Volume 14, Chapter 24: Kali Stick Retrieval (II)

“Jacque, think you can unlock this with your art powers?” Shan requested.

“I can try,” Jacque agreed.

He removed a packet of sticky notes from his tote bag. Drawing an open lock on the top note, he tore it off and slapped it onto the doorknob. There was a click and his sticky note floated to the ground. Shan tried the doorknob again and it worked this time.

“Nice one, Jacque. Let’s see what’s inside,” Shan said before glancing over at me. “Yuki, can you head in first? You’re able to light the way.”

This better not be one of your stupid tricks, Shan. I conjured a flickering flame and entered first. Noticing a switch, I tapped it but nothing turned on. Firing a small jolt of electricity into it, a small light bulb lit up, illuminating a corner of the room.

“Weird, why is it so dark?” I increased my flame’s brightness.

“Person who lived here before didn’t like the sunlight. Something about messing up their magic flow,” Shan explained as he inspected the interior.

Ichaival sat down and watched his friend rummage around. I searched for other light sources but it was just the dim, flickering light bulb. Jacque pulled a desk lamp out of his sketchbook and placed it on the dining room table. Despite multiple attempts, it didn’t turn on.

“Was worth a try,” Shan said as he pulled open drawers and checked the cabinets.

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“What are you looking for?” I questioned, sitting next to Ichaival.

“A hidden switch. There’s a basement here but the entrance is hidden,” Shan replied.

“What about the fridge?” I suggested.

“A good idea,” Ksi gave me a rare compliment.

The inside was empty. She checked the back and hit a switch. Nothing. I walked over and channeled electricity into the appliance. Ksi tried again and there was a whir. Shan headed to the closet and removed the folded blanket and other linen stacked inside.

“Perfect. Sorry to have you do this again but can you go down first? I can’t see for s*** down there and I don’t want to sacrifice Darryl,” Shan asked, pointing at the hidden stairs.

“Why not let Jacque try? He can probably draw a torch and get experience at the same time,” I recommended.

“Good point, Yuki,” Shan agreed with my suggestion.

Jacque sketched a torch and a glow stick appeared instead. The art major snapped the glow stick and a sizable amount of light originated from it.

“You sure you can control that thing, Jacque?” Shan joked.

“Hell yeah,” Jacque responded, waving it around.

“How’s it look down there?” Shan checked up him once he arrived at the bottom.

“Can’t really tell. Bunch of stuff in my way. There’s a couple of switches but they’re busted. Yuki, can you power them up?” Jacque reported.

Of course I ended up going down anyways. I met up with the artist and saw broken machinery and random parts scattered across the floor. I located the switches and shot electricity into them. I recognized a few of the machines turning on as the transportation portal we used earlier.

“What is all this s***?” Jacque gazed around as his glow stick light ran out.

“No idea. Think were trying to put together scrapped parts,” I replied.

Shan, Ksi, and Ichaival joined us one minute later. The gravity manipulator tapped several machines before inspecting them. Ksi stood near the stairs and glared at the machines. Ichaival stood next to Jacque and me, watching his partner examine the basement.

“They were making a magic cannon,” Ksi broke the silence.

“What?” Ichaival exclaimed, staring at her.

“The parts on the ground and those machines, it’s the only possible explanation,” Ksi explained.

“S***, that’s what I was afraid of after seeing those blueprints back at the fortress. Damn, this is really bad,” Shan confirmed.

“Isn’t this place meant to protect against a magical cannon. Why here?” I leaned against the wall.

“Don’t know. That’s for you guys to figure out. I only know about the magical cannon because of my previous research on it,” Ksi replied.

“Heard you needed help. I’m your guy,” someone spoke, descending down the stairs.

Ksi twisted her ring and a spear appeared in her hand. She hurled it at the mysterious person. When I saw a glimpse of their appearance, I tried deflecting her attack with an ice wall but her attack broke through it.

“Rev, what are you doing here?” Ichaival questioned, checking on his condition.

The visor of his motorcycle helmet was shattered, revealing topaz colored eyes. I expected her spear to pierce his eye but Ksi’s weapon was on the ground next to him. She stared at him in shock, clutching her left eye.

“No big deal, I’ve been through worse,” Rev remarked with a chuckle.

“You sure you don’t want to take off your helmet?” I questioned.

“Truth be told, I rather not for personal reasons,” Rev shook his head.

“Whatever works for you,” I said.

“This dimension is unstable. It’s pulling in things that it shouldn’t,” Rev revealed.

“What do you mean?” I asked for more details.

“I didn’t expect it to be this bad. Za’ard is actively connecting with other dimensions,” Rev explained.

This dimension was becoming another Crossroads? I glanced at Shan who was deep in thought for once. Rev reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a badge case with a familiar symbol on it.

“I work for the Crossroads Special Investigations Unit. Tomo, you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Captain Maka already. Ichaival and Shan have worked with the SIU before in the past. It was before my time though,” Rev replied. “As for the magical cannon, they’re trying to counteract the damage done by the previous one.”

“That’s crazy! Did they really find such powerful magic?” Shan questioned.

“That’s what I’m investigating,” Rev answered.

Things were getting complicated now. Why try another magical cannon? Firing off another one might cause the entire dimension to collapse. Too much danger with little to no promises of fixing anything.

“Lyra wanted us to find this,” Shan said, crossing his arms.

“Damn, didn’t even find anything related to my weapon,” Ichaival responded.

“Let’s try looking around again. Rev, was it? I want to talk to you. Ksi, can you join us?” Shan decided, calling her over.

The three went over to a corner, discussing the magical cannon and other related issues. I assisted Ichaival and Jacque, digging through the basement for clues.

“Hey, I found something. Think it’s a GPS,” Jacque said, holding up a machine.

I inspected the object, rotating it around and discovered wires sticking out from the back. Was it possible to retrieve data from this? Jacque pulled out a roll of duct tape and tore off a few pieces, covering the back and exposed closings.

“Duct tape fixes everything, right?” Jacque explained.

Wow, the screen actually turned on. I pressed the display and a map appeared. Handing the device over to Ichaival, he checked the coordinates but shook his head.

“Good use of duct tape,” Ichaival commented, tapping the adhesives.

“It works!” Jacque replied.

“Lyra can tell us more,” the false archer decided.

Rev wrapped up his conversation with Ksi and Shan. Any new information he discovered would be shared with Lyra and Tess. He departed with a two finger salute.

“We done for today?” I questioned.

“Yep, Darryl and I will take this to Lyra. You guys can go home,” Shan replied.

Friday Winter Quarter 2016 Week 10

“You’re early again, Ksi,” I observed, arriving at the Crossroads.

Tess informed us Lyra pinpointed the exact location of Ichaival’s ultimate weapon with the device. Like last time, I was the second to arrive. Ksi sat in a chair and read a guide book. Rotating gears and a generic machine was on the front cover.

“I checked out reference material from here, hoping to find out more about the effects of the magical cannon which caused the destruction of Shan and Ichaival’s dimension,” Ksi revealed.

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“You’re pretty committed, aren’t you?” I questioned.

“Mmhmm, I’ve always wanted to learn more about magical cannons. Especially since it’s related to the place we’re going to,” Ksi answered.

Jacque showed up next, fatigue on his face, probably because of his classes. Shan and Ichaival showed up at the same time, probably meeting beforehand.

“We ready to get this f*****’s weapons?” Shan pointed at Ichaival.

“So hurtful but what can I really expect from you?” Ichaival sighed.

“Sorry for hurting your feelings, Darryl. Eh, not really. Did Lyra tell you what kind of place we’re going to?” Shan turned serious.

“Nope. Just told me it’ll be a really fun and special time,” Ichaival answered.

“We’re all going to get destroyed. What did you do to piss Lyra?” Shan shook his head.

“Nothing. Her being angry doesn’t change where the ultimate weapon is,” Ichaival protested.

“You keep telling yourself that,” Shan patted his friend’s shoulder with a grin.

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