Chapter 6

Jormê swore as he read the note. He had returned to the hotel room he and Alice was sharing only to find this. It was written in a steady hand in clear cursive:

'She's with me. Love, Demetra.'

He grabbed his keys, stuffing the note into a breast pocket and exited the room cursing his very being for being so stupid.

In a lone house on the outskirts of the Homicide Remembrance Village, a deathly hush had fallen. It began raining outside, first softly and then loudly as the rain poured down from the heavens in torrents quenching the thirsty soil and vegetation. In the downpour the sound of dozens of boots in squelching mud went unheard as the group of seven MGMs (Military Government Magicians) surrounded the dilapidated building.

Each MGM was garbed in the latest WMI (World Magic Insitute) outfits, which combined the newest technological advancements in protective wear and the best magical equipment to form the magic world's version of the bullet proof costume, the Spell repello suit, as it was fondly called by its creators.

Their leader signaled to begin the operation, they were to capture anyone and get rid of any discriminating evidence found. Minutes later they had access to the house and had scoured every available surface or storage means for evidence, not of Immitra's attack but of Sam and the girls' presence. Quickly they dispatched of the evidence stowing away any of it in a large sealed container that could survive a fire.

"What about the female agent's body in the living room? Should we send it to the relatives? I can get their location on my communicator?" a subordinate asked the leader of the operation.

He shook his helmet encased head, his face unreadable behind the magic attack proof visor.

"Oh…" the subordinate said. "Then should we send it back to be properly examined in the laboratory-"

"No, that would not be necessary. The body is to be left inside when the house is set aflame. Make sure you cut the body loose from that cord. The new government official would like to have a look at it."

"The cord?"

"Of course. What else? Hurry up, we only have twenty minutes left before some of Mr. Kay's agents arrive. And you know we cannot afford to let that happen; Morkien was very clear about that."

"Yes sir," the loyal young magician replied. Inside he had a gut wrenching feeling that the head of the operation was corrupt and had been bribed or threatened by the President, Signund Morkien. What they were doing was wrong, that much was clear by the way they were told to finish before Kay's agents arrived and the whole of WMI knew what a stickler for the law that guy was. He would've never allowed the operation and he was not to know of it.

They made sure to recheck the house and grounds before heading outside. The flames had just begun to lick at the thatched roof when they heard a familiar buzz in the air. "They're too early. Someone must've tipped them off," someone remarked.

"We'll deal with that later for now I want you all to get out of the area as fast as possible. They're coming by air so take any other route out of here. And I'll kill you myself if one of you get caught or seen. " Their leader whispered a quick speed spell and took off at a lightning sprint down one of the many deserted roads.

The entire teams of MGMs were gone by the time 'Kay's agents' arrived. They deactivated their spelled wings as their feet lightly touched the ground in front of the burning building. They acted at will, dousing the flames by displacing water around them. The rain had slowed to only a slight drizzle by now but it still managed to keep most of the flames from spreading as wet thatch gave way to older drier layers.

When the flames finally died down they entered the building and searched it. But it had been stripped clean of any link to Sam and his charges ever having lived there. Something wasn't right. Suddenly a mind call was sent out and they all gathered in the ramshackle excuse for a living room. Their expressionless faces gave way to a surge of emotion as a horrible sight met their eyes: Rachel, one of their own, lay mangled on the floor, her hair mercifully covering most of her face, rope like cuts across her neck where something had cut into her skin as it had strangled her.

Of the rope there was no sight and their suspicions were aroused. It wasn't possible that Immitra's people had risked staying here long enough to see Rachel dead and thus they couldn't have fled with the rope. Not only did they have a dead comrade and three missing-supposedly kidnapped-people to deal with but now it seemed that someone had cleaned the place out as well and made off with any other hard evidence that their boss needed in order to rid Signund of his post as President of WMI. Silently they covered Rachel's corpse with a sheet and supported it between four of them as they once again took off into the sky.

"Pity about the girl though; she was from good magician stock and her family has been loyal to this government for generations." Signund Morkien rested his one hand on his voluminous stomach and smoothed down his graying oiled hair with shaking fingers.

His newly appointed official of all espionage affairs noted this and smirked behind his gloved hand from his position at the crackling range on one of the plushy chairs. Old fool. You're so steeped in blood and hate that you scarcely see what's happening right in front of your eyes. The official turned his steely gaze upon the MGM's leader and pinched his nose in disgust. The man is sweating, he's that scared, although besides that the corrupt idiot is hiding it pretty well.

"Maison? What have you to say of this? Can you advise me on a safe route so that that nosy Kay doesn't get wind of this? And what am I to do with him?" Morkien pointed at the MGM leader.

Maison, the official, raised his brows questioningly. How has the fool survived so long that he asks an official, newly appointed, for advice? Maybe it's a test; he can't have been in WMI so long to not have some experience when it comes to getting to know who he can rely on and who not.

"Obviously the operation failed sir, and for that he should not receive the amount you promised to pay out to him upon its completion. And I'm sure, with Immitra back now, he will have other things to occupy his thoughts and time. And sir, if I may, he should be sent to the fighting up in Yugoslavia. I'm sure they're in need of more able troops."

Morkien beamed at him as if he had passed the most difficult test ever set. "Just what I thought myself, Maison, well done. Oh, and about the cord?"

"Yes sir?"

"Very interesting. Be sure to have our researchers on it by day break. You may go and please send in my secretary on your way out." Don't worry your little speckled head, Maison thought. Be sure to never see that cord again, not while I have charge over it.

But he only smiled as he replied bowing and retreating from the office, "Yes sir, thank you sir." Maison's hand itched to grab his wand and fry the pompous and bloated fool on the spot. But smiling coldly he informed the secretary that his boss wanted to see him and hurried occupied in the occasion of planning his next step towards his goal.

Jane slowly opened her eyes. She had been awake since they had dumped her onto the back seat of an old minivan. They had been driving for about an hour on what seemed to be a bumpy ill used road. She tried to look around her without moving too much. The fake leather on the seat had over time ripped open to reveal the sponge underneath. She was lying uncomfortably on her side facing the seat and she could make almost nothing of their situation. Was Meg and Sam alright? What about that other woman that helped them? Jane along with Sam and Meg had been roughly marched outside before they had a chance to see if their comrade would make it or not.

Jane smothered a sneeze. The sponge smelled weird. She just hoped she didn't have a sneezing fit; her hands were tied tightly behind her back. Oh why was I so stupid to just barge in back there!? I should've just assessed the situation from a safe distance and contacted help.

An anguished moan cut into the still atmosphere. The moan was followed by a heart wrenching howl. Jane squeezed her eyes shut.

"Stop that idiot's bawling; I can't concentrate on the road! We're on a bridge and it would be very unfortunate to crash over the edge." A male voice. Rough, articulate and angry. Obviously the driver.

"Sammy boy ha' gone frantic! We caen't hol' em down!" that sounded like Benjii. The howling increased in volume.

"Hit the moron over the head or something!" There was a squeaky sound as someone turned around in their seat. "Now or I'll make you drive Ben. And we both know you won't like that."

"Keep your eyes on the road man!" Jonathon growled from his seat next to Jane. "Besides, the mental lock and chain placed on Sam is being forcibly severed because we're exiting the town's perimeter." Jonathon gasped and swore colourfully. "Watch the road you–!"

"Hey! I've been driving for years-"

Just as the driver once more focused his attention on his driving the car nose dived into a massive pothole, skidded and turned over on its side before scraping its way over the bridge railings. Without getting a chance to grab a lungful of air, the mini and its passengers toppled into the grey surging mass below.

Think there's any chance that this will actually make sense in time? I'm struggling to believe that myself. (Scratches head and smiles creepily)