Britechester University, Pleasant House
Caleb hung up the phone with a frustrated growl. Everything that could go wrong with their reconnaissance mission had gone wrong. Caleb blamed himself, he should have known that the basilisks had something living in their food storage, and a hungry zombie would be unable to resist the brains.
It was also Basilisks 101 that they lived in pods. Even if he had forgotten that fact, a simple count of the bedrooms as they cased the place should have reminded him. And to show up without weapons? What was he? Some kind of amateur?
He crept towards the door. Distracted was the more likely answer. Deacon did not know when to shut up and he persisted in asking Caleb questions about himself and his interests which was…Caleb thought the word terrible even as his mind replaced it with the word nice.
He opened the door and sped into the hall. He intended to rush into the room with Deacon’s head but the basilisk had other plans.
Time to improvise.
Springing up, he wrapped himself around the creature’s neck. Claws sharpening, he plunged them in and began to tear at its flesh, hoping to hit a major artery or take its head off completely.
He was almost there—the thing thrashing and whining, as it knocked into the walls. His arm punched through the other side of the basilisk’s neck just as it released its final attack: a spray of venom.
“Well, that’s just fantastic,” he grumbled, as he fell to the ground. “If I’m not eaten by the basilisks, the venom will kill me and I’ll still be eaten by the basilisks.”
Scrambling to his feet, he shoved himself through the door, less than gracefully, where Deacon’s head greeted him atop a pile of books on the dresser. “Woof! You look pale dude.”
Insulted by a disembodied head? Double fantastic.
“Well, we are outnumbered in a particularly difficult fight and you’re the idiot who can’t find your—” he looked at Deacon’s scrunched up face, “What are you doing?”
“Oh nothing, sorry dude, one of those snake things just sprayed me with venom. It felt funny.”
“You can still feel your body?” Caleb gasped, an idea already beginning to form in his mind. It was a bad idea, of course, but what was the 11th hour for if not bad ideas?
“Heck yeah! It’s awesome!” Deacon laughed, “I mean, I can’t actually see anything so you know, it’s hard to move around, but it smells like I’m in the basement…”
Caleb grunted as he climbed to his feet. He pressed a button and dropped a phone next to Deacon’s head. “Get yourself to the livingroom. I’ll be the eyes. You be the body.”
L. Faba had already done three dramatic sweeps through the hallways of Magic HQ, sending acolyte witches and staff scattering. There was no reason for any more sweeps, the facts had been confirmed. Morgyn had betrayed them.
Or it was more correct to say Morgyn had betrayed her. Simeon didn’t mean anything to anyone. A conduit through which they siphoned off the power of witches, a fake Sage who allowed her and Morgyn to achieve their stated dream—ruling in these forms without having to cycle out or share the title with someone unbearable.
And despite the existence of Simeon—who L. Faba and Morgyn had already agreed to kill once they’d secured The Owl—the Sages of Untamed and Mischief Magic had mostly succeeded.
There was no word for it in the tongue of any supernatural creature. The closest approximation would be family—sibling. Morgyn was her sibling, the one L. Faba loved most, which made this particular betrayal so cutting.
Two acolyte witches crept into the room. “Tea?” the green-haired witch squeaked. “They said you requested it—”
L. Faba flicked her wrist, letting loose a bit of mischief magic. She watched in delight as a current hit the blonde witch so hard it lifted her off the ground and singed her skin.
Her companion lurched back and L. Faba watched as she swallowed down her bile at the smell of burning flesh.
It was a waste of magic, but it did improve her mood. “I don’t want tea anymore,” L. Faba advised, smoothing down her dress. “Tell Simeon I wish to see him. Now.”