…#3: Never poke one with a stick!
Amnesia & Magic
As my vision clears and I start to stand up, Hoagie gets his arm around my waist to help me up and Lillian hands me a glass of water. My head clears pretty fast and I know that Dak and I need to get on the road ASAP.
“How long was I out?”, I ask Hoagie. He doesn’t look too worried about my little fainting episode.
“Maybe three minutes. Feeling better now that you’ve got it all back?”
I nod. “I told you what I was doing before the mindwipe, didn’t I?”
He grins and nods his head before getting back to those sandwiches, which by now are smelling really great.
I’m still a little unsteady, so Dak and Lilian help me back to the counter. I drink the water, then down the lemonade. At that point, I notice the tea and figure I’ll be needing a long bathroom break soon.
Despite the previous liquids, I take the cup of tea and down it in a couple of swallows, which is the best way to drink most Elven herbal teas, because they taste terrible. I’m getting no immediate effect, so I’m thinking the fun will start later. I was not told what this tea would do.
Hoagie bags up the sandwiches and some napkins and a couple of cupcakes. Lillian fills up a bottle with lemonade. Dak and I both get hugs from Lilian and handshakes from Hoagie, who gives me some advice.
“Two things, Mick. First off, avoid the new highway up to Mendocino. Take the back road that your dad used to use. The highway is going to be full of cops and that Hornet of yours sticks out like a whore in church. Next thing is, check the trunk of the car. You didn’t ask, but I figured I’d stock it up while it was parked down at Tiburon. You never know what you might need.”
I thank him and we start heading for the door. Before we step outside, I take a look at the street. Nothing hinky going on, so we go out. The car is untouched and I go around to open the trunk.
Holy cow! Hoagie has the entire trunk packed full of guns, knives, camping equipment, food, blankets, a first aid kit and a quart of tequila. I love that guy!
“Dak, do you know how to use a gun?”
“No, I don’t. Not much use for one in the city. But I know how to use one of these.”
He picks up a big Bowie knife and hefts it in his hand, then he takes another. He looks at me and grins.
“Good enough. Climb in and let’s get out of here.”
In less than a minute, we’re heading down the road. No tails that I can see, but where magic is concerned, that doesn’t mean much.
Once we’re on the highway, I speed up until I’m passing everything else. We get about twenty miles when I see the turnoff for the old Coast Road. It’s not very wide and it’s beginning to show the lack of maintenance, but it also has almost no traffic, so I punch it and we’re zipping along at 70 miles an hour. Dak breaks out the sandwiches and we start chowing down.
“If you don’t mind me asking, Miss Mick, where are we going and what’s going on?”
He’s a polite kid. I like that.
“First of all, just call me Mick. The Miss part makes me sound like an old maid teacher. As to what’s going on, we’re delivering the book and ring to somebody. An Elf, I’m sure, but I don’t know his or her name. Don’t know where he or she is, either. The setup was that I’d find clues that would lead to a meeting place. Once I’m there, I hand over the book and ring and that’s it. Well, at least it was until your dad started telling me I was the Bringer Forth and there was a damned prophecy. Now I’m confused as all hell. Whatever the book and ring are about, they were so important that the Wizard who hired me strongly suggested that I have my mind wiped or I’d never get out of the city alive. I left myself some notes to help me along and now you know the whole deal.”
“Can I see the book and ring?”
I figure it’s not gonna hurt anything, so I hand them over. Dak sees them and his face
gets a look like I suppose would be on Grandma Silvia’s if she suddenly met Jesus and the Virgin Mary in person. It was a bit unnerving to me, the decades lapsed Baptist choir girl.
“That’s the Ring of Taeena and the Book of Changes! This is really powerful stuff! No, this is THE powerful stuff! Holy shit, Mick, we can’t EVER let a human get hold of this!”
Oh, great, I wasn’t nearly nervous enough.
“How powerful are we talking, Dak?”
He looks at me with eyes that could not get any wider.
“End of the world powerful”
That has about two seconds to soak in when a big black car shows up in the rear view mirror and starts gaining on us. It’s way too big and expensive to be Feds, so I’m thinking it’s gotta be a Wizard.
I have just enough time to tell Dak to hang on when I see a ball of purple light shoot out of the window of the black car and come streaking towards us. Both sides of the road are lined with pines and there’s nowhere to dodge and then the ball of energy hits.