In the moments following the Mr. Chiang incident, Felix Faustus slipped away from the group and made his way toward home. He felt safer cutting through back alleys, using one of many routes known to him but no one else. Or so he thought.
He was walking briskley through the shadows when a tall man in a trenchcoat and fedora stepped out in front of him. The coat was buttoned shut; the hat tilted forward, hiding his face. Felix instinctively leapt to one side, hurling three blades at the mysterious figure. Light flashed on metal and he heard his knives clatter to the pavement.
The trenchcoat, Felix saw, was now open, and a long, curved sword extended from the dark man’s sleeve — the kind of weapon men from Orientis used five hundred years ago. The flying knives hadn’t even chipped it.
Felix faultered slightly, loosening his grip on the automatic pistol that had just sprung into his hand. If this man wanted to attack, he would’ve done it.
“I’ve not traveled halfway across the globe for a fight,” he said through a thick accent. “I came to offer work.”
Fautus blinked, then grinned.
“If you wanted a magic show, comrade,” he said. “You are a little late. But I will tell you what … if you would like to see my renowned disappearing act, by all means, continue brandishing that weapon.”
“I’ve not traveled halfway—”
“Yes!” Felix interrupted, removing a smoke bomb from his pocket. “I heard that part. But you have not heard me, it seems.”
After a moment of silence, the man brushed back his coat and slid the sword into a shiney black scabbard on his hip.
“Thank you,” Faustus said. “Now we can speak as gentlemen.”
“I come to offer work,” the man said. “But not magic. Not exactly. We are in need of … several of your skills, Mr. Faustus.”
At that, the man removed a small envelope and tossed it to the ground at Felix’s feet, who glanced down for less than a second. When he looked up, the man was gone.
Picking up the envelope, he broke the wax dragon seal and read its contents. Then he whistled.
“Work indeed, comrade. I think I will be seeing you again — in Orientis.”