When I came home, I didn’t expect to be cutting down bodies. And yet, here I was with my official Frost Giant or Jotun partner, his Ragnarok wolf, and my unofficial Light Elf partner using my Hellfire blade to cut down the unfortunate victims. The perps had hanged them from every tree and lamppost along the University’s walkway. And for once, the perps weren’t Supernaturals, but Normals.
“Gods, how many Supes did they kill?” Elryn, my Light Elf partner spoke as she untied the noose from the kelpie’s neck and caught part of the body before crashing into me. She stood on top of my shoulders to reach the noose, and despite her slender appearance, she was heavier than she looked. Don’t be fooled by the pixie cuteness, blonde hair, pointed ears, and gray eyes—Elryn was a badass warrior and capable of killing anything that looked at her sideways. Lucky for me, she was on my side.
“Oomph!!” I grunted while shifting her weight to balance the load.
“Hold still!” She hugged the kelpie’s body to her chest as she leapt off my shoulders and glared at me. “Seriously, Ironspell, I can’t help you get the bodies down if you keep moving around.”
I sighed as I tried to shake the cloying stench of death from my nostrils and even my mouth. Death has a particular smell to it—especially when fresh. It’s unmistakable and clings to almost everything. It eventually becomes more sulfur like, but when you first smell it, it is unmistakable. It’s often mixed with urine and feces, but you’re able to recognize it when you smell it again.
Captain Hirolan Relarn, a Light Elf who was in charge of the Denver Wizard Task Force or DWTF, a branch of the Denver Police department, strode up to us. Like all Light Elves, he had blond hair, gray eyes, and pointed ears. Despite the slender build, Relarn had plenty of muscle, and his hair was almost in a crew cut. “Quit screwing around, Ironspell. Half of DPDS removed thirty of the bodies already.”
I frowned. “Have you called forensics in on this?”
“Already did and they were stymied. The crime scene is so spread out and already contaminated that we’ll have to focus on the bodies. Anadelis ran several tracker spells to search for any DNA or other clues that would tie them to the perps.”
“But we know who did it.” Vetr, my Frost Giant or Jotun partner spoke. When he was in his shapeshifting guise, he looked like an infuriatingly handsome prick with long, non-regulation, flossy locks, blue eyes, and a face women would swoon over. But he was now in his semi-normal form with light blue skin, runic tats on half his face, white hair, and over six inches taller than I was. And I’m not a short man at six foot flat. But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?
I am Robert Ironspell-Cabas, wizard-under-training (WUT) and Denver police officer. The DWTF had recently accepted me into their department, and already I’ve been doing cool, wizardly-type things. My friends call me either “Bob” or “Ironspell,” depending on the situation. I am a real, honest-to-gods wizard, even though I’ve lacked training. Sure, I majored in Technomage in college, but I spent more time getting into trouble than studying, and so most of my knowledge has been reading articles from Wizardry Today and learning on the fly from others.
Oh, and I’m technically immortal since Surtr, the King of the Fire Giants, made me Fenrir’s guardian so that Ragnarok wouldn’t happen. I have Dark Elven and Light Elven ancestry. And I wield the powers of Muspelheim, one of the Nine Worlds in the Old Norse mythos. Long story, that.
Vetr held a dead Orc in one hand and pointed to the graffiti on the sidewalk we stood on. It said, “Long Live the Messiah! The Cult of the Messiah.”
Relarn glowered at the Jotun. “Seriously Winter? You know better than to accept clues at face value. It could be another group who wants to blame the Normals for this.”
I looked at Vetr (aka Winter when he was in his Human guise), who shrugged. “I do not think the Jotun would do this.”
“Yeah, I agree, but how did a bunch of Normals do this? Taking down one Supe is difficult—taking down over fifty requires some serious power.” I stared at the writing on the sidewalk. “But I know they have at least one Supe among them.”
Relarn focused his icy stare at me. “And how do you know that?”
“One of their priests or preachers actually saw me through my Ignore Me spell.”
“You mean a Disregard spell?” My captain considered me. I nodded. “He might have been looking for Supes to begin with. You know those spells aren’t entirely effective.”
I sighed. “Yeah, I know. It just seemed weird that he was able to break it right in front of the DWTF station.”
Relarn smiled, not unkindly. “You’ve got the chops when it comes to magic, kid, I’ll grant you that. But even a Normal can bust through a Disregard spell when they know what to look for.” He paused. “How’s your mom?”
I raised an eyebrow. “Off the record, Sir?” Technically, I wasn’t supposed to have gone down to Hell—another long story—to rescue her while Vetr and I were “on leave.”
Relarn nodded. “Of course, off the record.”
“She’s fine. And a bit of a bad ass. She beat up some demons and archdemons.”
Relarn snorted and shook his head. “You come from some tough lines, kid. I’m not surprised. Where is she?”
“I sent her to my Tiny House when we got back here. She wasn’t thrilled with the reception.” I wave my hand at the crime scene.
Relarn nodded. “It’d piss off my mother if she saw this. But if I know Sabine, she’s probably cooking up a hex on those who did this.”
I chuckled, and then paused. “You know my mother?”
“Yeah, I knew both Evrardin and Sabine before you were born. Good people.”
“Thanks.” I nodded and turned to Elryn. “You want to head home? It looks like we’ve got enough workers.”
Elryn shook her head. “Unless Hirolan objects, I’d rather help out here since he deputized me temporarily.”
Our captain met Elryn’s gaze. “I could make it permanent, you know.”
“Hirolan, you know I prefer to work on my own.” She shook her head again.
“The job is always open for you.” Relarn’s gaze softened. “You’d probably cast rings around my other wizards.”
“Maybe someday, but not now.” Elryn shrugged. Relarn nodded and walked off. She turned to me. “Let’s get that werewolf down.”