I… think I might have gotten a little better at writing short stories since the first version of this one. I think. I may be flattering myself.
One of the Carnivores spoke, surprisingly without much if any in the way of contempt. “Settle a bet for me, Centurion,” she said to Liz’a. “Did you really think that this would have worked?”
Liz’a scowled, but answered honestly. “No.” She flicked her eyes to either side. “So, are you going to come in all at once, or are we going to have a proper fight of it?”
— And then Liz’a felt the sting of a spell go off. Her limbs suddenly froze before she could even ready her sidearm, and her sight began to dim. It was all she could do to remain conscious, and Liz’a could feel the spell trying its best to overcome that, too.
“Impressive,” murmured the Carnivora. Liz’a thought that she actually sounded like the secret policewoman meant it, too. “Zap her again.”
“What, really?” said a voice behind Liz’a — and outside the tent, from the sound of it.
“She’s a strong one,” said the Carnivora. She looked at Liz’a again, and shrugged. “Which is why we’re not going to go with either of your options, sorry.”
Again, there was no real contempt in the Carnivora’s voice. Liz’a might have pondered the oddity more, except that at that point whoever was casting the spells (and since when did orcs have their own mages?) hit her again with another oblivion spell. And this one absolutely kicked like an onager, all the way down to unconsciousness.