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Ch. 11.2 – Molly

Molly Dunn moved through the lower floors of Purity West Tower with the speed, grace and stealth that were the hallmarks of the Ghost Dragons. None of West’s men saw her, and most never knew she was there. Two guards stood in a doorway she could not pass without dealing with them, so she did, knocking them out and hiding their unconscious forms without anyone knowing there’d been a problem.

After two minutes of this, the building above began to shake from the battle above. Any one of those blasts could bring the house down around us. Molly looked up, unable to keep the concern from narrowing her eyes. Be careful, Alex. She needs you more than you know. Then she ripped a stairwell door off its hinges and raced deeper into the hidden fortress.

The next door she found resisted her efforts more effectively, but after several seconds Molly was able to pry it free of its frame. The walls here are well warded. It’s no surprise that they’re sturdy. She leaped to the ceiling, a blend of Blaze and Anima granting her the power to cling to it like an ant. Quickly, Molly hurried through, her talents rendering her invisible to the many sensors already seeking intruders. It’s only a matter of time before someone notices the doors. Sara, girl, where are you?

Weaving and Vision sight worked to track the fraying threads, but the wards in the basement complex worked to obscure every trail. Fine. We’ll do this the hard way. Dunn moved onward, her ceiling movements utterly silent.

“Those cells give me the creeps,” she heard echo down a hallway. Molly suppressed a grin. Or maybe not. She crept toward the voice, Majestic senses probing ahead. Her scan picked up two sets of footsteps running parallel to her path.

“For the money West pays us, I don’t care if he’s running the Inquisition down here,” another voice retorted. “Be a man.” Molly shook her head. More like a boy.

The first speaker stopped walking. “That’s the point. We’re Majestic. Why the hell are we playing security guard for some loony out of a spy flick when we’re half god ourselves?”

“I did just mention the money, right?” the second voice grumped, his pace halting as well. “You sound like one of those Council freaks. If you want to go ‘fight the powah’ with astrology and incense, go right ahead.”

“You,” the first began, cut off when the building shook again. “Holy…does that feel like New Age crap to you? Besides, that’s not what I mean. Gray Company protects decent people from monsters. They don’t kidnap kids to plug into machines, or whatever West is doing to them.”

There was a pause. Molly rounded the corner to see the suits staring at each other, both sets of sunglasses dangling in their respective hands. “Have you seen the turnover in Gray Company? Fighting Vortex things gets your brain eaten. I’ll take West and his 401k plan, thanks.”

As the first Sovereign goon was taking a breath to respond, Molly dropped on the second one, a spike of Anima and Vision driving through his third eye. He spasmed and passed out. The first guard stared at her in terror, one hand in his jacket. Wisely, however, he didn’t pull it out with the pistol Molly had already spotted. “I don’t like Gray Company,” she noted softly, “but you’re right about one thing. At least they show some courage against the Mother’s real enemies.” He nodded wordlessly, pulling his empty hand out of his jacket. “Smart. Now. I’m here for a woman in purple and black that your boss kidnapped. You can tell me where she is, or I can go through your minds for the information.”

“Ex-boss,” the man replied, then pointed down the hall. “Go that way until you’ve passed one cross-corridor and reached a second. Turn right. It’ll be the first gray door on your right after that. Ignore the green doors, they just have stuff in them. And about a million booby traps.”

“You should leave,” Molly replied, standing. The building shook again. “Quickly.”

“Yeah,” he said grabbing his partner. “Travesty isn’t big on severance packages.” He went the opposite direction from where he’d pointed Molly. She watched as he left, probing for sincerity with Vision. Satisfied he’d told her the truth, the Ghost Dragon raced to follow his directions, then grabbed the gray door’s handle.

The electric shock that responded was a bit painful, but what bothered Molly was that it would have easily killed a normal human. I really need to get back up there. After struggling with the door for over ten seconds, she braced one foot against the wall, dug her fingers into the door itself, and pulled with all the strength her Anima could pulse through her. The door, and a fair section of wall, gave way with a scream of metal and mortar.

Inside the room, harsh white light accentuated the sole dark figure in the room, strapped to a slab like some pulp-era mad science captive. “Molly!” Sara cried, struggling the moment she spotted the Ghost Dragon. “Thank the Goddess!”

“Tch,” Molly replied, throwing out pulses of force that shattered the bulbs. “It was your plan. What went wrong? There’s no siren, but someone was alerted the moment I opened that door.”

“And half the wall,” Sara added wryly. Molly ignored the wit and went to work on the Weaver’s straps. “Molly, Alex is up there fighting Ekaida. She works for West.”

The Ghost Dragon didn’t stop working to free her ward, but she did slow down, looking up and staring at Sara in shock. “The Elder Dragon? She’s his?” After a moment, Molly shook her head and redoubled her strap-tearing efforts. “Any notion why?”

“Partly, she’s into him,” Sara explained. “There has to be more, but I don’t know what and it can damn well wait.” The moment she was free, Sara stumbled into the Ghost Dragon. Molly helped her right herself, and Sara’s eyes shone with worry. “We have to help him!”

“The Rift Prime first,” Molly insisted. Sara opened her mouth to argue, but Molly held up a finger and kept talking. “Alex is holding his own. A helpless captive takes precedence. He’d agree, and you know it.”

Sara crossed her arms. Dunn recognized the gesture from her mirror. “He’s turned into something out of his own comics. Of course he’d agree.” Molly waited a few seconds, and Sara deflated, arms falling back to her sides. “Fine. At least send Rose to help. Where’s Max?”

“Rose is already up there,” Molly noted, “and Max is looking for your Rift counterpart. Lets go find our Reanimate friend.”

Sara lit up. “Glad to hear it.” Molly raised an eyebrow. “You calling Max ‘friend,’ I mean.”

The Ghost Dragon sighed theatrically. “Not the time, girl. You should have an idea where to find them.” Sara held up her hands and worked the Weave with nimble fingers, then nodded back to Molly. “Good. Now move.” Sara moved.

Written by Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan was born in the Bronx, New York, giving him the right to root for the Yankees while making less than six figures. After a long, largely pleasant interregnum in suburban Connecticut, he moved to the Inland Empire, California to be with his wonderful wife and muse, a stepson, and a crazed feline. An occasionally too-avid player of and writer for tabletop roleplaying games, his other passion is metaphysics, which informs most of his fiction.

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