Destroyer(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 5)(39) by Connie Suttle
"Mr. Winkler?" Ashe turned to Winkler, who'd followed him inside the media room.
"Kid, we'll all go. I'll leave Ace behind, to watch the house."
"Give me ten minutes to warn the Grand Master, and we'll be ready."
* * *
"Sara, please pick up. Please. Mom's dead, and I need you to talk to me." Randy couldn't keep the sob from his voice.
"Randall, your mother tried to kill me," Sara said, reluctantly answering the call. Randy had phoned her landline when she refused to answer her cell.
"What?" Randy whispered.
"You heard. She was here, telling me she was either going to shoot me or let her werewolf tear me to pieces. I'm sorry, Randall, but we have no future."
"No, baby. Please. The werewolves took her down. I don't have anybody, now."
"Did you know she was on the run? That she might be headed this way?"
"I knew she was running, but I didn't know she'd—do this." Randy sounded defeated.
"If that man hadn't shown up, I'd be dead, now. Is that what you wanted?"
"No. Baby, that's the last thing I'd ever want. I love you. I mean it. Please don't shut me out."
"I'll consider it," Sara snapped. "I'm leaving for the airport in a few minutes. Mr. Wright invited me to attend the shapeshifter meeting in Star Cove. It's up to you, Randall, whether we have a future or not." Sara hung up.
* * *
"That's it—six feet," Bear lifted himself out of the large hole he, Amos Thompson and the Grand Master had dug on Weldon's property. "How are we going to lower him into the grave?"
"I can do it, if you'll allow it," Ashe offered. He, Winkler, Trace, Trajan, Sali, Florence Thompson and Marco had stood by while a werewolf and two shapeshifters dug Alex Thompson's grave.
"I'll allow it," Amos Thompson nodded to Ashe.
"All right." Alex Thompson's white buffalo was levitated gently upward and then floated through the air before turning on its side while being lowered into the ground.
"Ready?" Bear asked Amos, once Alex's body was laid gently at the bottom of the grave.
"Yes. Alex, we've missed you. I'll miss you as long as I live." Amos Thompson lifted a handful of dirt and let it fall in the grave.
"Alex, we did fine work together. You always had my back and were the best friend I could ever ask for." Bear let a handful of dirt fall.
"I only met you a couple of times. You, Bear and I got pretty drunk at a bar in San Diego. Happy trails, friend." Weldon dropped his handful of soil.
"I'll get the rest," Ashe said quietly. The pile of dirt from the excavation disappeared and reappeared, covering the grave. "Mr. Thompson," Ashe held out his hands and a folded American flag appeared. "This is for your brother's service."
* * *
"Ashe, does this mean you're back to normal?" Winkler asked.
"Mr. Winkler, there'll be no normal for me. If you're asking if the drug is out of my system, it's pretty close to being gone."
"Why do I get the feeling you're not telling me something?" Winkler accepted a drink from Trajan, who settled on the other end of the sofa inside the media room. Ashe had already dropped Bear Wright and Amos and Flossie Thompson off in Star Cove before bringing the others back to Winkler's beach house.
"Mr. Winkler, do you remember the old Ashe—before I got the drug?"
"Yeah. Pretty much."
"There's a new Ashe coming. I don't know how to explain it."
"Like Ashe, two-point-oh?" Winkler lifted an eyebrow.
"More like Ashe, nine-point-oh," Ashe muttered, staring at his hands. "Get ready."
"Ready for what?" Winkler asked, just as the beach house suffered a jolt.
"What the hell was that?" Trajan was on his feet, followed quickly by Winkler.
"Armageddon just started," Ashe's eyes were dark and filled with stars.
* * *
"What's happening?" Friesianna screamed, although her words sounded garbled and drawn out. Light bent and flickered about her crown, rendering her helpless.
Baltis shouted for Laridael as light and power flowed from his crown, crashing into that formed by Friesianna's coronet. Neither could move; they were held immobile, as were the ones surrounding them as each crown fought for supremacy.
"Open the gate," Friesianna shouted at Parlethis.
"I cannot move my hands," he wailed.
* * *
"Hurricane-force storms are forming across the Eastern Seaboard," the meteorologist announced on the ten o'clock news. "Earthquakes are occurring in the Pacific northwest, South America, and Japan. Tsunami warnings are going out across the globe. Six storms have formed off the coast of Africa in the past two hours, moving at incredible speeds into the Atlantic. Rain is falling in record amounts in Great Britain. Tornadoes are crossing the Midwest, leaving destruction and death in their wake. This is unprecedented, folks. Take emergency precautions if you live in the path of any of these storms or earthquakes."
"Jeez, kid, it's pouring outside." Winkler stood at the wide windows overlooking the deck, just as a rumble of thunder shook the beach house.
"Can you do anything about that?" Trajan, who sat near Ashe, asked.
"Not right now. Ashe nine-point-oh is still not ready."
"How much time is left? You can't do anything about this before that?" Winkler settled on the sofa again.
"I need power I don't have, yet. Things will get worse before I can do anything about this."
"That doesn't sound good," Trace sighed, flopping onto the sofa beside his brother. Sali, who'd settled on the floor to watch the news with the others, turned to Ashe in surprise.
* * *
Grandfather? Ashe sat upright, waking from a sound sleep when the mindspeech came from Rabis.
The crowns are locked in battle, child, fighting for supremacy. Is there nothing you can do?
Not now. Wildrif managed to get somebody to give me a drug, and I'm still disabled. It'll take two days before I can do anything.
This is more than unfortunate. Wildrif deserves death for this.
Wildrif managed to convince a vampire to make him vampire. I think I can do something about that, at least.
He is making the turn? I will point my thought in that direction.
Grandfather, I've pointed my thought in that direction. Do you want me to come for you?
No, child, although I appreciate the offer. My father told me before his death that I must see this thing through. He said that you would come for me when I finally left the Bright race of my own accord.
Then I'll see you when that happens.
Yes, that is my sincerest wish. To see you then.
* * *
"We can drive or you can take us. Your choice," Winkler told Ashe while he, Sali, Trace, Trajan and Marco waited for toaster waffles to pop up.
"It's still raining," Ashe sighed. "I'll take us."
"Good. We need to be in Star Cove around ten."
"I can do that." Ashe nodded
"Why don't we have a second toaster?" Trace moaned.
"I'll go get two. Give me a minute." Ashe disappeared, returning a few minutes later with two new toasters in boxes. "There. Now we can make six waffles at a time."
"Why didn't we think of this before?" Winkler pulled more boxes of toaster waffles out of the freezer. "Do we have enough syrup?"
* * *
"Hi, Mom." Ashe hugged his mother when she answered the doorbell.
"Come in," she waved all her visitors inside; the front porch wasn't large enough to hold everybody. "It's so wet out. Is this weather usual for late August?" she asked as Winkler stepped inside.
"No, Adele. It's extremely unusual."
"Well, it came this morning, and thank goodness it arrived in a covered carrier," Adele had hands on her hips. "You didn't tell him, did you?"
"We didn't say a word," Winkler grinned.
"About what?" Ashe and Sali said together.
"Come on, it's in the third stall in the garage."
* * *
Two Elemaiya, who'd thought to pull the Bright Queen and Dark King away were now dead. Friesianna and Baltis had stopped speaking; both were gripped in a paralysis created by their crowns. While they'd been yards apart in the beginning, their bodies were inching closer together while their subjects watched in horror.
Mindspeech had been sent to both camps, and Bright and Dark Elemaiya were appearing in a panic. They were aware that the Earth was in trouble and desired to leave it behind by going through the only gate they might use. All were dismayed to learn the gate wouldn't open, and then were terrified to see that the crowns were engaged in a terrible battle, the Bright Queen and Dark King helpless to stop it. While the weather, earthquakes and other natural disasters across the Earth increased, Kansas City had become the eye of the storm. All Elemaiya seemed caught in the vortex, with no way to escape its impending wrath.
* * *
"This is causing the problems." Curtis Roberts tossed a photograph on the President's desk. "Go ahead, ask Mr. Michaels over there, if the boy didn't create that earthquake in Canada."
Curtis had finally gotten what he'd been asking for—a meeting with the President. The circumstances couldn't have been less ideal.
"Matthew, is this true?" The President lifted the photograph—a close-up of Ashe from the British Embassy raid, and turned questioning eyes on Matt.
"He didn't do it to harm anyone. He did that to help. Something else is creating chaos out there." Matt angrily flung out an arm.
"The boy is an alien. You know that. He's out to destroy the world if we don't stop him," Curtis pressed his point. "He's one of the creatures who slaughtered those children and anyone else who got in their way. We have to stop this now, if we expect to survive."
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