daftneophyte: You’ve got some explaining to do.
lolkarma: uh o watd i do nwo?
The mobile on Wen’s nightstand started ringing. It sounded like an old European rotary phone, which had always suited him.
He let it ring. Carlos had not said anything for a few minutes, but Wen was determined to be patient and focus. The phone stopped ringing, but immediately started up again. Growling, Wen snatched it up off the nightstand and glared at the number.
It wasn’t one he recognised. It was clearly not even local. He glanced back at his screen.
im calling you
Wen flipped his mobile open, but found it oddly difficult to say hello.
“Are you there?”
The rich, accentless voice was more surprising than the phone call. Perhaps it was all of the typos or strange line breaks, but he had expected something different. Less clear and intelligent.
“Er, yeah. Sorry. I just… This is kind of new.”
“I guess so. Do I sound funny?”
“Not at all.”
“About your question… Um, I know because it’s my job. Fighting monsters.”
It took a moment for Wen to realise that he was the one laughing. “How’d you get into that?”
“It’s a long story. I can tell you later.”
“What can you tell me now?”
“That you’re in danger. But I can help. Check your inbox, I sent you an exe file thingy.”
The trap was taking its time gaining a glow from the monster inside. But no one could beat Carlos for patience. He’d ended up using his downtime rather better than he would have dared to expect.
“It’s called synaptic messaging. If you load it up, you can chat with people anywhere.” he grinned to himself, picturing the look on Wen’s face. “Before you ask, you can log out anytime you like.”
“But I can never leave?”
It took a moment before Carlos recognised the reference. The trap was finally starting to glow. The monster’s mate would come looking for it like a refugee to a beacon of peace.
He considered how bad a metaphor that was for the situation, but decided not to worry too much about it.
“I have to go.” He jumped to the ground and hit it running, pistol drawn and ready. It would end at the hardware store. And he would need the sword.
He didn’t like using the sword.
A keening cry rent the air like a knife through fabric. He fired towards the sound, then let the gun drop to the sidewalk. This gave him very little time to work with, but he had to ensure that the monster only went after him.
He drew a chain from his neck. The razor blade hanging from it tended to give people a false, but useful impression of him. Carlos gritted his teeth and cut his finger.
Light burst from the tiny injury, and he felt the tugging, painful sensation of the sword being drawn from him.