Alcyone reached into her skirt and as if by sleight of hand produced a small glowing blue orb. Alice had seen one such as this only once before. The demon orb belonging to Samuel L. Tanner, the Prince of Demons. She shuddered at the thought. Surely this could not be.
Then they heard a laugh that was not of this world, an eerie spine chilling cackle that was a little too close for comfort. In the split second before Alcyone vanished with the orb Alice saw two fiendish horned creatures with devilish eyes turn to her from the Underworld, their red pupils focused on her soul.
She didn't have time to ask the girl why she had come.
"Alissss..." The air hissed with venom.
She reached for Maia's sword, Whisper, the sword of Moses, the one gifted to her by the angel Raziel. Alice knew it was only her unpredictability that could save her life now. She had always had a skill with blades, ever since she had persuaded Maia to take Kendo lessons with her at the Bridgeford Music Institute in Oxford. Being born a Magick made her very different than her classmates who looked down on her talents as being rather underdeveloped. She couldn't control her power and her elemental tendencies led to a lot of random fires in the girls toilets anytime her nose twitched. So when she drew the sword from its scabbard to defend herself she knew anything might happen.
The demons smashed straight through Cafe Aprecio's twin plate glass windows. Alice held in her mind's eye Maia swirling with Whisper as she severed the demon's heads.
She could not have explained what happened next.
The sword of Moses burst into flame, an incendiary light saber, which shot out twin jets of flame like a flamethrower. The demon brothers screamed and became a duo on death row, seconds away from the lethal injection that would snuff out their life. Alice stood astride them as they writhed in agony and thrust the needle that was Whisper into the demon hearts. Dark blood spurted out like a geyser and then all was still. The cafe was empty. Alice stayed still for nearly a whole minute, recovering. She had seen one other figure in the vision in the orb, in the split second before Alcyone vanished, behind the demons, a fgure she recognized from the photo in Maia's beloved diary. Gabrielle, Maia's mother.
Maia closed her grandfather’s diary and went back to her room on the aqualiner. Kepler was staring out at the stars as they crossed the International Date Line heading for JFK Airport in New York. Chenial and her team had prepared both the safehouse at Radio City Music Hall and the Keep under Times Square where they were training new recruits and their dragons. Kepler’s mother and baby sister were fast asleep, curled up on the bottom bunk in the corner. Alice and Ben were bright eyed, discussing the battle unicorn stud farm they planned to visit north of New York at Belmont Park. She sat down next to Kepler and opened the diary to the two sets of blank pages at the end. She lazily scrawled the sigil for the angelic gateway Kepler had been showing her, to see if it would work.
Kepler glanced over periodically as the stardust that customarily trailed Maia’s fingertip wafted dancelike in midair before disappearing. Then to Maia’s astonishment, a rough scroll, written in halting penmanship, materialized on the blank page in front of her.
‘Whoever is erasing my work, stop doing it!
The Lightworld is my creation.