The room was large and filled with shadows that were only barely kept at bay by the numerous candles set about the floor. The center of the chamber was marked by a large painted circle, lined with candles and incense burners. Within, several clay sake jugs were stacked to one side. The design spread out across the room, covering the floor with an intricately detailed maze of symbols and lines. Three other, smaller, circles had been placed at the far end of the room. The two to either side contained a chanting figure dressed in black, formless robes while inside the center circle stood the Sorcerer.

He was tall, his long dark hair tied back from his face, his dark eyes watching the open space before him intently. Unlike his companions, he was not dressed in any form of robes, instead he wore a long leather coat, the back of with was inscribed with the coiling image of an eastern dragon. Motionless, he stood, waiting.

After sometime, the center of the circle began to glow, slowly brightening until it dispelled the darkness surrounding it. Within this bright mass of light, the faint form of a human figure could be made out. The chanting increased in intensity, until with a flash, the light vanished and the room fell silent.

The woman now standing in the circle was nude, with whiteish-blonde hair falling in thick waves over her shoulders. Two thin, red, lines formed a 'v' shape on her forehead, with two similar, triangular patches under her eyes. Unconcerned with her state of undress, she stared at the Sorcerer, her shadowed eyes having a reddish glow in the dimness.

"Marller," the Sorcerer bowed his head, "it is good of you to come."

Marller tossed her head and assumed a wide legged stance, hands resting on her hips. "It's not like I had much of a choice, did I?"

The Sorcerer simply smiled in answer. "Please Marller, I have have gifts for you. I assure you, you will be well compensated for the task I require of you."


"Look to your feet."

Glancing down, Marller noticed the jugs of sake. Ignoring the Sorcerer and his desires for the moment, she snatched a bottle up, upending the container over her mouth and gulping down the contents greedily. Finishing the jug in a surprisingly short time, Marller flung the now empty vessel away, to have it shatter upon a far wall. Wiping her hand across her mouth, she returned her attention to the Sorcerer. "What task?"

The Sorcerer's hand blurred and a small rectangle spun across the room, to drop at Marller's feet. Bending down, she picked up the photo in one hand, appropriating another sake jug with the other. As she rose, clothing, black and leathery, formed about her. Standing erect one more, she knocked the cap from the fresh jug and began to drink from it, all the while studying the picture presented to her.

"Haahhh," Marller gasped, "You know my weakness Sorcerer." She waved the picture in her hand. "Who is she?"

Once again, the Sorcerer smiled, although this time, there was no humor in it. "Officer Noriko Kobayashi of the Attacked Mystification Police."

Slipping the photo inside her jacket, Marller grinned evilly, "Do you want her dead?"

The Sorcerer shook his head, "No, no, no. Nothing so... drastic. I merely desire her... incapacitation."

Marller bowed deeply, "It shall be done."

"Good. Now, be off with you."

Soundlessly, Marller sank out of sight, leaving the circle empty.

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