[When we last left our band of youngsters, they had been attacked by a phantom, who looked quite a bit like a witch who they thought had been killed! Though a couple of guards had been attacked by the creature, and their friend Shea had been stabbed and was lying unconscious on the steps outside Brashley Corp., Allen was somehow able to conjure a mysterious power and fight the phantom off before anyone else was injured. Let’s get back to the action!!! —RFY]
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 27)
Chris came rushing down the corridor towards the doors. His eyes were wide and his sword drawn. He slowed down when he saw Allen and Rose standing inside, apparently unharmed. Two guards walked through the doors carrying Shea on a stretcher. She was barely conscious, her face scrunched up in pain, but she was clearly still alive. The next stretcher that came through the doors was completely covered by a green blanket, which was rapidly turning a dirty brown.
“Who?” Chris asked one of the men carrying the stretcher.
“Crosley,” the man said, his voice low and choked.
“Are you guys okay?” Chris asked. They all nodded.
Chris’s eyes narrowed at Angie. He said, “Your ear is bleeding.” Angie raised her hand a wiped her fingers on the little trickle of blood.
“I’m bleeding?” she said, looking at the smear on her fingers, then wiping it off on her black jeans. “I must have scratched myself when I fell.” She looked uncertain.
“I better take you to the infirmary,” Chris said. “Come on.”
“Seriously, it’s nothing. It doesn’t even hurt,” Angie said, laughing.
Chris shook his head and waved for Angie to follow him as the elevator doors at the end of the corridor opened and Shayla strode out, followed closely by Cheever.
“…in broad daylight! And directly in front of our own doors!” She was fuming, and Cheever, who looked strange without his big grin in place, was nodding in agreement at every word Shayla said.
As Shayla walked nearer, the elevator doors opened again and six guards stepped out, two wearing red insignia and helmets with mirrored visors.
“Right!” Shayla said in a loud voice to the guards as they jogged down the hallway, “I want the steps cleared, a memory spell around the whole block, and then I want these doors sealed with every spell and charm we have access to. Solid, Ashley! Not a microbe gets in or out! Got it?” The taller of the two guards in helmets nodded, and the group rushed out the doors.
“Room for one more before you go into total lock-down?” said a head that had poked through the doors.
“Chaz!” Allen yelled.
“Hey kid,” Chaz smiled and stepped inside.
“Charles, yes, you can join us, but we’re going to need to talk as soon as we get this place secured,” Shayla said. “First, Chris, I need you to take these three up to the training room,” she waved at Allen, Rose, and Angie. “Cheever, go with them. We need to assess how well they can protect themselves and see if they will be of any use when the Shadows move.” She looked, primarily, at Allen as she said this.
“Why so urgent? They haven’t even started their classes yet,” Chris asked. He looked Shayla directly in the eyes, although Allen wasn’t certain what Chris had picked up on that he himself had missed.
“The seers have noticed a swell of magical energy just outside the building. We’ve analyzed it with the computers, and it appears to be an ionization field that’s going to reach critical mass in the next forty-eight hours,” Cheever said. He brushed his mustache and looked from Shayla to Chris.
“You mean…” Chris started to say, then shook his head. “They can’t be trying to open a rift. They’re planning a…”
“A full scale invasion,” Shayla said.
“It looks like you folks are busy,” Chaz said. “Maybe I’ll come back some other time!” He waved at Allen and turned toward the doors.
Shayla shot him a look and he froze, smiling. “I’m kidding! I just need to get some things out of my van!” He put his hands up, as if expecting Shayla to throw something at him.
Instead, she pulled a phone out of her pocket and hit a few buttons. “Which one is yours?” she said to Chaz.
“Yellow VW Bus. The keys are under the floor mat,” Chaz said, looking at Allen and shrugging.
“Ashley! Have Ostrander pull the yellow van into the garage… Yes, on the floor… Okay,” she said and disconnected.
“From the size of the field they’re generating,” Shayla said to Chris, “the rift is going to be huge, several stories, at the least.”
“But why? What could they need a door that big for?” Chris asked.
“Cheever thinks they may be trying to bring a Devourer through into our world,” Shayla said.
“That’s insane,” Chris said, his eyes wide and the corner of his mouth twitching.
“There is something about your brother that they really don’t like, and apparently they’re willing to destroy an entire city to make certain he is taken out,” Shayla said, looking Allen in the eyes. Allen couldn’t take her gaze, which made him feel guilty for causing so much trouble, so he looked down at the floor.
“We don’t know for certain what they’re planning,” Cheever said, clicking his tongue a few times. “All we know for sure is that they are preparing to open a rift and that something big is coming through.”
“And we now have less than 48 hours to prepare for an invasion,” Shayla said. “So, Chris, I need you to take these three to the training room with Cheever and see what we can learn. Chaz, I’d like you to come with me while I check on my daughter, then we need to talk.” She turned to the elevators and started walking. Chaz followed.
Chris saw the startled looks on his brother’s and sister’s faces, patted Allen on the shoulder, and tried to smile. “Another day on the job at the good, old Brashley Corporation! Well, let’s go get your things and get started,” he said, then waved for them to follow him. Their faces were still worried, but they went with him, anyway.
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 28)
The training room was comprised of a massive, open area, high ceilings, with one wall taken up by windows that looked out over the city. By now, Allen assumed the windows were made of bullet-proof glass. Chris had told Allen to change into a sweat-suit when they stopped by his room to collect his sword and the bag that Chaz had given him.
As they walked into the training room, Cheever bopped off through a side door, and Chris had Allen drop the weapons bag by a pair of wooden chairs near the wall opposite the windows. Cheever came back into the room pushing a large cart covered in computer equipment and wires. He snatched a handful of little, circular chips out of a drawer in the cart and, whistling to himself, walked over to Allen.
“We’re going to wire you up a bit to test some of your energy levels. Don’t worry, it’s not going to hurt,” he said. He placed the chips, which were very light and flexible, on the backs of Allen’s hands, on his temples, and one of the back of his neck. They stuck like glue and didn’t fall off when Allen shook his hands to test them.
“These will send a signal to my computer while you’re moving and, hopefully, show us what kind of field you’re generating. Let me make sure I’m getting a signal,” he said, then dashed back to the cart. “Okay, Chris! Ready on this end!”
“And what are we supposed to do?” Rose asked, waving her hand back and forth between herself and Angie. Angie nodded beside her.
“We’re going to test everyone,” Cheever said, cheerfully. “Shayla wants us to start with Mr. Allen so that we can get a baseline for some of the interesting things he’s done in the last few days.” Rose and Angie sat in the wooden chairs, Rose none too cheerily.
Chris walked to the center of a large circle painted on the floor and waved for Allen to follow. As Allen walked over, Chris unsheathed his sword and stood in a fighting stance, his legs apart and sword held at chest level. Chris narrowed his eyes at Allen, and as he did, his sword began to glow with a bright blue light.
“What do I do?” Allen asked, suddenly nervous.
“Draw your sword, Mr. Natural, and get ready to fight me,” Chris said.
Allen drew his sword and stood in front of Chris, trying to imitate his stance, which felt very awkward. His sword gleamed, but didn’t glow.
“Concentrate!” Chris yelled, fiercely. Allen jumped, surprised at the ferocity in his brother’s voice.
Allen closed his eyes and tried to connect with the sword in his hands. He remembered what it had felt like in the kitchen—then he remembered his mother, laying lifeless on the floor. The eyes of the locket around his neck began to sparkle, and a dim blue-green light began to radiate from his blade.
“Hmmm, not bad! Not bad!” Cheever said from his computer panel. “It’s a class two field, about 16, 17 intensity,” he said to Chris.
“That’s not a bad power level for a beginner,” Chris said, “but I think we can do better.” He growled, a low guttural sound, drew his blade back, then lunged at Allen, slashing toward his chest. Allen, shocked at the sudden attack, swung his sword up in a defensive position, blocking his brother’s blow, then jumped backward a few feet.
“Whoa! You could have killed me!” Allen said, his voice shaking with fright. Something in his brother’s eye bothered him. Allen felt like he was being stalked by a ferocious animal.
“Spiked at 45!” Cheever yelled from the computer cart.
“Now we’re getting somewhere,” Chris said, smiling wickedly.
Suddenly, everyone heard a buzzing sound, and Kitsle came flitting out of Allen’s bag, shooting sparks.
“Oh, my goodness!” Cheever said in a high, surprised voice. “I was hoping we’d get to meet you soon,” he said to Kitsle. The bug flew over to Allen and buzzed around his head.
“Hello, Kitsle,” Allen said. “Let me introduce you to everyone. This is my brother, Chris. That’s my sister, Rose, and her friend, Angie.” Angie waved from the wooden chair where she was sitting. “And that’s Dr. Cheever!” Allen said. Cheever bowed, low, sweeping his arm out to his side as he folded over. Allen laughed. Cheever’s gesture was certainly melodramatic, but Kitsle, clicking his bug laugh, floated over to Cheever and, hovering near the doctor, bowed in a similar fashion. Cheever laughed, himself, and clapped his hands together, his rings clinking their usual tune.
Kitsle floated back to Allen. He fluttered near Allen’s sword, his wings kicking out a miniature fireworks display, then tinked one of his claws against the blade a couple of times.
“Chris is training me, trying to show me how to fight. We’re about to be attacked by a horde of those Shadow creatures,” Allen said.
Kitsle flew around the room, very quickly, for few seconds, then flew back to Allen and hovered near his head. Kitsle fluttered his wings, began to glow brightly, then zapped Allen in the ear, knocking him to the ground.
“Ouch! Why did you do that!?” Allen yelled. Kitsle clicked another bug laugh, then flew toward Cheever, hovering near the computers, apparently looking at the screens.
Chris helped Allen to his feet, then resumed his battle stance.
“You ready?” Chris asked. “I’m going to come at you pretty hard this time. You’ll need to pay attention to where I’m swinging.” Allen nodded. His sword was blazing blue-green.
Chris yelled a deep and frightening, “Raaaah!” then dove at Allen, slashing from the left, then the right. Allen blocked expertly, the sword almost seeming to move on its own. Chris swung hard, and Allen stepped to the side, slashing down at Chris’s sword and knocked it from Chris’s hand.
They all stood in silence for a few seconds, then Cheever whistled and brushed his mustache. “Peaked at 370—that’s unbelievable.”
“Three-seventy!” Chris said, picking up his sword. “That’s almost as high as Haro!” He looked at Allen, a hungry look in his eye.
“I think we should try for 400. No human in the last 20 years has broken 390. Hell, Allen could be the first to hit 450!” Chris took his stance again. Allen, however, stood were he was.
“Chris,” Rose said, looking worried, “I think you should stop. Allen looks really tired.”
“The Shadows aren’t going to stop just because Allen gets tired,” Chris said, then he rushed at Allen, swinging so fast and viciously that Rose stood up. Allen, without even looking at his brother, raised his sword with one arm to deflect the blow, but the force of the strike staggered him. His face was a complete blank, like he was drifting off into a daydream. His hands gripped the jade handle of his sword, and his legs moved, positioning him in a strange defensive stance, legs far apart, knees bent low.
“Chris! That’s enough!” Rose yelled.
Allen’s eyes went dark blue.
“Oh, my goodness!” Cheever said, softly, staring at his computer screen. “The boy is at 780 and climbing… 850… 900…”
Chris moved in for another attack, slashing wildly. Though Allen’s eyes stared blankly ahead, his arms moved to block each swing and his sword blazed. Chris swung down with his blade, aiming for Allen’s head, and Allen’s arms moved to block the blow, but Chris used his momentum to push his brother off balance. Chris swung his leg around, catching the back of Allen’s left ankle and tripping him.
As Allen hit the ground, everyone felt a wave of energy rush through the room, like a surge of hot wind pushing against them, then the lights above Allen flashed brightly and exploded. The other lights, further away from Allen, began to pop as well, and then Cheever’s computer screens crackled, shot sparks, and shattered.
Allen’s body, his hair and arms, shimmered then erupted in dark blue flames.
Allen’s body floated up from the floor and into a standing position, hovering inches off the ground. He waved a hand and the sword that Chris was holding jerked out of his grasp, rocketed across the room, and buried itself in the wall. Allen raised his other hand and a swirling wave of dark blue flame rushed toward Chris.
Kitsle, streaking like lightning, raced between the brothers and flashed brightly. A wall of energy appeared, blocking the flame.
“Allen! Stop!” Rose yelled and ran toward Chris. Kitsle flew closer to Allen, flashing, and dancing in the air, clicking wildly. Allen’s eyes, swimming orbs of blue-black, followed Kitsle’s movements for a few seconds, then his head tilted backward and his body dropped to the floor with a thud.
Cheever rushed over to the boy on the floor. After a quick look, he said, “He’s alive.”
Chris and Rose stared at their brother’s face. Angie, who had been too shocked to move, finally stood. The room, now that the lights were mostly blown out, was illuminated primarily by Kitsle, who hovered and buzzed near Allen.
“What was that? What happened to him?” Angie asked, still standing by the chairs she and Rose had been sitting in.
“I’m not sure,” Cheever said. “I’ll have to talk with Shayla and Chaz, and probably Eddings. I think…,” Cheever said, brushing his mustache, “…I think he was channeling something, but I can’t be certain,” he shook his head. “But Chris—before the computers blew, his energy signature changed. He was emitting a class six energy field, and…and the power level was over a hundred and twenty thousand.”
Chris opened his mouth to speak, then closed it. He shook his head. “It had to have been a mistake—a glitch as the computer was exploding,” Chris said. “That’s more force than a nuclear bomb.”
Cheever shrugged, putting his fingers on Allen’s forehead, which was blazing hot.
“Wait a minute—channeling something?” Rose said. “You mean he was possessed?”
“I really can’t say for certain,” Cheever said. “The numbers…,” he shook his head. “Right now, we have to get this boy to the infirmary. He’s burning up.”
“I’ll carry him,” Chris said. He bent over his brother, scooped him up, and they rushed off toward the medical wing.
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 29)
Allen woke in what looked like a room at a hospital. Rose and Angie were sitting on one side of his bed, talking quietly. At the foot of his bed, Shea was looking down at him and smiling. She was wearing a tank top, and Allen could see heavy bandages where Krystal had sunk her gigantic, black blade into her shoulder. Shea looked very tired, but happy.
Allen suddenly realized that he was almost entirely naked, and pulled his blankets tightly up to his chin. He tried to say, “Where are my clothes?” but, his throat was so dry, all that came out was a hoarse whisper.
Rose sniggered and held up a plastic cup with a bent straw poking out of the top of it. “Water,” Rose said. Allen nodded and Rose put the straw close to Allen’s lips.
Allen drained the cup in a few deep swallows then sighed.
“Why am I naked?” he asked.
“You had a temperature of 198 degrees when they brought you in here yesterday evening. They had to soak you in a tub of ice water for over an hour just to get you back to a normal temp,” Shea said. “Cheever and the other doctors can’t understand exactly how you survived.”
“What do you mean, ‘survived?’ The last thing I remember was Chris tripping me while we were training. I must have hit my head when I fell,” Allen said.
“That’s not exactly where that story ends, Allen,” Rose said. Angie shook her head, vigorously.
“I’ll go tell Cheever that he’s awake,” Shea said. “Angie, why don’t you give his clothes back to him so that he can get dressed, but, Allen, don’t leave here until they can check you out again and officially say you’re okay.” She waved and headed out the door.
Angie grabbed Allen’s clothes and threw them onto the bed, then sat back down in her chair, staring at him and smiling.
“Well?” Allen said, motioning toward the door with his head, the covers still pulled up to his chin.
“Fine, if you don’t want me to watch!” Angie said and made a pouty face. Rose slapped her on the arm, and they both laughed, then got up and went out into the hall.
After Allen dressed, Rose and Angie came back into the room. Allen asked them to tell him what had happened after he blacked out. He sat, listening, his mouth hanging open, while they recalled the scene, blow by blow.
“I was on fire?” Allen said, looking at his hands and arms.
“Blue fire, ” Angie said, emphasizing the blue. Allen could only shake his head.
“Once they’d made sure you weren’t going to die,” Rose said, shuddering slightly, “Chris and Cheever took me and Angie to a smaller training room…”
“You pretty much destroyed the main one,” Angie interrupted.
“…and tested us,” Rose said. “They gave me this long, straight sword…”
“A katana,” Angie said.
“And I was able to get the meter up to about 80!” Rose chirped, excited. “Cheever said that was really good for a first try.”
“But not good enough that they want her out fighting in the streets when that rift thing opens,” Angie said. She sounded a little snippy.
“But Chris says that I generated enough force to actually hurt them, and with training, he thinks I’ll be good enough to be a hunter, too.”
“If we survive,” Angie said, folding her arms and blowing her purple bangs away from her nose. Allen looked at Angie, who was staring at the floor, then at Rose. Rose was shaking her head.
“Angie’s just a little upset about the whole super powers thing,” Rose said, patting her friend on the shoulder.
“They tested me, too,” Angie said, huffing, “but I couldn’t do it at all.” She lowered her head, again.
“Cheever said that most people can’t generate a measurable energy field,” Rose explained. “Most of the guards here aren’t able to hurt, or even see, the Shadows, but the Shadows aren’t the only threats that Brashley Corp. has to deal with. Shea says that the Shadows are some of the most dangerous creatures, though, because of their hive mind—when one of them sees something, they all see it. That, and they can turn almost anyone they kill into another Shadow.”
“Wait,” Allen said, “are you saying that most of the guards here can’t kill the Shadows?”
“Nope!” Rose said. “Only the strongest can, the members of the Elite Guard. Chris and Shea are part of that division.”
“And those two guys in the weird helmets who showed up after Krystal tried to kill us again,” Angie said.
“I’m going to train until I can be on the Elite Guard, too,” Rose said, her eyes looking at something beyond the ceiling, probably far off in the future.
“They have witches here, too,” Angie said. “Cheever says I can work with them, since I already have some training…”
“Will I get to be on the Elite Guard,” Allen asked.
“I’m sure,” Rose said. “After seeing how strong your energy field is, and the way you got rid of Krystal, they’ll probably ask you to sign up tonight!”
Cheever, at that moment, came through the door, followed by Shea and a tiny, dark skinned woman no taller than Allen, in a doctor’s smock, her long, dark hair pulled back into a pony tail. Cheever smiled and waved when he saw Allen sitting up on the bed.
The little doctor came over to Allen and, without saying anything, gave him a serious look over. She checked his pulse, flashed a light into his eyes, listened to his heart and breathing, and took his temperature, which was a little high still but well within normal human range.
“Thanks, Dr. Pande,” Shea said, as the doctor typed some notes into a small computer.
Dr. Pande smiled a quick, business-like smile at Allen, then said, “You’ll be fine,” and left the room.
“Well, you seem to be back in fine shape, ” Cheever said, clapping his hands together, his rings clinking.
“Have you figured out what actually happened to him?” Rose asked.
Cheever’s smile slid, briefly, off his face, and he brushed at his mustache. “We’re still not one hundred percent certain,” Cheever said, pulling a chair over to the side of the bed and sitting down. “Shayla, Chaz, and even Eddings, who we had on video chat, are pretty sure Allen was channeling some unknown entity. We were able to salvage the hard-drive from the burnt computer and reconstructed most of the data from the training session. Those boys in I.T. are magicians! The machine looked like it had been cooked over a campfire then thrown off a cliff, but after they extracted what information there was to be had, we were able to identify the exact moment when the energy frequency that Allen was generating shifted and his power levels exploded. Literally!” Cheever chuckled at his own joke, his eyes disappearing for a few moments, until he realized that no one else in the room was laughing. Then he coughed into his hand and sat up straighter in his chair again.
“If it hadn’t been for your Lightning Bug,” Cheever continued, “I hate to imagine what might have happened, but the bug seems to have either convinced the entity to leave your body or somehow forced it out.” He clicked his tongue and shook his head.
“So was it some kind of demon, something like the Shadows?” Rose asked. Her face had
gone very white.
“We don’t know. I’m sorry—but we just didn’t get enough data off the computer to be sure. However, if we look at the behavior of the entity,” Cheever said, raising a finger into the air, like he was making a proclamation, “it doesn’t seem to be the actions of what we would typically call a demonic entity. What did it do? It tried to protect its host body from what it believed was a serious threat, a reasonable assumption, considering how energetic Chris’s training had become. And, when it realized Allen was no longer in immediate danger, it left his body without much of a fight. Most cases of full demonic possession can take months, even years, to resolve, and the host can even be killed as the invading entity leaves. This creature left without causing any permanent damage to Allen’s body.”
“But it attacked Chris!” Rose said.
“Who was attacking Allen at the time,” Shea added.
They all sat in silence for a few seconds, Allen staring, vaguely, at a spot on the floor near his sister’s feet.
“Still and all,” Cheever said, “Shayla and I both agree that we should keep you out of the fighting, which is about to commence, until we know more about what’s getting inside your skin.”
“But I can help!” Allen said, his cheeks flushing red. “You said my power levels were really high, even before I blacked out!”
“That’s what your brother said, too,” Shea commented.
“As long as Shayla is in charge,” Cheever said, “her word is law. And don’t you worry, my boy. We’ve done fine protecting ourselves for a few thousand years. I’m sure we’ll make it another day without having to put you and your sister in anymore danger. And besides that, it’s better if we know what we’re dealing with before we unleash it on the streets.”
“But don’t think for a second that you’re not helping, Allen,” Shea said. “Your exploits have peaked Eddings’s interest, at the very least. Thanks to you, he’s agreed to help us.”
“Yes, he’s contacted the City Counsel, where he has considerable influence, and they’ve declared a state of emergency in the city,” Cheever said. “Eddings has made the claim that there is a dangerous gas leak and the City is forcing the citizens to evacuate the area around where the rift is going to manifest.”
Shea continued, “He’s also bringing a squad of his own men over to assist our guards. Between Eddings’s group and our own forces, we should be able to handle anything the Shadows can throw at us.” Shea smiled at Allen, and he thought he could see excitement in her eyes. He was terrified, be she seemed to be looking forward to the fight.
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 30)
After being released from the infirmary, Allen, Rose, and Angie were led back to their dorm rooms by Shea. They stopped outside Rose and Angie’s room. Shea put a hand on Allen’s shoulder and said, “I’ll come get you guys when Eddings gets here. I know he’s going to want to meet you.” She patted Allen’s shoulder and smiled. “In the meantime, Mom says she wants you guys to stay here. I can send for some food. You must be starving.”
“Absolutely!” Angie said, rubbing her stomach.
“So what are we supposed to do while we’re waiting for the invasion to start?” Rose said, almost angrily.
“Relax, I guess. Try to rest. It’s probably going to be a long night,” Shea said.
“Shea, what’s going to happen once the fighting starts? Where will we be?” Allen asked.
“I’m not sure,” Shea answered. “You’ll probably be in the control room with me and my mom.”
Allen hated the idea of hiding during the battle when he knew his brother would be out there in the thick of it. He could help; he was sure of it!
Shea, who read the expression on his face, said, “Don’t worry, kiddo! With just a little more training, I’m sure you’re going to be an ace fighter—maybe even better than your brother, someday. And I never thought I’d live to see the day that Christopher Tombes played second fiddle to anyone.” She winked at Allen, and for some reason, it made him feel a little better.
Shea walked a few steps down the hall then yelled over her bandaged shoulder, “I’ll have some food sent up right away. Pizza?”
“Make it a large!” Angie yelled back as the three of them went into the girls’ dorm room.
Angie flopped down on her bed and started flipping through a magazine. Allen sat in a chair. Rose began to pace back and forth across the room.
“What’s wrong, Sis?” Allen asked after her third trip.
“What’s wrong? Allen, our parents are gone, we’ve basically been kidnapped, you’re being possessed by some kind of cosmic force, and in the next few hours our planet is going to be invaded by murderous creatures that want, specifically, to kill you!”
Allen’s face fell, and Rose, immediately, felt sorry for what she’d said.
“That’s all true,” Allen shrugged, “but at least we’re still alive.”
Rose’s eyes filled with tears and she walked over to her brother and hugged him.
ALLEN TOMBES – FIRE FROM WATER (Chapter 31)
In a dark domain, a thin creature of swirling shadows sat on a throne made of strange bones. Red light pulsed from its eyes and a glowing mist floated before it, which showed glimpses of the human realm, a boy, a building, bodies dissolving into steam and shadow, then more eyes adding their images to the glowing sphere. The Shadow Lord waved his hand and the misty ball faded away.
There was a flash of white light and the phantom that was once Krystal appeared. Her black eyes flickered with fear, and she knelt in front of the thrown, her head bent toward the floor.
“I failed to kill the boy, Lord,” she said without lifting her face.
“I saw, through your eyes, witch. He has become too strong for you to harm him, now. However, you did as you were instructed. You contaminated the friend,” the Shadow Lord smiled, and moved a misty finger under Krystal’s chin, lifting her face so that it looked into his red, glowing eyes.
“Yes,” Krystal said, smiling. She raised her left hand, showing the Shadow Lord the missing nail from her pinky.
“Well done,” the creature smiled, his red eyes pulsing in waves.
“I can control her now, even inside their little cocoon of spells,” Krystal said and floated into a standing position.
“As my army attacks from without, your puppet will be able to destroy the mages within who will be generating the protective spells that they believe will keep them safe. Once their protective barrier is down, we’ll be able find the boy and destroy him before he completely integrates with the fire spirit and destroys their world.”
“But why don’t we just let the demon consume that miserable planet and all the worthless humans,” Krystal asked. “Why are you trying to save them?”
“Your blood-lust is commendable, but you’re a fool,” he laughed, an icy, sick laugh that would have paralyzed any human who heard it. “The humans are weak, lazy, and simple—the perfect food. If the fire spirit enters their world, it will consume all life on the planet, and we will be forced to look elsewhere for life essences to steal. Humans are too perfect to lose. We cannot let that happen.”
The Shadow Lord waved his fingers dismissing Krystal, who vanished in a swirl of mist. He then swirled a finger in the air and the sphere reappeared in front of the throne. The Shadow Lord leaned back in his throne and gazed into the minds of his slaves.
[So….bad news for our heroes. If the Shadow Lord’s plan works, then Allen will be killed. If his plan doesn’t work, then all life on the planet will be destroyed by the fire spirit that Allen has made contact with… Typical. Check back soon to see who lives, who dies, and what kind of monsters make the scene!!! —RFY]
Part One – Chapter 1
Part Two – Chapter 2
Part Three – Chapters 3 and 4
Part Four – Chapters 5, 6, and 7
Part Five – Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11
Part Six – Chapters 12 and 13
Part Seven – Chapters 14, 15, and 16
Part Eight – Chapters 17, 18, 19, and 20
Part Nine – Chapters 21, 22, and 23
Part Ten – Chapters 24, 25, and 26
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)