|From:||Rand Ratinac docwagon101@*****.com|
|Date:||Mon, 19 Apr 1999 18:17:03 -0700 (PDT)|
> docwagon101@*****.com writes:
> >Hello, nice people...
> >==> >Doc'
> Definitely a short story. I don't get it.
You don't know me, Tay-Dor.
If you had any sense, you'd keep it that way.
Felicitous salutations to those who recognised my megalomaniacal
laughter. :) After a long, non-self-imposed hiatus from ShadowRN, I
have rejoined the list - plus this one. Just to give you all hives.
Anyway, just to get into the spirit of things, I thought I'd send you
all the first installment of a short story of mine I wrote for a)
myself and b) a competition. I'll send out a new bit each day - or so -
as I remember to do it. :)
Some of you may have read this before - if so, please don't spoil it
for everyone else...
SWEET OBLIVION - Part One
Anthony glanced up as the Phaeton drew to a halt. The other two
occupants of the passenger cabin became suddenly attentive as he did
so. The first, Carl, was clad in a splendid pearl-grey Armani-Versaci
suit, just slightly less spectacular than Anthony’s. Unlike Anthony, he
did not wear a tie and the collar of his powder-blue shirt was
unfastened. Rather than a concession to Carl’s admittedly
unconventional idea of fashion, the somewhat casual dress left him with
quick and easy access to the tools of his trade. The most obvious was
the jewelled amulet that hung from the thick, golden chain around his
neck. Anthony did not know exactly what it was for, but he had seen
Carl clutch it on occasion and then throw up a magical barrier that
could stop anything dead in its tracks – be it a raging troll or a
speeding bullet or something in between – or toss a spell that could
burn the toughest, deadliest street samurai to ashes.
Anthony knew that there were many other, similar objects of power
pinned to both the inside and outside of the mage’s shirt and
double-breasted blazer. The varied rings that adorned his fingers also
contained many magical talismans among their number. Anthony did not
know what they were all for, but he knew they let Carl react with
inhuman speed to any threat or hear the faintest sounds at great
distances or even dodge a bullet aimed directly at his heart.
Anthony had never understood magic, but he knew it let Carl perform
his job – which was to protect him. And Carl was very good at his job.
As Anthony moved, Carl raised his own eyes and fixed them on his
charge. He made no other movement, however, content merely to watch.
The other person was both more and less remarkable than Carl. Amelia
was dressed smartly, but plainly, in a black Vashon Island skirt-suit,
with a white shirt and a slim, black tie. Dark mirrorshades, sheer
black stockings and high heels completed her ensemble. Her outfit was
ordinary and bland, the image of a typical corporate bodyguard. In a
place like this, downtown Seattle, she would fade into the background
completely. On the other hand, while Carl was a plain-looking man at
best, Amelia was possessed of a striking beauty. With her sparkling
green eyes hidden behind her shades and her dark blonde hair pulled up
into a severe topknot, however, she looked more intimidating than
lovely. Anthony knew that was the idea.
Like Carl, Amelia’s job was to protect Anthony from any danger. She
coordinated the actions of the four-man team; herself, Carl and Robert
and Paul, the two heavily-cybered men in the front of the Phaeton.
Amelia also carried a large amount of cyber and bioware within her
shapely body. One of those items was the cause of her previous
distraction. Her cybercomm link allowed her to communicate with the
rest of her team merely by thinking. Constantly in touch with her
fellow team members while on duty, Amelia monitored everything that any
of them heard or saw.
Once Anthony began to move, however, her full attention returned to
him. One hand came up to remove her shades as she turned towards him.
Her green eyes flashed and she smiled. Anthony paused for a moment,
before smiling in return. Sometimes he thought he saw something in her
eyes, a feeling he knew couldn’t possibly be there. Then he realised he
was just imagining things and things were back to normal again. "Ready,
sir?" she asked politely.
Anthony grinned. "Please, Amelia, it’s just Anthony; and yes, I am.
She nodded and replaced her shades. A second later he heard the front
doors open and Robert and Paul exit the Phaeton. Through the one-way
window he saw Paul slowly and carefully scan the busy, well-lit streets
as Robert moved to open the rear door. A brief nod from Paul confirmed
that it was safe for Anthony to leave the refuge of the armoured
vehicle. The door swung open and Amelia hopped out. She took the time
to make her own inspection of the surrounding area, then leaned back
inside. "Let’s go."
Anthony exited the confines of the Phaeton as quickly as humanly
possible. Carl was right on his heels, the mage ready to neutralise any
magical threat that might present itself. Anthony stretched to his
full, impressive height and sighed in relief. He wasn’t exactly an
extrovert, but sometimes it just felt so good to get out! Amelia
reached out immediately to pull him down into a slouch, so that any
sniper would no longer have a clear shot at him, but drew her hand back
as he grinned rather impishly at her. "Damn it, sir, are you trying to
make my job harder than it already is?" she snapped.
Anthony laughed. "I wouldn’t dream of it, Millie-cakes."
She frowned at him. "Then stop clowning around and get inside!"
Anthony gallantly offered her his arm. "Certainly, my dearest Amelia.
Would you care to accompany me?"
Amelia sighed in exasperation, but that didn’t stop her from taking
his offered arm. "Now is it too much to ask that you stop fooling
around out here?"
"Oh, no, not at all." With a broad smile, Anthony waved Paul and
Robert towards the restaurant. "After you, boys."
The two bodyguards glanced at each other, their eyes hidden behind
their mirrorshades, then preceded Anthony and Amelia inside.
The Other Place was essentially a Seattle landmark. Having been in
business for nearly a century, it was one of the most popular first
class restaurants in the city. It also had the distinction of being
Anthony’s favourite restaurant in the entire city. As their eyes began
to adjust to the somewhat dim light inside, the máitre d’ bustled up to
them with a genuine smile wreathing his face. "Master Anthony! It is so
good to see you! It has been too long."
Anthony smiled in return and reached out to grasp the smaller man’s
hand. "It has indeed, Marcus. Unfortunately, sometimes such things
cannot be helped." His smile became somewhat apologetic. "I’m sorry
about dropping in unannounced like this, but again, some things cannot
be helped. Would it all be possible for us to get a table?"
Marcus gasped, his expression nothing short of horrified. "Master
Anthony! I’m so sorry! There is already a young lady seated at your
usual table. Had I known you were coming…"
Anthony waved his concerns away. "Forget it, Marcus. It’s my own fault
for not calling ahead." Then he grinned at Amelia. "Actually, it’s the
fault of my chief of security, but we won’t belabour the point in the
interests of my continuing health." He laughed as Amelia screwed her
face up at him, but Marcus was already scuttling away.
"No, no, no, we can’t have this!" he cried over his shoulder. "Follow
me, please, Master Anthony!"
Anthony sighed and glanced over at Amelia. She just shrugged. "You
know he won’t stop until he’s evicted this ‘young lady’ and gotten you
your rightful table."
Anthony shook his head. "I know." He sighed again. "Come on. We’d
better go after him."
Amelia grinned and clapped him on the shoulder. "Price of fame, sir,"
she said in a remarkably unsympathetic tone. Anthony just grunted.
(aka Mr. Freaky Big, Super-Dynamic Troll of Tomorrow)
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