My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Phoenix: Chapter 28

At midnight, I woke Mark up and handed him the reins, slinging my arms around Currey’s neck.

“You sure you don’t want to land and sit in the back?” Mark asked.

“Yep,” I said. “This way has better support, and it’s not like you can’t see around me. And no, I couldn’t see around you earlier, or you would have been sitting up here.”

Mark shook his head and said, “No argument against that.”

All I know is that Mark didn’t wake me up for a third shift—he just stayed awake. That wasn’t to say that I didn’t drift in and out of sleep a lot during the trip, but I never really gained full consciousness until nine in the morning. Mark said we were landing for food. I think we were back in America by then, or on the edge of Nova Scotia—still not sure. Didn’t matter.

In any case, I started flying Currey again, following Xavier as he flew Silvester. The sky was clear enough to see, but the wind still shook us around visibly, and my heavy backpack wasn’t helping. I couldn’t imagine how cold the pegasi must have been. Still, Currey snuffled cheerfully as I scratched him behind the ears, showing no sign of fatigue.

Currey was happy for the company—Mark wasn’t much for conversation, he said.

“Well, he wouldn’t be,” I said groggily, still slung over the pegasus’s neck, stroking his mane. The pegasus leant into it, snuffling appreciatively. I’d never had any pets, but I adored Currey. He was mellower and goofier than Silvester, who was proud and intelligent.

Why are we going to the Agency? He asked.

Daniel’s there, I said.

Daniel is good, Currey said. And powerful.

And he can teleport us to Gordon’s Well, I said.

How will we get back?

      I don’t think we need to. Not if he and Sophie are right. Not if we find a phoenix. Then we don’t need to hurry back.

      How do we know if they’re right?

      We don’t.

      So why are we going? Currey asked. Why aren’t we researching? Shouldn’t we be looking in the Epselan library to find out where the phoenixes live?

      Somehow, I don’t think they really stay in one place, I said. I think they move around. Kind of like I do. And if they move around, then they’re probably moving towards me.

      So you think Daniel’s right, Currey thought to me.

I think he might not be as wrong as Mark thinks.

It was a few hours before we got back to the Agency. It helped that we were going directly over water this time, and that my speed spell was much stronger than it had been the first time I used it, because I had more practice. We were still a little concerned about the potential dragons and crackpot magic wielders chasing us, but since we were going this fast, it wasn’t likely that they could catch up at this point. Unless there were a few staking out the Agency. But we wouldn’t be there long, not if my plan worked.

We didn’t land until we were above the very center of the Agency and were far away from the labs. We landed north of the main building and waited for Daniel to appear. He didn’t take long, but we were all nervous, like we weren’t supposed to be here. We sort of weren’t. We were supposed to be too scared to come back, but all we’d done was evade.

Was that all you’d done, Mark? All those years, taking me all around the country? Evade, evade. Run away. Run, run, because the monster is out to get you.

What monster?

Daniel appeared, riding Anatola. The gold dragon lowered her neck and bowed to us before flying off, leaving Daniel here.

“What’s up with her?” I asked.

“She’s not sure,” Daniel said, and left it at that.

“Okay, Phoeb,” Mark said, taking a deep breath. “This was your idea, and so far, you’re the only one who knows the specifics.”

“Can you teleport us?” I asked Daniel.

Daniel’s face instantly lit up. “Brilliant!” he said, and ran off.

We stood, looking at each other, for a second.

“Well?” I demanded. “Standing around and waiting isn’t our style. Let’s go!”

And we all chased after him.


Several minutes later, we were in Gym class.

At least, that’s what it looked like. Fairies playing basketball in the background, anyway. It was definitely something to watch. But we were doing something different, which was probably a good thing.

“Now, I don’t have great supplies for this,” Daniel said, “so we’ll have to work with what I can find in a few seconds.” And he stepped forward… and vanished.

“What just happened?” I asked.

“Oh, he’s gone off to another dimension,” Mark said. “Daniel’s kind of famous. There’s sort of a magical mark, a ranking, and he used to be first. Most powerful, among human mages anyway. I think he still is, actually. So leaping dimensions to find supplies is kind of like going grocery shopping. Except he’s kind of famous with anybody who’s in on magical things, so it’s faster.”

“I wonder what that’s like,” I said.

I wonder too, said Currey, who was next to me. Silvester licked Xavier’s ear, and we waited.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 12:13 pm and is filed under Phoenix. 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.

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