Chapter 55: Better Than Revenge

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(Taylor's Coven)

Taylor paced anxiously across the floor of the secret war bunker far below Castle Swift. It was a low room with heavily reinforced walls and a Wiccan Military Chic vibe. There were rows of terminals and monitors filled with green radar screens, an expansive glass whiteboard covered with lists of names and locations, little mason jars with decorative raffia bows to hold the magic markers, and twinkling Christmas lights twirled around the twigs and branches hanging on the walls.

The witches and acolytes of Taylor's coven were huddled around their screens, their faces lit by the soft emerald glow as they examined radars and social media dashboards, monitoring metrics and KPI's related to the status of celebrities in the world.

"Another all-time box office low this weekend," Lily Aldridge said, "That's the fourth all-time low in a row. People are so distraught about the lack of handsome boys they're basically not even leaving the house."

"And no one caring about movies means no one caring about movie premieres," Martha Hunt continued. "Which means no one caring about which designers the stars are wearing, which is negatively impacting social media engagement, particularly on Twitter and Instagram, which is going to have a downstream effect on cross-branding opportunities world-wide next quarter."

"Not to mention," Lily added, "Today's the day Modest Management is expected to formally announce--"

"SHUT UP," Gigi Hadid yelled, her tears immediate, hot and furious. "THAT IS NOT HAPPENING."

"Everything is connected and it's all falling apart without the boys," Taylor said, grimly. "This cannot go on any longer. I want solutions. Hailee, where are we with Little Mix?"

Hailee Steinfeld stood to deliver her report. "I was able to get into the hospital where Perrie is being kept for observation. For someone who's allegedly ~suffering from exhaustion~ air quotes they had an awful lot of tubes and machines connected to her."

"Suffering from exhaustion is a smokescreen. Witches don't get exhaustion. She was clearly harmed by psychic or spiritual forces from another plane."

Hailee nodded. "I got into her room but she was barely making any sense. She just kept saying 'Don't go back to Florence, Florence totally blows,' over and over again. Then Jade and Leigh-Anne found me and cast me out and set up a barrier so I couldn't get back in. So that was all I got out of her. But. Just before they came back around the corner and saw me they were definitely saying something Kanye."

"Hmm. It's not much but it does confirm the trio's suspicions," Taylor said, nodding at Haim. The three sisters sat huddled together in the corner, staring off at nothing, so close they were almost on top of each other. "They were certain they felt an astral disturbance that could only have been a portal of some kind. And we sent a team to Florence?"

"Yeah Bella and I went," Gigi Hadid said, reapplying her mascara. "We combed the city but there was no sign of Kim, no sign that Kanye or Little Mix or anyone even remotely connected with the Kardashians had been there recently. And no ambient resonance from magical energy."

"So all we know is that there's a block of time where Kanye and Little Mix's presences are unaccounted for, we think someone conducted a very powerful portal spell somehow connected with Florence, and it somehow caused Perrie Edwards to end up in the hospital. This is garbage you guys. We're nowhere. Maybe Florence is a code of some kind? Or maybe it's not the city, maybe Florence is a person? Do we know anyone named Florence? Florence Welch? Florence Henderson?"

"There's a Florence in Kim Game," Karlie Kloss said.

Taylor turned to look at Karlie, slouchily draped across Taylor's throne, holding her phone screen out.

"I got married there," Karlie continued, smiling brightly as Taylor walked over to her. "But then I got divorced an hour later. You have to keep going on dates all the time or you get divorced or you have to pay 100 K-Stars to stay in the relationship. The point is to show you how difficult it is to manage competing demands on your career and personal life, but it's bribery and it's unrealistic."

"Karlie, you're supposed to be coding my game, not playing Kim's."

"Research!!!!" Karlie replied.

"OK sweetie, I love you, but shush." Taylor bent down and silenced Karlie with a kiss. "Let mommy work."

Karlie meowed quietly and went back to her screen, replacing her earbuds.

Taylor ran her fingers through her hair. "OK. Florence is a dead-end and we can't get anywhere near Kanye. It's time for Operation Take the CaKe. Gigi and Martha, you will take Karlie and get Cara Delevingne and bring her to me."

"That is not going to be easy, she's very independent."

"Ask nicely, lie to her, take her by force, idc. She's the only way we're ever going to get to Kendall. If we can lure Kendall out of hiding we can use Fifth Harmony to siphon her energy and reverse-engineer whatever spell Little Mix performed."

"OK can we just like slow down for one second," Selena Gomez said. "We're talking about kidnapping Cara Delevingne, using her to kidnap Kendall Jenner, and also kidnapping Fifth Harmony, and forcing them to partipate in a spell that could very easily kill everyone involved."

Taylor made a Yeah, so? gesture. "What's the alternative, Selena? Do you have any ideas you'd like to share with us? Am I the only one who cares that our world is completely falling apart? Kim Kardashian did this to us and I stg she will pay for what she's done. She's not a saint and she's not what you think. She stole those boys and did who knows what with them for her own nefarious purposes, with no concern for how it would affect the rest of us. It is so typical of her, the queen of self-centered egotistical narcissism. She gets to do whatever she wants, but I'm supposed to feel bad or second-guess myself for being the only one willing to do whatever it takes to fix things?"

"We are running out of time," the members of Haim all said in unison. "The celebrity machine is exactly that, a machine. Without the boys, pieces of that machine are missing, which makes the machine stop functioning. And the thing it powers, what you call 'The World', will inevitably break down, collapse, descend into anarchy. Darkness and chaos will reign for generations. We must fight to protect the machine, before there is nothing left worth fighting for."

"What they said. Any other helpful comments, Selena? Speak now."

"No, my queen," Selena said, bowing her head.

"Take the CaKe it is," Taylor said, turning her back on Selena and addressing the other witches. "Kendall is holed up in Calabasas but Cara is in London this week. The Hadids and Karlie will be the first wave. Secure Cara while Lorde and I take the others to Miami to get Fifth Harmony. Do not expect them to come willingly. We'll keep them in the dungeon until we have everything we need for the spell. Once we have--"

Taylor's speech was interrupted by an alarm, a repetitive electronic bleeping written and arranged by Calvin Harris. The alarm was coming from Lorde's screen, where there was now a bright purple dot blinking against the green radar.

"What is it," Taylor asked.

"It's her," Lorde replied. "Kim has returned."

The mood shifted in the room and something passed across Taylor's face--a warrior donning her armor. "Let's go," she said, then disappeared, and all the other witches disappeared, blinking out like lights in rapid succession.

A few seconds later Karlie looked up from her phone and noticed everyone was gone. She pulled her earbuds out and heard the alarm. "Shit, fuck," she said. She quickly wrapped up her cord, swiped her phone, and disappeared.

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WOW Taylor is really mad you guys. It sounds like we are headed for an epic battle. Kim vs basically everyone in Taylor's cool girl coven? I don't like those odds, tbh. We'll see what happens next time! Please vote & comment and tell me what you think!

Also PS sorry this chapter is slightly late, I don't have a good excuse other than I was just feeling very lazy this weekend. Some days are like that! Also I wanted to see Civil War. Sam is my favorite! OK bye more soon! xo,kf

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