Part VIII – How to Send a Message
When Iris entered the basement where she lived, she could tell something was amiss. Wafting through the air in her rented space was nothing but the dingy smell of fear, sweat, and blood. Iris did not smell the sweet aroma of cinnamon buns, steamed broccoli, or garlic asparagus from the left over plate of dinner that would usually be awaiting her. She removed her dark shades to let her Acro Eyes peer at the unadulterated images while she crept down the steps.
Iris could see the shadows of movement from the people who had trespassed into her abode and she did not like what she saw. Whoever the assailants were, they had brutalized and then dragged her longtime friend down the basement steps as she kicked and screamed, fighting back futilely against the two muscle-bound brutes.
Iris pulled free her thick, curving blade that was strapped across her back. The magic runes etched into the blade glowed a dull red. Iris stopped. She backed against the wall and peered carefully around the edge of the wall. She saw them before they saw her.
“Tell us where the Butterfly Samurai is,” asked one man with a deep, nasally voice. He had the tell-tale accent of a sun elf, speaking in their high-pitched, sing-song way although he spoke in the common tongue.
“I told you,” said her friend, Pera Baoyt through her body wracking sobs. “I don’t know where she is.”
“Don’t lie to us,” said the man. “We know that she lives here, now tell us where she is and we’ll be on our way.”
Iris stepped around the corner, bearing her weapon in an attack stance in front of her. Not giving the two men in the basement a chance to figure out what was going on, she shoved her sword into the back of the sun elf that had been speaking, and the one she assumed was the leader.
“Looking for me,” said Iris as the blade was shoved through his spine, protruding through his stomach and coming out coated with dark globs of crimson. “Well now you’ve found me.”
The other sun elf assailant spun around, drawing a las-gun pistol. Before he could take a shot, Iris sliced the weapon in half. He rushed towards her, a mistake on his part. Since Iris did not want to kill the sun elf, she engaged him in hand to hand combat. In most cases, an elf wound make quick work of a human due to their enhanced agility but Iris was no ordinary human. The sun elf led with a jab that Iris slapped away lazily as she stood wearing a bored expression and proceeded to deflect the sun elf’s blows. A right hook from the sun elf was easily ducked by Iris and she delivered an elbow to the sun elf’s midsection. The elf collapsed to the basement floor, holding his stomach. With her sword in hand, she rested the tip against the sun elf’s neck as he lay on the floor.
“Now tell me,” said Iris. “Why are you searching for me? Who sent you?”
“You have no idea who you’re dealing with,” said the elf.
“No, actually, you have no idea who you’re dealing with,” said Iris. She raised her sword in the air and slashed down, leaving a bloody gash over the sun elf’s chest. “Now tell me who you are and why you’re searching for me.”
“Are you serious right now!” shouted the sun elf. “I can’t believe you cut me you crazy broad. When me and my partner don’t check in, you’re gonna have the entire Aver police force on your arse. Just wait, you’ll get what’s coming to you.”
“So, that’s who hired you,” said Iris. “I doubt that you’re a member of the police… I’m guessing bounty hunter which means I still have some time before they locate me… and some time to get rid of you and your friend.” She knelt down and leaned close to the wounded sun elf. “You made the wrong mistake of taking this contract. You have no idea what I can do.”
“Oh yeah,” said the sun elf. “Well don’t underestimate us. Those weird eyes of yours won’t save you.”
Iris laughed, throwing her head back. “Tsk, tsk, tsk, I almost feel sorry for you, you simple little elf. The moment that you locked eyes with me you were dead. My Acro Eyes will trap your soul in another dimension and now your body will do whatever I command it to. I think I’ll send a little message to your cop friends.”
“Sir, you better come see this,” said a young, uniformed police officer.
Sergeant Hoplow looked up from his desk and saw the horror in the eyes of the young sun elf officer and quickly rose from his desk to follow the officer outside. Hoplow let out a low growl at the sight before him.
The bounty hunters were former police officers that Hoplow had worked with on a previous case when he was first starting out. He ground his teeth together until his jaw hurt. He turned to the young officer.
“What’s that symbol on his chest?”
“It’s an ancient human symbol,” replied the young officer.
“I didn’t know the humans had anything that was considered ancient,” said Sergeant Hoplow.
“Well it’s not ancient compared to us,” said the officer. “But for them it is. It’s a secret symbol that stands for the words butterfly warrior. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean though.”
“That’s because this message was meant for me,” said Hoplow. “Someone cut them down and be quick about it.”
To Sergeant Hoplows horror, just as he was about to turn around, the voice of the grotesque sight before him spoke.
“Police… officer,” said the head that was embedded into the stomach of the bounty hunter as he hung upside down from a lamp post. The head spoke with a zombie-like cadence. “Next time you take a shot at the queen, you had better kill the queen because now I’ll be coming for you.”
Sergeant Hoplow spun back around and stormed into the precinct. Once inside his office he made a phone call. “Major Rufap,” said Hoplow. “Get over here. That Butterfly Samurai is a much bigger problem than first thought.”