Ace in the Hole

The other pilots called her their Ace in the Hole. Iris Ball, the flying witch: trained to fly in Albion, schooled in magic in the illustrious Ivory Tower. She was always at home in the air and the only thing that kept her from spells of Flight each and every day was the fact that her Biplane, the Broomstick, would fly longer and higher than magic could muster. And today was a good day, with the scarlet Orc-crewed aircraft of the Compact ahead of her. She had spied them making their way towards Lights for a bombing run. Iris had pulled up high, skirting a cloud with a gesture of Obfuscation to remain unseen, before dropping out of hiding behind the enemy trio. A quick word and wrist-flick to conjure a Magic Missile had sent the first Compact biplane plummeting towards the ground – its crew, failing wildly, desperate to open their parachutes. As Iris neared the remaining two, the most unorthodox assault struck her. One of the rear gunners, Iris spied, held a harpoon gun in their dirty green hands. And attached to the harpoon? A stick grenade! A thin cord pulled tight, freeing the pin as the harpoon was fire. Iris’ eyes went wide as realization dawned, sending her leaping from her seat as the harpoon impaled itself in the Broomstick’s wing. Flailing to before finding the gestures and words for her beloved spell of Flight, Iris rocketed through the air – positioning herself with a rough thud on the upper wing of the nearest enemy aircraft. Turning her gaze to the opposite enemy, a spell of Telekinesis and an upward gesture pulled the pilot free – much to the shock of the rear gunner, his rough, dark brown-green Orcish features locked in an expression of shock. Her daily dose of spells exhausted for the day, Iris turned to the two Orcs below her, who now gazed upward, faces aghast behind twin upward curving tusks. While rear gunner struggled to reload the harpoon gun, the pilot fumbled for his pistol. Iris, however, pulled her own, shot the pilot and leapt for dear life – trusting that her parachute would open.

Ace in the Hole

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