No one’s POV
Sebastien was dozing off at his desk. The clock was about to strike one am and he was still at the police station, one of the few at this hour. He’d already finished off the left over coffee and his patience was wearing thin.
He’d been expecting a call, concerning an important case he had. Well, important for him. It seemed that lead might’ve led to nothing once again. At least it wasn’t time wasted, he’d managed to advance in several of his other cases.
He rubbed his eyes, finally deciding he’d waited long enough. He’d expected that call this morning. The Hans were a difficult people to get information about.
Gossip was simple enough. This corporation had their faces on just about everything scientifically and medically important. It was the real information – the secrets nobody wants to let out – that was hard to even get a trace of. The problem was that the Hans, for all intents and purposes, were clean. Yet somehow, Sebastien would find traces of them in almost every case worth looking into. He’d noticed the pattern just a few months ago and had gone back to check old cases and spotted traces of their presence there as well. These were small simple details: the victim worked for the Hans, it had happened near one of their buildings, their merchandise was present at the crime scene. Individually, it meant nothing, but collectively…it was worrying and suspicious.
“Hey! Anybody interested in checking out this call about a crazed robot attacking family members?” Someone called out. Sebastien glanced over, a little curious.
Someone else piped up. “Where?”
“83 Midsummer road. The Whitelight house.”
At that Sebastien felt himself snort a little. He got up.
“I got it.”
“It’s all yours.”
Crazed robot? Whitelight house? The police had a list of families to watch, and Whitelight was definitely on it. Ever since the vampire had gone on his killing spree, the family had been marked down with permanent ink. And now the house in question held the witch claiming the title of most powerful. He doubted ‘crazed robot’ was just another prank call. Them relying on the police was what made this an odd event. Sebastien always had a naggering suspicion that this family was somehow linked to his case with the Hans.
Those were most of the reasons why Sebastien felt compelled to take this case.
The fact that he’d met a kid, whose type would be to get into a situation with a crazed robot, who also happened to live in that house, was another reason.
“There we go,” I announced, standing up and clapping my hands. “This should work perfectly.”
The vampire beside me simply crossed his arms. Since I haven’t received any unwarranted glares, I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s pleased with the result.
“Doesn’t this seem kind of vulgar?” One of my highest ranked members asked. “Putting someone in a chest? And our founder of all people?”
“What do you think people usually do with dead bodies? You lock them in a coffin.” I shrugged.
“Yeah but, this time you know she can come back to life. You’re dooming her to waking up and dying of suffocation over and over again.” T rolled her eyes, the only part of her face we can see. She expressed a desire to keep her face hidden when we accepted her in the group. I’d expected her to have outgrown that by now, but it seems she doesn’t trust us enough. Or maybe there’s another reason we don’t quite know yet.
“Well, from what we’re being told,” One of Annie’s members joined in from the other side of the room. “This is kind of a small price to pay for everything she’s done.”
“She was still our founder.” T added. “Don’t you guys feel any kind of residual loyalty? She helped make us who we are. Without her, none of what we do would be possible.”
The golden-eyed vampire picked up his phone with a frown, listening silently to the other end. The room had fallen silent too, and T and I had leaned in to see if we could hear what was being said.
I recognized my robot’s vocal box immediately.
It would seem Xavier, that kind of annoying witch, had cast a spell on Nikolas. In addition to putting him to sleep.
My robot was having a panic attack and demanding things like justice.
And most importantly, James looked far far from happy. He hung up, jaw clenched, looking ready to fly off.
“Would you like some assistance?” I asked before he could leave. “I’m sure if we asked Annie, it’d be her pleasure to come help as well.”
This all went downhill really fast. I gingerly touched the spot the robot had hit, feeling a bump. I’d only just woken up, and by that point everyone else had woken up as well. My spell should’ve theoretically kept them asleep longer, but an external factor got involved.
It seems the robot called him and he rushed over and helped wake everyone up. Everyone except Niko.
Because of this robot, it’s all been incredibly blown out of proportion! Everyone’s acting like I locked Nikolas in a cage and threw away the key. I wouldn’t do that to my son! Everything I’m doing is to help protect him. Yes this is pretty…restrictive, but it’s only temporary. Ridgevalley is getting a little dangerous with the tensions rising up, we can’t have Nikolas jumping into dangerous situations willy-nilly. He could end up getting seriously hurt.
But no one seems to understand this, and now too many people have gotten involved.
Why did dad let these two dragons get involved? And he brought the blonde too, the one who managed to stop my powers last time. Does he expect things to get heated? Is he really imagining a situation where I’m going to be pushed to use my powers?
And my all powerful father can’t find it in him to control me himself in that event? So he brought someone else to do it?
“Ty don’t.” Nikita said, holding her boyfriend back.
“Don’t? Your brother is still asleep.” Tyzel shot back.
“He’s in a coma right now,” The young man continued. I resisted grimacing. It wasn’t a coma. Niko wasn’t in a coma. “because your father won’t take off the fucking spell.”
“Dad probably has his reasons…good ones.” Nikita added, locking gazes with me. “Right dad? Something about it being dangerous to wake Niko up right now? Dangerous for him?”
The robot scoffed with a mixture of clangs and thunks. “There is NO good reason in the world to justify this.” It stood still glaring at me as hard as it could. It had picked up Nikolas and refused to put him back down until he woke up.
It took a lot of patience not to use my magic to incapacitate this really annoying robot. I shouldn’t have cast the spell to bring it to life. It’s brought nothing but trouble so far.
“Did it work?” The blonde asked my father, who’d been touching my son’s head.
James had woken the others up from my spell pretty easily by using his own power. Nikolas proved more difficult.
I wasn’t surprised. My spell was probably at work keeping him asleep. It’s better this way for now.
James had decided to try and go deeper into Niko’s sleep state, maybe even to the point of interacting with him. It clearly hadn’t worked, even if my father had a strange little smile.
“It wouldn’t be that simple.” I spoke. If everyone could just stand down for a few moments, so we could talk about this and come up with a proper solution on how to fix the spell – THEN I could take it off to recast it. “Let’s just all stop for a second. Let’s sit down at the table and talk this through.”
I sighed. Again with the overreactions.
“We’re past talking witch! It’s high time you took this spell off.” The robot repeated again.
“You seem pretty calm for a man whose son is stuck in a coma by his own fault.” One of the strangers said. “I don’t see what’s so complicated about taking this spell off.”
I wasn’t listening to him though, I was looking at my father who’s look of disappointment was making me angry.
“I was just saying, you won’t be able to wake him up like that. It’s not a sleeping spell at this point. It’s a much stronger spell.” I said, hoping my father would stop with that look.
‘You underestimate your son.’ James signed.
My sixth sense suddenly tingled as I noticed a car come to a stop in front of the house. I vaguely saw a man come out and head for our door.
“Who’s that?” I asked, my sixth sense warning me this wasn’t good news.
Nikita glanced back. “Oh…pa called the police. Do you think it might be…”
Edmund? Why did you call the police? I grimaced. He’s in bed now, the events having taken their toll, he’d gone to rest by insistence of both Niki and I. He must’ve freaked out when the robot knocked me out and called for help. I wish he hadn’t called the police, this makes it all even more of a mess.
I headed straight for the door to tell him everything was fine.
I didn’t make it to the door in time. The man let himself in, holding up a police badge for us all to see.
I didn’t let him come any further in the house however, placing myself in his path. The police has no place here.
The man gave me a cold analytical stare. It felt like I was being judged and the situation once again taken over the top. It didn’t help that my sixth sense was telling me this man was going to make things worse.
“My name is Sebastien,” He said, taking in the rest of the room and the situation. “We received an alarming phone call. Can anyone tell me what’s going on?”
“There was just a slight magical incidence.” I said, stressing the word magical. The police usually didn’t like interfering in magical problems. This one didn’t seem deterred.
“Slight!?” The robot thundered, and I suppressed another wave of annoyance. “You put Niko in a COMA.”
The officer raised his eyebrows.
“It wasn’t intentional.” I corrected, grinding my teeth.
“Refusing to take off the spell which would help in waking Nikolas up, is entirely intentional however.” The blonde decided to add in.
Agh, if everyone would’ve just sat down and listened to me, they’d understand better.
“What spell?” The newcomer asked.
“It’s just-” I tried to answer, but I was cut off by the robot again.
“A spell to make him a PRISONER. He can’t talk unless he wants him to, he can’t do anything if that witch isn’t happy with it. Like in this case wake up.”
I was getting fed up with this robot and its habit of twisting things to make me look bad. My fingers crackled with magic, but it was only a warning. I wasn’t actually going to cast a spell.
The officer didn’t get the memo. He grabbed my arm, dragging it up behind me harshly as he reached back with his other arm for a pair of handcuffs at his belt.
This was getting ridiculous. I was not going to let myself be handcuffed over this. Especially since I could sense the handcuffs were made specifically to slightly inhibit supernatural powers. Magic accumulated in my left hand and the officer tensed up, his grip on my arm still tight.
“He’s waking up…”
Somehow Nikolas had indeed come to and the robot had gently lowered him down.
My magic instantly dispersed into the air and the officer stopped trying to cuff me.
“Niko how do you feel? Do you remember what happened?” The robot asked.
Inexplicable fear suddenly gripped me. I couldn’t properly define it. Fear that Nikolas would misunderstand me? Fear that he would get angry? Fear that this may be my last chance to make everyone understand?
Whatever it was, it scared me to my core. I rushed to Nikolas’ side, before anyone could say anything else, and I crouched beside him.
“Niko-” My hand instinctively reached for my son, but my words were cut off by the look he gave me.
It pierced my skin and crushed my heart, and made me wonder for the first time if I really had done the right thing.
But…if it takes Nikolas angry at me – no, betrayed – for him to be safe, it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Yet…I still needed to try and make him understand.
“I’m sorry.” I said, reaching to touch his hand. I’m sorry he felt I betrayed him. I’m sorry he couldn’t seem to understand that I had no choice.
He pulled it away harshly, his mouth closed tight and his glare cast elsewhere.
He couldn’t even look at me anymore.
My fingers lingered on thin air before my voice tried again. “Nikolas…” My father came forwards then, grabbing my shoulder and pulling me back up. He put himself between me and my son, and wore an expression I couldn’t read.
I heard the sounds of the officer taking out his handcuffs, and I saw the stableness of my dad’s stare.
“Dad no come on. Don’t do it like this.” I said, half believing this was just a bluff. But my father’s face stayed expression less.
“Xavier Jales,” The man began. “You’re under arrest.”
“What!?” Nikita exclaimed.
“Well then.” Somebody else of no importance said. I noticed Nikolas glance up at me, surprised by this news. Even he thought me going to jail was a bit extreme.
My dad, however, seemed set on the idea.
“Dad no! Look,” I raised my hand up, magic accumulating in it and with a puff I took the spell off of Niko. “I’ve taken the spell off. Now let’s go talk about this like adults.” I insisted.
“So that’s what it took to take the spell off.” Nikolas muttered and my blood froze.
“What else could you expect from a selfish person. Their interests come first.” The robot added.
“Wait woah, dad you’re not really getting arrested are you?” Nikita asked in panic. “This is a joke. Niko’s awake now.”
“I…” I was being pushed away. Nikolas and James…they both wanted me to be arrested. Even after I took the spell off. I never wanted them harm. Why were they wanting it for me?
I felt my hands be grabbed from behind and handcuffs applied to them. The handcuffs really were designed to inhibit magical powers. Though they might’ve been effective on the supernaturals of today, I was too powerful for it to actually have an effect.
I noticed the blonde draw closer, probably in case I decided to fight back again. But I had no intention to this time.
If this is what my family wanted for me…at this point I would only make things worse by fighting back.
“I’d like you to come back with me as well Nikolas. There are a few questions I need to ask.” The officer said. I watched as Nikolas looked up to my father who nodded and stepped forwards. He would also be coming.
To keep an eye on me? Who knows.
Honestly, letting myself be handcuffed makes this easier on everyone. Because at the end of the day, I’ve done nothing wrong. The police won’t be able to hold me.
Yes that really happened. I’ve probably repeated this a hundred times already. Yes, my dad just got arrested for casting a spell on me. And now I’m at the police station, watching the cops decide what to do with him.
God I nearly shouted yes please when Sebastien asked me to come along with him to the police station. Just any reason to get out of that house. To confirm I did have the ability to leave my own house.
I’m mad at my father. There’s no doubt about it. But I don’t think sending him to jail was the best solution. I wish it didn’t have to end up like this. Why couldn’t have dad just talked to me? Why couldn’t we have just understood each other?
“I know, but-” Sebastien repeated again.
“We don’t have the capacity to hold him. And we have nothing to hold against him. This is magical, there’s no evidence except word of mouth.” The other police officer sighed.
Sebastien grimaced. “Even if he is the most ‘powerful witch alive’ we can’t just let him loose on the account that there’s nothing we can do to hold him.” He countered.
At those words, both the police officers cast a slightly nervous glance at my grandfather. I chuckled to myself. Yeah, I’d heard the story of how the police were searching for my grandpa and had been for ages. Having him right in their midst in a police station didn’t seem to make things any easier for them.
“You know what this means Sebastien. You only have one more option.” The other cop said.
Sebastien laughed dryly. “It’s horribly ironic.” He turned to my grandpa, whose eyebrows raised in curiosity. “We’re going to have to apply for a magic trial.”
At that I leapt from Seb’s desk to join the conversation.
“A magic trial?” I’d heard the term used before. Or more, I vaguely remember seeing this in the newspaper.
“It’s a fairly new method of judging criminal offenses outside of police capacities. It’s hosted by people who have the methods to control magic. It’s mainly for powered criminals that the police just doesn’t have the ability to handle.” Sebastien explained. Criminal. My dad is now dubbed a criminal. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. “I can tell you more if you want later. I wanted to offer you the possibility of spending the night at my place. To give you a break just for tonight. Tensions are high in your home right now.”
I opened my mouth to say no thank you but the words wouldn’t come out. I could just imagine the situation at home. Nikita probably angry and confused, and wanting to blame someone. Pa when he learns of this…is probably going to blame himself since he called the police. And I’m…I’m the kid who didn’t listen and got his dad in jail.
Yeah a night away could do me some good.
“Thanks.” I said and Sebastien replied with a smile. “Can I bring Oscar too?” It didn’t feel right to leave him behind. Even if just for one night.
“Sure.” Seb headed off to grab his stuff, leaving me alone with my grandpa.
“Thanks grandpa.” I said, taking in a deep breath. “I couldn’t have gotten out without your help.”
James smiled warmly and brought up his hands. I focused and tried to understand as many words as I could. ‘Nonsense. It would’ve just taken you more time.’
I couldn’t help but smile as the pleasure of hearing that warmed me. If my grandpa said it, then I really probably could’ve.
“I know they talked about a magic trial, but this is temporary right?” I asked.
“Dad wouldn’t really stay in jail would he? I feel bad, what he did wasn’t that bad.” I admitted.
My grandpa shrugged. ‘Your father let power get to his head. Some jail time will do him good.’
It took some repetition for that phrase to make sense, but when I did I couldn’t stop myself from chuckling.
Sebastien was kind enough to lend Oscar and I his guest room for the night. Before we went to bed, I asked him as many questions as I could think of about the magic trial he wanted to put my father through.
It seems its basically trying to convince a group of people that what my father did was wrong. A group of people who have the power to hold even my dad under lock and key.
Some part of me feels pleasure in the irony, of my dad getting locked up after trying to essentially lock me up. But I still don’t think my dad deserves this.
Once I got all settled for the night, Oscar put himself in a corner and with a robotic smile had told me he’d be right here. Just like last time. To watch over me while I slept. I told him it’d be fine.
I didn’t manage to fall asleep. It didn’t matter how tired I was. My mind refused to sleep.
When I’d be just about to fall asleep, I’d suddenly wake up in a cold sweat, my heart beating wildly.
I was afraid of falling back asleep. After all I’d only just managed to wake up. What if there was some residual spell? What if I got caught under again? I didn’t want to have to fight my way out all over again. Having to fight nightmare after nightmare…
I buried my face in my pillow.
Don’t be ridiculous Niko! It won’t happen again! The spell is gone. You can feel that the spell is gone. It won’t happen again. Your dad is in jail right now, he won’t be able to cast it again. You can go to sleep goddamn it.
But I couldn’t. Not normally anyway. I did eventually find a way to fall asleep.
Just before I fell asleep I switched to astral mode. Just like I guessed, I watched my body fall asleep peacefully.
I’d only had a hunch that I could do this, but now I’d confirmed it. Yes, while my body slept, I could spend time in astral mode.
I wandered out of the guest room into the rest of Seb’s flat.
Look at that he’s still up. I don’t even know what time it is. Maybe he’s working on a case? My eyes trailed over the room.
I did notice the case files in the bookcase, and how his computer was open, but I told myself I shouldn’t snoop. He was being nice enough just letting me into his home, and he was pretty open about cases with me at the café anyways for a cop. Snooping…well that’s just my curiosity acting up.
“What are you still doing up at this hour? You should be in bed by now…Oh you were?…Yes I do as it happens-…Ah no don’t worry he’s fine…we’ve talked about this, Ridgevalley is too dangerous right now. It’s a ticking time bomb, not risking it right now…ok after.”
Oops seems I walked in on him having a private phone call. I might as well show my thanks by not eavesdropping too much.
I decided to spend my astral time strolling between Ridgevalley’s skyscrapers. For a time bomb, the town was beautiful at night – even through the lens of my washed out astral world.
The stroll was serene in a way and it let me relax – and realized I hadn’t really gotten a break from the last few days. I was damn due for one.
I’ll admit to entertaining myself with peeking inside people’s windows. It’s hard to resist when I’m flying by open windows! I can’t not take a peek or two. Most were actually pretty boring. Watching people watch tv isn’t very insightful. I did, however, spot someone unexpected.
“I am the ghost of Camp Hanzenhall come to haunt your porn history…” I slowly drifted through the wall, waving my arms around like a ghost.
The effect desired was received! Zac shut his laptop so quickly, I swear I heard the screen crack.
I burst out laughing as Zac stared agape at me.
“That wasn’t suspicious at all.” I snorted one last time.
“Oh so you’re a peeping tom now aren’t you? Going around invading other people’s rooms!?” Zac exclaimed, still a bit in panic mode.
“Woah sorry!” I exclaimed. “I was quite literally just drifting by. I just thought I’d drop by and say hi.” I added with a shrug.
Zac sighed and put his laptop on the floor. “You’ve got weird ways of saying hi.”
“You’re right sorry, I shouldn’t have burst in like that. I know you don’t like astral mode too.” I said, backing away. Yeah talk about invasion of privacy, what was I thinking?
Zac gave me an odd look. “Is everything ok?”
“You and Sallie both haven’t been to any of the exams.”
I found myself sitting down on Zac’s bed. “Yeah, lots of shit kind of ended up happening.”
“’Shit’ that’s pretty vague. Please define this ‘shit’ that was more important than taking the exams.” Zac prompted.
Well he’s asking for it. “The kind of shit that gets you a magical tattoo that causes a lot of problems. Also the kind of shit that basically puts you in a coma for a little while.”
“Sounds familiar.” Zac said.
Oh that’s right…that shit kind of applies to Zac too.
“I’m tempted to say you didn’t comatose yourself off a building, though I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“Yeah no, it was my dad. He put a spell on me and it backfired.”
“Why the fuck did he put a spell on you?” Zac asked.
“Why do you think? I’m that troublesome kid no one knows what to do with.” I shrugged.
Zac opened and closed his mouth a few times. Clearly he wanted to say something but didn’t know how to phrase it. Eventually he did settle on something. “I wouldn’t call you that Niko. You’ve just…got a lot of energy. And a lot of curiosity. Sounds to me like your dad was just a fat jerk. Offense intended. Casting that kind of spell on your own kid – that’s just wrong. Especially over something like discipline. Sucks that happened to you. You don’t deserve that kind of shit.”
“Is everything ok Zac?” I teased. He really was making an effort to be nice.
“Hey kid! Yeah you’re annoying as fuck, but…you’re Nikolas.” He said with an awkward shrug.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well you’re you. Discipline doesn’t really suit you. Not that you’re a bad guy but…you get what I mean?” Zac asked a little painfully.
“Is this a trick question.”
“This talk of me is getting uncomfortable.”
“It was uncomfortable from the start. Point is don’t listen to shitty people like your dad ok?”
“That’s actually what pushed my dad to cast this really stupid spell on me but okay. Noted.” I said.
Zac slumped, looking at his wall. “I’m not good with pep talks.” He muttered.
I snorted. “It’s amazing that you actually tried. To think you did care.”
“Shut up.” Zac rolled his eyes. There was a small silence that began to settle, enough for me to wonder if it was time for me to leave. “What was that about you having a magical tattoo?”
“Oh damn, wait till you hear this…”