Rai Saito

     My head was pounding, and a steady throb of light was still in my left eye. At least I could see out of both of them now, without half of my vision completely blinded by a flashing light.

     It was still hard to look at anything, but I knew where I was going, and I forced my feet to move forward, one at a time. The stabilizer was slowly taking effect, and with each step I can see my goal even clearer, as well as the two figures approaching me.

     From my right eye, my normal vision showed a tall woman and a man in armor. My left eye was Seeing their life force, the blood pumping through their veins, and the air filling their lungs. Underneath that was their aura, their magical essence, that were pulsing forms of light surrounding them. Their spirit was even deeper, but the man's voice interrupted my thoughts.

     I couldn't pay much attention to his words, but out of my right eye I could see that he was smiling at me. I felt a twist of disgust at the display of false kindness. I didn't even know his name. By the time he finished speaking, I had already walked past him.

     Soon, I reached the back entrance of the guild. The doors weren't as big as the main entrance, but they were still impressive. The huge slabs of oak were carved with protective runes and beautiful swirling patterns. Anyone without permission wouldn't be able to pass.

     "Miss?" The doorkeeper approached me, and I locked my eyes on her key, swinging on a chain around her neck. "Are you going on a solo mission? I'll need to see a signed assignment sheet."

     Time to see if my new powers worked. I reached for that piece of magic inside me, the foreign patch of dark matter that wasn't supposed to be there, relying on the stabilizer to carefully draw it out. Pulses of light appeared in my vision, but I focused on my right eye, and concentrated the magic towards the doorkeeper.

     "Your eye," she started before a tendril of darkness wrapped around her throat. Her mouth opened and closed as she tried to draw in air, and I quickly snatched her key and placed it around my own neck. It was charmed to trigger an alarm if the doorkeeper was hurt.

     My headache was back. Holding in twice the amount of my usual magic was taking it's toll, and most of all, it felt wrong. For a moment, I thought about how dangerous it was for me to hold someone else's magic inside me. I told Lara is was a regeneration spell, but it was probably eating me from the inside, not healing me. Dark magic is something that shouldn't tampered with.

     The thud of the doorkeeper's body hitting the floor brought me back to reality. I took a deep breath. Giving me this power might have been a bad mistake, one that I could fix soon, but I didn't regret anything else that happened, or anything that was about to do.

     I strode forward and pressed my hands onto the doors. I could feel the protective power of it, and I closed my eyes to focus. The light was still there, but now I could See the magical aura of the door. Unfamiliar magic snaked out of my hands, thorned vines that closed around each of the glowing runes.

     The shield shattered, and the door started to swing open.

     I took out my communicator, and pressed the only button on it. The bombs placed around the guild detonated, a huge shaft of light appeared beyond the broken door. A familiar figure materialized and strode out of it.

     Vahni Pyrros smiled at me behind the open doors. Her aura was powerful, a huge bonfire swirling around her body. She step confidently across the threshold, and immediately came forward to hug me. I let go of my breath and relaxed a little in her embrace, knowing that I could trust her.

     "I knew my apprentice would do well," she said to me, "I'm so proud of you. Nightwing would reward you greatly." The building shook as the bombs placed around it exploded.

     I gave her my first smile in ages. Vahni has helped through so much. "It's the least that I could do." I looked behind her, and saw others emerging from the portal. We had a huge force coming, and I felt a small surge of pride for my allies.

     "Your second task would be much harder." she said, putting a hand on my shoulder, "But you know what to do, right? No second thoughts?" Confused Supernova guild members coming our way now, and getting cut down before they could do anything. I felt a tiny spark of remorse, but deep down I knew everything we're doing was for the right cause.

     "None. My loyalties are completely with Nightwing's. We're going back there after this, right?" I couldn't hide the eagerness in my voice, but Vahni was distracted. I could see her eyes shifting around, analyzing her surroundings. The heartfelt reunion was coming to an end, and she's eager to join the attack.

     "Smart girl," her hand gave me a little pat. Vahni's words always made me feel like a teenager, a novice apprentice following her around, even though she was only a little older than me. "I'm taking you back to headquarters, right after we destroy Supernova."

     After a wordless goodbye, Vahni took off, immediately rushed into the battle, fire roaring around her. I ran past the Nightwing fighters, the unprepared and disorganized Supernova members, through doorways and up the stairs to the forth floor. No one stopped me, and there was a thrilling sense of power that I've never felt before. 

     Maybe this wouldn't be so difficult after all. Ending a life seemed pretty simple, after seeing what happened a few minutes ago. I had a plan.

     Without any hesitation, I reached forward and flung open the door of the Guildmaster's study.

     "What is it? What's happening out there?" Juxon demanded immediately.

     "I'm not sure," I told him, "But we need to get you to safety." I strode towards him, taking a deep breath and readying myself for my task.

     "I'm not going anywhere. If Supernova is being attacked, I'm staying here to defend it." He said adamantly, planting his feet on the ground. "Who authorized you to do this?"

     This was not going the way I planned. "Sir, I was ordered to bring you to safety. You're coming with me, willingly or by force." I looked him in the eye steadily, but I already knew he would be too stubborn to follow me.

     "No, I am not," he said, "Again, who told you to do this?"

     "That's it," I grabbed his arm, but he had a strong stance for someone so frail-looking. "I'm serious!" I snarled, and drew one of my nagamaki.

     Bang! I heard the door slam open, "Guildmaster! We're being atta-" Lara's words choked off when she saw me standing there, pointing my blade at Juxon's throat.

     There weren't supposed to be any witnesses, the thought flitted across my mind. For a second, I Saw her spirit, always in motion, volatile and adaptable, but fragile. Before she could react, a bolt of lightning struck her. Electricity coursed through her body, and she jerked like a puppet for a moment, before crumpling to the ground. 

     Suddenly, there was a vise-like grip on my throat, and I was slammed bodily into the wall. 

     "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?!" Juxon roared, releasing a pulse through the air at my face. My vision blurred, my ears rang, and I gasped desperately for air. No, no, no, this was not supposed to happen! My mind was screaming. My control on my magic was slipping away from me.

     Focus, I dug my nails into my palms, Get a grip. A tiny piece of my consciousness was still unmarred by panic. Just carefully...

     Darkness filled my vision, and the explosion erupted across the room.

     I stumbled to my feet, coughing as thick dust choked the air. The whole study had been destroyed, and debris was littered everywhere. Half burned sheets of paper had burst from Juxon's desk, and were fluttering to the ground. 

     Half of the entire ceiling had collapsed on top of where Juxon had stood. I could see his body in that mess, devoid of any life or magic, just like his lifeless surroundings. No evidence, I confirmed silently. The magic wasn't mine, so they couldn't trace me. Lara, however...

     She was still collapsed at the entrance. The door frame had shielded her from a lot of the damage, but I couldn't leave her lying around. If there was someone who wasn't occupied by the fight below, I can't risk them finding out what happened.

     Vahni would've wanted me to kill her, but I couldn't just execute a former apprentice. I dragged her into the room, and dumped her on top of the rubble. Then I pressed a cushion from Juxon's chair over her face. If she suffocates, at least I won't be there to see it. If she wakes up, it didn't really matter. My job was done. 

     With a feeling of finality, I walked out of the room, locked the door, and left her to die.

The End

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