The Necromancer’s Identity (TheFailedInquiryRemix)
Verde doesn’t seem to trust me; he sends me a particular memory as reiterate his point about manners.
I am standing in a great hall. A one-eyed man with a large flowing beard sits on a throne.His left eye is covered by an eye-patch very like mine. Across his lap lies a staff, or maybe a spear.Nine women, each one different from the other stand in front of him, as his emissaries, his bodyguards, his warriors.
A supplicant is kneeling. He says something in Old Norse, I can’t tell you what, but it sure sounds haughty. The man on the throne doesn’t react, however, one of the Nine kicks him below the waist and threathens him with something I don’t need to translate in order to understand that it is comparably worse than having your nuts broken.
“Hey”, I answer, a bit distracted. I really don’t wanna get kicked in the nuts. Really don’t. “So my name is Rune Fallowfell”, I say. “I know. What I don’t know is why I am here, and not out on the field”, she says somewhat impatient. Alright. “You’re a valkerie. A Norse supernatural, or atleast a descendant of one. There is a barrowman, a creature from Norse legends loose”…. ” and your sister’s body was taken”, she finishes for me with a scalding tone.
It looks as if I am to have my crown jewels destroyed when she reins her anger in. “You know what? There is a certain logic to it. My kind, the swordsisters, the Daughters of Odin, have death magic. And I knew about that particular barrow before it was reopened.”
I stare at her, horrified. “You knew…. and you did nothing?!” She shrugs. “Without the right ability or the right kind of magic, the barrowman was the equalivent of an empty warhead. But irregardless, I am not your killer. If you knew anything about valkeries, you’d know that my kind could never do what someone like this reanimator is doing; using the barrowman like some kind of servant.”
“So tell me,” I say, suddenly wondering about supernatural subcultures. “From birth we’re taught to revere the dead, to know that the privilege we have, to be able to raise the dead is something that must never, ever be misused. Oh, there is a bad apple here and there, but most of us follow that guidelines.”
I mull on that. There is a strong sense of sincerity in her words. “Where were you Friday night?” “Here, at the Hangar. You can ask anyone you want in the female soccer team, and they will tell you the same.” She glances back the game, once more, impatiently. “Now, can I go back?” I wave her off.
I walk back to Ochre, frustrated. Who is the reanimator!? I walk to the second level of Ochre, and a computer room. I look inside–
–and I collide with a girl. It takes me a few seconds to get my bearings straight, but when I do, I recognize her; it’s Cordelia Holm, and she is wearing so much perfume that I sneeze. She smiles vacantly at me, a smile that seems full of hurt. “Sorry, I am in a hurry!” I let her pass, and enter the room.
Maja Hazin stands out; every centimeter of her body is sculpted like that of a fitness model and she is wearing a cap with the world’s most famous former bodybuilder. I approach her carefully, and inhale. Although she may look outwardly… kept together, her scent is wrong. She smells like algae and slush, like a lake that has gone bad, where the City Hall has put up a sign saying you can’t bath there. The barrowman smelled like mildew, and I note that while their scents differ, there is a similar ‘feel’ to them both.
Do you recognize the scent? /I do not– and Greyscale has no memories of it either. So be careful. That goes without saying.
I seat myself in a chair next to her. I wait for her to take not of my presence. When she doesn’t, I start with a conversational gambit. ” Hey.”
“Go away. I am programming”, she says without taking her eyes off the screen.
I narrow my eyes, not a little irritated. “Did you revive an ancient creature out of Norse legend for the express purpose of revenge?” That makes her pause. She stops whatever it is she is doing with a few klicks, and gives me her full attention.
Her eyes are a pale green, and they look at me, equally irritated. ” Who are you? And why are you asking me that question? Go away.”
” I am Rune Fallowfell, I am asking you because three days someone stole the corpse of my sister and you’re on a list of people who could have killed Tregaro and the others, so no, I won’t go away!” I continue, in a lower volume. “In addition, you’re a supernatural of strange origin, one I cannot identify, which makes you even more suspicious.”
Maja shrugs non-committedly. “If you’re looking for an alibi then you won’t find any. I spent my Friday programming, in my room, alone. I didn’t like Tregaro and being known as that ‘body-building bitch’ thanks to Gran sure wasn’t fun, and while I wished that they would die sometimes, I didn’t kill them.”
She continues on another track. “I wouldn’t know where to find the barrow that this barrowman slept in and my magic… doesn’t last, doesn’t work that way.”
She looks around, and seeing no one, she takes a pencil. She call on her magic, a kind magic that smells like mulch and composts for farmers, and the pencil warps. The wood rots. The charcoal turns to dust. She drops the pencil on the floor, where it snakes its way along a figure eight-pattern, steadily decomposing along the way.
I compare the pencil to the barrowman. No, the barrowman was whole. No decomposition. And while she lacks alibi, she is too blunt to scheme like this necromancer has done. Maja Hazin is some kind of strange supernatural, but not the necromancer. I turn to leave, but she tells me something before I am out of the room. “When you find this necromancer…the dead should stay dead, and the living shouldn’t meddle in the business of the dead, don’t you think?” I incline my head.
I spend the rest of the day interrogating various people, but none of them seem to be the necromancer. I despair; who knows what that awful person is doing to my sister!?