Excerpt from Upcoming Novel, The Long and the Short Swords

Logan felt it then, the Purist magic rising up from his years of training to the present day. Like someone walking over his grave, a cold chill worked its way up Logan’s spine. He could feel the hostile intentions of someone in the hallway outside, almost able to pinpoint the hostile with radar precision in his mind’s eye. He concentrated past it, accessing another portion of that ancient “magic.” Tanaka had called it “clouding men’s minds” and even though Logan had snickered when he first heard the master utter those words, he had seen it work. Logan could project an illusion into the mind of a target. They would see one thing, usually Logan standing in a vulnerable position, while Logan actually stood in another spot and delivered a killing blow with his weapon of choice, the katana. Logan wished for that katana now, wished for the silent whisper of steel slicing through flesh and bone with ease, but he would have to settle for the loud crudity of the pistol. The geek reached the door. Logan tensed.

The room seemed to contract, like the walls inhaled towards a void point in the center of the room. The lights, previously turned off, flickered on and off and tendrils of lightning sparked from every outlet in the room. Logan felt the hairs on his arms stand up, the close-cropped stubble on his scalp tingling. His arms started to shake uncontrollably and he could feel the butt of the gun heating up. A strange crackling sound filled his ears, like the ocean crashing in his eardrums. The gun flew out of his hands, meeting the rifle in mid-air in the center of the room before falling to the floor. The door exploded off its hinges and embedded into the wall where the rifle had been, glass splintering and falling to the carpeted floor with barely a tinkle.

Logan had forgotten the gun immediately, his instincts propelling him towards the door without thought. His right hand, still aching with the twitching after effects of electric shock, wrapped around the comforting hilt of the wakizashi at his belt. His hands glided along the well worn fabric wrapped over the pommel, the concrete surety of the blade’s weight emboldening his every movement. Someone was stepping through the door. He instantly recognized Bridge’s bodyguard taking in every inch of the man’s frame.

Shorter than Logan’s 6’2″, his Asian features drawn into a crazy smile, the technomancer wore a loose black silk shirt with a hood drawn away from his face. Glittery golden characters like a mixture of kanji and Nordic lettering ran up and down the sleeves of the shirt. Loose black jeans were stuffed into calf high combat boots that looked thick enough to block a knife blade, though probably not a full slash from Logan’s short sword. The geek stood walking with his arms raised, and in the split second it took Logan to cross the room, he noticed a shimmering distortion in the air between the two.

Not wishing to score a killing blow, just in case Bridge still wanted to do business, Logan swung the flat of the blade at Mu’s head, intending to score a quick knockout, while preparing his open left hand for a backup blow in case the sword missed.

The sword thudded dully against… nothing. The air shimmered around the blade stuck in mid-air a little past arm’s length from Mu’s face. Logan raised an eyebrow in confusion and his eyes met the wizard’s. That insane grin on Mu’s face widened. The wizard pushed his hands toward Logan and suddenly the killer flew off his feet and into the wall behind.

The breath shot from his lungs and Logan’s eyesight darkened, the black shroud of vision lit by sparkling orange lights. He stayed conscious, his hand still firmly clutching the sword. Logan had underestimated this man, and he needed to finish the fight before it got worse.

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