Ch. 12.2 – Sara

The click of the bracelet around her wrist was the only mundane sound, but Sara’s Vision-self rang like chimes. Goddess. I didn’t feel whole without it. Even as her hands beckoned to the air, Rose was charging towards the section of roof where Ekaida was fighting Alex and Molly. Bastion, call him Bastion, she reminded herself. “Thanks, Victor,” she said, Weaving the threads of the world to favor her friends.

“You let Travis West capture you to rescue me,” Victor replied, shuddering. “Getting your power bracelet back, the one you lost to get me out, isn’t much by comparison.”

Sara raised her arm, dozens of subtle strands Woven together in her fist. She turned and grinned at him. “It’s Majestech that heals the damage the Skeptic did to me. Honey, it was like giving me back my arm.” The Weaver punched down, yanking on all the strands at once. Ekaida yelped and recoiled, her arms and wings suddenly tangled in one another by a spasm. Molly, who’d been recovering from a tail slap, used her momentum to leap around and tackle the Daimani’s legs. Bastion and Rose took the opportunity to hit her from opposite sides, an electric surge and a Vision blast scrambling her thoughts. “Yeah!” Sara exulted. “Now quick, get us out of here!”

In an instant, it was all undone. Ekaida returned to her six meter long dragon form, slashing at Rose with her tail, hammering Bastion with a wing, and breathing a lightning bolt at Molly. The Ghost Dragon punched the bolt, scattering it, but shuddered in place when she was finished. “You can’t beat me, Molly dear,” she said merrily, her human face flashing a gleaming smile.

Victor grasped at the air desperately, whispering to himself in a language Sara didn’t recognize. “I can’t,” he gasped, almost clawing at the Rift in desperation. What? Sara looked into the Weave. West must be blocking him, but how?

Meanwhile, Ekaida circled Molly on foot. “Come now, darling. You knew long ago that fighting an Elder Dragon would make you a done Dunn.”

Molly slid into a combat stance Sara hadn’t seen before. “You always were a talker, Kai,” she retorted. “It gets old fast.”

“Don’t worry.” Ekaida smiled, her woman’s face distending and growing to become a reptilian maw, a long row of dagger teeth gleaming at Molly. “I don’t talk with food in my mouth.” Elder Dragon lunged at Ghost Dragon, roaring as she tried to swallow Molly whole. Even Molly was surprised when Ekaida stopped suddenly, her entire body crashing to the roof.

Sara turned to see Bastion and Max holding Ekaida’s tail, both gripping it with more than just their arms. Light and darkness wrapped around it, and they both yanked, pulling her back and into the air again. The huge dragon yelped and shrank, but the grip of Blaze and Rift held as her tail retracted, flickering to her leg when it vanished entirely. They pulled her down with a crash, and Ekaida made a significant impression in the roof. “You don’t have to do this, Ms. Ekaida!” Bastion pleaded, hands outstretched. “Travis betrayed you! Don’t you remember what we were talking about?”

Sara sensed Ekaida blinking. “Sorry, hon,” she replied, and a ripple of her own Adapted Blaze and Rift threw Bastion and Max into the air. “I don’t.”

“Of course not,” Travis cut in, striding onto the roof with four of his suited thugs. “He’s lying. Understandably, of course, but still. Deal with the Blaze and your phantom knock-off.” The businessman smoothed his lapels, then gazed imperiously at the Sara and Victor. “I’ll deal with the others.”

“I don’t think so, Travesty,” Rose insisted, pointing Life Blossom at him. “We’re leaving. The only question is how much aspirin you’ll need after we’re gone.”

All four agents leaped at her, moving with perfect coordination. Travis strode with serene confidence towards the two remaining Primes while Rose fought off her assailants. In the distance, Sara thought she heard a helicopter approaching. Even if that’s not Global Complex, it can’t be good. She flung out her hand, and Wove a fist of raw force out of the Blaze, throwing it at West. The Sovereign slid back, grunting. “Victor,” she hissed.

“I’m trying,” Victor half-sobbed. He twisted space and time in his hands, but something kept his reach from stretching far beyond the building. “It’s just not working!”

Travis smoothed his suit jacket again, lips flat and jaw tight. “You belong to me, freak,” he said, glaring at them. “Both of you do, now.”

“Bite me,” Sara snarled, lashing out with a complex Weave of strands to entangle and drain the Vision Prime.

West’s glare unleashed a burst of concentrated Vision energy, slicing her strands to rapidly-vanishing ribbons. He smiled coldly. “Perhaps later, if you beg creatively enough.”

Maxine grabbed West from behind, the Reanimate having taken the form of a towering amazon vampire. Her muscles rippled beneath impossibly pale skin, while fangs gleamed as she bared her teeth. “Okay, I’ll bite,” she quipped, then moved to match deeds to words. Travis drove a psychic spike through Max’s mind, then dropped to the ground and rolled away. “Will you beg?” she asked, turning to face the Vision master.

West’s response was an all-out assault on Max’s mind, and Sara had to throw every erg of Weaving into the Reanimate’s mental shields to keep them from buckling. “You gender-bending aberration!” West howled. “When I’m done with you, you’ll wish you could beg! I’ll-”

They never found out was Travis would have done, because Bastion and Molly struck Ekaida with enough force to send her falling past the roof. Both turned their attention to the Vision Prime, and Sara’s own mental gifts were enough for her to feel the outrage rippling from them in waves. “You get one chance, West. Please don’t take it,” Bastion said.

An air-shattering roar left all of them wincing, even the four brainwashed goons attacking Wonder Rose. Ekaida flew back up, all pretense of humanity gone. She’d become a rippling draconic war machine, wingless but with spiked scales bristling all along her body. Eight limbs, neither arm nor leg, grasped the air hungrily with murderous claws. Four eyes sought them out, two facing forward like a hunter, the other two on the sides watching protectively. Flames took form along her serpentine tongue, and Sara could feel their heat from the opposite side of the roof. Molly and Bastion both turned, and the Ghost Dragon sighed. “Oh, we’re going to be late for breakfast,” she muttered, as Ekaida inhaled.

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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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