Circle mystics raged through the club, killing or wounding
anything and everything between them and their prize. Several men
in suits were firing at them, but the bullets could do little against
a behemoth’s tough hide. That is to say, most of the bullets were
useless. One of the men was brandishing an assault rifle, loaded with
armor piercing rounds. Like the others, even in spite of his superior
firepower, he was dealt with quickly.
Finally, they reached the room
where their target, a descendent of Mu and a mighty fine singer, was
hiding. She had wedged herself behind a large speaker, which, much
to her dismay, was nowhere near as daunting an obstacle to those large
winged beasts as she had hoped.
A mystic in black stepped forward,
“Child of Mu, you will accompany us back to our city and assist us
in a ritual.” Black smoke emanated from him, pooling around his feet
and peeling the paint from the walls.
“And what if I refuse?” The
young woman asked, reaching for anything in the immediate area that
could be used as a weapon. The best she found was a microphone stand.
Figuring this to be better than nothing, she grabbed hold and swung
it with all the might she could muster. The stand struck the mystic’s
arm, bent at an unnatural angle then melted away near the point of
The ancient member of the Circle chuckled at this. At least
this one had fire in her veins. The spell would be even more potent
for it. “Whelp, there will be no refusing. You cannot resist the Circle.
Come peacefully, and we’ll make this as painless as pos-“ At that
moment, the mystic found that his body’s vertebrae had been severed
at a rather inconvenient position on the spine. He would’ve worried
about this longer had the culprit not just scythed its way through
much of his heart and left lung. Even as he crumpled to the floor,
the behemoth at his left and the other mystic on his right found themselves
in what could be considered a rather unique predicament. After all,
it isn’t every day that two creatures of entirely different species
find their sternums being split before they could even react. Both
of them fell the same as the first.
“Sera Dalton, I presume?” Asked
a man dressed in crimson, the symbol of the Phoenix emblazoned on
“That really depends on who’s asking,” Sera responded,
looking over the man in front of her. His clothes were baggy, his
hair was bright white, his eyes were glowing, and his face was covered.
Stranger still was how her eyes were drawn to his right glove, “You
can understand my not being exactly forthcoming with someone I’ve
just met. I mean you haven’t even introduced yourself yet.”
hadn’t really crossed his mind. The crimson clothing, the bright glowing
eyes, and the symbol on his chest were usually enough to tell anyone
who he was. Still, it had been terribly impolite not introducing himself
before asking questions. Genuflecting before the now-standing young
woman, he said, “Forgive me, milady. I am Kadmon, and I was called
here to protect a Ms. Sera Dalton. Assuming that you are she, I believe
it would be safe to pledge my sword in your defense.”
a few times, taking in precisely what this guy had just said. “Wait
a minute, YOU are Kadmon?” He nodded, “You looked taller on TV. Anyway,
mind telling me what this is all about?”
“Milady, those men were members
of the Circle of Thorns. As is common among their cult, these had
been sent to hunt down a descendent of the ancient nation of Mu. As
you may have already gathered, you are one, as am I.” He was still
kneeling, and the presence of broken bits of speaker on the floor
didn’t make this room one of the more comfortable ones to be respectful.
Beyond that, the position was starting to give him a backache. “Milady,
may I please stand now?”
“On one condition,” She said, pointing at
the kneeling paladin, “Stop calling me ‘milady.’ That sounds way too
old-timed for me.”
Kadmon looked at her, “Of course, m…. Ms. Dalton.”
A bead of sweat dropped from his hairline down past his right eye.
That had probably been too close, and likely would’ve resulted in
even more time with his knee on the sharp bits of speaker remains
were it not for that skillful cover-up. He mentally patted himself
on the back and stood. “Shall we be going? I do believe I cleared
all of the other mystics, but I would advise caution regardless.”
Slowly and carefully, the pair made their way out of the club, retrieving
Sera’s formerly unconscious bodyguards as they went.
“I can’t say
that this hasn’t been an interesting tour so far,” Sera said after
they’d exited the building, “If you want a job as one of my guards,
I’d happily pay you well.”
“My apologies, but at present my duty is
to the city.” Kadmon thought on this statement for a moment, “Although,
as long as you are here, I suppose it would be alright to act as your
Sera smiled and grabbed his arm, “Great, because my next show
is in Kings Row, and I’d rather not go there with just my other bodyguards.”
She dragged him into the limo and sped off to her next gig.
1: Don’t Kill the Messenger
“In sports, the Paragon Heroes
League has already met its first setback, with Tanker halfback Unmovable
Stone breaking just about every bone in Blaster left tackle Eternal
Flame’s body during practice earlier.” Kadmon didn’t really know why
he had bought a TV, but at least in not knowing why, he did know to
get the biggest one he could possibly fit in his apartment without
the downstairs neighbors finding it in their living room. He had often
thought on this while watching many different mind-numbing reality
shows, sitcoms, and weather reports. “In entertainment, ‘The Rise
of the Council: Shattered Column’ was a huge box office success, raking
in close to $45 million its first weekend alone. Mike in the switch
room is telling me we have someone related to the film on the line
right now. So, everyone out there in the viewing audience, give it
up for the old leader of the 5th Column himself, Requiem!”
that came over the speakerphone on set was decidedly not Requiem.
For starters, it was fairly common knowledge that Requiem wasn’t German,
and yet the person they were trying to pass off as Requiem was using
a very poorly imitated German accent. Beyond that, Requiem was anything
but timid, even though the impostor was, somewhat poorly, trying to
make it seem like Requiem would’ve been nervous about having his voice
going over the airwaves. Kadmon had fought Requiem before, and he
knew that the old Nictus wouldn’t be so easily frightened by a little
media exposure. Of course, he also knew that in a bunker somewhere
under the city, Requiem was also watching this particular news program,
and he was fuming. However, being the calm and collected monster that
he was, he turned to his computer and smiled maliciously as he typed
up an order to have that building razed. In truth, Kadmon could hardly
“Alright everyone! Lets have a great big round of applause
for Requiem!” There were some canned ‘Boo’s played after the caster
finished, “In related news, singer/songwriter Sera Dalton, who wrote
and sang the opening theme, will be in town on tour starting next
Suddenly, a portion of the kitchen counter crumbled to dust.
This could easily be explained by saying that Kadmon’s hand twitched
in just such a way to cause him to cast a minor disintegration spell,
but it would be much more fun to leave it to the imagination. With
all the grace and speed of a waterlogged camel on liquid Teflon, the
hero darted into the kitchen doorway, taking a chunk of it with him,
tripped over the couch, landing flat on the floor in front of it,
and took advantage of the myriad features that his massive TV contained
to rewind the news program a minute. “-er/songwriter Sera Dalton,
who wrote and saang the opening theme, will be in town on tour starting
next week.” He was unsure whether he should be happy because she was
coming back, or start cursing uncontrollably knowing that she hadn’t
forgotten the promise he’d made last time, just as she was getting
on the plane to Europe.
Understandably, he chose the latter. After
several minutes of this, Kadmon looked over at the clock. It was half-past
noon already. With a snap of his fingers on his bandaged right hand,
his costume, which had, in fact, been designed by Ms. Dalton herself
when she decided that she didn’t want her bodyguard to be dressed
in a brighter color than she, appeared to replace the clothes he’d
woken in (incidentally, the clothes Kadmon had been wearing when he
went to sleep were actually mostly made up of the old crimson costume).
He tipped his hat slightly at his neighbor across the hall, a fellow
hero named Aidan Aird, more commonly known under the name Atomic No.
90, who had only just woken up after hearing the better portion of
the apartment building shudder under the force of Kadmon’s mighty
As Aidan bent to pick up his newspaper, he said “You realize
there’s no way you’ll be getting your security deposit back if you
ever move out, right?”
Kadmon moved his left thumb and forefinger
under his sunglasses, rubbed his eyes, then shook his head, “I can
make the wall look like nothing ever happened. Besides, What are the
chances you’ll ever get yours?” He grinned behind his brown muffler,
“I’ve seen the walls in your place. You should consider actually getting
a microwave and not just cooking your food by hand.”
“Hey, why bother
spending money on something I can do myself for free?” Kadmon considered
his neighbor’s point. “Seriously, I can’t see why you bother to spend
any of your hard-earned cash on things when you could just as easily
magic them up.”
“I use my magic for self-defense, Aidan. To use it
for something as base as acquiring material goods would be… err…”
His finger was now mere centimeters from the bridge of his fellow
hero’s nose. This was the worst possible time to forget the point
he was trying to get across, and, unfortunately enough, the time he
most often lost his train of thought.
Aidan put his hand up defensively
and shoved Kadmon’s finger away, “I think the word you’re looking
for would be ‘smart.’ You magician types are always so serious about
your tricks. Anyway, did you hear that girl is coming back to town?
“Sera Dalton, and you knew her name.” As Aidan attempted
to belabor the point that he hadn’t remembered, Kadmon pointed at
his forehead, “Regeneration isn’t the only trick I have, remember?”
“Yeah, yeah. Y’know, you take all the fun out of stuff like that.”
“I try.” With that, he walked to the elevator. He knew he had a very
long day ahead of him. He had to meet up with Stampead before making
his way to the ferry at Talos Island. Crimson had wanted to see him
in person for some reason, and he knew that when that old nut bag
wanted to see him in person, something had to be terribly wrong in
such a way that he couldn’t fix by himself. Of course, with a metahuman
on the job, things just seemed to fall into place pretty quickly.
Then there was that thing at the post office, and the fact that he
had yet to return any of Jack’s books, and that meeting with Akarist,
and… Kadmon sighed as he flew into the air. If it weren’t for the
fact that his body didn’t tire, the sheer volume of stuff he had to
do would probably exhaust him by itself. The only reason he slept
at all was because he knew that everyone else knew better than to
bother him while he was sleeping. Something untoward might happen
in such a situation, similar, but not limited, to being blasted through
a wall or three by a wave of dark energy.
Several hours later…
right hand throbbed painfully. The one point on his body that his
regenerative powers had no jurisdiction over simply HAD to be the
one he’d thrown out first to intercept that Zeus Titan’s giant cannon.
He knew that he had a way to let it fix itself, but also knew that
he would much rather just go to the hospital and have it fixed there.
To let that power loose for something as minor as a broken hand would
be irresponsible and potentially lethal for anyone on the wrong end
of it. With a slight grunt of effort he lifted into the sky, headed
back in the direction of his apartment, and fell asleep on the couch.
He didn’t care that he’d forgotten to go to the post office. He didn’t
care that he still had Jack’s books sitting on his coffee table. All
that Kadmon truly cared about at this particular moment in time was
getting as much rest as he could before Sera arrived in Paragon City.
He knew that, according to the Rune of Recovery embedded in his chest,
he had no need for sleep, or even rest, but he also knew that any
moment he wasn’t being bothered to save kittens from trees or cars
from bodies of water or citizens from themselves was a moment he truly
couldn’t live without. Let another hero do the rescuing for a little
while, goodness knows there are enough of them to go around.
A week later…
The air rippled and light bent at a point
in the air roughly five hundred fifty feet above Skyway City International
Airport. A pair of green orbs observed the sky due east of themselves.
These orbs were searching for an intercontinental flight that was
scheduled to land twenty-five minutes earlier. Or it could have been
that it was scheduled to take off twenty-five minutes later. It was
little things like these that always had Kadmon confused. The transit
system was the whole reason why he flew everyone on his own power.
Granted, flying in the city limits was slow going thanks to the speed
limits and the “Fly Safely” laws. Speedsters weren’t allowed to do
more than 90mph in the city; flyers weren’t allowed to pull more than
55mph. All because of some scientist or another saying that an impact
on a solid concrete building at high speeds would likely shatter every
bone in the spinal column of a flyer and every bone in the body of
It should be noted, for the records, that Kadmon hated
scientists. They ruined all the fun that a medieval man could have
in a strange place like Paragon City. Who but a scientist could have
ruined the fun of drinking from a lead mug? Sure, lead was poisonous
and caused insanity, but everyone did it back in the twelfth century.
It wasn’t so uncommon for there to be a village idiot who had overdone
it on both the alcohol and the lead, but that really made things more
interesting. Kadmon closed his eyes and sighed heavily, ignoring the
roar of something coming through the air, something that was getting
closer by the second. At least there was television, which had more
than its share of idiots to keep things interesting.
his eyes just in time to avoid being inconveniently sliced to pieces
by engine three. Watching the plane land brought back memories of
the last time he’d been at this airport. Sera had given him a substantial
amount of money before boarding the plane with Sean and Colin McCleary,
her two closest bodyguards (who, incidentally, had been the first
ones to be knocked out of commission during that battle with the Circle
the previous September). Of course, mere seconds after she’d gotten
on the plane she came back out with a round box. She insisted that
Kadmon open it then and there, seeing as she wouldn’t be back in town
for several months, and with the way heroes kept their things, there
was a fair chance it would be utterly obliterated before she could
be back to see it again. Inside the box was a brown hat, the same
shade as the rest of the costume she’d designed for him. It had, over
the course of the last few months, become Kadmon’s most prized possession.
It added a certain “something” to his costume. Of course, it took
a while for the smell of Sera’s perfume to wear out of the hat, but
Kadmon didn’t mind, even if it HAD given away his position at some
of the most inopportune times.
Bringing himself back to the present,
the hero flew down alongside the aircraft, shedding his invisibility
as he went. A sidelong glance into a first-class window revealed the
unmistakable face of Colin, red-haired with a goatee and wearing sunglasses
not at all unlike his own. Sean, his twin brother, was across the
aisle, and was easily distinguished from his four-minute elder brother
by a stark lack of facial hair in any way, shape or form. Both of
them kept their gaze straight forward, as they were both very much
afraid of heights. Speeding up a bit, Kadmon peeked into the next
window and saw her. She was just as stunning as when she’d left. He
couldn’t help but grin behind the brown muffler (He’d had the foresight
to remove the cape from the back prior to embarking on this little
trip). Cautiously, he edged closer and tapped on the window. This
caused a slight jolt in the two bodyguards in the row behind, both
of which felt compelled to look out the window. Sera looked out, waved,
and then signaled for Kadmon to back up. Of course, not being particularly
adept at these hand signals, he had no clue what she was trying to
tell him to do. He noticed something was amiss when the window edged
closer to him, struck him fully in the face, and helped Kadmon successfully
make an arse out of himself before he even had a chance to say a word.
In rapid response to being struck fully with an airplane taxiing to
its parking space, Kadmon dropped from the sky, hit the ground, and
rolled for a solid forty yards before hitting into the terminal. Amazingly,
his hat stayed on his head through the entire thing. Where a normal
man would’ve likely just stayed down and waited for someone to come
over and laugh unmercifully at him before actually helping him to
the nearest paramedic, it was a hero’s duty to get up, dust himself
off, and say that the entire thing had been planned out ahead of time.
At least that’s what Kadmon did as he got up and dusted himself off.
Anyone near him would have heard the unusual sound of bones mending
at an alarming rate and vital organs covering up their own puncture
As Sera stepped off the plane and into the terminal, she was
greeted by legions of adoring fans that were screaming for autographs,
pictures, and various other things. Of course, there was the one guy,
dressed all in brown, which had recently summoned his cape, and was
now standing silently against one of the airport pillars. His form
lost cohesion momentarily as he stepped through the crowd. He stopped
near the singer, genuflected, and said, “Welcome back, milady.”
looked down at him for a moment. “I’m sorry,” She said, with a bit
of a smile, “I can’t remember precisely who you are.”
sunk momentarily. Of course, he knew she was trying to be funny. “I
was one of your bodyguards during your previous tour.” He said, simply.
If she wanted to have fun with this, he wouldn’t let something as
trivial as mind reading get in the way of that.
“I dunno, I don’t
really remember having any metahumans on staff…” She looked at the
front of his hat. His eyes weren’t glowing, and for her experience
with the hero, she believed that meant he wasn’t currently using his
“You designed the costume I’m wearing right now.” Kadmon struggled
to keep his glow to a minimum. If his eye glow penetrated his sunglasses,
it would be bright enough that Sera might notice. “And, I’m fairly
certain you wrote a song about me that you sang while on tour in France.”
“It’s not really ringing any bells…”
“The song was called ‘My angel
wields a broadsword,’ if I’m not mistaken. You sent me a CD with your
autograph on it.” Kadmon tilted his head a little further to the ground.
Hiding his glow was becoming much more difficult, “I’m sorry to say
I haven’t actually bothered to listen to it yet.”
She grabbed Kadmon’s
right arm and pulled him up. “What do you mean you-“ She started,
but cut herself off when she saw the familiar green aura seeping past
his sunglasses. With a smile and a light punch to his chest, she said,
“For the record, the song was called ‘My Guardian Angel.’ What you
said was just the tagline.” The five-and-a-half foot tall woman pushed
the hero along now. “And what did I tell you about calling me ‘milady’?”
There was a fair amount of storytelling from both the hero and the
singer, each detailing what they’d been up to during the last several
months. Kadmon talked about traveling to different worlds, battling
alternate versions of Paragon’s finest heroes, and his repeated run-ins
with Nemesis. Sera found it somewhat odd the her hero friend kept
saying that he’d killed Nemesis, but then ran into him again not a
week later. In response to his wild stories, Sera talked about forgetting
which side of the road to drive on in England, and not really understanding
a word that came out of anyone in France. The incident in England
had almost given Sean a heart attack.
Their stories concluded for
the time being, Kadmon opened the door to Sera’s limo. “Where will
you be staying while you’re in town?”
“Eh, one of those nice hotels
in Skyway City, I think.” Her index finger rubbed her lower lip as
she thought, “It’s the Hotel Geneva, or something like it. Anyway,
I’ll call you when I get there. You still have the same phone, right?”
With a snap of his fingers, the very same cell phone he’d performed
that trick with back in September appeared in his hand. “Same P.O.S.
standard issue hero’s phone. I would’ve liked to get a new one, but
I’m not technically allowed to. Maybe something with polyphonic ring
tones or something…”
Sera got a good laugh at that. “Back when we
first met, you didn’t even know how to use that phone, let alone know
to care about the lack of features.” She sat down into the limo’s
passenger area, “You’re getting better at this modern age stuff all
the time.” The door shut, and the vehicle headed away from the airport.
Kadmon looked down at the phone in his hand. The clock read 6:24 PM,
which told him that now was as good a time as any to get back to his
regularly scheduled patrols.
Chapter 3: Lowbie Bashing
In his head,
he already had the better portion of the tour’s schedule mapped out.
This was taking into account likely attacks from any number of villain
groups, some at the same time. Of course, working the schedule out
meant that Kadmon wasn’t watching where he flew. At least two office
buildings paid the price for having had been built where a hero who
didn’t have time to pay attention to pain would fly.
Bits of glass
were immaterial to a regenerator. Of course they would stick in and
draw a little blood, but they would just as quickly be ejected by
the rapid regeneration of skin cells, and the blood would pull itself
back in. Windows were small-time, much like various poisons, diseases,
and fire. It would take something more solid to stop a flyer going
the speed limit. Something akin to a building built to take the Rikti
War and only tip 20 degrees or so. Fortunately for both the building
and the hero, Kadmon snapped back to the present mere moments before
what could have been best described as a catastrophic collision. Performing
a feat not uncommon to absent-minded flyers, he came to a full stop
mere inches from the wall. The reason, in Kadmon’s mind, that it would’ve
been catastrophic wouldn’t have been the shattering of his bones and
the difficult to repair impact damage to the stone so much as it would
have been the ruining of his hat. After all, the hat had survived
being lit on fire by Infernal, irradiated by Antimatter, sliced by
Chimera, smashed repeatedly by Black Swan, Requiem and Nemesis, and
had barely avoided being disintegrated by Tyrant. To let it be destroyed
by something as ignoble as inattentiveness would’ve been a crime in
and of itself.
An hour into his patrol, while toying with several
Skulls, Kadmon’s phone rang. “One moment, gents.” He said, and then
shouted with an animalistic fury that struck terror into the large
group of thugs. With a flick of his wrist, the hero produced his phone.
“Hello? Ah, evening Sera. All unpacked I assume? Good, good. For a
drink you say? All right, I’ll be there shortly; you sort of caught
me in the middle of something. Righto, talk to you then.” The phone
vanished as he hung it up. Looking around, it was plainly obvious
that some up-and-comers had taken advantage of the large group he
had quaking fearfully. This was clear from the fact that the Skulls,
who had been shooting at him and trying to hit him with any number
of common household items mere moments earlier, were now lying on
the ground, twitching from electrical injuries, still smoking from
being on fire, and trying to stem the blood loss from scores of claw
wounds while waiting to be picked up by the authorities. The seasoned
hero couldn’t blame these greenhorns for taking a share of his fun.
They needed all the experience they could get, and a stationary target
is still a target. Kadmon lifted off and made for the exit to Skyway.
For kicks, every so often he would freeze a gangster trying futilely
to snatch a purse from the iron death grip of one of Paragon’s pedestrians.
Invariably, not moments after doing this another young hero would
swoop in and take credit for bagging the villain in the act of accosting
a civilian, even if all the accosting was well over with by now thanks
to the fact that the bad guy had stopped moving after catching a glance
of Kadmon’s Medusa-like gaze.
Chapter 4: Drinks and Discussion
hero landed outside the Hotel Geneva, flicked himself into something
less heroic (known by many magi as a mystical garb called 'jeans and
a t-shirt'), walked in, and asked where he could find Ms. Sera Dalton's
room. Understandably, the attendant at the desk asked what his business
was there. His response was simple and to the point.
"A little liquor
and some conversation, I believe." This answer didn't net a positive
response, as the attendant pointed him in the direction of the bar.
Kadmon's hand met with his face as it had many times in the past.
"Look, Sera called me about ten minutes ago and invited me up to have
The attendant looked at him funny, "Why would she call
you? You don't look to be anyone particularly special."
at this. His runes were arguing about how to properly deal with the
situation. He had the answer already and did his best to ignore them.
With a flick, he was once again in his costume, armored up and eyes
aglow with mystical energy. "Do I look like anyone particularly special
now?" He asked, a vein in his forehead beginning to protrude slightly.
The guy behind the desk nodded sheepishly. "Now then, would you kindly direct
me to my friend's hotel room?"
"R-room 227, sir. It's up the ele-"
"Thank you." He said flatly. What was the world coming to when a hero
had to get in-costume to be recognized as who they were? The situation's
resolution had at least gotten those two to shut up and behave for
a minute. Those runes were the whole reason why he had an axe to grind
with the Circle. If they hadn't been sentient, the whole arrangement
could've been bearable. The elevator door opened and Kadmon stepped
in. He tapped the "2" on the wall, then leaned on the opposing wall
to think. The first line of thought was to send the muffler and cape
back to the apartment. It would be remarkably difficult to drink through
them. The next was the two small children and their parents staring
"Mommy," The little girl said, "Why is that guy wearing a
cape? And why is he wearing sunglasses inside? And-"
door opened to the second floor before he had to listen to any more
questions or the possible answers. If there was one thing that Kadmon
hated more than having to listen to arguing sentient magical runes,
it was children asking inane questions and their parents responding
by questioning his sanity. Room 227 was on the exact opposite end
of the building. This wasn't all bad, as it gave him time to prepare
himself both mentally and physically for what was ahead (it isn't
common knowledge, but Regenerators always prepare both their mind
and their body when readying one or the other). A light knock on the
door and several seconds later, Kadmon found himself sitting at a
table in Sera's hotel room, patiently awaiting his drink while talking
more about the events of the last several months.
At Sera's request,
Kadmon produced his license from under his left pauldron, showing
that he was, since the third of December 2004, security level 50 and
could access any part of the city he felt was necessary. He noted
that, at the time of their first meeting, he was a paltry security
"You've come a long way since then," Sera noted, "So, how
is that... y'know, rune-thing doing?"
Kadmon lifted his right arm,
showing the black armor that encased it. "It wasn't easy, but I discovered
something in the Circle's home city to help contain it. This baby
helps take a lot of the pressure off of my mind." The drinks finally
arrived, "I meant to ask you this earlier - Will you be needing my
Sera looked into his sunglasses. Finding this to
be inadequate, she reached over and removed them and in so doing looked
straight into his bright green eyes. "I would love it if you would
join us for the tour. After all, having a superhuman on staff always
helps to keep the maniacs out." She smiled as he reached to retrieve
his sunglasses. "You already know the schedule. The first show is
tomorrow at the Club in Founders Falls. 7:30 PM, don't be late."
took one last gulp of his drink. Being a regenerator took some of
the fun out of drinking, unfortunately, as his body would process
and eliminate the alcohol before it could have any of its normal effects
on his body. “It’s getting late. You should probably get some sleep.”
He said, pushing his sunglasses so they sat properly, “Thank you for
the drinks, and I’ll be sure to be there tomorrow.” He gathered himself
and stood. “As for right now, I have to get back to my patrol.” With
uncharacteristic speed, he left the room, went down the elevator,
and left the hotel.
Sera walked over to the balcony, holding something
her heroic friend had left behind. She silently counted to ten then
held the round object out. A man-shaped ripple in the air accepted
the item and moved it up above a pair of green glowing orbs, where
it promptly faded from sight. “See you tomorrow, Kad. Don’t do anything
stupid before then.” The orbs darted off into the sky with an affirming