My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Chapter 30

Sophie had taken Molly to an abandoned tent that “happened” to be nearby. When Molly had calmed down, she and Sophie came out. Daniel knew that they would be best friends for life – Sophie was probably very good at this sort of thing.
When they came out, Molly was serious and stoic again. “I know where we need to be next. I got a message from the intelligence agency. They need me, but they’ll train you in the meantime.”
“Why do they need you?” Daniel asked.
“To teach.”
*    *    *
There was, of course, a branch of Molly’s intelligence agency near where they were. Since teachers were needed at every school, nobody cared which branch she worked in. Molly quickly found the office of the Intelligence Operations manager.
“Sp. M Molly Fletching reporting for teaching duty by call, sir,” Molly said. “Also, business training new recruits, most are able to use magic. Others may or may not need books.”
“Molly! Relax. We’re not the military,” the IO manager said.
“Pah. You ought to start training the students to talk like that in times of crisis or battle. The idea, you realize, is that the enemy won’t understand you,” Molly said, scowling.
“What does Sp. M stand for?” Daniel asked.
“Spy mage,” Molly and the manager said at the same time.
“You do realize,” Daniel said, “that Sp. M takes more syllables to say than Spy Mage,”
“Yes,” Molly said patiently, “but you don’t want your enemy to know that you can use magic, now, do you? You want the element of surprise!”
Khorabelle huffed impatiently. “We’re not going to have to get sweaty, are we? And please tell me that there’s a clean shower somewhere around here. I was stuck in that filthy tower for a whole two days!”
Daniel and Sophie exchanged a look.
Cat stepped forward. “Do I know you?”
*    *    *
“So, you’re basically telling me that you knew the manager, and he’s the one who trained you. You belong to a strange race with ancestry from the Chikik, and you inherited some of their powers.” Daniel raised an eyebrow.
“Yep.” Cat rested her chin in her hands.
“And as soon as you left school, you saved Khorabelle’s life and, in return, she drags you along into trouble.”
“Yep.” Cat yawned, showing fangs.
“And you turn more catlike when you’re in a certain mood.”
“Yep. I might be able to do it right now.”
Cat curled up in the chair and started purring. Her spine softened as if it were more like a cat’s, and allowed her to bend and fit into the chair neatly. Daniel just barely noticed the tan whiskers, but the satisfied twitching nose, perked ginger ears, and tail curled around the body were obvious. Daniel opened his mouth to try and clarify more, but he realized that Cat had fallen asleep.
*    *    *
Daniel had thought himself asleep that night. He’d wondered about how, exactly, had Keith died. He thought about whether he’d ever sensed that Molly was a mage. She didn’t seem the bookish type. Clever, but not bookish. As if she should have ended up as an enchantress.
Then again, maybe “spy mage” was a whole different kind of magic wielder type. That would make more sense. But then, how would she know Mage so well? And the never-ending question – why were the Gateguards after them? Were the Gateguards after them because they were taking the books? It wasn’t like they were taking all of them. Daniel decided to question Mage the following day.
*    *    *
Sophie ran her fingers through her messy, unbrushed hair the next morning. She sat down next to Daniel, on his bed.
“She’s really upset,” Sophie said.
“No kidding.”
“I think she was crushing on Keith. No – scratch that. I know she liked Keith. Remember when they were sparring, and the fight with the third-dimension monster? She told me about that spell. She risked her life. If it weren’t for her ability to stare ahead for long periods of time, she would have ended up in the Void Dimension. It’s basically a bottomless pit. Even with her skills, a bug could have flown into her eyes, attracted by the light, or the monster could have tossed up dust, or the light could have shocked her into blinking.”
“You won’t hear it outside her room, though,” Daniel said. “Molly is Molly. You can bet that she’ll be pretty bloodthirsty for the next two months.”
“Yep,” Sophie said, dropping her chin into her hands and positioning her legs so that she was more perched than seated.
“And I can’t help but think that there’s something that the books aren’t telling us. When you were in the trance thing, I less-than-accidentally overheard Mage and Tress talking. They gave pretty big hints that there’s something here we don’t know. Of course, they didn’t know I was listening,” Daniel said with a hint of pride. He tried a sliver of a lopsided grin.
“How’d you do that?” Sophie asked. “Tress always knows when someone else is on the other side of a wall.”
“Tricks,” Daniel said. “Kind of accidentally. I stayed at the door a while, then I thought they decided to let me hear them until I found out that they were speaking Runi. Then there’s this trick with gold specks – I don’t know how to explain it. I used it to get the book out of the ice on the cloud. It’s used to both see and hide from reality.”
“That last sentence didn’t even sound like you,” Sophie said. “Are you all right?”
Daniel frowned. “Um, yeah. I didn’t know I knew that. Oh, and since this is already a secret-ripping marathon, I think it’s about time you met Messenger.”
“Yeah. You mentioned Messenger, I think.”
“Messenger is a cat. And I’m not sure if I dreamed her up, but she’s here somehow, and Molly can see her. Messenger is how I knew about the Gateguards. I think she’s kind of like Gavin the Gryphon, you know, as the magical pet. But I don’t know how Molly knows her. I think–”
“Well, it’s about time you told her,” Messenger said, leaping up on the windowsill. She licked a paw and said, “The poor girl’s been waiting in suspense for ages. She probably would have sent you to the loony bin if you didn’t say something sooner or later.”
Sophie put on her patent “officially weirded out” expression. It was well practiced.
“And Molly can see Messenger. Her rank is “spy mage,” but I think it must be a different type of wielder, because I can’t picture Molly with her nose in a book. But that doesn’t explain why Molly knows Mage or how she can see Messenger. It seems like only–”
“–people who know who I am can see me. Yes, that’s how it works. You’re right about that. As for Molly, I have a history with her, and so does Mage. Remember when Mage told you he hadn’t spent much time in the Mirrorworld? He lied. But you know my nature – I’m going to make you find out the rest yourself.” Messenger grinned, pleased with the fact that she knew the information Daniel wanted, and could withhold it.
Daniel shot Sophie a look. “And you wonder why I didn’t tell anyone.”
Sophie raised her hands and leaned back in a “not blaming you” gesture.
“But there’s a lot of stuff the books just won’t say. And I don’t think I’ll be able to get it out of them. Why are the Gateguards after us? Why bother with a bunch of kids collecting books? And obviously Molly knows something, but I don’t think I have the heart to question her.”
“I’ll do the questioning. She’s my best friend. What do you want to know?”
“Why the Gateguards are after us, and why she joined when we said we had them tailing us.”
“Okay, I can do that,” Sophie said.
They found Molly in her room, splayed out on her bed. Her sad eyes brightened when she saw Sophie, then took on a look of question when Daniel followed discreetly.
“Molly. What happened?”
Molly sobbed harder.
“Molly. It’ll be easier soon. Trust me.”
“No! It’ll never be easier. Not until this is done.”
“Molly? What’s ‘this?’”
“This,” Molly said, tears staining her cheeks. “This quest. Then I might be able to deal, but right now is… a lot.”
“Shh… start from the beginning.”
Daniel had never heard Sophie’s voice like that. It was like she’d suddenly gotten a degree in psychology.
“First I was sent,” Molly said. “They’d said that the last to save had come through, and I was to protect them. I went out to find those wielders, but I had no idea what they looked like. As I wandered out into the streets, not knowing what I was looking for, Angel ran into me, thinking I was a Gateguard. Then after the fight, you came up, and told me about the Gateguards. And…”
“Molly, what is the ‘last to save?’ Who are they saving?”
“You. And… the universe.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2010 at 5:34 pm and is filed under Mirrorworld. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Chapter 30”

  1. Iletha
    9:24 am on April 8th, 2010

    this is a long book rabekah u should cut it shorter u know what i mean because its is to long for me to read the whole thing so by yr may be my best friend but this book is too long for me and all my friends to read ojay and thanks for invinting me over yr house yesterdya is was grear and so was the food that yr mom baught us mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm it was very good.

  2. Writer
    3:57 pm on April 8th, 2010

    Uh, Iletha, I’ve read books for the SAME AGE GROUP which are much longer. Like, I read a book once that had 405 pages. Mine is much less than that. Also, published children’s book writers have a word count range (an estimate of how long the book should be depending on who’s gonna read it and how old they are) set up, and my book fits in that range. If your comment is on how many chapters there are, then please note that each chapter is about four pages long in Microsoft Word, while most books are usually eight or nine, depending on the audience. And no offense… but, Iletha, I thought you didn’t read much any more. So a lot of books are going to seem long to you. Just saying!

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