Monthly Archives: June 2015

Chapter 9

Reese basically carried Sam through the corridors back to the bar. The refuge was only a small three story hotel with a bar at the base but when it became a permanent home to a lot of people some modifications were made. Those modifications cannot be found in any town planner or building map. They were created by magic and exist outside the visible universe. Originally there was only necessities made such as the hospital and a day care centre. Once the refuge housed artefacts and dangerous items it was expanded again to have a vast and well protected storage room. Walking through the corridors Reese remembered the battle that took place in them, the fight to protect every Child of Cain, possibly to protect the very world. He silently thanked Isaac and his new apprentice for making sure they didn’t have to realise that possibility. Sam grunted with both remnants of anger and how she was feeling about being carried on Reese’s back.

George got her a large glass of water and a big cup of coffee to follow.

“I’ll make her some food while you get her cleaned up.” Sam grunted, again, through the water in her mouth.

“Sweet, if you’re making pancakes I’ll have some.”

“It’s…”

“Almost seven in the morning, yes. Maybe she should skip the coffee.”

“I was knocked out for half a day, I think I’ve had enough sleep.” She coughed out her sentence.

“Pancakes it is then.”

The shower spluttered out for a second then started flowing fine. Sam really wanted to go home to clean up but she wasn’t going to leave the refuge while Alix was in that state. Taking her clothes off, she realised why she had felt dirty since she left the mausoleum, the back of her shirt and pants were covered with mud. The water ran over her hand, when she was satisfied with the warmth she stepped in letting it run over her body.

Reese had given her some shampoo, it was for men but it would get the blood out of her hair. She stood hypnotised by the droplets crashing into her back. Shaking off the waters hold on her she soaked her hair, running her hands through it. Once her hair was foamed she washed herself down, inspecting her many cuts and bruises. There were several new ones on her legs and her right hand had a blister where she had impacted with the necromancers face. When she had first got the injuries that came with the job she had silently accepted them, still she didn’t have a quarrel with them. They just hurt a lot for a day after getting them, which gets very annoying. Sam let the water run over her face and down her hair, it splashed on the metal floor below her with every stroke of her hands.

She turned the shower off, opened the door and grabbed a towel from the railing. She dried her face and looked over to the sink. Reese had opened the door an inch and put some clothes on it without looking in, she smiled at that.

He left Sam to wash herself down, knowing that she’d probably take a while to get ready. He walked down the hotel hallway, when he got to the end of the hall he went into one of the rooms. The hotel rooms on top of the refuge weren’t particularly stylish but they did what they needed to. They had beds and bathrooms, most of them were enchanted to keep themselves clean. Some of the ones on the top floor had been connected up to be full apartments rather than just suites. Reese was not on the top floor. Lucifer looked up at him from the couch as he entered.

“I heard what happened. Are you okay?”

“I’ll be fine and so will Alix.” Lucifer pushed her lips together and frowned at him. “I have some things I need you to take. These will prepare your body for what we’re about to do to it and keep you from bursting out while I get the rest of the ingredients.”

“You said…” She got up off the couch. “My body.”

“Well it’s yours now.” Reese handed her a small vial of silver liquid and two dried leaves. She put the leaves in her mouth and washed them down with the fluid in the vial. The leaves tasted of cardboard but the potion tasted of sugar and berries. “Wow, what was that?”

“Sap of a Silverwood mixed with lots of sugar and berry juice.”

“Oh…” She was still getting used to how easily the human body can be tricked by adding something nice to the mix. She stepped up closer to Reese placing her hand on his arm. “Thank you for this.”

“Yeah.” Reese just stood there looking aimlessly over her head. “I better go, I’ve got to find someone who has some Nightshade.”

“Okay.” Lucy took her hand off his arm and put it around her own. She’d never known how to comfort. ‘Oh Reese’ She wanted to say. ‘Can you stay?’ But she just nodded and he left. She sat back on the couch and wallowed in her loneliness with the TV flashing light through the dark room onto her.

Alix awoke with a start. She sat straight up, she found an odd comfort in the sterile white walls around her. Thras stood in front of her. She grabbed at the hospital sheets she was in and pulled it up protectively. Thras had merged his blackness into one long thick strip. It was half out of the door and well hidden behind his body. He had donned some actual clothes, mid 70’s era but Alix thought it was definitely an improvement from having the tentacles wrap around his midsection. Alix let her guard down as she wondered ‘how did he put clothes on with that stuff coming out of him?’

“You will need to rest little cat.” He nodded his head tipping his grey fedora with his hand.

“Thank you.” It was more of a breath than a sentence. With that Thras left, his black ‘tail’ sliding on after him. Alix looked down at herself. The baby blue fabric hung off her shoulders and had gaps on both sides. She really wanted to get dressed. Pulling the sheets off the bed and wrapping them around herself she noticed her arms. They were clean and smooth, all of her bruises and cuts were gone. She pinched her side. ‘Nope, not dreaming.’ She was about to leave when the doors opened to a Sam with a massive smile on her face. Alix had trouble keeping the sheets around her while she was being hugged.

“Are you okay? What did he do to you?”

“I’m fine.” The memories of what happened re-entered her mind. “The stitch! Did we recapture it?” Mr Red stepped through the door.

“No, but we are on it. It wasn’t your fault Alix.” Alix ignored the last part, she knew she was responsible. “We’ll find it.”

“When do we gear up?”

“Alix!” Reese had entered with Sam but she hadn’t noticed him until now. “You need to rest, any magic activity beyond shape-shifting will kill you.”

“But we need to catch it! Before someone gets hurt!” Alix would’ve started shaking if Sam wasn’t holding her tightly.

“We will catch it, but you won’t be going anywhere.”

“Why not?”

“Because you couldn’t use your magic to turn a grape into a raisin without seriously injuring yourself.”

“Mr. Red?”

“He’s right Alix, I can’t put you into a situation that would put any magical strain on you.” Alix tried to scrunch up her face but she couldn’t with Sam’s arms wrapped around her neck.

“Then what am I supposed to do?”

“We’re going clubbing.” Reese let a smirk creep onto his face.

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Chapter 8

Sam slammed through the doors. She stumbled but regained balance and speed quickly. She almost hit the operating room doors before Mr. Red stuck his arm out and grabbed her by the waist. It winded her, which was the only reason she hadn’t slashed her claws at him yet.

“Wha…” She took a few more breaths “What the hell are you letting happen here?”

“Calm down Sam.” Red pulled her into the observing room. She regained her strength as she saw Thras’ shadow tendrils spread out over half the operating room.

“You can’t let that thing touch her!”

“That thing. Has saved more lives than anyone here.” Sam went quiet, she was still burning inside, fuelling her mind.

“Where are the other people that were with her?” She snapped

“The guards are being looked after by the prison’s doctors.”

“Why didn’t they take her as well?”

“Because we look after our own. Some of the guards are already dead from this.”

“Where’s Reese or Isaac? Why can’t they help?”

“Isaac is in New York, Reese is busy.”

“Busy! Busy doing what?”

“He’s got problems with Lucifer. Thras will save her.”

“Thras shouldn’t be here! After the things those tendrils have done!”

“Cut it Sam!” She fell into a seat, suddenly losing her confidence in this argument. “No one else has the spiritual knowledge to keep her from fading away. You know better.” Sam stared through the glass.

Thras was more like a skeleton than a man, his skin seemed almost stretched over his bones. The sticky tendrils wrapped around him forming clothing, pulsing and moving constantly. Shiny and black, the tentacles flowed like water from the back of him, not just his spine but from the back-sides of his arms and legs. Thras was of the more unique of Cain’s accursed children. He was not born, but turned, the darkness spilling out behind him was his curse and his power. Within that mess was something that used to be human, a culmination of the soulless curse from the Vampires and the curse of light from Cain’s four original children. No-one liked him being a part of the refuge but he had never gone against the oath and always kept his side of the bargain.

He held his body a metre off the ground on the far side of the room, his tendrils doing the work. His extra limbs were a manifestation of magical energy rather than physical material so he could use them actually grasp and make contact with a soul. That’s what he was doing now, he held Alix’s soul in one of his many hands. As a witch her soul acted differently, as a Chatesque it was different again. The outer layer of the soul was damaged when so much energy was sucked out of it. For a witch, enough time without any magical use and it would be fine but as a Chatesque it was in constant use.  Thras had to repair the damage to the Outer layer otherwise she would surely perish.

*

On the far side of town there was a large section of buildings that had been long since abandoned. A long stretch of road each side littered with metal husks. Several of the structures were boarded up and riddled with bullet holes. Several squatters were holding up in a couple of them, the ones that looked like they could support more than a flock of birds. They were wrapped in old clothes taken from bins and homeless shelters. A barrel filled with fire sat in the middle of them, huddled around it for warmth. They heard a loud crash, they weighed their options. They decided they didn’t like the idea of being done with trespassing even if it meant they would warm be in the cells overnight and left. The stitch sniffed them out but ignored them. It lay in the rubble it had created, an unconscious body held under an arm. Breathing deeply, its chest stretching its threads and skin. The debris rolled around underneath it catching attention, it rolled its head watching the broken pieces of concrete and tiles crumble into dust.

It picked itself up, its huge bumbling limbs clicking and cracking with every moment. Slowly it stepped off the rubble and onto the cleaner part of the floor. It skulked around the room, its large torso flopping back and forward as though it was a stretched out slinky. The Stitch dragged the guard it had kidnapped around with it, he was still breathing but not conscious, covered in white dust and his own blood. It found a door in the wall that opened into a smaller but more intact room, moving inside it dropped the guard’s foot in the centre of the room. Jumping and climbing, the abomination searched every inch of the room, seemingly not finding what it was looking for, it sat in a corner of the room and whined like a dog that had been left outside. This whine went on until the sun rose. When it finally stopped the stitch began scratching itself, opening wounds and pulling out the thread between its patches.

The guard awoke with a start. His breath was slow and weak. He could feel bits of him missing, checking without moving his head he found a stump where his right arm should have been. His breath quickened but stayed quiet. He remembered that as a soulless he would be able to regrow that arm. He slowly turned his head, looking around for the stitch, praying to all the spirits that it was gone. It was over top of him, inspecting his naked body. When his eyes met the mismatched ones of the stitch he couldn’t help but gasp. The stitch paused. It brought its head up close to his. It screamed in his face. The scream didn’t affect him, but being so close to the tormented souls he already started to feel their pain. The stitch plunged its powerful arm into the guard’s chest. Bones broke, cartilage crumbled and skin tore open. It clutched his heart. His eyes widening. The heart exploded in its hand. His mind faded. Slowly he regained consciousness. He was now standing in a room, there wasn’t a stitch there. There were people there. They told him their names, without thinking he told them his. That’s when they started to scream at him. He felt their screams, he felt their pain, he was a part of it now.

*

She sat and watched through the window for hours. Mr Red had left and returned several times but she just watched. She gazed upon Thras, making note of every movement those tentacles made. For a split second she lost her focus as she noticed the dry and itchy feeling at the back of her throat. That was when Reese entered the room.

“Sam?” She didn’t answer. “Sam?”

“Yeah?” She didn’t look over.

“Come, I’ll take you home to get cleaned up.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“Then at least go upstairs and wash that blood out of your hair. So you stop looking like a hit and run victim.” She remembered the cabinet smashing into her head.

“How can you make jokes at a time like this?” She didn’t have enough energy to shout at him.

“That’s how I deal with things. You’ve looked after Alix as much as you can, now I need to look after you, okay? You know what she’ll say the moment she wakes up if you look troubled.” Sam’s mind fluttered with the time Alix had carried her out of the refuge and to the mortal hospital when the Vampurists attacked.

“Fine.” She almost stumbled as she got up, Reese grabbed her by the shoulders and held her steady.

“First we’ll get you some food and something drink yeah?”

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Chapter 7

The bus slowed, its headlights crawling to a halt as the street became an intersection. The back doors opened and a white light shone out onto the bus-stop sign. A shape barely stepped out as the bus took off again. The figure was stuck in the dark again. It put its hands up to the front of its hood and steam flowed out onto them. The figure moved, turning down the street into the warehouse district. The corrugated iron buildings blended together, old and new, separate but indistinguishable.  The walls that were made out of brick were the only clue as to where old ones had been torn down. Tears of orange with specks of red showing in the street light down the white paint. The shadow was sure to not step under the lamps, walking on the other side of the road. It had walked halfway down the empty pavement when it made a turn onto a driveway. The gravel lead to a warehouse behind the ones exposed to the rest of the world.

Two knocks on the door. There was a sound of someone falling over in a chair from inside. The sliding window in the top of the door opened up.

“What?” The figure held its hand up to the light.

“It’s Blackwood.”

“No shit, you’re the only werewolf I know that works on a full moon.” The slider closed and several locks were clicked out of place.

“How did you know it was a werewolf?” The door opened revealing a dwarf.

“Are you kidding? An Osmet could’ve smelt you from down the street.” Osmet’s have no sense of smell.

“How are you Simon?” Reese got down on one knee and hugged the little ginger man.

“I’ve been better. Now get in here, its bloody cold out there.” He stepped inside and closed the door behind him, all the locks resetting themselves. “I’ve been hearing a lot of rumours about your collection on old favours. I wasn’t surprised when I got your call.”

“There’s been a lot of things I’ve needed help with.” They walked out of the reception area into the warehouse part. The boxes were stacked to the ceiling.

“I’ve been getting a lot of orders recently, you’re lucky you only called for obscure stuff.”

“Of course you have.”

“What do you mean?”

“You don’t know?”

“Huh?”

“The refuge got attacked by the Vampurist’s a year ago, and not six months ago we had the stitches set loose.”

“Those wannabe soulless royals made a play against the refuge? Nobody tells me the important bits.”

They came up to a small stack of boxes, Simon checked the writing on the bottom box against his clipboard. He tapped on it confirming that it was the one he was after.

“You want me to move these?” Reese pointed at the boxes on top.

“Doubt it. Those are filled with Wolfsbane.”

“Why do you have two boxes of Wolfsbane on top of a box clearly meant for me?”

“Box for a werewolf, Boxes of Wolfsbane. It’s semi-alphabetical.” Reese squinted his eyes at him as if to say ‘Seriously?’ The dwarf pulled an oddly rectangular flute out of his side pocket and blew into it. It made a soft quiet sound even though he clearly put a lot of air through it. There was a distant sound of gears moving. A large metal object flew round a corner into the same isle. It leaped off the ground and clawed its way across the stacks of boxes getting faster and faster. It leaped again of the boxes landing right next to them.

Reese looked up at it. It was a large gold plated machine. Gears protruded from every part, it was humanoid in the way that it had two arms and two legs. The head wasn’t really a head, it was an old roman helmet also plated gold with a bright blue light shining out making it impossible to see what was under it.

“You still have that thing?”

“This, thing, as you call it has helped me more than any other assistant I’ve hired for this place.”

“How is it still even operational? I thought they all shut down at the end of the last Mayan age?”

“I re-enchanted it. And made some modifications, not just with the aesthetics.”

“Doesn’t crash out when it detects a soulless anymore?”

“Nope.”

“Muffins?”

“Still can’t let him see them, no.”

The golden clockwork tank moved the stack of boxes in one go, with an ease that made Reese’s ego quiver. It put the boxes to the side then stood guard like a patient greyhound, its stance more like a gorilla with its knuckles on the ground. Simon opened the box and pulled out a large clear plastic bag filled with small containers.

“This, is a peculiar set of items. Last time I had an order like this…” Simon pulled it away from Reese. “You’re not?”

“Give it to me.”

“You know what that potion does. You can’t be seriously risking your life for some spirit.”

“It’s not just any spirit.”

“Oh…” He handed him the bag. “It’s a girl then.” Reese just stared at him. “Does she know what you’re putting on the line for her?”

“I doubt it.” Simon shrugged, the look on Reese’s face showed no sign of wavering.

“I have another small order for someone in the refuge. I had it packed in this box with your stuff just in case you could take it to her.”

“Who’s it for?”

“Sam…”

“Oh yeah.” Reese cut him off. “That’s probably her golem ingredients. I’ll take that to her.” Simon chucked it up at him. They moved off to the reception area.

“Coffee? Yeah, you need a coffee in that state.” Simon sat Reese on the couch in the office while he made coffee on his own personal espresso machine. “You need to catch me up on the happenings with the refuge.”

“Not much to tell really. Oh Isaac came back, with the new kid in tow.”

“No way, that one’s as bad as you.”

“Hey… I’m not nearly as much as an asshole as he is.” Reese yelled over the sound of the coffee machine. “Maeve seems to have got herself caught up in their team as well.”

“Maeve, Maeve… Maeve? Is that the Shaphist that killed herself into one?”

“Manners man, damn. But yeah that’s the one.”

“Thought she was content on just killing wrong doers?”

“I think it’s this kid Isaacs got with him. He seems to be a magnet for trouble that one. And if Maeve had to be summed up it would be trouble.” Simon handed him his coffee “Thanks.”

“So what’s this deal with the Stitches anyway?”

“Well, some crazy magic-scientist got given the great idea to create an even stronger magical creature. He stitched together a bunch of body parts and used some really old magic to seal the souls together.”

“That’s just sick and twisted.”

The golden guard greeted Reese one last time as he was about to leave. It stood by the exit.

“Give this thing a name when you re-enchanted it?” As if to respond the guard bent its elbows and bowed.

“His name is Bow.”

“Oh I see… Wait a minute.” Reese leaned in closer to it sniffing slightly.

“Oh no.”

“This isn’t the one you rode out of the mine. This is my one.” The guard bounced its head up and down in agreement.

“You can’t have it.”

“I don’t want it, not at the moment anyway. But it will come when I call if I need it.”

“Fine, fine. Come visit more often anyway, bring George and the rest of the old gang next time.”

“Sure will Simon. Take care of yourself.”

Reese zipped up his jacket and pulled the hood back over him. He tried sniffing himself but the sea breeze was the only thing he could catch. He hoped that Simon was talking about the full moon in the sky rather than his actual scent. ‘Why are you risking your life for this girl?’

“Really, you even have to ask that?” ‘She’s only going to up and leave the moment she’s cured.’ “So?” ‘Maybe you shouldn’t fully cure her, just patch her up so she can stay.’ “I know I’m closer to an animal for a couple of days but that’s not animal thinking, that’s manipulative and evil shit. It’s not happening.” He was silent the rest of the way back to the bus stop. He caught the last bus out of this district.

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Chapter 6

Sam breathed deeply through her nose, it made a slight whistle as it passed the duct-tape. They had pulled her up and left her sitting against the cabinet she had been knocked out by. She wriggled every once in a while because she couldn’t find a comfortable position with her hands tied behind her back.  The ropes seemed to tighten every time she moved, she hoped they weren’t magically sealed. Larry, who she now knew to be the short one, paced around in front of her occasionally looking over at her. ‘Is he getting anxious or does he fancy me, either way that’s making this even worse.’ Sam slumped giving up on trying to find a cosy spot and decided on getting used to being unsettled. Looking down at herself she realized that they had tied the ropes around her waist as well. After all that moving she had been doing, the bind had moved up to her rib cage and was not only pulling up her shirt but also acting like an excellent push up bra. ‘I’m going to guess he’s not as anxious as he should be.’

The tall one returned, his cheek and eye still massive and purple. He spotted Sam and stopped in his tracks. ‘This would be doing wonders for my self-esteem except I know you guys have probably never seen a girl in this position, in real life.’ Larry looked over to him.

“Did you get what we need Jeff?”

“I… um… what?”

Did you get what we need?” He repeated.

“Oh… uh… Yeah I have it all.” Sam cursed into the tape on her mouth, she knew they probably had all the hard-to-get ingredients left over from the summoning they did. She had hoped, however, that they would end up missing a few things. “Bone of a black cat, sorry Mugwai. Twenty marigolds, some pig’s blood and some snacks.”

“Oh yes, snacks!”

 

Larry grabbed the plastic bag and peered inside to see what he could eat. Jeff carried a brown paper bag over to the circle of candles. As they were sitting and eating Sam managed to finally get a good look at them. Larry although short, he did not make up for it in weight. He had slender features with short brown hair, squinting a lot, Sam noticed that he probably needed glasses but refused to wear them. Both of the boys had to be just over twenty. Jeff was also slender except for the bulge on his face. His hair was a sandy blond and also cut short. Sam didn’t think that it would be that hard for them to live a normal human life, she couldn’t fathom why they would disregard people so much that they would want to summon the world destroyer.

Ritual magic is a one of the most versatile magics. Every other scope of magic can be attained at least in a minor form through enchantments and soul trading. Sam was well versed in ritual magic, spending ten of her forty-so years training and learning with several different experts from around the world, living and dead. She had never liked other magics, they all seemed, so messy. Rituals were normally clean except for the occasional use of body fluid but she just normally stayed away from those that called for ingredients like that. A summoning ritual is carried out as a chant, many spiritual forms have likened it to a phone call that they can either answer early or leave ignored. A lot of summons can take hours of chanting for a spirit to pick up that’s why it surprised Sam when they managed to summon Death with only two of them dialling.

 

A sacrifice ritual, which Sam definitely shied away from, is different. It is similar to a soul bargaining except it is not done face to face with a spirit. Also the soul that is being given will be alive. The summoner, decides on what they want, they write it on a piece of paper and surround it with the offerings. Different spirits want different things offered as well as souls, Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies and demon prince of gluttony normally takes deep fried food as his offering. Death’s only requests marigolds, sometimes he will be picky and request Aztec Marigolds, as well as the bone of an animal that is black to the eye. When doing an offering, all spirits except Death, take anything that a person isn’t holding that they may want and take any marked souls. Death however, will only take the offered items and any soul in the room, which is not marked by the blood of an animal. Once Larry and Jeff had put together their offering they covered their face in the pig’s blood. Sam snickered, it only needed to be a small mark. ‘They were going to have fun getting that out of their noses’.

Larry and Jeff stood on opposite sides of the circle. Sam in between them, her feet almost touching the outside of the circle. The thought crossed her mind to feign a slip and break the circle. She decided not to, she had a much more hilarious plan in motion. They still hadn’t allowed her to move the rope down from her chest, whether that was because they were still scared of her or for entertainment value she wasn’t sure. Either way they were still planning to kill her so that adorable puppy thing they had going for them had long since left her mind. They raised their arms.

“Santa Muerte, portador de las almas. Pedimos audiencia. Por favor, acepte nuestra oferta.” A sacrifice is an attempt to appease what would be a god, they understand all languages but if you’re trying to impress you use a language they like. Angels like enochian, Demons like demon tongue, Reapers like Orcus speak but Death likes Spanish. He has been quoted in saying ‘Other than the Early Children of the Nile, the Spanish Catholics have worshiped me better than anyone has.’

 

The two boys repeated the line over and over, each time with worse accents. They said the line eight times, exactly as many times as needed. Standing silent for a few moments they did it again. Still nothing. Larry looked over at Sam, without that lust in his eye this time, he was checking to see if she was still alive. Sam leant over to one side and moved her bound arms as if to wave at him. Jeff walked over to the other side and started whispering. Sam didn’t even bother trying to hear what they were saying. Her mind created an image of one of them skulking over, head down, mumbling ‘What did we do wrong?’ She had guessed correctly up to a point.

“Can you help us?” Her stomach lurched, she suddenly had the biggest urge to just eat them. After all that, and they asked her to help them. Help them sacrifice her.

Once they had got the tape off her mouth and loosed the ropes she was wrapped in, even moving the one on her chest, Sam had finally calmed down enough to put her plan into action.

“Black animal?”

“Yes.”

“Marigolds?”

“Yes.” Every answer came from ducked heads in a tone reserved for children that had been caught stealing cookies.

“Contract written in Spanish?”

“Yes.”

“Hmmm…” She hoped she wasn’t being over the top with her acting. “Bronze bowl?”

“Ah… yeah.”

“You used real alcohol not some imitation vanilla essence right?” Jeff looked up

“What do you take us for?”

“Children.” With that he bowed his head again in shame. “Oh I know.”

“What?”

“You see…” She leaned forward, her smile growing bigger on her face as her claws went through the rope they really should’ve enchanted. “As a child of Cain…” Once the bound was cut she sprouted fur and her shape changed. “My soul already belongs to Death, so he won’t take it as an offering.”

 

“Y… Y… You’re a cat?”

“Yes, I am a huge cat. Rawr.” Her golden sleek puma form snarled and licked around its teeth. Larry raised his hand to his head, slightly over-dramatically, fainted and fell to the floor. Jeff was frozen stiff. Sam leaped at him smashing her cat head into his giving him another black eye, he fell backwards with her on top of him and his head hit the ground with a dull thud. Sam changed back rubbing her arms where the rope had been digging in. Looking over the unconscious bodies she sniggered to herself. In a moment of weakness she put her hands on her cleavage and pushed up and down for a moment. “Maybe a corset. Yeah, I should get a corset.” She pulled her phone out of her top, where they had failed to look, it seemed.

 

“Hello!”

“Hey, it’s Sam. I’ve got two necromancers for lock up.”

“Excellent, how many bodies?”

“None.”

“Really?”

“Okay, so there’s a couple of bodies, but they were dead when I got here.” Sam heard muffled yells over the phone. Mr. Red had covered the mouth piece with his hand. “What’s happened?”

“Tie those guys up and get back here. You’re not getting a break today.”

“Shit. Okay I’ll be right over.”

*

Alix couldn’t move and the medics from the refuge were rough loading her onto a makeshift ambulance. One of them said something about spiritual shock and handed the other one a stick of bamboo with a crystal tied to the end. All the way back to the refuge she felt them poking her extremities, each time filling it with enough energy to move an inch. They moved her out of the van onto a floating bed that they rushed inside. Alix saw black tendrils move above her. ‘Thras.’ He came into vision, holding his body above her. He talked to her in his usual monotone but she couldn’t completely hear what he said, like he was speaking through thick glass. When she didn’t reply he moved off to the side. His tendrils left her vision but she could still feel them in the room. She felt a sudden shock, energy coursed through her, her sight cleared up and she could suddenly hear the people in the room around her. Alix quickly sat up.

 

“What’s happening to m…?” She fell back and went numb before she could finish her sentence.

“You’re going to be okay little cat, I’ll fix.” Thras’ voice came in as a whisper into both ears, chilling her to the bone. She couldn’t do anything but lay there and let his tendrils run over her. She knew he would be able to fix what was wrong, but she still wasn’t happy about it.

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