((My original plan was to keep Jasmin in Ireland and have him directly face Mevolent, but my truly evil side has recently kicked in. Muahahahaha.))
"With a teleporter ex, surely transport isn't that difficult to arrange." Cadence reasoned as she lay across the new safehouse's sofa, her head in Jasmin's lap.
"I can't get a hold of her." He explained simply. His eyes flickered nervously to Daemon, but she had earphones in. Nostradamus and Belinda were in a different room. "I tried to call her but couldn't get through...besides, you said you couldn't come with. I really want to spend time with you. I really, really do."
"Aw. I want to spend time with you too." She reached up and brushed her hand against his cheek, smiling. "You have commitments overseas though, Jasmin..." A sigh escaped her lips, "things to do, a magical community to help govern, children to look after...especially now they've lost a sister."
He nodded. "I know. I want to get back to them, of course I do, but while this man is running around trying to capture me what can I do?"
She shrugged. "Dunno. Dilemma."
There was a bang from the kitchen, followed by some suspicious noises that sounded a lot like a fight. Frowning, Cadence got to her feet, grabbing her magic shoe. She moved to the door as Daemon removed her earphones and Jasmin stood. The door opened and Perseus stumbled through backwards, the big American man stepping in after him. The French Elder cursed and pushed at the air, hoping to knock the big man back, but he countered with his own air blast. The air rippled between them and both men fought to get the better of one another. Belinda stepped up on one side of Cantankerous and used her shadows to sweep his feet out from underneath him. He caught himself on the sofa and kicked his leg out, knocking the hockey-stick and jarring her arm. They both dove for the stick and he reached it first and snapped it. It took a few attempts as Cadence's shadows distracted him with slashes at his back and hauling him up, but break it he did and the magic went flowing back into the overweight Necromancer. Cadence was still behind him and tying him in the weaker shadows. Jasmin was just getting to his feet. It seemed Tank's air control had gone a little haywire when he had fallen and finally overcame the French Mage. Frivolidad still seemed a little dazed after being hit in the head with a draw-full of pans. (Well, Tank had pulled the bottom pan out and hurled it and all the others stayed in.) He certainly wasn't attacking, just leaning against the wall, swaying slightly. Poor guy, he thought before kicking back, trying to gage how far behind him Nightwish was by hitting backwards as best he could. Something made contact with something else. A floor lamp? He grabbed it and swung it back, knocking over a fish bowl in the process. The lamp hit Nightwish in the jaw and she stumbled back, losing her grip on her heel. Orage was hesitating, trying to find a good opening to fight but at the same time considering running. Cantankerous turned towards him and he stopped hesitating and threw a fireball. The big man gave a squeak of fear and reached for a cushion off the nice green sofa. The cushion was set alight and Jasmin swore again as Tank dropped it on the sofa, setting that alight as well. After that he was felled surprisingly easily as he turned and Perseus fired his gun, hitting the larger man in the chest at point-blank range. He stumbled and his hat fell off, and Perseus fired shots until the gun was empty. "That was easy." The Cuban Mage muttered, slurring his words.
"Why the hell didn't you use that earlier?" Belinda snapped. He just shrugged.
B-J knocked on the door before answering. "Garnet? You okay? I wanted to talk to someone, and you know exactly what happened, and...Garnet?" She noticed the room was empty. A groan escaped her throat, not wanting to go looking for him. She sat on the bed and something crackled beneath her. It was a piece of folded paper. She checked the message and gasped. It was brief and vague and something about needing to leave and her having to do whatever she was doing alone. "No! Gar!" She started calling for him as though he would still be there, but he was long gone and she knew it. She put her hands to her cheeks, shocked, still considering Garnet as her best friend after all the killing and the years apart. Someone coughed and she turned to see Rasputin standing in the doorway. "Go away!"
"I heard yelling...I wanted to make sure everything was okay." He responded quietly, moving away. "Sorry for disturbing you."
She hesitated. "Wait...sorry...I really need to talk to someone..."
Charles and Moineau were back in France already. Security and surging crowds had forced them and their tickets to the barriers, so once the crisis was averted they had just gone through the usual things and gotten on the plane. The less suspicious they were, the better. They were talking in hushed voices with Lionel, who had been momentarily appointed as an administrator to avoid unwelcome questions. They wanted to contact the missing Elder but only Charles had his number, didn't know it by heart and had managed to lose the sim card of his phone in the confusion. Charles seemed a little subdued as well. He had finally admitted he had a crush on Frivolidad, to his face, and now he was in a completely different country to both his best friend and his newly official boyfriend.
Mortis, Jayden, Garnet and Reckless were sitting down to a greasy breakfast in a fast food restaurant that smelled of chip fat and sweat. "There was something really wrong about all these events when I was with B-J...it wasn't just bad luck, it was like someone had cursed her. She went psycho on that guy, got us both to kill the kid, nearly exhausted me to death...but it was the way she did it all...I don't even know her that well, but that wasn't normal..."
Mortis paused, a bacon sandwich halfway to his mouth. "Did you make sure she didn't have any nasty marks on her? A symbol perhaps? A cursed necklace or dress or shoes?"
"She was wearing a necklace the whole time..."
"I think your girlfriend is in trouble. You say she was running from Serpine and his lot? There's a high chance one of them knew she wasn't really dead and used that to their advantage."
"D'you think she needs help then?" Jayden asked, frowning.
"I do. I might even be willing to postpone killing Popularity to help you help her, Gar."
"What kind of necklace was it?"
Garnet frowned and tried to think. "I didn't pay that much attention to it, but it was a word necklace, I think. It said...it said 'friends'."
"Was it big enough to have a symbol carved on it?"
"No, Mort, I don't think it was."
"Hmm...maybe the curse is controlled from elsewhere or on her body...or on something she touched. That's if it's there at all."
"So you're saying go back?"
"Not necessarily, just that your friend could be in serious danger, or anyone else near her. What did you say her name was?"
Mortis fixed him with a cold look. "A Faceless Ones supporter."
"No, she was raised in a pro-Faceless environment, but-"
"She's a registered member of the church. She's proud of being a worshipper. She thinks she's proof that having the Church of the Faceless as a religion doesn't automatically make you bad. She says her brother's the non-believer and the misbehaving one."
"How do you even know this?"
"I...I've targeted her before..."
"But I obviously failed! I thought she had something I wanted, turned out I was wrong, and when I went to kill her anyway I saw someone who looked like my sister..." He spat the last word with such venom that Jayden and Reckless shrank back in their seats a little. Garnet's frown deepened.
"She's part of the Faceless Ones' little mindless bunch? Why's she going against them then?"
"That's another reason to help her. Curiosity over that."
Arduous Marshmallow knocked on Arachne's door. The Child of the Spider hobbled over and glared when she saw who stood there. The little man shrank back. "What do you want?"
"To...to apologise for getting you in trouble...you...you have those glove things, right?"
Her eyes narrowed. "How's Nefarian doing?"
"He has gangrene on like one finger, but that's the worst, they think."
She nodded. "You're the current 'company doctor', right?"
"And you have interest in these gloves you mentioned...what gloves?"
"I also have an interest in the errand you have miss Maleficent running for you...I know she's alive."
She hesitated. "Who else 'knows'?"
"A few friends of mine."
"You have friends?"
"Prosperity Straker. That's it. I swear."
"You know more than you ought to, Arduous."
"I know. I want to help you."
She arched an eyebrow. "You're anti-Mevolent?"
"...His methods are way OTT..."
"You seem sincere. Come on in." She spoke with reluctance, but Arduous' face brightened considerably. A genuine childlike joy.
Jasmin, Cadence, Perseus, Belinda and Nostradamus all got a plane to France, as well as Nostradamus' father, Sclerosis Thrax, who paid for the new tickets. They all walked to the French Sanctuary as Thrax talked to Diamond, learning more about his son's girlfriend. He knew how old she was and he was making a point of warning her, as she was on the far side of ninety whereas Defiance was still in his late teens. As they drew closer to the Sanctuary, it became clear something was wrong. Jasmin frowned and held up a hand to stop his company. "Mevolent's here."
The girls gave a drawn-out theatrical groan. Perseus made a point of reloading his gun.
"You lot actually want to take him on?" Defiance blurted in shock.
Cadence nodded defiantly. Perseus grinned. "Would be my pleasure."
Jasmin clenched his fists. "Ultimately, I have him to blame for my daughter's death."
"Nostradamus?" Belinda gave him a kind smile. "You're a Sensitive, you can stay outside...well hidden..."
The battle was very heated already. Perseus looked to be right in his element despite his previous head injury. Jasmin had tried to insist he saw a doctor, but he had refused. The French Elder savoured the surprised faces of those who knew he was missing or thought he was dead as he charged into the fray. He quickly lost sight of the others and hoped bringing strangers into the Sanctuary wouldn't cause too much chaos. He tried to brush off that feeling as he pushed at the air to get someone away from Grand Mage Surgele, only to find it was too late and the old man was already dead. He felt a brief sorrow before a blast that only missed him because someone shoved him out of the way jolted him back to the fight. He felt a thrill begin to expand in his chest, followed by guilt, but he pushed that down as he continued to fight. His eyes met those of someone else, very dark brown eyes beneath square spectacles. Charles. Charles Fiable was here and fighting, which meant Moineau was here and trapped? He hoped not as he decked another Mage. He turned and a blast of air threw him into a door that stood ajar. He tripped over the fallen body of Elder Felin and hit his head hard on the corner of the desk. As he lost conciousness, he though 'Well, I didn't last that long.'
His eyes fluttered open and he took a few minutes to focus on the person who stood above him. It was Lionel Ame from the gaol. He looked a little concerned. "Jasmin?" His voice sounded far away.
"Thank God you're alive!" He helped him up. The killer was absolutely covered in blood and looked quite proud of it as well.
"Where's Charles? I need to talk to him as soon as possible."
Lionel's smile died instantly. "He...he's in the throne room...lying on the floor...covered in blood with holes in him..."
Jasmin gave a slight laugh. "You're joking, right?...You're not joking...oh God, my only friend is dead...oh God..."
"Are you okay?"
"I need to sit down..." He almost fell, but Ame helped him onto the edge of the desk. This gave him a good view of where Compassion Felin still lay. He pointed to her. "Is she okay?"
"She's, uh, dead as well..."
"What about the friends I brought with me?"
Lionel hesitated. "The friends?"
"Tall blonde Necromancer with a shoe, short blonde fat one with half a hockey stick, Gothic kid with red and black hair, dark-skinned Spaniard with a ponytail, tall, dark-haired man in a You Me At Six shirt?"
"Oh...short girl and Gothic boy...as in the two who are kind of...dead?"
Jasmin deflated. "They're all dead..."
"I'm not!" Cadence cried indignantly as she walked in. The Elder looked up at her and walked over stiffly, hugging her tightly as though she would disappear if he didn't hang onto her.
Perseus was in the medical bay. He hadn't been injured in the most recent fight, but had fainted due to his head injury from the fight with Cantankerous. He had a contusion or something. He was lying in a bed being healed and blissfully unaware of how many people had died. Jasmin walked into the throne room. Bodies were being cleared to a morgue already but Charles still lay where he fell, eyes half-open. Orage knelt beside him, took a hold of his hand and gave it a squeeze. A single tear fell from his eye. He wished his friend good luck in the afterlife and left him there. Thrax was bent over his son's body and Jasmin gave him wide clearance as he went to talk to Frivolidad. The main thing that stopped him was an unusually small body, like a child's but with the wrong proportions. The clothes looked familiar. It was a man's body. He could have looked to the face to identify the man had he not been headless in his current state. Still, provided it wasn't a child, there was only one person that small at the Sanctuary. Little Moineau, the pacifist. Quite frankly, the French Elder had never wanted to kill someone so badly before, not even the people who had killed his friends. Moineau meant to harm to anyone. He just sat quietly, watching to make sure things didn't get too chaotic, never hurting anyone or anything, and some sicko had chopped his bloody head off. A hand gripped his arm tightly and he looked away from the dead gaoler to see a body practically crucified against a door. It wasn't bad enough they had killed this one, they had mutilated the corpse. Probably because she was a teleporter. Probably because that had caused them grief. Pourri Emerveiller. His ex-wife. He felt pretty sick again and held on to Cadence again to steady himself. Surgele, Felin, Fiable, Defiance, Diamond, Metallique, Emerveiller...suddenly it occurred to him that this made him Grand Mage now. This was the point where he doubled over and vomited.
((Aaaaaand that's why I need therapy...and to stop reading so much horror...I held myself back a massive amount describing Pourri's death because I had a really gruesome image in my head I was using there, and she wasn't going to die until I realised her ability was a hinderence to Jasmin plots...yeah, my dad put me in a killing mood last Sunday and this. Don't know where the random plot thing with Garnet and co came from, it just happened and replaced Austin's scene...truly evil side. Bam. Also I really can't choose between B-J eventually dating Garnet or Rasputin...it's actually beginning to bug me...))