Waiting In Darkness, Part 5

When they arrived on the scene, they could see that a group of monsters that numbered somewhere near a couple dozen had Chris and Jewel surrounded. Chris was holding them at bay with a shield, but Connor knew there was only so long he could keep that up.

Connor leapt into action. He threw several glyphs towards the monsters. Each one exploded on impact. The few that were left standing, turned away from their would-be victims. He smiled faintly and fell back several feet.

As soon as they were in position, Gregory activated his spell. The monsters seized as the lightning swept through their bodies. Then, they dropped to the ground. “Nice,” Gregory said, smirking.

Connor nodded and looked over at Chris and Jewel. “Y’all all right?” he asked, blinking.

Chris stared at him for a moment. Jewel chuckled and reached over to touch his chin. As he shut his mouth, she grinned. “Thanks for the rescue, Connie.”

“Hey,” Connor said, grinning. “No problem.” He arched an eyebrow at Chris and wondered if the older agent could appreciate the irony of the situation.

Sighing, Chris nodded. “You arrived just in time,” he said. He pulled out a small mirror and looked into it. “That seems to be all of them in this sector. At least, we seem to be making headway.”

Gregory nodded and then blinked with the radio crackled to life again. He tensed, his brows furrowing. “Here’s ta hopin’ that ain’t more bad news,” he said, his voice soft.

Connor nodded. “Go for Joker,” he said.

“What’s the status of Ace and Chalice?” Hollis asked, concern edging his tone. “I can’t raise them.”

“Our radio broke,” Chris said, grimacing. He shook his head and added, “Tell him we’re both unharmed.”

“They’re fine,” Connor replied. “They’re simply experiencing technical difficulties at the moment.”

“Good,” Hollis said, sounding relieved. “News is: it shouldn’t be much longer. Actually, the exact word was ‘any minute now’. They’re performing the counter-spell as we speak.”

As if Hollis’s words were the spell itself, there was a sudden brightening, as if the sun were preparing to rise. Connor gasped softly and looked up at the sky. The unnatural darkness had faded to a dark gray that seemed to be lightening by the moment. Finally, he could see the clear, soft violet of the sky again.

“Thank the Lord,” he said, his voice soft. He keyed the radio and said, “It worked! We’ve got sunshine!”

Connor gasped as Hollis’s words were drowned out by a terrible keening sound. He looked over at Gregory in alarm. “What, in the name of all that is, is that?” he called.

“That’s the monsters we hadn’t got to,” Gregory said, pressing his hands to his ears. He was squinting slightly in the bright sunshine. He chuckled wryly and shrugged. “They can’t abide sunshine, as we saw with your trick earlier.”

As the keening died away, the city seemed utterly still and silent. Connor sighed in relief and looked at Chris. “So… it’s over?”

“So it seems,” Chris agreed. He leaned back on the wall and stared up at the sky. “It’s a bit worrisome, though.”

“We knew the spell would get set off,” Gregory said, his voice soft. He looked at Connor and added, “But only ‘cause we knew the artifact had been stolen. We don’t know who did it and we don’t know why they chose here ta set it off.”

Connor’s brows furrowed and he nodded. “So,” he said, “it may be that we’ve won the first battle in a greater war.”

“Whatever it is,” Chris said, sounding far more confident than Connor could have managed, “we’ll get through it.” He flashed a smile at Gregory and said, “We’re nothing if not tenacious.”

Gregory nodded and looked over at Connor. “I’ve noticed,” he said. He slapped Connor on the back and said, “Ya may be a little bit of a thing, but ya have skills, no denyin’ that. It was a pleasure to work with you.”

Connor sighed. “I told you,” he said, trying to sound annoyed, “I’m not a little bit of anything!” Then, he chuckled and nodded. “Likewise,” he added, “even if you did frighten the life out of me at the start.”

“We’ll have ta do it again some time,” Gregory said, shaking Connor’s hand. As Connor clasped hands with the foreign wizard, he couldn’t help but agree.


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