Ethan Rayne's great escape
Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
As an Englishman, Ethan Rayne was never of a particularly high opinion of the American military, and now that he was captured by it, he was of an even lesser opinion. Sure, they claimed to be studying the Sub-Terrestrials and what have you to be more prepared (in case of WWIII, no doubt), but judging by what Ethan could see... they had a long way to go yet.
For example, they assumed that metal handcuffs could stop Ethan from casting spells – wrong! Sure, they restricted his gesticulation, and thus the range of spellcasting and spells, but only some, and only physically. Considering that Ethan – like any self-respecting mage – had several spells pre-prepared and ready to cast... as soon as he had a more-rounded plan to escape.
Right now, Ethan was in some sort of a conference room, still handcuffed to his chair. On his left sat some sort of a creature that was probably a faerie dragon – a creature more mischievous than downright evil, and right now rather upset.
And on his right sat a rather hirsute man. “And who are you?” Ethan asked wryly. “What’s your story?”
“Graeme Wolfe,” the man said gruffly, “but you can call me Wolf. I’m a mercenary; or rather I was, until Fox sold me to David Xanatos to get into his bed.”
“Xanatos,” Ethan said musingly, “Xanatos. Isn’t he one of New York’s multimillionaires?”
“Yes,” Wolf nodded, “and I understand why Fox wanted to get into his bed – she’s an heiress herself, for all of her airs, but did she have to sell me and the others in the process? If I ever get out, I-“
“Hmm,” Ethan said thoughtfully: he usually did not search for allies, but since this one appeared to be literally asking for it, why not? Plus some muscle could always become useful, if he were to run into Giles and his little club ever again.
“Ah, so glad to see that we’re already making progress in interpersonal relationships!” a military man, or rather – a military bureaucrat – entered the room. “We’re just missing one more member of our crew, and here he comes!”
The faerie dragon looked at the bureaucrat with loathing, before glancing in the direction of the still-closed door – and then it stiffened with fear.
Knowing that anything – or anyone – who could frighten a faerie dragon was not someone to meet unprepared, Ethan began to chant quietly a spell of protection and non-detection.
“Hmm?” Wolf was not a big specialist of magic, (though some recent encounters with his ancestor have changed that somewhat), but he had a mercenary’s experience of surviving, and right now they were telling him to be quiet, so – quiet he stayed.
And he was correct in doing that, for then the doors opened, and a... man-shaped thing entered in. It was dressed in clothing and rusty remains of handcuffs, and its eyes were black and hollow.
“What is the meaning of this?” the bureaucrat began, but the thing opened its mouth as wide as a giant toad would, emitting a thick, reeking, yellow fog that obscured almost everything, save for some skeletal, darker in color, shapes that swam through it like fishes through water, sometimes so close, that Wolf could almost grab them.
It was then the mercenary realized that he and his neighbours were sitting on the only spot of space that was not occupied by fog, and so maybe sitting still was a good idea.
As it turns out, Wolf was right: before long, the fog withdrew, leaving behind nothing but rot and devastation... and no one alive, except for the three of them: both the man-shaped thing and the bureaucrat have vanished, though the bureaucrat had left his skeleton behind, devoid almost of everything organic.
“What was that?” Wolf, no stranger to death and destruction himself, was shocked by the scale of damage: there was no sound in the entire building: apparently the fog and its bearer had de-stroyed everything in their path.
“You don’t want to know,” Ethan said, dismissively now that the actual danger had passed. “And you wouldn’t want to encounter it every again, either.”
“Fair enough,” Wolf nodded, as he broken his handcuffs, followed by Ethan’s, and the restraints on the mini-dragon. “And what did you do?”
“Cast a protective spell over the three of us,” Ethan admitted. The dragon emitted a short stream of fruity-smelling gas and the chaos mage added: “well, the dragon helped by providing me with magical power...”
“Interesting,” Wolf nodded once again, before asking his own question: “would you two fellows be interesting in helping me to kidnap Fox Xanatos for my revenge?”
Ethan and the dragon exchanged looks. “What’s in it for us?” Ethan asked, cautiously: he never had the chance to participate in a kidnapping before.
“Eh, I’m thinking we’ll split the million dollars – the ransom – between the three of us. It is not the sort of sum that can be split easily into three... but it still can. What do you say?”
Ethan and his new dragon companion exchanged looks, and Ethan made a decision:
“Sure, why not!”TBC