002: Part 18

by CM Towns

   Sally paced her room in the headquarters with Jessie watching her partner worried. Sally was angry, nervous, depressed, and every other emotion she could feel at that moment. “I had the fire, I charged in-and-and-and she still just gripped me like a weakling. The fire I burnt was as hot as it could have been-”
   Jessie interrupted Sally. “It wasn’t. I know your fire, I know the heat when you go full torch. You know we were around and you dialed it back.”
   “No, no-I turned it on and she just locked me in!”
   “You got out.”
   “I panicked in that second. She could have killed me!”
   Jessie grabbed her shoulders and said, “Do not do this to yourself. Do not let that bitch make you feel like you aren’t the BAMF that everyone knows you are.”

   Jessie pulled her in for a hug. Sally started, “We should have killed her. We should have-”
   “I know but you understand why we let her go? She helped us. In a lot of ways. Enemy of my enemy and all that jazz. I wanted to hurt her. I wanted you to hurt her and get your revenge for what she did to your family,” Jessie said.
   “So we let her walk. Why could she not just stay away.”
   “You know why. You know Izam better than any of us do. Her ego. Her entitlement. Her privilege. She thinks she’s better than everyone,” Jessie said.
   Sally knew this moment well. Her first month with Jessie. A lot of moments where she was depressed, in tears, and torn to pieces and Jessie helping her through. Sally built herself to be stronger. To be fierce. To not have Jessie cradle her but here she was again. Sally put her arms around Jessie. “She called us her daughters. She insults our families. Our true families.”
   “You know that next time we encounter her there will be no allegiance. No quarter shown,” Jessie said.
   “I will burn the flesh off her skin.”
   There is a knock at the door and Jessie lets go, answers it and sees Reed there with Wolf. “Hey,” Jessie said.
   “Sally okay?” Reed asked.
   “I am feeling better.”
   Reed and Wolf stepped in. Sally sat down on the floor and let Wolf lick her face. Sally smiled and Reed looked down at Sally concerned and next to Jessie. Jessie smiled at him. Reed walked over to her bed and sat down.
   “Wolf is always happy to see you,” Reed said.
   “Wolf is happy to see any of us. Especially you,” Sally said.
   “He needs to get out the base more often.”
   “Yes, he is a ball of energy,” Sally agreed.
   “I’ll be back,” Jessie said leaving them. Jessie made her through the hall, found her way to the kitchen to grab some food and saw Elijah cooking.
   “What you making?” she asked.
   “Grilled cheese. Some for me, some for others. Sally like grill cheese?” he asked.
   “To be honest I don’t know if she’s ever had it,” Jessie answered.
   “Shame. A perfect meal. How is she doing?”
   “She’ll be fine,” Jessie said.
   “That Izam Mizer-you think we could have taken her?”
   “Not there. Maybe if we hadn’t dealt with Vizier. She’s gotten stronger though,” Jessie said.
   “How does her sorcery work? I understood only a little bit of what Araminta explained about that worlds magic worked but I am curious about our enemy,” he said.
   “Territorial is what she started as,” Jessie said grabbing a grilled cheese.
   “Yes. The magic of controlling an area and shaping it to your needs.”
   “She mastered it early. Went on to study Earth magic or Landscape as Sally referred to it as. Also incantations. Both of those at the same time. Being a master of territory it easier to practice new skills. Or so Sally says. She didn’t exactly master the other styles forms but her Earth magic is strong and so her incantations magic is good but that style takes longest time to learn and master. She also can throw a fireball or two,” Jessie explained before digging into a grilled cheese.
   Elijah finished a couple bites of his. “When you met her the first time how did you beat her?”
   “Her powers had to be adjusted to Earths wavelength. Took time so she was not at her strongest. Plus I pretty much tackled her outside her territory and that helped.”
   “Those sigils she mentioned, I did not notice any,” Elijah said.
   “Sally hid them.”
   “She’s cut and bled herself to protect us?”
   “Since she is a red mage she had to use blood to make the sigils work. They hold enough power to keep Mizer out. At least, we think so,” Jessie explained.
   “Do you worry about the fact Mizer can always track you?”
   “I did before. Now I try not to think about it,” Jessie answered. She moved past him to the refrigerator and took a soda. She popped it open and took a drink. Jessie looked over to Elijah who seemed to be in deep thought over the situation. “This scare you about me? The idea of being next to someone who is a moving target for a mad woman?” Jessie asked.
   “No. If anything it makes me admire you and Sally even more.”
   “My favorite thing about you Jessie-is your compassion. This protective instinct you have,” he said walking over to her. Elijah put his hands on her shoulder and leaned in. They kissed. He then said, “You take care of the people around you. You fight for them. You work to protect them.”
   “You got a little of that too.”
   “I do feel like the cool big brother looking out for his siblings,” Elijah said.
   Jessie downed her drink and asked, after a burp, “So we’re an item?”
   “I hope so.”
   “Then I demand a date. Sometime, outside this cold metal base,” Jessie said.
   “I will see what I can do.”
   Jesse went into the fridge, grabbed a couple sodas and some cold meat. Elijah got her a tray and laid a couple grill cheese sandwiches and an extra plate. “I’m going to hang with Sally, Reed and Wolf. When you’re done come over,” Jessie said.
   “I will,” he replied.
   “You were fearless today. With Vivier and Mizer,” Jessie said.
   “I was outclassed in both regards,” said Elijah.
   “Power means little when facing a determined individual. You, the others, were amazing. You especially. I admit I had to stop myself from laughing at the bulldozer toss though,” said Jessie with a smile.
   “I almost laughed myself.” He kissed her on the top of her head. Jessie walked away with an even larger smile.


   Elsewhere Mizer was comfortably dressed in a black robe standing in her homes library. The library was a modest sized and contained ancient tomes, vintage books, and newer material. Mizer contemplated what book to pull. Her mind was almost removed from the events of hours ago. She saw life like one long chess game and Mizer was thinking of the next three moves. She turned her attention to the desk behind her, which was in the center of the library and grabbed her glass of wine. She drank it down lifted it so that her well dressed and handsome middle age butler would refill it. Mizer took a sip and then put the glass down down on the desk.
   “I do not know what I want to look at tonight. Should I pull out the Book of the Dead for another read through? Merlin’s diaries perhaps? Or maybe look at one of the Books of Occult. Perhaps I should switch gears and read one of the nonfiction studies on magic. Always good for a laugh,” Izam said.
   “You have not opened your mail yet, Mistress,” her butler said
   “True. Might as well do that now,” she said taking her seat. She tossed bills to the side and looked at the pieces that interested her. She looked around the desk and grabbed the jagged knife to open a large envelope. “You like my letter opener?”
   “It is intimidating, Mistress,” he answered.
   “Yes. It was found at the crime scene of one Mr. and Mrs. Courant. They were gutted by cloaked men. Their daughter is currently considered missing,” she said pulling out the file inside.
   “Terrible tragedy,” he responded.
   “From tragedy can come great triumph.” Mizer looked over the file with its maps and documents. She sat that aside and looked at another letter. It was written in code but the gist was about the movement of some antiquities with possible magical properties. Mizer took a sip of her wine and smiled.
   “Today was a good day. I saw my kids in action. Siphoned more power for myself. Learned of some interesting developments happening in the world. In a moment I am going to do a little reading and then finish the night with rough sex form one of my slaves. Then tomorrow back to the goal. What is the goal you ask,” Izam said.
   “What is the goal, Mistress?”
   “It’s achieving great power. Godlike power. The ability to shape the world into what I wish it to be. I truly hope the Guard improves. They have potential now but not so much to stand against my plans. It can only be entertaining if the opposition is up to the challenge,” Mizer said before finishing her drink.