Chapter 9: Ice Flower
As the dust cleared, Fatima's assailant smirked. Her handy work had pretty much demolished most of the hotel room. Even part of the back wall was gone letting the cool breeze of the ocean into the building. Before her a semi circular barrier of ice was raised up from the floor with Fatima crouching behind it. It had barely managed to protect her from the full brunt of the impact and was now breaking apart like glass.
"I see you are clever girl indeed."
Fatima stood up and glared. "I'll make you pay for that."
"Oh please do Miss Fatima. That's why I'm here after all."
A thin spike of ice shot out from what remained of Fatima's ice barrier and almost pierced her attacker's body. She moved just enough to avoid it and hurled a knife straight at Fatima's chest. The ice on the ground expanded and raised up blocking the blade before another spike shot out at the woman and into the wall after she dodged it.
"Not bad. You are quite skilled in the use of your powers. If this were a fair fight I might not be able to beat you. However…," she smiled again as she drew a gun from behind her back.
Fatima immediately pressed her hands to the ground raising another wall of ice to separate them but her attacker merely dashed around to the right side and let off a few shots. Fatima reacted quickly and managed to avoid taking any to any vital areas but one bullet did hit her in the left arm causing her to stagger. She pointed the gun at her again and smiled. "Goodbye."
"Oh no you don't!" yelled Alastair running into the room and knocking the woman down also making her drop the pistol. As they struggled for a bit, Fatima yelled for Alastair to get clear. He managed to get free from her and jump back just as she let loose a blast of ice that hit her attacker head on. It sent her into the wall on the other side of the room and Alastair, thinking quickly, grabbed the gun on the ground and aimed it only to have it click as he squeezed the trigger.
"It's out of bullets idiot!" shouted Fatima.
The woman staggered as she rose to her feet pulling another firearm out and pointing it at Alastair. Looking past her he could see his sword still propped against the wall where he had left it.
"Get down you idiot!"
He turned quickly to see that Fatima had retrieved her whip and was swinging it in a wide arc. He hit the ground hard as the lash sailed over his head and toward their attacker. She leapt over it easily avoiding the attack.
"Did you think you could hit me with something so obvious little witch!"
A small smirk formed on Fatima's face. "Of course not." She pulled hard on her whip causing it to snap back towards her. But what her attacker did not notice was that as it came back, it brought Alastair's sword with it. Just as the woman closed in on Fatima who was helpless to counter or repel the attack, the blade of the sword pierced her back taking her to the floor. Letting out a heavy and somewhat painful sigh, Fatima drop to her knees clutching her wound.
"Woah that was awesome! Fatima how did you know that would work?"
"Oh nevermind the fact that I'm bleeding over here!"
"Right sorry." He rushed over to her and examined her injury. "Ok it doesn't look too deep. Here tie this cloth around it to slow the bleeding and keep pressure on it." He then walked over to the door. "We need some help in here! Now!"
"Alastair…get the sword and make sure she's finished," Fatima said standing up slowly.
"I got it." He walked up and gripped the hilt. The blade had run her through but she was still breathing faintly.
"Wait," Fatima said. "Why did you attack me and who are you?"
The woman only smiled and coughed up a little blood before giving up the ghost.
"She's gone Fatima. It's no use."
"Forget her we need to get that looked at. Come with me." Helping her, Alastair led her out of the room and into the hallway as hotel personnel, security, and some guests came up. Alastair and Fatima explained what happened to the security guards the hotel manager. They got a crew of people started on clean up and closed off the floor to any and all guests. Fatima was given a new room on the 2nd floor and luckily her belongings weren't all damaged. After everything quieted down a healer was sent to take care of Fatima's injury which didn't take long at all due to it being minor. She sat in her room with Alastair watching as he put her things away. She kept poking at her bandage and frowning.
"You know if you keep picking at it you'll only make it heal slower."
"Did I ask for your input?" she snapped.
"Relax it was just a suggestion. Besides you should be thanking me. I saved your ass yet again. Haven't I at least earned a kiss?" He immediately dodged a thrown pillow.
"There, you can kiss that," said Fatima angrily.
"Can't you take a joke?"
"Alright then. Well what did you do to piss that lady off anyway?"
"I've never seen that woman in my life. I'd like to know the answer to that question myself."
Alastair turned to look out of the window. "Well regardless of that, you handled yourself pretty well. You're not too good with hand to hand though are you?"
"I'm a witch and I use magic. I've never had much use for close combat skills."
"I see. Well just be careful with that from now on." He walked over to the other side of the room and sat on the small couch there. Looking up he was met by a quizzical stare from Fatima.
"What do you know about Simon?"
"Whatever you want to know. I lived with the little punk for 10 years."
"Nope. Our mother died when I was 5 and he was 4. 10 years later he up and struck out on his own. I have no idea how he rose to where he is now but as you can clearly tell we aren't super close."
"I met him today."
She nodded. "He was…persistent to say the least. He seems very interested in me and is wishing me luck in the competition. I even got to meet another one of the competitors; a…Rebecca Gairios I believe was her name."
"Did she seem tough?"
"I have no idea. Normally I can feel a bit of power from a fellow witch and gauge their strength from that but I didn't feel anything from her. It was odd."
"She could be hiding it."
Fatima scoffed. "That's not possible. Magical energy can't be completely hidden. Especially from another witch or wizard."
"Oh yeah? Can you feel mine? Have you ever felt mine since we met other than when I used it right in front of you?"
Fatima stared at him for a second and tried but she quickly realized that even though she knew Alastair could do magic, she couldn't feel it from him. "Ok fine how are you doing that?"
"I could teach you how if you want. Might save your life."
"Ok teacher, teach me things," she said sitting up and looking at him tentatively.