Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I write code full-time and words in the gaps in between.

With a thought, Carlotta's sword is in her hand instantly, both blades alight with yellow plasma. She feels the change in emotions of her entire entourage. The soldiers are on high alert, their weapons now locked into firing position. The scholars are only just becoming aware of the danger, and she can almost taste their fear. She grimaces, knowing and remembering that taste herself. Only the emissary herself remains unchanged, still cocky, still arrogant, and Carlotta knows that this moment was orchestrated by her.

Damn her, Carlotta thinks then drops to one knee.

She throws up one hand, making the air ripple and become rigid behind her just as the three soldiers walking there open fire on her. The air acts as a kind of energy shield, deflecting the plasma bolts from the rifles away from the group. The shield won't hold for long, but Carlotta doesn't need it to. She expertly turns and sweeps her weapon toward two of the other soldiers to the front, severing the ends of their rifles in molten metal.


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Carlotta walks with her escort through the corridors of the capitol building toward the platform whe…


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