Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Episode 18

Calypso was discussing Centauri removal methods with Warren when a knock came from the boardroom door.

"Go get it," she said, not bothering to look up from her charts.

Warren opened the door. And screamed.

A burst of magic; the crack as it rebounded, and Warren was thrown through the air, hitting the far wall and crashing through a bookshelf. Callie turned to see eight figures, all covered from head to toe in some rubber material that had been tempered magically. Probably bullet proof, she thought.

"What do you want?"

The foremost figure spoke. "We need your help." (- Calypso noticed at this moment that the voice was female -) " War is breaking loose, and we need a ride to Horean."

Calypso regarded them critically and released Vera. He materialized in front of her, shielding her from them.

"We mean you no harm!" Another figure, bulky and muscular, said.

Calypso ignored him. "This might be a ruse, Vera. Watch them carefully."

The Familiar extended his claws and snarled. A few of the eight took a step backwards instinctively, some going into defensive stances.

"Why should I trust you?" She asked.

"Why shouldn't you? You'd be sending us to Horean - we won't be a threat to anyone there."

"Unlikely." Calypso sneered, "Probably betraying the country. I'm not an idiot, you kno-"

"What a waste of time! Let me tell her face to face!" said another.

"NO!" a few others shouted back.

But Calypso had recognized the voice - they had talked long and hard the night before, and kissed ...

"Taylor?" she asked, stunned.

The boy turned his masked face to her, "Honey, we need to talk -"

A crackle of energy interrupted them. As one, the eight and Calypso, Vera included, turned to see Warren on his feet, purplish arcs of plasma dancing in his hand.

He has a familiar! Calypso thought, shocked, He broke the rules!

Warren frowned.

The arcs of plasma leapt out, expanding into a huge billowing wave of devastating energy, devouring the room table by table. The eight ducked; Vera grabbed Calypso and deployed a low level barrier before the wave hit them all, roaring outwards like a starving beast and disintegrating walls.


Ceri felt his skin thrum with the force of the magic, even though his suit was protecting him from any real damage. He put his face to the ground, waiting -

The wave roared on, and then was shut out by the howling of air rushing into the room from the disintegrated wall behind Ceri.

"You're an amateur, aren't you?"

Ceri looked up. A girl was frowning at the mess, arms folded and not the least affected by the magic.

"I'm still your master! Knock the rest of them out!"

The girl cast a critical eye over the room once more. "You wasted quite a bit of my magic. You could've just released me to take care of them, instead of playing action hero ..."

The eight were getting up, completely unhurt, suits intact. Ceri spotted Calypso lying on the ground a few feet away. She was okay, apart from a few small bruises.

"Oh," said the girl, drawing Ceri's attention back to the current problem, "Hello! Dropping by for tea?"

"Anukh! Neutralize them!"

"Can't." She said, "I'd need a high density magical explosion just to get through the suits. It isn't hard to conjure, but this is a school, isn't it?"

She turned and smiled sweetly at Warren.

"Just uncharm them then!"

"Not enough mana. Who asked you to deploy a useless cleansing charge?"

Alec stepped forward. Ceri could only tell from the sign painted on the back of her suit.

"Can you help us now?" she asked, irritably. "We're wasting time here."

Warren and Anukh exchanged glances. "What help?" he asked, slowly.

"We need a teleport to Horean." Alec explained, exasperated. "A few of our friends have been captured and we need to get them back before -"

The words hung in the air, unpleasantly. Anukh folded her arms and stared pointedly at Warren.

He bit his lip. "How do i know you're telling the truth?"

Alec sighed and took off her mask. "Fine. You get to know who i am. And then you can tell your petty little prefect friends who we are. I don't care! Somebody is being tortured out there!"

"Alec." A boy said quietly, so that Warren couldn't hear, "That was a bad tactical move, i think." He took her mask and put it back on.

Warren didn't answer. Ceri shuffled his feet uncertainly, not sure if he should be negotiating or preparing to fight.

Anukh folded her arms and tapped a foot. "So? You want me to conjure them away or not?"

He now had a cornered look, flitting his eyes at each of them with his brow creased. "I don't have much of a choice, do i?" he asked wearily.

"No," said Alec, "Not good ones, certainly."

He nodded. "I thought so. Anukh, take them away."

Ross's blog extract
Eight freshies in enemy territory. Not good.

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