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Chapter One   Chapter Two  

Wednesday, 31st May

10 Years after that fateful day in the bookstore...

The tall thin man crossed the deserted street quickly. Darting from shadow to shadow, he stayed clear of becoming exposed directly to the lights of the dim street lamps. Expertly navigating the dark, damp narrow street, he moved swiftly from one end to the other completely unnoticed.

The man stopped suddenly, his billowing gray trench coat flapping in a high wind that seemed to emanate from within him. The alley cat, that gave the man a start, darted from its hiding place and off into the night, as the aroma of smelting copper filled the air. Back the way he'd come two distinctly odd shapes moved forward sniffing the cold night air.

A loud bleeping sounded in the man's ear, Josh Newman spun around and into the dark alley before taking the call. "Report" he said commandingly. "We've had word from her" the timid voice on the other end replied. "Stay put, I'll be back shortly" Josh said as he poked the button sized ear piece disconnecting the call. 'Now to lose this tail' he thought to himself.

Spinning on the spot, he extended both arms straight out and let his head fall back, his shoulder length hair falling from his face and opening his gold misted eyes. As the odor of copper filled the alleyway, Josh commanded the magic of Air and created a towering tornado that was quickly filling up with trash from the dumpsters and hanging laundry from the above apartments. Suddenly Josh slapped his hands together creating a spark that ignited the entire length of the funnel.

Two dark colored creatures, that were following Josh, clambered into the alley and were immediately sucked into the fiery twister. Josh, safe and secure inside the tornados eye, made a large circular motion with his arms and once again called upon the Air magic to lift him from the ground and carry him through the air and away from his pursuers.

As the spinning fiery air slowed and dissipated, two large thumps filled the air. A slightly overweight bearded man rounded the corner to see the unlucky creatures crumpled in a charred heap in the alley. Thomas Aquinas stared up through the ticker tape parade of falling ash from burnt newspapers and under garments.

The immortal Aquinas reached down and dipped his finger in a gathering pool of silver blood that was oozing out of the smoldering remains. He reached over and drew several geometric shapes onto the concrete wall, when he encompassed them inside a circle they began to glow. Aquinas spoke into the red pulsing light with a soft light voice, "We've lost him". The portion of wall pulsed burgundy, exploded in an angry, violent blue flame then dissolved and disappeared.

The plump bearded man righted himself and took a deep breath, "I've always loved the smell of burning flesh". Thomas Aquinas slowly closed his light violet eyes, when they opened they were covered in a bright purple mist. He muttered a single word in the tongue of his youth. The alley floor quivered and split open beneath Aquinas' feet. As he dropped through the opening, he reached over and dragged the corpses with him.

Just then, a blue and silver patrol car passed the alley, flashing its spot light down the dirty corridor. The ground had sealed itself and no trace of the event remained. Far above the scene, perched on a rooftop Josh sat and pondered what he had just witnessed. "So... He survived our last encounter..." Josh remembered the first time Saint-Aquinas was sent to capture Josh and Sophie. It was a very poorly planned attempt by Aquinas' Dark Elder. He had only sent Aquinas, two korrigans and a dozen or so murrough.

Josh and Sophie had been crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca by ferry when the attack occurred. Aquinas and the korrigans boarded the ferry using a military SWIFT boat, most likely stolen from the nearby coast guard base. The murrough, extremely fast swimmers, surrounded the ferry and began to tear at the ships hull. Sophie summoned a dense fog while Josh froze a mile radius of the strait solid, capturing the murrough. The korrigans attacked from the bow with axes and spears. Josh easily disarmed them, utilizing techniques that he had learned from the Shadow Warrior, Scathach.

Aquinas had always been good at determining the right time to retreat. He was over the ships side and scampering across the ice when Sophie rapidly melted it. Josh snapped his fingers together and superheated the water to a boil. As Sophie lifted the fog, Josh searched the waters for any sign of the attackers. The fog had been so thick the other passengers hadn't seen a thing. The whole ordeal was later described to them as being an unbalance in atmospheric pressure do to Climate Change.

Aquinas had apparently used this same method of travel to escape the boiling waters. "The next time we meet Thomas... Will be the last" Josh said as he turned and strolled to the fire escape.
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