They were tracking Tupenes members. There were already eight in custody ranging from an elderly gentleman who’d been carefully separated from his neat, brown, leather work bag and the contents of his pockets to a stroppy, goth-like teenager in purple and black striped stockings. The connection between them was indeed family so Maired and her equivalents in the other teams were able to construct spells that used genetic details to trace the blood line connections of each one. Gwaiva and Dennis were checking live CCTV to pinpoint a free Tupenes whose general location had been identified through magic.
“Wait,” said Gwaiva as Dennis went to flick to the next set of screens, “can we zoom in on this pair?” She was pointing at two men on a screen that was currently showing a laneway alongside a prominent hotel.
“Sure.” Dennis clicked a few times with his mouse. “I don’t think either of them is our guy, though. One’s too big, the other’s too short.”
“I don’t think either of them is him,” she paused as the picture resharpened on the screen, “but they’re dokk alfar breeds and probably trouble. We need to report this.”
A short time later the rest of the team was clustered in the computer room looking at the two part dokk alfar, still live, still waiting in their laneway.
“They haven’t moved since we found them,” commented Gwaiva.
“That Tupenes scion hasn’t moved either,” added Maired, a bowl half-filled with liquid in front of her.
Einar squinted at the screen. “I know who the big one is. He’s half ice giant, name of Olafur Sigrithursson. He’s a, what’s the word in English?” He said a word that sounded vaguely Scandinavian or Germanic.
“Bounty hunter.” Gwaiva and Calhoun supplied the missing translation simultaneously.
“It’s not an honourable profession among my people but according to my mother and grandmother, he’s a good son.”
“That’s mixed signals,” commented Calhoun. “Your lot are usually clear cut in their character opinions.”
“He and his mother come from two villages over from mine,” Einar explained. “When she had a half dokk alfar baby her family turned her out in shame. It would have been different, of course, if his father had been an ice giant. Since he started working he’s given her all or most of his money. Now she has the soundest house in their village, a fine goat herd, the best hogs and two good cows. I suppose he is a good son.” He sounded surprised.
“If they’re together, then his partner is what?” Vasa was looking at the shorter one. “He’s got a lot of kit hanging off that belt. Tools, hand cuffs, mace and what sort of grenade is that?”
“Stun grenade.” That was Mannix. “A sidearm too. I’ve never seen that make before.”
“He might be a second generation half breed,” offered Gwaiva. “Both parents half dokk alfar with svart alfar on one side and dvergr on the other. That would explain the all the things and his height.” She blushed. “I was always told that the dokk alfar were indiscriminate breeders.”
Hladvic interrupted. “Could they be after the Tupenes too? Someone might have offered a reward that could have out them on his tail.”
“They might interfere with us capturing him then.” Amanda made her decision. “I’ll clear their detainment with the chain of command. We might want to start our sweep by checking out that hotel.”
“You’ll need a distraction for them.” Gwaiva hesitated then added, “Use me.”
“What?” Dennis looked stunned, the two former soldiers and Amanda were surprised while Einar nodded in understanding.
“One of the differences between the ljos and dokk alfar is their opinions on interbreeding with other races,” explained Gwaiva. “The dokk alfar are enthusiastic about it while the ljos alfar reject it. I’m careful not to attract ljos alfar attention but some of their more rigid, wealthy jarls have standing bounties on ljos alfar half breeds. What I am is fairly obvious.” She looked at the screen and shivered.
“They hurt you, they’re dead,” offered Calhoun.
“Collect them, please,” instructed Amanda putting down a handset, “as well as the Tupenes.”
“I have some protections you can use,” added Maired.
An hour later the two bounty hunters were surprised when what appeared to be a blue haired girl in her late teens talking busily on her mobile phone walked into their laneway. Ankle socks left a lot of the pale skinned, shapely legs bare until they reached the short kilt in grey and electric blue. The white, short sleeved shirt hanging over the kilt should have had two more buttons done up at the top. The two men looked at her in increasing surprise as she ignored them completely until she was almost on top of them. Barely a foot in front of them she tore her attention away from the phone and said, “Excuse me, there’s not a problem is there? Could I please get past?”
The shorter one stepped back and answered, “Of course, please,” gesturing for her walk through.
“Thanks.” She flashed a lovely smile at him as she put the phone back up to the ear nearest him and started past the pair.
The taller one stiffened as a perfect elven ear with three silver rings in the lobe tried to sweep by and put a hand on her shoulder, “Wait-.” He stopped at the click near his left ear.
Hladvic sounded as dead as an ice plain behind his weapon. “Don’t hurt my friend.”