“Do these costumes really go together?” Bianca asked. She glanced at herself in the mirror then looked over at Hilde. “Not trying to question you or anything. But I’m dressed as a witch and you look like some kind of space soldier.”
“First off,” Hilde stated. “You’re a Doctor. I just used her Halloween skin because I thought it’d suit you. Secondly, you’ve seen me play this game. I believe you said ‘what twelve year old Edgelord designed that skull mask guy?'”
Bianca snapped her fingers. “Oh, I remember. You said he was just designed to appeal to twelve year old Edgelords.”
“Just don’t repeat that at the convention,” Hilde cautioned. “We’re going to solve a case and have a little fun while we’re at it. We don’t want a bunch of pissed off nerds.”
“Don’t worry, I have tact when I need to,” Bianca said.
“We have a week for you to learn the basics of your character,” Hilde said. “Should be plenty of time for you.”
“Do I have to?” Bianca asked.
“Yes, because people might want to strike up a conversation about it,” Hilde said. “If you don’t know the basics, we’re going to have a bunch of strangely elitist twenty somethings tossing out terms like ‘fake geek girl’ and causing a huge fuss.”
“Okay, I’ll learn so I don’t embarrass you in front of your people,” Bianca said. “Don’t worry.”
“To start with,” Hilde said, holding her tablet for Bianca to see. “Say this line for me.”
“Why that line?” Bianca wondered. “Could it be that you have something you want to do with it?”
“Damn right I do!” Hilde declared.
“Ooh, intriguing,” Bianca said. “All right, here goes.” She cleared her throat. “Keep the skies clear for me.”
Hilde grinned and knelt down, lightly kissing Bianca’s hand. “Let’s keep them clear together.”
Bianca felt herself flush. “Okay, that was pretty sexy,” she said. “Do it again?”
“Maybe later,” Hilde said.
“Then how about a bath?” Bianca asked. “I’ve got some special bath salts that have some great effects, mostly medicinal. They relieve aches and pains, help injuries mend and unknot your muscles like a superb massage.”
“And what do they do besides medical stuff?” Hilde asked. “Are they an aphrodisiac?”
“Kind of,” Bianca said. “They enhance pleasure. Under water infused with this stuff, you’ll think there are two of me.”
“Aren’t you a dirty girl,” Hilde muttered.
Bianca shrugged. “What can I say? I like to get busy with my girlfriend. Or were you offering to scrub me down?”
“Tempting,” Hilde said. “Lore studying for an hour. Then I’ll take a bath with you and your salts.”
“Yes Ma’am!” Bianca said.
On the day of the convention, Hilde and Bianca arrived at the hall early.
“You came dressed up?” Borchert asked.
“We told you we’d be incognito,” Bianca said.
“We’ll go around and find your trickster,” Hilde said. “If they like to appear when the place is crowded we’ll just be able to find them more easily if we’re blending in. Our culprit won’t be as guarded.”
“Oh yes, of course,” he said. “Come with me for a moment, if you please.”
They followed him to the back. “This is our head of security, Mister Lukas Graf.” Lukas looked slightly younger than Borchert with dark hair and a clean shaven face. He had a sullen look.
“So, you’re the detectives,” he said, practically spitting the word out.
“You have a problem, Buddy?” Bianca asked.
“I apologise for him,” Borchert said.
Hilde shook her head. “There’s no need to be sorry. We understand.” She looked directly at Lukas. “We’re doing your job and you feel put out. But this isn’t a matter of ego. We’re here to do a job. And it’s something you guys need done.”
Lukas nodded. “Doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
The convention started. Hilde and Bianca quickly merged into the crowd.
“You don’t suspect Mister ‘I don’t want detectives at my convention’ at all?” Bianca asked.
“No,” Hilde said. “Trust me, security workers always have that reaction. Unless they’re just at the point where they don’t care any more. Sense anything yet?”
“Nope,” Bianca answered. “I’m not doing a comprehensive detect magic spell or anything, but I should be able to detect magic if it’s used this close to me regardless.”
“Well, we haven’t seen anything suspicious yet either,” Hilde said. “Guess our culprit’s not making their move yet.”
“At least we have plenty of time to play,” Bianca said. “Here, take my arm and let’s do another sweep of the displays.”
“Next sweep, I get to hold my arm out,” Hilde said.
The pair wandered about, looking at the booths and stopping on occasion to pose for photos.
They were looking at an artist’s booth when it happened. The contents shifted and, somehow, a large triceratops statue appeared to take the centre stage at the booth.
Hilde and Bianca nodded at each other and backed away.
‘It’s magic,” Bianca whispered.
“I noticed,” Hilde said. “Source?”
“Hard to say,” Bianca answered. “I think the culprit set up some basic transportation spells ahead of time and scrolled them.”
“I’m guessing that’s like D&D when you read a spell off a scroll,” Hilde said.
“Basically,” Bianca said. “So, they just activate them and they take effect.”
“Can they be tracked?” Hilde asked.
“I’ll need to set up an actual detect magic spell with a tracking function built in,” Bianca said. “I’ll also add some protective layers so our culprit doesn’t sense them until it’s too late. Trust me, we’ll get her.”
“All right, hurry back,” Hilde said.