New York – November 15th, 2050, 9:00 am
The shots ricocheted off the brickwork as i ducked back behind it. Marcus, lay prone, oblivious to everything, in the middle of the wreckage of the shuttle.
I reached for my sidearm only to discover my holster was empty. Pinned down by a sniper, empty holster, the person i am meant to be protecting lying unprotected in the killzone. It was turning out to be a good day. A metallic sound hit off my cover then skidded to a halt at the corner of the wall. Looking down i spotted a small metallic egg shaped object.
I started to run as i felt the shockwave of heat and light on my back as i was propelled even further away from Marcus. I took the impact on my shoulder blades as i rolled with the impact and came to my feet.
"To hell with this!"
I turned the corner, determined to do my job. Zig-zagging as i worked my way closer to his position i snagged Marcus and l kept running, then half dove, half fell behind a small outcropping of rock. I sat against the rock as it got chipped away from me.
"How many bullets does this guy have?"
To answer my question a clicking sound echoed around the ruins.
I looked around in time to spot a glint of reflected light off what appeared to be a glass or a mirror
"...or a telescopic sight."
I drew my hands in an occult gesture as i wove forces that would be deemed magical in this modern day and age
There was a small explosion as his ammunition exploded and the body was tossed out of the ruins and down to the ground. I dashed over to the body hoping against hope that a twenty foot drop and an ammo explosion wouldn't have killed him or done that much damage.
I grabbed him by his collar, his face was ripped asunder and powder burns covered his right eye
"Who sent you? Who paid you? Who wants the settlers dead?"
He grinned at me.
"All hail the Crimson Flame"
Behind me Marcus started stirring.
"Crimson Flame? Crap!"
The man turned to dust in my hands.
Mesopotamia: The past.
Konran paced outside the King’s doors. His second-in-command, Leird sat patiently by the doors looking at the steward.
“Is the king ready yet?” Konran stalked over and was inches away from the stewards’ face.
“No, sir. He is still in conference.”
Konran pushed past the steward and kicked the doors open.
“Sire, I must speak with you on a matter of utmost urgency.”
“By all means do so general. But can you at least wait till Barrakas is finished conferring with me?”
“No, milord it cannot. To be blunt it concerns Master Barrakas.”
The tall man who was the object of their discussion sat off to the side of the king. He was barrel chested with a shock of black hair and a bushy beard. His eyes were crimson and people said that he consorted with devils and this was the act of his dealings.
Barrakas stood upright and pointed at Leird.
“He is not allowed within these halls!”
“And I suppose that your seconds are of a higher birthright than my own?”
“No, General but at least I know mine will not speak whatever it is that the king and I discuss?”
“And how do you know this?” Konran couldn’t stop the edge creeping into his voice. His second whispered to him.
“Be very careful milord, he is a dangerous man.”
“As am I, Leird.”
Barrakas smiled evilly.
“I had their tongues removed. And if that isn’t enough for the able and noble born general...”
Barrakas drew a sign in the air in front of the chest of one of his minions. The man burst into red flame and was dust within minutes; he never even had time to scream.
Konran stood, mouth agape, hand twitching near his scabbard. His second grabbed his wrist.
“No, milord, it is treason to draw arms in the king's presence.”
Barrakas smiled at Konran.
“Yes. Yes it is.”
The king went pale.