And that’s how many times someone has infiltrated that school’s student body?
Late Friday Evening, January 26th, 2018 (Three days before Flick and company confronted Fahsteth and Flick’s house was attacked by werewolves)
Most of the people at the Crossroads Academy believed that Paul Calburn embodied the very concept of the cliche gentleman cowboy. That wasn’t exactly true, since the one and only time he’d actually ridden a horse, the thing had bucked him. That was back when Paul had been eight years old. He’d ended up with a broken arm and a deep-seated fear of horses that he still hadn’t shaken. He knew how irrational it was, especially now. He was training to fight much, much worse threats. But logic didn’t matter. Anytime the idea of actually sitting on a horse came up again, he had a flashback to his own small body flying through the air, followed by the terrible pain as he’d landed on his arm. Logic…
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So much for secured rooms. This is going to have consequences in the end. I can just see them dropping the wrong name at the wrong time or pulling the choker off and everyone’s Stranger sense get pinged.
Please note, the following is the beginning of a 6-chapter Interlude Arc focusing on Roxa’s old team as they investigate Flick and that whole situation. We will be taking a brief break from our main character to see what’s going on over here. Flick will be back after this arc.
Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 (Five Days before Flick and company confronted Fahsteth and Flick’s house was attacked by werewolves)
Most of the people at the Crossroads Academy believed that Gordon Kuhn had no sense of humor. That wasn’t exactly true, since there were things that he found amusing. But he had goals, goals that could only be accomplished if he took his training seriously, and didn’t squander the opportunity.
That, and he also didn’t particularly relish the idea of spending a bunch of time laughing alongside the very same people who would cheerfully murder him if they knew…
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In all of her life, the being who now chose to refer to herself as Nevada had never known true freedom. Whether it was at the hands of her malevolent creator, Denuvus, or the myriad of other masters who had come and gone over the years before she was reclaimed, someone was almost always in control of her. She may have escaped for brief periods now and then, but there was always someone right around the corner waiting to use her.
That was the nature of being a Djinn. Even when she wasn’t actively under the control of an owner, there were many Alters out there who could see or sense her for what she was. More specifically, they saw her for what she could do for them. They saw the power that she represented. The power of a Djinn to grant wishes was almost unparalleled.
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Oh, the video camera of her being turned into a wolf and possessed. That’ll be useful.
“I’m surprised the guys in charge let you come here,” Miranda Walbern announced.
Glancing to her as the two of them walked along the freeway-sized branch of the Eden’s Garden tree (seriously, this plant was the size of the Empire State building), Koren raised an eyebrow. “By guys in charge, do you mean the Committee, or… what were your leaders called again?”
“The Victors,” Miranda supplied. “And both, actually. I didn’t think either one would let you visit.”
A slight smirk touched the Koren’s face as she gave a small shrug. “What can I say? My mom is really good at arguing with people. She told your, uh, Victors that there was some kind of provision in your laws for close relatives from Crossroads to visit family here. Then Gaia gave the Committee a message from Mom that basically said that if they wanted her to join them…
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I was honestly fooled when the choker got acid spit on it.
Note: Please make sure to read my first comment after this chapter for an important announcement regarding donations for the past month and rewards.
As the two crazed werewolves came for us, Roxa and I did the best thing we could in the moment: we went straight to meet them. With barely a glance exchanged between us, we both moved. Roxa took three steps forward before dropping a bit, bending so that my subsequent hop let me put a foot on her back to push off of into a leap. Spinning in the air , I came down between the two, behind Lemuel and facing his back but ahead of Pace with my back to her.
Bending backwards slightly, I brought my staff up in both hands, held horizontally behind my head at the last second before one of the knives that Pace had produced smacked off of…
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“We were supposed to be superheroes.”
The voice of Sandoval Mason was quiet in the evening air, barely reaching the ears of her twin sister as the two of them stood at the edge of the school grounds opposite the beach, overlooking the vast jungle far below. Darkness had settled over the island, leaving the two figures illuminated only by the abundant moon and starlight. In the distance, other groups of students milled and moved around. But here, at the edge of the grounds, the twins were alone.
At that announcement, Scout said nothing in return, simply glancing at the other girl in silence. Yet it was a silence that Sands could read. After years of near-constant contact and interaction, she knew her sister.
“Yeah, I know,” she replied to the silence. “We’re still helping people, people that really deserve it. And… and if there’s…” Taking a moment…
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I was expecting werewolves. I was not expecting wererhinos. Where do you even get one of those?
“We’ll go in first,” Mateo announced a moment later. “My pack and our friends. We can get a lot closer than any of you can.” He gestured not just at us, but toward the other Alters as well. “Weres know each other. We can get right into the camp. There’s so many people down there, they won’t know that we don’t belong there. We’ll get as close as we can, then start trouble.
“Once we’ve got the attention on us, the rest of the Alters can come in. Try to close over them like a net. They’ll be focused on us, which should give you a chance to hit them from behind.”
His eyes moved back over to us then. “Roxa can stay back with the Heretics. Heretics, the second any of them see you, they’ll know what you are. Stay back until the fight’s in full swing…
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Ah, the first war. A Tragedy in the making. Still, didn’t think it had been months since Roxa was infected. Time flies.
“I have more questions than there are words in the English language, Chambers.” Avalon had pressed both hands together in a praying position, both index fingers lightly touching her bottom lip. “But I think three of those words work to sum it up adequately. What. The. Fuck.”
Tristan pointed. “Uh, yeah, I’m with her. What do you mean, you’re gonna talk to the Hangman skull? First, isn’t the thing being guarded by, like, full Heretics ever since that little brat went through it? Second, aren’t they supposed to be evil? Third, and again because I cannot stress this enough, already being guarded. Not that we’re not super-awesome, but seriously?”
“Okay.” Holding up both hands, I shook my head. “There isn’t really time to explain it. Not yet. We’re kind of in a rush right now, if we’re gonna get there before the wolves take off. And I’m pretty…
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Off to kill werewolves now. Busy week, huh?
Please note that there was a commissioned mini-interlude focusing on Fahsteth and Fossor posted a couple days ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might want to use the Previous Chapter button above.
Somehow, three hours had passed between the time that I’d passed out and when Roxa’s call had awakened me. That was an almost absurdly long amount of sleep for me ever since I’d gained the Amarok’s power. But after the night I’d had, apparently I’d really needed the rest.
And if the first five seconds of the new day that I’d experienced so far was any indication, it wasn’t going to be any slower or less active than the last one. But hey, at least I’d had three hours of sleep. For me, that was practically like crashing for twelve straight. I’d even slept through both the usual morning workout that I had with…
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He handled that information surprisingly well.
Please note that there was a commissioned mini-interlude focusing on Columbus posted a couple days ago. If you haven’t seen that yet, you might wish to click the Previous Chapter button above.
One thing that I obviously had to ask before we went anywhere else with this particular conversation was a simple, “How? How’d you guys get out of the house? How did you get away from the werewolves? They said–they said it looked like the wolves were killed by a bunch of Heretics, but I know it wasn’t–I mean, if it was some of Gabriel’s people, he would’ve said so.”
“Not a bunch of Heretics,” Dad corrected. “Just one, actually. A powerful one, I think. Not that I have a lot to compare it to, but from what I saw, she’s pretty damn powerful. Scary powerful. She’s the one who weakened that memory suppression thing so I’d…
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