Wednesday, 23 November 2011

79) Plane Escape

    I had nothing but the clothes on my back, a set of toiletries, and several well coordinated government agencies trying to find me.
    Dallas Forth Worth Airport, late evening, the shops inside are closing down and my time is running thin. I’ve been hiding like a coward in the bathroom for several hours trying not to cast any spells while  waiting for the boarding call back to New York. As soon as I spent any mana I would be on their radar again. Hell, most airports are giant scrying glyphs. You cast a spell and it’s echoes all around in a traceable pattern. Well, if you have a powerful enough computer you could trace it back to the source.
    I glanced at my watch, ten minutes to go. It was now or never. I pulled out my eye drops and practiced a spell in my mind, something with parts of a sleeping spell and parts of a mesmerism spell topped off with a go-to potion spell. I didn’t have time to test it out, I didn’t have time to do the proper weighting on paper, sometimes you gotta wing it. And if I was unlucky I could use on myself and erase my memory before I was captured.
    I held the eye drops with both hands around the tiny bottle and cast the spell. Even though it was a simple spell I swear I could feel the magic blossom, fill out the room, and immediately leak into the hallway. I waited a second to let the magic set in the potion and then put some drops in my eyes. It stung like hot oil for a second then absorbed into my mana body and the pain was gone. I blinked out tears and left the bathroom.
    I wiped my eyes and strode straight to the gate. I quickly sussed out my quarry, a fellow human, older and disheveled. Someone who wouldn’t look out of place passed out at an airport toilet stall.
    I found one, an older white guy. I looked around to make sure he did have a ticket, I could see it peaking out of his inside jacket pocket. I tried to look less than suspicious walking over to him.
    We made eye contact and a beat later he was mine, “Excuse me, sir, would you come with me please?”
    He tried to shake off the suggestion, a normal response to any mesmerism spell. Thankfully he wasn’t wearing any protection spells or I would have been lost. He nodded his consent, stiffly stood and followed me.
    I took him by the arm to steady him and whispered into his ear, “You’re going to hand me your plane ticket and identification. Then you’re going to walk to a bathroom stall, close and lock the door behind you. Then you’re going to sleep. When you wake up you’re going to forget these instructions and who gave them to you. Acknowledge.”
    “Yes, master.”
    I hated taking advantage of the innocent and even more I hated stealing, but when your whole nation’s way of life is threatened you’ll do just about anything to save them.
    He complied easily. I took the ticket, boarded the plane and we took off. I finally breathed a sigh of relief and for an hour I almost thought I got away. I was nodding off when the ward tattooed into my left arm began to burn, someone nearby was looking for me. I tried to calmly look around the cabin. The lights were off except for a few people reading.
    “Psst, hey.” I heard a small voice. It took me a second to figure out where it was coming from, right in front of me. I looked over the seat and a small sheep was sitting alone, illuminated by a reading light above it.
    His voice was high pitched like a child’s, but scratchy like a child raised on whiskey and cigarettes, “Ah, there you are. My old eyes aren’t what they used to be. Lucky for you you’re right here, eh?”
    “What do you want, what’s going on? Are they here?” I obviously hadn’t been tricky enough. If there were agents on the plane against me there apparently were agents on my side too.
    “Oh ho ho, they’re all around us young man. And you shouldn’t be.” He coughed and something small and shiny emerged from his mouth. He turned around and stretched his neck up and forward to me. I took the hint and grabbed the thing out of his mouth but didn’t look at it. I slipped it into my pocket.
    “He he, you should probably get going now. Go, go, do our queen proud!”
    I’ve never been much of a royalist, but I took his advice. Without a word I squeezed out into the cramped alleyway and walked back to the bathrooms. I could hear some shouting from first class. I slid the door closed just as the cabin lights came on and several tough looking guys walked through the curtains separating cattle class from first class barely sixty feet away.
    My heart beat hard in my chest. The spell in my eye drops was long past potency and there was no way it’d work against several trained professionals at the same time even if I had it in gallon quantities. With what was left I might be able to knock myself out, but there was no way could I erase all my memories.
    I racked my brain trying to figure out what to do next. My fingers fiddled with the sheep’s little metal thing. I took it out. It was a small key, like something you’d use to open a teenager’s diary.
    I heard knocking on the doors to the bathrooms next to me and excited screams. Time was running out. I closed my eyes and prayed.
    Dear mother queen of all fairy, please guide my hand to do your justice and your will…
    The key pulled my hand towards the sliding door. That didn’t make any sense, there wasn’t a keyhole there. Sure enough though the key made its own hole. I turned the key and pulled the door back like a normal wooden door, not the accordioning door it should have been.
    Wet salty air blew in from the other side. I pulled the key out, crossed the threshold, and closed the door behind me just as shouts were coming from the other side. I wondered if they saw me leaving, I wondered what they would tell their superiors.
    What I was sure of is that I had little time if any. Word would reach General Watherton and he’d send out a warlock hit squad after me on this side of the fold, that is if I was in Fey.

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