I promise I haven’t vanished or given up on this blog. This week has just been SO crazy busy. So last Friday I went to the drag show.
Saturday was my friend’s wedding, Took my son to the fair Friday Night. Saturday was my friend’s wedding. Sunday we visited our other friends to finish up our game of Dresden. Monday night we went out to dinner for my son’s birthday. Tuesday was pretty quiet, Wednesday night we drove out and did a butt ton of shopping for groceries and stuff. Thursday we went to go see Zombies in love for Valentines day (Warm Bodies – Go see IT!) Fuck yeah! And tonight… I just transplanted my garden, made dinner, ran to the store, finished reading book 3 of A Series of Unfortunate Events to my son and JUST sat down at my computer. O.O
Fear not my friends, the reason the blog has fallen slightly by the wayside, is because the book has not. Every spare moment I can escape, I have been editing. Oh the things I have come up with. I have solutions that I never had before and enough material to work in to EASILY gain the 10k more words I’m shooting for. I’m so excited!
So here’s a bit of what I’ve got. I had to take out 2 sentences for spoilers.:
“They’ll stick a Paladin in front of a four person table over an accident, but only assign two for the theft of a religious item. There seems something innately wrong with that,” he replied. Josephine tittered a laugh and nodded her silent agreement.
“Then yes, I can help you. I just wanted to make sure Masory wasn’t on your Tribunal. I wouldn’t be much help for you then,” he said rising from his seat. “Did we get the statue back?” he asked as they made their way to the elevator.
“No, we’re still looking for it. We think it was sold, but he won’t divulge the buyer. The deposit into his account was pushed through so many phony’s that we couldn’t trace it back,” she admitted. “If we can’t get into his head, then the statue remains lost.”
“We’ll see about that,” Nicholai told her, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She turned and smiled up at him, stepping out of the elevator as the door opened. She wore a straight lined skirt that stopped just below her knee with a ruffled blouse beneath her Apocrisiary vest. Hair tied in a tight bun, kept with a pair of long decorative sticks. Nicholai caught himself watching her backside as she lead the way. He straightened and forced his attention where it should be as they approached at the holding area’s doors.
A young Paladin stopped them to get their information. Josephine told the Paladin which cell they were going to. The doors were opened, allowing the two Apocrisiary entrance. The ceiling was low and the room shimmered in yellow. There were no walls per say, instead just transparent energy dividers to each cell. The cells were numbered on the floor, just outside the line of the cell.
Each Apocrisiary, Paladin and Daduchos had their biometrics loaded into the system, allowing them to pass through the barriers harmlessly. If a prisoner attempted to pass through however, they would receive a high voltage shock to their system. There was no privacy, there were no conveniences. Nothing but the bright yellow jumpsuit they were forced to wear, a single cot, a commode, and a free standing sink. He shook off the thoughts as Josephine led the way to the suspect’s cell.
“Here we go,” Josephine said, stopping at last. Nicholai glanced into the cell. An average looking man was sitting on the cot, in the familiar yellow jumpsuit. He looked upset and uncomfortable as the Apocrisiarii stopped. “Hello again Uthor.”
The man didn’t reply to Josephine, only frowned and looked away. Their presence attracted the attention of the other prisoners and many of them turned to watch through their own barriers.
“This is Apocrisiary Goodson and he’s here to give me a hand,” Josephine said, stepping through the barrier with Nicholai beside her. Again, there was no response from Uthor. He’d finally decided to stop talking. Nicholai crossed the small cell, barely large enough to pace in.
He sat on his heels in front of the cot, taking mental stock of the plain looking man. Josephine hadn’t been kidding when she said the man’s shields were strong. It was rare to find a civilian with powerful psychism. If all he possessed however was the ability to throw up impressive shielding, then he’d excel in something like stocks or information brokerage.
“Uthor, I can tell you now. You don’t want me in your head. It’s not a pleasant experience having your mental shields forcibly taken down. So I’m going to give you one chance to tell Apocrisiary Cortiz the truth,” he told the man. The man turned to look at Nicholai. He had dull blue eyes and dirty blonde hair, stubble visible along his jaw.
“I’m telling the truth. Besides, no one has ever gotten through my shields, including you Daduchos,” the man replied, arrogance thick in his voice. Josephine frowned and shook her head. Nicholai nodded and turned back to the man.
“You see, Apocrisiary Cortiz here has an extremely rare gift. She can see the truth – or rather, see your lies. It’s an ability that the Hierophant himself cannot counter. Unfortunately, you just lost your only chance to cooperate,” Nicholai told him as he stood. He caught the slightest glimpse of worry in the man’s eyes when he glanced back over at Josephine.
“I don’t have to cooperate at all,” the man said jumping to his feet and diving at Nicholai. Nicholai had caught the sudden flurry of desperation in the man’s emotions and stepped nimbly out of the way, placing himself between the man and Josephine. Two broad steps by the long legged Apocrisiarii and they were beyond the barrier. The man had turned, but halted before running into the barrier himself.
Nicholai frowned at the man, eyes narrowed and fists clenched. He glanced over his shoulder at Josephine. “Get a Paladin, I cannot touch him myself,” he told her. Josephine glanced back at the man and nodded.
During a normal investigation, an Apocrisiary would be allowed to defend themselves, or force a suspect into cooperation as needed. Josephine didn’t ask questions, being privy to his situation. The Paladins he’d been forced to use however, were not. He had to swallow his pride and accept whatever rumors circulated about the Apocrisiary that wouldn’t lay a hand on a suspect.
Josephine returned a moment later with one of the broad guards.
“You surprise me Uthor, you’d been amicable earlier today,” Josephine said as the Paladin stepped in through the barrier. The man backed away toward his cot as the young man grabbed him up by the arm and pulled him into an arm lock from behind. The man pulled and struggled, but the Paladin held tight.
“It’s because he just realized how desperate his situation really is,” Nicholai told Josephine. “He didn’t realize your ability. He thought you’d been trying to break through his shields this whole time and just failed.” Josephine looked between the two men as Nicholai stepped into the cell and stopped before Uthor.
The man lunged forward again, but the Paladin held fast with a grunt.
“Thank you,” Nicholai told him as he placed the fingers of one hand against Uthor’s temple.
“He was telling the truth about the Daduchos,” Josephine added. “He’d been picked up before but with no evidence. No one could break him down so he was released.”
“Such a shame I wasn’t around. This happens to be a specialty of mine,” Nicholai mused. The man sneered at Nicholai and spit. He’d been expecting that as well, moving just to the man’s side. The Paladin pulled backwards on the man’s arms and he let out a breathless cry of pain. Nicholai closed his eyes and looked into the man’s mind. He didn’t push – not yet. He studied how Uthor had built the shields, where he drew his power from, and exactly what areas he was blocking.
Nicholai opened his eyes and nodded.
“I admit I’m impressed. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a person’s mental shields as strong as yours. You’ve got a lot of energy pumping through them. Are you sure you want me to rip them down?” Nicholai asked, letting the man get confident in his ability to resist.
“I’m not afraid of you,” the man snapped.
“Have it your way,” Nicholai said, closing his eyes once more. He didn’t particularly want to push through the man’s blocks. He knew from experience something as tightly formed as these would be painful. If what Josephine said was correct though, chances of one of the Daduchos breaking through were slim.
He focused on the weak link in the man’s mind and struck.