57 – Peeking

He was way too tired for this shit, but Control wouldn’t take no for an answer. They needed the data and they wanted it now.

Well, so much for having a quiet evening. He reluctantly put away the finely aged whiskey bottle and returned the book to its place in the bookshelf.

The access point was still warm from his previous session, he’d barely been offline for an hour after all. This wouldn’t be pleasant.

The circle became alive as soon as he sat in its center, light flowing around him like a flaming tornado. He clenched his teeth and waited to be hit by the flow.

His body spasmed as the light filled all his senses. The nausea was the worst part, no body was supposed to contain this much energy, much less control it. But he was an old hand at this.

There was no sense of movement, no transition. Like a badly edited movie, the whole scene changed in a hard cut.

He was sitting at the corner of a meeting room, looking at a table where six dark figures bent over an open book.

He stood up and walked closer to the table, trying to get a better view of the pages. The figures seemed unaware of his presence, but he’d been on this business long enough to learn never to trust appearances, least of all here.

He could almost see the whole page now, just a little closer.

The six figures sprang to life, closing on him like the fingers of a monstrous claw. He felt the cold beginning to embrace his body, darkness filling everything around him. He really hoped he’d timed this right, it was going to be a close one.

He tensed with the sudden tug of the homing beacon, his whole body felt like an open wound as it was torn away from their grasp. He heard them scream within his head as they felt him slip away.

In a blink, he was back within the circle. He had to cut the connection before they could trace him back. He stood up and hastily put out the seven candles. Then, as an added precaution, he erased the runes around the circle and placed an iron ring within the hexagram to seal it.

He walked out of the chamber and poured himself a stiff dose of bourbon, this one had been really close. As soon as his hands stopped shaking, he drew from memory the nine sigils he had seen on the book, emailed an encrypted copy to Control and shut down the crystal orb. No more visions for them today.

That fine whiskey tasted even better than he had expected.

• • •

Want to comment about what you read?