Legends of Cobalt

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Read Legends of Cobalt from the beginning: 

https://dreamforgeproductions.com/2019/03/21/desperate-times/

To Catch a Killer

“Hey there mister, looking for some company?” Raisa walked arm in arm with Phebes towards me.

I stopped an arm’s length from the girls and looked them over. Misty rain drenched us.

“I’ll take you.” I offered my arm to Raisa.

Raisa hesitated. “Are you sure you don’t want both of us? Ya see, nights here get rather chilly.”

“I’ve only got money for one of you, and I don’t want her.” I projected my voice shy of a shout.

“If money’s an issue, we can give you a discount. I don’t want to leave my friend out in this weather alone, ya see.” Raisa matched my tone.

“That’s all right,” Phebes kissed Raisa on the cheek. “Go and have some fun. I can find my own company tonight.” Phebes smiled at me and went to where Wyanet lurked.

Raisa took my offered arm and we set off in the opposite direction.

“What was that all about? It wasn’t part of the plan,” I whispered.

“We have to be convincin’ don’t we?” Raisa whispered back, “What next?”

“I don’t know. Let’s wander around and hope something happens.”

“This isn’t working,” Raisa sighed after a few hours. Water dripped from her nose and pasted loose strands of hair to her face.

“I know, but what else are we supposed to do?”

Thin fog rolled in around our ankles.

“I have an idea.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m supposed to be lookin’ like a whore, right?”

“That is a central part of the plan, yes.”

“Well, we’ve been wanderin’ for hours lookin’ like a married couple out for a stroll.” 

“What are you suggesting?”

“There is an alleyway a block from here. We duck down it, you slip me a few coins and we act like the Ghost Nation and have sex beneath the sky.”

My face grew warm, despite the damp cold air. “Do you think that’ll work?”

Raisa stepped in front of me and pressed her lips to mine. “It’s worth a shot.” 

Raisa grabbed my hand. We half-ran half-walked to the alleyway. We went ten feet down it and stopped at a mound of broken crates and old barrels. Heavy fog pooled at our knees. Raisa spun around and pressed her body against mine.

Raisa kissed me again. “Make it look convincing.”

My hands found their way to Raisa’s hips. I kept kissing her.

“I’m sorry mister Von Veltliner.” Raisa put her hands on my chest and pushed me back a step. “Times bein’ what they are, I need the money before we do any more. I’m not one to complain’, but I don’t work for free either.”

I scowled and pulled out my coin purse. I pulled two dragons from the leather pouch and slapped them into Raisa’s hand. “Keep the change.”

Raisa slid the coins into a pocket and wrapped her arms around my neck. “Shall we continue?”

I started kissing Raisa again and lifted her onto a barrel. Her fingers undid the knot on my sash and pulled it away. I slid the sleeves of her dress off her shoulders and started to undo the lacing on her corset.

A little girl’s voice echoed down the alley. “I wondered when you’d leave the safety of your tavern.”

I stopped and looked over Raisa’s shoulder, pulling her closer.

“Is it The Ripper?” Raisa whispered into my ear. Fear lined her words.

“Yes.” 

Jack pulled a cleaver from beneath her cloak. She ran toward us and leapt into the air.

I spun Raisa away. The cleaver punched into my back. Blood welled from the wound and mingled with the rain. I pushed Raisa toward the mouth of the alley. I turned on Jack, my hand shot to where my old sword used to sit but closed on nothing.

“Shit,” I mumbled.

Jack stepped toward me. My blood dripped from her cleaver. “Get out of my way. You don’t have to die tonight. All you have to do is let me kill the whore.”

“Wy! We found her!” I settled into a fighting stance, a jolt of pain thrummed through my back. “That isn’t going to happen.”

“I’ll go through you to get to her.” Jack stepped closer and pointed her cleaver at my chest. “I have no problem killing both of you.”

“Put the knife down, and come with us. We won’t hurt you.”

Jack launched herself forward. She swung her cleaver in an upward slash. 

I responded with a crescent kick from my back leg. I knocked the cleaver out of the way, planted my foot and used my momentum to throw a spinning heel kick. My foot connected with Jack’s jaw, knocking her to the ground. 

 Jack skittered across the pavers and landed on her feet. She scowled back at me. “I’ve got other ways to get past you.” Jack popped the cork off a flask at her hip. Thick, heavy fog spillt from the flask. Jack giggled as the fog filled the alley.

Bucephalus’s hooves thundered past the alleyway.

“Shit,” I muttered as I extended my hands. “Faery Fire!”

The heap of old crates and barrels glowed a soft pink. I waved my hand in front of my face. It carried the same soft pink glow. Metal thunked against wood. I spun toward the sound. 

A pink glow outlined Raisa. She cowered in a ball on the ground. Wyanet, also glowing pink, stood over Raisa. Her war club held Jack’s pink glowing cleaver at bay. Wyanet punched forward with her shield.

Jack jumped back, dodging the shield. Jack pivoted and sprinted at me.

My back foot slid into a horseback stance and I brought my fists up in front of my face.

Jack lunged toward the wall. She kicked off it and shot at me like an arrow.

I skipped forward to meet her. I planted my front foot and punched forward with both fists. Jack collided with my fists, her momentum flipped her over my head. 

Jack’s cleaver clanged against the ground. She gasped for air after she landed.

I scrambled to pin Jack in place.

Jack rolled away and jumped to her feet. She dove towards her fallen cleaver.

Bucephalus bellowed and rushed into the alley from the other direction. He lowered his shoulder and tackled Jack to the ground. Bucephalus picked Jack up by her lapel. He threw her against the wall, picked her up again and repeated the process against the other wall.

Jack slumped to the ground in a heap. 

Bucephalus moved towards her again.

“Bucephalus! Enough!” Wyanet yelled. “We need her alive.”

Bucephalus rounded on Wyanet. His nostrils flared. He took a step towards Wyanet. Wyanet tightened her grip on her war club.

I stepped between them. “Where’s Phebes?”

Bucephalus and Wyanet stared at me.

“How should I know?” Bucephalus grumbled.

“I gave her her weapons, and I lost track of her after that.” Wyanet slid her club back into her belt.

I scanned the roofline above us for another pink outline.

“Shouldn’t we,” Raisa shook. “Tie her up, or somethin’?”

Bucephalus pulled a coil of rope from his belt. “Good idea.”

I unfastened my bloody, rain-soaked cloak and wrapped it around Raisa. She put her arms around me and clung tight.

“We should take her to the constable and be done with the whole business.” Bucephalus synched the last knot and hoisted Jack like a sack of potatoes.

“We need to take her somewhere to interrogate her. I do not think the constable will believe what we tell them.”

“Don’t look at me Missie, you’re the one with a room at an inn.”

“Won’t you be cold?” Raisa mumbled to me.

“I’ll be fine.” I craned my neck to look at Bucephalus. “We can’t keep her in a rented room forever.”

“We could keep ‘er in the storage cellar.” Raisa chimed in. “There’re some old chairs we can tie her to. We can also go in through the back, so no one will know she’s there.”

“Once again, the serving girl has the best plan.” Bucephalus set off walking toward the Atropa Belladonna.

“We should try to find Phebes,” I said to Wyanet.

“She’s a big girl,” Bucephalus called back. “Let her take care of herself.”

“We do not have the time,” Wyanet put her hand on my shoulder. “If we linger we will get caught. Phebes will have to make due on her own for now. We can find her in the morning.” Wyanet started after Bucephalus.

“Don’t forget that cleaver!” Bucephalus called again.

I collected the knife from the cobblestones. A dark evil laugh filled my mind.

The story will continue, February 20th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

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