Tuesday, January 6, 2015

41 (702) I Have the Correct Mousehole

Amitza eased back into the cooling garden from Upper University Walk, and scanned the open space, dart tube rock steady in her gloves.  Noise from the construction site still echoed as they fought to bring order back to chaos two buildings over.

When the noon bells sounded, she didn’t move, casting an apologetic prayer up to Selinae in her head.  The rogue Mahid could not have vanished into thin air.  He had to be somewhere near here. A half dozen people had seen him enter here and Janirias had swept all the way to the Lake and back.

This open area was the last place he’d been seen.  He had to be hiding somewhere.  Janirias and the Sereniteers were searching every University office that had a window on this street. The cooling tree's leaves shivered in the breeze, waxed paper and leather leaves thin as Pages stock scattering the mist of water droplets released on its timed cycle.

Every sculpted tree was connected to the water system, just as the fire posts were here in the Aitzas quarter, and had its own little water driven timer in the trunk. The sweat of her exertion dried on her back and along her hairline, from when she and Janirias and the four Sunborn Elite had pursued directly, trying to drive the Mahid into the Sereniteers closing in.

She eased down to sit, cross-legged, her back against the windowless wall. He might be Mahid. But so am I. How dare he threaten the rightful Imperator and Ili... the Coronet Regal, I mean.  His people killed Joras and the rest of that guard detail.

He was actually working as an okas stonemason.  It was sheer chance that Ili had seen him face to face and close enough to recognize him. He wasn’t attacking Ilesias, he just fled.

Janirias spotted her from an upper window and silently waved an all clear. She nodded, slightly, the barest minimum of motion.  He’s acting very strangely for a Mahid.  Even for a Mahid operative. They tend to be odder than a five-wheeled cart, to begin with. His most effective attempts on Minis were the first two. The attempted kidnapping and the dart after the Ten Tens.  If not for the Temple’s intervention, Minis would have died.

The poisoning IN the Temple was just incompetent.  How on the Earthsphere had he thought that would even work? He was obviously running out of resources and ideas. Not that Mahid are particularly good at the idea part of things. She mentally shrugged, including herself candidly in that last thought. Sofonisba has ideas. The Dowager has ideas. I just follow orders and play faib. 

He was unprepared for this and must have gone to ground the first instant he could. He improvised. But I will out-wait you, Matthas Mahid.  You are a very big, very venomous mouse and I believe that I have the correct mouse hole.

She could sit in this patch of shade all day long.

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