Parts 1-5

Part 1


 Silently Kallista knelt on the cold ground before the tomb. It was the only reminder that she once had a sister. A twin, the same in every way except personality. Kalliope had been outgoing and passionate. She had excelled in the arts; dancing, music, and art. Her gifts were meant for the world. So why was she dead?
All around her in the deep cover of the forest all was quiet. The perfect hiding place for her sister's grave. A twig crunching in the snow alerted her to another presence. She didn't have to turn around to see who it was.
"Detective Simmons." She acknowledged quietly without looking at him. "Why do you insist on following me?"
He sighed and looked down briefly before answering. His slightly graying hair betrayed his age of thirty nine years. But even though his face was starting to show signs of care, he possessed a certain dignified appearance. He was still considered handsome in a bookish sort of way.  His light colored jacket gave proof to his profession.
"Kallista. You know the answer to that. You are still underage and in need of proper care." He spoke gently.
She turned on him then, her blue green eyes blazing. "I was in the care of 'proper authority!'  You know what happened! My sister died under their care!"
"I know and I agree. It was a terrible tragedy. A great wrong." He tried again. "But not everyone are like those who are responsible for your sister's death. There are others who desire to help. Please trust me. I will let nothing harm you."
She gazed at him for a moment weighing his words, then smiled her Mona Lisa smile.
"I do believe you, Detective. But where I'm going, you cannot follow."
She turned and began walking away from him. Her long black coat swirling behind her in the winter wind.
"Stop Kallista!" Detective Simmons called out. "I don't want to have to arrest you, but by Law I am required to take you in for questioning over the school incident and put you in proper care!"
"Proper care?" She spoke softly over her shoulder. "You can't give me the proper care I need."
"But we can!" A strong voice came from no where.
Detective Simmons stepped back startled,  as a tall figure dropped down from the trees. A man with long black hair stood before him blocking the Detective's view of Kallista. The man was taller then the Detective, with long black hair pulled into a ponytail. He wore a black overcoat with gauntlets on his arms. He stared at Simmons intently and nodded once in greeting.
Two other figures dropped from the trees, a man and a girl. The man had dark brown hair and startling green eyes. He had on black jeans and a brown jacket that hung below the knees. Simmons was alarmed to see a holster strapped to the man's leg. The girl was quite a bit smaller then the other two. beautiful with purple streaked black hair, she studied him with lovely green eyes. She also wore black but had a beautiful purple scarf wrapped around her charmingly.
"Hi!" She called out in a slightly southern accent. "You don't need to worry about, Kallaista here. She'll be with us and so everything will be fine."
Without another word, the three people joined Kallista and they all disappeared in a flash. Bewildered, Simmons couldn't make himself move in time to stop them. They where all just to fast! Never in his career had he encountered a case like this. He didn't know what he was going to tell his superiors. Sighing he turned back and started back towards his car. It was pointless to try anything else today. But he wouldn't stop trying to find Kallista. After the school incident, she had become an overnight sensation. There would be others looking for her and they were not all good. He only hoped he could find her first and that those people he just saw where trustworthy and could help her.
Kallista was grateful for the assistance that Skulduggery had sent her. Necros had graciously let her hang on to his back as she could not keep up yet with the rest of them. She was free to look at her companions more freely. Both Skyril and Israel were having a private conversation as they ran next to each other. Skyril had told her earlier that there were others like her with magical abilities. She could scarcely believe it. Part of her looked forward to meeting them. The other part just wanted to be with her sister.
Kalliope had been gifted in the arts. Kallista had been gifted with magic and the martial arts. Kallista would have gladly given up her magic if that meant she could have her sister back.  Sighing, she leaned her head on Necros' back and closed her eyes.

Part 2



Rain droplets ran down the window in rivulets  obscuring the view outside. Kallista leaned her forehead against the cool glass surface, trailing the droplets with her finger.  Behind her she could hear the voices of Skyril and Florence raised in discussion of which weapon was the better choice for fighting zombies; swords or daggers. Smiling slightly, she turned to face them. Where but here could one find such a discussion taking place? Certainly not in the normal routine of a regular mortal.
It had been over a year since Kallista joined the Irish magical community but it felt like she had been part of it forever.
Skyril was sitting back on a luxurious leather sofa, casually flipping and catching her daggers as she spoke. "Zombies are gross, Florence. Who wants to even get near them?" She wrinkled her pretty nose in disgust. "So you can see where daggers come in handy, now don't you?" She wore all black except for her deep purple gloves and the matching wide scarf wrapped around her slender waist.  Her purple highlights shimmered in contrast to her deep black hair.  She made a throwing movement as if to kill an imaginary zombie.
"Pow!" She smacked her lips. "That's all it takes to kill a zombie. Simple and effective."
But Florence was not having any of that. She stood intently over her friend waving a sword in front of Skyril's face.
"Yes, but this sword is much more powerful and can take out millions of zombies in ONE swipe!" Her long black hair also streaked with purple highlights, swung around her as she shook her sword again.
Skyril raised one eyebrow at the girl. "A million zombies, Florence?"
"OK, not a million. But still, a lot!" She insisted, her charcoal black eyes blazing.
She began to pace the room in her fishnet tights and knee high boots. Her checkered red and black skirt swirled around her graceful legs. 
"All you old people are alike!" She was saying as she gestured wildly. Kallista laughed as she looked at Skyril. The girl might be in her seventies, but she looked like a sixteen year old. Florence was interrupted by a deep booming sound followed closely by a medium sized quake.
Kallista had braced herself holding onto the wall, but Florence fell backwards with a little scream.
"Let me guess, Necros and Lillivale?" She asked sarcastically as she struggled to stand. Idly she blew several stray strands of black and purple hair from her eyes. "You could have told me!"
She glared accusingly at Skyril, who just smiled and ignored her.
"Sorry...we old people tend to have short memories" She replied demurely, fluttering her eyelashes innocently.
"Necros and Lillivale will be practicing their fighting techniques today." Kallista offered, hiding a smile.
"Gee, thanks Kallista!" Florence snapped as another quake rocked the room. "One would think you would be on my side seeing as we about the same age!"
"I'm on everybody's side." Kallista responded grandly, sweeping her hands wide.
They were interrupted by Clarabelle who came in sputtering and tripping over her feet in her hast. Another boom reverberated the room and Clarabelle screamed. She had always been frightened of both Necros and Lillivale and had always tried to be someplace else when they came for practice. Kenspeckle had designed a special arena for them in the basement of the building next door, to help contain the noise and sheer strength of the two men.
In the corner of the room sat Jodi Harte, listening to her ipod. Kallista noted with interest Jodi wore a pair of white skinny trousers and a pretty teal blouse.
Hmmm she must have had a successful day, Kallista thought to herself. Indeed, Jodi wore a pleased expression on her gorgeous face. She had black hair that framed that gorgeous face in a layered bob and rainbow colored clips in her hair. Her 3 inch heels tapped the rhythm of the song she was listening to. The practice sessions between Lillivale and Necros never seemed to faze her.
She remembered briefly the first time she had met Jodi. It had been ten months ago near China Sorrows' place. The most spectacular vehicle she had ever seen came roaring down the road. It was a Gumpert Apollo. The gleaming car slid to a stop and a sleek woman stepped out wearing colorful clothing with rainbow clips in her hair. She didn't even spare Kallista and Valkyrie a glance as she strode up to the door. Only a careless wave in Valkyrie's direction gave clue to a greeting.
"Jodi Harte." Was all Valkyrie said with a smile.
"I want that car." Was all Kallista could say.
Later she had managed to talk with Jodi Harte. It hadn't been easy but she had convinced Jodi she was worth talking to. Jodi Harte had become one of her first teachers in this new world of magic and had taught her other useful things as well. A smile played upon her face as she thought of the benefits she had reaped under Harte's tutelage. She glanced out of the window. There it was. Next to Harte's car was a silver and black Ninja Motorcycle.
She had shown up one day with it several months ago, surprising everyone.
"Nice ride." Evangeline Crow, another one of her friends had commented. "How did you get that?"
But she smiled her Mona Lisa smile and never told anyone. Across the room, Jodi had smiled smugly, pleased with her protegee.
A scream broke through her reverie bringing her back to the present. Kallista looked up and saw Clarabelle pressing herself to the wall, trying to escape the notice of the two men who strolled into the room. Necros and Lillivale were discussing the finer points of battle. Their voices mixing in with that of Skyril's and Florence. The men took no notice of Clarabelle. With a scream, Clarabelle ran from the room, past the three people who just walked in.
Dragona and Sarthacus took no notice, preoccupied with something of great importance. But Evangeline looked back at the fleeing figure of Clarabelle curiously.
"Huh! Must be Necros and Lillivale again." She mused as she turned back around. Then she caught sight of them. "I was right!" She gave a little laugh.
"Everyone!" Sarthacus called out. "I have a message from Skulduggery."
They all stopped what they were doing and looked at him. Even Jodi paid attention.  Kallista knew then it must be something important.
"There is trouble in a nearby town. Skulduggery can't get to it right now and needs our help."
"Great." Skyril spoke calmly as she stood up and put her daggers away. "When do we leave?"

Part 3

"We are heading to Hidden Brier as soon as we can." Dragona informed the group. An 83 year old who looked like 20, he was one of Kallista's martial arts teachers. That is when he wasn't busy doing an assignment for the Sanctuary. Now as he stood tall before everyone, his short brown hair dripped water just from the short distance between his car and the door. "Sanctuary orders. We will take over for some agents already there."
"You really need to start carrying an umbrella with you." Skyril smiled as she tossed him a towel.
He snatched it without difficulty then whipped it at Sarthacus who ducked out of the way. The towel landed softly on the floor.
"Who needs umbrellas? It's just a little rain! It won't kill anyone. But Sarthacus might need one!" He teased.
Sarthacus only smiled as he moved farther into the room. Evangeline who did bring an umbrella closed hers up in a fluid motion before coming in any further. Then they got down to business.
A specialized group of agents, those present were often called upon by the Sanctuary for cases such as these.
Uneasy, Kallista moved back to the window she had been by before and looked out.  A gathering wind was picking up speed, a fore warning of an early winter. Kallista watched through the heavy paned windows as the wind whipped through the rain, tearing up the fallen leaves in it's path. She was glad for the partial garage Kenspeckle had set up for vehicles such as hers.  But now even that was barely able to protect her ninja cycle from the wrath of the weather. Dragona's own vehicle was a special one: able to endure anything and go anywhere no matter what the season or weather. She looked on with envy , as it sat there still managing to shine despite the wind and rain.  Soon she wouldn't be able to even ride her Ninja cycle anymore!  Life just wasn't fair to a sixteen year old, sometimes! , she turned her back on the car as if to snub it. She straitened her already poised figure and gathered her thoughts on the information Dragona, Evangeline, and Sarthacus had brought with them.  As she listened to what they where saying she was able to piece together the details and understand the problem.
Haughtily
The town of Hidden Brier had been experiencing strange occurrences and disappearances lately of it's citizens.  Understandably, the town was shook up and bewildered by these unexplained events and becoming quite frightened. The Sanctuary had caught wind of this and had suspected that dark magic was behind it.  Skulduggery had been the one requested to take care of the problem. But he was tied up with another important matter, one that was a mystery to the rest of them. Skulduggery had passed it on to his co-worker and friend, Israel Elysium. Acting quickly Israel then had explained the situation to several of his close friends who were with him at the time. He then had sent Dragona, Sarthacus, and Evangeline ahead of him to warn the others. Which brought them to this point in time. 
"My guess is that Vampires are involved." Mary Hiashi spoke smoothly in a light English accent.  Dressed in a black ninja style outfit she posed a formidable presence. Her long onyx black hair hung smoothly down her slender back and her crimson eyes flashed at the mere thought of a vampire. 
"Vampires? I was thinking Remnents" Bridget Whiplash spoke up with steel in her smile. One of the few vampires that was employed by the Sanctuary, she moved with impossible grace, edging around Leo Sparks to stand before Mary.
"Hello Bridget." Mary nodded to her comrade.
"Right back at ya." She said evenly. 
"Could be both." Jodi threw out from her corner of the room. She was focused on her laptop and had not bothered to get of her chair to join the rest of them.
"I think the towns haunted by ghosts!" Florence said dramatically with big eyes.
"There's no such thing as ghosts." Leo remarked, rolling his eyes.
"There is too, ya old coot!" She shot back at him, pouting. "Don't make me mad, 'cause I'll curse you and make you bald!"
"Yeah, OK. " He laughed easily. He reached out and rubbed her head affectionately. "Kids! You got to love 'em!"
 Another argument began only to be interrupted by the Arrival of Israel, Darkane, Nicolette, and Skylara.
"Let's make this brief!" Israel began briskly as he went to the long meeting table in the center of the room. "We don't have any time to wast!"
"We believe it to be Dusk who is behind this." Nicolette continued without missing a beat. "One of our agents who is there, believes that Dusk is in league with a band of Remnents."
"Of course!"Leo rolled his eyes. "It's always Dusk!"
"We think that Dusk has made a deal with the Remnents over the people of Hidden Ridge." Darkane said.  
"You mean like, 'he gets some and they get some,' sort of thing? Splitting people down the middle?" Skyril asked, appalled.
"Gross!" Florence yelled! "That's just sick! I wanna kick his @$$!"
"You'll get your chance." Israel assured her.
Necros and Lillivale where already half way done packing. While everyone else had been speaking, the two men had been inspecting their weapons and readying them for battle. Necros' eyes gleamed in anticipation. Lillivale couldn't keep the smile off his face. How he hated vampires and Remnents! Well, all except for Bridget Whiplash. Evan Dragona liked her despite his deep hatred of vampires.
    As everyone gathered around the table to discuss the situation, Kallista hung back and wrestled with her thoughts. Like ghosts, the past rose up and haunted her memories.  She looked outside again at the stormy gray scenery, shivering at the sound of the howling wind.  It was a good day to be inside.  Elegantly, but as nondescript as she could be, she moved towards the massive fireplace trying to quell the chill her memories brought on.
    Two years back, in the dark woods. She leaned her head gently against the mantle, dizzy all of a sudden. She closed her lovely eyes in horror.
Something sinister had been there that night. Something besides her and Eli; her teacher and captor. It had happened during a time of rare calm and peace between the two of them. With only a fire to warm them and light their surroundings, they had sat in silence eating a meager meal that cool Autumn evening.
Then, an unexpected blast of wind with the force of a truck had abruptly blown her off her seat, high into the air. She had landed hard some distance away; far from the flames of the campfire.  Stunned, she could not move. Lying flat on her back all she could see were the stars above.  In the background of her senses, she could hear intense screaming, echoing around the forest for a long time. Fear had held her down like a cold prison as she had realized in shock,  it had been Eli screaming so horribly. Eli Lonestar, skilled in the Ninja arts and the Samurai way, member of the magical community, was weeping and screaming in pain. A tortured soul. Something beyond even his skill was doing this! As she had lain there on the hard forest floor, a descending wave of powerlessness had fallen across her, rendering her helpless and weak. Eli had died by something evil that night, but Kallista had been spared. She didn't know why.
    With effort she brought up her hand then, striking herself in the face to release the hold the past had on her. Pale and shaken she forced herself to return to the present. She had forgotten that night up till now. But something about the events of  Hidden Brier and of that of the night in the woods, struck a cord of familiarity within her.
    Looking up, she hoped no one noticed the slip in her reserve; that she hadn't joined them.  But Evangeline was glancing over at her repeatedly, something unreadable in her expression. With narrowed eyes she realized it had nothing to do with her thoughts just now. Something else was up and it made Kallista feel even more unsettled. She found it hard to concentrate on what was being planned for Hidden Brier.
It wasn't till later when Evangeline pulled her aside that she found out what it was. 
    "Sorry to be the one to tell you this." Evangeline begun. "But it's been noted that that fellow who is after you: what's his name? .....Detective Simmons? Well, he's here in Ireland.  It seems as if he has found you."
    "Not yet he hasn't." Kallista replied coldly in her perfect voice. "He has no jurisdiction here."
Dragona overheard as he passed by.
    "Kallista. Israel and I looked into it and have found out that he has joined with Interpol." He said quietly. "He does have jurisdiction, now."
    "The Sanctuary is very concerned. " Evangeline continued, glaring at Dragona for interrupting. "They don't want a confrontation between the International police and themselves. The magical community cannot be discovered!"
    "I'll take care of it." She replied calmly, her Mona-Lisa smile in place "It is my problem after all."
 Dragona and Evangeline exchanged glances as she walked off. As one of the newer members of their league, she had proven to be invaluable to them. But she also had more growing to do; both physical and magical. And while she was a good team member, she had a habit a being aloof. They needed her and she needed them. The only trouble was that she didn't always realize this yet.
    The next day proved to be a drastic change over the day before. Even though it was still cool, the sun blazed brightly from above in the blue sky. They all had arrived in Hidden Brier.
  Kallista's part in it the plan was simple. She was to locate a place to trap the Remnents. After that she was to place wards to keep away the non magical folks. Her instincts then led her to  the Cafe Habana.      
    It was a nice cafe. Brightly lit with natural sunlight filtering through the large window in the front. Several smaller arched windows were along both sides of the old building. It was everything Kallista hoped a Cafe to be. Lovingly restored, the brick building was a mixture of urban vibe and exotic decor. The good people here served a variety of teas along with their coffees, lattes, cappuccinos and delicious confections. The smells these items left was simply divine. It really was a perfect place to relax and hang out. To bad it wouldn't remain so.
    Kallista sat alone drinking chamomile tea and holding a folded newspaper delicately in her hand as if reading: as if she was an ordinary customer. But she wasn't. The regulars who came there and the employees who worked there found themselves with a strange and strong desire to climb trees in the the park across town.  
Her sharp eyes, though hidden beneath her hat were watchful. She noted the positions of the gang posted inside the Cafe. Nicolette and Evangeline sat together to her right, chatting calmly like friends usually do. Darkane, Mary Hiashi, and Israel sat by the Coffee bar in the center, posing as young business colleges having a mini meeting.  Behind the bar stood Skylara, Skyril, and Leo Sparks, posing as the baristas.  To her left, appearing to be working on their laptops sat Alex Night and Aquila Felis.
All the rest stayed hidden on the outside. It was time. Kallista could smell them coming. Remnents. The smell of rotting souls getting stronger by the moment. Kallista sent a bit of magic in the earth by taping her foot. The magic was connected to each of her colleges and used to signal them. The Remnents were here! Then, the front doors opened with a ring. Two Remnets walked in wearing the bodies of what used to be a middle aged couple.
"Oooohhh. Fresh meat!" One said softly as it eyed Skylara and Skyril. "Perfect for Dusk."
"Quiet you fool!" The other one hissed in a whisper. "Mustn't alarm anyone....at least not yet!"
The two Remnents laughed nastily under their breaths as they looked around.
"Well, this whole place is perfect for Dusk!" The first one sneered.
"Who cares about Dusk! Let's ditch these bodies and get a couple of those!" It pointed at Nicolette and Evangeline.
"Ewwww!" Evangeline spat in disgust, standing to her feet. "As if I'd let you near my body!"
She drew her sword.
Nicolette sighed and shook her bent head as Evangeline rushed the ambush.
"What is this!" The first Remnent cried out in surprise.
"It's an ambush, you idiot!" The other one screamed. "Let's get out of here!"
Suddenly the front window shattered in a million pieces! Two muscle bound men leaped through with ease, landing with power in the center of the room sending shock waves throughout. Freaked out, the Remnents looked from the two grinning men to the roomful of occupants, all of them carrying weapons. Calmly from behind Necros and Lillivale stepped Bridget, Sarthacus, Florence, Dragona, and Jodi Harte.
"So," Necros said happily. "Now that we are all here, do ya wanna play?"

Part 4



The smile dropped from Necros' face and the glow began to fade from his eyes, changing from electric blue to a more hazel appearance. He muttered sharply under his breath and looked around in disgust. Lillivale was not looking much happier.
"Is this all there is?" Necros questioned, disappointed.
"Not much of a fight." Lillivale observed, exasperated. "Not worthy of my skills."
"Nor mine." Necros added tightly, sneering at the two Remnants. "let's go back and practice some more."
"Yeah. Sounds good." Lillivale replied with a shrug, then turned towards his comrades nonchalantly. "You guys can handle this, right?"
"Yeah! We'll be fine!" Skyril drawled cheerfully in her honey toned southern accent. "You two go on ahead!"
"We will join you later for afternoon tea." Miss Mary replied dryly in her elegant voice. But she wasn't looking at either Necros or Lillivale. She was looking on with amused contempt at the Remnants.
The two Remnant possessed people stood still for a moment. Then the first one stepped forward and screamed.
"You think we are outnumbered? You think we are weak? We've brought friends, too!"
"We won't be so easily defeated, you fools!" The other one spat.
"Alright!" Lillivale cheered up and turned back towards them with enthusiasm. "The more, the merrier!"
Necros also turned back with eager expectation, weapons held at defense position.
"Bring it on!" Florence snarled fiercely. "Nobody calls me a fool and gets away with it!"
The Remnents made a strange whistling sound that echoed throughout the building.
"What was that?" Sarthacus stepped back in disbelief and cocked his head. "Did you just whistle for help?"
"Just like the dogs they are." Dragona answered, with narrow eyes and a mocking smile as he observed the enemy. "The question is: Should we wait for the reinforcements and give them a sporting chance? Or should we attack now?"
"Attack NOW!" Roared Florence as she rushed up to the Remnants, swinging her two swords in a wide ark.
"Of course." Dragona shook his head knowingly, then went to back up Florence.
Kallista watched calmly from where she stood as Necros and Lillivale moved back outside to wait for the quickly advancing Remnant army. The two Remnants inside were slowly coming to the conclusion that the bodies they had chosen were not quite up to the task of fighting, nor even up to defending themselves.
"We need to find another body!" The first on hissed quietly at the other one, barely able to dodge the blow Florence gave.
The second one agreed without saying anything, but looked around desperately in between dodging Dragona, Florence, and Darkane's onslaught.
They spied Kallista sitting at a table appearing calm as if unaware of what was happening around her. She sipped on her tea once more then stood up gracefully and moved towards the door.
"I want that one!" The first one spat to his partner.
"Her? She's just a girl!" The other one sneered.
"Anybody is better then this one!" The first one snapped.
"Then hurry and take her and come back and help me!"
Florence dropped back startled as the body of the man fell and a glowing orb rushed out of his mouth.  It whizzed above the heads of it's tormentors as it sought it's next victim. There she was! She was moving out of the door. It streaked after her and was almost to her when, Flash! A streak of light blinded it and then it was destroyed.
Kallista turned and smiled at Necros who whipped his sword around happily.
"Thanks for the warm up, Kallista." He said.
"My gift to you." She nodded.  "Congratulations on the first kill! You ready for more? Because here they come."
She pointed to her left and right where the Remnant possessed were marching up the street towards them, along with a few other unsavory adversaries
"Vampires! " Necros observed. "Cool."
Inside Florence was doing a victory dance having just given the finishing blow to the second Remnant.  
"Alright, everybody! Party's out here now!" Lillivale called to them.
Without waiting, he rushed forwards and to the left then leapt up high over the heads of the possessed and vampires, landing in the middle. With a wicked fierceness he began taking them down using his bamboo stick and a block of steal, moving so fast he was almost hard to see.  Necros took the right side. His eyes began to glow an electric blue with a crimson hue. Before Kallista could blink, he disappeared with  flicker and teleported himself in the middle of his enemies, his katana starting to make short work of the Remnants.
The backlash of their power stirred up a forceful wind that blew Kallista's hat off her head. She raised her arms to protect herself against the debris that swirled around.
"The left side or the right?" Israel said to himself as he walked by her without stopping. Power rolled of him like waves.
"If you want a piece of the action, you better move quick." Mary warned as she walked beside him. "There is not going to be much left once those two are done."
She pointed to either side where Necros and Lillivale were.
"No worries." Israel said coolly. " Here comes a fresh batch of vampires."
"Well then," Mary cocked her head. "I'll take the right side."
"Sounds good to me." Israel replied and ran to join Lillivale, shooting at both Remnants and vampires with his double-barrel sawed off shotgun. His expert marksmanship found it's target every time he shot, killing instantly.
Kallista turned her head to see Florence and Skyril taking on a smaller group of remnants. Nicolette and Skylara were betting on who would finish their fight first; Necros or Lillivale.
"I say Necros!" Skylara said.
"Lillivale all the way!" Nicolette said at the same time.
"Fine." Skylara agreed, punching a stray remnant. "You owe me twenty bucks if Necros finishes first."
"Likewise." Nicolette replied finishing off the unlucky remnant. "If Lillivale is first."
"Fifty bucks to me if if they finish at the same time!" Kallista added from where she stood.
"Done!" Nicolette and Skylara said at the same time.
"One hundred bucks if those three actually join in with the fighting." Dragona muttered to Sarthacus as they fought back to back against vampires.
"Dream on, Dragona. They don't fight because they are intimidated by our manly strength!" Sarthacus teased. Kallista's eyes widened as he actually stopped fighting for a moment to strike a pose.
"Did I just hear that?" Skylara glared over at them.
Her silver eyes turned yellow as she ran towards them changing into a large beautiful wolf in mid leap. She viciously fought the vampires, killing them easily with her teeth and claws. Then she glared at Sarthacus who stood there and grinned at her. Reaching up her paw she tapped him.
"Don't get me going, Mister! I can beat you any day!"
"I'll let you go on believing that." he teased.
Nicolette found herself suddenly busy with fleeing remnants, falling away from both Necros' and Lillivale's groups. Leo joined her after electrifying a half dozen vampires that he had been wrestling with. The charred remains littered the ground. His hands buzzing with electricity he sent bolt after bolt into fleeing remnant, destroying them.
"Ah! There's nothing quite so exhilarating as killing vampires and remnants!" He breathed with a gleeful smile on his face.
The sunlight glinted off his ginger hair and his yellowish eyes shone brightly in the late Autumn afternoon.
"I agree!" Nicolette said with a smile as they surveyed their work.
Without thinking they slapped each others hands in a high five. Nicolette gave a little yelp as she clutch her hand to her. She stared at Leo whose face turned red.
He looked at his hand still glowing from the electricity. "Sorry....I forgot..."
Nicolette burst out laughing. "Don't worry about, Leo. It's no big deal."
Kallista smiled and turned her gaze from them back to see Mary effortlessly bringing down several vampires with her  Shaolin broadsword.  Everywhere she looked her friends were fighting. All except Bridget. Where was Bridget?
Then a shock ran through her like a sonic boom. She could feel something intense weighing on her making her feel weak. She turned to look at her comrades. But they appeared to not have felt anything.  Instinctively she looked to the woods and saw a lone figure dressed in a long dark cloak walking deeper into the trees. Strange, she thought as she moved cautiously forward. Who could it be? Bridget? Then a breeze rose up and blew the hood off the figure. The person chose that time to spare Kallista a lazy glance before going deeper into the woods. A face, the same as her own had looked at her! 
Kalliope!

Kallista staggered and fell to the ground has reality lost it's hold on her. It was as if she were looking out of a long glass tube and viewing the world at a distance. She heard nothing, felt nothing. Just a numbness. For a moment she could do nothing but breath. Then all the pain and loneliness she had felt since the parting of her sister came rushing back and slamming into her like a freight train.
"KALLIOPE!" She screamed from the bottom of her tortured soul!
For a moment all fighting stopped as everyone turned and looked at her in astonishment. But she never noticed. She got unsteadily to her feet and ran with all the strength she had left,  into the woods after her long lost sister, who she had thought was dead!

Part 5

The branches of low trees slapped against her face as she ran and pulled at her long heavy skirt slowing her down. But Kallista didn't care. She moved through the heavy foliage recklessly completely forgetting her training. Here and there sunlight penetrated through the canopied roof of the forest, highlighting those areas with a glow. It was beautiful and serene.  But she saw none of this in her hast. She stopped to catch her breath and looked in every direction; straining her eyes hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious person. But she saw nothing. The forest was still. As she stood there she tried to quiet her raging thoughts. Whoever she saw could not have been her sister  who had been dead for several years now. Yet there was something strange about that person. She had to find out who it was!
Slightly exasperated with herself she looked around finally aware she had left her comrades behind.
"Feeling a little silly, now?" A voice called out from up in the trees.
She looked and saw Darkane sitting there in one of the trees, listening to her green and blue headphones.
"Darkane!"
"You know I was in the middle of a really good fight." Darkane continued, not looking at her.
Kallista smiled to herself at Darkane's annoyed tone.
"I'm sorry." She said quietly. "Did Israel send you?"
"Nobody sent me! And Israel is to busy doing something important other then chasing little girls who can't control themselves and run into the forest!"
Kallista understood the tone in her friend's voice.
"I'm sorry I worried you, Darkane."
"I wasn't worried!" Darkane replied as she leapt gracefully from the tree. She landed lightly on the ground a little ways from Kallista. She gave the slightly taller girl a sideways glance. "You coming? What was so important that you came out here by yourself, anyways?"
"It was nothing." Kallista replied shaking her head slightly. "Go one ahead. I'll be right behind you."
Darkane shrugged her slight shoulders. "Suit yourself!" She called as she began to walk back towards the town.
Kallista hesitated. She could still feel that echo of energy that had penetrated her soul before she had entered the forest.  She forced herself to be still for a moment longer. With every breath she could feel herself returning to normal.  Now with her wits back about her, she knelt on the ground amidst all the colorful fallen leaves. She carefully placed her hand on the cold ground and felt the magic swelling within her. She released it into the earth and it danced through the earth rapidly, sending her images and sensations of life all around her. From the small forest critters to the foxes who played among the tree, she could see life everywhere. Except for one place. She stood up abruptly, a frown replacing the smile, and looked in the direction of it's source. Something undead where there! In that moment a large gray cloud swept over the sun, covering the light from the earth below. She shivered apprehensively. Then an unearthly scream pierced the air, resounding in the forest. It's agony pierced through Kallista's soul.  As she ran towards the source she could hear a moaning that rose in intensity to another scream. She reached a clearing in time to see Dusk standing before Bridget with her whip in his hand. He was smiling at Bridget, who to Kallista's horror was pinned in a trap.
BRIDGET!
Kallista felt as if her breath was knocked out of her again. The wicked looking device resembled a bear trap, only bigger. From where she stood she could sense a tainted magic over the steel trap; a poison. It had snapped over the left side of Bridget's body, ripping into her flesh along the leg, waist and arm. The top part of the jaws threatened to tear into her slender throat. Blood was oozing from the wounds, but Bridget still managed to glare defiantly at Dusk.
"You are the one who is pathetic, Dusk!" She spat at him, stifling a groan of agony. "You know you couldn't fight me on your own! Like a coward, you had to use a trap and your army to stop me. Just one vampire!"
His mouth twisted in rage and he raised up Bridget's own whip to use against her. Then Kallista was there.  She raised her hand and caught the whip as it started it's decent. She held on to it and refused to let go as he tried to pull it from her grasp. Defiantly she stared at him.
"YOU!" He thundered.
Through a veil of seething anger she could see recognition in his eyes as he glared at her. But she paid this no mind as she stood between him and Bridget.
"Hang in there, Bridget." She said between clenched teeth. The burning pain of the whip was intensifying. She didn't know how she was going to save both Bridget and herself.
"Use your magic, Girl!" Bridget snapped in between gasping in pain. "It's the only way to get us both out!"
But Kallista hesitated.
Dusk looked around in disbelief then looked back at her and smiled. "You came alone? How good of you."
He began to pull tighter, drawing her nearer as she screamed in protest and pain.
Then out of nowhere, a huge dead tree came at him like a missile, seeking to pin him to the earth. Dusk let go of the whip and dodged the tree in the last moment, at the same time Kallista was blown backwards by a wind.  Someone raced by and grabbed her before she fell to the ground. She looked up and Necros stood in front of her facing Dusk and what was left of his army. Lillivale sat her down carefully and went to stand by Necros.
From every part of the forest her friends appeared, some holding weapons, some gathering fire with magic, and some doing both. They surrounded Dusk and his remaining army.
"Who said she was alone?"
Dusk cursed and muttered angrily. "This army wasn't even meant for you!"
"What was that, sweetheart?" Necros cocked his ear to Dusk. "I Didn't hear you!"
Dusk eyes burned with rage.
"I've had enough of this." He growled and turned to his few remaining followers. "What are you waiting for? Attack!"
At once the vampires did as their master commanded and attack.
Kallista turned to see Israel and Evangeline trying to free Bridget while the rest of them fought the vampires.
"Necros!" Israel called. "We need your help!"
Necros nodded and swept the five vampires he had been fighting, over to Leo and Lillivale.
"Now make sure you two share." He teased as he ran over to Israel.
Leo and Lillivale looked at each other for a moment.
"Dibs on those three!" Leo grinned and called forth electricity in his hands.
"We could call dibs?" Lillivale questioned, momentarily bemused.
"Oooooooh! Look at the pretty lights!" Leo taunted the vampires as Lillivale went on to do some damage on his own.. The vampires watched cautiously, entranced by the sparks Leo was making. Then Leo sent the bolts into them, killing them easily.
Using magic, Evangaline, Israel, and Necros carefully pried the metal trap from Bridget's body while the rest finished off the remaining vampires.
Kallista got to her feet unsteadily and spied her friend, Darkane a few feet away, fighting.
 Darkane's two curved Japanese knives whipped around swiftly killing one vampire and turned to do the same to it's companion.
 In one fluid motion, Kallista pulled the two thin knives that had been hidden in her sleeves and joined Darkane in her fight against three vampires. Ignoring her bleeding hand she went after the last vampire with a vengeance; happy to have something to take out her anger on. It seemed to fuel her strength and she beat the vampire easily.
All was quiet in the clearing of the forest as the friends paused realizing there were no more vampires. Necros had gathered Bridget up and was preparing to take her to Kenspeckle's.
He looked at Kallista who stood wearily with her hair hanging in her face and a bloody hand.
"You should get that fixed right way." He said quietly and then added. "Never do that again."
She bowed her head as he walked away, knowing what he meant. Then a gust of wind blew her hair back and Kallista knew he had gone using his power to get Bridget the medical help she needed.
She didn't look up when she heard someone else approached. A hand reached carefully for hers. Israel looked at her hand for a moment before speaking.
"It looks bad, but nothing that Kenspeckle can't handle." He told her. He pulled out a cloth from his pocket and tied it over her hand.
The others came closer and looked at her with unreadable expressions. But Kallista knew what they where thinking.
"Running into a forest by yourself with vampires running amuck is never a good idea." Nicolette spoke up for the rest of them.
"Yeah. we know your tough, but to try and take all of them on your own is ludicrous." Sarthacus added with a slight smile.
"You are such a greedy guts!" Darkane burst out. "You were going to take them all on your own? And leave none for us?"
"No you silly girl!" Florence said. "Sarthacus was just kidding about that. Wasn't he?"
"Something else called you into the forest." Israel guessed as he gazed searchingly at her. "But you don't wish to tell, do you?"
"No." Was all she said. She looked everywhere but at them.
Israel sighed.
"Alright then." He began. "We need to go and get your hand looked at by Kenspeckle."
As she left with the others, she realized she had never found the mysterious person. On hindsight she looked back once more, but saw nothing.