Darma continued to examine her fingernails. When the stream of fire stopped, Darma lifted a hand and shot a thick beam of stark-white power toward the window.
The dragon retreated back inside with a yip of alarm.
“Did I mention that we need to take them alive, Darma?”
She shrugged. “Just because we aren’t killing her doesn’t mean we should allow her to disrespect us.”
“You girls all right?”
I turned and waved. The owner of the building was standing a few dozen yards away, armed with a laser pistol and covered in fireproof fabric. He’d cut a hole in the center of a long piece of the stuff and had stuck his head through it, like a martian poncho. He wore a black dome with a visor over his head. It looked like an air cycle helmet.
Arch Magnus had made it very clear since the moment he met me that he didn’t think I could handle the job. Standing five foot and not much tall, with shoulder length auburn hair that curled prettily at the ends whether I wanted it to or not, sizeable boobs and an attractive face, I got that a lot from my male clients.
If only I could kick his ass to show him I was up for the job. But kicking your clients’ asses, even when they’re complete jerks, is generally bad for business.
“I can go in with y’all if you want. I’m armed to the teeth and very muscular under this here fireproof fabric.”
“If muscle is spelled f-a-t,” I murmured. I took a deep breath, ignoring him. “Are you ready?”
Darma didn’t respond, she just started walking toward the building, looking for all the world like Lara Croft, Tomb Raider from oldies night at the holographic films. I shook my head and followed.
The stench of massive reptile thickened the air as we drew near. From my observations I figured there were at least four of them in the building. The female and three babies.
“Do you remember the plan?”
Darma slanted me a look. “You mean we’re not going with the usual plan of kicking ass, blowing shit up and praying?”
I shrugged. “Unfortunately not. This one calls for a bit more finesse. If we want to take them alive we’re gonna have to knock the female out without killing her. The babies will go along with whatever we do at that point.”
“What are we doing at that point?”
“That part of the plan is fuzzy. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”