Ana pokes her head out the window of her house. “Hey, I don’t know if this is important to you ladies, but Jamie is alive and back in the streets. You might want to, you know, get the hell out of here and go fight him!”
Amanda begins walking back to the house with her sister. “This isn’t good. Is the boy almost done being healed?”
“He should be done by midnight.”
“Are you even healing him? What’s taking so long? We’ve been out here for months. Let me see the kid,” Amanda demands.
“Sure. You can see him. You don’t have the ability to heal, so you don’t understand the process.” Ana goes to get Lucas. The child comes out smiling, no longer pale, and full of life.
“He looks good!” Amanda says.
“By midnight, he will be completely healed.”
“Good.” Amanda looks over at Saira, who has her eyes closed. “How are you sleeping at a time like this?”
“I’m not. Just resting my eyes.”
“Alright, what’s the plan?”
“Tell him what he wants to hear: that his kid will be completely healed at midnight.”
A black hole opens under Saira and Amanda, and they fall through, coming out through another black hole inside of a house.
“I’m getting so sick of her. Where are we now?” Amanda looks around and sees only an air mattress.
“You’re in my house,” Kid says from behind them.
“Well, this house sucks,” Amanda says.
“Thanks. I’m guessing you heard about what happened?”
“Yeah. Ana sent us back here while we were coming up with a plan,” Amanda says.
“Well, keep those thoughts in your head. Whoever is left is regrouping at Richard’s house.”
A portal opens inside of Kid’s house, and Ameena appears from inside it. “Alright, a car ride! I love those!”
“Well, shrink, and let’s go,” Amanda says.
“Yay!” Ameena says.
They exit through the garage and are met with rain as they begin driving to Richard’s house. Amanda is in the backseat, petting Ameena in her normal dog form, and Saira sits in the passenger seat.
“Are you scared to fight that other deity, Ameena?” Amanda asks.
“Not even close. I’m actually excited. Just like acolytes, deities can get stronger too. Also, just like acolytes, we can die. If we die, your power disappears, and your kundalini will be open to being marked again by another deity. I don’t want that to happen—that’s why I’m always training and refuse to die. You’re the first reincarnation I’ve had that’s come across this deity, and I’m all fired up. All the deities I’ve fought in the past were weak compared to this one, including the ones with the strong acolytes who threatened to destroy the earth. This will be my first real challenge.”
“Something you just said bothered me. You said ‘ones with strong acolytes.’ Are you telling me this destroyer I’m supposed to save the world from is a different acolyte every time?”
“I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. How are you not scared to fight Jamie’s deity if you know he’s stronger than you?”
“When running isn’t an option, there’s no other choice but to be brave and fight. There’s nothing scarier than dying, and I don’t want to die. I also don’t want to lose you and have to wait for the next reincarnate so early. That’s why I’m going to give it my all and win. Even the strongest and most skilled fighters make mistakes and get cocky, and when that happens, I’ll deliver the finishing blow. You should be thinking the same way.”
“You’re right. Hey, Kid! Is it okay for us to be out in the open like this?” Amanda asks.
“Yeah. Richard says we’re free to roam. Council is giving us a pass since there’s not too many acolytes left from the agency to battle this guy. You have to take the good with the bad, I guess.”
“I guess death restores balance in life. That was a quick turnaround. How do you know this isn’t a trap?” Amanda asks.
“The council works in the shadows, and I doubt they’re going to pop out and ambush us, unless they have some acolytes hiding in the dark with them who could take us out at any second, which is extremely possible in this crazy world full of secrets and lies.”
“That’s not a reassuring response. Hypothetically speaking, to work for this high and mighty council, you would probably have to be stronger and more unique than you are.”
“Since I don’t use my yin, I’m not very strong or unique. That’s why I hope you’re bringing you’re A-game with you. Oh, by the way, don’t mention me not being able to use my yin to anyone. The only people who know are you, your sister, Ana, and Richard. I don’t want people I’m not friends with to know I’m vulnerable.”
“So, the possibility of us going into a trap is high, then?” Saira asks.
“No! Because without us, who will fight Jamie? He just wiped out an entire facility and all of its employees. Look, I’ve never seen the council, and I don’t know how many people are in it. Hell, I don’t even know how they communicate with Richard or his second-in-command. I just know they need us. After we defeat this guy, though, who knows what will happen? But we can’t worry about that now. Stay focused!”
As Kid drives in the city, he runs into heavy traffic and sees the public is in a panic. People are rushing into stores. Cars are lined up at the gas station, and there are a lot of people screaming at each other from their cars.
“What’s going on out there?” Saira asks.
“Looks like people are preparing for something,” Kid says.
“What, though?” Amanda asks.
“Who knows? I’m as clueless as you are right now,” Kid says.
They finally arrive at Richard’s house and knock on the front door.
Richard opens it. “The cavalry has arrived.”
Amanda looks inside and sees Iri and another lady, who has dreadlocks down past her shoulders, baggy purple pants, a black crop top, and a fingerless glove on her left hand.
“So, this is all that’s left?” Amanda asks as she joins the other girls at the square table.
“This is everyone. Just you four,” Richard says, joining the group.
“There are actually five of us. I’m participating in this, and I’ll be in charge,” Saira says, her head barely above the table.
“Was that a joke? I can’t tell with your poker face,” Richard says.
“No, she’s being serious, and I agree with her. Whatever she says, I’m doing. She’s smarter than all of you.” Amanda points to everyone at the table.
“Let’s hear what she has to say,” Kid suggests.
“He’s looking for his child. We have his child, and our sources say he will be healed by midnight. He told us to call our neighbor, Jacob, with information. I’m sure Jamie has been in contact with him, so he knows he’s free and alive. We’ll call Jacob, tell him about Jamie’s son, and tell him when and where he can meet us to get the kid. Then, we take him down,” Saira instructs.
“That’s good. I like that. That’s exactly what the girls and I were discussing. You did bring in new information, though. We’ll make the phone call. Protecting humans is the number-one priority. This entire area of the city is in the process of being cleared out,” Richard says.
“How did you manage to pull that off?” Amanda asks.
“The council has the power to manipulate the media and technology to our benefit, so they had weather radars pick up a category five hurricane, approaching quickly. With the help of water-girl here, we created a visual, so now we have a battlefield where we don’t have to hold back and worry about casualties.”
“My name is Reign. Spelled r-e-i-g-n. Not water-girl,” she says, extending her hand out to Amanda.
“H-hi, I’m Amanda. You control water, meaning you can make it rain?”
“Yeah. I used to be a puppet of the agency, but I left. Apparently, the council has my number and paid me a hefty amount just to aid in this fight.”
“Why would they call you? We’re more than capable of handling this guy on our own. All this council involvement lately isn’t sitting right with me, and I think it has something do with Amanda,” Kid says.
“I don’t care about that right now. I asked her that question because an unusual downpour caused my dad to go to the hospital, which got my entire family involved in this mess, killing both of my parents,” Amanda says.
“Are you accusing me of something, Amanda?”
“Dudes, lets focus on the current matter at hand: Jamie,” Richard says.
“No offense to you two girls,” Iri says, pointing at Saira and Amanda, “but Richard, these two are a liability. I’d rather not have someone I have to watch and protect on the battlefield.”
“You shouldn’t underestimate these two. Amanda is stronger than the last time you fought her. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. We need all the help we can get,” Kid says.
“If you’re wrong, you’re going to get them killed, or worse, make her turn into that monster again and doom us all. We don’t have the resources to stop that thing this time,” Richard says.
“They’ll be fine. You haven’t fought Jamie; we need all the help we can get. I struggled when he was weaker. Seems like he’s a lot stronger now if he can wipe out an entire building with everyone in it,” Kid says.
“Did you unleash your full power? Because if you had, I doubt you would have lost. I know you weren’t able to fight for real due to all these dumb rules and restrictions by the agency about minimizing damage to the city and trying not to cause any harm to the humans while you fight, but now there is no agency because it was too soft, killing acolytes in a humane way when they deserve the worse death possible. Now look at the agency—it’s all gone, and I’m sure everyone in there didn’t die in a peaceful way. We should be able to use our full strength at will and go all-out whether there are humans around or not. But none of that applies to me or bothers me now. If I feel the need to drop the entire ocean over the city, I will. That would kill your Jamie. Maybe you too, Iri. I remember you being third or fourth best at the agency,” Reign says.
“Sounds like you’re trying to prove something to yourself because I’ve never been intimidated by you. The only reason you were number two is because I allowed you to be. You were there longer, and I felt you deserved it, so I didn’t challenge you for the spot. But now that we’re here, I’ll be more than happy to put your head at the end of an ice pick,” Iri says.
“What the hell is wrong with you girls? Can you squash your petty quarrels and focus on the actual problem? Now, let’s get serious! We’re going to get ambushed. If we don’t, I’ll be surprised. By a show of hands, who in here thinks they can survive any situation on their own?” Richard asks. They all look at each other.
“Well, it’s pretty obvious,” Iri says.
“We all can. If things start to go bad, we’ll just retreat,” Kid says.
“No running next time we meet him. I thought about letting him live, but I changed my mind. He’s killed too many people, including our parents and everyone at the freaking agency. This isn’t about revenge, or even about us—this is about protecting the lives of the unexpected prey that might fall victim to this monster. I thought maybe he had a little bit of goodness left in him, and that maybe I could bring out the light in him, but it seems like he’s completely evil now. He killed all those people, and he probably feels no type of remorse for it. Even if we heal his son and give him back, I think he would still kill for no reason. There’s no telling how many more victims he’ll consume if we don’t stop him. With my sister’s tactical brain and my awesomeness, we’re like the perfect duo. I’ve always got her back, and she has mine. I’ll always be there for her no matter what, and vice-versa. We will stop this guy by any means necessary,” Amanda says. Kid claps.
“Well, you heard the woman. Let’s plan,” Richard says.