Black Widow Woes finale
“So she just turned herself in?” Borjas asks. The beat cop shrugs.
“Yeah, she walked in with a redhead lawyer, but I haven’t seen the lawyer in a while.”
“Thanks,” Borjas says, patting the cop on the back and walking over to Salib.
“Why would she turn herself in now? She could have come down to the station yesterday and saved us all the hassle.”
“Maybe she needed to put some affairs in order,” Salib says, scanning the interrogation room and not finding anyone but Cassandra.
“Maybe she needed to set up a trap.” Borjas returns, doing his own scan. Salib tended to focus too much on magical and not enough on physical.
“Well, as far as astral presence goes, she’s the only one in there. There is, however, a small footprint of Astral energy. Someone’s uses spirit magic recently.”
“What about the Lawyer?”
“I was with you. How would I know.”
“You know, you’re a real dunce sometimes,” Borjas says, taking a look around.
“Dunce? Have you forgotten my magic could change you into a frog?”
“Have you forgotten I’m faster than you?” He gives her a stare. She stares back, almost considering trying. She knows that he’s right, in any case. She wouldn’t be able to get halfway through the spell before he could disrupt her. She twists her face up at him and glances around.
“Well, there are too many people here for me to pinpoint who may be working with her.” Salib finally lets out.
“We’ll just have to take this one nice and easy.” At least she can agree on that.
They walk across the hall to the interrogation room. Borjas tops off his ammo, and Salib does the same with her magic. After a small gesture of ‘I’m ready,’ they enter the room and see Cassandra Roberts sitting at the table with a grande caramel toffee latte from Busy Bean Bistro.
“We have those in the break room now?” Salib’s eyes light up from the sight of the cup, and her mouth curls into a grin from the smell.”
“No, I had my friend drop this off for me. I haven’t the stomach for the coffee you give out.” Cassandra says, taking a sip. Salib feels as if it’s a taunt.
“Cool it, Mal, we’ll get your fix after this,” Borjas plays it cool, not letting on that he was a little excited too by the possibility of having good coffee in the break room for once. They take their seat across from Cassandra, and Borjas lets out a heavy sigh.
“I see they didn’t bother with cuffing you.”
“Come now, detective. We both know that I could have just changed forms and got out of it.”
“Can you? Are the magic dampeners not working?”
“Changing form for a druid doesn’t use magic, kiddo. You would know that if you spent any time studying magic users and less time with those old movies.” Salib slides in.
“If I knew all of that, then when would you be useful?” Salib’s eyes burn with anger. So much so that her Talon powers activate, allowing Borjas to see the flames within her. “Relax, Mal. We have work to do.” Salib listens and turns her gaze on Cassandra, who was completely unaware of the trap they are setting for her.
“So, do you want to go through the whole drill, or can we just go to the confession.”
“Only you have that answer,” Cassandra says, following another sip of coffee.
“Explain,” Borjas says, deceptively playing with his trick pen.
“Was my Mother given a chance? Or did you just see a Drow woman and attack her in her home?”
“Your mother attacked us first. We didn’t even want to fight. Especially after she gave us tea and scones.”
“You’re lying. You just hate Drows and couldn’t wait to rid the world of another one. You murdered Mother.”
“I assure you, it was nothing like that. I could bring the spirit here for you to talk to.”
“I’d rather send you to the spirit realm with her,” Cassandra said, tossing her coffee at Borjas. Using finesse, he dodges it and fires a dart from the trick pen at Cassandra. Before the dart makes it to Cassandra, an arm comes out of the Astral realm and grabs it. It is a tall and lanky Angel woman who is prepping a spell, but they both receive a blast of fire breathe when Salib changes to her dragon form. The skittering of the spider is ear-piercing, but Borjas leaps over the table and pins the Angel woman down. When she tries to cast a spell, a quick elbow to the temple puts an end to that.
Cassandra pounces towards Borjas but finds more fire when Salib releases another breathe attack. Borjas is quick to cuff the Angel and turns to Cassandra now.
“You could have just got off with a couple of counts of murder and worked it off with good behavior, but assault and attempted murder of an officer, not so much.” Borjas frees his firearm and starts taking shots. The bullets bounce off of her exoskeleton, and Borjas isn’t surprised. A spider form that advanced, she had to be a powerful Druid. As Salib prepares another breath attack, she’s webbed this time and falls to the ground. When Cassandra turns back around, Borjas fires four quick finesse shots, two to her eyes and one to each fang.
Those do the trick and cause Cassandra to reel back. Cassandra’s spider form goes into a defensive stance, trying to protect herself. It may have worked, but the fire that Salib started was setting off the sprinklers. Her legs are starting to slip, and giving Borjas gaps just significant enough to hit. With his Finesse aura going strong, he makes every shot, every time she moves.
The constant stream of water was causing the webs to weaken, giving Salib what she needed to tear through the web and rejoin the fight. Seeing Salib and Borjas side by side and the angel woman out, Cassandra leaps once more. One final breath attack from Salib burned the underside of Cassandra, and she reverted to her Drow form, with third-degree burns and gasping for air.
Borjas runs from the room, going to get the medics, and Salib runs to her side. Reverting to her normal form, Salib starts the mending spell and is shocked when Cassandra swats her hands away.
Damn, they are a great team, Cassandra thinks after refusing the healing spell.
“A Drow never accepts aid. It’s victory or death, I’m afraid.”
“You don’t have to do this.” there is an emotion in her voice. Was it worry? Sympathy? Concern?
“I’ve devoted my life to being a Lawyer. We both know I will go away for a long time.”
“We could work out a deal. You could teach others your craft to lower your sentence. We are in a drought of good spirit magic teachers.” Cassandra couldn’t tell how serious Detective Salib was. But it felt nice that she wanted to save her. But it was too late for that.
“A proper Drow woman doesn’t surrender and scrape by with the mercy of her enemies.”
“This is nonsense!” Detective Salib shouts. “That was the old way, and you don’t have to do that anymore.”
“I’m afraid I do. My ancestors would not forgive me if I didn’t stick to tradition.” Detective Salib’s face grows worrisome.
“So that’s why Mrs. Roberts passed so quickly.” Detective Salib’s face lightens as if she’s coming to terms with something. But Cassandra is becoming more intrigued.
“When we arrived on the scene, she fed us then fought for you. She only went down because of how much power she used. And something tells me that a woman of her skill knows how not to overdo it.” Cassandra manages a laugh.
“Yeah, she’s nearly a genius in battle.”
“And when we finally broke through her barrier, she didn’t try to hold out for medical attention. Just said that she was ready to go.” Detective Salib looks over her shoulder. Cassandra uses what little magic she has and looks into the astral realm. Her mother appears beside Detective Salib and is looking down on her.
“I feared it was true, my sweet girl.” Her mother’s voice is more vibrant than in recent years, much like in Cassandra’s childhood.
“Mother. I’m sorry.” Cassandra strains.
“No, I am sorry. I lead you to this life. Though I’m not sure how.”
“You are perfect, Mother. It was that banker!” Cassandra’s rage stables her a little bit.
“Is this what this was all about? Your fath…,” Cassandra cuts her off.
“He is not my father!”
“Sweet girl. It would be best if you didn’t hold anger for him. He did the best he could.”
“He left us. How was that the best?” Cassandra tries to sit up, but Detective Salib has to help her achieve the task.
“He left me, dear. He was always there for you.”
“I wanted nothing from him after he broke your heart.”
“And that was your choice. Never once did he miss any of your events. Never once was he late to any date of importance. Not once did he make me reach into my coffers for any expense of yours. It broke his heart that you would not see him. He never stopped trying to see you.”
“If he would not make our family whole, then what use was he?”
“Did you ever think for one moment that maybe I was the problem?” Cassandra could not find words. “Your father asked of things that I could not do. Things that he as a man should ask, but I am a warrior and could not do. Your Mother is not so perfect after all. Come, we have an eternity to talk. Cassandra allows her spirit to pass and goes into the astral realm to her mother. Embracing her and crying into her shoulder.
Borjas and Salib hit the top on their beers as hard as possible and watched how far they could go. As usual, Borjas’ landed just a bit further.
“Keep it up. You’re getting there.” He says, tapping his bottle to hers in a toast.
“You’re stronger than me. You should be ashamed I get so close.” She says, toasting him back and taking a sip of her nonalcoholic drink.
“I’ve told you a million times Mal, has little to do with power. It’s a skill.”
“Whatever,” she says, rolling her eyes. Not only does she roll her eyes at his words, but the black and white boredom on the TV.
“Don’t roll your eyes now. I didn’t sigh once at the mall today.” Salib eases into the couch in her new sundress, free of the constraints of her work pants.
“You were perfect, I will say,” her smile pushed back momentarily when she takes a swig. “And you only hit on two of the women there.”
“Hey, they started it. Give me some best friend points. I did let them know I was spending time with you.”
“You did,” she says with an affirming nod. “Don’t think it’s not appreciated.”
“I know it is Mal.”
Borjas laughs after mouthing the next few minutes of the film. He notices that Salib is quiet and without her phone. That could only mean one thing.
“Talk to me, Mal,” Borjas says, putting his arm around her. She leans into his chest and throws her arm around him.
“Two lives were lost yesterday, and for what?”
“The same things that most lives are lost over. Love.”
“But it was so preventable.”
“It’s not always that simple, Mal. People’s lives are complicated.”
“Of course, you would say that. Rogues are used to this.”
“And Shamans are so disconnected with the lives of the average person. You can’t let it get to you, Mal. We don’t know why things happen, but they always turn out well.”
“Even when the Gods went to war? Or the Demons invaded?”
“Even then. That gave way for people to be free for once. It allowed people to finally provide for themselves. And if you haven’t noticed, these times are far less dangerous than the past.”
“Look at you. Far more optimistic than I would think a rogue would be.”
“And you better know it, sister,” Borjas says perfectly in line with the film.
“Okay, enough of this,” Salib says, laughing and grabbing another beer of hers.