Legal Theft Project: Hindsight

When charging into dangerous situations you can either be fast and silent or fast and prepared. He was probably going to regret the lack of preparation later. Fen took a half moment to wonder if he was over reacting and then laughed. It didn’t matter. Better fast and foolish than late and …nope, not thinking about that. His uncooperative mind still decided to list all of the things he might possibly need and did not have: protection amulets, garlic, silver, the blue gem, acid, the perfume that wights hate… might as well wish for natural sunlight in the catacombs and an anti-gravity marble while he was at it, secret forgotten tunnels required a lot of fancy foot work.

He took a running leap over a rather nasty gorge. Once it may have had a bridge over it, the stonework was carved, and each of the sides had two matching crumbly sections.

He looked up at the stonework above his head. Deep enough to start getting worried about the kinds of things that could lurk down here, he concluded. So… close to where he needed to be. He took his time moving among the deep shadows and odd statues. A disproportionate amount of the worked stone had hourglasses topped with skulls carved into their surface. When the air felt dense and unwelcoming he pulled the dowser from his pocket, and slipped a lock of hair into the chamber. The dowser compass spun and pointed through the wall to his right. So he placed his hand against it and started walking, keeping a look out for secret door, footprints, dried blood, or cookie crumbs.

An hour or so later, the dowser began to glow a light green and Fen’s nerves were wound tight as a bowstring. He slowed down and shielded the dowser from view. “Come on, Leon,” he whispered to the sepulchral air, “Where are you?” He didn’t get an answer so he walked forward, past a stone altar and turned into the left hand hallway. It wasn’t long before he reached the heavy iron bars that separated alcoves into small chambers. It just figured.

The third alcove to his left had a dark headed form chained to the base of the bier. The dowser in his hand turned white and went out. Fen pulled a few lock picks out of his boot and went to work. The small metal sounds woke up the chamber’s occupant.

“Leon.”

Leon looked up. “Fen? What are you doing here?”

“I take it personally when you don’t pick me up at the airport,” Fen replied. “Catch.” He tossed Leon the set of picks from his other boot. Leon caught them. “Are you alright?”

“I think my nose is broken.”

The amount of relief Fen felt at the petulant complaint in that phrase went a long way toward soothing his nerves. “Someone finally gave in to the siren song of hit me?”

“No, they slammed my face into a wall… more than once.”

“Who are they?”

“The people we’re about to be running from.”

“What did you do?” Fen asked.

Leon shrugged off his shackles as Fen opened the door.

“I stole a goddess.”

Fen blinked. “An idol?”

“No, a goddess. It’s your fault really. I tried to save someone from an altar.”

“Let’s talk about this when we’re above ground.”

Leon shrugged and the two men started the long hike back to the surface.

 

The goddess watched them leave, considering.

______________________________________________________________

Legal Theft has changed its day to Saturday! Look around for all the people who stole from me this week. (Or look here.)

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