  They’re armed to the teeth, too. Four, five, six… I’d say someone important is in town, to have that many guards.”

“Will you be able to make out which one of them made the coin from this far away?”

Nox nodded.  “I can see their auras just fine.  They are not nice people!”

“Nice talent you have.  Wish I had it, would make spying so much easier.” Loki said 

“It’s a pain in the ass.  The whole world is filled with moving colors, you have no idea how long it took me to learn what was physically there, and what was just an energy field.”  She glanced at the compass for a reference point, and then looked back at the men. “Still, it makes technomancy a snap since I can see how things go together.”

“Like a coin and its maker.”

“Yep.”  She pointed with her chin.  “The bald, pudgy guy is our mark.  I still can’t figure out what he is though, his aura is such a crazy mix.  The Morning Lord probably picked him up from some alternate dimension.”  She tensed as a tall, handsome blond man exited the building.  “Speak of the demon, and there he is.  Well, there’s proof of collusion, and it’ll hold up under a truth finder.  Let’s get out of here.” She sniffed. “Is something burning?”

Grimm growled.  “Get a grip, Loki!  The Morning Lord will see you!”

Loki’s hand had started scorching the tree where he leaned against it.  “Sorry. The last time I saw that man, he was standing over my parent’s bodies.”

Nox iced over the scorched wood, eyes still on the Morning Lord and his retinue.  “Oh crud, he’s looking this way!” 

The bald man made an odd twisting motion with his hand and the coin in Nox’s compass lit up like a tiny sun.  For a single moment, both parties could see each other clearly. 

“RUN!”  Grimm howled.

Loki grabbed Nox’s hand and sprinted back to the path.  Nox gave him the compass. “Slag this, they can track us with it!”

Flames so hot they were almost invisible wrapped his hand, and the metal collapsed into a molten puddle.  He whipped it into a fountain, which set off a hiss of steam. 

“They’re trying to surround you, I’ll scout ahead to find a clear path.”  Grimm said, giving them directions as they ran.  “Left.  Slow down a little. Right. Straight. Cut downhill towards the river “

They slipped and slid down the hill through the trees, almost tumbling into the river.  As they scrambled back onto the walking path, the stones ripped up like a carpet and sent them flying into one of the decorative grottos.  Loki somehow managed to place himself between Nox and the wall.  He slammed into it and Nox slammed into him, knocking the wind out of him.

A familiar voice spoke as a ton of earth and stone began to pile up over the entrance.  “Still together with this scum, I see. Well, no accounting for taste.”

Nox cleared the dirt from her eyes.  “Roald?”  She could just make out the silhouette of the earth elemental before the entrance was completely covered. 

“It’s funny that we should meet here.” he said.  “I had the same ending planned for the date you bailed on.  Well, the Morning Lord can’t say I didn’t finish the job this time.”

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1. Laura Eno - February 5, 2010

Oh, no, no, more, more!
This one was exciting, full of twists and turns, little details slipped in, backstory smoothly inserted. Bravo!
Groan…now I have to wait another week…

techtigger - February 10, 2010

I do try to slip in enough info to keep new readers from getting lost, and remind current readers of little details 🙂 And it’s always fun to turn tiny details from previous stories into major problems later! *grinz*

2. Nishida - February 5, 2010

Why that filthy double crossing nitwit Roald. *rolls up sleeves*. I oughta beat him into pulp, if I didn’t know he was dead meat anyway. It’s Loki and Nox (&Grimm), dude. Run when you can!!! *insert deathly eveil laugh here.*

You’re mind is made of diamond, Angie. What an imagination! 🙂

techtigger - February 10, 2010

Ahhh, readers yelling at my villains – sweet music to my ears! *lol*

3. Sam - February 5, 2010

Awesome! And what a cliff-hanger of an ending. Another great installment. How are they going to get out of this one I wonder?

techtigger - February 10, 2010

Tune in next week, when we find out what happens to our intrepid heroes! *grinz*

4. soesposito - February 5, 2010

Hm, I never thought about the downside of reading aura’s. These little thought out details really make your characters pop off the page. Loving it, as always!

techtigger - February 10, 2010

You know, I’ve always wondered what would happen if a power couldn’t be turned off. do you go crazy? do you learn to live with it? It’s a fun theme to play with! 🙂

Mariana N. Blaser - February 10, 2010

I loved the fully on thing of Nox’s power, and her nonchalant description makes it even more interesting!

See, I don’t know if I love you or hate you for yet another great cliffhanger, you evil author, lol.

5. ganymeder - February 9, 2010

Why must you hook us like this and then make us wait another week? Shame on you! Hooking us with great story, characters, & writing. Tsk tsk. 🙂

techtigger - February 10, 2010

*muuhwwaahaahaa!* I love being an evil author! 🙂

6. Laura Eno - February 10, 2010

I have an award waiting for you over at my blog. 🙂

7. Walt - August 20, 2010

Another fine addition to the serial 🙂

8. Xanto - September 3, 2010

Great job!

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