The pat down by TSA guard at airport was more or less routine. He explained how he was going to pat me down using the back of his hand in an angry, guttural voice. The anger wasn’t directed at me so much as it was that he was required to do this.
Wonder if they have a quota? Pat down X number of travelers per shift or you’ll be reprimanded. That would suck.
I bore it stoically as my carry-on items underwent their own invasive procedure on the x-ray belt. And, as usual, they kept scrutinizing my belongings. My actual weapons were still at home, locked away, but I had a silver mirror. That always tripped them up because it was denser than most objects that size since it was solid metal instead of glass. There was always discussion as to whether or not that qualified as a weapon when it came through. Someone would always pick it up and look at it, then question me.
“What’s this for?” another angry voice, though this one with the frustration of someone confronting something he didn’t understand.
“It’s a mirror.”
“Doesn’t look like any mirror I’ve seen.”
I shrugged. “It’s kind of an old style. Just polished metal instead of glass.”
He grunted unhappily, but took a look at the line gathering, then dropped it back in the bin.
I winced, hoping that it didn’t get dinged or ding anything else. A scratch wasn’t a huge problem so much as it was a breeding ground for tarnish. I could also sand and polish the scratch out, but it might throw off the plane of the mirror.
“Matthew,” Nikki interrupted again. “I’ve never understood why you do not expand your cadre of weapons.
I frowned. “Um, I’ve got a pretty good stash. And Max tried that once. Not only is a walking arsenal hard to tote around and obvious, it’s not like I would be able to take any of them on the plane, either.”
“Rings. While I understand that getting close enough—” she stroked my cheek with a hand lightly “—to contact with your opponents is not ideal, a ring of silver would be most advantageous and would easily pass scrutiny among airport security.”
I sipped my coffee, considering, then smiled. “Rings. Thanks.”
She nodded. “I wish to keep you around for myself. I’m concerned about your protection.”
“I think I’ve got some recovered silver I can use. Just need to make sure I take them off before we hold hands.”
“Oh, will we be doing much of that?”
I cleared my throat. “So, um, I got through security. . . .”