Daven propped his hand on the armrest, masking his face with his hand. He eyed the Callister Building as they approached. At that moment Guilfol and two of his goons exited the building and pounded down to the sidewalk, frantically looking around. Daven tried to duck but one of the goons saw him and pointed. Guilfol’s lips mouthed the word, “Hey!” from the far side of the window, and the goons simultaneously grabbed their coat collars, radioing for help.
“Drive! Drive!” Daven exclaimed, pounding the back of the cabby’s seat.
“Easy, buddy! Traffic.”
“But, but… my in-laws… are trying to get me!” Daven swiveled in his seat, trying to see his pursuers.
Guilfol had been part of the team that discovered the blade. He was their investor’s representative—a job description that could easily be re-described now as “enforcer.” He’d mostly let Daven and the other’s do their jobs in the mountains, but now it was clear he was there to make sure his boss got what he was after.
Daven himself was really more of a history geek. He spent a good deal of time dating his books in high school, instead of girls. Now he was Tectel University’s youngest, un-hip professor, only a doctorate in Medieval History older than the popular girls currently ignoring him in his very own classroom. In many ways, to Daven, it was only the side of the teacher’s desk from which he was ignored that had changed. So a summer romp in the western mountains, looking for an old legend from his favorite era seemed like a pleasant getaway. Actually finding the hilt of the Cougar Warrior was as much a surprise to him as anyone else—an intoxicating bonus to an already far more exciting summer than he had had in a long time. Now it would likely get him killed, and he would never get tenure: only a short nine years away.
The cabby squeezed their vehicle through the late, rush-hour traffic of downtown Tecktel City, with surprising skill and grace. Daven allowed himself to breathe for a moment. What would he do now? What Guilfol and his black market associates would do with the sword Daven didn’t know. Urban myths about lunar bombs were popular scifi plot gimmicks. Now maybe such weapons were a true threat to the world. The hilt belonged in a museum, where its rich history could be appreciated. But chances of such a rare and dangerous thing being safely guarded in such an institution seemed unlikely to Daven. A government vault would probably be a better place, as much as he would hate to see the artifact wasted to a federal closet, or a lab for testing. Of course, in another hour or so if the moon came out, his biggest problem would be carrying a dangerous weapon through the streets of TC without a license. Daven shot a futile glance at the darkening sky. Halvis, the astronomer on their team, had said a new moon was coming.
“Hey, um, your in-laws are following us, I think.” grunted the taxi driver.