No Protection Where You Need It


Jacob looked at the door.  “Really?”

Pilate nodded.  He muttered more Sumerian, gesturing over his own face.  Then he stepped closer, leaned forward, and cupped one hand around his hear.  “Shout it as loud as you can.”

“Okay.”  Jacob cleared his throat.  He hollered, again in Infernal.  “You really are just too damn stupid to live!”

The word damn in Infernal ruffled the hair around Pilate’s ears, and the Roman’s eyes widened in surprise.  As his mouth split into a grin and he started to say something, Jacob kicked him as hard as he could, right in the crotch.

Pilate rose into the air, his eyes growing even wider.  His arms flapped wide, like wings, and as he came down, Jacob caught him with both hands, one around Pilate’s throat and the other gripping the Roman by his fighting wrist.

“Mrump—” Jacob choked the Roman’s words into silence, then twisted and slammed his enemy to the floor.  Before the sorcerer could do anything but arch his back in pain, Jacob was on top of him, chains clanking heavily as he drew the other man’s dagger and pressed it against his throat.

Jacob’s toes hurt.

“I know,” Jacob hissed savagely into Pilate’s ear, ignoring the throbbing in his feet.  He didn’t have enough attention to spare any for the door; he just had to act fast and hope for the best.  He pushed the dagger hard enough to draw blood from under the Roman’s jaw.  “This wasn’t how you expected things to go.  But that’s a toga for you… no protection where you need it.”

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