matapam (pamuphoff) wrote,

_Guardsman_ part 24

“Get out of the way.”

“As soon as I see some sign that rational discussion is all that will happen.” Dave showed his teeth. “Has anyone told you what happened in Makkah when Nicholas traveled there to talk to Emre?”

Narrowed eyes.

“The Hive Mind—the stuck grand compass—was broken. Not at all a bad idea, in my opinion.”

The big man swung at him. A slow clumsy blow. Muscles, not Speed. Powerful . . . if Dave had left it connect. It sailed over his head as he squatted, a sweep of his own right arm added to the blow’s momentum and twisted the man around. Dave gave him a gentle shove and stepped forward to give himself more space.

“Now, have you sent someone to speak to the Prophet on Tyrant’s World?” Dave tried to keep his voice neutral, and not reveal the happiness bubbling up inside him at the prospect of a good fight.

Remember. Don’t kill anyone. No diplomatic incidents. Just put them in their places.

He felt the power building in multiple people and raised those shields Rael had been making him strengthen.

The big guy jumped him. Sidestep, grab him and spin him again, this time making sure he hit the other two—the ones gathering power.

The Nuked Ambassador yipped as a misdirected push spell hit him and knocked him flat. Some odd pyrotechnic effect flashed upward. Dave kicked him first, turned to the pusher and sank a fist into his stomach. Turned and picked a nice thick bit of skull to chop down on as the big one tried to get up. Stepped over his unconscious body and turned back to face the Nuked Oners.

The Nuked Ambassador scrambled to his feet and took a step back, gawping at his fallen entourage.

Izzo and Ambassador Ashe exchanged glances and shrugs.

El Zee, the chauffeur bodyguard got his mouth closed. “Ra’d? I think he’s faster than you are.”

Ra’d smirked. “Yes. There’s a reason he’s the bodyguard for the prophet who most often put himself in very dangerous situations. And if you’re wondering about his other qualifications . . . He trained me to shoot.” Ra’d stepped up closer to the Nuked Ambassador. “And if it’s of any interest to you? The General of the Armies is exceptionally good at battle magic. Think about it, before you try to take him away from his family and new home.”

The pyrotechnic guy climbed to his feet, hunched a bit arms wrapped around his chest. “So perhaps we should eliminate the family. First.”

The air temperature dropped a couple of degrees.

Dave stalked over to the priest. “Tell me, do you remember the laws regarding threats to the families of the Prophets?”

The priest’s eyes widened and he staggered back. “N, n, n, no! Don’t, don’t . . .”

“Oh, I won’t. This time. I understand your stuck compass is down to fifty people. Make sure they realize that they’ve had their one and only warning. Do. Not. Threaten. The. Families. Of. The. Prophets.” Dave gave them a friendly smile. “The Prophets can take care of themselves, by and large. But I’d recommend you forget about Nicholas and start recruiting retirees with a wide range of experience and start helping people rather than lording it over them and placing assassins in all the high households.” He turned his back on them and walked back to Izzo. “Sorry, got a little carried away.”

Izzo smirked. “Not a problem. I’m going to have to find an excuse to drop by Versalle some morning and watch you demolish Isakson.”

Ra’d nodded. “I always did think all your magic went into Speed.”

Lucky Dave shrugged. “Once, maybe. But now Rael’s got me doing Cold Speed. And learning a whole bunch of other things. The future is an interesting place.”


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