moment Miguel sniffed the air within Dark Room 2.0, he smiled.
this is a place where we can do some magic,” he cooed.
pretty good, doesn't it?” Yuki asked, trying not to sound
nodded. “Indeed. Whoever had this room before, I bet they'd be
surprised to see it now.”
twiddled her fingers. “Oh, uh, yeah... after he saw what we did
to it, Donovan kinda went nuts. Almost killed Renee.”
moment to process, Miguel nodded again. All he could say was, “I
Kurt's at Central tying all that up. That's why I'm here
“Excellent. Let's get going.”
toolbox, Miguel pulled out most of the important gear- paint
remover, gloves, a sand blaster, masking tape, a small crucifix,
glass cleaner, salt, instant cement mix, a priest's robe, a hot
plate, a circular saw, a utility knife and an industrial-sized
drum of WD-40.
Yuki thought her satchel held a lot. “Uh, how hazardous is
worry, I do it all the time,” Miguel replied. He handed her a
welder's mask. “Now put this on.”
was, of course, a complicated procedure that took several hours
to complete and still leave the premises up to code. It was also
being done on a school day. Normally the students at L. B. Gould
High held a very healthy ignorance regarding the activities
within the school. Molly, Donovan, Yuki and a host of other
miscellaneous eccentrics were so unusual that the student body
dismissed them as normal high school quirks.
Miguel's work on the wall was so loud, bright and disruptive
that it was hard to walk by and not say anything.
the hell is that idiot Donovan doing in there now?” Madison
her ears to deafen what sounded like a chainsaw, Jordan gazed at
the pulsating yellow light under the door. “Much as I want to
know, I also want to get as far away as possible,” she said.
they turned away, they saw Troy and Marie, also staring at the
door. “I don't suppose either of you two know what's going on,”
Madison asked, in her typical accusatory tone.
Marie take a step back, defensive in spite of herself. “N... no!
Why would we?”
grin formed on Madison's face. “I don't know. Sounded like you
were hiding something right there.”
don't know what's going on in there,” Troy declared, loudly.
“Quit badgering her.” His voice was firm and exasperated, like
the allegation was ridiculous. Even if it was true in his case.
dropped it immediately and stepped toward them, eying Troy with
interest. “You're that Troy kid, right? We met on the beach last
didn't change. “Yeah. And?”
on Marie's face hadn't changed much either. It said 'why are we
still talking to this person?' Madison was a little dismayed
that the two weren't easily susceptible to random acts of
persisted. “Speaking of which, how's Renee doing?”
was an effort to start something, Marie was determined to stop
it. “Last we heard, she was doing all right, but she'll probably
be out for a little longer.”
glared at Marie. Both girls knew the script called for Troy to
answer that. “Oh... well... Troy, I'm sure she'd love it
if you signed our card for her.”
folded his arms. “Marie and I already signed a card. Yuki sent
it off a couple days ago.”
Madison snapped her fingers.
was right there with her notes: “Yuki Shizuka. Sophomore.
GPA...” She peered at her notebook. “Someone tore this page
mind... I know where to get the dirt...” Claude was walking by,
and Madison was all over it. And him, for that matter. “Hey
there, Prez,” she said, smiling slyly and setting a hand on his
cleared his throat. “What?”
“Certainly someone as important as you know what's going on with
our dear, dear Renee.” Madison pursed her lips a little. Even
Jordan rolled her eyes.
it doesn't hurt to try to get on his good side now that he's in
charge for a while,” Jordan muttered to Troy.
event, Marie wasn't about to watch the action. She tugged on
Troy's sleeve and they made their escape. Once they were in the
clear, she mumbled, “Jeez, no wonder Kathryn didn't want to get
mixed up with them.”
Unfortunately, Troy heard that. “Why would she get mixed up with
looked concerned for a moment, but shrugged it off wordlessly.
“Either way, nicely handled.”
you too!” She smiled as they clasped hands and continued
walking. It may have been over, but she still couldn't shake the
encounter. “Jeez, I can't believe Renee's friends with those
witches. I mean, honestly, it's like they're trying to make me
know...” Troy mumbled.
shook her head and looked up. “I mean... you're over her now.
What's so hard to understand?”
moment, Troy stopped. He hesitated. As his hand was tied to
Marie's, it pulled her back too. It was just for that one
moment, as he raised his eyebrows and said, “Yeah. No kidding.”
continued walking as if nothing of significance had happened.
Both knew otherwise.
most, private training with Smittle in the Forest of Unspeakable
Peril in the December cold was a worse prospect than memory
recalibration. Despite Molly and Uriel's disappointment,
Chancellor Whalen had intended it to serve as a makeshift
punishment to fill in for the unavailable preferred options.
one! Kill it!” Smittle shouted. Donovan readied himself, aimed,
and blasted a shadeling to pieces. A few hours in the FUP and
Donovan had proved himself an efficient, accurate and
unrelenting shadeling destroyer. He grinned: whether intended as
a punishment or not, he was enjoying this.
grinned as well. He was in his element. By the time Donovan's
training had begun, one snowfall had come and gone. The result
was a wet, sloppy grass that swallowed a bit more of his boots
than normal- a wonderfully squishy feeling for him that made him
want to go out and shoot things. Better yet, most students in
this atmosphere would run off crying or bitterly trudge through
it. As much as Smittle liked watching their misery, seeing
someone revel in this mire was just as enjoyable.
Donovan's satisfaction had nothing to do with the weather.
Despite the shady procedure and the retribution he was supposed
to receive, this exercise proved that the demon bonding made him
stronger. The curse that was supposed to deter this had been
passed, leaving him with just this powerful vrockrompir demon,
which proved to be controllable. The feral urges he would
suddenly get to attack something could be subdued: he would just
remind himself that he was biding his time. Besides, even before
the bonding he didn't go on a bloody rampage every single time
the thought crossed his mind.
few more shadelings fell to Donovan's new power (his training
would forever be known as 'Red December' in shadeling lore),
Smittle held a hand up.
like you got the killing down pretty good. Now the trick is to
Why should I stop?” Donovan asked, glaring back.
held up his shotgun. “Well, here's your main reason. You're half
demon and I'm tenured, so don't get too cross with me.” They
started walking back to civilization. “The next step is making
sure you can control it. We pulled a lot of strings to keep you
on board, but even we can only be so patient.”
scoffed. “Ha! If anyone is the puppetmaster, it is I! They were
merely afraid of my new powers. Afraid that I would join with
the enemy and take the tome with me.”
that last part maybe. We like your grimoire all right.” Smittle
snickered. “But it's not like we're afraid of you. You're not a
threat, mate. More like... an opportunity.”
you're not giving away too much, Smittle.” Donovan furrowed his
eyebrows as Marlowe wandered came up to meet them. As they were
in the middle of a muddy forest, this was clearly no chance
encounter. Indeed, Marlowe smiled. “We don't want to clue him
into all of our motives, now.”
Suddenly, and likely inappropriately, Donovan smirked. “Ah... so
the plot is beginning to unravel and you think I will quietly
play along to your game.”
frowned for a moment, but his face lit up instantly. “Pretty
much, yeah.” He extended a hand. “Alistair Marlowe, Dean of
Student Affairs. According to the official records, we haven't
furrowed his eyebrows. This was the man who tricked him into
accepting Yuki. “What is your evil plan, Alistair Marlowe, Dean
of Student Affairs?”
than answer, Marlowe turned to Smittle. “How's the training?”
nodded. “Kid's got an arm. I'm gonna have to stock more
shadeling passed by them. Donovan blew it away. Smittle
grimaced. “Control's still up in the air.”
we knew that was going to be a problem,” Marlowe said. “But
Whalen figures you and Molly can take care of that. You've got a
few more weeks to get him fixed up before school's in session.”
Smiling, he added, “Tell him if he behaves he can go home for
not celebrate such festivities,” Donovan asserted.
fine, tell him we'll make him go home if he doesn't behave.”
snorted. “I honor only the dark lord Urzelbak.”
nodded. “Urzelbak... nice guy. Ringing for the Salvation Army
this winter. Shape up enough and I'll introduce you.”
chuckled. “And I see you've become friends.”
glad you talked them into rolling the dice a bit. Sick of all
those regulations and pencil pushers telling kids not to go out
and bond with demons or attack superior officers. Hate to have
them throw this talent away.”
Donovan preened at Smittle's compliment, Marlowe said, “I have
my reasons. We all knew this unit was something else. Troy's
acing everything, Molly's refining Kathryn nicely and you know
Yuki's blood will yield results eventually. How can I pass up an
opportunity to boost the other two?”
Donovan's hands flew to his hips. “Are you saying you have only
spared me for your personal gain?”
there any other reason to spare you?” Marlowe replied, smiling.
“Normally, Whalen would have no trouble erasing your memory and
forcing Kurt and Molly to defend the book. But our students are
decidedly pathetic compared to other schools. And you are
definitely stronger with your demon. So I say, why remove the
demon and dismiss you entirely over one minor offense?” Marlowe
clasped his hands together. “Why destroy, when you can create
only to destroy and conquer!” Donovan shouted.
talking about the school.”
placed a hand on Donovan's shoulder. “So yes, if you do exist
only to destroy and conquer, why erase your ability? We want you
destroying and conquering on our behalf.”
you'll allow me to keep my new demon powers in exchange for my
help in destroying the demon races.” Marlowe nodded slowly.
this once, we're going to let this slide. Rather than focus on
your so-called mistreatment, focus on the fact that we need your
help. And if you're a good little soldier, we will reward you
with the grimoire. Donovan... to hell with Molly. We can make
extended a hand. After several moments of hesitation. Donovan
someone who had technically gotten her way, Molly was miserable.
Uriel was rightfully angry about the ruling, but he had a right
to be: his prosecution yielded a sentence Donovan would enjoy
anyway. Despite having an arrangement with his opposition, his
opposition defeated Uriel soundly. Problem was, although Molly
received everything she asked for, she also got one thing she
didn't want- control over Donovan himself.
no longer worried about Grimoire 17. In fact, she ended up
continuing the plan to keep it in storage. This meant taking
advantage of the extra freedom Chancellor Whalen had granted
her, which now seemed like an uncharacteristically liberal
gesture on the academy's part. Normally, the MST was adamant on
keeping important artifacts close in hand, so they can be
wielded immediately. Whalen wasn't normally one to break
standard procedure, but here he had almost invited Molly to keep
the book out of town. Out of step, perhaps, but it fit his
reputation as a frustratingly competent administrator, and as it
did rid her of the damn thing, she couldn't ponder it too much.
end, however, she still had to deal with Donovan. And as much as
Smittle would work to rein it in, Donovan still had that demon,
along with the powers and temperament that went with it. What
was she supposed to do with that? By her logic, the most
important way to keep her unit in line was to always know the
strengths of her students and remain a step above them. Molly
kept close tabs on Troy's prowess and Kathryn's power and knew
she could take them on if they got too uppity. But there would
be no report from Professor Melrose on the exact danger level of
this vrockrompir demon.
was Molly supposed to contain Donovan when she couldn't be sure
if she was stronger than him? He was the type that needed
enforcing, not to mention the occasional boot to the ass, but
what would happen if he were again pushed too far? Was she in
danger? Was her unit?
Ultimately, all she could do was stick to the usual routine. She
certainly wasn't about to go easy on him now. But for the next
few days, at least, the usual routine was going to be much
that's everything,” Kurt said, carrying his duffel bag out of
Kathryn's room. Considering his luggage consisted of whatever he
could grab from his apartment in five minutes, packing today
seemed to take a while. He faced Molly and added, “You gonna be
looked up from the table and the reports from Smittle. “I have
frowned. He had stuck around for an extra day just in case the
now-unchained Donovan misbehaved. Relations between Molly and
Donovan were still cold (okay, colder than usual), so he wanted
to stay longer to help keep peace. But he had to return to his
post in L. B. Gould, especially now that Kendrick was back in
the picture. Plus the symbol in the dark room had just been
removed and no one could predict if the Hageshoni would respond.
idea if you're coming home at all?”
no plans to. Although Renee may want to see the family again.”
she might.” Kurt nodded. “What are you two going to do here
sending assorted distractions to occupy Renee,” Molly replied.
“I've never had a surplus of free time before and I doubt I'll
have one now.”
“True...” Kurt fished for something else to say.
stood up and approached him, suddenly stern. “If you're going to
worry about anything, worry about us surviving with this idiot,
not about us occupying ourselves. And if you're not going to
worry, then you may as well leave.”
smiled and shook his head. “You take care now. Tell Renee I said
goodbye.” With another quick nod, he turned around and headed
out the door.
again, Molly was on her own while Kurt was bound for home to
resume his normalcy and sleep with his girlfriend. Molly's first
instinct was to go back to her reports, but she was tired of
them. They all said the same thing: Donovan now had some very
impressive abilities. She didn't want Donovan to have mad
skills; heck, she didn't really care if any of her brood did.
Now, she just wanted to lie down and figure out how to process
ended up sitting down instead of lying down. Molly couldn't
trust herself not to fall asleep, not with Donovan in his room.
Smittle had driven him to the point of exhaustion in the day's
training, but she couldn't take chances. She wasn't sure if the
fear was justified, which made her hate it even more. Not
knowing Donovan's state of mind was worse than finding him
uncontrollable. Nothing in Smittle's reports indicated that
Donovan's demon was running the show. Also, Smittle, Whalen and
even Kurt at times believed that Donovan could be rehabilitated,
even potentially useful. It wasn't that Molly doubted the
possibility; she just didn't want to be stuck with the risk.
Donovan's door opened. Molly tensed up, her finger rising
reflexively. Instead, it was Bryce.
thirsty,” Bryce said, walking to the kitchen area. Molly sighed
as her fist unclenched and her palm clutched her forehead.
hell did you get here, Bryce?”
grabbed a can of juice from the fridge. “Magic,” he mumbled.
shook her head as it fell against the couch cushions. Then a
thought struck her and she flew back up and faced Bryce. “Wait,
Bryce...” He stopped and stared at her, surprised that someone
had acknowledged him. “You're his minion. What do you make of
Pondering for a moment, Bryce shrugged. “Can't say I didn't
enjoy the week off. Been a while since I've seen my girlfriend.”
And that was all she was got out of him. Still, that pause was
enough for Donovan to step into the doorway, wondering what
caused the delay.
moment, Renee walked in.
looked no worse for the wear, perhaps a little tired from the
operation and subsequent observation sessions. Still, she was
notably quieter- so quiet in fact that she had actually come in
moments earlier and nobody heard her. Now, she was face to face
with her assailant.
narrowed his eyes at her. She stepped back, hesitating as he
said, “You're alive.”
gulped a bit, but nervously replied, “Yes.”
smirked. “Excellent...” And in he went.
sat down next to Molly, still looking at Donovan's door. Then
her eyes fell to the floor. In the end, she was just as lost as
feared, Donovan grew stronger, better and more compliant under
Smittle's training. Per his request, he wanted to continue
perfecting his demonic side over Christmas rather than head
home. Smittle was plenty accommodating and Molly was forced to
be. There was no way she was leaving him at Central
unsupervised. This was a blow to Renee, of course, who actually
liked the whole family/presents combination. Yet when Molly
broke the news to her, all Renee did was lower her head and nod
Furthermore, with Molly, Renee and Donovan at the academy over
the new year, Troy, Kathryn and Yuki needed alternate
transportation to Central. At Molly's insistence, Kurt filled
in, despite the task not being anywhere in his job description
(and thus preventing him from getting reimbursed for gas). God
forbid they take a train or something.
you're sure it's absolutely safe for us to be around Donovan
again?” Troy asked as the trip began.
academy's banking on it, so I should think so.”
folded his arms, skeptical. “And Molly didn't try to stop this?”
doesn't like it, but it's better than the alternative. At least
we got the book out of our hair.”
wasn't buying it. “But how do they know he's not dangerous?”
on, do you really think they'd stick us with someone that wasn't
“Wouldn't put it past them.”
shook his head. “Look, Molly and Renee have been stuck with him
the last couple weeks and they're fine.”
that you left them there,” Kathryn mumbled. Kurt glared at her
for as long as he could keep his eyes off the road.
you heading home right away?” Troy asked, determined to break up
Kurt replied, “I have to. Someone has to hold the fort down
asked, “You going to be okay on your own?”
see why not. Other than Donovan, it's been pretty quiet. And why
would anyone attack without the book or Molly in town?”
Grumbling, Kathryn elaborated. “I meant, are you gonna be okay
first, hon. I was gone for a while last month and we survived.”
but you had Molly,” Kathryn spat. Kurt didn't validate that with
leaned over to Yuki. “I never imagined this could be worse than
the Caravan,” he mumbled.
miss Molly driving,” Yuki replied, nodding.
the disdain, or perhaps because of it, their parting kiss once
they arrived at Central was nothing short of breathtaking. Yuki
was so enthralled she instinctively shielded Troy's eyes. He
minutes later, they had sufficiently released all of their
frustrations, half of their insecurities and a fifth of their
daily saliva production. Kathryn raised her eyebrows and clasped
his hands. “C'mon, once more in the FUP? For old time's sake?”
January!” Kurt shouted, weakened by a lack of breath. “How are
we going to find any dry ground?”
gasped and stared at her for a moment. She smiled slyly. Good
enough for him: he took her hand and whisked her away.
left Troy and Yuki alone in the vast parking lot. “I feel like I
need a shower just hearing all that,” Troy muttered.
Troy?” Yuki looked around. “I hate bringing this up after seeing
that, but, uh... assuming we're teleporting to the dorm...
you'll have to take me.”
moaned and hesitantly took her hand. “This just feels wrong.”
Yet, he closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on the right
destination. This was increasingly difficult and doubly
important now: focusing on Kathryn and Kurt in the FUP could
very easily take him there instead. And he and Yuki did not
want to end up there instead.
understood and agreed: “If you accidentally send us to the FUP
instead, I'm feeding you to the first monster we see.”
opened one eye at Yuki. This is what happened when someone
viewed Molly as a mentor instead of a tormentor. Thankfully he
managed to focus and teleport successfully. When his eyes
opened, they were outside their dorm. They both sighed in
when the reality of uncertainty crept in. What were they to
expect from Molly, Renee and Donovan after they had
(theoretically) survived three weeks together? Troy took a deep
breath, clutched the handle and opened the door.
blaring television greeted Troy and Yuki. They stepped inside to
see Renee and Donovan on a couch, together, silently watching
some fear-mongering drivel about doomsday prophecies. It must
have enraptured them enough, for neither noticed the arrivals
until Troy cleared his throat. Even then, only Renee turned
vaulted over the couch and glomped Troy.
I'm so glad to see you again,” she cried. Despite the flurry of
emotion, Troy was more than happy to receive it. His arms found
their way around her and he couldn't help but smile at the
closeness of her voice.
God you're okay,” he whispered.
released and stepped back, but continued to stare him in the
eyes, smiling. “Yeah, the procedure went really well. I didn't
get a nifty rune on my forehead like Molly said, but I guess I
can't complain.” She rubbed her right shoulder and frowned. “The
tests are a pain though. Checking my blood and my magic levels
and all that. It's like 'I'm fine! What do you need to know?'
took her hand and grinned a little. “You're okay. That's all
Nice to have some more company though.”
yeah...” Donovan hadn't budged. He continued to stare intently
at the TV, as if the key to unraveling the mysteries of the
universe could be found in an ad for a niche kitchen accessory.
Still staring at him, Troy asked Renee, “Everything all right?”
hasn't really said much. I don't know what to think. He hasn't
done anything besides training with Mr. Smittle. He hasn't even
been all that annoying... just kinda here.”
exhaled. “I guess I can live with that.”
her voice and clutching Troy's hand tighter, Renee said, “I
don't know. He's almost scarier like this. I liked it better
when he opened his mouth, even if it was to say something
least it's good for a laugh,” Yuki observed.
interrupted the brief jovial moment as she burst through the
front door before Troy and Renee could think to pull their hands
apart. Her arrival was so sudden, they were practically fused
together. She glared at the hands until her mind bullets broke
it off. But instead of the natural response, berating Troy, she
closed her eyes and seethed for a bit.
she turned to Yuki and barked, “Where's Kathryn?”
stark question startled the girl, but she swiftly responded,
“Oh, she's in the FUP giving Kurt a bit of a sendoff.” Troy and
Molly winced. She stormed into her room without another word.
Renee and Troy just stared at Yuki. They liked it better
shielding the youngster from such material.
broke (or possibly amplified) the awkwardness, boasting, “Shame
the two will find no more monsters of darkness in the forest. We
have hunted the shadelings to near-extinction, denying her the
proper farewell ritual.”
Thankfully, silent, demonic or whatever, at least he was still
end of a cul de sac in some unnamed development in White
Oak, Ohio, two figures were clearly visible in the moonlit night
sky. One was a young girl, only eight or nine, looking up at the
second- a tall young man with one knee on the ground and
extending a hand towards the girl. Even the naivety of youth
could only go so far, as she looked hesitant about trusting the
man. He persisted with a smile and a nod.
set a displacement. You take care of her; I'll take care of
him,” Frank whispered.
turned to Trent Sempman, who nodded back. Trent's resemblance to
Kurt was unmistakable.
all-too familiar twinge of displacement caught the young man's
attention. He turned towards Frank in surprise. But Frank was
ready- flames emerged from two fingers on his left hand and
spiraled at the man. The flame connected and the guy
backpedaled. He began rubbing his right hand back and forth from
the side of his leg to his torso. This magically extinguished
the fire on his shirt.
held up his fingers and drew out a small sword. “Frank Monroe,
MST. We have identified you as a demon of the Urayoni faction.
So how you want to do this?”
demon rubbed his side again. This time, a clone of himself
materialized next to him and charged after Frank. As it did, the
demon created a second one.
your way,” Frank said, shooting a second fire spell at the
clone. It connected, but only knocked the clone back a bit. The
clone didn't seem too concerned about his shirt being on fire.
That certainly bothered Frank, though, so much that he didn't
catch the original demon charging after him, now brandishing a
Frank said, parrying. As he fought, the clone approached,
ignoring its fiery attire. “Trent!”
a glance at Trent, who had one arm around the girl and a second
in the air, summoning a stone shield to defend the attacks of
the second clone. The two enemies Frank was dealing with weren't
letting up, so he backed away- or up, rather. A flight spell
lifted Frank above both foes. Not wanting to be outdone, the
original demon followed suit. Frank smiled and slowed his
time the demon reached the same height as Frank, Frank was ready
with a wind gust that knocked the airborne assailant backwards
and falling to the ground. This canceled Frank's flight spell,
but Frank knew well enough to cast something weaker to control
the fall... right at the first clone. It had no defense for
Frank falling in with his sword extended. The blade pierced the
clone, which was all it took to make the clone go away.
took a moment to catch his breath- a mistake, he soon realized,
as he saw the shadow of the original charging at him, an attack
spell at the ready. Frank was out of position and could only
face the demon, hold up his sword, and hope to block the attack
somehow. His muscles tightened as he braced himself.
the demon could reach Frank, however, a strong blast connected
with the demon's side, sending him sprawling away. Not bothering
to look at the source of the blast, Frank shouted “Thanks,
Trent!” and pursued the demon. The Urayoni had no time to get
up; Frank stabbed him in the chest with the sword. As the
genuine article, his death was more climactic than his clone's.
Steam erupted from his wound and he uttered something close to a
death rattle before his body fell limp to the ground.
Frank could catch his breath for real; the second demon that had
been keeping Trent busy vanished with its maker's destruction.
Frank sheathed his sword into its compact hilt and sighed.
was close,” he said, only mildly concerned. “Nice shot, Trent.”
however, was dismissive as he lifted the displacement. “Yeah,
yeah, I stunk that one up. Sorry.”
caught Frank off guard. He turned to his partner. “What do you
looking back, Trent unhappily picked his sword off the pavement.
“Didn't expect that clone to be so tough. Spent the whole time
you did get that one shot on the original. Sure saved my butt.”
furrowed his eyebrows and frowned at Frank. “I didn't land
anything on the original. I couldn't even see how you were
eyes narrowed. “So who the heck...” his voice trailed off when
he heard the little girl's whimper. He looked down at her.
whole body trembled. She held out one shaking finger in front of
her, still pointed at the spot where her spell hit the demon.
I... saw you were in trouble and... and...” she mumbled. Frank
and Trent's eyes widened.
faced her. She looked up at him, still scared. To be honest, he
was too. “You mean... you did that?”
was almost in tears. “I just... wha... what's happening?!”
jerked towards Trent, who was already hastily pinching his
earlobe to call the office. Turning back to the girl, Frank took
a deep breath and bent down to a knee. “My name's Frank Monroe.
I'm with an organization called the Magical Security
on, Frank, you should get approval-”
waved off Trent's warning and continued. “That man was a demon.
He's a bad person. It's our job to make sure he doesn't hurt
people.” He smiled and extended a hand. “What's your name?”
stared back, still wary. To her, it was just another stranger.
Still, she answered, “M... Molly Pearson.”
He smiled. “We need your help.”
memory ended there. Molly pulled her head out of the reader as
the orb floated back to its holding place. She had the urge to
blow it out of the air, even if it was grossly illegal and
likely shielded. Suppressing it, she put her hands in her
pockets and walked away. “Even from the beginning, that bastard
made it all sound so simple,” she muttered.