The Phoenix ShadowFull Circle
Max Ryan stood on stage Mystra by his side. The show was a sell-out; he had noticed the girls Petra and Zilvy in the front row of the audience and had winked as he smiled at them, his eyes momentarily changing to bright yellow fire that only the girls had noticed. They too knew his secret, a part of it that is, and had thus far really enjoyed the show.
"Lady's and Gentleman, you have already witnessed some amazing feats. This next trick has, to my knowledge, has never before been performed." Max said drawing the audience closer.
"May we have a volunteer from the audience?" Mystra continued.
The venue they were playing was only a small theatre, but could still house some 300-audience members. It was also in a town that attracted many American tourists. Though not many of the locals knew Max or Mystra, quite a few of the Americans did. Although the lady chosen was of that nationality, and had thus far been enjoying her stay in England, she was one of the few who had never seen a magic performance by either of the magicians. She stood from her chair, excitement evident in her posture, as she walked onto the stage. Standing almost six foot tall, in a tight pink miniskirt to show off her magnificent long legs and a matching pink crop top that had been stretched tightly over her double D size breasts, she had all the men in the audience whistling.
"May I ask you your name?" Max asked as he helped her onto the stage.
"Andi." the woman replied with a voice of a goddess.
She wiped back her long blonde hair and smiled to Max, Mystra, and then the crowd.
"Can you confirm we have never meet?" Mystra asked, a longing in her eyes.
"That's a fact." her American accent strong on her voice.
"I have to admit you may be a little tall for this, Sara, would you mind standing back to back with our guest." Max asked.
Sara did as instructed.
Max looked carefully at both Sara and Andi, the blonde stood just over half a foot taller than Sara, but her height was more because of her extremely long legs, from hips to the top of their heads they were almost the same length.
Max clapped his hands and Sara's shoes started to grow, until she stood almost on tip toe, her shoes now with 6 inch heals, and platforms brought her up to the same height as Andi.
"That should work." Mystra agreed.
"Good, now Andi, I wont explain too much of the illusion, as I don't want you running off."
"Oh, and what about me?" Sara asked.
"If you could run in those, I'd be the first to clap in amazement." Max said.
The Audience watched on with growing interest.
"So what do I do?" Andi asked.
"All I need you to do is climb up into this frame work and stand facing the audience."
"And that's all?"
"That's all, Mystra and I will do the rest."
Andi frowned, but did as instructed; the framework was taller than her and consisted of four blue/metal poles and a square frame top and bottom. She entered through the side and faced out front to the audience, a strange bit of metal with a slit running down the centre in front of her. She noticed Sara enter also, the two women standing back to back, the same strange piece of metal at the back as well. Andi looked down as she felt something touch her foot, Mystra had shackled it to the base and Andi noticed the base was in four pieces for the first time. Once her other foot was restraint, Mystra stood, flashing Andi a sexy smile, before turning back to the audience.
"Just so you get to see this trick from all angles, the centre of the stage will rotate round slowly." Max said, and the illusion started its rotation on the stage. "Please notice the pieces of metal with the slits, these are guides for the blade which will cut both ladies vertically down their centre."
Andi blinked in surprise.
"To prove the blade passes through them both, we would like two more volunteers to tie ribbons on to the metal blade guides." Mystra said, directing her smile to the two girls in the front row.
With out further encouragement, both Zilvy and Petra jumped out of their seats and ran onto stage. Zilvy wearing a long ghost purple dress, Petra's dress almost identical only her's sky blue in colour.
"And your names are?" Max asked, giving each girl a knowing wink.
"I'm Zilvy, and this is my bestest friend Petra." Zilvy said beaming.
"Well it's nice to meet you both." Mystra said with a caring smile, "would you mind tying these ribbons to the illusion."
Mystra handed the girls some ribbons, Zilvy had blue, Petra purple.
"You got our colours mixed up." Petra said pouting.
"Oh, sorry." Mystra clicked her fingers and the ribbons changed colour in the girl's hands.
"Cool." Zilvy said.
Both girls then quickly got to the task at hand, both tying a ribbon on each metal guard.
"Why thank you." Max said, "and as an added bonus to our little helpers they can stay on stage to watch the illusion close up."
"Stay close to me." Mystra said taking a hand of each in her own, "don't want to get too close to the blade now do we."
The young girls giggled and stepped back off the rotating platform. Max produced a katana from thin air and walked up to Andi and Sara.
"Okay Ladies, you will soon be getting to know each other a little better." He said.
Standing in front of Sara, he raised the shinning blade above his head and placed the edge in the groves at the top.
"Ladies and gentleman, you all know how sharp a Japanese sword is, if not you will soon find out. Drum roll please."
The drum roll started, the audience held their collective breath.
"Andi, hold on to the bars, don't want to fall out now." Sara breathed.
"Okay." Andi said her voice shacking with anticipation.
Just before Andi was facing front, Max let go of the blade. It fell under its own weight, and the atom sharp blade sliced through both ladies and the ribbons, before coming to a halt between their feet. The cut ribbons gently fell to the ground and the audience stood applauding like mad.
"Wow that felt, well..." Andi started.
"Exhilarating." Sara finished for her, "but the trick isn't over yet."
Max allowed the audience to start to calm down, before raising his arms after stepping from the turning platform.
"Thank you, but don't ware yourselves out. This illusion is only half completed."
"Mystra," He said as he turned to her, "let Natalya take care of the girls, I will need your assistance for this."
Natalya had thus far just been used as a background assistant, dressed in a dark purple cat suit with illustrations of jade green snakes spiralling around the arms legs and body, her dark hair now cut even shorter than before and her face free of makeup. She had been too nervous to help out in the tricks, more or less just helping the equipment on and of stage. Mystra's new assistant Sandra, had been a little more comfortable, and was still in half from an earlier illusion, a part of her on either side of the stage.
Mystra left the girls to Natalya's care and hopped onto the centre of the stage that continued to rotate. She took position on Andi's right, Sara's left, and Max soon joined her on the other side.
"Now." he explained to the audience, "These ladies are in half, so we should really join them back up."
"Only Magicians always get confused at this point and mix up the parts." Mystra added.
On Max Ryan's signal, Mystra grabbed Andi's right and Sara's left and rotated them inwards away from her. Max took Andi's left and Sara's right and rotated them inwards at the same time.
Andi felt a sudden giddiness wash over her and was glad she had taken Sara's advice and had closed her right eye. What her left eye saw was impossible, her right side now faced her left like looking in a mirror. Sudden warmth spread through her body, and she felt whole once more, but that couldn't be right. As she opened her right eye, she saw Sara's left part of her body. Realisation kicked in, she was now half Sara and half her self.
"Wow." Andi said and noticed her voice had changed. She looked again and realised half her head was now Sara's.
"Would you two mind steeping down. Just take it easy, Mystra and I will help you both."
The audience looked on in amazement as the two woman, Strangely mixed up, where helped to the front of the stage.
Andi found walking hard and was grateful Max was holding her with strong arms. She almost toppled twice and Max explained as they walked that her one leg was much shorter than the other and although the shoes helped bring them to the same height, her new knee was still higher than her old. Andi felt the join on her face, realising she used Sara's hand. The join was not perfectly flat, since both ladies were slightly different in shape, and she could feel where it slopped where they weren't perfectly aliened. But it was when she looked down she really noticed the difference, her breast was about 3 sizes larger than Sara's, the sight was strange and erotic. She also notice her pink crop top had conjoined with Sara's Jade Green bra, and her miniskirt no longer hid her frilly Pink panties that joined to Sara's Jade green bikini bottoms. Not the nicest of colour parings around.
"Since your are both right handed, the left side of your body retained your consciousness and control. So you are still two different personalities." Max said to her.
The two ladies bowed, with the magicians help and the audience erupted in tremendous applause. Max smiled, then for a moment looked shocked, he sensed someone in the audience who he never thought he would meet again. His wife and daughters murderer was there. And as quickly as Max realised Lucias Mandread had returned from the dead, the man was gone. Max knew he would be back however.
Only Mystra noticed the slight change in Max, and he covered it up well, continuing with the show.
Lucias Mandread watched the show with interest. He had been amazed to find out Max Ryan was still alive. The man's power was now equal to his own, only Max could not die indefinitely. He could have attacked, but even if he killed Max the fight wouldn't be over. He smiled; the red head was also powerful but not trained. Last time he used Max Ryan's family as a sacrifice, this time he would take the red head as his own.
He blinked; Max could sense him.
'Time to leave' He said to himself and made for the exit.
His plans would take time, so for now Max and his fiends could continue their lives in peace. No he could not kill Max Ryan, death would not keep him out of the way long enough, but he also knew there were other ways to keep enemies at bay. He still had much to learn of this world before he could make a move, and it was a shame Max now knew he was back. He met Argon Murr, now healed of his wounds, outside in the night air.
"I'm glade I came here, it's not wise to attack an enemy when you know not of their powers. Max may know I'm back, but he won't ever recognise me, I have my youth once more, and with a little magic, he wont ever sense my presence again."
The two men walked away from the theatre and disappeared into the night mist that had started to gather.
"Now Andi, would you like to return to your seat?" Mystra asked while Max was distracted, she would ask later what had happened.
"I will need help."
"And help I will give you." Max said returning to the show, and world in general from his inner thoughts.
Max assisted Andi back to her seat, the audience members sitting close now not knowing where to look, the stage or the altered woman close by. As Max returned to the stage he addressees the audience,
"Well looks like I now only have one and half assistants, and one of Mystra's assistants is also in half. And were only half way through the show."
"Well, Rachel and Natalya can still assist us." Mystra said, directing her voice to the audience and Max.
"Hey, what about me, I can still help out." Sara added to the little show.
"Another truth, but I'm cutting your pay since half of you is sitting out taking a break. You are now only on half pay." Max said.
"Dose that mean I get the other half?" Andi shouted from her seat. This got the audience laughing and Max had a stunned expression, he hadn't expected that.
The second half of the show went better than the first, and they ended by restoring a grateful Andi, and both Max and Mystra gave the two young girls, Petra and Zilvy, a small gift each for their assistance. The girls had helped throughout the second half, and even Andi had come back on stage to join the show. Max and Mystra had never had so many assistants at once before, and had altered the show layout to compensate. The audience got to watch more illusions than the program had covered, and the show had over run by ten minutes, to everyone's delight.
Back in the dressing room Max relaxed. For a one off performance it had been hectic. Terence had helped with the props, and with Rachel as Mystra's second assistant, Terence had been left holding the baby.
'So Lucias Mandread was back' Max thought to himself. 'Always felt cheated that I hadn't been able to kill him with my own hands.'
He mused over the possible outcomes, and everyone came to the same conclusion, he would end Lucias Mandread's life and make certain of it. Since he figured a portal must have spat him back out, the man would be greatly out of touch. He would be spending his time getting use to the new world and the fact he hadn't attacked Max on stage pointed towards the notion that he knew of Max Ryan's powers. Max chuckled to himself, he wouldn't go actively looking for the man, Lucias would turn up later, when he is ready.
Not that Max underestimated the man, and it turned his gut to know he was back in the world. For now though Max would just lie and wait, and enjoy his new life with Sara, to them, time was no enemy.
"You seem very quiet, what's up?" Sara asked as she returned from the shower they had in the dressing room.
"Just contemplating the future. Mystra and her two new assistants and bodyguards are jetting back to America to start a new tour."
"Wont Andi and Sandra need more stage training?" Sara asked, she hadn't been surprised when Mystra had made Andi the offer, but was surprised when the tall blonde had snapped Mystra's offer off at the arm, and had started an animated conversation about conjoinment. The two had locked themselves in Mystra's small dressing room for the past two hours.
"Mystra's a quick teacher, give her a few weeks and she'd be able to turn anyone into an assistant."
"So I take we aren't going on tour?"
"You guessed right."
"So where are we going on our vacation?"
"I see you've been talking to Sam."
"Well he did happen to mention it."
Max smiled, and used the towel to pull Sara into his lap.
"I was thinking Australia," he said holding her as she giggled.
"When you want to get away from it all, you really go as far as you can."
"Not quite, but the moon has no hotels yet, and there just isn't an atmosphere up there."
"What about Kristy?"
"Do you think I would leave her behind?" Max said shocked.
"I know you wouldn't, but we could do with a nanny to go with us."
"Already sorted out Hon, Natalya is now not just your partner in assisting me in magic, but also a full time baby sitter."
"She's going with us?"
"But I thought she had to go back to Russia to be debriefed?"
"Sam helped out there, the American scientists swallowed the lose of memory lie, and helped convince the Russians to except it as well."
"So, looks like we're off on another adventure?"
"No, we're going to disappear in the outback for a while, and spend sometime away from the rest of the world."
Sara smiled and kissed her husband to be,
"Doesn't matter where we are Max, just as long as we're together."
"And we will be, for the rest of eternity."