No Escape



Date: June 02, 2010

"No Escape"

The woman's voice — sounding harsh and inhuman, and yet somehow still
female — whispered back sibilantly, "Lord Hei-Long dessssiress a meeting
with the princessss…" The robed man stiffened. "I can't do that," he
responded. It sounded a touch too loud in his own ears, so he took a
moment to glance to his right. A scraping noise from in front of him drew
his attention swiftly back. There was now a second satchel, presumably
also full of money, sitting next to the first. He still could not see the
woman's face in the darkness. For some reason he felt glad for this fact.
Licking his dry lips, the man whispered hesitantly, "I'll need time."
When there was no response, he continued on. "I'd have to make sure there
are no scheduling conflicts, and that the meeting can take place
discretely." "Of courssssse," the woman hissed back. The man grunted and
wiped the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve. "This is a big risk I'm
taking for your master." For a moment, it seemed as though the woman was
going to raise her head and reveal her features at last. But thankfully
she decided against this and instead answered, "Lord Hei-Long
appreciatesss the rissssks involved. You are being compensssated
appropriately, are you not?"
The man grumbled a bit, but he finally admitted that he was being paid
quite well with a nod of his head. And yet he began to wonder if perhaps
it might not be best to terminate this relationship with the mysterious
Hei-Long. He had made a lot of money. He could certainly cut his ties and
flee to some distant country where he could spend the rest of his life in
luxury. "We will expect an anssswer within the next thirty daysss." The
hissing voice penetrated his thoughts. The man just glanced once more at
the woman, whom he was no longer sure was even human let alone a woman,
and then reached out with both hands across the table to seize the bags of
Abruptly he found a hissing snake rearing up on the eating surface inches
from his face, baring its fangs. He froze. He didn't even breathe. The
woman then said, "Do you happen to know what 'Hei-Long' meansss?" The man
started to shake his head, but thought better of it, and instead just
swallowed. The woman responded, "It meansss 'Black Dragon', in the
language of the Sssouthern Lands. And black is the sssymbol of death,
among other thingsss." A bead of sweat trickled down the man's face,
dangling from his chin… And then striking the table. He blinked. The
snake had retreated into the woman's sleeve. Looking up at her, he found
himself staring into a pair of eyes identical to a serpent's, but scaled
to a human being's head. He felt his entire body go cold. "I jussst
thought you should know."

What happened after that was a blur in the man's mind. All he knew was
that he found himself hurrying down the dark streets, clutching to him his
two money satchels, with the realization firmly in his mind that there was
no escape from Hei-Long. Not for those who wished to live.

Broken Memories Part Two begins soon…

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