With the angels in the office as well as the rest of us it was beginning to get rather cramped. There was a suggestion that they should leave and then just come back when Raven has rescued Adrian and the young girl but she won’t let them take Alicia away and they don’t trust Raven enough to leave her here. She is, after all the only leverage they have to ensure Raven rescues Adrian for them. I did notice that no one from our agency mentioned that she was planning on saving him anyway. Even though she told them that she would leave him there I don’t think she would. She knows Damon and how cruel he is, and would never leave anyone as his hostage.
“So is anyone going to tell us your plan to get them back?” Alistair asked. Out of the corner or my eye I saw many eyes land on Raven, as if they were waiting for her permission before they said anything. “Well?” He was getting impatient. Raven sighed before answering.
“It’s very simple. I’m going to enter the young girl’s mind and give her enough power to pull me to their location. From there I will kill the demons and bring the hostages back here.” Raven said.
“Is it really going to be as simple as you make it sound?” One of the other angels, that I didn’t know the name of, asked.
“Quiet Blake.” Alistair warned him.
“Alistair, I think I have the right to know how difficult the rescue of my brother will be.” Blake responded.
“I have absolutely no idea. It could go either way really.” Raven told him, completely unconcerned.
“But you will be able to get them back right?” Blake asked her, Raven’s unconcerned attitude unnerving him.
“Of course.” Raven said more serious. He looked her in the eyes for a moment until he found something that reassured him.
“Thank you.” Blake said sincerely and she nodded in reply. As the day went on we all seemed to be waiting for Raven’s confirmation on when the best time would be to strike. As usual, I observed Raven, still trying to figure her out. We had been looking for her for years, and then she just turned up on our doorstep. Whilst most others think it was to cause trouble I reckon it was more because she herself needed help, and didn’t know where else to turn. If I hadn’t been paying close attention then I would have missed what happened next.
Raven froze and her gaze seemed to become distant. After a moment she snapped out of it, got up from her seat and went to stand in the middle of the room. Those who were used to Raven quieted down and turned to her. But those who weren’t continued as they were. With her patience growing thin, Raven put two of her fingers to her lips and whistled, very high pitched, which succeeded in getting everyone’s attention.
“We have to recover a sword.” Was all she said.
“What sword?” Alistair asked.
“The one that you showed Jonathan a picture of earlier and tried to hide from my view. Damon is after it, I don’t know why he wants it but if we go get it now, then when he goes to retrieve it later this evening I can rescue the hostages.” She told us.
“That all sounds great but we don’t know where it is.” Alistair told her.
“You may not but I do.” She said with a smile.
“And I’m guessing you’re not going to tell me where it is either?” He asked her.
“Got it in one. We will go retrieve it while you wait here.” Raven told him.
“Considering how important this sword is I think that we should go with you.” Alistair argued.
“I don’t care for your opinion.” Raven stated simply and then she transported her, myself, Alice, Clara, Jenkins, Jake and Tom out of the room, leaving Jonathan to deal with the angry angels. She first took us to the store room to collect supplies. We grabbed weapons, energy bars, water and anything else we thought we might need. “Now to get the sword.” Raven said as the walls around us disappeared.
I looked around at our new surroundings and I could feel the confusion in the air.
“Why are we in a desert?” Jake asked the question that we were all thinking. I looked to Raven for an explanation but she was muttering something. Suddenly caves rose from the ground.
“Man that is so cool!” Jenkins said like an excited child.
“Be prepared, there is no way to tell what protects the sword.” Raven told us.
As expected Raven took the lead while Alice and I were behind here, Jake and Tom had our backs and then Clara and Jenkins held up the rear. We entered the cave slightly weary, except Raven who had her usual calm about her. With a flick of her fingers fire-lit torches illuminated our path.
“What kind of things could be protecting the sword?” Jake asked in a tone that didn’t make him sound completely worried, but not exactly at ease either.
“Spells, enchantments, curses, creatures, traps, lasers, trap doors, ghosts, that kind of thing.” Raven listed.
“How exactly are we going to fight ghosts?” Jake asked and I could almost sense Raven rolling her eyes.
“We don’t, we set them free. It is believed that ghosts are simply trapped souls. Of course not many people figure out the remedy of this and just run away screaming like little girls.” Raven said.
We continued in to the caves and water swallowed our path.
“Water? Really? This is seriously supposed to stop us? I guess they aren’t as smart as you think Raven.” Jenkins said amused as he approached the water. Before he got there Raven threw a stone in to the water and at first touch electricity ran across the surface of the water and fried the stone. “Ok that certainly does make things trickier.” Jenkins admitted and nodded thanks to Raven. She picked up another stone and threw it in to the air, and we all watched as it landed safely on the other side.
“The air is not enchanted, we will have to levitate.” Raven told us simply. She muttered something under her breath and we were all lifted in to the air and carried to the other side. As soon as we touched down we continued, wanting to waste no time. After all, we didn’t know how far in to the caves the sword was hidden or what lay in our path.
It wasn’t long before we found out. Next we encountered a bed of snakes, levitation wasn’t the answer this time more snakes hung from the walls and ceiling. Alice took a flute out of her bag and started to play. The snakes looked mesmerized and soon parted so we could get past them.
We then encountered moving walls with steel spikes sticking out of them. The walls were moving too fast for us to simply run past them.
“How do we get past these?” Jake asked, not seeing a solution.
“Simple.” Was all Raven said as she motioned us far back from the walls. When she decided we were a safe distance away she pulled two grenades out of her bag. She threw one at each wall and they exploded on contact, damaging the walls and disintegrating the spikes. The explosion caused the walls to stop moving and allow us to pass.
We came across many more obstacles and I could tell it was starting to get on everyone’s nerves.
“This is so cool” It’s like we’re in a spy movie!” Ok, everyone’s nerves except Jenkins’s.
He was right though, the lasers would be suited for a spy movie, and we solved that problem with mirrors just like most actually would in a movie. We then came to what I hoped was the last obstacle.
“A volcano? Are you actually kidding me?” Clara asked annoyed. So far our journey had been long and tiring, it was starting to take a toll on everyone, even Jenkins. Although Raven managed to still look completely fine, and not in the least bit affected. But as most would say, the volcano was kind of taking the mick. “Is it possible for you to use that levitation spell that you used earlier?” Clara asked Raven. In reply she muttered the spell but nothing happened. She then flicked her fingers but just like the first time, nothing happened.
“No, magic is blocked. We will have to climb.” Raven told us.
“I really hope this volcano isn’t active.” Jake commented.
“It’s been dormant for centuries. “ Raven informed us.
“Well that’s brilliant.” Jake replied with a smile of relief.
“But of course, this entire place is run by magic and not nature so really it could erupt at any moment with no warning.” She added.
“And that’s not so good.” Jake frowned.
We began the treacherous climb. The side of the volcano was difficult to grip, even for a vampire as old and skilled as me. It took about two hours to climb, which proves just how tall it was, and we were all exhausted when we got to the top. All of us except for Raven collapsed to rest; she had her eyes trained on something the rest of us hadn’t noticed yet.
I followed her gaze and saw the sword floating in mid-air, above the middle of the volcano. After the others had finished having some water they joined Raven and I staring at the sword.
“How the hell are we supposed to get that?” Tom asked, speaking for the first time since we started this journey. Raven looked down at the bubbling lava beneath us and then back at the sword. She took the Exitium out of her pocket, opened it and placed it right on the edge of the volcano. As soon as she did a thin piece of rope started floating out of it towards the middle of the volcano, towards the sword.
“I thought magic wouldn’t work?” Clara asked.
“It doesn’t run on magic, it runs on life force, on energy.” Raven explained.
Once the rope had reached the sword Raven put one foot on it.
“Raven what the hell are you doing? You can’t do that, you’ll fall and die!” I tried to talk some sense in to her. “And don’t bother telling me you can’t die because you come back to life in the exact place that you die, so you would just keep being burned alive.” I told her before she could say anything.
Ignoring me she placed her other foot on the rope, getting her balance.
“I have to.” Was all she said.
We all watched silently as she made her way across. She didn’t wobble once, as if she was a professional trapeze artist. I breathed a sigh of relief when she reached the sword, but it wasn’t over yet. As soon as she touched the sword the entire place began to shake. The volcano rumbled and we all stared down at the lava in worry.
Suddenly, the side of the volcano where we were stood shook violently, causing Clara to fall off the edge, soaring towards the lava at an alarming rate.
“Raven!” I yelled, hoping she could do something. She looked down and saw Clara falling and her eyes widened. She looked around for a moment until she figured something out. She slid the sword in to a sheath on her back and with a determined look on her face, crouched down, grasped the rope in her hand and jumped.
I watched as Raven swung on the rope towards Clara and grabbed her out of the air. But they were then heading towards the wall of the volcano. Raven stuck her legs out to stop them from hitting the side.
Whilst holding Clara in one arm Raven wrapped the rope around her fist and used her legs to walk then up the wall towards us. They were fairly close to the lava so it must’ve been roasting. But all I could see was the pure determination in Raven’s eyes. When they reached the top we pulled Clara out of Raven’s arms and to safety and then pulled Raven up after. Standing, she placed the Exitium back in her pocket as we stared at her in shock.
“Thank you.” Clara said to Raven and I could see the sincerity in her eyes.
“You’re welcome.” Raven replied with a small smile.
It was a nice moment considering they are usually arguing but we didn’t have long to enjoy it as the volcano started to shake again.
“This is going to be a bumpy ride.” Jake said stating the obvious as the side of the volcano that we were stood on collapsed, sending us flying over the outside edge towards the ground. We slide down the uneven walls and hit the ground with a crash but didn’t have long to recover. As one of the sides of the volcano had gone the lava was spilling out towards us. Good job we were all trained to withstand fierce conditions and injuries as we had to jump straight up and start running.
We made our way back through the caves and towards the obstacles that we had conquered earlier. Thankfully the mirrors were still in place stopping the lasers and the walls were still destroyed so we were able to pass them with no problem. But the snakes were a bit trickier, they were back blocking our path. Alice pulled her flute out and started playing a more urgent tune than earlier, causing the snakes to move faster. As soon as we reached the water we were lifted in to the air by Raven’s levitation spell and touched down the other side without breaking pace. The water had been too much for us to cross but it was no match for the lava that was still hot on our tail. No pun intended.
We raced around the winding tunnels trying to find our way back to the entrance. Thankfully Raven was leading us and she had an impeccable memory so we didn’t not to get lost.
We were almost there and it was as if the lava had a mind of its own as it seemed to pick up speed. I had already figured out that the lava was also powered by magic as it only followed our path, it didn’t go down a tunnel that we had passed by.
“We need to run faster!” Raven yelled back at us and we all picked up speed. We reached the opening to the cave and we welcomed the blinding light of the sun after the dimly lit caves. As soon as we were out Raven turned, checked we all made it and then transported us back to the office a second before the lava would have crashed down on us.
When we saw that we were all safe back in the office we gave out a victory cheer. And of course Alistair decided to ruin our happy atmosphere.
“Where on Earth have you been?” He yelled angrily and Raven stepped forward as if challenging him.
“We went to get the sword of course.” She said to him.
“I told you I wanted us to go with you.” He replied, still furious.
“And I told you that I don’t care for your opinion. With your people there as well we may not have all gotten out alive. There would have been too many of us.” Raven tried to explain.
“Well at least give me the sword.” He glared at her. There was a slight pause as Raven tried to decide whether or not to obey his blatant order. She shrugged, reached behind her, pulled the sword out of the sheath and handed it to him. As soon as he touched it the sword turned red, as if it was angry.
“Ah!” He yelled as he dropped the sword. “It burned me! What did you do to it?” Instantly blaming Raven.
“I did nothing. It is simply your heritage rejecting it.” She explained.
“What do you mean?” Clara asked, not understanding.
“With this sword the holder becomes the ultimate destroyer, and angels are supposed to be pure and mean no harm, and therefore would have no reason for such a weapon.” Raven told him.
“But I just want to keep it safe, so it doesn’t fall in to the wrong hands.” Alistair explained.
“I know that, but the sword doesn’t.” Raven pointed out.
“In that case, as you can hold the sword, does that mean you do have a reason for needing it?” He questioned her and she sighed.
“Like the Exitium, the sword can only have one owner, one controller.” I interrupted their conversation. Raven looked at me and raised her eyebrow. “You didn’t know?” I asked her. She shook her head.
“I don’t know about every object that can destroy things. I just knew that Damon wanted it, and therefore we had to get it.” She told me.
“I don’t believe you.” Alistair said bluntly. “She is simply using this agency so she can gain dangerous artefacts!” He yelled. “It is obvious.” He added. Sighing and rolling her eyes in annoyance Raven decided to ignore him. “I know your game missy.” He hissed in her face.
“Alistair, you have no way to prove that so stop blaming Raven for everything.” Michael said.
“What did you just say to me?” Alistair yelled furiously.
“My son is right.” Jonathan said calmly. “If you cannot be civil, then you can leave until Raven rescues Adrian and the young girl.” He added.
“We have already discovered that situation won’t work out.” Alistair told him.
“Alicia can stay in my custody.” Jonathan said. Alistair paused before speaking again, thinking carefully about what he said next so he didn’t insult Jonathan. “Disagreeing with this would mean that you don’t trust me either.”
“Of course I trust you.” Alistair replied.
“So it’s sorted.” Jonathan declared.
“Fine.” Alistair said and all but one of the angels disappeared in a flash.
“I would like to stay, if that is ok.” Blake said to Jonathan.
“That is fine.” Jonathan nodded.
We all rested and tended to our wounds while we waited. We would all need our energy in case anything went wrong. After a few hours Raven said two words that instantly got our attention.