13.5 Magic Words

by Matt P.

“Ok,” Siobhan said as she got back to her feet and looked at her sister, “How do we close the damn door?” The faded and flecked door stood wide open, with the mist continuing to come out of it. They could hear people near the stairs coming down to them, and they could hear at least one horseman riding toward them from the lands beyond the door. “Cause we might be a little bit boned if we don’t.”

Ryan Aquino reached down to pull a magazine from one of the pouches on his tactical vest and checked it quickly before he put it back. “We might be a lot bit boned if we don’t. We might be a little bit boned anyway.”

“What are they here for?” Antigone asked as she moved to the door. She reached out to put her hands on the open door and tugged at it, but it wouldn’t give. The mist waivered, but it seemed to have the weight of water when she tried to move it. “Damn, I can’t just close it…”

Ryan considered the small room, dusty and misty and crappy. “Lacey, Monica, get back in a corner out of the way. Don’t argue,” he said, when Monica began to open her mouth. “I need Siobhan and Antigone to do some mystic mojo, but you guys will just get squished. Siobhan, you know that trick you pulled with Tanya?” Siobhan nodded slowly. Ryan reached out, and a moment later he was holding a long and slender blade with a strong curve; it was the gleaming metal of a Faerie blade, but shaped like a katana. He handed it to her blade first. “Might be a good time to pull out some more tricks.”

Antigone tugged furiously at the door, and whimpered. “Come on, you always open and close when I’m dreaming…” She murmured angrily as she looked at it. She rubbed her hands together and looked at the door. “Uh…abracadabra!” She chanted, to no discernible effect.

“That’s for opening things,” Monica pointed out helpfully. Antigone scowled.

“Avada kedavra!” She shouted again, to the same usefulness.

“That’s for killing things,” Lacey supplied this time, from the corner.

Ryan smirked, and then his face went sour as he heard the footsteps hit the last set of stairs. “Well, let’s keep that one for an emergency then.” When the first set of legs appeared he began to fire, taking two Faerie soldiers out at the legs and sending them tumbling down to the floor. They screamed in agony, but Ryan took care of that with a pair of doubled shots to each of their heads. The men stopped screaming, but Lacey and Monica kept going. The shouts were maddeningly loud in the enclosed space, all of their ears starting to ring. Even Ryan, who was wearing some ear protection, winced and shook his head. “Sorry!” He held out a hand for a moment, and a small piece of shadow clng to the barrel. When he fired again at the next man, the sound was much less, although Siobhan thought that could just be that she had gone deaf.

Five men stormed in to the room, moving with a breathtaking speed. It would have been too fast to follow if she hadn’t gotten to watch Morgan and Tania fight. She could barely follow it, but the sword she held apparently helped—it worked like iron in that respect, slowing them down to just mind-boggling speed. One bolted right for her, a pair of wicked looking knives in his hands. The blades looked like they were made of glass, but she didn’t think they’d break.

Her attacker came in with the knives lashing out like serpents, one high and one low. She quickly stepped to the side and brought her blade in an arc to parry both of them, jumping forward to counter attack with as fast a blow to his head as she could manage. Out of reflex she even cried out the strike as she would in the dojo. “Men!” She cried out, the Japanese word for a strike to the head. The man was apparently surprised that he had been counter-attacked so quickly, because while he blocked he did so slowly and she managed to score a very superficial cut. Blood trickled down in to his face, and Siobhan grinned fiercely. “Avada kedavra!”

Then she saw someone going for Lacey, and she cursed. The man attacking her came in with two quick strikes, and the man closing in on Lacey brought a short sword over his head to bring down on her. “Shit!” Siobhan cursed, and felt herself moving faster than she had ever moved in her life. She moved in to her attacker’s strikes, tapping the blades aside to move right up against his body. She didn’t cut him, but reached with her free hand and grabbed him by the shirt—they were all dressed in loose black shirts and pants, vaguely medieval and vaguely piratical. On pure instinct Siobhan turned and pivoted her hip, whipping the larger man’s body around. He went in to the air and slammed directly in to the man who was about to kill Lacey, both of them hitting the brick wall of the room with grunts of pain.

“SUCK IT!” Siobhan proclaimed loudly, raising her sword in triumph—before it was ripped from her hand by a man behind her. He brought it around in a wide arc, clearly intending to remove some vital body part with it and then keep it for himself. Out of instinct Siobhan raised her hands to try to block, but she knew she would be too slow.

A sound filled the room, reverberating with a primal power and force. One heartbeat the baying was naccompanied, and in the next a huge hound with iron about its powerful frame came in to existence. It closed terrible teeth on the arm of the man who was about to kill Siobhan, and flung him—and the sword—across the room. The iron hound threw its head back and bayed in triumph, and Siobhan saw Antigone leaning against the open door panting profusely.

“Avada kedavra,” she announced with a weak smile, turning back to the door.

“Word,” Siobhan agreed, turning back to find yet another faerie trying kill her, as Ryan fired shots up the stairs to keep another group at bay.