Part 28

by CM Towns

   Mateo and Charm walked the the cave which lead into the garage of the Guard’s headquarters. Earlier the two made a stop at a museum in Kentucky before arriving in this part of West Virginia. Both trips took a lot out of Charm and Mateo was worried she was pushing herself to hard.
   Charm suddenly stopped and Mateo turn to her and asked, “Whats wrong?”
   “There is a barrier here. I can not go farther until you undo the seal,” Charm said reaching into her purse. She handed Mateo two things. Once was a flat jewel, the size of a coaster. The other a bottle of alcohol.
   “The jewel will home in on the seal. The alcohol will dissolve it. Just toss it on it,” Charm said.
   “Then we walk in and you cast that spell you were talking about?” asked Mateo.
   “Yes,” Charm smiled.

   Mateo smiled back, turned and held out the gem. He took several steps forward and it started to glow weakly, as if it was about to go out. He checked left, he checked right, and moved several paces forward. The glow got stronger and stronger. It began to flicker at the ground below him. He took the bottle of alcohol and poured it all on the ground.
   Charm felt the enchantment slowly lifting.
   “Took their remote key and broke their magic barrier. Ha!” Mateo was proud before shouting back, “Can you move?”
   “Yes. Thank you,” the voice that answered was different. Mateo turned back toward Charm but she was not there. Instead she was replaced by a tall, pale skinned beauty with white hair that turned gray in the middle and black at the ends. Violet eyes that were striking and a grin that gave a peak at sinister intent.
   “Mizer?” Mateo asked with a knot in his throat.
   “The one and only,” she replied.
   “Yo-you’re Charm?”
   “Of course. You think any teenage girl actually had that kind of power?” Mizer responded.
   “Why?”
   “Why? Why what?”
   “Why… Me? The others? This!”
   “For fun. I put together a bunch of saps, spun them around, manipulating and exploiting their tragic stories. I set them out to cause a little chaos because chaos entertains me. During which I also gained certain useful tools. Plus I wanted a look at what the Guard had become. What’s the point of being the villain if the good guys don’t offer a challenge. What’s the point of it all if you can;t have a little fun?” Mizer explained.
   “You set us to rob, burn and in some cases to kill just so you can mess with the Guard?” Mateo asked.
   “Essentially. Plus the gathering of tools and information. That and needed to time a break in. One free from the majority of the team. One where I could use one of you saps to break the only protection that was keeping me out,” Mizer continued.
   “You bitch. You crazy bitch.”
   “I’ve been called that before, but I’m not crazy. I am incredibly powerful and easily bored. So I come up with these grand schemes with twists and turns-they say the hero drives the narrative but I believe its the villain that does that. I’m a storyteller at heart and my story is about power, death and excitement,” Mizer said.
   Mateo reached behind himself, pulled the pistol and aimed at Mizer’s head. Mizer laughed as his hand shook.
   “You really going to shoot me? Please try.” Mizer points to her head and says, “I dare you.”
   Mateo fired off a pair of shots, point blank range and Mizer’s head shattered into rubble. Her body, stone, crumbling to the ground.
   “I’m surprised,” Mizer said from behind him. Mateo swung quick and Mizer caught the gun hand, took the weapon and used a blast of invisible force into Mateo’s gut sending him hard into the wall. Mizer took out both a knife and a compact mirror.
   “Time to die,” Mizer said before moving in and putting the blade into his heart. She watched his scared expression dim away. Mizer held the body up, tossed the mirror and it expanded. Mizer dropped the body through the portal. Mizer then tossed in the jewel and the liquor bottle behind him. Mizer took a moment to say a prayer for the pawn in her scheme. She then used the blood to redo the seal. The seal Sally used was a traditional territory glyph. It was strong enough to keep her out but allowed people who took a blessing from Sally to be permitted. If Mizer was to use her own blood for the seal, it would be a red flag, even to a novice like Sally. Mizer’s power is too strong and using her own blood would almost double the strength of the seal. The blood from a non magically inclined body, with a trick Mizer picked up from her old teachers and some gems crushed into a potion could disguise it so that Sally would never notice the change. It would work the same but allow her entry. Izam Mizer was a master of territorial magics and taught Sally a few tricks. Mizer was proud of the little red witch.
   “Time to retire Charm, and move into the next part of my plan. The dark is coming-the devils grow weary, and I will become the Goddess I always knew I was,” Mizer said just to hear her own voice. Mizer put the mirror portal back to compact size and then began to make her way out the cave. There was still more to do before the ritual was to arrive.

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