Authors: Joe Prendergast
Deliliah Jones was angry. Her beloved sister Devina had been taken.
“What is it, then? What sort of payment?” she was saying.
Deliliah looked at the Grand Sorcerer in front of her.
“I come at a price, Ms Jones. I want you to bring me the head of David Brackett. Then I'll bring your sister back,” he smiled slyly.
Dahlia was shocked. She had to bring back David Brackett in order to save her sister?
“I don't think so,” she said, clenching her teeth.
“Then I, Deliliah Jones, will make you disappear too.”
The sorcerer shrugged. “I am not a monster. Neither am I a human being, however. I am something, Ms Jones, who wants the world to bow at his feet and I will not let you go unless you agree to my deal.”
Deliliah was disgusted with herself but didn't feel like she had a choice.
“Fine,” she signed.
“Good,” he sneered and touched her on the shoulder as a whirlwind gathered around them. Another recruit secured.
Room Five was destroyed. After catching their breaths back the gang decided to go back there and formulate a plan for when Richard Blake decided to come and tackle them himself.
Dr Haysworne was the last one to bolt in a few seconds behind everyone else.
“What happened here?” he asked in confusion.
“I don't know? Who could to this?” answered Vivian.
“It's a message anyway, we can be sure of that,” said Dave.
“How right you are Brackett,” said a voice behind him and Blake entered the room flanked by one menacing looking monster.
“Do your worst Deliliah,” he said and the monster came at Dave.
All around the room Blake released dark whirlwinds of shadows and as they circled around, the group became concerned â could they be a match for his almighty power?
As Delilah ran after Dave, who, attempting to avoid being touched on the shoulder was ducking and diving, Vivian picked up the nearest thing she could find which was a chair and hurled it at Blake. One straight shot from a fireball however and it was reduced to ashes on the ground.
The shadows continued to circle making it harder and harder to breathe. They had to get Blake, it was their only hope.
The whole group ran at him. Vivian picked up a bow and arrow and shot him â but he laughed as the shadows knocked it off.
“SHADOWS!” screeched Haysworne, backing off but Paolo did not heed his warning and smashed headfirst into Blake, sending him screaming, flying backwards.
Paolo hit the ground, but Blake was quicker. Vivian jumped on Blake but Blake used the shadows to back her off.
All of a sudden a woman screamed a piercing wail and whoosh! Delilah vanished leaving Dave beaming, for just a second.
And then there was another figure in the room â that of a woman â and she was very familiar.
She had short hair and piercing eyes. She was tall with what may have been a beautiful smile but now had fangs with it.
She held out her hand. “Don't worry, Master,” she said as she joined him and everyone gasped as they recognised Rose Dahlia.
“What have they done to you?” Vivian asked, her voice trembling.
“They made me their saviour â they made me their Twisted Queen,” said Rose, almost robotically. I am here to help my master. We will rule this earth you pesky mortals live on.” She paused for effect and added: “We will get married soon. Then he will not be my master. He will be my husband.”
Vivian gasped again. How could Rose be engaged to Richard Blake. He had a wife. Rose was definitely Twisted and needed saving.
Richard was looking on proudly, not at his âfuture wife' but more at himself so at this point and Dave took this as his opportunity to get him. Jumping on him from behind he brought him crashing to the ground. The noise stunned the group and distracted Rose at which point Angeline Brackett, working in tandem with her husband, stamped as hard as she could on Rose's big toe.
The noise was deafening as Rose crumbled to the floor and despite being sat on by Dave, Paolo and Giuseppe there was nothing they could do about it when the Grand Sorcerer transported himself out of the room taking his shadows with him and leaving the men sitting on nothing but fresh air.
As the mist cleared from the room the lifeless body of their leader, Rose Dahlia, became apparent on the floor. The monster, it would seem had disappeared but Blake had thrown her âuseless' human corpse back at them.
Rose began to come round. “Did I just really do that?” she asked, her voice frail, like she was about to cry.
“Don't worry âHaysworne will fix you up.” Dave sighed.
There was a conversation to be had but it would be left for another day.
, you airhead,” whispered the blonde curly-haired man to the black haired woman he was hiding in a cupboard with.
“Oh and you think
going to be able to do all of this by yourself?” she snapped back.
“Yes, I rather do.” The man had a definite Scottish accent. “Sshh! Get down,” he urged.
They were conducting an investigation in the Sorcery centre and had almost been discovered minutes earlier snooping around. The pair fell silent as they peeked out the keyhole and into the room where several officials had just walked in. They were wearing purple suits.
“Told you we were in The Purple Army base,” whispered the girl.
“Shut up Venice!”
“No you shut up, Ron.”
Venice pushed Ron out of the way and took a peek. Another four people walked into the room. They were holding weapons and had that Twisted look about them with shadows in their hands.
They walked up and hurled the shadows at one of The Purple Army members and the man disappeared in a puff of smoke.
“Who are they?” mouthed Venice.
“I don't know,” said Ron squeezing in to look, “but they look like they know Shadow Magic.”
Suddenly they heard a scream and saw fire, after which more screams were heard. The whole place erupted in noise and officials were running everywhere. It was a test of resilience and the Twisted army were showing their strength.
Everyone left the room then Venice said to Ron. “Let's go,” as they ran to the window and hurled themselves out of it.
Now ordinarily this would have been an extremely stupid thing to do â considering it was a skyscraper they were in â but Venice simply held out her arms and waited for the final drop, at which she pushed her hands down and went flying upwards. She had control of the wind.
Ron did the same, but didn't get as high as Venice. They were the only Three Circles agents that had this skill.
Parachuting to the bottom Ron said; “Wait a second,” as he dialled a number on his phone.
“Not a good time, Ron, but what is it?” snapped Dave Brackett on the other end.
“Me and Venice â we're at the Sorcery Centre. It's being raidedâabsolute chaos. It must be a siege. Get right over here if you can!”
“We'll be there in a second.” The phone went dead.
20 minutes passed and The Bentley parked about two steps from the Sorcery Centre.
The gang walked over to The Three Circles agents Ron Carter and Venice Brackett.
“How are things?” asked Vivian to Venice, with a huge grin.
“Bad,” admitted Venice.
Vivian laughed. “Come here sis,” she said and they hugged.
“You guys are sisters?” asked Paolo. The others were talking to Ron.
“Yep!” said Venice. “She's my little sister â and I love her!”
“That's why you were so excited,” said Paolo to Vivian.
“YES!!!! Now anyway, that place is probably going to blow up,” said Vivian, indicating the burning building in front of them.
Dave was way ahead of them as he and Giuseppe hijacked bikes and went to check on the safety issues â including whether there were any Purple or Twisted Army members still lurking about.
Dave cycled to the entrance. He hopped off his bike and tried to go through, but a large hand stopped him doing it.
The man who had stopped him had glowing red eyes and was dressed in black.
Dave lunged at him, but he batted him away. Giuseppe came round the bend, got off his bike and kicked the man who went flying backwards. When on the ground, hazarding a guess that he was Twisted, they stamped on his foot and, as hoped, he faded away.
Giuseppe and Dave rushed into the building â closely followed by Vivian, Venice, Paolo and Daniel.
“What's up with magic these days?” said Dave puzzled. “Come on!” he whispered and they rushed over to a door marked emergency.
There were some sorcerers still floating around the building, unaware still that 10 floors above them it was burning. They were too intent on seeking out Purple Army enemies and showing off.
As they entered the gang noticed many cameras lining almost every wall. There were hundreds of rooms and the cameras flipped from one to the other every five seconds. Now they had a much better idea of how many people were in the building. There were hundreds, floating in and out of meeting rooms, lounging around, plotting on flipchartsâ¦.they were everywhere but there wasn't a Purple Army office anywhere to be seen.
On the back wall there were hundreds of red buttons and hundreds of blue ones. At the top was a sign which read: Blue: Sprinklers, Red: Power Hose.
Dave looked at Vivian: “This one calls for Red I think,” and she nodded.
“Everyone,” he said “Get pressing, as fast as possible. This isn't about saving sorcerers it's about saving the city. If this building burns and falls hundreds of innocent people will be harmed.
Without another word everyone got stuck in and from the moment they pressed the first button, one by one, every room in the skyscraper started to fill with gallons of water.
All around sorcerers were getting soaked but fires were also being extinguished.
The only pity about the whole operation was that Dave didn't bank on the fact that when the gang left the room to run from the building â after ensuring the citizens of the city were out of danger â each and every one of them would get soaked going through the hallway.
On their arrival back at Mahogany Castle Room Five was quickly packed once more. Vivian, Daniel, Dave, Angeline, Paolo, Giuseppe, Venice, Ron and Rose all sat in the green armchairs. Dawn Hughes was still in bed recovering from her first encounter with evil as an agent.
Rose stood up.
“I have an announcement to make,” she said. “I have found the Twisted Catcher.”
“The what?” said Dave.
“When I was possessed â I was told, as the âwife' [she shivered at the thought] of Richard Blake I would be its guardianâ¦ It's the cube which empowers them.”
“Yes, yes we know all about the cube,” interrupted Dave. A little embarrassed that he hadn't know the official name for it. “So where is it?”
“Right here.” They all gasped as she held up a beautiful silver and blue cube which emanated light all over the room.
Richard Blake wasn't as great at executing plans as he thought if he hadn't remembered passing over the cube to Rose and not ensuring he retrieved it.
“So what do we do now?” It was unusual for Dave to be looking for guidance, but then again, Rose was the head of The Three Circles.
“We formulate a plan to get us into Blake's mansion, and we find the cylinder.”
“What are we waiting for, then?” asked Dave.
The morning sunshine woke Paolo and, keen to put the group's plan from the previous night into action, about a minute later he strode into the kitchen. Vivian was awake, making a start on breakfast. Everyone else was asleep.
Paolo checked his watch. “What time is it?” he yawned.
“Check your watch,” replied Vivian, flipping a pancake.
“It's not working.”
Vivian looked at her watch. “It's 8am.”
“Good. I'm up early today.”
“It's going to be a very busy day today. We plan to save the world today â and if that doesn't work out â nothing will.”
“So, no pressure,” said Paolo sarcastically.
“This is no time for jokes, Paolo,” replied Vivian, shoving a pancake onto his plate while Dave walked in and poured himself a glass of orange juice.
“I was up all night last night doing research. Apparently over half the world has been transformed into those creatures,” said Dave. His eyes were bloodshot.
“What is that, like three billion, right?” said Paolo.
“That's right,” said Dave and for the first time ever, Paolo noticed a hint of worry in his voice.