“Oh. My mom set her on fire. She rose from literal smoke and ashes and then crawled to Skiron, who then gifted the charcoal lady his powers, and when they came out of the swirling snow tornado, she was all healed and had wings. I’m calling it phoenixing.”
She landed in front of him, her talons scratching the walls as she neared him, the keys dancing in front of her feathered chest. She reached for one and made the unlocking motion. Skiron’s face twisted in agony, and his hair greyed as she drained him.
I nodded, pulling the small bottle from my pocket but keeping my fingers closed tightly around it. Keeping my voice low, I started, “This is one of the Tears of the Sun, and it has fantastical, magical powers.” I managed to keep a straight face but almost lost it when I noticed Luke shaking with barely contained laughter.
Ares is stunned. He has not yet had time to be angry as the barrel of the tank’s main gun begins to droop, and he is serenaded by the screaming of the men inside. He may have spoken again, but I would not have heard him over the sound of the shells in the tank detonating, sending huge yellow lumps of molten steel flying in all directions. The turret flies high into the air, losing its shape as I continue to heat it. It crashes to the ground as boiling liquid.
At least this wasn’t a magical fire. Those could be a pain to control. My hand moved slightly as I found the core before making a fist and yanking down. The fire was under my command. I snapped my fingers and pointed at the ground next to me. “Sit,” I said sternly.
I reflect on how fortune’s whim changed the trajectory of this young woman’s life. Instead of prison, she had become an Army Ranger. One so deadly, a shadowy agency recruited her for the government’s most sensitive and dangerous off-books missions. Arguably a better direction, but one that would test her concepts of honor and service. Well, the government’s loss is my gain.
I leaned against the brick wall and crossed my arms over my chest. Looking up, I watched as fluffy white clouds moved slowly across the sky. Blowing out an impatient breath, I said, “Done being a baby yet?”
The women around me had synchronized their breathing and movements. They were dancing with the force within them. Every exhale released their limitations through shrieks of ecstatic joy. As riveting as it was to watch their activation, this sorceress in training did not have time to waste.
“Be careful with that powder,” Than murmured as he continued to study the substance. “Something about this…” He stopped talking as the sandy dust lifted from his fingers and spiraled upwards towards the watch.