Leo is on the edge of his seat. The KAPE announcement is going out. “Unknown target near local coffee shop.”
Has Beans. Where Harry and Charlotte went that one time. He looks down at the group text he shares with Aria, Otto - and Summer. “Going into enemy territory wish me luck ≧◡≦”, reads her last message.
The image on the KAPE drone camera is a writhing mess of hands. Same as the graveyard. They must be there - looking for that guy again? About this creature?
Leo doesn’t realize he’s on his feet until he feels Aria’s hand on his shoulder.
Summer flies forward, outward, costume flashing into existence in an instant to transform her into Radiance!
Free the old man - that’s all that matters. For the thousand arms that make up the thing, she projects a thousand planes of force, trying to meet it point by point, sever its grip. She hears and feels her teammates behind her, joining in, coordinating, turning her half-baked lunge into some kind of success. And yet–
She feels the force of it, feels it take hold of her even as she and the others rescue the arm’s original victim.
She’s slammed face-first into the wall.
Gee, nice of my team to give me a hand.
I was trying to disarm it.
Fist things first?
She falls out of the hole and hits the ground.
Geez, I thought Blintzkrieg was old fashioned thanks to Chaima’s conservative tastes. This place really has that old-people ambiance going on. And they had one of those vintage Italian espresso machines. I want one.
The fight isn’t over. Her team needs her. She struggles to rise.
“You promised,” Aria says softly.
“I did.” Leo’s body is tense. He isn’t moving. He wants to. But he’s holding himself still. He doesn’t need Aria’s help, just her understanding that he wants to, that he still feels the urge.
He looks, and sees it in her eyes immediately.
“Let’s pray for her,” Aria says. She holds out her hand, and closes her eyes.
“You know I don’t believe in gods.” Leo doesn’t want to say it, doesn’t want to dissuade her, but he has to be honest.
Aria nods, without looking, and just smiles. “I know. But… you believe in Summer.”
After a moment, Leo takes her hand, and bows his head, in silent supplication.
author: Bill G.