Chapter 15 - Part 2

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"So all the changes three days ago, cutting up woods to destroy the lights, killing all those people, that was all you?" I asked.

"Correct." Daniel nodded, wearing a proud smile.

"I knew it was too much of a change," Cato said. "It was too human."

"Glad someone caught on. It may seem ridiculous but spells and rituals require a great deal of time and experimenting. You'd be surprised how many teenagers we'd killed before we even figured out that blood was a necessary component. Long before we planned that mass kidnapping."

He paused for a bit. "You know, now that I think about it. That was a huge mistake. I could have just taken the safe route and abduct one or two from time to time. But I can't help it. I felt so close to finally completing the ritual." he sighed. "Sometimes, my passion ruins things for me."

"Let me get this straight," I said. "The past Shades were the primordial using your soul as a link to this world. But now it's you, something from this dimension, who's in complete control so you can make full use of the void's power and the new moon?"

"Wow!" Daniel said, clapping. "That's it. After I kill all your friends and everyone who tries to stop me, I'm anointing you my acolyte in my cult."

Something landed on his feet. A small green canister. Gray smoke filled up the place, obscuring us from Daniel's vision. They must have received orders through their earpiece because the soldiers immediately put up a wall of riot shield in front of us, pushing us back before an explosion occurred where Daniel was standing. A succession of fireballs erupted. My ears were ringing. We may be safe from shrapnel but each explosion boomed inside my chest. And it was hot, like standing in front of an open oven. On our left, Major Coleman and his men, equipped with grenade launchers that looked like huge revolvers, were bombarding Daniel with explosive rounds.

The soldiers got us inside the building and dragged us inside a bare room with stackable plastic seats spread out, white walls and no windows. They must have thought we were safe. But we all knew it was wasted effort. The U.V. lights were our only defense. And now it's gone.

"Maybe they can kill him," Demi said when the soldiers left us. "His head is human. Without a head, he can't kill us, right?"

No one answered. Outside, the explosions were still going on.

"We have to get out of here. Split up. Buy time till morning," Cato said. "It's our only chance."

"You're guardian doesn't know when he's beat," It was Daniel's voice. We whipped towards the direction of his voice. At the corner of the room, Daniel was standing. His face was whole, no burns, no pieces of shrapnel. "When do you think they'll realize?"

"Why are you doing this?" Caprice asked. "You've already won."

"Not yet, I haven't," Daniel said, walking up to us. "Not until I have full control. New moon or not."

"And for that, you need our blood?" I asked. "What does our blood have to do with anything?"

"You zodiac borns are like battery cells for the Celestials' power," Daniel said. "The light within you, in your blood, in your flesh, no matter how strong, lies dormant. By consuming you, I can tap into the celestial energies inside. In its dormant state, it wouldn't harm me. In fact, by merely exposing it to the void energies in my body, I can corrupt it, transform it into void energies and use it to strengthen power, hence, my control. My body is that of the Void so it should work."

"So that's why you destroyed the other two safe houses so you can keep us all in one place to perform the ritual again," Cato said.

"Although I love the chase," Daniel leader said. "It will be a while before the next new moon so I'm kind of on a tight schedule here."

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