B1 — 33. Desperation
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Helena pushed back, throwing down an electromagnetic field; she flew backward and skidded up the wall, electricity sparking as she cushioned her momentum.  The three boys were racing toward her.

“This doesn’t look good for young Vix!  All three boys are lining up against her.  What will she do?”

Electricity sparked to life around Braxton as he ran and shot a bolt toward her.  At the same instance, Fraden stopped and slammed his hands together. He’s creating a shockwave.  I need to halt its progress, or it’ll flatten me against the wall, maybe knock me out.

Redirected the lightning from Braxton, she curved its trajectory toward Fraden.  As the bolt neared Fraden, it exploded downward, traces of energy dancing across the ground.  It struck the pressurized air and changing its directed route to the path of least resistance.

“Fascinating!  Vix can redirect Braxton’s lightning at the other members, making him a liability in a team fight unless he can do the same to Vix!”

Helena felt a light breeze pass her and she looked left.  Three meters to her side the wall cracked as the vibrations struck.  The electricity won’t be a great deterrent for Fraden’s shockwaves.  It’ll be best to direct it at...

She sensed something enter her perceptive field.  Sidestepping, she found greenish slime strike where she’d stood.  The concrete started to sizzle as light green smoke lifted from the spot, the liquid dripping down the wall.  Glancing at Vetnis, she found another green ball of goo in his hands oozing between his fingers, ready to be thrown.  He can project acidic chemicals with his bare hands?  I’ll need to analyze the next one. If I can statically charge it then I can redirect it; if they get close to my five-meter radius, then I might be able to send it to one of the other boys.

The Vice-President’s voice boomed around the room.  “Vetnis can generate different chemicals in his body to different effects, such as acidic projectiles!”

Helena’s legs propelled from the wall as she threw her magnetic field behind her.  Spinning in the air, she threw out an electric tether to the ceiling as a shockwave pulsed under her, causing more cracks to appear in the wall.  Please be magnetic!  The support latched on and lifted her to the spot.  Her hair clung to her back, keeping it from obstructing her vision.

The Vice-President’s voice roared from her left as a speaker sounded, making Helena wince and fight to keep her field under control.  Energy entered her reception, and she redirected it at Fraden. “Look at this little spider monkey! She’s holding back all three contestant’s attempts to kill her; a true marvel!”

Helena bit her lower lip.  A simple mistake can get me killed … this is a lot of pressure.  She dashed across the ceiling as a shockwave smashed against her previous spot.  Fraden’s shockwaves can negate Braxton’s level of electricity through air resistance.  At least Vetnis isn’t strong enough to throw anything up here, but he might have other tricks up his sleeve.

She glanced back and found that Fraden’s shockwave hadn’t damaged the ceiling.  It must have a high threshold to vibrations.  Brock’s material seems fairly impressive.

Another lightning strike flew toward her.  Fraden will only resist or counter the attack, but Vetnis shouldn’t have the ability to stop it.  Taking control over the energy, she spun in a quick arc.  Finding Vetnis she flung it down at him as he was poised to throw a handful of acid.

His eyes popped as the energy twisted around her body and flew toward him.  Diving, the glop of acid was thrown from his hands and landed half a meter from Braxton as the energy blackened the area a foot from Vetnis.

Helena cursed internally.  “Tsk…” Braxton managed to shift my calculations.

“Watch it!”  Braxton yelled as the acid starting to sizzle against the ground.

“We already see conflict arise between this shaky alliance!”

A shockwave flew from Fraden’ hands as he clapped.  Helena propelled herself from the ceiling and sent a tether to the massive door Fraden had exited.  Landing on the steel, she slid across it to the stone sidewall. Her field almost collapsed while shifting to the new material.  Helena locked her jaw as she recalculated the formula. I should have practiced my calculations more with transferring to various materials.

Vetnis looked outraged.  “Me—all you’re doing is giving her fuel to counter!”

Helena darted around the room as Fraden continued to throw concentrated shockwaves in her direction as Vetnis and Braxton yelled.  Jumping to the floor, she dashed with long leaps to the left wall, skipping a few meters at a time with her field. I’m entirely on the defensive.  I need to figure out a strategy, but I’m continually on the move to avoid their attacks.  Braxton can interfere with any long-range lightning attack I redirect, I don’t know what close range toxic mixtures Vetnis can expel, but I should be able to redirect any ranged projectiles, and Fraden has me on the defensive from a distance.  It’s only a matter of time before they start working more congruently, but Fraden is the real threat.

Helena’s eyes widened as a broad shockwave, followed by a consolidated pulse came at her from behind.  Expelling an electromagnetic field underneath her, she darted upward. Will I make it?  No, it’s moving too fast!

The blast struck her in the back, and she felt the pulses pass through her, the air pressure altering her trajectory.  Her teeth felt like they were chattering against each other and her eyes shut as a nauseating feeling spread through her body.  Her senses blacked out for a moment, but thankfully the second impact missed her. Reception returning, she sensed the wall coming up to meet her while she twisted through the air.

“Oh, will this be it.  Vix is in trouble!”

Throwing a field behind her, she pushed out.  She felt the resistance immediately against her back when she reached two meters from the stone, she slowly stopped.  Twisting with a short burst of her field, Helena righted herself before her hands pressed against the cold concrete. She expelled a second field, sticking to the wall.  Another blast behind me, condensed.  I need to do something, but my body won’t escape the radius in time.

She felt a screw twist into her heart; her chest seized as she formed the calculations in her mind.  An electrical discharge flew from her back, and she felt the pressure strike the energy. The pressure of the blast hit, but it only partially knocked the breath out of her frozen lungs.  She felt dizzy as her control over the magnetic fields wavered with her fear, the terror of produced electricity gripping her. Another poisonous ball’s coming.

She couldn’t calculate the right formula, so she let go of her cling.  Dropping from the wall, she reapplied the field, but it was too weak.  Her focus was split, trying to analyze the acid. Her weight was barely negated as she slid down the wall, fingers scraping against the stone; the skin on her fingers and toes ripping as her socks slid off her feet from the friction.  Striking the floor with her heels, she dropped to her butt, a jarring sensation passing through her lower end.

Blinking rapidly, she shook her head; mind started to clear.  I’ve got it.  Now that I know the right amount of power to statically charge his acid.  She sensed another concussive blast; it was carrying a spray of liquid, she didn’t have the time to think; scrambling to her feet, she kicked off as hard as he could, throwing her field out.  Flying up inches from the wall’s surface, she slowed her rise with resistance against the iron-fortified concrete and landed near the ceiling again. She was breathing heavily and could already feel sweat starting to gather at her temples.  I can’t … last like this … need to buy some time...

“Is waving your behind, all you can do?  Fight!” Vetnis yelled.

Helena breathed heavily as she glanced down.  The wall was sizzling as a film of acid oozed down the concrete.  Her mouth was dry, but they were giving her precious seconds to recover.

“The young eight-year-old is in trouble as the three teenage boy’s gang up on her!  What’ll she do?” The announcer yelled, and the crowd screamed in response.

Gasps emanated from above as Braxton dropped to the ground, convulsing.  “Oh—what just happened. Did anyone see that? Vetnis must have poisoned him, but when?  This is turning into a splendid show!” Braxton was convulsing, foam exiting his lips and blood coming out of his ear, eyes, nose, and mouth as his skin discolored.

“Braxton should have known better than get close to the toxic Vetnis and now Vix can’t redirect his energy!”  He’s right.  Vetnis killed Braxton because he wasn’t helping, he was a hindrance, and needed to get rid of him anyways … Braxton should have been smarter.  How should I use Vetnis’ acid though? I could surprise Fraden with it...

“Now that your little lightning cloud is out of the way, we should start getting a bit more serious!”  Vetnis said with a sneer as he glared up at her. I should have drunk more water before starting.  I’m already thirsty from all these quick actions.  I need to stall a bit longer to calm my body. Helena wiped the sticky sweat from her forehead as her body shook with laughter.  The crowd went silent as they studied her anxiously.

“What’s so funny?”  Fraden asked with a dark expression as he tossed another shockwave in her direction.  He didn’t look happy with how silent the crowd had gotten over her action. She barely managed to dodge it.

Helena took a deep sigh, wiping away tears from the corners of her eyes.  “Oh—nothing of spectacular importance; I’m just musing over the fact that I came into contact with WITCH not six days ago and already my competition is being forced to team up against me.”

The Vice-President followed her laughter.  “That is quite the accomplishment Vix and to only be at the age of eight.  Consider me impressed!” The throng exclaimed their amazement with her statement, and all sides began chanting her name.  She noticed Kara’s broad smile as she studied the scene unfold. Good, I’m doing well.  Vetnis did take out Braxton, but that’s one less person I need to worry about.  I’ve bought myself enough time.

Vetnis started whispering in a low tone as his searing eyes trained on Helena.  She couldn’t hear what he was saying, but Fraden grinned and nodded.

“What an interesting plan they came up with.  Will our little spider be able to escape this trap!”  How’s he hearing what’s being said down in the pit?  I haven’t sensed any audio transmitters anywhere.

Vetnis nodded and looked up with a grin, before taking a deep breath and then letting the air out.  His mouth was open for much longer than normal lungs should be able to support. He’s using his Focus for something, but what?  Most likely poisonous gas. Can he actually expel enough to reach me?  I shouldn’t take that risk.

Bracing herself against the wall, Helena prepared to skid across the ceiling.  She watched Fraden raise his hands and send a powerful shockwave directly at her.  It’ll destroy the upper wall and strike the stands!

Leaping from the spot, she sailed across the translucent shell.  In slow motion she watched both Vetnis and Fraden closing his eyes and covering their ears.  Why would—gas—electromagnetic friction—they’re creating an explosion, and I’m the fuse!

As Helena realized their plan, a light appeared in her peripheral vision, the gas propelled by the shockwave.  The fire expanded into a brilliant inferno combusting along the ceiling, white and orange flames racing toward her.  Shooting the most powerful electromagnetic field she could calculate behind her, she flew out over the arena. The heat chased behind her but quickly died as she escaped the gas range.

The ground halfway across the field came rushing toward her.  Extending her static field, she tried to slide across the concrete and felt Fraden’s consolidated wave following behind her.  Bracing herself, she threw out her field and slid centimeters above the floor. She made it two meters before the shockwave struck her back, driving through her body.

Her muscles constricted and her electromagnetic field broke with the shift in pressure.  A jarring sensation broke across her body as she tumbled over the hard concrete, hot air flowing around her.  Coming to a stop, she felt the bruises sting and scrapes burn.

Coughing, she spat and inhaled deep breaths; her eyes were blurry as she partially regained her senses.  Another pulse behind Helena made her grind her teeth and propel herself upward with a magnetic push. Throwing out a static tether, she stuck to the ceiling again.  My muscles are starting to wear out.  The shockwaves are really taking their toll!  I would already be out of the match if not for Belesis’ enhancements.

Looking back, she found Fraden and Vetnis running across the field toward her; Vetnis’s mouth was open as if blowing.  The ceiling didn’t even have scorch marks, but the top of the wall she’d been before was blackened and broken. Showing sections of people, but seemed to have been instantly protected by the expanded ceiling.  Brock’s continually shielding this entire space.

Her eyes concentrated on the blackened stone as spots blinked across her vision.  I can’t stay on the ceiling.  Vetnis’ locking me to the mid-walls and floor.  He’s likely using methane gas.  Slinging herself away, she made it to the opposite wall and slid down to its midsection, electricity sparking behind her.   Fraden can broaden and focus his shockwaves then Vetnis is locking me to the ground.  If only he stuck with his acid...

How can he expel that much methane?  Is it all Focus?  His ability is a subsection of Biokinesis.  Kara explained they use their own body to house the different elements to use with their Focus.  Has he been preparing all that methane beforehand? Maybe he’s already out of acid, but does he have a death wish?  If he fills the entire area with it, I won’t be able to move, but any friction would cause a massive detonation. The material Brock’s using seems extremely resistant, but that only means it’ll go down if it can’t go up.  At least methane doesn’t cause a considerable shockwave or I would be deaf right now.

Vetnis closed his mouth, a smile on his lips.  No, he’s just filled the ceiling with the gas.  Fraden can still set it off with friction, but now they’ve limited my movement.  However, if I blow their fuse early, he’ll continually have to waste Focus and biological resources on reapplying it.  Did they think I was stupid? The air pressure is flowing to my right. It’s about time I bring the fight to them.

Sliding down the wall to the ground, she dodged left to avoid another condensed shockwave carrying purplish smoke that slowly curved up toward the ceiling.

Breathing apprehension, Helena fought through the fear and sent the proper calculations.  A bolt of electricity raced from her hands and flew toward the ceiling.

“What—no...” Vetnis cut off as the electricity struck a meter before the shell and lit a sea of white flames across the covering.  The fire blew down the sides of the room as it followed the current to her right. Both boys cringed in fear as the flames licked down the walls.

Helena closed her eyes and followed her three-dimensional reception toward the two unsuspecting boys.  Weak sparks of light sparked around her hand as she leaped toward Vetnis. As long as I consolidate the amount of electricity to my hands, I don’t have to increase the power to counter resistance and avoid my fear.  If I can touch them, I can win. I have the least amount of information about Vetnis, and he’s locking down my movement. I’ll take him out first.

Her hand came out as she skipped past him and sent the current ripping through his mid-back, making sure to touch clothes, not skin.  He convulsed and dropped to the floor.

She flew past him as Fraden regained his wits and threw a blast at her.  Sidestepping the attack, she leaped to the nearest wall and used it as resistance to change direction.  Quickly darting back and forth, she made her way to Fraden. He was pale-faced as he threw out shockwaves, trying to strike her.  As she reached four meters from Fraden, he collapsed to the ground and placed both hands against the stone. I’m just about to touch ground.  If he times it right, I’ll lose control over my field, and it’ll collapse, leaving me wide open.  No, he’ll definitely catch the right timing.  I need to preemptively ruin his plan.

Throwing a large portion of Focus into a field below her, she flew upward before striking the floor.  Fraden grinned wickedly as he lifted and placed his hands were Helena was heading in the air. “Got you!”

Helena smirked as a tether shot out around her body up to the ceiling.  No more methane, what does he expect me to do?  Helena’s mind froze as she sensed her tether snap and heat expand from the point of contact.  How?  Didn’t I incapacitate Vetnis?  It’s not enough to burn me, but enough to disrupt my electromagnetic field.

Her eyes snapped to Vetnis, who was squirming on the ground.  He’s already conscious?  Did my fear keep me from using enough volts?  Her eyes closed and she tensed as a shockwave entered her perceptive radius.  A pounding force ripped through her body as she lifted a few more centimeters, wind rushing around her.  All the air in her lungs exited in a violent torrent as her vision blackened. She only realized she was falling when her fractured senses sent back information about the floor rising to meet her.

Sending out electrical threads, she tried to create a field to slow her descent.  Her numb body couldn’t feel the cushioning, but the jarring sensation of striking the concrete racked through her frame.  She lay face down against the ground, panting and watching her vision spot.

“Seems your arrogance with your ability blinded your reason.”  Fraden’s boot stopped in front of her eyes. Helena’s stomach twisted as she laughed softly, belly sending back waves of pain, but she fought through it.  Tears, however, danced at the corners of her eyes.

“You have another opinion?”  Fraden asked. “But of course!  You have to. You’re always right.”

It isn’t arrogance that landed me in this situation, but ignorance.  I assumed I could just overcome my fear of electron discharges, but it seems to run deeper than I thought.  Helena gulped down the blood she felt in her mouth.  My muscles are drained, but I can stimulate them.  It’s the only thing I can think of right now.

“Well?  What’s your explanation then?  What’s your intelligent answer?”

Helena waited until his foot struck out.  Expelling an electromagnetic field under herself, she leaped up, dodging the kick to her side.  Firmly planting her left foot against the ground, she bent her leg and struck out with her right foot, stimulating her muscles.  Her right calf connected against the back of his knee, throwing out his only supporting leg.

He toppled to the ground with a grunt, and Helena quickly brought her right hand out to connect with his skull, sending the strongest electrical current her mind would formulate ripping through it.

Cutting the stimulation off, she felt her weight multiply, but she forced herself up.  Standing, she stretched, experiencing the burning sting of multiple bruises and cuts. That was close, and I still need to deal with Vetnis.  She only just realized the crowds’ cheers.  I must have blocked them out to concentrate or maybe Fraden’s shockwaves did something to my hearing.

She shifted her vision to Vetnis and watched him slowly crawl toward her with jerked movements.  The shock must have disrupted his nerve-system.  Sighing, she slowly limped over to him.

The Vice-President sounded thrilled.  “Well done Vix! To have bested all three contestants alone!”  Not exactly alone, Vetnis did take out Braxton.  However, the horde went frantic at his statement.

Vetnis gasped as he dropped to his back, staring up at the glass.  “You—fought—well.” Helena didn’t answer as she stood over his jerky body and studied his condition, just out of arms reach.  The shock affected his body worse than I thought, but it didn’t reach all the way to his brain.

“What—you—waiting—for?  Finish it.” Vetnis growled.

Helena’s tone was level.  “You want to die?”

Vetnis gulped and seemed to achieve most of his speech capability.  He chuckled with pained gasps. “I lost—the moment I joined—those pathetic losers.”  It may still be a trick.

Helena charged her static field and magnetized the liquid across Vetnis’ forehead.  Sure enough, tanish goo started rising toward the charged area she created. He chuckled mirthlessly, twitching sharply.

Taking off her armband, she wrapped it around her hand and held her breath as she darted in.  Her shielded hand touched his forehead, and she sent a strong electrical current through his brain.  He convulsed, eyes popping open. As she finished, she found his eyes blank and drool flowing down his mouth.  His body still shook with irregular pulses, his muscles reacting to the stimulus.

Lifting her hand, she found more tannish goo stuck to her white band.  He fought ‘till his last breath.  She flicked her field, sending the floating liquid spraying across the floor and stood over the body; a strange void pitted in her heart.  This is my first premeditated kill.

Cheers erupted around her but were soon cut short as screams sounded.  Helena glanced up and froze. Her eyes widened, and her mouth dropped open from shock as Kara appeared right in front of her.  A beam of purple energy melted through Brock’s ceiling and expelled right at her. Cassandra, but why?

Helena’s vision was blocked as Kara slowly moved in front of her.  Lightning birthed around her form, and the purple energy shifted course to collide with the stone ground eight meters to her left.

The concrete was pierced like a knife through butter as it disintegrated everything in its path.  Milliseconds later the assaulting beam shifted directions with Kara’s energy and Helena felt a very sharp shift in air pressure.  Her body started to get heavier as she slowly began to skid toward her left. The purple radioactive energy shifted along its entire length and slowly bent.  It was flowing into a dark, rotating mass in the center of the arena, all the light in the area curved as objects twisted in her vision.

Cassandra’s high voice was distorted as it reached Helena’s ears and she jumped into the arena.  “Don’t try and stop me Eizea!” Her decent seemed in slow motion as the energy intensified, and so did Kara’s lightning.

Helena’s legs no longer supported her as she dropped to her butt, air gushed around her and slowly pulling her toward the black void.  Kara produced an electromagnetic field that went beyond Helena’s understanding, keeping everything under them faceted in place as portions of the floor ripped away to be sucked into Eizea’s crushing gravitational singularity.  Kara’s somehow redirecting most the kinetic heat and energy, while also countering the gravitational pull…  She felt numb, unable to grasp the sheer power being thrown around her.

A large bolt of lightning shot from Kara and split into threads of energy dancing around Cassandra as she landed.  It even escaped Eizea’s gravitation field as magnetic fields shifted around it. The arcs of white lightning bounced around Cassandra, but not one touched her.  Is Cassandra redirecting the lightning or is Kara doing something else?

Large shimmering purple flowers started to grow around Cassandra as the light surrounding her pulsated, turning white.  Roots broke through the concrete and ran down like a waterfall from Brock’s chair. The flowers started shimmering and growing in size; their two-meter peddles turning an illuminant white.  The roots grew around Cassandra and lateral roots twisted around the edges of her produced energy. The plants are absorbing the atomic radiation and heat!  Is there an actual plant that can do that?

The blinding radiance flickered, and Cassandra sank to her knees.  Her voice sounded distorted but infuriated and strained. “Colin—I’ll destroy you...”  Her energy seemed to pulse, strengthen then diminish in rapid succession. The threads of lightning around Cassandra slowly began to close in on her, setting one of the roots ablaze and finally an arc struck her.  The bolt collapsed as Cassandra fell to the ground unconscious or dead.

Helena realized her body was shaking.  She watched the events unfold from behind Kara.  A distorted bang sounded in the center of the gravitational bubble.  A burst of orange and yellow energy exploded outwards, but only made it five-meters before being swallowed back up by the dark mass.  The gravity slowly lessened, and Kara dropped her colossal magnetic manipulations.

Fatchna appeared beside Kara, an amused expression lighting his face.  “Fascinating, it takes five Primes to subdue a single member! It would have been much easier for two to kill her.”

Heart leaping out of her chest, Helena breathed hastily.  Her hand rested over her heart as she trembled. I was only moments away from death.  How did Kara get to me so fast? That beam was traveling at the speed of light, which means Kara was already in front of me and preparing a counterattack before the blast even went off?  Ezia, Brock, they all acted in an instant, before Cassandra even started her attack.

Kara turned to face the man to her right.  “Thank you for your assistance, Fatchna.”

His grin broadened as he flourished with a wink and a bow.  “It’s not every day the Great Lightning Cat herself shows gratitude or asks for aid.  However, I doubt your little pup was in any real danger. You definitely had something up your sleeve.”

Kara’s eyes shifted to the other Primes above.  Eizea was scowling down at Cassandra, Colin seemed entertained as he looked inward, but in the direction of Kara, and Brock wore an emotionless expression.  Sevilla was gone.

Helena noticed Brock’s roots starting to shrivel up and die as the lateral root continued to burn.  Without the energy supply, they’re decaying.  Did it really take all of them to completely battle down Cassandra?  Maybe they didn’t want to use too much power, or they’d destroy the base, but...  Her eyes locked with Eizea’s indignant posture.  She produced enough Focus to bend light with gravitational fields, but how did all of us not instantly get sucked in?

The crowd had become silent as they hid under their seats or ran for the exit, but the sound quickly grew as cheers echoed around the room, louder than ever.  Helena noticed the cries of the throngs dim and Eizea’s voice float down to them. She’s manipulating gravity in some strange way to be heard.

“Anyone have an idea why she lost control like that?  I mean—I know its Cassandra, but she went crazy, and with the Alpha just above us.”  She was glowering at the unconscious Red Prime with lifted eyebrows. Helena then noticed Phantasm’s double was hiding behind his seat.  His connection must have been cut with all the interference of powers.

Helena’s attention was diverted as a portion of Brock’s ceiling cracked and soon broke; dust floated down to the ground as Belesis came barreling through.  Landing, she ran toward her with light steps, but Helena noticed the slight limp.

Colin’s eyes shifted down to scrutinize Kara. “The last thought running through her mind was the ending scene of Kara and Goltwra’s fight.  I had no idea it played out like that. Now I understand why she’s so incensed over Electro Masters, and that win hit home harshly for her.”

“Is she still upset over that tiny detail?”  Eizea asked incredulously. Kara didn’t answer.  

Was Goltwra one of the previous Primes?  She shook her head violently, feeling her hair flip around her face.  It doesn’t matter right now.  I’m completely exhausted and almost died; I only woke up a few hours ago, I shouldn’t feel this tired.

Kara frowned, her vision shifting to her as Belesis arrived.  “Are you alright Lady Vandred? Powerful gamma-ray bursts like that can cause odd mutations in biological structures!”  A sharp shiver ran down Helena’s spine. I was in the path of a gamma-ray burst?  How did Kara manage to redirect energy of that magnitude?  How did Eizea contain it?

Belesis’ fingers wrapped around Helena’s hand.  She was silent as Belesis’ concentrated; the pain in her muscles eased but didn’t completely go away.  She watched Belesis’ demeanor sag with concern. She’s completely exhausted.  I’ve been nothing, but an energy dump for her the past few days.  There’s no way I could have won this contest without both Kara and Belesis’ support...

“There you have it, folks, Vix’s the winner!”  Fatchna yelled. Slowly, but gradually, the cheering began to increase in volume again.

Helena didn’t know why but felt like it was important to ask.  “Kara—how did everything not get pulled into that gravitational singularity?  It was powerful enough to bend light.”

Kara’s eyes flickered to meet Eizea’s incensed demeanor; she was still scowling at Cassandra.  “Eizea’s likely very fatigued right now. She had to counter her own gravitational singularity with even stronger fields to not involve the audience.  That’s why she’s so angry.” Helena fell silent, with stitches pricking into her side. How … how can I best these titans?

Fatchna’s brow lifted in surprise.  “You didn’t hear that Kara, but Colin says the President wants a word.”

Kara’s eyes narrowed.  “Directly?”

“Yup and he even wants your pup to come along.”

Kara hummed lowly.  “Can you transport Belesis to my old room?”

Fatchna shrugged.  “You’ll have to deactivate that defensive shell you always have placed over your area, like before.”

Kara nodded, and Helena felt a strange shift in her environment, stomach twisting with vertigo.  She appeared on translucent ground, below her, she found the crowds of people and devastated arena.  Some people were already leaving the area. I’m in the President’s Box.

Lifting her eyes, she found two chairs both made of dark leather and placed in the middle of the room, its back facing their group.  In the middle of the chairs sat a small table with a bottle and two glasses. To the side of the right chair was a black haired tall man.  In the left chair sat the straight black hair of a tall woman. The man must be the Alpha, but why does Sevilla get a chair next to the President and the Alpha doesn’t?

The Alpha’s hair was slicked back and dropped to the middle of his neck.  It wasn’t slick or shiny with any product. Is his ability holding down his hair?

The Alpha wore a proper black suit that didn’t reflect a single particle of lint.  It fit his frame well, even if he wasn’t that muscular.  He stood a little less than two meters tall and held a stiff composure.  Deep sunken blue eyes appraised them with a sullen expression. He had thick eyebrows, a prominent nose, small chin, receding forehead, and thin lips.

The only part of the President that could be observed was his thick black hair and dark skinned neck.  He’s from the Palma Islands.  The President began to speak from the chair, not turning.  “Welcome Primes and the young, but promising Vix.”

“Thank you for the audience, President Tenzen.”  Kara bowed.

Helena noticed Cassandra lying in the right side of the room, where a couch had appeared.  She could sense her heart pumping.

Colin spoke from beside Brock, who still held an emotionless expression as he stood completely still, his blue eyes didn’t hint at his inner thoughts.  “Yes, I sent all the thoughts of the fights to your personal Technopath. He’s storing everything into digital form as we speak; I’m slowly feeding him the information as his brain can’t handle the full spectrum.”

“Good, I’ll love going over today’s proceedings.”  He has Colin take everyone’s memories of the fight and send them to an esper that can translate those thoughts into digital data?  Just for future entertainment? That’s a lot of work and for a high ranking esper to do?

The President’s voice was even as he said.  “Kara, I’m very interested in your acolyte. That was an impressive show for her level of ability.  She’s versatile, thinks on her feet, and quite agile; you were right to take her under your wing, she’ll make a fantastic addition to WITCH.”

“Thank you.”  Helena’s voice quivered, and she felt her saliva go dry in her throat.

“Now that I’ve met your pupil, I’ll have a private talk with my Primes.  Fatchna, transport Ms. Vix to her chambers to sleep, she must be exhausted.”  The moment Tenzen said the words, she felt the same strange sensation of vertigo and her room appeared around her.

Helena trembled on the ground.  I’ve witnessed so much power today and almost died several times.  Will this be what my life is like now, daily?

“Lady Vandred, are you alright?”  Helena looked up in surprise to be smothered by a blur of green.  Belesis swept her off the ground and placed her in bed. “Nothing seems broken, and I’ve already healed most your bruises.”

Helena let go of a sharp breath and smiled, staring up at Belesis’ worried lime green eyes.  “You’re too good to me, Belesis, and I don’t understand it.”

She stuttered nervously at her compliment.  “No—not at all! It’s only natural to be worried about your—charges—as you said.  The moment you entered Kara’s faction I became responsible for you, even if you continually require aid.”  Belesis’ face turned scarlet at her words.

“Thank you, Belesis … there’s a limit to the amount of focus a superior should give to their charges, but … I can only feel gratitude.  I should be angry and confused about your actions, but … I’m not. You’re the closest thing to a friend I’ve ever had, even more than my brother.  No one has ever been so concerned about my wellbeing.”

Tears dripped from Belesis’ eyes as she stared down at her.  “That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.” She must have had a horrible childhood.

Helena’s eyes sank as her consciousness started to fade.  Belesis must have given me something.  Belesis’ face blurred and a warm sensation filled her body as her mind washed into the background.

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