Third Host: Excerpt, Z and Mefathiel

March 31, 2008

The nights were still colder then she really liked, but Z hadn’t bothered with a jacket. The skirt and black tank top were easy enough to replace, but good jackets were amazingly hard to come by. She made no effort to hide her presence as she wandered off the main road and into the darker side of town. She just shifted her movements a little to make sure the other predators identified her as one of their own and not one to mess with. Her boots echoed off of buildings between cars cruising by looking for various fixes and the calls of the street peddlers. She ignored the taunting calls from across the street of girls worried she was looking to cut in on their action and turned up a set of steps. She paused at the door and sighed a little. She hated getting involved in these kinds of things. Nothing but trouble ever came from dealing with the other members of the host. No matter which host they put their allegiance with.

She picked her way through the building and up a battered flight of stairs. None of the other offices were lit up this late. Honestly, most of them were probably empty. She wondered if Mefathiel actually paid rent on the place, then dismissed it as unimportant. Find out what he wanted and leave. That was the plan. She stopped at the one door with light peaking out through the dirty wired glass. The name Anthony Nikolaevitch spelled out on the door. She read the name over three times, shook her head a little, then walked in.

The office was actually fairly spacious, all things considered, and crammed full of filing cabinets, law books, and stacks of folders. Amidst all the careful stacks sat a desk with two chairs in front of it. Behind the large desk a man was making notes on pages within a folder. He wore a pair of round glasses with silver frames. His hair was brown with a touch of gray. His suit looked rumpled, but the jacket was hanging from a coat rack on a hanger. He still wore his tie, no even loosened. His free hand worked an ancient looking coin back and forth across his knuckles. He wrote for another moment before setting aside the pen and looking up. The coin vanished to a pocket somewhere and he leaned back in his chair.

“Nice to see you. Shut the door and have a seat, if you would.”

Z frowned slightly, but did as he asked, carefully settling into a chair. “You’ve got five minutes at best to convince me.”

“Direct as ever. Fine, I’m looking for a mutual acquaintance of ours. I believe you might know how to get in touch with him.”

“And what makes you think I want to help you get in touch with anyone? You’re a smart guy. Find him yourself.”

“I’m honestly not sure there’s time. I’ve already been approached by players from both sides. I respect your need to stay out of this. But… this. This could really matter. This might be a chance for me to finally save these people…”

Z scowled and stood up, nearly knocking the chair over. “You had to do it. You just had to.”

“It’s what I am. Someone has to be the voice for those souls unjustly condemned,” said Mefathiel. The coin started dancing through his fingers again. “I’m not asking you to get involved directly. Just get a message to Ezra. Tell him I’m calling in my favor.”

Z stopped and blinked and Mefathiel. It took a moment for that to register. “What did you do for him?”

Mefathiel smiled wryly. “I have a few more tricks then most people give me credit for. I haven’t exactly had a sheltered existence.”

“I suppose not…” Z watched him for a long moment, considering. “Fine. I’ll let him know, but from there keep me out of it.”

“Zachriel, we’re on the same side in this…”

Z narrows her eyes. “I’m not involved. I watched the original War and that was more then enough for me. Leave me out of it.” She turned and stormed out the door.

Mefathiel called after her, “What happens when it starts crashing over into your world?”

Z stopped just outside the door. “Then I’ll do what I have to,” she answered, voice a cold whisper. With that she slams the door closed and stomps back off into the night.

Mefathiel leans back in his chair, still toying with the old coin, rubbed almost perfectly smooth from centuries of use. “If she isn’t on our side, God help us…”

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