From Sarah's first sentence.
"I coveted the red shoes," I half-whispered to the I-Bench-Press-Semi-Trucks-In-My-Spare-Time goon guarding the Presidio's entrance.
He stared at me in silence, beady little eyes showing more malice than intellect.
I was going to kill Freddy if I had the wrong password. Again. There're only so many times a girl can expect to escape death. Even a girl like me.
"Are you going to let me in or what?" I took an aggressive step forward--offense being the best defense--and wrinkled my nose as the unmistakable burnt rubber stench of Krygon hit my nose. Just what I needed. A confrontation with a muscle-bound junkie mainlining magic he had no way to control.
"That's not the password," he said, scowling at me.
Stupid, stupid Freddy. Stupid, dead Freddy.
Of course, to kill Freddy I had to survive this little fiasco first. Nothing like a little motivation.
"Yes, it is." I fisted my hands against my hips--all the better to reach my weapons should this turn ugly.
He shook his head.
I rolled my eyes. "What happened? Suck down too much Krygon to even remember a simple little phrase?" I leaned closer, breathing through my mouth to avoid gagging. "What do you think Lothorian would do to you if he knew you were sampling the product?"
His scowl morphed into a murderous glare. Not really the direction I was hoping the conversation would go.
"Fortunately, you're in luck, my friend." I slapped my left hand against his chest while my right slid my chain out of its holster. "I'm in a generous mood. I won't tell Lothorian about your ... activities if you just let me in."
He snatched my left hand, closing a giant paw around my wrist and twisting like he was wringing out a wet towel. I let him spin me, and when I came full circle my chain--fifteen pounds of silver-coated steel--flew toward him with a vengeance.
I planted my right foot, leaned forward on the ball of my left, and whipped the chain around his neck. Twice.
Silver bit into his skin, burning against the illicit magic coursing through his blood, and sinking toward bone.
He screamed, releasing my wrist to claw at his neck as I threw my weight backward, hauling against the chain with every ounce of my five foot three frame. He had me by twelve inches and at least two hundred pounds. Turns out size isn't everything. Attitude and really cool weapons go a long way toward evening the playing field.
When his eyes rolled back into his head and he crumpled to the ground in a dead faint, I slid my chain free. Tucking it into its holster, I stepped over him and into the teeming darkness of Presidio wondering how high the body count would rise tonight and how soon I could return home to add Freddy to the list.