Welcome to the last chapter of Volume 1
No one’s POV
Salandra sat staring outside her little enclosure.
The place was empty today. She’d overheard them talking – the summit was today. The employees had been given the day off for it. She was going to be alone.
Yet was she really?
It felt like something was going to happen.
Nikolas stepped out of the car, feeling anxious, nervous, but excited. They were here. Finally it was happening.
“Will you stop jumping around?” Aleccas said.
“I’ve been sitting in a car for an hour, I need to jump around.”
Skyla picked her chair and eyed the others carefully. They were 8 in total.
Theoretically they outnumbered the Hans 6-to-2. But would that be enough?
She glanced at her opponent at this meeting. She looked too confident – too prepared – and it made Skyla nervous.
Logically, she reminded herself, there’s no way they can lose. Logic, common sense, everything points to a good ending.
“Diego, Roman, you two are with me.” Terrance said. “Tiffany and Raj you guys are behind us. But stay close. Remember everyone, Tiffany is the one with the tattoos that mess with electric equipment. The cameras won’t see us as long as she’s close. Raj you’re on support only, don’t play the hero. Diego and Roman are more than enough for the rough work.”
Nikolas listened carefully.
Annie and Kevil were staying behind as backup. Aleccas wasn’t going in just yet. He was the getaway driver for James. When they’d get to him and confirm its safe, Aleccas would go in and get him out.
For all his boasting he was hesitant to step into the place. “They have a scary amount of failsafes.” He’d admitted.
Instead he’d decided to stay behind and prepare spells to help the team.
Nikolas’ job – which he had to fight hard for – was recon. He’d slip in with astral and check the place out. He’d confirm the best route to get to James – confirm how many people were present – and then continue to follow them and alert Annie if anything came up so she could alert the team.
Niko looked at Zac who gave him a steady smile. The Dragons hadn’t given Zac a role. With Aleccas being more talented at teleporting, he was the one who’d go in to get James. But it wasn’t a bad thing to have two people who could teleport – if anything went awry. For now, Zac was just backup.
“Is it my turn? Do I go?” Nikolas asked restlessly.
“Good luck to you and Ashe.” Zac said just before Nikolas left.
Right. She’d offered to help. Nikolas nodded and astral called her to let her know.
“The last few years have been disastrous. The supernatural population has never been so aggressive. This motion to ban magic is the way to go.”
“The supernaturals aren’t the only ones causing destruction. Naturals are the ones blowing up schools. Supernaturals are on the defensive, we can’t establish a rule against them if they’re only defending themselves.” Skyla countered.
The Hans representative spoke, levelly. “The supernaturals are genetically stronger than naturals. They have a clear advantage and with that comes responsibility. One that they are not taking seriously.”
“If we agree to ban magic it will only give reason to the discrimination.” Skyla said.
“Supernaturals are deceivers.” Someone else piped up. “They let us believe that they were going instinct, when all along they still have extremely powerful witches under the impression they can assimilate whatever authority they want.”
“The fact that this entire room is filled with naturals only makes this very meeting discrimination and an abuse of authority. They can’t even defend themselves.”
She raised her hand in response and upon opening it a flower appeared and bloomed. The room was stunned into silence. “They are more than capable of defending themselves. This is a matter of discipline.”
The room softened and people nodded. Skyla grimaced.
“Place seems good so far there’s barely anyone here.” Nikolas said, checking the corridors.
“Seems everyone was given the day off.” Ashlynn noted.
“Doesn’t that worry you? I don’t think they’d leave this place this unguarded.” Ashe said.
“Apparently they got too confident.” Nikolas said. “This is the place.”
“Only one lady. She doesn’t even have any guards.”
“That means this really is the ideal time.” Nikolas grinned. “I’m going back to tell them. Thanks for your help!”
Ashlynn cast one last uncertain look before leaving.
“Pass me that notebook will you?”
The scientist groaned. “Oh why are all my assistants enjoying their day off? They’d fetch me my things.”
“None of you seem to be considering the population’s reaction.” The head of police brought forth. “Supernaturals only constitute a third if not less of the population. Right now the naturals are scared of the supernaturals, but if you pass this ban you’re giving them authority to overwhelm the supernatural population. The streets are heavy enough with crime as it is. This will only make things worse.”
“We should concentrate on balancing things out.” Skyla said. “We need to get rid of the discrimination. If we can smooth things out – allow supernaturals political positions for example – things will naturally resolve themselves. We don’t need to enforce bans.”
The two were the driving forces to protect the supernaturals. Two against six, but the day was still just starting.
“I wonder how your guys’ little summit is going.” Aleccas said as he began a spell meant to reduce the noise the team was making as they began their infiltration. The less known they were the better chance everyone had of making it out alive.
“Your guys’?” Nikolas had just come back to his body to update everyone.
“I’m not familiar enough yet with your politics.”
Nikolas stared confused, to which Annie came over to explain.
“Aleccas isn’t from our timeline.” That only confused him more.
Aleccas grinned. “I’m a time traveler!”
“You can travel through time?”
“But you just said-”
“I was trying to be funny, come on.” Aleccas rolled his eyes.
“Aleccas Keeper was the heir to the Keeper family when the Witch Wars happened.” Annie revealed.
“That was hundreds of years ago!” Nikolas exclaimed. “How did you get here?”
“I’m not sure yet. First, I’m putting some witches down, then I’m waking up in a crater and a few hundred years have gone by. I have my suspicions that Atris had something to do with it. But he’s still just a baby, so he also has no idea what happened.” Aleccas explained.
Nikolas could only stare. Time traveling is a thing.
“This talk of ‘banning magic’ is glamorous, but if I was a supernatural, a few words on a piece of paper wouldn’t stop me.”
“Most people don’t want trouble. They don’t go looking for reasons to be put in jail.” Skyla said. “They don’t go looking for ways to hurt others.” Her words fell on deaf ears.
“Weren’t the Hans developing artifacts to contain supernaturals? That’s what they claimed at the Magic trial.”
“Which was a failure.”
“We’ve produced much more effective methods of handling magic users. You might be aware that we’ve handled all cases of rogue destructive supernaturals in the last year. We’ve successfully apprehended them and contained them. We’ve worked closely with the police to achieve that goal and we are hoping the police will continue to do so if this disciplinary measure comes to pass.” She eloquently said.
“The police won’t help in the unprovoked containment of innocent people.”
She paid little attention to his comment and offered something else on the table. “Our artifacts were not equipped to deal with powerful supernaturals during the trial. However, we now have the means to contain the strongest of them – including the likes of James Whitelight.”
The group waited till the scientist had her back turned before pooling into the room.
Roman and Raj had stayed upstairs while the other three had gone down the elevator to where James was being held.
The group had needed to hack and break a number of doors and security locks to reach their destination.
Terrance went in first, and apprehended the lady, flipping her over the table. “We’re secure.” He declared before the lady began to laugh almost uncontrollably underneath him.
Terrance turned around to find both Tiffany and Diego down on the ground – tranquilizer darts in their arms. Two guards had appeared at the doorway, guns drawn.
Where did they come from?
Nikolas went back to his body in a panic.
“I didn’t see them!” He exclaimed. “They need help. They need backup!”
Kevil immediately alerted Raj and Ramon to go down to help.
Annie came to calm Nikolas down. “The guards! They were invisible so I didn’t see them. There might be more I don’t know, Aleccas?” Nikolas turned to the older witch.
“Right better go help.” He said, almost a little fearful, as Atris flapped his wings.
With Aleccas’ help the two guards were put to sleep, but one of the guards had already set off an alarm.
“Okay, the faster we get out of here the better. Alarms mean failsafes. Failsafes mean trouble.” He said as Terrance opened the door to James’ cell.
“Hey! Get us out too!” The blue-haired vampire shouted, slamming on his window as he watched Terrance lift a drugged James up from his bed. Raj reassured him they would.
“Okay, everybody touch hands, including the KO ones, let’s get out of here.” Aleccas said before teleporting everyone out.
Nikolas stayed behind to watch until they came back to get his uncle and his great grandmother.
Hell, with Aleccas helping and James now saved, they could go further and help the rest of the people in this building.
“I think everyone’s said what they needed to. All arguments have been brought forwards. It’s time we held the vote. If the vote is a tie we will make this a public vote and invite the citizens to place their opinion.”
That was her next best bet. Skyla was doubtful more than 4 would vote like she would, but if it was a tie…not all naturals were afraid of supernaturals. A good portion of them thought this was as ridiculous as it was.
She wasn’t one for hoping, but she was making use of that emotion now.
Nikolas was getting worried, the alarm had gone off what felt like a while ago now and the people who Aleccas had put down with a quick sleeping spell were starting to stir.
Just as they were, several guards pooled into the room. Nikolas was about to head back and warn the others, but something that lady grumbled as she woke kept him.
“Took you long enough! We need to get the body.” She pushed herself to her feet, clicking a bit on her computer. “Good they’re still on the premises. It worked, he should be dead. They’re right outside.”
The guards ran back out in slow motion as Nikolas stood still.
I need to warn them.
He reminded himself and he teleported back to the group.
“Don’t worry. It’ll work out.” The head of police assured her as everyone prepared their vote. “It’s politics, but no one would make this mistake.”
“I didn’t think anyone would blow up a school but here we are.” Skyla said.
“He died right as they came back.” Zac said, as Niko stared at his lifeless body.
“I told you failsafes. They had a device on him.” Aleccas grimaced apologetically. “The moment we got him out of the building it killed him. There’s nothing we could’ve done.” A metallic object shined from James’ neck. It was the electric device they’d put on him.
In the event someone tried to break him out.
Alive or dead, it made little difference to them.
“There are guards coming! We need to leave.” Ramon urged.
“The knocked out people are in the car, let’s go everyone.” Annie insisted.
Aleccas noticed the guards were holding what looked like guns from far away. He cast a protective shield and got ready to cast a spell against them when one of the guards shot a bullet that ripped through Aleccas’ shield. These weren’t just guns, no doubt they were artifacts. Guns specialized with dealing with magic foes. He held his ground nonetheless. “I’d hurry up!” Aleccas urged.
Nikolas could only stare. He was dead. James was dead.
All it had taken was an automated radio signal.
“With that the decision to ban magic is confirmed. With the help of the Hans we’re going to set up systems to contain and manage the supernaturals. The Hans have the most experience with dealing with magic and we will refer to them. Your support and participation is requested but not necessary.”
I think…I understand a little better now.
What it is…to lose the ideal parental figure.
I didn’t know him really.
But I needed…the comfort he brought.
I think I understand…the desperation it brings.
End of Volume 1