before Kathryn and Troy had fully recovered from Yellow's
attack, Molly began barking orders: “Kathryn, take the one in
green. Troy, you have the one in red.” She had long since
figured out those two, and now that she had seen that Yellow was
an air-based Thruster, she could determine the best match-up. Or
in this case, stick him with the leftovers. “Renee and Donovan
take Yellow.” She narrowed her eyes at Kaz; the fourth match was
charged first. To be honest, it was more of a tentative march
forward, but she was the only one making any advancement so she
gos the honors. Red attempted to intervene, but Troy shot a
long-range water blast to maintain the assigned match-ups.
Yellow needed no similar coaxing; he had heard Molly's
assignments and assumed that he was obliged to follow them as
well. Kaz did nothing to dissuade him, instead lingering in back
and contributing more of his spirituous mist.
Kathryn approaching him, Green threw up a stone wall in defense.
A simple tactic, but it separated him from the girl well enough.
When she attempted to go around, he lowered the first wall and
raised a second. He had seen what Kathryn was capable of in her
prior dealings with Red; simply holding her at bay was fine by
wasn't so keen on the idea. After dashing around one wall, she
leaped into the air. Another appeared, but this one was now
rising underneath her. Kathryn hurtled it and leaped after
Green. Green stepped back and cast another spell, clasping his
hands as he always had before. She heard a huge roar directly
behind her. Instinctively she turned around and saw the wall she
had just surmounted, toppled over. Had she been two feet closer,
she would have been trapped underneath. Still, a near-miss was a
miss and she faced forward to find... another wall. Kathryn
groaned as the process repeated itself once more.
could only have been so lucky against Red. Once Troy had come
forth as Red's primary challenger, the demon was more than happy
to fire round after round at the boy. Troy defended it, and with
water as his forte it was fairly easy. But it was repetitive,
and forced him to cast spell after spell to defend the
onslaught. He was growing weary after his long flight and Red
continued to move forward. A couple of times, Troy found an
opening to shoot his own stream at Red, but as it was still just
water, it did little more than stall him. Red's march continued.
Molly had no luck against Kaz. With Red and Yellow advancing on
her recruits, she could not afford to leave them alone and
charge after him. Thanks to Green's instant masonry, she also
had no way of guaranteeing a clean shot. It didn't stop her from
trying, but Kaz was able to avoid anything that did get through.
Ergo, stalemate number three.
to the battle's two idiots to shake things up. Donovan summoned
his energy ball as Yellow approached. As Donovan charged, Yellow
proved to have the quicker trigger finger and fired an air
attack in return. Before it connected, Donovan released his
course, that energy blast of his was still a work in progress.
In fact, for all the times Donovan had attempted it, that one
instance that had saved Molly from Kendrick was his only
documented success. The percentages bore out here as there was
again no destructive force in the ball. Even so, it intercepted
Yellow's attack, shooting straight up into the air upon impact.
Yellow watched it in astonishment; Donovan stood smugly as if
that was his intent all along.
Destructive force or not, that was still a sizable concentration
of energy up for grabs. With Molly having no luck against Kaz,
and with no one else recognizing the ball's potency, she caught
it and started to charge it up. Unlike Donovan, she knew how to
add some punch to it. Best of all, he had done the hard part:
all she had do was give the proper command and fire.
the command off just fine. But before she could shoot it at
anybody, Kaz saw his opening and hit her in the face with a
blast of that same amber-tinted water. Molly fell and the ball
was again knocked loose.
Renee wasn't quite sure what Molly was doing, she did see that
Molly had gone out of her way to catch the ball and did
something to it after reception. As Molly was poised to throw
the ball somewhere else, Renee doubted that it would be a good
thing to have it fall that close. So she ran in, caught the ball
before it could hit her sister and hurled it at the first target
she saw. The good news was that this was Kaz, who clearly wasn't
expecting such a maneuver. The bad news was that he was so far
away that he dodged it anyway. The worse news was that the ball
bounced against Donovan's circle and, being of the same energy
source and polarity, ricocheted straight back. Renee ducked in
time and kept Molly close to the ground as the ball flew over
about this time, Yuki had finally revived Bryce. As his injuries
were all physical, she had a hell of a time with it. Still, he
clutched his crystal and carefully rose to his feet, eager to
join the battle. He faced forward just in time to see the wild
energy ball strike him in the gut and knock him out with a
don't worry- Yuki shielded herself in time.
tonight, Kurt had always viewed L. B. Gould as a small, harmless
city that made up for its lack of redeeming qualities with a
hearty population that at least meant well. After chauffeuring
Marie and Kamila across town and stopping for gas at what turned
out to be the only station in Ohio that didn't offer
pay-at-the-pump, Kurt saw the town as a soulless metropolis that
offered nothing but block after block of identical houses and
strip malls. He followed the MST's directions out of town and
also realized that outside the city limits lied a barren
wasteland of empty fields and tree-littered hills.
once you get on Sanderson, there is a curve to the right, then
there should be a dirt road to turn on.” Kurt could only hope
the telepathic directions were accurate. Having been around for
centuries, the MST was slow to incorporate new technology.
Uriel's office may or may not have been familiar with Google
he found the dirt road and sensed some action ahead. Two pickup
trucks- one rusted and dented, the other showroom-pristine, had
beaten him there. Guessing that at least one of those belonged
to the bad guys (Kurt couldn't guess which; he didn't know how
well the MST paid), he parked well behind them. Sneaking ahead,
he frowned. Not only was Molly's entire unit engaged with the
three hellraisers and a fourth man who looked and acted like
their leader, six more men watched the battle, armed with
bottles of beer. The six stood between Kurt and his friends.
considered trying to teleport across, but with so many idle
figures, one of them was bound to have an anti-teleportation
spell up. He was going to have to get around the old-fashioned
he muttered, knocking on the side of the newer pickup in
frustration. The pickup honked several times in alarm and all
six spectators turned around and stared at him. A few of them
smiled. Kurt used a more severe profanity for this development.
half-dozen angry men bearing down on him, Kurt's first move was
to get the hell away from the truck. After that, he had some
choices. He could retreat to his car, take them on himself, or
run into the field and hope to get around to Molly. Taking as
much time as he could afford to make this decision, he settled
for options two and three. First he elevated the ground
underneath the demons, creating a small platform that raised up
half of the demons, took one leg out from under two more and
obstructed the sixth completely. Completing that distraction,
Kurt ran for it.
pursued, of course, but Kurt now had his opening to at least
reach Troy, who was still barely holding off Red. As Kurt
neared, he realized that something was standing between him and
Troy that appeared to be and, one painful thud later, felt like
a two-way barrier circle.
derailed any thought of assisting Molly's unit and,
unfortunately, his escape from the six enforcers. Kurt tried a
stone wall; one of the six punched the wall and shattered it. He
needed another spell to shield himself from the pieces. As the
enemy advanced, he paused, considered his options and came to
the calm conclusion that he was completely screwed.
his shock when all six of them levitated ten feet into the air.
Heck, for that matter, imagine theirs. Behind them, Richard
Herman stood with two other men, one with his hand extended and
his index and pinky pointed at the demons.
with the natives?” Richard joked, stamping out his cigarette.
sighed in relief and forced a chuckle. “I'm starting to see your
point about L. B. Gould.”
nod from Richard, the air mage flung the six demons away.
Richard walked up to the barrier and rapped on it. It rippled
with energy, but still prevented access.
two-way circle barrier,” Kurt said.
Unhappily, Richard muttered, “That's odd: Zukoni specialize in
thrusting. Leave it to Uriel to not send a Weaver in case
something needs breaking.”
Herman, looks like we're not done yet,” said the air mage. The
six demons, after copious swearing, had gotten up and were
approaching the agents.
Richard replied, cracking his knuckles.
took a deep breath and readied his trigger. “Hope you get
overtime for this, Rich.”
this is the fun part.” Richard smiled, happy that not only was
he about to kick some ass, but that he also managed to keep from
criticizing Uriel's benefits package. Lord knows he didn't want
to get anywhere near L. B. Gould once this was over.
fought off the pain from her blow and Troy and Kathryn remained
at odds with Red and Green, Kaz saw the MST arrivals and their
ensuing whipping of his backup. He also saw Yellow continuing to
John, leave that kid alone,” he instructed. If Donovan went
down, the circle went down and Kaz had no intention of tangling
with trained professionals.
paused and saw Renee flying at him from the side. He licked his
finger and caught her defenseless. “Hey boss, can I kill her?”
scoffed. “Knock yourself out,” he replied, immediately fearing
that Yellow would take that literally.
didn't, instead lifting Renee overhead and into the barrier. She
slid to the ground and didn't move, her head leaning on the
barrier in a position that would probably be uncomfortable were
Molly shouted and rose to her feet, but felt a wave of nausea as
she did, dropping her back to her knees. The mist was bad enough
to inhale; the direct impact of a stronger concentration of it
was much more noxious. She fought off the urge to vomit,
helpless to tend to her sister.
didn't even see it; Red was giving him all that he could handle.
If this was destined to be a battle of attrition, Troy had a
plan and saw Red's weakness: his cigarette was almost expired.
Reserving his strongest water blast for Red's inevitable
recharge, Troy parried and waited.
Light me up,” Red shouted. Troy didn't panic; Kaz still needed
to head all the way over to them and that was still enough time.
Red flicked his cigarette towards Troy, who calmly took a step
back to avoid it. Behind Red, Troy saw one of Kaz's water spells
heading his way. It was low, however, closer to where Troy had
been standing before; in a way, he had already dodged it.
spell instead connected with the cigarette and, sure enough, lit
it up. The combination of a spark and Kaz's dubious water
created a huge chemical burst right in front of Troy. Troy fell
over and didn't remember the rest.
meanwhile, needed to stop and breathe after trying to traverse
Green's maze of walls. Green took advantage and finally tried
some offense. He summoned three small boulders and sent them all
hurling towards Kathryn. She had only one defense, her staff,
and she made good use of it, striking the first boulder to the
ground. After repeating with the second, she fell to her knees
to dodge the third in case she couldn't get her staff up in
time. But she did, and drove her staff down to knock the boulder
staff, being a magical item and determined to serve as such,
channeled Kathryn's energy and batted the boulder straight back
at Green, striking him in the chest and toppling him.
winded, Kathryn rose to her feet and let out an exasperated
laugh. However she had done it, it had been done. Green was
still conscious- just in a lot of pain. Kathryn approached him,
raising her staff to rectify this.
she could, a huge rush of air propelled her skyward. Kathryn
threw her staff up to shield herself from the collision with the
barrier. She looked back at the source of the propulsion-
Yellow, of course. He released his spell and left her to enjoy
her fifteen foot fall. She had no answer for this other than a
closed her eyes and waited for an impact that never came. Again,
she was never that good at physics, but fifteen feet shouldn't
have taken this long. Opening her eyes, she saw her staff
hovering in mid-air. Then she saw Molly on the ground, panting
as she kept a finger pointed at the staff. She dropped the spell
once Kathryn was at a safe falling distance.
secure on the ground, Kathryn saw Red lighting up a new
cigarette and sneaking up behind Molly. Kathryn swung the staff
at him, striking him in the chest and at least keeping him from
Molly. He was winded for a moment, but not long enough. And
unless Molly could get it together again, Kathryn had no choice
but to face him head on.
Although MST field
agents stationed in humdrum districts like Uriel's didn't see
much action, they were all just as capable as any other magi.
When they did get a chance to unleash some violence, they
brought it in bunches. This was no war weary group facing the
Zukoni alongside Kurt. They were all young men eager to let
loose and kill some demons. Forgive us for glancing over their
battle, as the tension and drama was lacking in such a one-sided
conflict. Also forgive them for any instances of overkill; male
one-upmanship being what it was, the battle soon devolved to a
game of who can pull off the neatest attacks. The air mage won
by simulating one of those 'juggling combos' from video game
Richard provided the
icing, creating a four-foot ditch and leading the six into it.
As the demons had long been out of commission, the agents
decided not to fill the ditch with water.
“We need to do this more
often,” Richard said, sticking another cigarette into his
Kurt helped out, but
abstained from the party. He was more concerned with the welfare
of his friends inside the circle. Peering in, he saw Troy and
Renee, unconscious and leaning against the barrier.
“Hey, Kurt,” Richard
interrupted. Kurt looked back; now that the six support demons
were out, the agents were standing around doing nothing. “The
guys want to go bowling. Is there an alley in town? Wouldn't
surprise me if there wasn't.”
“Uh...” Kurt pointed
over his shoulder at the carnage inside.
“Oh yeah.” Richard
exhaled smoke. “Yep, definitely got to bring Weavers next time.”
Worse yet, Yuki noticed
them loitering around and approached. She knocked on the barrier
and yelled. They couldn't hear her, but had a good guess at what
she was saying. Richard shrugged at her.
Kurt pounded on the
barrier himself, shouting, “Dammit, let us in!”
“Dammit, let us out!”
Yuki cried, almost in unison. Or what would have been in unison
if she and Kurt could hear each other.
The situation was bad-
so bad that she felt incapable of anything that could improve
it. Troy, Renee and Bryce were out, and Molly was on her knees
and barely defending herself from Kaz's ranged attacks. His
three associates had her eyes on Molly as well, although Green
was still out of sorts from Kathryn's line drive.
Kathryn was doing
everything she could to keep Red from reaching Molly, but was
punished for it. Just as he did against Troy, Red launched flame
after flame at Kathryn, who had to rely solely on reflexes and
good staff placement to block. She was good, but not perfect.
Every spark that did connect singed and slowed her down.
Yellow had his own
problem- Donovan. Donovan was convinced that Yellow was his
responsibility, and did everything in his limited power to
prevent Yellow from attacking Molly.
“She is not your
opponent,” he said, summoning another worthless energy ball and
standing directly in front of Yellow.
“Actually, she, uh... is
supposed to be... move, please!”
Donovan did not budge.
Unable to attack him, Yellow tried to go around, but Donovan
prevented any attempts at running, juking or flying towards
Molly. For all of his disadvantages, Donovan was faster and that
seemed to be all that mattered.
Not that it was any
comfort to Yuki. Her one skill was with potions, but she
couldn't decide which one to make or who to use it on. Neither
of the three downed allies had been all that useful thus far.
Even if she had a plan, her hands trembled and were in no
condition to mix chemicals. Furthermore, the mist was slowly
taking effect and she felt her mind detaching from the situation
and her reflexes slowing.
A nearby glint of light,
flickering on and off like a stuttering beacon, showed her the
way. She crawled up to it and found its source: Bryce's crystal
reflected the moonlight. Yuki had no clue what it was capable of
or how to use it. Even if she did, it probably wouldn't do much
for her powers. Molly, on the other hand...
Yuki palmed the crystal
and crawled forward, ducking under errant shots from Kaz along
the way. “Molly!” she shouted as she reached her guardian.
“Busy,” Molly replied.
Yuki instead forced the crystal into Molly's left hand.
“What the-” Now Molly
saw it. Her eyes widened.
Yuki's did too, but what
she saw was Green rising to his feet. “Molly!” she cried again,
this time in warning. Using the crystal, Molly fired off an
quick blast at Green, knocking him backwards and into Kaz. “Good
shot!” Yuki exclaimed, but Molly ignored her. That was just a
With her knees on the
ground, and with a sneer on her face, Molly shook the crystal up
and down in front of her, using quick wrist movements as if
wagging her trigger finger. Only she didn't stop. She continued
charging and charging; even Yuki felt the energy build.
“Um... Molly?” Yuki knew
how this was reckless. And how difficult such a high
concentration of energy was to control. Holding her trigger for
this long was terribly dangerous, closer to something Donovan
would try impulsively. Add an amplification crystal and Molly's
high magic levels to the mix and Yuki was smart to back away and
get close to the ground.
Yet Molly proceeded. Her
wrist shook wildly and she clutched it with her other hand to
attempt to maintain control. The energy was overwhelming,
consuming her head, chest and arm until they too began to shake.
She clenched her teeth and rode the wave as long as she could.
Molly could no longer consciously fathom when she had reached
her breaking point. It overrode her senses, building and
building until the moment when intuition kicked in and told
Molly 'NOW.' She opened her eyes, chose her target and fired.
The target was not Green
or Kaz in front of her. They were ready to defend it. Instead,
Molly slashed the crystal at Red, who had devoted all of his
energy into destroying Kathryn. He was on his way to succeeding
when he was blindsided by a beam of brilliant white. He screamed
as it tore into him. The point of impact glowed- narrow at
first, but spreading wider and wider until his entire upper body
shined. Kathryn had to avert her eyes, but Molly just continued
pouring it in. Just as suddenly, his body dimmed and the light
broke through the other side of his torso.
It was still going.
Molly pulled the crystal up, like an angler hauling in the big
one. She fell over on her side and needed to prop herself back
up with her left hand, but still she guided the beam over
Kathryn's head and straight at Yellow, who received the same
fate. It struck him in the shoulder, tortured him, and went out
the other end. Even after bouncing off the ground and the
barrier, the projectile continued.
Molly gave up any
thought of remaining on her knees. Controlling it through the
crystal was impossible enough. Now lying with her stomach on the
ground, she drove the beam into Green's heart. The process
repeated- light engulfed his entire chest as he cried out in
agony. It bore through him until bursting through and straight
at the final target- Kaz. He braced himself as the beam drove
into his outstretched hand and through his left arm before
finally dissipating with a boom. Kaz fell backwards into the
Nobody moved at first.
Red, Yellow and Green stood paralyzed, gasping for air. Yuki and
Kathryn picked themselves off the ground and, after making sure
the beam was no longer airborne, stood. Molly, still shaking and
now panting, forced herself to her knees, then her feet.
Kaz looked at the
afflicted arm. That was all he could do because it wasn't
moving. After a second of numbness, it fell limp to his side and
his entire body started aching. He groaned, then seethed. But
after that, he stared back at Molly and laughed.
“That was good... damn
good... but not enough to beat us. You're not so tough.”
On cue, Red, Yellow and
Unfortunately, so did
They were down to three,
and Yuki was completely overwhelmed and Donovan was Donovan.
Yuki caught Molly as she fell to the ground, but no foul-tasting
energy drink was waking her up after such a display. Despite
being the granddaughter of a high councilmen and living among
the magically-elite her whole life, Yuki had never seen anything
quite like that. Neither had Donovan, although he was more
interested in examining that crystal. He picked it up where
Molly had dropped it and stared at it, ignoring Kaz who was
reeling but still alert.
This left us with
Kathryn. She did the only thing she could do- charged after Kaz.
But after what he had just been through, this was nothing; Kaz
threw up his right hand and blew Kathryn back with a rush of
water. Kathryn fell to the ground, grunted it off and jumped
back to her feet to try again. Kaz was ready for it and resisted
again, although he labored through his movements. His water
spells appeared to be toned down as well. Although they stopped
Kathryn, they did not appear to harm her as they did when he had
connected against Molly.
The process repeated,
with Kathryn relentless and Kaz interested in nothing more than
fending her off. With them occupied and Donovan stopping to
smell Bryce's crystal, Yuki realized that she had something to
contribute. Amid such a dire battle against four demons, it was
easy for her to feel helpless. But now that she was on the
sidelines of a one-on-one between two weakened combatants,
Yuki's objective was clear. She opened her satchel, retrieved
her vials and went straight to work. Her sudden resolve made the
Black smoke and a loud
explosion trumpeted the arrival of her magic potion. Her long
hours of practice had culminated in this one glorious solution.
Yuki raised it high for all to see.
“That for me?” Kathryn
asked. She extended a hand towards Yuki but kept her eyes on Kaz.
“Sorry, Kathryn, but
it's for Donovan,” Yuki replied. Now Kathryn, surprised and a
bit offended, turned to face the girl. Kaz hammered her with
another water blast.
Donovan leered at Yuki,
who averted her eyes. Poser or not, he was still intimidating to
such a small thing. He clutched the vial with the potion and
“Excellent... now I shall rule the crystal,” he said. Donovan
swallowed its contents, dropped the vial to the ground and
laughed until he burped.
Undeterred, he pointed
at Kaz and declared, “What Pearson did was merely child's play
compared to the horror-”
That's about how far he
got before the sleeping potion kicked in and he fell to the
Yuki wiped her hands,
proud of her work. “Good night, dumbass.”
With Donovan down, the
barrier faded away, leaving just a dull circle of salt. Any
outside agents who were paying attention noticed and charged in.
At first, this was just Kurt, but Richard and the other two got
“Okay, Kaz, you're in
some... aw jeez...” Richard's demand for Kaz's surrender ran
into a slight snag: as soon as the barrier fell, Kaz had
shrouded himself in mist and was out of sight.
“I'm on it,” the air
mage said. Of course he was; he was an air mage. He blew the
mist away. Kaz was gone.
“Son of a...! Who was in
charge of anti-teleportation?”
“Uh... you were,”
replied the air mage.
Richard's negligence was
moot, however, as Kaz's escape was less than mystical: one of
the pickups started up and drove away.
“Okay... who was in
charge of anti-truck?”
“We'll get him.” The air
mage and the anonymous third field agent cast flight spells and
chased after it.
Kathryn clutched her
head and groaned. Aside from worsening the headache she already
had, Kaz's last attack did little. She saw Richard surveying the
“Everybody all right?”
Richard asked her.
“Uh...” Kathryn looked
around. Troy was down. Renee was down. Donovan was down. Molly
was down. Her initial thought of a smart-ass reply faded when
she saw Molly. Kurt was on his knees, desperately trying to
“Molly? Molly?” he
prodded. She stirred, opening her eyes long enough to see who it
was, then closing them again as her head fell into his lap.
“It's okay, Molly, it's
over,” he said soothingly.
Still on her knees,
Kathryn crawled up to Kurt. His sudden show of affection for the
school despot didn't sit right with her. “You know, you might
want to check on Troy. He took a lot worse than she did.”
He didn't respond. Even
Yuki was focused on Molly, ignoring her duty to nurse Troy or
“Hey!” Now Kathryn was
agitated. The battle had pushed her to her physical and
emotional limit with no legitimate explanation. She may have
understood that she and her friends were on Molly's side in this
context, but this was a bit much.
Yet Kurt continued to
hold Molly, oblivious to Kathryn's grievance. Molly did not
appear to be knocked out, more like asleep, though her heavy
breathing and uncomfortable twitches did create an air of
In a lowered voice aimed
at Yuki, Kurt said, “You ever seen anything like that?”
Yuki shook her head. She
was sure her grandfather was capable of such a feat, but
dramatic energy attacks that changed course and targeted
multiple enemies weren't typical parlor tricks at Shizuka family
gatherings. “What do you think?” she asked, humbled.
What could Kurt think?
As a guardian in training, he knew average power levels based on
age and experience. It was surprise enough that the Zukoni
bothered to attack them. But the real shock was that they were
defeated by five freshman and one incredible attack from one
Kathryn gave up and
slinked over to Troy. She nudged his shoulder and he moaned in
response. Like everyone else, his body ached. Unlike everyone
else, he had a line of salt in his hair.
“Is it over?” he
mumbled. Kathryn sighed deeply and gently embraced him.
“Yeah... Renee got
knocked out too.”
“With his new
girlfriend,” she replied, a little too spiteful and not
“So we won?” He looked
up at her.
Kathryn looked into his
eyes, then at the carnage one more time. Kurt and Yuki were
having a quiet and solemn talk, both still fawning over Molly.
“Not really,” she
passenger side of the truck, Kaz was in so much pain and so much
trouble that all he could do was laugh. This was as humiliating
a failure as they came, and yet he was still smiling. Granted,
it was a stunned, disbelieving smile that kept him from feeling
the pain Molly had inflicted.
driver seemed more dismayed than Kaz. “You must have a penchant
for failure to take it so lightly,” Kendrick said.
to hell. That was... that was... that sucked!” Kaz replied,
laughing through it all. He sounded ready to switch to tears any
moment. “Let's just get back to the bar before they catch us.”
silently obeyed, speeding down the country road.
continued ranting. “Damn, those kids are... well, most of them
aren't that tough. But that Pearson girl- hoo!”
and you can see how Donovan can be useful.”
hell did you beat those two and lose to those other runts?”
didn't answer. Even in defeat, Kaz was finding ways to insult
he changed the subject. “Well, there's always tomorrow. There
are plenty more stooges.”
hell with that! You think I'm gonna send more guys after them
after all that? Hate to admit it, but it's safe to say you won
Kendrick didn't want to win the bet. He wanted vengeance. He
forced a smile and replied, “Conceding that quickly?”
shrugged, annoyed that it was even being discussed. “Three
months and a bunch of my guys are going to jail... or whatever
the force'll do to them. How's that quick? We're in enough
trouble as it is. You proved your point. Happy?”
was not. In fact, he was furious. But he handled it with grace,
as his Hokoni ties dictated. “Now, according to the terms of the
agreement, we are completely square. I owe you nothing for the
hospitality you provided.”
Kaz said, impatient. “Look, we can talk about this back at the
bar. The force is probably after us, so 'scuse me for having
other things in my mind.”
as you acknowledge that I owe you nothing right now.”
shouted Kaz, clutching his head.
well then.” Kendrick turned to Kaz and smiled. “As everything is
in order between us, I shall bid you farewell.”
frowned at Kendrick, totally lost. “Huh?” he muttered. His
reaction was far more pronounced when Kendrick executed his
trigger and teleported away, leaving nobody in the driver's
seat. Kendrick had also apparently nudged the wheel just a bit
as the truck veered towards the ditch.
panic, Kaz reached for the wheel, but only jerked it farther to
the right and completely off the road. The truck rolled down the
hill and flipped onto its side. The tall grass scraped the paint
on its now-dented frame, slowing the truck down. A tall cedar
tree brought it to a complete, and violent, stop.
later, the two MST agents reached the scene. They didn't see
what had happened, but they didn't really care. The air mage
pried open the driver's side door and looked down into the
truck's cab. One of the most powerful demons in the area stared
back, his face bloody and his eyes barely open.
The Magical Security Taskforce would like a word with you.”
Kendrick's attacks, this incident got the MST's full attention.
Investigations were launched, multiple agents were assigned to
protection (yes, including Richard again), and any Zukoni that
could be interrogated was. Zukoni officers higher than Kaz
denied any knowledge of the plot and swore it never would have
been gotten the go-ahead if they had. With no evidence to shoot
higher than Kaz, the MST shrugged and left it to Uriel to be
handled as a local situation.
Naturally, Kaz reported Kendrick's involvement. It may not have
helped his own defense, and the part about doing it as a bet may
have actually hurt it, but he wanted the Hokoni to meet the same
ill fate. Anyone not familiar with what had transpired learned
that Kaz Pormoglio did not survive the car crash. Anyone who did
have the inside scoop would say the same thing... with an
uncomfortable round of questioning and a high-profile trial to
substitute for Kaz's purgatory. The end result was the same.
Yellow and Red were spared the indignity of a circus trial and
were silenced immediately. The other colorless ruffians
survived. Since the MST could not completely strip them of what
little magic power they did have, a convenient memory
recalibration made them all forget what their triggers were.
subordinates hunted for Kendrick once again. But by the time he
had been implicated, he had already skipped town to another safe
location in Pennsylvania, outside Uriel's jurisdiction. There,
he conceded that future plans would not be concocted on the spot
with local barfolk. He was still determined to get Donovan, only
now he resolved to put some actual thought into it.
result of the extreme exhaustion set on by her last spell, Molly
missed the next week of school. It would take twice as long
before she could comfortably use magic again. Whether she was
physically hampered enough to miss school was a matter of
debate: she could have attended as long as she took it easy and
didn't get too riled up over anything. But she decided to play
it safe and use her paid sick time (a new amendment enacted that
school year: student council officers were paid with benefits).
She didn't want the student body seeing her in this state, and
it's not like the faculty were going to question her absence.
course, left Claude in charge of the school. He had broken
several bones in the fall and landed next to a very displeased
badger who gave him a few bonus injuries. Upon his release from
the hospital Sunday, Molly still insisted that he return to
to Kamila, everybody found out what had happened to Claude.
Nobody discovered Molly's involvement and assumed she was simply
getting a head start on the three-week leave she took every
January. But as Claude's bandages made it clear who won that
fight, it still begged the question of how everything was
made sure to ask Troy first thing Monday.
the student council took care of it,” Troy said, hoping she
wouldn't demand elaboration.
Marie asked, demanding elaboration.
know. I'm told I missed the exciting part.” He sighed. It wasn't
that he wanted to see the 'exciting part,' or wanted to be a
part of anything at all exciting involving demons. But Kathryn
had relayed the rest of the events, naturally from her
perspective- one which saw Kurt and Yuki decide that whatever
Molly had done, it instantly made her more important than their
friends in pain. While Kathryn had long since forgiven them and
instead added line #22 to her list of reasons to dislike Molly,
Troy first wanted to know what Molly had done that was so
told Troy the same thing he had tried explaining to Kathryn:
“You've been in this for six months, [Troy/Kat]. There's no way
you could fathom what she pulled off. Makes me wonder if I was
sent here to keep an eye on [you/Troy] or her.”